Care and feeding of disk space on Linux

Cleaning House

Article from Issue 130/2011

You wouldn’t believe how much of the disk space on your system is wasted, filled with duplicate files, or cruft you don’t need.

The sad fact is, no matter how much disk space you have, it starts filling up pretty quickly with unnecessary junk. And necessary junk. A few thousand MP3s, lots of work documents, some movies you’ve downloaded (legally, of course) or ripped for watching on that lovely new tablet you picked up … . Pretty soon that vast expanse of empty bit-bucket has been given over to monstrous amounts of data. How does that happen?

The fact is, it’s not all your fault. A lot of stuff happens behind the scenes. Programs cache data and suck up disk space without your noticing. Logfiles grow and grow. And you contribute too, of course, saving everything because you might just need it “someday.”

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