Archive for the ‘Linux on Laptops’ Category

Linux show largest sized packages / Which Deb, RPM Linux installed package use most disk space and How to Free Space for critical system updates

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Reading Time: 16minutes


A very common problem that happens on both Linux installed servers and Desktop Linux is a starting to fill / (root partition). This problem could happen due to several reasons just to point few of them out of my experience low disk space (ending free space) could be due to:

– Improper initial partitioning / bad space planning / or OS install made in a hurry (due to time constrains)
– Linux installed on old laptop machine with low Hard Disk Drive capacity (e.g. 80 Giga / 160 GB)
– Custom user partitioning on install time aiming for a small root partition originally and changing space requirements in time
– Due to increasing space taken by Linux updates / user stored files etc / distribution OS Level upgrades dist-upgrades.
– Improperly assigned install time partitions cause of lack of knowledge to understand how partitioning is managed.
– Due to install being made in a hurry

– Linux OS installed on a Cloud based VPN (e.g. running) in a Cloud Instance that is hosted in Amazon EC2, Linode, Digital Ocean, Hostgator etc.

So here is a real time situation that happened me many times, you're launching an apt-get upgrade / apt-get dist-upgrade or yum upgrade the packages are about to start downloading or downloaded and suddenly you get a message of not enough disk space to apply OS package updates …
That's nasty stuff mostly irritating and here there are few approaches to take.

a. perhaps easiest you can ofcourse extend the partition (with a free spaced other Primary or Extended partition) with something like:

parted (the disk partitioning manipulator for Linux), gparted (in case if Desktop with GUI / XOrg server running)

b. if not enough space on the Hard Disk Drive or SSD (Solid State Drive) and you have a budget to buy and free laptop / PC slot to place another physical HDD to clone it to a larger sized HDD and use some kind of partition clone tool, such as:

or any of the other multiple clone tools available in Linux.

But what if you don't have the option for some reason to extend the paritiotn, how can you apply the Critical Security Errata Updates issued to patch security vulnerabilities reported by well known CVEs?
Well you can start with the obvious easy you can start removing unnecessery stuff from the system (if home is also stored on the / – root partiiton) to delete something from there, even delete the /usr/local/man pages if you don't plan to read it free some logs by archiving purging logs from /var/log/* …

But if this is not possible, a better approach is simply try to remove / purge any .deb / .rpm whatever distro package manager packages that are not necessery used and just hanging around, that is often the case especially on Linux installed on Notebooks for a personal home use, where with years you have installed a growing number of packages which you don't actively use but installed just to take a look, while hunting for Cool Linux games and you wanted to give a try to Battle of Wesnoth  / FreeCIV / AlienArena / SuperTux Kart / TuxRacer etc.  or some GUI heavy programs like Krita / Inskape / Audacity etc.

To select which package might be not needed and just takes space hence you need to to list all installed packages on the system ordered by their size this is different in Debian based Linuces e.g. – Debian GNU / Linux / Ubuntu / Mint etc. and RPM based ones Fedora / CentOS / OpenSuSE


1. List all RPM installed packages by Size on CentOS / SuSE

Finding how much space each of the installed rpm packages take on the HDD and displaying them in a sorted order is done with:

rpm -qa –queryformat '%10{size} – %-25{name} \t %{version}\n' | sort -n

From the command above,  the '%10{size}' option aligns the size of the package to the right with a padding of 10 characters. The '%-25{name} aligns the name of the package to the left, padded to 25 characters. The '%{version} indicates the version and 'sort -n' flag sorts the packages according to size from the smallest to the largest in bytes.


2. List all installed RPM packages sorted by size on Fedora

Fedora has introduced the dnf package manager instead of yum, to get how much size individual rpm package occupies on system:

dnf info samba
Available Packages
Name        : samba
Arch        : x86_64
Epoch       : 2
Version     : 4.1.20
Release     : 1.fc21
Size        : 558 k
Repo        : updates
Summary     : Server and Client software to interoperate with Windows machines
URL         :
License     : GPLv3+ and LGPLv3+
Description : Samba is the standard Windows interoperability suite of programs
            : for Linux and Unix.


To get a list of all packages on system with their size

dnf info * | grep -i "Installed size" |sort -n


3. List all installed DEB packages on Debian / Ubuntu / Mint etc. with dpkg / aptitude / apt-get and wajig


The most simple way to get a list of largest packages is through dpkg


# dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -n
6       default-jre
6       libpython-all-dev
6       libtinfo-dev
6       python-all
6       python-all-dev
6       task-cinnamon-desktop
6       task-cyrillic
6       task-desktop
6       task-english
6       task-gnome-desktop
6       task-laptop
6       task-lxde-desktop
6       task-mate-desktop
6       task-print-server
6       task-ssh-server
6       task-xfce-desktop
8       mysql-client
8       printer-driver-all

207766    libwine
215625    google-chrome-stable
221908    libwine
249401    frogatto-data
260717    linux-image-4.19.0-5-amd64
262512    linux-image-4.19.0-6-amd64
264899    mame
270589    fonts-noto-extra
278903    skypeforlinux
480126    metasploit-framework

above cmd displays packages in size order, largest package last, but the output will include also size of packages, that used to exist,
have been removed but was not purged. Thus if you find  a package that is shown as very large by size but further dpkg -l |grep -i package-name shows package as purged e.g. package state is not 'ii' but 'rc', the quickest work around is to purge all removed packages, that are still not purged and have some configuration remains and other chunks of data that just take space for nothing with:

# dpkg –list |grep "^rc" | cut -d " " -f 3 | xargs sudo dpkg –purge

Be cautious when you execute above command, because if for some reason you uninstalled a package with the idea to keep old configuration files only and in case if you decide to use it some time in future to reuse already custom made configs but do run above purge commands all such package saved kept configs will disappear.
For people who don't want to mess up with, uninstalled but present packages use this to filter out ready to be purged state packages.

