HowTo: Cleaning up all those unnecessary junk files

from Ubuntu Forums:

Hello everyone! So, do you ever get the feeling that your system is being flooded with a bunch of junk files that you can’t get rid of? I know I do. Well, I’m going to show you a few ways to get rid of most, if not all, of those annoying junk files.

Please note : If doing any of this messes up your system, don’t blame me. Everything worked flawlessly on my machine. Everthing should be beer ‘n skittles for you if you follow this HOWTO step-by-step. Good luck!

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Tip #1 – Getting rid of Residual Config packages – In Synaptic Package Manger, there is a built-in feature that gets rid of old Residual Config packages. Residual Config packages are usually dependency packages that are left behind after you uninstall a package from your machine. To use this feature, go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. On the bottom left hand corner of the window, click the Status button. In the list above the Sections, Status, Search, and Custom buttons, you should see the following text:

Installed (local or obsolete)
Not installed
Residual config
Click on the “Residual config” text. (If the “Residual config dialogue does not appear, that means you do not have any Residual Config packages on your machine and you can skip down to Tip #2.) Do you see the packages that popped up in the window on the right? Those are the Residual Config packages. To get rid of these pests, click on the box to the left of the package name and select “Mark for Complete Removal”. After you have done that for all of the Residual Config packages, look at the top of the Synaptic Package Manger window. Do you see the green check mark with the text “Apply” right under it? Click that button, and you’ll flush all those Residual Config packages down the toilet!

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Tip #2 – Getting rid of partial packages – This is yet another built-in feature, but this time it is not used in Synaptic Package Manager. It is used in the Terminal. To access the Terminal, go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Now, in the Terminal, key in the following command (or you can just copy and paste from here):


sudo apt-get autoclean

Enter your password when prompted and press Enter. See the package names that appeared in the Terminal? Those were partial packages that have just been deleted. Say goodbye! That’s it! This command deletes the not-so-fully-downloaded packages that you acquire when a package that is being downloaded is suddenly cancelled. This is my favorite little trick when it comes to getting rid of junk files.


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