Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Windows users can turn to CCleaner – a program that can make your computer run faster – to systematically remove such fluff from their drive. But what about Linux users who need to wipe and clean their Linux machine?
First, you might want to try a few of the tips and tricks at the official MUO guide to Linux. After that, you’ll want to optimize your Linux system by cleaning it. That’s what BleachBit is for. Often called a CCleaner for Linux, BleachBit removes the cruft left behind by a number of programs in order to leave your hard drive emptier than it was before. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to free up space on your netbook.
Before you can do anything, of course, you need to install BleachBit. Ubuntu users can simply click here to install; users of other Linux systems can easily find BleachBit in their respective repostories, or find downloads over at BleachBit’s website. Heck, you’ll even find a Windows version (that can’t do much, unfortunately).
Once you have the program you’ll find it in your applications menu under “System“. Fire it up and you’ll see all the programs and functions you can clean:
By default only the programs you’ve installed will show up here, which means you’ll only see relevant things. Go ahead and check the things you’re interested in deleting; you’ll be informed about the consequences of everything as you go. Once you’ve selected everything, go ahead and click “Preview” to see how much space you can save:
Satisfied? I thought you might be. Check your settings one last time, then click “Delete” if you’re ready. Doing so will start the cleaning process!
Shred A File
If you delete a file on your computer, it’s not really gone. Data recovery experts can still recover it; the only real way to fully delete a file is to shred the hard drive. If you aren’t concerned about the CIA searching your drive anytime soon, however, BleachBit can probably shred it beyond the capabilities of most file recovery experts. Just click “File” followed by “Shred Files” to get started.
This is a great way to completely destroy evidence…or just protect your privacy.
The number of programs supported by BleachBit is staggering. System files and your computer’s package manager are included, as are various MakeUseOf standards such as Firefox and Google Chrome. I could go on and on, but it’s probably best if you simply check out the full list of supported applications over at BleachBit’s feature page. Odds are, if you use a given program, BleachBit can clean it.
BleachBit is a program that can save you a lot of hard disk space quickly, if that’s what you’re looking for. If your system is complaining about low space on your primary partition, give it a spin, but be sure you know what you’re doing.
Can you think of any other tools for this job? Do you have any tips for using this program well? As always I love hearing from you, so comment away.