How to reset things to their default, post-installation state?

Amedee Van Gasse (ub) amedee-ubuntu at
Mon Dec 21 09:04:35 UTC 2009

On Sun, December 20, 2009 03:09, Patrick Doyle wrote:
> I've been playing with a number of different things on my Mythbuntu
> box (ALSA drivers, proprietary ATI video drivers, etc...) and have not
> had a whole lot of success getting things to work.  At this point, I
> would like to just wipe the disk clean and start again.
> But I figured I'd take the opportunity to ask if there is a different
> way to achieve the same effect.  Is there some apt/aptitude/dpkg
> command that will verify the files on my system against those in the
> official Ubuntu packages and replace them (and/or inform me) if they
> are different?  Basically, I am looking for something like
> $ apt-get dist-verify
> As I said, I'll probably just wipe the disk and start anew, possibly
> having learned a thing or two from everything I've tried.

I understand your question, and I know of no such command.

I can give some suggestions that may help a bit, but sometimes a reinstall
is faster. In particular when you have /home on a separate partition, then
it is really painless.

* delete all the "hidden" (name starting with a dot) files and directories
in your /home/username. This resets all user settings. Be careful with
email software: if you don't use IMAP, all your mail may be lost! Same
goes for bookmarks in your firefox folder. So perhaps back them up before

* clean up one package with
$ sudo aptitude purge packagename
This uninstalls the package *and* its config and log files.
Then you can reinstall it again
$ sudo aptitude install packagename
This only works for one package at a time, and some packages cannot be
uninstalled because they are essential. Use with care!

To recap, a fresh install with a separate /home is usually your best
option. But then also clean up the hidden files&dirs.



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