# dpkg-query -Wf '${db:Status-Status} ${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sed -ne 's/^installed //p'|sort -n

aptitude – (high level ncurses interface like to package management) can also be easily used to list largest size packages eating up your hard drive in both interactive or cli mode, like so:


# aptitude search –sort '~installsize' –display-format '%p %I' '~i' | head
metasploit-framework 492 MB
skypeforlinux 286 MB
fonts-noto-extra 277 MB
mame 271 MB
linux-image-4.19.0-6-amd64 269 MB
linux-image-4.19.0-5-amd64 267 MB
frogatto-data 255 MB
libwine 227 MB
google-chrome-stable 221 MB
libwine:i386 213 MB


  • –sort is package sort order, and ~installsize specifies a package sort policy.
  • installsize means 'sort on (estimated) installed size', and the preceding ~ means sort descending (since default for all sort policies is ascending).
  • –display-format changes the <you guessed :->. The format string '%p %I' tells aptitude to output package name, then installed size.
  • '~i' tells aptitude to search only installed packages.

How much a certain .deb package removal will free up on the disk can be seen with apt-get as well to do so for the famous 3D acceleration Graphic Card (enabled) or not  test game extremetuxracer

apt-get –assume-no –purge remove "texlive*" | grep "be freed" | 
   awk '{print $4, $5}'

Perhaps,  the easiest to remember and more human readable output biggest packages occupied space on disk is to install and use a little proggie called wajig to do so


# apt install –yes wajig


Here is how to pick up 10 biggest size packages.

root@jeremiah:/home/hipo# wajig large|tail -n 10
fonts-noto-cjk-extra               204,486      installed
google-chrome-stable               215,625      installed
libwine                            221,908      installed
frogatto-data                      249,401      installed
linux-image-4.19.0-5-amd64         260,717      installed
linux-image-4.19.0-6-amd64         262,512      installed
mame                               264,899      installed
fonts-noto-extra                   270,589      installed
skypeforlinux                      278,903      installed
metasploit-framework               480,126      installed

As above example lists a short package name and no description for those who want get more in depth knowledge on what exactly is the package bundle used for use:

# aptitude search –sort '~installsize' –display-format '%30p %I %r %60d' '~i' |head

%30p %I %r %60d display more information in your format string, or change field widths, enhanced format string

Meaning of parameters is:

  • %30p : package name in field width=30 char
  • %I : estimated install size
  • %r : 'reverse depends count': approximate number of other installed packages which depend upon this package
  • %60d : package's short description in field width=60 char

wajig is capable is a python written and idea is to easify Debian console package management (so you don't have to all time remember when and with which arguments to use apt-get / apt-cache etc.), below is list of commands it accepts.


root@jeremiah:/home/hipo## wajig commands
addcdrom           Add a Debian CD/DVD to APT's list of available sources
addrepo            Add a Launchpad PPA (Personal Package Archive) repository
aptlog             Display APT log file
autoalts           Mark the Alternative to be auto-set (using set priorities)
autoclean          Remove no-longer-downloadable .deb files from the download cache
autodownload       Do an update followed by a download of all updated packages
autoremove         Remove unused dependency packages
build              Get source packages, unpack them, and build binary packages from them.
builddeps          Install build-dependencies for given packages
changelog          Display Debian changelog of a package
clean              Remove all deb files from the download cache
contents           List the contents of a package file (.deb)
dailyupgrade       Perform an update then a dist-upgrade
dependents         Display packages which have some form of dependency on the given package
describe           Display one-line descriptions for the given packages
describenew        Display one-line descriptions of newly-available packages
distupgrade        Comprehensive system upgrade
download           Download one or more packages without installing them
editsources        Edit list of Debian repository locations for packages
extract            Extract the files from a package file to a directory
fixconfigure       Fix an interrupted install
fixinstall         Fix an install interrupted by broken dependencies
fixmissing         Fix and install even though there are missing dependencies
force              Install packages and ignore file overwrites and depends
hold               Place packages on hold (so they will not be upgraded)
info               List the information contained in a package file
init               Initialise or reset wajig archive files
install            Package installer
installsuggested   Install a package and its Suggests dependencies
integrity          Check the integrity of installed packages (through checksums)
large              List size of all large (>10MB) installed packages
lastupdate         Identify when an update was last performed
listall            List one line descriptions for all packages
listalternatives   List the objects that can have alternatives configured
listcache          List the contents of the download cache
listcommands       Display all wajig commands
listdaemons        List the daemons that wajig can start, stop, restart, or reload
listfiles          List the files that are supplied by the named package
listhold           List packages that are on hold (i.e. those that won't be upgraded)
listinstalled      List installed packages
listlog            Display wajig log file
listnames          List all known packages; optionally filter the list with a pattern
listpackages       List the status, version, and description of installed packages
listscripts        List the control scripts of the package of deb file
listsection        List packages that belong to a specific section
listsections       List all available sections
liststatus         Same as list but only prints first two columns, not truncated
localupgrade       Upgrade using only packages that are already downloaded
madison            Runs the madison command of apt-cache
move               Move packages in the download cache to a local Debian mirror
new                Display newly-available packages
newdetail          Display detailed descriptions of newly-available packages
news               Display the NEWS file of a given package
nonfree            List packages that don't meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines
orphans            List libraries not required by any installed package 
policy             From preferences file show priorities/policy (available)
purge              Remove one or more packages and their configuration files
purgeorphans       Purge orphaned libraries (not required by installed packages)
purgeremoved       Purge all packages marked as deinstall
rbuilddeps         Display the packages which build-depend on the given package
readme             Display the README file(s) of a given package
recdownload        Download a package and all its dependencies
recommended        Display packages installed as Recommends and have no dependents
reconfigure        Reconfigure package
reinstall          Reinstall the given packages
reload             Reload system daemons (see LIST-DAEMONS for available daemons)
remove             Remove packages (see also PURGE command)
removeorphans      Remove orphaned libraries
repackage          Generate a .deb file from an installed package
reportbug          Report a bug in a package using Debian BTS (Bug Tracking System)
restart            Restart system daemons (see LIST-DAEMONS for available daemons)
rpm2deb            Convert an .rpm file to a Debian .deb file
rpminstall         Install an .rpm package file
search             Search for package names containing the given pattern
searchapt          Find nearby Debian package repositories
show               Provide a detailed description of package
sizes              Display installed sizes of given packages
snapshot           Generates a list of package=version for all installed packages
source             Retrieve and unpack sources for the named packages
start              Start system daemons (see LIST-DAEMONS for available daemons)
status             Show the version and available versions of packages
statusmatch        Show the version and available versions of matching packages
stop               Stop system daemons (see LISTDAEMONS for available daemons)
tasksel            Run the task selector to install groups of packages
todo               Display the TODO file of a given package
toupgrade          List versions of upgradable packages
tutorial           Display wajig tutorial
unhold             Remove listed packages from hold so they are again upgradeable
unofficial         Search for an unofficial Debian package at
update             Update the list of new and updated packages
updatealternatives Update default alternative for things like x-window-manager
updatepciids       Updates the local list of PCI ids from the internet master list
updateusbids       Updates the local list of USB ids from the internet master list
upgrade            Conservative system upgrade
upgradesecurity    Do a security upgrade
verify             Check package's md5sum
versions           List version and distribution of given packages
whichpackage       Search for files matching a given pattern within packages


