Free up disk space on Arch Linux by clearing your pacman cache

Josh Sherman
1 min read
Linux Arch Linux

Generally speaking, I tend to run Linux with a single partition. But, with my work laptop, I [for some unknown reason] had opted to run with a dual partition setup, for root / and home /home.

Not the most earth shattering setup, but I did end up starving my root / partition a bit, so from time to time GNOME barks about my that partition being low on space.

Fortunately, it hasn’t been enough of an inconvenience to force me to take the time to resize my partitions, mainly because it doesn’t take much to get things back in order. The major disk space hog for me, with this configuration, has been pacman’s cache.

Clearing the cache is a quick and painless process. With one command, you’re able to remove all of the packages that have been downloaded by pacman.

Keep in mind, pacman doesn’t remove packages from the cache, even when you uninstall something! While not that big of a deal if you have a decent sized hard disk, it’s still worth pointing out you may want to run this command periodically just to clean things up.

To clear the cache of packages that pacman has downloaded, simply run:

pacman -Sc # Requires super user privileges

Then confirm that you’d like to remove all of the packages from the cache directory /var/cache/packman/pkg/, wait a moment (or a few moments depending on how large your cache is) while it runs. Then you’ll want to confirm whether or not you’d like to remove any unused repositories from /var/lib/pacman/, and you’ll be all set!

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