How to Clean up after an Upgrade

If you have, like I have, recently upgraded from Hardy Heron (8.04) to Intrepid Ibex (8.10), you probably have some “cruft” lying around your system. Here are a few suggestions on how to clean up your system.

1. Use the Synaptic Package Manager to remove outdated files.

This means you go to System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager, and click on Origin (third section on the left-hand bottom side). This will give you your software, by origins such as Local, and the various Ubuntu archives.

Under Local, you should see only programs you installed from other sources (such as Getdeb or CNR). If you find an earlier Linux module or other unrecognizable software, it is time to mark these for complete removal. (Regular removal leaves configuration files lying around. You do not need them.)

Once you have gotten rid of the obsolete programs, you then may go to the second section on the left-hand bottom side, Status. II you have files that have already been deleted but have residual configuration files lying around, here is the place where you can mark these for complete removal.

2. Install and run localepurge.

If you are still in the Synaptic Package Manager, the easiest way to do this is to type “localepurge” (without the quotes) under Quick Search. Once you install localepurge, you will need to run it for the first time:

sudo localepurge

This will get rid of software translations in languages you do not use. These can take up quite a bit of room. (After you run localepurge for the first time, after each subsequent install it will be run again, and keep the excess files off your system.)

3. Install gtkorphan and run it.

If you have not yet done so, installing gtkorphan can make your cruft-cleaning experience much easier. Once again it is easy to search for under Quick Search.

Once you have installed it, you can get to it via System>Administration>Remove orphaned packages. The first section you get to gives a list of libraries whose applications have been removed. These libraries are no longer needed, so here you just need to click on each of them and then click on OK. This will clean up these files.

The second thing you can do with gtkorphan is to remove obsolete configuration files (as you also did under #1). To do this, click on “Show uninstalled packages with orphaned configuration files.” This will list any obsolete configuration files left after you removed the unnecessary files above.

4. install Ubuntu Tweak and use its facility to delete unneeded packages and the old .debs that are lying around.

The best way to install Ubuntu Tweak is to add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list – either by editing that file or adding the line via System>Administration>Software Sources:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ubuntu intrepid main

This will add the Ubuntu Tweak repository to your software list, so that all you will need to do is to add it via the Synaptic Package Manager (it is listed as ubuntu-tweak).

Once you have installed Ubuntu Tweak, start it up via Applications>System Tools>Ubuntu Tweak. Now, you can click on Applications on the menu on the left-hand side, then click on Package Cleaner. Now, unlock the screen by clicking on the word unlock on the right-hand side, and you can start cleaning up obsolete packages or the entire cache of .deb files.

Please let me know of any other suggestions. I hope this makes your life easier!

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2 Responses to “How to Clean up after an Upgrade”


  1. 1 furnace installation parkville April 10, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!

    It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!


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