4. List installed packages order by size in Arch Linux

ArchLinux is using the funny named package manager – pacman (a nice prank for the good old arcade game).
What is distinctive of pacman uses libalpm (Arch Linux Package Management (ALPM) library) as a back-end to perform all the actions.


# pacman -Qi | awk '/^Name/{name=$3} /^Installed Size/{print $4$5, name}' | sort -hr | head -25
296.64MiB linux-firmware
144.20MiB python
105.43MiB gcc-libs
72.90MiB python2
66.91MiB linux
57.47MiB perl
45.49MiB glibc
35.33MiB icu
34.68MiB git
30.96MiB binutils
29.95MiB grub
18.96MiB systemd
13.94MiB glib2
13.79MiB coreutils
13.41MiB python2-boto
10.65MiB util-linux
9.50MiB gnupg
8.09MiB groff
8.05MiB gettext
7.99MiB texinfo
7.93MiB sqlite
7.15MiB bash
6.50MiB lvm2
6.43MiB openssl
6.33MiB db

There is another mean to list packages by size using a ArchLinux tool called pacgraph


# pacgraph -c | head -25

Autodetected Arch.
Loading package info
Total size: 1221MB
367MB linux
144MB pacgraph
98MB cloud-init
37MB grub
35MB icu
34MB git
31698kB binutils
19337kB pacman
11029kB man-db
8186kB texinfo
8073kB lvm2
7632kB nano
7131kB openssh
5735kB man-pages
3815kB xfsprogs
3110kB sudo
3022kB wget
2676kB tar
2626kB netctl
1924kB parted
1300kB procps-ng
1248kB diffutils




4. Debian Goodies



Most debian users perhaps never hear of debian-goodies package, but I thought it is worthy to mention it as sooner or later as a sysadmin or .deb based Desktop user it might help you somewhere.

Debian-goodies is sall toolbox-style utilities for Debian systems
 These programs are designed to integrate with standard shell tools,
 extending them to operate on the Debian packaging system.

  dglob  – Generate a list of package names which match a pattern
           [dctrl-tools, apt*, apt-file*, perl*]
  dgrep  – Search all files in specified packages for a regex
           [dctrl-tools, apt-file (both via dglob)]
 These are also included, because they are useful and don't justify
 their own packages:
           – find packages which enhance installed packages [apt,
           – Help to find and restart processes which are using old versions
               of upgraded files (such as libraries) [python3, procps, lsof*]
  debget     – Fetch a .deb for a package in APT's database [apt]
  debman     – Easily view man pages from a binary .deb without extracting
               [man, apt* (via debget)]
  debmany    – Select manpages of installed or uninstalled packages [man |
               sensible-utils, whiptail | dialog | zenity, apt*, konqueror*,
               libgnome2-bin*, xdg-utils*]
  dhomepage  – Open homepage of a package in a web browser [dctrl-tools,
               sensible-utils*, www-browser* | x-www-browser*]
  dman       – Fetch manpages from online service [curl,
               man, lsb-release*]
  dpigs      – Show which installed packages occupy the most space
             – Get list of dbgsym packages from core dump or PID [dctrl-tools,
               elfutils, libfile-which-perl, libipc-system-simple-perl]
  popbugs    – Display a customized release-critical bug list based on
               packages you use (using popularity-contest data) [python3,
             – find which package might have broken another [python3, apt]
             – find which package might have broken the build of another
               [python3 (via which-pkg-broke), apt]

Even simpler by that is to use dpigs shell script part of the debian-goodies package which will automatically print out the largest packages.

dpigs command output is exactly the same as 'dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -nr | head', but is useful cause you don't have to remember that complex syntax.


5. Checking where your space is gone in a Spacesniffer like GUI manner with Baobab

In my prior article Must have software on a new installed Windows 2 of the  of the precious tools to set are Spacesniffer and WinDirStat.
Windows users will be highly delighted to know that SpaceSniffer equivallent is already present on Linux – say hello baobab.
is simple but useful Graphic disk usage overview program for those who don't want to mess to much with the console / terminal to find out which might be the possible directory candidate for removal. It is very simplistic but it does well what it is aimed for, to install it on a Debian or .deb based OS.

