Is there general Linux periodic maintenance that I should be doing?

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Problem :

On Windows, I used to check every so often for disk fragmentation, delete large files, defragment, check through the registry for startup entries/process hogs, etc etc.

While generally people say that Linux doesn’t need defragmentation due to the difference in storage, are there other/similar maintenance tasks that I should be doing periodically to keep my computer happy, healthy, lean, and fast?

I ask both because I want to stave off disk space issues and because I have experienced performance degrading over time, and want to mitigate such speed losses as easily and cleanly as I can.

I’m running Ubuntu.

Solution :

By large files I assume you mean logfiles that tend to grow. Linux mitigates this by rotating the logs using logrotate.

Software updates, like Muhammad pointed, are generally optional (updating for the sake of updating only isn’t good, because you’re updating something that just works). However, security updates are a must.

You can also run fslint, it will point you to misc problems with the filesystems.

Running a file integrity checker like aide is a good idea too. Maybe a rootkit scanner as well, if you feel yourself at danger.

Generally, you maintain a Linux system by reading the logs, maybe also having triggers for some events. Then you choose an appropriate action strategy.

Also, I regularly run sudo apt-get autoremove and sudo apt-get clean to keep the package manager cleaned up.

  • If it is a server, let him reboot once a year to let fsck check the file system
  • Check your backups data integrity

For the right maintenance do the following on a weekly basis:

  1. Update your system (if possible daily).
  2. Apply the tips mentioned here: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/cleaning-up-all-unnecessary-junk-files-in-ubuntu.html
  3. Install a specialized cleaning program called Bleachbit from here: bleachbit.sourceforge.net/

Those are the major aspects that you must be aware of. The rest of the notes are mentioned in the previous answers.

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