As time passes by, operating systems tend to become sluggish if not updated and maintained properly. Although Linux devices perform slightly better when compared to Windows in the long run, minor degradation in performance of both the operating systems is inevitable.
This is generally due to the accumulation of unwanted cache, startup programs, an excessive number of running processes, and junk files that you no longer need.
While popular software like CCleaner solves these problems for Windows machines, Linux has its own counterparts for such operations. One such application is Stacer, the Linux system optimizer and application monitor.
Installing Stacer on Linux
Stacer is an open-source Linux application that you can download and use for free without needing to purchase any premium license. It is available for all major Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Arch Linux. The installation process is simple and only requires you to know the Linux distribution you're running.
You can download Stacer using the command line, as an AppImage, or as an installable package for Debian and Red Hat-based distributions from the releases page. To install using the terminal, you can run the following commands depending on your Linux distribution:
On Debian-based distributions:
sudo apt install stacer
To install Stacer on Ubuntu, you'll have to add the official Stacer PPA before downloading the package:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oguzhaninan/stacer -y
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install stacer -y
On Red Hat/Fedora:
sudo dnf install stacer
Installing Stacer on Arch-based distributions is easy as well. Since the Stacer package is not available on official Arch repositories, you will have to clone the Stacer Git repository.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/stacer.git
For more information regarding the installation process, you can visit the README section under Stacer's GitHub repository.
Features and Overview
Once you've installed Stacer, you can open it up just like any other application. Stacer comes with a modern and polished GUI to entertain the newbies and experienced Linux users alike. On startup, the system will display the Dashboard section which provides system information such as CPU usage, memory usage, and disk usage.
Along with that, information related to your Linux distribution, kernel, and hostname can also be found. Now, let's explore the features and functionalities that Stacer has to offer.
You might have noticed that some applications automatically start running in the foreground or background as soon as you boot your machine. These include popular applications like Discord and Steam. Such applications consume your RAM and slow down your system to a large extent, especially on older machines.
To disable applications from running on startup, you can go to the Startup Apps section and uncheck the ones you don't require. Ideally, you can keep it to a maximum of 2-3 applications on startup if you are low on CPU and memory.
Related: Is Linux Eating Your RAM?
Over time, applications tend to produce cache, logs, and other unwanted reports which keep on accumulating on your system. This takes up your storage and leaves you with lesser free space to store the necessary files. It is recommended to clear these unwanted files occasionally as they can regenerate themselves again if needed.
Removal of such files is made easy with the System Cleaner utility that is present in Stacer. It automatically scans your system for unwanted files and lists out the amount of space each of them is taking. You can proceed to delete these files with a single click in case you want to.
At any given time, your Linux distribution might be running multiple services to maintain the proper functionality of your device. More often than not, these services are critical and should not be stopped or turned off without a proper reason. One such service could be the Bluetooth connectivity service.
The Services section of Stacer allows you to monitor all the services on your Linux distribution and also control it from running currently or at startup. Do keep in mind that you should not enable or disable services without understanding the consequences first. Intrigued? We have a dedicated guide on controlling Linux services and daemons.
Similar to services, there are also multiple processes running at the same time. All applications, right from the desktop environment shell to the browser, are a process in Linux. Each of these processes consumes some amount of resources in terms of CPU and RAM usage.
Stacer has a dedicated Processes section that lists down all the running processes at the moment. You can look out for CPU or RAM intensive processes in this list and stop the unwanted ones to free your resources and get better performance. However, do not stop any system processes as it may lead to unexpected behavior and loss of stability.
Alternatively, you can also track the processes that are currently running on your system using the ps command.
The applications or packages you install consume most of the space on your Linux machine. While uninstalling applications via the command line takes just a single command, the variations in package managers across different distributions require the user to remember the appropriate uninstallation command.
The Uninstaller section makes this process easier and user-friendly by displaying a list of all the packages currently installed on the system. This also includes snap applications downloaded from the Snap Store, making it easy to keep track of all applications from multiple sources under a single list. You can now uninstall unwanted packages in just a single click irrespective of the distribution you use.
Alongside optimizing your Linux system, Stacer can also help you monitor your CPU usage, disk usage, memory usage, CPU load, and network activity with real-time updated graphs in its Resources section. It also consists of a pie chart of your filesystem to visualize the amount of space taken by various partitions.
Stacer also comes with a bunch of exclusive features depending upon the Linux distribution and desktop environment you're running. Ubuntu and other Debian-based distribution users can access the APT Repository Manager to add or delete package repositories while GNOME desktop users can use the GNOME Settings section to tweak the Unity settings, window manager, and appearance.
Uninstalling Stacer on Linux
Removing Stacer is just as simple as installing it in the first place. For AppImage users, you can simply delete the file to essentially uninstall Stacer from your machine. However, if you used a package manager like apt or pacman to install Stacer, you'll have to go through some extra steps.
Learn More: How to Uninstall Software in Linux With Apt
Uninstalling Stacer on Debian-based distributions is easy.
sudo apt-get remove stacer
To uninstall Stacer on Red Hat/Fedora:
sudo dnf remove stacer
On Arch Linux/Manjaro/Other Arch-based Distributions:
sudo pacman -R stacer Why Should You Use Stacer?
Stacer is a handy Linux utility-based application that allows users to optimize their system with the comfort of using a graphical user interface instead of the command line. It is a nifty tool to have at your disposal if you want to remove unwanted stuff from time to time. Stacer also caters to the newbies and makes optimizing and monitoring Linux a breeze.
Getting better at how Linux works and understanding the core processes rewards a user with great control over their system. Troubleshooting becomes an easy "one-man" job if you have enough experience as a Linux power user.