[Pkg-postgresql-public] Bug#911940: "apt-purge postgresql-10" on debian-testing appears to delete the postgresql data directory

Geoffrey Ferrari geoffrey.ferrari at oriel.oxon.org
Mon Oct 29 14:01:58 GMT 2018

Hi Christoph,

Thanks for replying.

I think this is deeply mistaken, as well as dangerous and irresponsible.

Yes, I expect apt-purge to remove all system-level traces of a package -
but never user-level data.

If I apt-purge libreoffice, should I expect it to delete all my office
files? If I apt-purge emacs, should I expect it to delete every file I've
ever edited?

Who do we need to speak to in order to persuade them to change this

(FWIW, I haven't lost any important data - thank goodness. But I think this
is such a bad decision that it's worth making a fuss over it before someone
does lose something important.)

Kind regards,


On Mon, 29 Oct 2018 at 12:40, Christoph Berg <myon at debian.org> wrote:

> Re: Geoffrey Ferrari 2018-10-26 <CAAoeO9j+UkJ1eu-O=DU_W=p92sSxnVuyf85e=
> AHbmPKTAxaK3g at mail.gmail.com>
> > Yesterday I ran: sudo apt-purge postgresql-10*
> >
> > This appears to have deleted my postgresql-10 data directory in
> > /var/lib/postgresql/10...
> >
> > Is this expected behaviour? It seems highly undesirable.
> Hi Geoffrey,
> the difference between "apt remove" and "apt purge" is that the latter
> is supposed to remove all traces of the package on the system, so it
> works as intended.
> As this question keeps popping up from time to time, I'll see if we
> can add a debconf question about removing the PGDATA directory on
> purge. (Chances are it isn't possible, though.)
> Christoph
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