How to Uninstall or Remove Software Packages From Ubuntu

September 4, 2019


This tutorial will walk you through several methods for removing software packages from an Ubuntu Linux system. We detail removal options using the GUI (graphical user interface) built in to the Ubuntu Software Center and using the command line.

how to uninstall packages or programs in ubuntu


  • A user account with sudo / administrative privileges to install/uninstall software from Ubuntu
  • Access to a terminal window/command line (Ctrl+Alt+T) – optional

7 Ways to Uninstall Ubuntu Packages

Remove With Ubuntu Software Manager

If you run Ubuntu with the default graphical interface, you may be familiar with the default software manager. This graphical tool gives a list of available and installed programs. Launch it by clicking the Ubuntu Software Center icon.

ubuntu software logo

Once the utility loads, there are three tabs across the top:

  • All – This lists all available software. You can search this list for new programs to add.
  • Installed – This lists only the programs you have installed.
  • Updates – This lists any programs that have available updates. You can find more information about the updates from here.

Click the Installed tab. Scroll down the list of programs, then click the Remove button next to the program to uninstall.

removing software from ubuntu using the GUI

Use the Synaptic Package Manager

The default Ubuntu Software Center may not display every application on your system. The Synaptic Package Manager is a more robust application. The Synaptic Package Manager is included by default in some versions of Ubuntu. Use the search bar to find and launch it on your system.

If your system does not include Synaptic Package Manager, use the Ubuntu Software Center to install it.

Once the Synaptic Package Manager loads, use the menu on the left to select Status > Installed. This lists all applications on your system.

To remove an application, highlight it > right-click > select Mark for Removal and then click Apply. This will uninstall the software, but leave the configuration files intact.

To delete the standard configuration files along with the software package, select Mark for Complete Removal instead.

remove package using the synaptic package manager

How to Remove Package on Ubuntu From Command Line

Dpkg (Debian Package) is a standard package manager in many versions of Linux. To uninstall a package with the dpkg command, you need to know the exact name of the package you intend to uninstall.

To list installed packages in Ubuntu, enter the following into a terminal window:

sudo dpkg ––list

This command lists all the software, but the list may be too long and not helpful.

To make a list easier to browse add the following:

sudo dpkg–query –l | less

If you know the name of the package you want to remove, you can search for it instead:

sudo dpkg–query –l | grep package_name

Replace package_name with the term you are searching for.

If you don’t know the full name, specify part of a name by surrounding it with asterisks (*), as follows:

sudo dpkg–query –l | grep *partial_name*

We suggest copying the exact software package name (right click and copy) for use later on in the removal process.

Note: Using dpkg to remove software packages is not recommended. The recommended option is to use a package manager that will remove all dependencies. For example, dpkg may remove the specified package, but all of its dependencies will remain on the system and may no longer function correctly.

Apt-Get Remove Command

To remove a specific package, use the apt-get remove command:

sudo apt-get remove package_name

This command prompts apt to scan through the installed applications and attempt to remove or repair any that are broken.

Apt-Get Purge Command

Replace package_name with the actual package name generated by apt or dpkg.

The remove command only deletes the software, not the configuration files.

To remove the program and config files, use the purgecommand:

sudo apt-get remove ––purge package_name

Clean Command

The apt package manager can also clean up your system.

To delete the cache of old/outdated packages, enter:

sudo apt-get clean

Some programs are installed with dependencies. These are other software packages the program needs to run. It’s possible to uninstall an application, and still have all its dependencies on your system.

This command prompts apt to scan through the installed applications and attempt to remove or repair any that are broken.

AutoRemove Command

The apt package manager can remove orphaned or unnecessary dependencies with autoremove:

sudo apt-get autoremove

If you have any failed installations, broken dependencies, or corrupted package files, apt can try to repair them with the command:

sudo apt-get –f install

This command prompts apt to scan through the installed applications and attempt to remove or repair any that are broken.


Now you should have a good understanding of several ways to find and remove packages on Ubuntu Linux.

Was this article helpful?
Sofija Simic
Sofija Simic is an experienced Technical Writer. Alongside her educational background in teaching and writing, she has had a lifelong passion for information technology. She is committed to unscrambling confusing IT concepts and streamlining intricate software installations.
Next you should read
How to Install RPM Packages on Ubuntu
July 9, 2019

RPM is a package format used by Red Hat based derivatives like CentOS, RHEL or Fedora. It gets its name from...
Read more
How to List Installed Packages on Ubuntu
March 9, 2022

Having a precise list of installed packages helps system admins maintain, replicate, and reinstall systems...
Read more
How to use apt Package Manager on Ubuntu Linux
January 7, 2019

In Linux, special tools were developed for managing applications. Application software for Linux typically...
Read more
How To Install MySQL 8.0 In Ubuntu 18.04
December 12, 2018

MySQL is an open-source relational database server tool for Linux operating systems. It is widely used in modern web-based technology, and it forms part of...
Read more
  • © 2022 Copyright phoenixNAP | Global IT Services. All Rights Reserved.