Un-installing apps : any better than Windows ? :-/

Tom Adelstein adelste at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 3 16:14:08 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-06-03 at 17:40 +0200, Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
> I don't mean to show disrespect to my other half... my Ubntu love, but,
> I have to say, I am rather disappointed with it's abilities to
> un-install applications and clean the system.
> I already posted about this several months ago, at which point I got
> taught about the "purge" option, to remove dot/hidden configuration
> files.
> However, I just happen to look at Gconf, and although I was searching
> for something else, I noticed a complete branch devoted to "Zapping". 
> A Gtk TV viewer app that I had installed long ago. Problem, is that I
> use XawTv, and that I removed Zapping long ago.
> I thought, hmmm maybe I fogot to "purge" when I asked Synaptic to remove
> it. So I re-installed it, then removed it as soon, making sure that I
> selected the "complete removal"/purge option. But, the .zapping folder
> is still there in my home directory, and all the entries in Gconf are
> still there (I made sure to exit Gconf and re-open, to refresh the
> data).
> So bacically, just like windows, apps aren't uninstalled properly, and
> leave old files that just make Gcon fatter and fatter, and my home
> folder more and more messy :o(
> I would like to think that it's a problem specific to this package, but
> sadly no. I can see many "dot" folder in my home folder, corresponding
> to a dozen apps I installed ages ago just to try them out, and
> un-installed on the same day :o(
> For instance, as far as I can see :
> .amaya
> .anjuta
> .blender
> .bluefish
> .bmp
> .eroaster
> .gnucash
> .icewm
> .kde
> .loki
> .mc
> .qcad
> .qt
> .screem
> .scribus
> .SearchAndRescue
> .tuxracer
> .wine
> .xcdroast
> .xfce4
> .zinf
> I think maybe one or two of them are there because I re-installed Ubuntu
> but didn't re-install the app afterwards, leaving the conf files. But I
> am certain that most of them were removed cleanlny (or so I thought)
> using Synaptic "Complete removal" option... :o(
> Not much harm to the system of course, but I would just like to know if
> it's just me, and if it isn't, then I would like to know if the devs
> know about this problems and intend to work on it ?
> Thanks for ideas/opinions/info ...
> --
> Vince, disappointed...

Seeking perfection are you. Not a bad concept. <smiling>

Some reasons do exist to leave the dot directories in place in UNIX
style systems. Normally, they are hidden. 

If it bothers you, use Midnight Commander (mc) to delete them. But, they
leaving them in my home directory has saved me hours of frustration in
the past.

I also like to leave GConf alone. Often entries pre-exist for apps you
may never install, but they become helpful if you do install them.

A little trick used at with distributions in the past was to put in a
menu or start-up group like Crossover Office so it would show up in the
menu if installed. You might notice that with the gconf menu system
locked, it's quite difficult to add menu items. So, having these phantom
entries actually help. 

And as pristine as I am about performance, they don't do much. It's not
like M$'s dread registry where things can get really messy.



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