[kwlug-disc] Purging already removed Debian packages.

Andrew Cant acant at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Thu May 13 23:23:22 EDT 2010

Here is a little Debian question:

How do I purge a package that I have already removed?
(For those not familiar with Debian when you 'remove' a package the
configuration files are left in place for future use. Unless you
'purge' it, then everything is removed.

Doing a little research the normal method would be to re-install and
then purge, like so:

sudo apt-get install example_package
sudo apt-get purge example_package

But unfortunately the packages that I need to purge no longer have
install candidates, so I cannot install them.

Any suggestions? How can I purge a removed package without re-installing it?



(P.S.: For context, this has come up in the process of installing
Debian stable, and immediately upgrading to testing(squeeze). The
update to squeeze wants to change me over to dependency based-booting,
but because of some files left around by some of the removed packages
it can't. So I need to purge before I can have it try setting up the
dependency-based booting again.)

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