Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been using ubuntu for almost four years now. I am pretty sure there are many applications and packages i never use (like empathy, for example) and i would like to know which ones they are.

Is there any way to know which applications or packages are used very seldom (or never) so i can get rid of them?


share|improve this question
I'm pretty sure the system doesn't count how many times you use a particular package, I'm afraid. – John S Gruber Aug 22 '12 at 4:36
I really don't think that Ubuntu has Rarely used , frequently used kind of Program classification or even that kind of history . The closest that resemble is recently used in Dash or in Activity Journal application based on Zeitgeist. – atenz Aug 22 '12 at 4:40
I don't think it is a duplicate – Sergey Aug 22 '12 at 4:59

There are some good applications available which I feel will solve your problem:

Ubuntu Tweak

Allows you to easily flush out the following: -

  • Downloaded packages no longer needed (installed packages)
  • Sweep up the update cache (E.G. .debs of all the updates recently installed)
  • Old configuration files for applications since removed
  • Old kernels


Use BleachBit to:

  • Free disk space
  • Reduce the size of backups and the time to create them by removing unnecessary files
  • Maintain privacy
  • Improve system performance (by vacuuming the Firefox database, for example)
  • Prepare whole disk images for compression (common for "ghost" backups and virtual machines) by wiping free disk space


It analyses your system for orphaned libraries and then offers them up for removal, freeing up space.

There is one more tool available by default : Computer Janitor But I will advice to make sure what you are doing before using it.

share|improve this answer
Please edit to remove generalized suggestions -- the OP has a very specific question. – izx Aug 22 '12 at 6:08
Hi izx I have tried put best possible software suggestions in best possible organized manner. Will you please suggest exactly what editing needs to be done? – Amol Sale Aug 22 '12 at 6:31
For example, the Bleachbit section...that doesn't address removing "seldom-used" packages... – izx Aug 22 '12 at 6:33

I would love to find out how to compile a list of seldom-used applications automatically myself, but I suspect it may be a bit tricky (the relation between a "package" and an "application" is not that straightforward, for one thing; some programs are used by other programs, a package can contain multiple executables or none at all; some applications may actually be started automatically each time you boot but never actually used by you, and so on).

What I sometimes do on machines with little RAM/disk space (just did it yesterday on an original EeePC with a 4Gb SSD):

  • install synaptic
  • in the left pane, select to show all installed applications
  • go through the list, marking the packages I don't need to be removed
  • after the apps are uninstalled, run sudo apt-get autoremove to uninstall any libraries installed as dependencies of the uninstalled applications.

The process is a bit time-consuming (maybe an hour or so) and is only justified if you're really tight on disk space (or just having fun). On the other hand, it allows to remove more than any automated process would - for example, I was never going to use bluetooth or printing on that machine so I removed bluez and cups packages, which otherwise are actually in use by the system.

It is possible to break your Ubuntu if you're not careful, but otherwise it's a great learning exercise.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.