Debian / Ubuntu: apt-get Force Reinstall Package

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I am a new Debian Linux v.7.x / Ubuntu Linux LTS user. How do I reinstall a package using apt-get command line?

The Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) works on both Debian / Ubuntu and it can handle the installation and removal of software. You need use apt-get command as follows to forcefully reinstall package. The syntax is:

apt-get --reinstall install PackageNameHere


apt-get --reinstall install Package1 Package2

The --reinstall option re-install packages that are already installed and at the newest version.

Pro tip: Backup configuration files before you reinstall packages. For example, if you are reinstalling nginx web server package, backup /etc/nginx/ with cp command i.e. mkdir /root/nginx.mmddyyyy/; cp -avr /etc/nginx/* /root/nginx.mmddyyy/


The following command will reinstall rsync package. Open a terminal and then type:
$ sudo apt-get --reinstall install rsync
# apt-get --reinstall install rsync
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Debian / Ubuntu Linux  reinstall a package using apt-get command
Fig.01: Debian / Ubuntu Linux reinstall a package using apt-get command

If above method failed for you, try the following syntax. Make sure you backup config file before typing the following commands. Please note that the --purge option is identical to remove except that packages are removed and purged including any configuration files are deleted too.

sudo apt-get --purge remove package1
sudo apt-get install package1
See also
  • See man pages for more info – cp(1)

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Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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