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I'm not sure what to make of this on my Debian server

aptitude install apache2
ls /etc/apache2

You would expect to see configs, right?

aptitude remove apache2

It should remove everything, right?

ls /etc/apache2

But the configs are here.

rm -rf /etc/apache2
aptitude install apache2
ls /etc/apache2

No directory found. Any guidance?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

First of all, I want to way that apt-get remove does not remove the config files. It just removes the indicated package (and any possible dependent package).

After installing apache2 package, you can make sure the package is installed using a command like:

$ sudo dpkg -l | grep apache2
ii  apache2               2.2.20-1ubuntu1.1       Apache HTTP Server metapackage
ii  apache2-mpm-worker    2.2.20-1ubuntu1.1       Apache HTTP Server - high speed threaded model
ii  apache2-utils         2.2.20-1ubuntu1.1       utility programs for webservers
ii  apache2.2-bin         2.2.20-1ubuntu1.1       Apache HTTP Server common binary files
ii  apache2.2-common      2.2.20-1ubuntu1.1       Apache HTTP Server common files

So, there are several packages related to apache installed not just "apache2" package. You can check the installed files of a package using a command like:

$ sudo dpkg -L apache2.2-common | less

When I executed the above command, I found that the configuration files are installed by this package not "apache2" package. So, you need to make sure that this package is installed in order to find the configuration files after removing them manually.

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The purge operation of apt will remove config files; remove does not.

If you need to restore all files (say, if you deleted them manually), use dpkg -i --force-confmiss on the package's .deb within /var/cache/apt/archives/.

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