When I do yum remove, it sometimes keeps a package's configuration files.

Is there anyway to remove a package completely, without keeping any file that belonged to the package?

I am running CentOS.

  • Can you provide an example of configuration files are left after yum remove?
    – ZaSter
    Feb 8, 2013 at 1:53
  • 1
    ~/.mozilla left by firefox, for example
    – Howard
    Feb 8, 2013 at 5:31
  • 3
    ~/.mozilla is created only when you run the firefox program. It is not created by the firefox package. Run the command rpm -qf ~/.mozilla and it will report that that file is not part of any package.
    – ZaSter
    Feb 8, 2013 at 22:37
  • @ZaSter : When I removed quagga package it kept all its config files in /etc/quagga (Files like zebra.conf, ospfd.conf, bgpd.conf) which should have been removed along with package itself. If it is by design to keep them, then please provide a command that will also remove the configuration files.
    – TusharG
    May 21, 2015 at 7:03
  • @TusharG That's correct. For RPM packages that contain declared configuration files, yum remove does not remove those files.
    – ZaSter
    May 22, 2015 at 16:41

3 Answers 3


Check the Deleting packages with yum section in the HOW TO

There says:

In any event, the command syntax for package removal is:

   # yum remove package1 [package2 package3...]

As noted above, it removes package1 and all packages in the dependency tree that depend on package1, possibly irreversibly as far as configuration data is concerned.

As a quick way you can try:

yum remove package
yum install package

Also here is an interesting for. And the question can help you.

The one that keeps configs in a backup is rpm -e

What you can do is find out what is in a rpm using:

 rpm -ql packagename


rpm -qlp packagename if the package is not yet installed.

then, you can manually make the modifications you want.

Hope this helps!

  • 2
    I guess it is probably impossible to remove all files that ever came with a package... but still your recommendation is helpful.
    – Howard
    Feb 8, 2013 at 21:47
  • doesn't work on RHEL7. /etc/sysconfig/<package> file is still there.
    – erikbstack
    Feb 26, 2018 at 21:42
rpm -e xxx.rpm && rpm -ivh --replacefiles xxx.rpm

This in effect replaces the old configs kept after "erasing" Must be a way to do this with yum and dnf


With root privileges, use

yum remove -y vsftpd

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