Linux for Starters

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

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

One comment

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.