I am experienced computer user but a newbee to Linux. This is a new installation of Xubuntu 14.04 (yesterday) using the "wipe existing OS" feature.

Using the STATUS button in SPM, I can see a list of packages that have not been installed. I am not interested in installing these packages and want to remove them.

In the list of categories in the upper left box, the "Not installed (residual config)" category is NOT found.

When I select a package to delete, the ONLY option available is to install it. How can these unwanted packages be removed?

Any assistance you could provide would be most helpful. Thanks

  • 2
    Could you post a screenshot? I'm pretty sure that the "Not Installed" category is just a list of AVAILABLE packages that you CAN download and install, not packages that are just being held around waiting to be installed. – user323419 Aug 13 '15 at 15:30
  • Just installed Synaptic and confirmed. Will post answer. – user323419 Aug 13 '15 at 15:35
  • MANY MANY thanks to you all for your excellent and through answers! I now understand that these "Not installed" packages are really just "AVAILABLE to install" packages. Oh English - it is not the perfect language for communication (LOL) with newbees. I am better informed now - thanks again! L – L. Scott Aug 14 '15 at 18:21

These packages are not being held around on your system. What Synaptic does is search through the repositories in your sources, and lists all of the packages that you could download and install. These are in the "Not Installed" category because, well, you haven't installed them. They do not need removed, because they are not there.

For further clarification, the "Not Installed (Residual Config)" category is not showing up because you have not yet removed any additional packages that left config files behind. This means either you haven't removed any packages yet, or you used the --purge option when removing packages, e.g.

sudo apt-get remove --purge foo


sudo apt-get purge foo

If you just do a regular

sudo apt-get remove foo

and package foo created global config files, those files are not being removed. Therefore, Synaptic sees them and says "Hey, you don't have these packages installed, but there are some left over config files for them." Still, nothing is physically ON your system that you do not want.

  • 1
    @l-scott: As you're a reputation 1 user: If this answer helped you, don't forget to click the grey at the left of this text, which means Yes, this answer is valid! ;-) – Fabby Aug 13 '15 at 19:18

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