It seems a simple apt-get remove apache2 does not completely remove apache2 as I can still see it on one of the processes when running top. How does one remove apache2 completely on his ubuntu server?

It's not removed indeed:

~# which apache2
~# whereis apache2
apache2: /usr/sbin/apache2 /etc/apache2 /usr/lib/apache2 /usr/share/apache2 /usr/share/man/man8/apache2.8.gz

But when I do apt-get remove apache2 again:

# apt-get remove apache2
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package apache2 is not installed, so not removed
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
  • 3
    run apt-get purge apache2. It will remove the all config files. – Manula Waidyanatha Aug 17 '12 at 10:06

apache2 is a metapackage that just selects other packages. If you installed apache by installing that package, you just need to run this to clean up the automatically selected packages:

sudo apt autoremove

If that doesn't work, you might have installed one of the dependents manually. You can target all the apache2- packages from space and nuke the lot:

sudo apt remove apache2.*

For future reference, to find out which package a binary is from, you can run this:

dpkg -S `which apache2`

I'd expect that to come back with apache2.2-bin (at the time of writing).

  • 5
    also, use --purge if you want the configuration files to be deleted as well: apt-get --purge remove apache2 – xyious Aug 17 '12 at 10:03
  • 1
    The last command outputs apache2-mpm-prefork: /usr/sbin/apache2 – Jürgen Paul Aug 17 '12 at 10:03
  • 1
    @Severus fair enough -- I was just guessing but that makes sense. Yeah I'd just use the wildcard but keen an eye on what it's going to delete. apache2-common is used by some tools that aren't the apache2 httpd so you might need to reinstall some thing after. – Oli Aug 17 '12 at 10:06
  • @Oli Removing things with a regex 'apache2*' is dangerous, loads of things end up getting removed – jhbsk Dec 8 '13 at 7:57
  • 1
    @jasdeepkhalsa It's not "dangerous". apt-get (unlike apt-cache) limits its searches to names-only so it's not that far-reaching. Everything it captures is Apache or Apache dependent. Check it yourself with apt-get -s remove apache2* – Oli Dec 9 '13 at 8:53

Follow these steps to remove the apache2 service using Terminal:

  1. First stop the apache2 service if it is running with: sudo service apache2 stop
  2. Now remove and cleanup all the apache2 packages with:

    sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2.2-bin apache2-common
    sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2-bin apache2.2-common
  3. Finally, run sudo apt-get autoremove just in case any other cleanup in needed

You can do the following two tests to confirm apache has been removed:

  1. which apache2 - should return a blank line
  2. sudo service apache2 start - should return apache2: unrecognized service
  • 3
    sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2-bin apache2.2-common – Hermann Ingjaldsson Nov 7 '17 at 13:49

A very simple and straightforward way that worked for me is as follows:

  1. Stop apache2.

    sudo service apache2 stop
  2. Uninstall Apache2 and its dependent packages.

    sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2.2-bin apache2-common
  3. Use autoremove option to get rid of other dependencies.

    sudo apt-get autoremove
  4. Check whether there are any configuration files that have not been removed.

    whereis apache2
  5. If you get a response as follows apache2: /etc/apache2 remove the directory and existing configuration files.

    sudo rm -rf /etc/apache2  

Source: How to uninstall and remove Apache2 on Ubuntu or Debian by Dan Nanni

  • 1
    For me it was: sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2-bin apache2.2-common – Hermann Ingjaldsson Nov 7 '17 at 13:48

First check if you are using right package name, IMO correct package name is : apache2.x-common

If you want to completely remove the package including config files then try:

    dpkg --purge apache2.2-common

Take time to check if you are using the different package apache2.2-bin for Ubuntu 16.04 the latest is apache2.4-bin

sudo apt-get purge apache2 apache2-utils apache2.4-bin apache2.4-common


None of the advice on these sites worked for me. I was forced to do this...

apt-get remove --purge php* libapache2* apache2*
  • This removes PHP together with Apache. It might be used somewhere else. – Melebius Dec 19 '18 at 11:43

simply delete file apache2 under /etc/init.d/apache2 .. but first you'll need to do this :

sudo service apache2 stop

sudo chown user /etc/init.d/apache2
sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/apache2
sudo rm /etc/init.d/apache2 

it's worth for me :)

  • 6
    Nope, this wont remove apache. – Braiam Feb 21 '14 at 4:42
  • 4
    Yeah don't do this, don't do this at all! – Urda May 9 '14 at 21:02
  • It does help at times when you have uninstalled it incorrectly – Birju Shah Mar 20 '15 at 14:16

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