What Does the Following Command Do in Ubuntu: dpkg -r ubutestpackage

When it comes to managing packages and software installations on Ubuntu, the command-line interface provides powerful tools. One such command is dpkg, which stands for Debian Package Manager. In this article, we will explore the dpkg -r command and understand its purpose and usage in Ubuntu.

Understanding dpkg:

Before diving into the dpkg -r command, let’s have a brief understanding of dpkg itself. dpkg is a low-level package manager for Debian-based systems like Ubuntu. It is responsible for handling the installation, removal, and management of packages on the system.

The dpkg -r Command:

The dpkg -r command is used to remove packages from an Ubuntu system. It allows users to uninstall a specific package along with its associated files and configurations. The -r flag in the command indicates the removal action.

Usage of dpkg -r:

To use the dpkg -r command, open a terminal and type the following:

dpkg -r <package_name>

Replace <package_name> with the name of the package you want to remove.

Removing Packages with dpkg -r:

When you execute the dpkg -r command, Ubuntu will attempt to remove the specified package from the system. It will remove all files and directories associated with the package, including any configuration files.

However, it’s important to note that the dpkg -r command does not handle dependencies. If the package you want to remove has dependencies, Ubuntu will not automatically remove them. In such cases, it’s recommended to use the apt command or a package manager like aptitude to ensure dependencies are managed properly.

Dependencies and Conflicts:

In some cases, removing a package with dpkg -r may result in dependency issues or conflicts with other packages. If there are dependencies or conflicts, Ubuntu will notify you and prevent the removal of the package. You might need to resolve these issues manually or use a higher-level package manager to handle them.

Reinstallation with dpkg -r:

If you accidentally remove a package using dpkg -r and later realize that you need it back, you can reinstall it using the dpkg -i command. The dpkg -i command is used for installing packages.

To reinstall a package, open a terminal and type the following:

dpkg -i <package_file.deb>

Replace <package_file.deb> with the actual package file name.

Common Errors and Troubleshooting:

While using the dpkg -r command, you may encounter some common errors or issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  1. “dpkg: error:…”: If you see an error message starting with “dpkg: error:”, it indicates an issue with the package management system. Try running sudo dpkg --configure -a to fix it.
  2. “Package is not installed”: If you get an error stating that the package is not installed, ensure that you have the correct package name and verify if it is installed using dpkg -l.
  3. Dependency errors: If you encounter dependency errors, consider using a higher-level package manager like apt or aptitude to handle dependencies automatically.


The dpkg -r command in Ubuntu is a powerful tool for removing packages from the system. It allows users to uninstall specific packages along with their associated files and configurations. However, it’s essential to be cautious while using this command and handle dependencies and conflicts appropriately.

By understanding the usage and behavior of dpkg -r, you can confidently manage your Ubuntu system and ensure a clean and organized package management process.

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