I'm new to Linux/Ubuntu - and I'm wondering if the behaviour I'm seeing is as designed. I have installed vsftpd:

 sudo apt-get install vsftpd

Then I remove:

 sudo apt-get remove vsftpd

However, looking in /etc I can see that vsftpd.conf is still present. Can someone explain why this is happening (I am assuming the remove would remove all files relating to vsftpd) ?

  • I thought you had to purge it
    – Dr_Bunsen
    Jun 6 '12 at 14:19
  • Ah! So that's how you remove something without removing config files! That's what I want to do...just in case I decide to reinstall later. Jan 8 '18 at 17:53

Use sudo apt-get purge <program> instead, to remove config files as well.


You're looking for purge:

sudo apt-get purge vsftpd

will also delete the config files. You can do this even after you've already removed the package.

  • 2
    I believe there is even some option of dpkg to list all the packages that were once installed but removed...? Ah yes, see here: ascending.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/…
    – codeling
    Jun 6 '12 at 14:03
  • 2
    Does sudo apt-get remove --purge <program> have the same effect? Dec 26 '12 at 21:47
  • 2
    @asymptotically Yes. Quoting the apt-get man page: "remove --purge is equivalent to the purge command". If you want to know everything about the apt-get command, run man apt-get.
    – JW.
    Dec 28 '12 at 16:26
  • I did notice that a file /etc/vsftpd.conf.save is created and remains after the purge. This should be the accepted answer. Dec 13 '16 at 15:40

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