Hey everyone. I'm using the Ubuntu server for some time now. Everything is working fine, installing packages is a piece of cake. Usually I use aptitude or apt-get for package management. But...! There are cases when I need to install a package from a source. No problem usually I do ./configure, make install and so on. But...! There are also cases I want to upgrade a package I manually installed from a source. This is where things get blured :).

My question: What is a proper way to install custom packages. I'm thinking of install/uninstall process like on Windows. I would like to remove all the package files after the package was manually installed using make/install command.

I know there is a script through which you can run make commands and later it knows how to remove the package and all related files/paths but can not remember the name.

Please help! Thx 10x!

3 Answers 3


You can roll your own .deb packages, that way you can install/remove with dpkg and/or apt-get.

see this link.


Are you thinking of make uninstall?

  • Hum... not really... I need some kind of "wizard" that knows what to delete if I want to delete a package. How would you use make uninstall? Would this delete all related paths?
    – xpepermint
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 14:36
  • For packages installed with make install, make uninstall will usually delete the files that make install installed. Not always though, and it probably won't always delete config and data files for example. That is one of the downsides to manual installation, and one of the reasons package managers like dpkg etc were invented. There could be some daemon or something that monitors the filesystem and keeps track of what programs use what files and can assist in cleaning up after deinstallation but I am not aware of any. Is that what you are after?
    – Kurt
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 14:39
  • Yup... we understand each other. A deamon should be a good solution ...
    – xpepermint
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 14:46

You can easily knock up an uninstall script. It is not that hard, I wrote some thoughts and explanation on my blog.

The blog walks you through the entire process. In addition I link to a helper script, that automates some steps, reducing them down to:

make install DESTDIR="$PWD/staging"
cd staging
sudo transfer-staged-package packagename

To uninstall, your application later you simply issue:

sudo /usr/local/bin/uninstall-packagename

Read the blog post, though as it contains many more tips and tricks.

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