I originally installed python3-pip through apt and made the mistake of installing packages with sudo instead of as a user installation. I was getting a myriad of errors with tracebacks and import errors, so I am trying to completely remove pip from my system and start fresh.

However, even after uninstalling all my pip packages and a apt purge python3-pip,

  • pip, pip3, and pip3.6 still show up in my tab-complete suggestions when I hit tab (on a new shell, after a restart).
  • I have found a few python stub scripts in ~/.local/bin/:
    • ~/.local/bin/pip
    • ~/.local/bin/pip3
    • ~/.local/bin/pip3.6

These scripts are only ~10 lines each and just have imports for pip. However, when I moved these files out of this directory and reinstalled with apt install python3-pip, these files are not remade during installation.

I am confused what's going on, and what kind of hierarchy pip uses; it all seems a bit cryptic to me. What is the purpose of ~/.local/bin/ and why does pip3 populate it with scripts, but only sometimes?

What can I do to ensure that pip3, along with ANY changes made after I installed/used it, are removed/reverted?

  • can u please tell me what problems you are facing and what you are trying to do? – rhoitjadhav Mar 19 '19 at 17:29
  • Not a direct answer as such, but I recommend you take a look at Pipenv, it helps avoid a lot of this type of confusion: docs.python-guide.org/dev/virtualenvs – robosnacks Mar 19 '19 at 17:33

After looking into it further, I learned that bash sometimes caches scripts in the PATH and puts it in ~/.local/bin. As a result, even after an apt purge, programs are seemingly still these when the user attempts to tab-complete.

You can check if something is being hashed with:

$ type pip3

and you can clear hashes with

$ hash -d pip3


$ hash -r
  • 1
    AFAIK, Bash doesn't put anything in ~/.local/bin. Maybe you did a pip3 install --user --upgrade pip. – wjandrea Mar 19 '19 at 18:27
  • Yes, I did! Do you know why it puts it in ~/.local/bin/? – abdl-dev Mar 21 '19 at 0:09
  • 1
    Yes, explanation here: stackoverflow.com/a/42989020/4518341 – wjandrea Mar 21 '19 at 0:16

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