One thing we often overlook in our Ubuntu system is regular cleanup of junk files. Sooner or later, we find our hard disk is running out of space. There are several ways to clean up these unnecessary files and old kernels. Although we can manually delete them, there are handy applications available to simplify this task. We have previously covered how to effectively remove old kernels using the purge-old-kernels utility. In this tutorial, we'll explore how to clean up junk files in Ubuntu and its derivatives such as Linux Mint, Elementary OS, and Pop OS, using Ubuntu Cleaner.
Table of Contents
What is Ubuntu Cleaner?
Ubuntu Cleaner is a tool that helps you to clean up your Ubuntu or derivative system by removing old kernels, package configurations, and other unnecessary files to free up space. It is often used as an alternative to the now discontinued Ubuntu Tweak application.
Ubuntu Cleaner is a fork of the 'Computer Janitor' module from the long-discontinued Ubuntu Tweak utility. As you may already know, Ubuntu Tweak was discontinued years ago and is no longer under development. The developer of Ubuntu Cleaner took the Computer Janitor module from Ubuntu Tweak, refurbished it, and released it under a new name: Ubuntu Cleaner. It is entirely free to use and is released under the GPLv3 license.
Key features of Ubuntu Cleaner include:
- Removal of unneeded packages or old kernels.
- Cleaning up of cache from popular web browsers, which can free up space.
- Cleaning up of old configuration files and unneeded locales or language packs.
- A user-friendly interface that makes system cleanup easy and accessible.
Install Ubuntu Cleaner
We can install Ubuntu Cleaner from its official PPA.
To install Ubuntu Cleaner in Ubuntu, just run the following commands:
$ sudo apt install software-properties-common
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gerardpuig/ppa
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install ubuntu-cleaner
For other unsupported Ubuntu versions, you can download the latest
.deb file and install it manually like below.
$ wget https://launchpad.net/~gerardpuig/+archive/ubuntu/ppa/+files/ubuntu-cleaner_1.0.4-1_all.deb
$ sudo apt install ./ubuntu-cleaner_1.0.4-1_all.deb
$ rm ubuntu-cleaner_1.0.4-1_all.deb
Clean up Junk Files using Ubuntu Cleaner in Ubuntu
Heads Up: Remember, like any tool that makes system-level changes, Ubuntu Cleaner should be used with caution. Always make sure your data is backed up before performing any cleanup tasks.
Launch Ubuntu Cleaner from Dash or Menu.
The default interface of Ubuntu Cleaner will look like below.
As you can see, Ubuntu Cleaner will remove the following:
- App caches
- Browser caches
- Apt cache
- Package config files
- Unneeded packages
- Thumbnail cache
- Old kernels
Select the files you want to clean up and hit the Clean button on the lower right corner.
Ubuntu Cleaner will start to clean up the files that you have selected.
Congratulations! Your Ubuntu system is free from junk files.
Uninstall Ubuntu Cleaner
Not happy with Ubuntu Cleaner?, run the following commands to remove it (I think you won't).
$ sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-cleaner
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
And finally remove the PPA.
$ sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:gerardpuig/ppa
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: What is Ubuntu Cleaner?
Answer: Ubuntu Cleaner is a system utility designed to clean up unnecessary files in an Ubuntu system to free up space and improve system performance. It's a fork of the 'Computer Janitor' module from the now-discontinued Ubuntu Tweak utility.
Question 2: Is Ubuntu Cleaner free to use?
Answer: Yes, Ubuntu Cleaner is completely free to use. It's released under the GPLv3 license.
Question 3: How does Ubuntu Cleaner help improve system performance?
Answer: Ubuntu Cleaner helps improve system performance by removing old kernels, package configurations, cache from web browsers, and other unnecessary files that take up space and slow down your system.
Q4: Is Ubuntu Cleaner safe to use?
Answer: Generally, Ubuntu Cleaner is safe to use. However, like any tool that makes system-level changes, it should be used with caution. Always make sure your data is backed up before performing any cleanup tasks.
Q5: How can I install Ubuntu Cleaner?
Answer: Ubuntu Cleaner can be installed from its official PPA. You can then update your system and install Ubuntu Cleaner with the
apt install command.
Question 6: Can I use Ubuntu Cleaner on other Linux distributions?
Answer: Ubuntu Cleaner is specifically designed for Ubuntu and its derivatives. It may not work properly or could potentially cause issues if used on other distributions.
Question 7: Can I customize what Ubuntu Cleaner removes?
Answer: Yes, Ubuntu Cleaner allows you to select which categories of files to clean up, giving you control over what gets removed from your system.
Question 8: Ubuntu Tweak is discontinued. Is Ubuntu Cleaner also discontinued?
Answer: No, while Ubuntu Tweak is discontinued, Ubuntu Cleaner, a fork of one of its modules, continues to be maintained and developed.
Ubuntu Cleaner is a highly efficient, user-friendly tool designed to help you maintain the cleanliness of your Ubuntu system. It is a powerful utility to free up system space by removing unnecessary files, such as outdated kernels, excess cache from web browsers, unused package configurations, and unneeded locales or language packs.
The Ubuntu Cleaner application comes in handy especially when your system is loaded with obsolete data or after a system upgrade, allowing you to safely dispose of residual configurations and files, thereby reclaiming valuable storage space. Ubuntu Cleaner makes the process of system cleanup easier even to non-technical users with the help of its user-friendly GUI.
However, it is always advised to proceed with caution while using system-level tools. Ensuring a backup of your data before performing any cleanup tasks can prevent potential data loss.
Is your hard drive running out of space? Just install Ubuntu Cleaner and purge-old-kernels utility and get rid of the junk files and older kernels that are no longer necessary. Both are must-have utilities in your Ubuntu system.