What’s nicer than a free bag of candies? The
package is just that: A bunch of small and useful utilities to make your
daily tasks easier.
Take dpigs, for instance. Just type “dpigs” and it will show you who’s
“pigging out” your system, meaning, what packages are taking the most disk
space. There’s also dgrep and dglob, to search for files in packages
or to generate a list of packages matching a certain regexp. debget
will fetch a “.deb” file for a package in the APT database, debman will
show the man page from a “.deb” file without installing it. There’s also
checkrestart, which will find and restart processes that are using
old versions of upgraded libraries and popbugs to display a list of
release-critical bugs in the package you use.
Keywords: Daily Debian, debian-goodies, utilities, dpigs, dgrep, dglob, debman
Keeping a set of directories perfectly synchronized across two computers
is more difficult than it sounds. The problem hit me when I had to keep my
home directory synchronized between my laptop and a desktop server. My gut
reaction was to use rsync, but
rsync is actually more of a fancy remote copy program than a synchronizer. I
tried all sorts of contraptions with varying degrees of success, until I
Unison is a bi-directional file synchronizer. Unlike most “synchronizers”
out there, unison keeps the state of your two “replicas” and propagates the
changes made to the first replica into the second, and vice-versa. Removing
a file, or directory, from one of the replicas will cause unison to remove
that file or directory from the other replica. The same happens if you modify
or add files. Conflicts are handled gracefully by unison too; the program
pauses and asks the user what it should do: copy from A to B, copy from B to
A or try to merge.
Unison can use SSH as a transport to the remote replica, and also offers
a whole array of configuration options to fine-tune the replication
The unison package provides a text-mode version of
unison, suitable for usage in a batch environment. Those
afflicted by command-line applications will find relief in
unison-gtk, a version of
unison that provides a clean and functional GTK interface.
Keywords: Daily Debian, unison, unison-gtk, rsync, replication, synchronizer, mirror
Dillo is an incredibly fast,
lightweight web browser based on GTK. It is specially useful as a graphical
alternative to text-mode html browsers like lynx
and w3m. Dillo is lean on memory,
and occupies around 5MB (RSS) when viewing Yahoo! for instance.
Dillo is my browser of choice for small HTML viewing tasks, and is my default
browser to see HTML mail when I’m using mutt in a graphical environment.
Keywords: Daily Debian, dillo, browser, web-browser, www, html, lynx, w3m
The scenario is all too common: You install a new package, and the
package requires a number of libraries. Apt-get, in its blind usefulness,
automatically installs the libraries. A few days later, you decide to remove
the package from the system. The libraries stay behind, not being used by
anyone, taking disk space.
If that seems familiar, you may wish to try
deborphan. Deborphan is
a command-line tool that lists all library packages in the system that are
not being used by any other application. Besides the basic report, it is also
possible to show all library dependencies (deborphan -d), or all packages
that no other packages depend on (deborphan -a), among others. Deborphan also
comes with “orphaner”, a full-screen dialog front-end to help in the task of
removing packages from the system.
Deborphan is a small and useful utility that will help save disk space and
keep a tidy system. No Debian sysadmin should be without it.
Keywords: Daily Debian, deborphan, orphaned packages, libraries, sysadmin