Not sure anyone on the dev team will get this but I just wanted to say I really like elementary OS. I do a lot of php app development with my acer aspire one (8GB SSD) and when I was looking for a lightweight Linux OS for my netbook I found elementary OS. But with every update it grows bigger. The computer says I have 60MB left. This is sad because now I have to look for another lightweight os and start over.

2 Answers 2


It's probably kernel updates that are eating your SSD space. Regular updates just replace apps with newer version but kernel is so crucial that if something goes wrong in the new version you can be unable to boot your machine. For this reason old kernels are kept in the system so you have always working kernel to boot from.

You can check how many kernels you have and if this is your case by running in terminal e.g.:

dpkg --list | grep linux-image

You can also check what eats most space with apps like baobab or GdMap.

Now you can remove those older kernels and keep only the last two (recommended for the reasons above). On Ubuntu the most recommended way is to install Ubuntu Tweak, however this might not be the optimal way on elementary OS. You can try installing synaptic and remove old kernels manually or try some terminal scripts (one example can be found on ubuntuforums).

But before doing anything I recommend doing a bit of reading on this topic here at StackExchange/AskUbuntu to get an idea what's going on.

In Loki:

Thanks to upstream fix apt autoremove now properly removes old kernels so you can use

sudo apt autoremove

to remove all unnecessary packages, including old kernels. It's also good idea to run

sudo apt autoclean

once in a while.

  • 1
    Installing Ubuntu Tweak will cause issues because it depends on Unity. It pulls in extra packages and will alter LightDM Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 21:34
  • 1
    Thanks, it worked. Didn't want to install anything else so I used dpkg -l | grep linux-image- to list all kernels and uname - r to figure out latest. Then used sudo apt-get autoremove list-of-unwanted-kernels. Found instructions here help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/Documentation/…
    – Yega
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 14:23
  • Great :) and to @DanielForé I didn't know for sure so I went with "not optimal". Thanks for clarification.
    – jena
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 20:16
  • @DanielForé It was bugging me at the back of my head a little bit - is it possible you confused ubuntu-tweak with unity-tweak-tool? Because I just checked (with apt-cache showpkg ubuntu-tweak) and it does not depend on Unity. Ubuntu Tweak is not in repos (installs as deb package) while Unity tweak tool is in repos (and does depend on Unity). I succesfully used Ubuntu Tweak in e.g. Xubuntu and PeppermintOS without noticable issues - certainly no Unity dependencies were pulled in. It might not be optimal for elementaryOS, but I wanted to set the record staight.
    – jena
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 20:42

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