Documentation for apt-get "purge" is sort of hard to understand

Bug #243948 reported by Martin Olsson
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apt (Ubuntu)
Fix Released
Michael Vogt

Bug Description

Use case: User wants to understand what "apt-get purge" actually does to the system.

Running "apt-get --help" tell him that this command will "remove and purge packages".
This is not a very straight forward description. At least, I'm left with many questions.

Running "man apt-get" gives you a similar recursive definition of purge; it says that:
"purge is identical to remove except that packages are removed and purged"

What I wanted to know was:

1) What is the difference between "remove" and "purge"?
2) Does "purge" delete program files from the disk?
3) Does "purge" delete configuration files from the disk?
4) Does "purge" also delete all packages that depend on the one that I'm purging?

Note: I already know the answer to all of these questions. This bug is about improving the built-in documentation.
Having a recursive definition of purge in both --help and "man" makes it hard to learn about this command.

Revision history for this message
Emmet Hikory (persia) wrote :

Could you please suggest some alternate text that would be less confusing as documentation? Raw text would be acceptable, although a patch more likely to be adopted quickly.

Changed in apt:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in apt:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Dereck Wonnacott (dereck) wrote :

Clarified both the manpage and the --help dialog.

My first debdiff. :)

Michael Vogt (mvo)
Changed in apt:
milestone: none → intrepid-alpha-6
Michael Vogt (mvo)
Changed in apt:
assignee: nobody → mvo
Revision history for this message
Michael Vogt (mvo) wrote :

I postpone this for after the release to not break the translations at this point. Sorry for this but the fix will go in right after the release.

Changed in apt:
milestone: intrepid-alpha-6 → later
Michael Vogt (mvo)
Changed in apt:
milestone: later → jaunty-alpha-3
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package apt -

apt ( jaunty; urgency=low

  [ Christian Perrier ]
  * Translations:
    - bg.po. Closes: #513211
    - zh_TW.po. Closes: #513311
    - nb.po. Closes: #513843

  [ Michael Vogt ]
  * merged from the debian-sid branch
  * [ABI break] merge support for http redirects, thanks to
    Jeff Licquia and Anthony Towns
  * [ABI break] use int for the package IDs (thanks to Steve Cotton)
  * apt-pkg/contrib/
    - fix TimeToStr i18n (LP: #289807)
  * debian/apt.conf.autoremove:
    - readd "linux-image" (and friends) to the auto-remove
  * fix some i18n issues (thanks to Gabor Kelemen)
    LP: #263089
  * apt-pkg/deb/
    - filter "ENOMEM" errors when creating apport reports
  * cmdline/
    - fix "apt-get source pkg=ver" if binary name != source name
      (LP: #202219)
  * apt-pkg/
    - fix some i18n issues
  * apt-pkg/contrib/strutl.h:
    - add new strprintf() function to make i18n strings easier
  * apt-pkg/dev/
    - add missing apti18n.h header
  * cmdline/
    - default to "false" for the "APT::Get::Build-Dep-Automatic"
      option (follow debian here)
  * apt-pkg/
    - do not run "dpkg --configure pkg" if pkg is in trigger-awaited
      state (LP: #322955)
  * methods/
    - add Acquire::https::AllowRedirect support
    - do not unlink files in partial/ (thanks to robbiew)

  [ Dereck Wonnacott ]
  * Clarify the --help for 'purge' (LP: #243948)

  [ Ian Weisser ]
  * /apt-pkg/deb/
    - add 'sudo' to the error message to "run 'dpkg --configure -a'"
      (LP: #52697)

 -- Michael Vogt <email address hidden> Mon, 09 Feb 2009 14:21:05 +0100

Changed in apt:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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