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3.3 Invoking guix-gc

Packages that are installed but not used may be garbage-collected. The guix-gc command allows users to explicitly run the garbage collector to reclaim space from the /nix/store directory.

The garbage collector has a set of known roots: any file under /nix/store reachable from a root is considered live and cannot be deleted; any other file is considered dead and may be deleted. The set of garbage collector roots includes default user profiles, and may be augmented with guix-build --root, for example (see Invoking guix-build).

The guix-gc command has three modes of operation: it can be used to garbage-collect any dead files (the default), to delete specific files (the --delete option), or to print garbage-collector information. The available options are listed below:

-C [min]
Collect garbage—i.e., unreachable /nix/store files and sub-directories. This is the default operation when no option is specified.

When min is given, stop once min bytes have been collected. min may be a number of bytes, or it may include a unit as a suffix, such as MiB for mebibytes and GB for gigabytes.

When min is omitted, collect all the garbage.

Attempt to delete all the store files and directories specified as arguments. This fails if some of the files are not in the store, or if they are still live.
Show the list of dead files and directories still present in the store—i.e., files and directories no longer reachable from any root.
Show the list of live store files and directories.