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A question i would like to ask is: what happens if I uninstall/install a package too many times in ubuntu? for example ejabberd.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Standard Linux distribution packages are just a bunch of files in an archive that get extracted and configured during installation and partly or fully (with configuration files via --purge option) removed during uninstallation. That's why uninstallation is also called removal of packages.

Apart from ususal hard drive wearout and growing package manager log files, which are automatically compressed and deleted after some time (see Linux Log Files and logrotate), nothing happens.

After all it seems only logical, that you can't break much by moving or deleting the same file repeatedly over and over again.

With the arrival of affordable consumer SSDs, delay in data retrieval or crippled performance and throughput caused by suboptimal data placement on platters also has become more trivial than before.

One thing that can break are dependencies, but that can also be fixed.

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there is no reason to think something will happen to your system!

If you use Ubuntu Software Center to (un-)install software, even your configurations are stored in your home folder.

you should be cautious when changing the source of the software you use.

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