I want to make a clean start with gedit; ie. remove all customization.

Synaptic Package Manager, indicated that ubuntu-desktop would also be removed!

Well, that sounded to be a bit on the dramatic side, so I tested it in a VM..

It was dramatic!... I lost my Ubuntu Deskop! (...funny about that!)

Okay, my potential disaster was averted thanks to VMs, but I still want to fully uninstall and reinstall a fresh instance of gedit.

How can I do this?

  • 1
    Why don't you just remove the configurations of gedit on your home directory? Won't that do the trick ? Nov 2 '10 at 7:53
  • @sagarchalise: Dhanyvaad.. I had installed plugins into /usr/lib/gedit-2/plugins/ ...and a total fresh start seemed the easiest way to get a fresh start :)
    – Peter.O
    Nov 2 '10 at 8:57

You shouldn't lose your desktop by removing ubuntu-desktop, because it is a meta-package that simply allows to easily install all default packages in the Ubuntu Desktop environment. However, it is recommended to install it again before any system upgrades.

You can safely remove gedit and ubuntu-desktop, then install ubuntu-desktop again. It will automatically select gedit for installation, because gedit is included in the meta-package.

Although is perfectly safe to do what you want, is usually unnecessary to re-install applications, unless they got corrupted by a power outage or broken update. As @sagarchalise commented, deleting the config files for the application usually solve most problems and if you are looking to reset your customizations, then that is the way to go. Re-installing won't change any personal customization.

Note: after reading your message about losing your desktop, I did a test on a VM, just to make sure nothing has changed since Maverick. I didn't lose my desktop even after rebooting and I was able to install both packages again.

  • oops!... I went back to check the VM and everything is okay.. I had the host screen zoomed about 20% (eyesight) and when the VM booted up again, the panels were off-screen, and I assumed the worst. (durr!)... At least I now have a better undstanding of what ubuntu-desktop means, and why it wants to install gedit when I have just usinstalled it :) That one really puzzled me for a while; now I understand... Thanks
    – Peter.O
    Nov 2 '10 at 8:21

If you want to remove all customisation then reinstalling Gedit would not help at all. All of your Gedit settings are stored in your home directory with gconf so after reinstalling Gedit all of your settings would remain the same. To remove your settings you could remove the directory ~/.gconf/apps/gedit-2. You can find that folder by turning view hidden files on in the file browser.

  • Thanks a good point... I was aware of the home directory issue, and had cleaned it out, but I had installed some plugins into usr/lib/gedit-2/plugins/ and didn't want to sort out which were gedit's own defaults, and which were my custom additions...
    – Peter.O
    Nov 2 '10 at 8:25

Reinstalling the package wont actually reset its settings. They're stored in your user directory.

rm -rf ~/.gnome2/gedit/
rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/gedit-2/
  • Thanks.. I was doing a complete-removal... I'm not sure if that removes my settings also, but I remeved them manually any how... You've got me wondering now... I'll check that our in detail soon.. :)
    – Peter.O
    Nov 2 '10 at 8:29
  • 1
    A complete remove (aka purge) only deletes system-based settings, that is config in /etc/ (and occasionally other places) but never the user's configuration. Any config in your home dir is left alone.
    – Oli
    Nov 2 '10 at 11:27
  • I did a full purge remove (again) ... and the plugins I had installed to /usr/lib/gedit-2/plugins/ were still there, and the default plugins were all gone... so it seems that the purge is intelligent about deleting only its list of original files (even from /usr/lib/gedit-2/.... So if I want a clean start, I have to manually remove all my settings (wherever they they may be)... I'm slowly getting there...
    – Peter.O
    Nov 2 '10 at 17:13


sudo apt-get --purge --reinstall install gedit

Put that into terminal and type your password. Job done!

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