Let's say that I have build a package using the typical method

make install

and then I would like to uninstall this package. There is no any uninstall script. How can I revert my system back to the state it was before do the building/compiling ?

  • 2
    does the Makefile have an uninstall target? e.g. does make uninstall work for that package?
    – casey
    Oct 17, 2014 at 13:28
  • This is why system binary packages exist. Oct 17, 2014 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


You are pretty much screwed up you are unlucky and the make file doesn't offer a uninstall target (ie. make uninstall) you must track and see what files it installed/modified. Doing make -n install will print all the files as it will be writing them to the disk.

Another method is running make install without root permissions. It will throw all the write errors and then you could just remove them. There are other Makefiles that will write out a install_manifest.txt file, which you can just iterate.


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