Disk space management is an essential part of server hosting. Fortunately Linux includes utilities to see which files haven’t been accessed in a while. This file attribute is called
atime (access time) and can be used with the find command.
How to find old files
find /home -atime +365
In the example above, all files from the
/home directory is searched where the last accessed (atime) is older than
This will give an accurate overview of which files haven’t been accessed in XX number of days.
The command to delete those actual files would be:
rm `find /home -atime +365`
The above high risk command may need to be used with
-f to avoid the system from asking about every file deletion.
We do not recommend using automated deletions without taking utmost care. There is a chance that application files are deleted causing programs to stop working. Instead use the first command
find command without the
rm to identify old files, and use a file manager or something like Midnight Commander to manually delete clearly identified files.