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I installed Exim4. But then I deleted it and purged it. Now a I want to reinstall it, but all config files are gone (in /etc/exim4). Can I recorver them?

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Retrieve them from your backups? – Zoredache Apr 22 '11 at 21:47

Some rpm based distros save config files when removing packages by naming them something like app.config.rpmsave. I don't know where Ubuntu puts them, but if they were saved they are probably sitting around somewhere obvious. Do a search by partial file name and see what you come up with.

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If you don't have backups, you will have lost what was there. If you made any additions to the split configuration, I would expect them to have been left behind. All of the standard configuration files will be created if you reinstall. This includes the update-exim.conf.conf file which is where most of the configuration is normally done.

There are a few tools which monitor changes to /etc. The keep a copy of the directory to do the comparisons against. None of them are installed by default. If you had one of them installed I would expect you would have been notified of the change.

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If he removed the package, the config files are kept; once the package is purged, the config files are deleted. – Steven Apr 23 '11 at 2:29
@Steven: Correct, but it was stated that the package was purged. This will result in the conffiles being deleted. Conffiles are listed in the package's .conffiles file in the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory. Files the user added are kept as the are not listed, and the corresponding directories are kept because they are not empty. – BillThor Apr 23 '11 at 14:11

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