Debian / Ubuntu Linux: Clear the Package Cache

Q. I’ve Debian Linux installed on 10 GB hard disk and noticed that /var/cache/apt/archives/ has lots of file taking my precious 1Gb disk space. Can I remove those file safely without causing any side effect on my setup?

A.If you are running out of disk space, you can try deleting the cache of package files. By default, the apt willkeep all the packages it has downloaded in case they’re needed in the future.

apt-get clean command clears out the local repository of retrieved package files. It removes everything but the lock file from /var/cache/apt/archives/ and /var/cache/apt/archives/partial/. When APT is used as a dselect method, clean is run automatically. Those who do not use dselect will likely want to run apt-get clean from time to time to free up disk space.

To clear the cache from the command line, type the following:
$ sudo apt-get clean
OR
# apt-get clean

There is also autoclean option. Like clean, autoclean clears out the local repository of retrieved package files. The difference is that it only removes package files that can no longer be downloaded, and are largely useless. This allows a cache to be maintained over a long period without it growing out of control. The configuration option APT::Clean-Installed will prevent installed packages from being erased if it is set to off.