# apt install –yes baobab


baobab Linux Hard Disk Usage Analyzer for GNOME. – It can easily scan either the whole filesystem or a specific user-requested branch (Iocal or remote)



Baobab / (root) directory statistics Rings Chart pie



baobab – Treemap Chart for directory usage sorted by size on disk 

!!! Note that before removing any files found as taking up too much space with baobab – make sure this files are not essential parts of a .deb package first, otherwise you might break up your system !!!

KDE (Plasma) QT library users could use Qdirstat instead of baobab 

qdirstat-on-gnu-linur checking what is the disk space bottleneck qdirstat KDE

6. Use ncdu or duper perl script tool to generate directory disk usage in ASCII chart bar

ncdu and duper are basicly the same except one is using ncurses and is interactive in a very simplistic interface with midnight commander.

# apt install –yes ncdu
# ncdu /root



# apt-get install –yes durep
# durep -td 1 /usr

[ /usr    14.4G (0 files, 11 dirs) ]
   6.6G [#############                 ]  45.54% lib/
   5.5G [###########                   ]  38.23% share/
   1.1G [##                            ]   7.94% bin/
 552.0M [#                             ]   3.74% local/
 269.2M [                              ]   1.83% games/
 210.4M [                              ]   1.43% src/
  88.9M [                              ]   0.60% libexec/
  51.3M [                              ]   0.35% sbin/
  41.2M [                              ]   0.28% include/
   8.3M [                              ]   0.06% lib32/
 193.8K [                              ]   0.00% lib64/




In this article, I've shortly explained the few approach you can take to handle low disk space preventing you to update a regular security updates on Linux.
The easiest one is to clone your drive to a bigger (larger) sized SATA HDD or SDD Drive or using a free space left on a hard drive to exnted the current filling up the root partition. 

Further, I looked through the common reasons for endind with a disk being low spaced and a quick work around to free disk space through listing and purging larges sized package, this is made differently in different Linux distributions, because different Linux has different package managers. As I'm primary using Debian, I explained thoroughfully on how this is achieved with apt-get / dpkg-query / dpkg / aptitude and the little known debian-goodies .deb package manager helper pack. For GUI Desktop users there is baobab / qdirstat. ASCII lovers could enjoy durep and ncdu.

That's all folks hope you enjoyed and learned something new. If you know of other cool tools or things this article is missing please share.

Upgrade Debian Linux 9 to 10 Stretch to Buster and Disable graphical service load boot on Debian 10 Linux / Debian Buster is out

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Reading Time: 5minutes


I've just took a time to upgrade my Debian 9 Stretch Linux to Debian Buster on my old school Laptop (that turned 11 years old) Lenovo Thinkpad R61 . The upgrade went more or less without severe issues except few things.

The overall procedure followed is described n a few websites out there already and comes up to;


0. Set the proper repository location in /etc/apt/sources.list

Before update the sources.list used are:

deb [arch=amd64,i386] buster main contrib non-free
deb-src [arch=amd64,i386] buster main contrib non-free


deb [arch=amd64,i386] buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src [arch=amd64,i386] buster/updates main contrib non-free

deb [arch=amd64,i386] buster-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src [arch=amd64,i386] buster-updates main contrib non-free

deb buster-backports main

For people that had stretch defined in /etc/apt/sources.list you should change them to buster or stable, easiest and quickest way to omit editting with vim / nano etc. is run as root or via sudo:

sed -i 's/stretch/buster/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
sed -i 's/stretch/buster/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list

The minimum of config in sources.list afterthe modificationshould be

deb buster main
deb buster-updates main
deb buster/updates main

Or if you want to always be with latest stable packages (which is my practice for notebooks):

deb stable main
deb stable-updates main
deb stable/updates main


1. Getting list of hold packages if such exist and unholding them, e.g.


apt-mark showhold

Same could also be done via dpkg

dpkg –get-selections | grep hold

To unhold a package if such is found:

echo "package_name install"|sudo dpkg –set-selections

For those who don't know what hold package is this is usually package you want to keep at certain version all the time even though after running apt-get upgrade to get the latest package versions.

2. Use df -h and assure you have at least 5 – 10 GB free space on root directory / before proceed

df -h /

3. Update packages list to set new set repos as default

apt update


4. apt upgrade

apt upgrade

Here some 10 – 15 times you have to confirm what you want to do with configuration that has changed if you're unsure about the config (and it is not critical service) you're aware as such as Apache / MySQL / SMTP etc. it is best to install the latest maintainer version.

Hopefully here you will not get fatal errors that will interrupt it.

P.S. It is best to run apt-update either in VTTY (Virtual console session) with screen or tmux or via a physical tty (if this is not a remote server) as during the updates your GUI access to the gnome-terminal or konsole / xterm whatever console used might get cut. Thus it is best to do it with command:

screen apt upgrade


5. Run dist-upgrade to finalize the upgrade from Stertch to Buster


Once all is completed of the new installed packages, you will need to finally do, once again it is best to run via screen, if you don't have installed screen install it:


if [ $(which screen) ]; then echo 'Installed'; else apt-get install –yes screen ; fi

screen apt dist-upgrade

Here once again you should set whether old configuration to some e services has to stay or the new Debian maintainer package shipped one will overwrite the old and locally modified (due to some reason), here do wisely whatever you will otherwise some configured services might not boot as expected on next boot.


6. What if you get packages failed on update

If you get a certain package failed to configure after installed due to some reason, if it is a systemd service use:


journalctl -xe |head -n 50

or fully observer output of journalctl -xe and decide on yourself.

In most cases

dpkg-reconfigure failed-package-name

should do the trick or at least give you more hints on how to solve it.


