Home arrow Help Docs arrow Uninstalling the source packages using Checkinstall
Main Menu
Help Docs
Gnu/Linux Distros
Aaj Ka Tip
Aaj Ka Command
Free Software

Uninstalling the source packages using Checkinstall Print E-mail



Installing from a tarball (.tar.gz or .tar.bz2) is not difficult, but at times itís difficult to remove the package. It may also overwrite existing files, and add new ones, without your knowing about it. Checkinstall is a program that supervises the compiling and installation of tarball software. It can keep backups of your existing files, and it produces a .tgz/.deb file that can be used to remove and reinstall the software using standard Slackware/Debian tools. This article has been tested successfully with checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tgz in Slackware 10.0.

You can do all the work described in this article from the command line. You can either boot straight into console mode, or open a terminal window in an X session. Common terminal emulators are xterm, gnome-terminal (for the gnome desktop) and konsole (for the KDE desktop).

About tarballs

A tarball is a file created by the tar archiving utility. It contains one or more archived files. When tar is run by itself, it produces files with a .tar extension. When tar is combined with gzip, for data compression, the resulting file extensions may be .tgz, .tar.gz or .tar.Z.

About checkinstall

Checkinstall installs a program which has been compiled in the normal way. (Typically, the commands are ./configure and make.) Checkinstall takes over the final stage. It will use the command make install or any other command supplied as an argument to checkinstall.

Checkinstall keeps track of all the files created or modified by make install( or any similar command). It builds a standard binary package and installs it in your system, giving you the ability to uninstall it with your Slackware/Debian distribution's standard package management utilities.

Slackware specific

Checkinstall will create a Slackware, RPM or Debian compatible package. This article describes the use of checkinstall to create Slackware packages only.

Prepare a Packages directory

Better create a directory Packages. This is where you will put tarballs, their extracted files, compiled code, backup of replaced files and installation scripts.

Installing checkinstall from a tarball or .tgz package

Dowload checkinstall tarball or .tgz package.

Procedure for a typical installation

1. Work as a normal user throughout the installation.

2. Put the tarball/.tgz package into your working area

3. Extract the files from the tarball/.tgz package.

For tarball: tar -xvzf checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tar.gz

For tarball: tar -xvjf checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tar.bz2

For .tgz package: installpkg checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tgz

If its .tgz, the software is installed just by running the above command. If its tarball then tar will create a new directory with the same name as the tarball, but without the .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 suffix

4. Read the documentation

Yes! Read the documentation, especially in files with names like README, INSTALL or COMPILE. There are normally two or three steps to compile a tarball package, and one to install it.

Extract files from the tarball as a normal user. (You have already completed this stage.)

Prepare the extracted files for your system using ./configure. (Do this as a normal user.)


Compile from the extracted files using make. (Do this as a normal user too.)


Install the resulting software as user Root. #make install.

Now your checkinstall is ready to work.

Let us install software now.

If the software is .tgz package, then no requirement of using checkinstall. Just run the command stated above.

If its .tarball then follows the steps stated above till the command #make


- For tarball: tar -xvzf checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tar.gz

- For tarball: tar -xvjf checkinstall-1.5.3-i486-2.tar.bz2

Get inside the - newly created directory with the same name as the tarball, but without the .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 suffix.

Read documentation

If the ./configure stage is necessary, move to the source directory and run the command ./configure as a normal user.

$ ./configure



Run make, as a normal user, from the same directory.

$ make





This is where you are most likely to have a failure. Usually, this means that you do not have the right software on your system. Make will tell you what is missing. If particular packages must be installed, install them with slapt, and try again. If particular files are needed, you must identify which package(s) will supply them.

Install the software

If every thing is fine upto here, then run the following command

$checkinstall make install

Certain questions will be asked. You can opt for the defaults and move ahead.

Congrats!!! You have successfully installed the software using Checkinstall.

If you look inside the current directory, a .tgz package has also been created after running #checkinstall make install.

Store this .tgz at some safer place. This is the file which you can use to re-install this software at later time without using checkinstall, just by running the command


How to uninstall programs on linux (which you were looking for ;-) )

For .rpm


#rpm -e

For .tgz


For tarball installed without using Checkinstall

Go inside the directory of the installed source package, and run

#make uninstall

it will uninstall the program.


But it wonít work everytime. B'coz it depends whether the writer of the program has encoded the script to remove it or not. In this case you will have to manually remove the related files from various places. Isn't tiresome job ???

Thatís why we have used Checkinstall to install the package

Just run the command (You can remove it from your system anytime using)

#removepkg NameOfThePackage

Thatís it!!! Now no worries of uninstalling the packages

Bond ( )

< Previous   Next >

Join Us
About Us
Contact Us
Support Us
Login(only for dev.)

Royalty Free Images

O'Reilly User Group discount!

Powered By GIMP GIMP
Contact Webmaster Copyleft 2011 gnulinuxclub.org