I installed VLC player, but now I want to be fully rid of it, so I typed in the following command in Terminal:

sudo apt-get purge vlc

And it told me that it had purged it, but then in Terminal when I typed in vlc, this was the output (although no GUI launched):

VLC media player 2.2.0-pre2 Weatherwax (revision 2.2.0-pre1-15-g5178b24)
[0000000001f3bab8] core interface error: no suitable interface module
[0000000001f21118] core libvlc error: interface "globalhotkeys,none" initialization failed
[0000000001f21118] core libvlc: Running vlc with the default interface. Use 'cvlc' to use vlc without interface.
[00000000020f66d8] [cli] lua interface: Listening on host "*console".
VLC media player 2.2.0-pre2 Weatherwax
Command Line Interface initialized. Type 'help' for help.

And if I type in help I get a proper response from the program. And it also allows me to type in and execute any associated command.

So how can I fully remove VLC Player so that when I execute the command vlc it tells me that it does not know that command?

I am currently running Ubuntu 14.10.


5 Answers 5


vlc depends on vlc-nox which installs the vlc command that you see. Remove it specifically, or use autoremove:

apt-get autoremove
# or
apt-get remove vlc-nox
  • I tried running the sudo apt-get autoremove command in Terminal, but that did not remove vlc-nox. But when I ran the command sudo apt-get remove vlc-nox, that did the trick! Thanks! :)
    – user364819
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:02
  • 1
    @Toroidal for some reason vlc-nox is probably marked as manually installed.
    – muru
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:05
  • @Toroidal, did you sudo apt-get update before attempting sudo apt-get autoremove ?
    – Sean
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:23
  • @Sean Yes and it didn't make a difference.
    – user364819
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:28
  • Isn't it better to do a purge rather than a remove if one wants to remove it fully?
    – user364819
    Dec 6, 2015 at 19:37

None of the above will actually remove all vlc packages, (usually 6-7). Better to do -

sudo apt-get purge vlc-data


To remove a package and all its dependencies in one command, you can also directly pass the package name as argument to apt-get autoremove:

sudo apt-get autoremove vlc

If you prefer to purge the packages (to also clean up all configuration files), the way to go is this:

sudo apt-get autoremove --purge vlc

However, this will not work in your case, because of the complex dependency tree of vlc. autoremove only removes automatically packages which currently have no installed reverse-dependencies. That means as long as there are other packages which may depend on vlc's dependencies, they will stay. Those other packages are probably vlc-plugin-* packages which depend on vlc but get not removed with that first run yet...

However, if you keep firing sudo apt-get autoremove after that first line, apt-get should slowly start to realize that there's more to remove.

  • Ah, but in this case the dependency vlc-nox wasn't removed with sudo apt-get autoremove as you can see in the comments to muru's answer, so this wouldn't have really helped me in this instance...
    – user364819
    Feb 8, 2016 at 17:02
  • @ParanoidPanda After trying it out myself, I think I found out that the answer to your problem is recursion and persistence. See my edit.
    – Byte Commander
    Feb 8, 2016 at 17:27

Try to run these commands.

sudo apt-get remove vlc
sudo apt-get remove browser-plugin-vlc

sudo apt-get purge vlc

Use aptitude, a sometimes more intelligent alternative to apt-get.

If you run sudo aptitude remove vlc, it will detect possible conflicts that would result of removing vlc and suggests to remove all those other "hidden" dependencies which apt-get would have missed on the first run.

If you haven't installed aptitude yet, that can be done using sudo apt-get install aptitude.

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