Also if a package seems to be in inconsistent or broken state after upgrade  and simple dpkg-reconfigure doesn't help, a good command
that can help you is


dpkg-reconfigure -f package_name


or you can try to workaround a failed package setup with:

dpkg –configure -a

If dpkg-reconfigure doesn't help either as I experienced in prior of Debian from Debian 6 -> 7 an Debian 7 ->8 updates on some Computers, then a very useful thing to try is:

apt-get update –fix-missing 

apt-get install -f

At certain cases the only work around to be able to complete the package upgrade is to to remove the package with apt remove but due to config errors even that is not possible to work around this as final resort run:

dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq


7. Clean up ununeeded packages


Some packages are left over due to package dependencies from Stretch and not needed in buster anymore to remove them.

apt autoremove


8. Reboot system once all upgrade is over




9. Verify your just upgraded Debian is in a good state


root@noah:~# uname -a;
Linux noah 4.19.0-5-rt-amd64 #1 SMP PREEMPT RT Debian 4.19.37-5 (2019-06-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux


root@noah:~# cat /etc/
Debian GNU/Linux 10


root@noah:~# lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:    Debian
Description:    Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
Release:    10
Codename:    buster


root@noah:~# hostnamectl
   Static hostname: noah
         Icon name: computer-laptop
           Chassis: laptop
        Machine ID: 4759d9c2f20265938692146351a07929
           Boot ID: 256eb64ffa5e413b8f959f7ef43d919f
  Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
            Kernel: Linux 4.19.0-5-rt-amd64
      Architecture: x86-64


10. Remove annoying picture short animation with debian logo looping



By default Debian 10 boots up with annoying screen hiding all the status of loaded services state .e.g. you cannot see the services that shows in [ FAILED ] state and  which do show as [ OK ] to revert back the old behavior I'm used to for historical reasons and as it shows a lot of good Boot time debugging info, in previous Debian distributions this was possible  by setting the right configuration options in /etc/default/grub

which so far in my config was like so

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash scsi_mod.use_blk_mq=y dm_mod.use_blk_mq=y zswap.enabled=1 text"

Note that zswap.enabled=1 passed option is because my notebook is pretty old machine from 2008 with 4GB of memory and zswapdoes accelerate performance when working with swap – especially helpful on Older PCs for more you can read more about zswap on ArchLinux wiki
After modifying this configuration to load the new config into grub the cmd is:


As this was not working and tried number of reboots finally I found that annoying animated gif like picture shown up is caused by plymouth below is excerpts from Plymouth's manual page:

       "The plymouth sends commands to a running plymouthd. This is used during the boot process to control the display of the graphical boot splash."

Plymouth has a set of themes one can set:


# plymouth-set-default-theme -l


I tried to change that theme to make the boot process as text boot as I'm used to historically with cmd:

update-alternatives –config text.plymouth

As after reboot I hoped the PC will start booting in text but this does not happened so the final fix to turn back to textmode service boot was to completely remove plymouth

apt-get remove –yes plymouth

How to install custom Font files on Linux with font-viewer, fc-cache, font-manager – Install Church Slavonic fonts on GNU / Linux

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Reading Time: 3minutes


If you're regularly using GIMP for Image Editing or LibreOffice for Office stuff or any other program that you might use to add / edit fonts, then you certainly will come to a point wondering how to manually add new .TTF (TrueType Fonts) or .AFM .PBM.
Using apt-get  install tool multiple fonts can be searched in Debian / Ubuntu repos, but adding a third party fonts provided by some random graphics designer is a necessity.

For example earlier I've blogged on What is Church Slavonic and collected a large collection pack of Church Slavonic fonts ready which I used to install at that time on a Windows 7 PC, question comes how this fonts once downloaded can be added / installed so Xorg running and Font rendering programs on GNU / Linux are aware of the new downloaded fonts and can be used in various programs?


The easiest way to install font in Linux is to Double click over the new font you want to install that would run Font Viewer program in GNOME GUI environment when clicked over fonts the  gnome-font-viewer) opens, however it is tedicious task to install in that manner if you have to instal some new100 or 200 fonts by clicking over each.

To make the new downloaded pack of fonts on a user level it is as simple as downloading the number of fonts and placing them in $HOME/fontsfolder e.g. in ~/.fonts (in some distributions placing the new fonts under ~/usr/local/share/fontsmakes them available for use on next Xsession login.

To make new fonts available system-wide (e.g. for all existing or logged in in Xorg) users it is as simple as copying all new font files (TTF, PFM, PFB etc.) you'd like to add to /usr/local/share/fonts:

# cp -rpf ~/Desktop/fonts-folder/* /usr/local/share/fonts/

And run fs-cache to rescan and build new font cache files based on the fonts copied


 fc-cache -f -v

To check whether the new fonts are present you can list all available fonts with:




/usr/share/fonts/truetype/lato/Lato-Medium.ttf: Lato,Lato Medium:style=Medium,Regular
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/comicbd.ttf: Comic Sans MS:style=Bold,Negreta,tučné,fed,Fett,Έντονα,Negrita,Lihavoitu,Gras,Félkövér,Grassetto,
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/lato/Lato-SemiboldItalic.ttf: Lato,
Lato Semibold:style=Semibold Italic,Italic
/usr/local/share/fonts/TriKUcs.pfb: Triodion kUcs:style=Regular
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/dejavu/DejaVuSerif-Bold.ttf: DejaVu Serif:style=Bold
/usr/local/share/fonts/OglUcs8.ttf: Oglavie Ucs:style=Regular
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSansThai-Regular.ttf: Noto Sans Thai:style=Regular
/usr/local/share/fonts/freefont-20080323/FreeSerifBold.ttf: FreeSerif:style=Bold,polkrepko
/usr/local/share/fonts/TITUSEN.TTF: Titus SyriacEstrangelo:style=Regular
/usr/local/share/fonts/feofanucs.ttf: Feofan Ucs:style=Regular
/usr/local/share/fonts/OstgDSoIEUcs8.ttf: Ostrog\-Dol ieUcs:style=SpacedOut
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/dejavu/DejaVuSansMono.ttf: DejaVu Sans Mono:style=Book
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSansCypriot-Regular.ttf: Noto Sans Cypriot:style=Regular
/usr/local/share/fonts/ZlatUcs.pfb: Zlatoust Ucs:style=Regular


To look for a certain font supposed to be installed run cmd:


fc-list|grep -i "Times New Roman"
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/Times_New_Roman.ttf: Times New Roman:style=Regular,Normal,obyčejné,Standard,Κανονικά,


fc-list|grep -i "slavonic"
/usr/local/share/fonts/TITUSN__.TTF: Titus Slavonic:style=Normal



Another good tool for GNOME users is font-manager if you don't have it already installed:


apt-get install font-manager

One of the cool things about it is it can show you Licensing of each of system installed fonts the full list of font character sets and could visualize you different pixel font sizes in the so called "waterfall" font view.

Prepare (Burn) USB drive on Linux – Install Linux USB drive instead of CD / DVD

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Reading Time: 2minutes


If you have a new Laptop and you planned to install a Linux any distribution OS on it but the laptop is a new hardware model and doesn't have a CD / DVD drive as most of notebook nowadays you might be wondering how to setup USB Linux bootable image, well you can simply use your favorite distro provided ISO (Debian / Ubuntu / Fedora) whatever burn it to a USB flash drive and boot from USB the Linux installer program. of course assuming ou have it configured in your UEFI BIOS.
For the task you need to Burn the respecive distribution ISO to the USB using simple command line.

To do so simply download your Linux distribution latest ISO file and issue with root in physical terminal / gnome-terminal or konsole.

cat debian-linux-iso-name.iso > /dev/sdb; sync


If you happen to keep any data on the USB flash drive, above command would wipe it out from USB drive so be sure to prepare your existing data a backup somewhere before proceeding.

Also beware to not provide the wrong /dev/sdb device to the command as you might end up wiping out your Hard Drive ( SDD ) drives or other attached external hard drives under /dev/sdb.
Thus in advance be sure to check the exact USB /dev/ name using commands such as:

linux:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdb: 3.8 GiB, 4007657472 bytes, 7827456 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x04030201


Device     Boot Start     End Sectors  Size Id Type
/dev/sdb1        1080 7827455 7826376  3.7G  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)


linux:~# dmesg|grep -i sdb

dmesg – output is pretty verbose so I'm skipping completely its output.


linux:~# lsusb 
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 04b3:3107 IBM Corp. ThinkPad 800dpi Optical Travel Mouse
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 04f2:b221 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd integrated camera
Bus 001 Device 014: ID 0951:1607 Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub


linux:~# lsblk |grep -i /media
└─sdb1                   8:17   1   3.7G  0 part /media/hipod/KINGSTON

An alternative way is to use the good old dd tool.


linux:~# dd if=/your/path/debian-7.5.0-amd64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M

Its even possible to create the bootable Linux image to USB with a simple cp command instead of catting like:


linux:~# cp Fedora-Workstation-Live-x86_64-28-1.1.iso /dev/sdX


Finally unmount the USB drive (if it was mounted during the command operations):

linux:~# umount /media/hipod/KINGSTON

For Windows users to burn the ISO files you can use anything starting from Nero / CDBurnerXP or if you prefer free software use
Win32DiskImager or use Rufus to create it.

Enjoy booting and installing your Linux via USB 🙂

A lightweight Email Client Graphical client for old computers with Linux (Claws)

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Reading Time: 3minutes


If you happen to be system administrating an old computers with some 512 Megabytes of RAM or 1 Gigabyte of Memory with preinstalled some archaic version of GNU / Linux distro such asSlackware, Calderra Linux,  Debian / Ubuntu / Fedora etc. and there is suddenly need to use this PCs with a decent graphical email client for its existing GUI environment LXDE / XFCE / WindowMaker / Mate etc. then Mozilla Thunderbird

Definitelywon't be the client of choice especially if you have to add 5 or 10 email accounts (with a few hundred of emails laying on the remote mail server) to be periodically fetched via POP3 or IMAP protocol.

Of course there is always the option to just use a simple Text Email clients such as Fetchmail, PINE or MUTT and unload the PCs memory and CPU with the simplistic text interface however as most people are totally unacquainted with Linux console or terminal, for most that won't be the option of choice.

  • So what is the best solution for a lightweight Graphical Email Client for Linux for Old Computers ?

!!! Say Hello to Sylpheed CLAWS EMail Desktop client !!!




linux:~# apt-cache show claws-mail|grep -i descrip -A 3 -B 1
Breaks: claws-mail-extra-plugins (<< 3.9.1-1)
Description-en: Fast, lightweight and user-friendly GTK+2 based email client
 Claws Mail is a powerful and full-featured mail client formerly called
 Sylpheed-Claws. It is also extensible using loadable plugins, which can
 provide support for additional features, like other storage formats,
 feed reader, calendar management, mail filtering, etc.

Description-md5: f9d9f85803d938ab3d5fbc85f90e263a
Multi-Arch: foreign
Section: mail


A. Installing Claws Email on Debian Linux distribution

Assuming you need to install claws on Debian based Linux distributions;


debian:~# apt-get install –yes claws-mail


B. Installing Claws on Fedora Linux distribution

For older Fedora Linux:

[root@fedora ~:]# yum install claws-mail


On a newer Fedora Linux installations (for those who are already used to Claws and migrate to a newer computer with a fresh Fedora install)

[root@fedora ~:]# dhf install claws-mail


Note that newer versions of Fedora Linux the default yum package manager has been substituted for the newer and (said to be more) advanced dhf

C. Installing Claws email on Slackware Linux

Claws Mail is also available as a (Tar XZ – That's a slackware highly compressed .tar.gz equivallent which saves a lot of space for its packages), to install on slack get the package from the CD / DVD or download from internet and:


darkstar:~# installpkg claws-mail*.txz


By the way Claws mail might be also the email client of choice (for those who don't have to be bound by the slavery of Office 365 / Microsoft Office and transporters and Active Domain Controller Directory with Outlook Express.


