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When I run

sudo apt-get purge -s clipit

I see:

$ sudo apt-get purge -s clipit
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following package was automatically installed and is no longer required:
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove it.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Purg clipit [1.4.1-1.1ubuntu1]

I see clipit* instead of just clipit. What does * mean here?

(It's not just clipit but with other packages as well.)

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If I only want to remove clipit and not clipit*, I should use remove instead of purge. – DK Bose Mar 10 '14 at 6:30
possible duplicate of apt-get remove with wildcard removed way more than expected. why? – Parto Aug 19 '14 at 19:06
@Parto That question is about what happens when * is provided by the user as part of the input. This is different--it's asking about APT's use of * in output given to the user. It turns out the meanings are quite different. – Eliah Kagan Sep 13 '14 at 5:54

According to the manual page for apt-get it indicates;

APT-GET(8)                            APT                           APT-GET(8)

       apt-get - APT package handling utility -- command-line interface

           remove is identical to install except that packages are removed
           instead of installed. Note the removing a package leaves its
           configuration files in system. If a plus sign is appended to the
           package name (with no intervening space), the identified package
           will be installed instead of removed.

           purge is identical to remove except that packages are removed and
           purged (any configuration files are deleted too).

That explains the difference between remove and purge. Basically remove will only remove the package whilst not touching nor changing the config files where purge will remove everything relating to the package including the configuration files.

Having said that; clipit* with a * indicates that it will remove the said package & all its includes (config files.. etc) accordingly.


remove - If you're removing skype, chrome.. etc or any other package that holds configuration files inside your /home/user directory. Those will not be removed.

purge - Further, if you use this on bind, mysql, squid.. etc or any packages that stores configuration files in their respective location such as /etc.. well, those will be deleted.

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* appended to package name while purging because purging will remove config files,dependencies along with the original package.

purge - Remove packages and config files
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