How to Clean your System and Free Up Space?

I always struggle with my system space being full and keep moving things around to other drives. How do you guys clean your systems and keep space?

I always run paru -Scc after updating. I compact my VMs disk after using them and will delete unused files / gibberish in my Downloads. Despite this my system keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s not Downloads nor Documents, Pictures and etc.

Not much actually beyond occasional clearing of /var/cache/pacman/pkg (using paccache command line tool) and ~/.cache.

You might want to run something like ncdu in a terminal to see where the space is consumed in your system.



Run this command in your home directory, it will give you the 15 directories that take the most disk space :

du -hsx */ | sort -rh | head -15

Looks like my ~/.cache is ~85GB and 50 of those are paru despite cleaning after updating. Is it safe to delete everything in that folder? My ~/.config is also ~9GB, but I’m kind of scared to play around in that one.

Is there a way to modify that command so it also lists hidden(.) folders?

I guess it should be fine to clean all those build files and build packages in there from time to time.

You can check one folder at a time.
You may have kept config files/folders after software that no longer exist in your system.
If you don’t plan on reinstalling them, then you could remove the conf file/folder.

Proceed with caution, of course.

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Did you already try ncdu?

It should show you .folders as well: ncdu ~/

while doing package management cleanup is a plus that will be little space gained back.

I clean my /.cache folder once a week. There is nothing in there that i need to keep saved.

I also keep larger files off my /home device and place them on external devices and then just symlink back to the home folder.

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It shows hidden folders, list all of them not the 15 firsts :

du -hsx */ | sort -rh

Backup your /etc/fstab file first.

Add this to /etc/fstab - just change sam to your user name.

Your .cache will be clean out on every shutdown.

# grep cache /etc/fstab
tmpfs		/home/sam/.cache	tmpfs	uid=1000,gid=1000,mode=750 0 0

More info here:

Mostly on normal Arch system if you need space what you have to clean is:

  1. pacman cache
  2. journal cache
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If I were to bet, my money would be on 90+% of that being from one program. Probably some soy browser.

Or yay cache

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That did show . folders somehow du won’t show them. Looks like it’s mostly .local, .cache, .nuget, .rustup, .config. Well vmware and Videos haver a decent size, but I know what’s in there.

 841.6 GiB [###########] /Documents
. 273.1 GiB [###        ] /Games
  158.1 GiB [##         ] /Videos
. 103.7 GiB [#          ] /.local
   81.2 GiB [#          ] /.cache
   61.7 GiB [           ] /vmware
   28.4 GiB [           ] /.nuget
   10.8 GiB [           ] /Downloads
    9.7 GiB [           ] /xz2
    9.1 GiB [           ] /.rustup
    8.5 GiB [           ] /.config

Don’t mind the crazy Documents and Games size, there are drives mounted there :sweat_smile:

I don’t even have slack installed anymore and it’s one of the bigger ones. And seems about right with the browsers.

1.9G	Signal/
1.4G	Slack/
878M	vivaldi/
873M	microsoft-edge/
812M	discord/
539M	Microsoft/
483M	protonmail/
389M	obs-studio/
335M	Code - OSS/
207M	Riot/
172M	OCS-Store/
154M	itch/
104M	Teams for Linux/
65M	retroarch/
60M	webex-teams-nativefier-ff9bb8/

Looks you may need to do some spring cleaning in there :slightly_smiling_face:

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Go use gparted