Even on old Computers with Microsoft Windows Claws email (which has also a Windows 32 Bit Port) might be among the best options for those who value their computer resources and interface simplicity and hence want to save memory and CPU load.

That is it,  try and enjoy Sylpheed Claws !


Ubuntu on Laptop

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Reading Time: 2minutes


Here the story a cousin of my father has called me to help them to buy a laptop. We have checked different types of laptops in TechnoMarket and TechnoPolis, Vali and Bergon. In vali we asked about GPS devices (a device only connecting with a Satellite, which needs software to be used). I asked the seller in Vali is there a chance if the Holux GPS to work with Linux.He said he have no idea I'm citing his words "Only a few people use Linux today" :). Also the Computer sellers in TechnoMarket weren't much of a competent, I myself also didn't have enough experience with Laptops. Before everything began I asked God to guide me in the choice. We choose to take a Toshiba Sattelite L40 12G or something like this. The machine is a pretty neat one (2G of ram, Intel video, 120 SATA Disk). I gave the suggestion to install Linux on the laptop and spend money of the Operating System (because they would need the laptop when they travel out of the country, buying furniture to resell and they don't want to have illegal software. There was an international warranty issue. The sellers in Technomarket didn't have data is the laptop with International warranty later we understood that there is international warranty of 1 year. We bought the laptop I successfully installed Ubuntu and a ton of useful software. Today I have installed qemu qemu-launcher and qemulator. Ubuntu seems to work pretty flawlessly. The idea in the beginning was to buy a flash memory and install a windows on it because they needed also to have Windows to install a TBI Credit (SmartInfo) program. I tried Windows XP/2000/XP Small but all them required a minimum of 2G of hard disk space to install (!) pretty annoying and this wasn't possible because the flash memory we had was only a 1G one. In the end I ended installing the Windows on the HDD. Thanks to God everything seems to go on in a good way. Thanks Lord! 🙂 The only thing that's left to do is install the Wireless card properly under Linux and Windows.Glory be to God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit! Now and Forever and Ever. Amen!END—–

Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) on Toshiba Satellite L40 14B ACPI problem ACPI loading problem and workaround

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Reading Time: < 1minute

As you have noticed in my previous posts I'm playing a bit with Toshiba Satellite L40 14B updates this days. I've came across an ugly problem with ACPI on Ubuntu Jaunty. It's really a big issue because acpi stalls and keeps loading the system on 100% leaving it with 0% idle all the time. The solution I’ve found is suggested on the following Ubuntu bug launchpad . As it describes the solution comes to this:

1. rm -f /etc/acpi/events/asus-wireless-on

2. rm -f /etc/acpi/events/asus-wireless-2

the next two steps are added by meto prevent some problems caused by acpidupgrades.

3. touch /etc/acpi/events/asus-wireless-2

4. touch /etc/acpi/events/asus-wireless-on

Fixing Disappeared intel net link 5100 wifi on Toshiba Satellite L300 1YA

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Reading Time: 2minutes

I've recently had to fix a Toshiba Satellite L300 1YA notebook , running the shitty Windows Vista operating system.
For some reason suddenly the Net Link 5100 Wi-FI Network Adapter of the laptop mysteriously disappeared.
The led indicating the device is enabled was blinking the driver showed properly installed in Windows -> System and everything.
Even though that the wireless network scanning in the notebook was not working.

In networking in System there were two lines showing up with excalammation mark "!".

To fix the mess it took me 3.5 hours. I tried many things first logical thing I tried was reinstalling the driver with the latest available from Intel's website. Anyways this doesn't helped so I was about to think about other solutions.
What made thinks even worse was that the Vista installed was in Chineese!, yes you red this correctly chineese. You cannot imagine what a hell it is to deal with Windows whose language pack was Chineese …

The Vista had installed also the Chineese antivirus program Rising which also provided the system with some weird firewall and this made the dealing with the problem even more complicated.

After many tries I finally completely removed the wireless driver on the system and reinstalled it with the latest version from Intel's website.
Thanksfully after a couple of reboots and going into save mode the Intel Net Link 5100 started working again by itself?!

Well you know how things goes with Windows, you never know what will happen next.

Maybe a lot of notebooks suffer the same weird issue with Wireless Wi-Fi adapter suddenly stopping to work.

So now you know the solution, remove the driver install it again, restart and it should be working again.
Hope this quick and dirty article will save somebody an hours of time to figure it out …

xorg on Toshiba Satellite L40 14B with Intel GM965 video hangs up after boot and the worst fix ever / How to reinstall Ubuntu by keeping the old personal data and programs

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Reading Time: 4minutes

black screen ubuntu troubles

I have updated Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 and followed the my previous post update ubuntu from 9.04 to Latest Ubuntu

I expected that a step by step upgrade from a release to release will work like a charm and though it does on many notebooks it doesn't on Toshiba Satellite L40

The update itself went fine, whether I used the update-manager -d and followed the above pointed tutorial, however after a system restart the PC failed to boot the X server properly, a completely blank screen with blinking cursor appeared and that was all.

I restarted the system into the 2.6.35-28-generic kernel rescue-mode recovery kernel in order to be able to enter into physical console.

Logically the first thing I did is to check /var/log/messages and /var/log/Xorg.0.log but I couldn't find nothing unusual or wrong there.

I suspected something might be wrong with /etc/X11/xorg.conf so I deleted it:

ubuntu:~# rm -f /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and attempted to re-create the xorg.conf X configuration with command:

ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

This command was reported to be the usual way to reconfigure the X server settings from console, but in my case (for unknown reasons) it did nothing.

Next the command which was able to re-generate the xorg.conf file was:

ubuntu:~# X -configure

The command generates a xorg.conf sample file in /root/xorg.conf.* so I used the conf to put it in /etc/X11/xorg.conf X's default location and restarted in hope that this would fix the non-booting issue.

