deb-postrm - Linux


deb-postrm is a command invoked by dpkg when a package is being removed. This is typically invoked after dpkg has removed the package’s files but before it has finished removing the package. It is primarily used for cleanup tasks, such as removing any configuration files that were created by the package.


deb-postrm <package-name> [-n] [-V] [command_string]


  • -n – Dry run; do not actually perform any actions.
  • -V – Print the version of deb-postrm.
  • command_string – Additional commands to execute. If this parameter is specified, it is passed to a Bourne shell for execution.


Simple usage:

deb-postrm my-package

This will run the default cleanup script for the my-package package.

Dry run:

deb-postrm -n my-package

This will print the commands that would be executed without actually performing them.

Custom cleanup script:

deb-postrm my-package /bin/rm -rf /var/log/my-package

This will run the default cleanup script for the my-package package and then execute the command /bin/rm -rf /var/log/my-package.

Common Issues

  • Permission errors: deb-postrm may not have permission to delete certain files. In this case, you can try running deb-postrm with elevated privileges (e.g., sudo deb-postrm my-package).
  • Syntax errors: If the custom cleanup script contains syntax errors, it will not be executed. Check the script for any errors before running it.


deb-postrm can be combined with other commands or tools to perform more complex tasks. For example, you could use a combination of deb-postrm and dpkg to remove a package and its associated configuration files:

dpkg --remove my-package
deb-postrm my-package /bin/rm -rf /var/log/my-package

Related Commands

  • dpkg – The Debian package manager.
  • apt – A command-line tool for managing packages on Debian-based systems.