When I install have needed to install packages manually by running ./program or make or whatever. I (unsurprisingly) cannot purge such programs using apt-purge to get rid of them.

I want to know how to do it. Even if it is only a long winded process. How do I find out where an install placed all its files so I can manually delete them at least?

1 Answer 1


Well first attempt is to try make uninstall, which might get you some of the way.

Otherwise one way that you can do this is to completely wipe the package with make distclean and then build it all again, but this time passing a --prefix=/tmp/install. After you run the make install this time around you will see all of the packages in /tmp/install rather than in / This will give you a list of files you can work on to remove from the root directory.

There are some other options; make checkinstall might give you details of which files go where but then again it may not. The above process will guarantee that you know what is written where during the install process.

  • Sorry what is "/." (without speech marks).
    – Magpie
    Feb 24, 2013 at 23:50
  • Sorry it's actually / followed by a period for end of sentence. I've altered the answer to make this somewhat clearer.
    – jgm
    Feb 25, 2013 at 9:25

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