How to Factory Reset Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Steps to leave as newly installed Ubuntu or Linux Mint, resetting all its configuration without losing anything.

In many cases, whether due to technical support issues or as end users of Ubuntu, it is necessary to restore the Operating System to its default or factory values for reasons such as:

  • Performance Failures
  • Problems when running applications and programs.
  • Virus.
  • Administrative issues, among other causes.

Today we will focus on a tool, still, in the development phase, that will allow us to restore the factory values in Ubuntu or Linux Mint distributions in an integral way called Resetter.

What is Resetter?

Resetter is an application developed in Python and Pyqt through which we will have the possibility of restoring the operating system as if it were installed with zeros without having to resort to a physical medium such as a DVD, CD or bootable USB. Resetter will execute the following actions.

  • Remove applications that are not predetermined by the system.
  • Restore the operating system factory settings.
  • Remove old kernels and packages.
  • Remove inactive users.

Resetter can be used in the following Linux distros :

  • Linux Mint 17/17.3/18.1/18.2/18.3
  • Ubuntu 14.04/16.04/16.10/17.04/17.10/18.04tu 14.04

Install and Run Resetter on Ubuntu & Linux Mint

For this tutorial we will use Ubuntu 16.10 and Resetter must be installed through a .deb package that we can download from there

Once the deb package is downloaded, we proceed to its execution.

This will be the Resetter environment:

There we can see that the application detects the name of the operating system, the version and its coded name.

We have two options. In this case we will use the Custom Repair option to see full operation of the app.

  • Automatic Repair: Using this option we allow the tool to perform the process automatically.
  • Custom Reset: Using this option we will have the possibility to define which packages and accounts have to be deleted.

When selecting this option we must first define which packages have to be deleted. We can check the “Remove old kernels ” box to remove all the old kernels.

Once these values are defined click on Next and now we will define which users to delete:

Click on Next and we have finished the configuration:

Now click on Finish to start the system restoration process:

Once the process is finished, if we have decided to eliminate the user, we will see the following message:

Press OK and the following message will be displayed. Click Yes to restart the system and apply the changes.

Once we restart the system we will access our operating system as if it were newly installed.

Note: Remember that Resetter is still an application under test so it is possible that during the process errors occur, we recommend performing these tests in virtual environments until the developer releases the final version to implement it in productive environments without affecting applications or users.

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