What’s the opposite of ‘make install’, i.e. how do you uninstall a library in Linux


While running

./configure --prefix=/mingw 

on a MinGW/MSYS system for a library I had previously run

'./configure --prefix=/mingw && make && make install' 

I came across this message:

WARNING: A version of the Vamp plugin SDK is already installed. Expect worries and sorrows if you install a new version without removing the old one first. (Continuing)

This had me worried. What's the opposite of 'make install', i.e. how is a library uninstalled in Linux? Will 'make clean' do the job, or are there other steps involved?

Best Solution

make clean removes any intermediate or output files from your source / build tree. However, it only affects the source / build tree; it does not touch the rest of the filesystem and so will not remove previously installed software.

If you're lucky, running make uninstall will work. It's up to the library's authors to provide that, however; some authors provide an uninstall target, others don't.

If you're not lucky, you'll have to manually uninstall it. Running make -n install can be helpful, since it will show the steps that the software would take to install itself but won't actually do anything. You can then manually reverse those steps.

Related Question