Sometimes, Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Puppy Linux are installed on very older computers which has smaller hard drives, and Solid State Drive which do not have a lot of space compared to a hard drive of the same size. These days with Steam for Linux, high speed internet file downloads, and more games and big programs coming to Linux, filling up your storage space is a common problem than the past when Linux had fewer big programs and games for it.
However, freeing up hard drive space in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and other Linux operating systems is simple to do for many computer users who use Linux. You also don’t need to use the command line, or other hard to use tools to clean up Ubuntu and other Linux operating system to free up space.
Clearing files, and web browser and computer history is also an important way to protect your privacy from other computer users since other computer users can’t easily find out what websites you been in, or what you been doing on your computer if you cleared the history on your computer by removing junk files, un-needed programs, temporary files and history files.
The first thing you can do is uninstall programs which you rarely use by using the Ubuntu Software center, or your software center program you use in your version of Linux to add and remove programs. In Ubuntu, you click on the remove button next to the installed software to remove them, you may need to enter in your username password.
It is typically safe to uninstall instant messaging software like pidgin, office suites like Abiword, Libreoffice, and Openoffice, and multimedia players like Mplayer if you rarely use them, or never use them.
If you haven’t emptied your web browser’s history in months, emptying your web browsers history in Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome could free up many GBs of space. Other programs like Word Processors, Media Players, and Image Editors may also have tools for clearing the most recent open file history list in the most recently open section of the File menu.
Looking inside your download folders for your browser may reveal big files like Linux Disc ISO files which you don’t need anymore, and can safely delete to free up GBs of space.
I found using a program called BleachBit which you can get from the Ubuntu Software Center, or bleachbit.sourceforge.net helps in freeing up many GBs of space which can come in handy when updating Ubuntu to the latest version from the internet since those Ubuntu Upgrade packages use a lot of disk space during installation. BleachBit is pretty easy to use, you just check the junk file categories which you want to delete, and click clean. BleachBit also protects your privacy by overwriting free space, removing unwanted files and entries which can reveal private info about you if someone hacked into your computer. You may need to enter in your username password before the disk cleanup can begin in Bleachbit.
Moving your non-system files to an external hard drive like WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive would also free up some hard drive space on Linux since your personal files are on a USB external hard drive rather than a system drive where you install your programs in Linux.
If your hard drive on your computer is very small, I recommend you install Puppy Linux, or run Puppy Linux off a CD, and save the Puppy Linux file to your Hard drive because Puppy Linux use very little hard drive space, and can even be installed on a hard drive which is 5GB or smaller which was more common in the 90s.