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deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:44 pm
by homerscousin
There are 4 folders on my /root partition that don't seem to be very useful. I have read a couple web pages suggesting it is safe to delete them- unless you have a particular need for them. They are usr/share/man usr/share/zoneinfo usr/share/locale and usr/share/doc. usr/share/man might be the most useful. Anyway, these 4 folders contain almost 18,000 files most of which are tiny. Has anyone done this? Do you miss any of it? I have already deleted my system wallpapers. It is so much nicer when I right click the desktop to change images and don't see a long list of unwanted thumbnails displayed.

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:20 am
by catweazel

You decide. Though I think it's madness to delete man pages.

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:20 pm
by homerscousin
I did delete zoneinfo, locale and doc. System seems to work as before.

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:24 pm
by karashata
/usr/share/man contains the various man-pages for many of the applications installed on your system. Those are pretty useful for terminal applications as they contain various flags and commands, as well as the proper syntax, that can be passed to the programs to make them perform specific functions.

/usr/share/locales appears to contain installation and removal scripts for language packs. I'm not sure if there's anything else that is supposed to be in there, as I use BleachBit to remove every localization but English from my system.

/usr/share/zoneinfo is timezone information, I would think that would be necessary, no..?

/usr/share/doc appears mostly to be package documentation, such as changelogs and copyright information, not necessarily *needed*, but as the changelogs are GZipped, I don't imagine they take up a whole lot of space... Plus on occasion it might be nice to know what's been changed in a particular package version, assuming the changelog for that package was updated with useful information.

By my estimates, based on the numbers Disk Usage Analyzer has given me for my installation, you might have saved about 136 MB by removing those folders. Assuming there was more in your locales folder than what's currently contained in mine, you may have cleared out significantly more space than I could by removing that particular folder from my system (12.3 kB), however, as I stated, I use BleachBit to remove all of the unnecessary localization stuff on my system.

If you're just looking for ways to free up a little additional space, I might recommend you install BleachBit and run that to remove unnecessary files and such from your system. It's certainly a lot safer than just deleting folders (and their contents) that don't appear to be entirely necessary, and that will reappear again later anyway when applications that put files there are updated (assuming that deleting the folders and contents doesn't break the upgrade process somehow...)

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:45 pm
by homerscousin
Freeing up space doesn't matter. I have hundreds of gigs. Sometimes I just get this bug in my head, can't find a great definitive answer, so I try it for myself. I just don't want junk files and folders on my system. Windows had quite a bit. I have Bleachbit installed and run that as user and root occasionally. I also recently ran

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get clean
. That deleted about 400 Mb of stuff I probably won't miss. I'm experimenting. Actually I have deleted a couple other folders in root that did not look useful. I might get a bit more daring after Mint 15 KDE is out and burned to a dvd just to see what I can get away with.

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:04 pm
by xenopeek
Eh? Why would you manually delete system files :( We have a package manager for a reason dude... Please instead if you want to remove system files, check from which package they were installed (dpkg -S /path/to/file) and remove the package if you don't need any of the files from that package (dpkg -L package-name). Keep your system consistent with how your package manager knows it.

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:04 pm
by eanfrid
If you want to make some cleaning, do not proceed like you did. Use your package managers to remove useless (from your own POV) packages instead of blindly deleting files&folders. You are madly putting aside what package managers are meant for and taking the risk to break packages you didn't even think they would be afterwards.

Anyway you can at least do this:
- do not automatically install "recommended" packages
- [ sudo apt-get autoremove --purge ]
- install and use "deborphan" [ sudo apt-get purge $(deborphan) ]
- install "localepurge" to keep only locales and translations you want on your system
- [ sudo apt-get clean ] to purge the cache of already downloaded and installed packages

Re: deleting unnecessary system files

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:11 pm
by homerscousin
Ok, I promise I will not go nuts with this and I will follow your advice. I just kinda like to tinker like some folks really love to overclock. I've turned off maybe a half dozen services, I turned off Akonadi this weekend, don't need it. My clean boot mem use was 570 Mb back in March. Today it is at 405.