Since Arch Linux is a rolling distributive, each time I update a system by "pacman -Syu" it downloads updates of about 50-100Mb and then it unzips them which make them even bigger.

I wonder, does that mean that it takes more and more my disk space and the total size of my Arch always grows? It never gets smaller?

2 Answers 2


The … situation :) … here is that pacman doesn't clean its package cache. This is by design. Quoting the Arch Wiki:

pacman stores its downloaded packages in /var/cache/pacman/pkg/ and does not remove the old or uninstalled versions automatically, therefore it is necessary to deliberately clean up that folder periodically to prevent such folder to grow indefinitely in size.

The built-in option to remove all the cached packages that are not currently installed is:

# pacman -Sc

However, running this blindly is not advisable. Do read the Arch Wiki before doing this; there are better ways around this problem.

  • does that answer my question?
    – Oskar K.
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 5:00
  • 1
    @OskarK. Doesn't it? Did you see that part of the quote where it says "grow indefinitely in size"?
    – muru
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 5:29
  • 2
    Also you can use paccache, read: Cleaning the package cache
    – cylgalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 7:27

The main point here is that pacman keep populating your /var/cache. Which means that if you don't do the cleaning yourself, it will indefinitely grow! Apart from that, you can imagine that some software will take more space, some may take less.

If you do your housekeeping well, it shouldn't increase that much. With Arch, you are in charge and can really optimize everything. No software are added for no reason, update/upgrade happens only when you decide, and you can exclude whatever you want from being updated.

  • apart from /var/cache, doesn't installing new software imply that it takes space always? that is, however often I clean /var/cache, I'll still have less and less space each time I install an update.
    – Oskar K.
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 11:14
  • Of course, if you install new software, you'll take up some space. That's fair, isn't it? ;) I guess most software will also tend to grow, as they bring new features and so on ; some may get optimised and lose weight, but I doubt it is the common trend. All this is quite system independent. Using arch you're on the bleeding edge side of the world, and one that's very optimised too.
    – quemeraisc
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 13:15
  • how often is it recommended to run "sudo pacman -Suy"?
    – Oskar K.
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 10:27
  • I must say I tend to upgrade nearly everytime I notice there is something to upgrade :) And I just noticed that sometimes your Net Upgrade size is negative, meaning it can go down in size.
    – quemeraisc
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 19:34

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