Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cleaning up my HD

Update: 2-Jun-2013

And WinDirStat worked so amazingly well that I was able to clean up nearly 240GB of data – mostly by deciding what was waste 🙂 – And after that, I downloaded a gparted image onto a usb stick using unetbootin and repartitioned my windows HD. Booting into Windows it wanted a complete CHKDSK – ran that and all was well! Next, I went to and ended up with a cool install of Debian with KDE on my laptop. Will write a short post about what needed fixing.


My windows machine has a HD of about 500GB and I’ve got about 37 GBs available?! Where did all the space go?

What started me on this was my complacency with my Windows machine. I’ve really not de-cluttered it since the day I bought it in 2011. Of late, I’ve been experimenting so much with Linux that I wanted to try it out on my laptop too. Since I’m still a Zune user and there’s no recourse to using Zune on Linux, I’m stuck with Windows – the things we’re held back by!

Anyways, to bring this to a conclusion, I’m trying out this tool called WinDirStat – basically it’ll dump all the directories and give me an idea of where all this space is being used. I guess I could do some interesting pivots too, but if there’s a tool handy…

So here’s the link if you want to try it out too:

Scrambled bits of research

One benefit of being part of a forum, as most forum users would know, is that one gets exposed to a ton of information. Today was quite interesting that way and I learnt about the following:

  1. Loopback devices – how to get a Virtual Hard Drive and possibly even boot from it (Linux) –
  2. A free book that teaches you how to build a minimal linux installation:
  3. A tool that’ll help you fix most of your boot issues:
  4. A book on graphics programming:
  5. A manual for Aptitutde (a bit out of date, but still useful, I’m sure):
  6. And since I’m thinking of setting up a dual-boot system on my machine (Debian and Ubuntu) how to install Debian from inside Linux:
  7. And since I’m super excited about minidlna, I was happy to discover that there’s a fork that does transcoding! I’m looking forward to getting that working on my system:

Next project for me is to figure out how to get all these projects I want done done!

Controlling app initialization order

I’ve been running into a regular problem with Squid proxy – I have to restart Squid for it to work. After putting in some thought I think I have a handle on the problem. When using wired connections, the ethernet is one of the first devices to be initialized. However,  WiFi ends up being the last device initialized. So perhaps I needed to just ensure that squid started after everything else was loaded. Easier said than done. I’ve been looking for an answer and now I hit upon this document!

So first I need to figure out my runlevel.

who -r

gives me the answer. It’s 2.

So going into rc2.d I just change the filename from whatever it was to S25squid or anything bigger than my network manager 🙂

I need to test this on more than one machine to ensure that it’s working!

Frequently Used Linux Tools (FULT)


I wanted to start  by writing just about ssh – the tool to remote into another machine, but I figured why not just make a list of some cool commands/tools I use a lot in Linux!

  • rsync – awesome tool to sync files remotely or onto your usb
  • ssh – want to log onto a remote pc – use this.
  • top – process watcher – check out what your pc is preoccupied with
  • avconv – convert media files easily from one format to another. For a directory full of files, I dump the directory listing to a file and just script it. I’m sure there’s a better way, but I still consider myself a newbie. This tool is super smart. Give it the extension and it’ll figure out the codecs. e.g. avconv -i file_to_convert.avi output_file.m4v
  • aptitude – apt-get can get one into a world of trouble at times. Better use aptitude and upgrading all the needed libraries etc gets a whole lot easier. Investing a bit of time into this tool is worthwhile!
  • [ctrl]+[alt]+[f1] – every once in a while your X system will hang – go to another terminal and fix it. On most linux machines [ctrl]+[alt]+[f7] will bring you back to where you started from
  • xfwm4 –replace : Yes, my window manager hangs occasionally. When it does, this command brings it all back into working order
  • terminal – man, do I ever use this tool!
  • man or info – they’re subtly different. Info focuses on description and man on the options – but it depends on the documentation in all cases
  • adduser – I couldn’t find a user manager in xfce4, so when you want to create a user use this command
  • apropos – this is a daily use thing – helps you discover commands. "apropos add user" helped me find the add user command. It has its limits though. I had to read about ssh online