Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Myth: Linux Doesn't Need a Registry Cleaner

Some say Linux's .rpm and .deb installation packages uninstall cleanly, so there is no need for any registry cleaners like CCleaner. Here are a few counterexamples to the myth:


Years ago you installed OpenOffice.org version 1, and since you've upgraded to version 3. Now you wonder why Firefox still associates .doc files with OpenOffice.org version 1, which you long ago deleted.

OpenOffice.org didn't support .rpm or .deb installations until version 2. Version 1 copied files (including file associations and menu entries) to the user's home directory.


For users without root privileges (or just for convenience), RealPlayer11GOLD.bin installs itself to the user's home directory. Unless you use an arcane command to uninstall RealPlayer, dozens of files remain in ~/.local. I counted three menu entry .desktop files, 20 file association .desktop files, 206 PNG icons, and some translations.


Install Beagle (an indexing search tool), and it may add itself to ~/.config/autostart/, a directory for automatically starting applications with the window manager (GNOME or KDE). Then, uninstall Beagle using the standard .rpm or .deb removal method. However, the package removal method doesn't touch ~/.config/autostart/.


Install a Windows application on Linux though Wine, and Wine will integrate the Windows applications with your Linux applications. Convenient! Now, as is common with Wine, delete ~/.wine/, but the broken menu entries remain.

Unfortunately GNOME and Wine doesn't handle this situation gracefully. If you click on any one of these shortcuts, there is no error message whatsoever. Technical, the shortcut points to Wine, which is still installed, so GNOME is not aware of an error. Wine prints an error message to stderr, but that's never shown on the screen. Also, GNOME doesn't support menu editing through the intuitive right-click command.


These are just a few examples of why Linux needs a smart cleaner. It's true that there is no central "Linux registry" like Windows has, but Linux certainly does have multiple systems for registering menu entries, shortcuts, file associations, etc.

The new BleachBit 0.2.0 cleans the .desktop files from the above examples. No, there is no promise your system will run much faster. And no, it doesn't clean everything yet---remember "Release early, release often"---but tomorrow's BleachBit will go even further.

BleachBit 0.2.0 released

Does Linux need a "registry cleaner"? Some say no, but that's a myth that BleachBit busts with release of version 0.2.0.

A summary of changes from BleachBit version 0.1.1 to 0.2.0:

  • Clean broken personal menu entries (.desktop files)
  • Clean Firefox session restore (crashed sessions)
  • Clean /var/tmp/ when cleaning /tmp/
  • Clean VIM's .viminfo (which contains the "clipboard" and a history including commands and files)
  • Enable Startup Notification (a visual notification to show the application is starting)
  • Improve .deb and .rpm packaging. In particular, all .deb packages now are "all" architecture (instead of i386 and amd64).
  • Introduce install packages for Mandriva and Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)

Installation packages are available for 17 Linux distributions-versions. Download BleachBit now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BleachBit bug fix version 0.1.1 released

BleachBit version 0.1.1 is out to fix a serious bug and to add some features.

Change log:

  • Fix serious bug in finding files (found too few files in certain situations).
  • Clean cookies for RealPlayer by RealNetworks
  • Clean Mozilla Firefox offline cache
  • Clean Opera browser's opcache directory

Installation packages are available for 14 Linux distributions-platforms, and a few more are coming soon. Download BleachBit now.

BleachBit's public debut!

BleachBit version 0.1.0 is now available for download just in time for Christmas. The source code is online right now, and very soon installation packages will be available for the most popular Linux distributions: Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu.

BleachBit deletes unnecessary files to free valuable disk space and maintain privacy. It removes junk including cache, temporary files, and cookies. Designed for Linux systems, it wipes clean Bash, Beagle, Epiphany, Firefox, Adobe Flash, Java, KDE, OpenOffice.org, Opera, rpmbuild, XChat, and more.

BleachBit, the cleaning and privacy tool

Many useful and innovative features are planned, so subscribe to updates (see the home page for details).

Download BleachBit now!