Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 08-28-2008, 06:59 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2008
Posts: 7

Rep: Reputation: 0
question about disk space management in Linux compare to Windows

Hi all:

When I am using Windows XP, I realized I have to manually remove installation/update files windows kept. Also, there are some no so eco-friendly programs such as antivirus and acdsee that consume harddrive space like viruses.

If I don't do that once in a while, my c drive will be full.

Preparing to migrate to Linux in the near future, I wonder if Linux user have similar issues.

In Linux, do all the programs put their generated files (temp files, log files, etc) under user's home folder? Are those garbage easy to locate?
How do most Linux distros treat system update files?

Old 08-28-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 12.10 (using awesome wm though)
Posts: 3,530

Rep: Reputation: 63
The answer is a little complicated.

The Linux filesystem has places for apps to put temporary files /tmp and /var/tmp, which are cleared periodically by scheduled (cron) jobs and in the case of /tmp, at boot time.

Many apps will use these directories, sometimes quite heavily.

Some apps do not use these system wide directories. For example, Mozilla Firefox and Google Earth will both create quite a lot of cache files somewhere in your home directory.

There are tools to help you find out where your disk space is going, and these are invaluable when cleaning off files which are hogging a lot of space, and which you don't really want.

For example, the file size view in the file manager konqueror is really useful. Have a look at the screenshots on this page for a look at that an another similar tool.
Old 08-28-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,732

Rep: Reputation: 50
Most configuration files are in /etc (but custom config files can be created on a per-user basis and stored in hidden directories in the user's home directory - hidden files and directories begin with '.')

If you use a package manager, all system-wide config files are purged if you uninstall a program. Per-user config files still remain though.

FireFox and similar keep cache data and so on in each user's home directory in a .mozilla subdirectory.

Many temporary files are stored in /tmp - files in that directory are deleted periodically (if the file hasn't been accessed for a while) and all are deleted on reboot.

Package managers need to put the downloaded packages somewhere; that is distro-dependent. There is usually an option to delete the package after install but the common default is to leave the package; you need to check the documentation for your distribution and package manager. On Debian systems, the packages are in /var/cache/apt/archives
Old 08-29-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2008
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0

Those are very helpful information. I will look into those disk management tools


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need to remove Linux from a laptop(30GB drive) for more Disk space for windows jah46 Linux - Newbie 3 10-13-2007 05:23 PM
LXer: Pain-free disk space management with LVM LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-22-2007 12:30 AM
Why am I losing so much disk space with Linux (vs Windows)? jcruse Linux - Newbie 2 02-17-2005 04:53 PM
Mandrake 8.1 disk space management issue lhoff Linux - Distributions 5 11-21-2002 09:23 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration