Leave No Trace in KDE with Sweeper

Jack Wallen
Jan 29, 2009
Updated • Jul 8, 2014

There are many reasons why you would want to employee the aid of an application to clean up after yourself (or your users). Following this advice can save space, retain your privacy, clean up your clipboard, and clear your histories (from various applications.), and deletes cookies.

Sweeper is a KDE utility included with KDE 4.2, is released under the GPL, and is currently enjoying version 1.2. Sweeper is very simple to use, does one thing and does it well.  Simplicity is certainly one of the best features in Sweeper. You start it up, select what you want to clean, and press the Clean up button. Sweeper is so simple to use, there is no documentation. So why am I writing about Sweeper? Because no one knows about this handy utility.

Starting and Using Sweeper

You can find Sweeper in the Accessories menu under the GNOME desktop. In KDE 4.x you can do a search for Sweeper (in the main menu search) and it will show up. Finding the Sweeper entry can be rough in KDE 4.x. If you click on the Main menu click on the Applications tab and then click on the Utilities entry and then click on the More Applications entry. Under the More Applications entry you will see System Cleaner menu entry, click on that to open Sweeper.

Sweeper Window
Sweeper Window

The image to the left is the only window for the Sweeper application. There is no window for settings, options, or preferences. This one window is where all the action takes place.

Once you open up the window you will see two panes. The top pane is where you select the various types of data you can clean up. The lower pane is the information pane. As data is cleaned you will see a message in the bottom window indicating the data has been cleaned up.

The buttons along the bottom are pretty obvious. The left-most button selects all data types, the middle button selects none of the data types, and the right-most button does the clean up job.

Once you clean up your system and you close Sweeper, the next time you open the application all data types will be, once again, selected. Having all data types selected is the default action and can not be changed. You can also not add data types to the applications. This is truly a "what you see is what you get" utility.

Final Thoughts

Sweeper is a great way to keep your Linux system clean and free of the tracks you often do not want to leave behind. Instead of having to manage numerous tools for this job, why not employ one single tool to do the trick for all of those cookies, files, and histories you do not want to leave around.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. yuri said on February 2, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Maybe I’ve found a bug: in sweeper click on “Select all”, then click on “Clean up”, then run konqueror and “closed item history” is not empty! If it happens to you too, please make a bug report. Many thanks.

  2. jack said on January 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Streaker: this application has nothing to do with security outside of making sure you don’t leave footprints behind. all OSs have this same problem. it’s nice that there is a single Linux tool that can take care of this issue.

  3. What is KDE? said on January 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Streaker: Linux is secure from malicious code and from breakins. But someone sitting at the console who the user sits can see all that the user can see (assuming that he has the password, or that there is no login password).

  4. jnC said on January 30, 2009 at 1:01 am

    This has nothing to do with security ;)

  5. Charax said on January 30, 2009 at 12:33 am

    It’s largely secure from external attack, it’s no more secure from someone logging in and snooping on your files and activities than windows is (ok, it’s marginally more secure at that too)

  6. Streaker said on January 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Wha.. wha.. wha…? I thought Linux was inherently secure without needing extra tools to secure the system!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.