Hello I'm very new to linux and the cmd line and have been learning a lot through google, firefox, and bing. I'm running Ubuntu server Xenial 16.04.07 LTS with all security patches from ubuntu, intrams enabled fips ect. on a WS WRX80-E SE SAGE WIFI PRO Asus board with a Threadripper pro 3975x with my ubuntu server on a fire cuda nvme m.2 ssd and many more drives as well 132 gb of ram after I put this cmd "sudo apt-get remove --purge '^nvidia-.' ...*" and following through with the question it asked me my system cant run any commands and now and is practically useless and broken. I was trying to fix my issue with my two graphics cards not being detected and I guess I did the wrong thing. I tried so many different ways that I thought by removing nvadia completely and then reinstalling it would help me but the person who posted the command I ran did me a very terrible diss-service as it was never my intent to take all of my permissions away and render my system useless and thus halt me on my projects. I hope some one on this site has working knowledge of the command I ran and what I did to my system and can help me fix all these issue. I have one thing going for me and that is that I'm still sshd in a terminal if you have working knowledge and a clear understanding of what happens when the above command is run please get back to me with a resolution. Thank you

  • Do you remember what the question you were asked was? Did you have to answer “Yes, do as I say!” or was “Y” (or even just pressing Enter) sufficient? Nov 16, 2022 at 5:58
  • yes I put that answer in the terminal and then said no to the rest of the questions when ii saw what was happening Yes, Do as I say! Nov 16, 2022 at 6:07
  • You can probably fix your system by logging in to a text console and running sudo apt-get install nvidia-driver. Depending on what else got removed, you may also need to install various applications. sudo apt-get install task-desktop is probably a good start.
    – cas
    Nov 16, 2022 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


When apt asks you a question where you have to enter “Yes, do as I say!”, it’s because it’s about to perform a destructive action, and recovering from it is likely to be difficult. The information in your question doesn’t specify exactly what that destructive action was in your case, but if you really ran

sudo apt-get remove --purge '^nvidia-.' ...*

as indicated in your question, you’ve probably removed most if not all of the packages in your system.

Recovering from that, from the running system, is extremely difficult, and I wouldn’t want to try to write an answer explaining how to do so. If there’s any data you haven’t backed up, you’ll need to reboot the system using recovery media, and back it up. Once that’s done, you’ll have to re-install your system.

It would be best if you could find someone knowledgeable who can help you directly, rather than through Stack Exchange.

  • okay this is what I kind of figured I guess the only thing now is how do I actually back it up as nothing is working at all.. Well there's a lot of data but nothing that I cant with a weeks of time put back together so I'm probably just going to reinstall my system thank you for reconfirming the extent of the damage I thought i did. lesson learned and I'm sure there's many more just hopefully not on this grand of scale again. I appreciate your honesty and getting t o the point Nov 17, 2022 at 9:00
  • If you boot from recovery media you’ll be able to back your data up. The installation images for most distributions have a recovery mode you can use for this. Nov 17, 2022 at 9:04
  • thank you. I'm going to start backing up my data. I read a lot of articles that talk about backing your system and files just kind of been brushing that subject to the side not thinking I would ever have the need too. I'm definitely learning how important it really can be to back up a system, tell it happens to you. "so that's why people are always talking about the importance of backing your system files" Dah! Thank you...Mr. Kitt! Nov 24, 2022 at 2:01

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