CCleaner is a quite popular PC cleaner to optimize the system. It is a Windows-specific tool for freeing up space, delete junk files and speed up Windows. I know I am not the only one who looked for CCleaner for Linux when switching from Windows.
If you were looking for CCleaner alternative in Linux, you are in luck. Here I am going to list a couple of applications that you can use to clean up Ubuntu or any Ubuntu-based Linux distributions and briefly let you know why you might need one.
Does Linux Need System Clean Up Utilities Like CCleaner?
Let us face it — most of the users do not bother cleaning up of temporary files, application cache, crash reports, logs, or any other unnecessary files manually on a regular basis.
Maybe only when we run out of free storage space, but other than that, not really.
And, system clean up utilities like CCleaner makes it easy for us to quickly get rid of junk files.
Basically, it performs a system wide clean up of a temporary files, be it in your web browser or in your media player.
Unlike Windows, Linux cleans up all the temporary files (store in /tmp) automatically. You don’t have a registry in Linux which further reduces headache. At worst, you might have some broken packages, packages that are not needed anymore and internet browsing history, cookies and cache.
Even though Linux does not have a big junk issue like Windows presents with everyday usage, unnecessary files and cache are still something that can be cleaned.
Does it mean that Linux needs system clean up utilities?
- No, you do not necessarily need system cleaning utilities if you can run few commands for occasional package cleaning, and manually deleting browser history etc.
- Yes, if you don’t want manual work and want one tool to rule them all where you can clean up all the suggested things in one (or a few) click(s).
If you have got your answer as yes, let’s move on to see some CCleaner like utilities to clean up your Ubuntu Linux system.
CCleaner Alternatives for Ubuntu Linux
Please note that I am using Ubuntu here, but you should find them available for other Linux distributions as well.
- Dashboard to provide you quick look at system resources
- Free and open source
- System cleaner to free up space in one click
- Manage startup applications in Ubuntu to optimize the performance
- Find and manage services, daemons
- Find and uninstall software to free up space
Stacer is a useful Ubuntu system optimizer. Built on Electron, Stacer has a very clean and modern user interface that provides you various functionalities in a tabbed interface. You can read this article to read in detail about how to optimize Ubuntu system with Stacer.
Install Stacer in Linux
You can install it using the PPA mention in the official website or download AppImage/Deb/Rpm packages available from its GitHub releases section.
You can find more details about Stacer on its GitHub page.
- Simple GUI check the boxes you want, preview it and delete it.
- Multi-platform: Linux and Windows
- Free and open source
- Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery
- Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files
- Command line interface also available
BleachBit is a cross-platform app available for both Windows and Linux. It has a long list of applications that it supports cleaning and thus giving you the option for cleaning cache, cookies and log files.
Install BleachBit in Linux
You can refer to our BleachBit guide to install it and get started using it.
BleachBit has binaries available for all major Linux distributions. You can download BleachBit from the official website.
- Remove web-related traces: cookies, history, cache
- Remove the image thumbnails cache
- Clean the clipboard contents and command history
Sweeper is a system clean up utility which is a part of KDE Applications. It may not be the most comprehensive system clean up tool but it is a lightweight and simple option. Its key features are:
Install Sweeper in Linux
Sweeper is available by default in Ubuntu repository. Use the command below in a terminal to install Sweeper:
sudo apt install sweeper
4. Ubuntu Cleaner
- Clean browser cache
- Clean Ubuntu software center cache
- Clean thumbnail cache
- Remove apt repository cache
- Remove old kernel files
- Clean package configs
Ubuntu Cleaner takes the janitor section from the discontinued Ubuntu Tweaks tool and gives you a standalone cleaning utility.
It may not be actively maintained, but it saw a significant update in 2020 after 4 years of inactivity, take that as you may. Probably a good alternative option if you dislike other options listed above.
Install Ubuntu Cleaner in Linux
You can find the installation instructions for adding a PPA or getting the DEB file in its GitHub page.
You will not find any other packages available — so you need to compile from source if a binary for your Linux distribution is not available.
If you have a lot of duplicates files/folders, empty files, and broken symlinks, you might want to try this.
This does not exactly clean cache or cookies, but empty files and duplicate folders are also unnecessary junk which may result in some wasted space.
It is primarily a command-line tool, but you can also use the bundled GUI right after installing it using a command.
Install rmlint in Linux
You can find it in the default repositories and to install it, type in:
sudo apt install rmlint
Once installed, you can launch the GUI using the following command:
One of the third-party apps available way back with elementaryOS Freya, GCleaner aimed to be CCleaner in GNU world. The interface resembled heavily to CCleaner. Some main features of GCleaner were:
- clean browser history
- clean app cache
- clean packages and configs
- clean recent document history
- empty recycle bin
It looks like the project has been discontinued with no activity in its GitHub page for over 2 years.
There are multiple options to choose from to clean your system and get rid of the junk files.
Depending on what you consider “junk”, the tools might differ. Also, you need to consider the ease of use, if you do not want to manually clean up things.
What is your favorite tool as the closest CCleaner alternative for Linux? Let me know in the comments down below.