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5 of the Best Free Linux System Cleaning Tools

5 of the Best Free Linux System Cleaning Tools

There are lots of ways of improving the performance of your computer. We investigated a number of solutions in our feature entitled Ubuntu Tips - Boot Faster which concentrated on shortening the time taken for a machine to boot. These included disabling services that are not needed, concurrent booting, and reprofiling the boot sequence. The article also gave tips on optimising the general system performance including ways to make more efficient use of memory, improving hard disk performance, and by using a lightweight desktop environment. These can all have a marked effect on minimising the boot process. However, having a machine that is quick to boot is only one area that needs to be tackled if a computer is going to remain responsive.

Many readers will have witnessed their computer system becoming progressively slower in use over time. This particularly affects Windows so much so that over time it can feel like the machine is running at half speed. This is in part due to users continually installing more applications, and not performing system maintenance. Other factors include ineffective uninstallation routines, Microsoft's propensity for almost daily patches and security updates, hard drives full of temporary files, a bloated registry, and poorly configured antivirus software. These types of issues also affect Linux albeit to a lesser degree. Nevertheless, if a Linux machine is to remain in pristine condition, there is a genuine need for users to run software that vacuums up the detritus, wiping clean applications, deleting cookies, shredding temporary files, removing logs, and other types of system maintenance.

There are a number of open source applications for Linux which help to keep the operating system working like new. To provide an insight into the software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 of our favourite open source system cleaning tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for users who want to ensure their computer system retains its vitality.

You may be surprised to see a package manager included in the list below. We have seen many systems where system performance has been affected simply due to the number of applications that have been installed which are no longer being used on a regular basis. It is worth using a package manager to identify and remove redundant software, thereby freeing up hard disk space, and removing unnecessary daemons, servers, and libraries being loaded in the process.

So, let's explore the 5 cleaning tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

System Cleaning Tools
BleachBit Delete unnecessary files from the system
GtkOrphan A graphical tool to find and remove orphaned libraries
Computer Janitor Clean up a system so it is more like a freshly installed one
Sweeper History and temporary file cleaner for KDE 4
Synaptic Package Manager Graphical package manager

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Last Updated Tuesday, May 27 2014 @ 02:50 PM EDT


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