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How to clean junk files from a Linux PC with Sweeper

After a certain amount of time has passed, your Linux operating system will start to fill up with junk files. Unfortunately, most Linux distributions do not come equipped to deal with these junk files, so users are left with an operating system that starts slowing down. If you want to clean junk files on your Linux system, the best thing to do is to install a cleaning application.

One of the best cleaners on all of Linux is an app called Sweeper. The app is straightforward to use, and can deal with all kinds of junk from recent document files, to browser data, and more!

Install Sweeper

Before we can go over how to use Sweeper to clean junk files on your Linux PC, you’ll need to set it up on your computer. Luckily, installing the Sweeper application on Linux is easy, given that it’s an application that sometimes comes with the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment.

To get Sweeper installed, launch a terminal window on your Linux desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, scroll down and follow the command-line instructions that correspond with the Linux operating system you currently use.


To install Sweeper on Ubuntu, you’ll need to enable the “Universe” software source, if you don’t already have it enabled.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

Next, run the update command to set up Universe.

sudo apt update

Finally, install the Sweeper application on the Ubuntu desktop by using Apt install.

sudo apt install sweeper


Sweeper is available on Debian, though keep in mind that due to how the operating system releases updates, it may be significantly behind compared to other Linux operating systems. If you’d like to install it, enter the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install sweeper

Need the latest Sweeper release and not happy with the one that comes with Debian? Consider checking out how to install newer software on Debian!

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, users can install the Sweeper application via the “Extra” software repository. To start the installation, ensure that “Extra” is turned on in your Pacman.conf file. Then, enter the command below into a terminal.

sudo pacman -S sweeper


On Fedora Linux, you’ll be able to install Sweeper from the primary Fedora software repository. Enter the Dnf command below to get it going.

sudo dnf install sweeper


The Sweeper application is all releases of OpenSUSE Linux in the “OSS All” software repository. To install it on your system, launch a terminal window and enter the following Zypper command.

sudo zypper install sweeper

Generic Linux

The Sweeper application is part of the KDE project. As a result, you’ll probably be able to find and install the package on most Linux distributions — even obscure ones, provided that they also have KDE Plasma 5 packages in their software repository. To install it, launch a terminal and search for the keyword “sweeper” and install it the way you’d typically install software. Alternatively, download and compile the source code from this page.

Clean junk files

Sweeper is a pretty straightforward program. Once it’s open, you can see a detailed list of all of the things that the application can erase and “sweep” from your Linux PC. By default, all options are checked. To run a clean “sweep” with the app, leave all boxes checked and locate the “Clean Up” button.

Once you click the “Clean Up” button, Sweeper won’t instantaneously delete all of your junk files. Instead, a warning box will appear. In this warning box, you’ll see a message that says “You are deleting data that is potentially valuable to you. Are you sure?” Acknowledge the warning by clicking the “Continue” button.

After clicking the continue button, you’ll see a prompt in the Sweeper application that narrates what the app is cleaning. When the “sweeping” is complete, the prompt will say “Clean up finished.”

Clean system files only

Want only to clean your temporary system files and junk but don’t want to wipe out your cookies and other website information with Sweeper? You can! Here’s what to do. First, launch the app. Then, take a look at the prompt and find the “General” section and ensure that every box is checked. Then, move down to the “Web Browsing” section and uncheck every box.

When all the boxes under the “Web Browsing” section of Sweeper have been unchecked, click on the “Clean Up” button to start the cleaning process.

Clean web browser information

Sweeper can be configured to wipe just web browser and internet junk files. To do it, open up the app, locate the “General” section, and uncheck every box. After that, find “Web Browsing” and make sure that all boxes next to each of the options are checked. From there, close any open web browsers and select the “Clean Up” button to clean your internet junk files.

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