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Clean up and optimize ubuntu 12.10 quantal quetzal, ubuntu server and any version

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Dec 3, 2011
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For cleaning up Ubuntu 12.10 , you can use GUI applications like ubuntu tweak and/or bleachbit and with baobab to check disk space but I prefer to use the terminal.

Here are the commands That I use to save space and clean up all ubuntu 12.10 versions ( Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu … )

Cleaning up Ubuntu using the terminal

Let’s start by checking the occupation of disk space you can use the command

df -a

then check the size of the main folders
sudo du -sxm  /[^p]* | sort -nr   | head -n 15

Remove unnecessary libraries and packages:

To delete all package dependencies removed
sudo apt-get autoremove

delete the files (.deb) of the packages that are no longer installed in the system;
sudo apt-get autoclean

The following command is really interesting, because it allows the removal even of the configuration files. This can be useful when you want to reinstall applications from scratch.
[b]sudo apt-get purge[/b]

clean is much more radical than autoclean. It removes any files .deb from the apt cache, including those relating to the packages currently installed. This command allow a good a good recovery of disk space counterpart is that if you reinstall a package it have to be downloaded. (1.2 GB recovered)
[b]sudo apt-get clean[/b]

##r remove from the cache (/ var / cache / apt) any package, except for the lock files

we can tie together the commands with:
sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get purge && sudo apt-get clean

( I recovered 1.2 GB )

Now, check and resolve any errors or broken dependencies with:
sudo apt-get check ; sudo apt-get -f install

Remove orphaned libraries
[code]sudo apt-get install deborphan
sudo apt-get remove --purge `deborphan`; sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo deborphan | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove --purge

To search and cleaning unused configurations

To search and cleaning folders and unused configurations files we can use :
sudo dpkg --purge `dpkg -l | egrep "^rc" | cut -d ' ' -f3`

to seek only
dpkg -l | egrep "^rc" | cut -d ' ' -f3

Remove Old Kernel

Each version of the kernel can occupy up to 150 MB. If you have downloaded the headers you get 250MB of space. Therefore becomes crucial periodically remove some of the older kernels.

You must register or login to view this.heck the current kernel t

uname -r

View the installed kernels

dpkg --list | grep linux-image
maurizio@Lub12120:~$ dpkg --list | grep linux-image
ii  linux-image-3.5.0-16-generic		  3.5.0-16.24							   amd64		Linux kernel image for version 3.5.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-3.5.0-17-generic		  3.5.0-17.28							   amd64		Linux kernel image for version 3.5.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-3.5.0-16-generic	3.5.0-16.24							   amd64		Linux kernel image for version 3.5.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-3.5.0-17-generic	3.5.0-17.28							   amd64		Linux kernel image for version 3.5.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-generic							   amd64		Generic Linux kernel image

Lists the headers installed
ls /usr/src | grep 'linux-headers'

First remove the headers
using somethings like this
sudo apt-get purge linux-headers-3.5.0-16

then remove any specific kernel that is no longer needed
sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.5.0-16-generic

( 0.6 GB recovered )

Remove unnecessary location data packets

To remove packages and languages ​​that do not involve using the program localpurge.
sudo apt-get install localepurge

In the window that appears after installation, select the languages ​​you wish to protect.
Here you can select the languages ​​that interest us.
for example we can check:

 sudo localepurge

to reconfigure localpurge type
sudo dpkg-reconfigure localepurge

To save space: remove o shrink files

Let’s start by checking the folders size into home directory.
You can use the command

home directory

Let’s start by checking the folders size into home directory.
You can use the command
du -sm * .[^.]* | sort -nr   | head -n 15

Files to check periodically to save space:


One of the files that can grow up to tens of GB and that may need to check is the file:

This file can be erased from time to time.

or to reduce it and keep last 200 lines of messages
	cd ~
	tail  -n 200 .xsession-errors  > xsession-errors
	mv  xsession-errors .xsession-errors

A home directory that you can grow a lot is the directory /cache.
There there are the browsers cache so to clean up it I prefer to use browser commands.

The directory /home/my-home/tmp should be checked and emptied every so often.

directory /var

at the root level, from time to time, check the /var direcotry :

to display the size of the /var
sudo du -sxm /var/* | sort -nr | head -n 15

Alert. You should only delete files. Absolutely not delete the folders that contain them.

Large size file

May be useful to check if exist large size files everyware e for any users.
The command for 750MB size files may be like:
sudo find / -size +750M -exec ls -lhG {} \; | more


When you start ubuntu like any S.O. are activated services that are not always necessary with the inevitable resource consumption. To check the services that are not strictly necessary on a terminal you can use sysv-rc-conf.

to install
sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf

to start with
 sudo sysv-rc-conf

Check or uncheck the options to set the start whether or not a service in a given runlevel (Less services are running more resources are available).

Free up RAM

To release the RAM could be useful
sudo -s   
[i]Write the data in the buffer memory to disk.[/i]
[i]Let's free some memory cache inactive[/i]
echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

more: You must register or login to view this.

Optimize Ubuntu

Manage archives

Install applications to manage archives of files compressed.
If one needs to use the various formats of compressed files evaluate the installation of the following packages.
sudo apt-get install unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full \
	p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller

Common Codecs

A few common codecs
sudo apt-get install libavcodec53 libavformat53 libavutil51 libpostproc52 lame \
libcdaudio1 libdvdnav4 libdvdread4 libfaac0 libfaad2 libfftw3-3 libgsm1 libid3tag0 \
libjack-jackd2-0 libmad0 libmms0 libmp3lame0 libmpcdec6 libmpeg2-4 libjpeg-progs \
mencoder libxine1-ffmpeg  mplayer2 mplayer-gui


Perhaps you have to evaluate installation of non-free-codec. “Medibuntu (Multimedia, Entertainment & Distractions In Ubuntu) is a repository of packages that cannot be included into the Ubuntu distribution for legal reasons (copyright, license, patent, etc). ” You must register or login to view this.
sudo -E wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list
sudo apt-get --quiet update
sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring
sudo apt-get update

w32codecs video codecs for popular proprietary formats not natively supported by mplayer You must register or login to view this.

libdvdcss2 for play encrypted DVD You must register or login to view this.

Ubuntu 32bit
	sudo apt-get install w32codecs libdvdcss2

Ubuntu 64bit
	sudo apt-get install w64codecs libdvdcss2


FSlint is a useful application to search for duplicate files and not only in Ubuntu and Debian Linux ..
sudo apt-get install fslint

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bleachbit is an effective way to clean a Linux system like Ubuntu: apt cache, browsers cache …

sudo apt-get install bleachbit

be used as either a user as root


Ubuntu Tweak allows configuration via GUI Ubuntu easily. Cleaning the cache of web browsers … and the removal of obsolete kernel, Configuring themes, sounds, default applications …

install :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Device busy

In case of error device busy proceed similarly to what reported in this post You must register or login to view this.

List of useful applications

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