I used Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) for about a year (actually upgraded it from Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)), and during the time I installed some packages, and removed some other packages.

Now I think it's probably time to clean up the system as it's likely several unused stuff is lying out there (both from the old 12.04 and the new 14.04), and I hope to have a cleaner system that works faster.

I found these two links:

Both links seem good, but when I came across to what they said about Bleachbit then one says yes, and one says no - a bit contradicting.

What should be done for this common task?

  • 2
    Clean what exactly? Unused packages for example, try apt-get autoremove
    – xangua
    Aug 6, 2015 at 2:50
  • 1
    clean up the system - if that's possible..
    – artm
    Aug 6, 2015 at 2:59
  • 1
    That's probably not the answer you want, but still: have the OS, /home and your data on separate partitions. Then, just install a completely new system (keeping home/ and data); if you don't make too larger jumps, most configurations will still work as before. Of course you'd have to reinstall everything, but that's a part of cleaning up: install only what you need when you need it.
    – Raphael
    Aug 6, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    @artm in this respect Linux is a lot better than Windows. We do not have a registry with bogus keys that slow down your system. If you delete a lot on Ubuntu you might have libraries that are no longer used BUT we are talking about files that are the size of a few -bytes- here. Not worth the time to me. Cleaning up your system in Ubuntu is generally removing software you installed and never used ;)
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 6, 2015 at 9:40
  • 1
    @artm use ubuntu tweak it contains a system janitor will help you exactly as you want Aug 6, 2015 at 10:45

8 Answers 8


To remove any packages that aren't needed by the system:

sudo apt-get autoremove

The other answer for this question:

sudo apt-get clean

This just clears the package cache for downloading new packages, it will not uninstall any packages.

See: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AptGet/Howto


Ubuntu tweak will be to your liking.

It has a "janitor" option where you can clear caches files, delete old kernels, delete orphaned .debs and more like that. But what gets removed tends to be a few MBs of software that is not longer used on your system but will not have interfered with what you normally do.

A crash of kate should be treated as such: search the crash online and see of there is a fix, otherwise you can opt to file a bug report against kate.

  • Please fix the broken link.
    – user141510
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:01
  • 4
    Note that Ubuntu Tweak is no longer maintained as of May 2016, according to the Project Page on Launchpad.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:20
  • 8
    Any alternatives to Ubuntu Tweak? Apr 18, 2017 at 23:28

To get rid of partial packages - sudo apt-get autoclean

Get rid of unnecessary locale data - localepurge

Get rid of "orphaned" packages - sudo deborphan | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove --purge

You can refer this article for more detailed information


  • localepurge might be configured to automatically run when using dpkg, so might be unnecessary to use it. To check this use localepurge --help
    – PeterM
    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:24

On Linux there usually is no need to clean your system, even after multiple updates. APT keeps tracks of which package installed which file and removes them when uninstalling a package.

Your system doesn't get slower if there are many packages installed (as long as you still have a reasonable amount of free disk space).

There is also no system wide registry as in Windows, but a lot of programs have configuration files in /etc. Usually it is better to not touch these files unless you know what you are doing. These configuration files are the only thing not deleted by APT when uninstalling a package (because you might want to use then again in the future). If you want to remove configurations files from uninstalled packages you can either call

dpkg --purge PACKAGENAME

for each package you want to remove or use

dpkg -l | awk '/^rc/ {print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty sudo dpkg --purge

to remove configuration files of all uninstalled packages. However you should expect no speed up of your system.


Below are cleanup system tools

  1. BleachBit

  2. Ubuntu Tweak

  3. GCleaner

  4. Sweeper

  5. Stacer: Linux Optimizer & monitoring open source

I got a vote list for above from here

enter image description here

And for removing unnecessary files follow below tools

  1. baobab - GUI
  2. ncdu - OUTPUT in CLI and also works remote servers via SSH.
  3. cruft

Hope this helps you.

  • that looks good thanks (didn't expect that there are so many, and Bleachbit is leading tool..)
    – artm
    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:13
  • +1 for ncdu. I ran into an issue where my entire drive filled up. I'd used baobab in the past, and bleachbit helped a bit, but ncdu really drilled down fast to what files were taking up space, and it scans faster than any other tool. This was on 17.10, so still a very relevant tool.
    – labyrinth
    Dec 31, 2017 at 0:50
  • Tried ncdu, and it said I had 2.3 GiB used space, but glances says I'm using 18G, and I'm fairly certain 18 is much more accurate. And yes I ran from root directory. Actually, I ran ncdu as root as well and it showed even less space being used so honestly don't know what the hell is up with that program.
    – Matthew
    Apr 22, 2020 at 4:48

The easiest way to clean up is to run this in Terminal:

sudo apt-get clean

If you want, you can install and run Bleachbit. It seems rather effective from what I've read, but it may just be doing the same thing that you can do manually. It just puts all the checkboxes in one place.

  • I just tried sudo apt-get clean - nothing seems to be done though..
    – artm
    Aug 6, 2015 at 3:01
  • 2
    sudo apt-get clean is what cleans out unused package stuff, so if that hasn't done anything, then you're already clean package wise.
    – Daniel
    Aug 6, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    If you wanted to clear out stuff like old downloads, you'll have to do that manually, or find something like Ubuntu tweak or Bleachbit to clear out cache and history etc.
    – Daniel
    Aug 6, 2015 at 15:11

Ubuntu Cleaner will remove the following in Ubuntu and its derivatives:

  • App caches
  • Browser caches
  • Apt cache
  • Package config files
  • Unneeded packages
  • Thumbnail cache
  • Old kernels


  1. To install Ubuntu Cleaner in Ubuntu , add the following PPA:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gerardpuig/ppa
  2. Update the repository list using command:

    sudo apt-get update
  3. Then, install Ubuntu Cleaner as shown below.

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-cleaner
  • Using Ubuntu Cleaner with occasional autoclean, autoremove, clean commands. Works very well Jan 29, 2018 at 18:24
  • for me always has been the best the most intuitive and thorough cleaning software on Ubuntu
    – shantiq
    Nov 26, 2022 at 12:02

I have made a python script to clean Debian based Distros. OS Cleaner

This sript will clear the :

  • packages that are no longer required
  • Clean up APT cache
  • systemd journal logs
  • Clean the thumbnail cache

You can also check the garbage storages!

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