Currently I have the standard Emacs installation, 2.3.1, from Ubuntu repo, but would like to get a newer version of Emacs from GNU website, which is 2.3.4. My question is that do I need to wipe out my current installation completely and build it from scratch or I can just run the build script from the 2.3.4 and overwrite those file if found identical? Also, a general question, if I install third party software other than those from Ubuntu repo, most of them don't have any uninstall scripts, how do I get rid of those cleanly? Thanks a ton


Yes, you would want to uninstall emacs before installing it from source.

sudo apt-get remove emacs

That should do the trick.

If they do not provide an uninstall script (usually made when you do a make/make install) in the source folder, you are pretty much out of luck for uninstalling cleanly, unless you can figure out what all it installed and where.

I looked and couldn't find a current emacs repository, which makes install/uninstall much safer. In general, don't install outside of repos (or at the very least .debs), unless it is something you really need, just because it can be so messy.

  • just as I expected, Thank you for the prompt reply – Cong Hui May 22 '12 at 19:38

For a newbie like me, this threw me for awhile, because I knew I had to apt-get install to add emacs to my fresh 12.04 install, but running sudo apt-get remove emacs came back with Package emacs is not installed, so not removed.

What was actually needed for me was:

sudo apt-get remove emacs23

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