Technology, like so many other things, seems to be a bit cyclic. In the 90’s we always worried about conserving disk space as it cost a small fortune. Compact code, small files, and making every bit count were just how we did it. Then as hard drives got bigger fast, we started caring less. Fast forward to the 2020’s and nobody thinks a think about having 3,000 photos of questionable utility on their phone at any one time. Then there’s the slow and slightly awkward transition from inexpensive spinning storage to fast and error resistant solid state drives. While SSDs have come down in cost significantly over the last few years, many laptop users find themselves always bumping up against that storage quota. Luckily, there’s an easy way to free up a few gigs if you’re a conda user.

The conda clean command is a built in utility to remove and clear various caches, logfiles, tarballs, etc. There are a few options, but generally removing tarballs and packages every few months saves me 3-6GB routinely. As always, make sure you know what you’re doing when removing files, do a dry-run, and be responsible. Though, to be fair, I’ve never had conda clean cause me any problems. Checkout the video produced for our friends at Unidata below on a quick tutorial and demonstration of how to use this easy and powerful tool.


Python really is a great all-purpose attack tool for many scientific problems. It is easy to learn compared to many other languages, plenty fast, has lots of domain specific libraries like MetPy, and best of all is open-source! (Remember, we love open source here.) If you want to learn more Python and how to apply it to your field or need help on a project, don’t forget to checkout our training courses and see how we can help accelerate your team with on-site or online training from 2 to 5 days.

John Leeman
Follow me