When you view the package list in Synaptic, installed packages have a green status box, indicating that all of the components for that package are installed. Right-clicking on the package produces a menu that gives you three options for managing the installed package:
♦ Mark for Reinstallation: Reinstall the package from the current version in the repository.
♦ Mark for Removal: Remove only the files installed by the package.
♦ Mark for Complete Removal: Remove the package files plus any additional configuration or data files associated with the application.
If you want to reinstall the package but have customized configuration files you'd like to use with the reinstallation, select Mark for Removal rather than Mark for Complete Removal. A complete removal will delete any custom configuration you've done to the package.
If you request to remove a package that installed dependencies, Synaptic will ask whether you want to remove those packages as well. Ubuntu attempts to determine whether any installed packages use the dependent packages, but sometimes things get missed, especially if you have installed universe packages that aren't closely monitored by Ubuntu. Pay attention to the list of packages that Synaptic asks to remove. Be especially careful when removing library packages.
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