[Fedora-packaging] does removing a package also remove package data?

John Dennis jdennis at redhat.com
Wed Nov 18 17:34:05 UTC 2009

I couldn't find this in the guidelines and I'm looking for clarification.

When a package generates data as a consequence of it's runtime operation 
should the package data also be removed along with the package files 
when the package is uninstalled (i.e. rpm -e)?


* It may be a user expectation that removing a package removes all the 
files associated with the package even if they are not package files 
(listed in %files). Most people remove packages because they don't want 
or need the package any more and don't want cruft left behind, they want 
a clean uninstall which recovers the maximum disk space possible without 

* Generated data may have value after the package is removed, for some 
users it might be an unpleasant experience to discover after removing a 
package the data files were wiped out too.

* It's not possible to query the user at uninstall time as to the 
disposition of data files because the uninstall (like install's) may be 

My inclination is the packaging guidelines should encourage the removal 
of data files generated by the package when the package is removed.


John Dennis <jdennis at redhat.com>

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