Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Maintain your System – Part 14

This series offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

Like any operating system, Ubuntu can misbehave and the unexpected happens. Fortunately, most system issues experienced are easily rectified with a dose of knowledge, experience and common sense.

Sometimes issues are caused as a result of neglecting system maintenance. For example, you may run out of hard drive space, or your system becomes clogged up with unnecessary processes. Let’s look at the main ways you can keep your system running in tip-top condition.


As we recommend in Part 5 of this guide, it’s essential you make regular file backups and test they actually work. You data is precious. Make sure you don’t lose it. Before performing system maintenance, we strongly recommend you check your file backups work.


Part 5 of this guide also introduced you to BleachBit (reviewed in this article), an extremely useful open source utility that deletes unnecessary files to free valuable disk space, maintain privacy, and remove junk. It removes cache, internet history, temporary files, cookies, and broken shortcuts.

There’s another great open source tool that’s very useful in helping keep your Ubuntu system running smoothly. It’s called Stacer (reviewed in this article). This utility has useful system cleaning functionality letting you purge package caches, crash reports, applications logs, application caches, and trash.

Linux for Starters - Stacer

It can be surprising how much hard disk space caches can consume. For example, on a system we’ve been using for about 3 months, the application caches alone are already consuming over 2GB of space. Spacer lets you reclaim a substantial amount of storage space from its simple to use graphical interface.

Linux for Starters - Stacer

Neither BleachBit nor Stacer are installed with a fresh installation of Ubuntu. But that’s easy to rectify with the command:

$ sudo apt install bleachbit stacer

Alternatively you can install both programs with the Ubuntu Software app.

Page 2 – Disk Usage

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Stacer
Page 2 – Disk Usage
Page 3 – Command-line

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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