Very sadly again the black screen of death appeared on the notebook toshiba screen.
I further thought of completely wipe out the xorg.conf in hope that at least it might boot without the conf file but this worked out neither.

I attempted to run the Xserver with a xorg.conf configured to work with vesa as it's well known vesa X server driver is supposed to work on 99% of the video cards, as almost all of them nowdays are compatible with the vesa standard, but guess what in my case vesa worked not!

The only version of X I can boot in was the failsafe X screen mode which is available through the grub's boot menu recovery mode.

Further on I decided to try few xorg.conf which I found online and were reported to work fine with Intel GM965 internal video , and yes this was also unsucessful.

Some of my other futile attempts were: to re-install the xorg server with apt-get, reinstall the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver e.g.:

ubuntu:~# apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-video-intel

As nothing worked out I was completely pissed off and decided to take an alternative approach which will take a lot of time but at least will probably be succesful, I decided to completely re-install the Ubuntu from a CD after backing up the /home directory and making a list of available packages on the system, so I can further easily run a tiny bash one-liner script to install all the packages which were previously existing on the laptop before the re-install:

Here is how I did it:

First I archived the /home directory:

ubuntu:/# tar -czvf home.tar.gz home/

For 12GB of data with some few thousands of files archiving it took about 40 minutes.

The tar spit archive became like 9GB and I hence used sftp to upload it to a remote FTP server as I was missing a flash drive or an external HDD where I can place the just archived data.

Uploading with sftp can be achieved with a command similar to:

Connected to
sftp> put home.tar.gz

As a next step to backup in a file the list of all current installed packages, before I can further proceed to boot-up with the Ubuntu Maverich 10.10 CD and prooceed with the fresh install I used command:

for i in $(dpkg -l| awk '{ print $2 }'); do
echo $i; done >> my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

Once again I used sftp as in above example to upload my_current_update_packages.txt file to my FTP host.

After backing up all the stuff necessery, I restarted the system and booted from the CD-rom with Ubuntu.
The Ubuntu installation as usual is more than a piece of cake and even if you don't have a brain you can succeed with it, so I wouldn't comment on it 😉

Right after the installation I used the sftp client once again to fetch the home.tar.gz and my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

I placed the home.tar.gz in /home/ and untarred it inside the fresh /home dir:

ubuntu:/home# tar -zxvf home.tar.gz

Eventually the old home directory was located in /home/home so thereon I used Midnight Commander ( the good old mc text file explorer and manager ) to restore the important user files to their respective places.

As a last step I used the my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt in combination with a tiny shell script to install all the listed packages inside the file with command:

ubuntu:~# for i in $(cat my_current_ubuntu_packagespackages.txt); do
apt-get install --yes $i; sleep 1;

You will have to stay in front of the computer and manually answer a ncurses interface questions concerning some packages configuration and to be honest this is really annoying and time consuming.

Summing up the overall time I spend with this stupid Toshiba Satellite L40 with the shitty Intel GM965 was 4 days, where each day I tried numerous ways to fix up the X and did my best to get through the blank screen xserver non-bootable issue, without a complete re-install of the old Ubuntu system.
This is a lesson for me that if I stumble such a shitty issues I will straight proceed to the re-install option and not loose my time with non-sense fixes which would never work.

Hope the article might be helpful to somebody else who experience some problems with Linux similar to mine.

After all at least the Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is really good looking in general from a design perspective.
What really striked me was the placement of the close, minimize and maximize window buttons , it seems in newer Ubuntus the ubuntu guys decided to place the buttons on the left, here is a screenshot:

Left button positioning of navigation Buttons in Ubuntu 10.10

I believe the solution I explain, though very radical and slow is a solution that would always work and hence worthy 😉
Let me hear from you if the article was helpful.

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty on Toshiba L300 PLSBGE Laptop

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Reading Time: 2minutes


Today I had the task to Install Ubuntu GNU / Linux on Toshiba L300 PLSBGE Laptop.

I had already installed Windows Vista Enterprise on the notebook. Thus I used Acronis Disk Directory Suite to partition the harddrive for Ubuntu even though I could have used the gparted included on Ubuntu’s installation CD. I’ve asked specificly if
I could use the Ubuntu CD to repartition my hard drive in #ubuntu in
The answer was positive it’s absolutely safe to resize an NTFS partition using Ubuntu’s installation LiveCD and gparted.That seems like a good news for all of us the free software users / enthusiasts / hobbyists etc.
I hated the default Ubuntu behaviour it automatically decided to install itself on a automatically created 2.5 GB partition.
I thought it won’t be so dumb to install itself on such a tiny partition. Well guess what I was wrong IT WAS SO DUMB!
Even though I had already 80 GB ext3 partition. Ubuntu’s default behaviour was to install on an automatically created 2.5GB partition.
Right after the installation I was stunned just to realize there was no free space on the drive where the dumbass installed itself.
After that I had some issues deleting the already cretead partitions, which for some reason messed up. Luckily the good old fdisk fixed the situation so I could easily delete all the partitions except the vista and recreate them again using gparted with Ubuntu’s install LiveCD. The install was completely flawless. Everything worked out of the box, no external efforts to fix broken stuff like usually happens in Linux fantastic! The only broken thing was that switching to plain console with ctrl+alt+f1 would visualize a non working display output and I couldn’t see the ttys at all. That wasn’t such a hassle since the system is planned to work only in GUI mode. I guess Ubuntu is going through a real development with a positive end results. Even external USB printer Canon PIXMA IP3300 worked by simply plugging it in. For some weird reason to make the printer work correctly I had to use driver for Canon PIXMA IP3000. Anyways it worked with it and the printer started printing correctly even though officially on some of the linux printers databases it’s reported the printer won’t work correctly never ever.END—–