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Keep Your Linux Box Clean with These Tools

written by: jlwallen•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 12/22/2008

How often have you taken a look at the contents of your hard drive and wished you would be better organized? Keeping a clean, organized PC will help you work more efficiently and this series of articles will give you the tools that will allow you to do just that.

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    Know what to clean

    A Linux directory structure is not like Windows. The Linux structure is based on a very solid foundation rooted in UNIX history. Most user files will be located within the users home directory (in Linux parlance "~/") so it begins in a much tidier fashion. Modern Linux distributions now default to users having directories like: Pictures, Music, Documents, and Videos. It should be obvious what the intention of these directories. But you would be surprised how many people neglect these signposts.

    But when we reach beyond the users home directory, things get a little less clear. There are often applications or application libraries that are on your system that shouldn't be (for one reason or another). For that task there is cruft-remover. When you find a directory or file you don't need you can remove them with the rm command. To help you find where files are located there is the locate command. Also when you are lost in the ever-growing list of issued commands there is the history command.

    The Linux operating system contains so many helpful commands and applications. Some of these are obscure and some are quite obvious.

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    What about maintenance?

    Unlike the Windows operating system, Linux doesn't fragment. So defragmenting a hard drive is not necessary. But what about when you add a new drive to a Linux box? How do you manage that task? This series will cover adding second drives to a Linux machine and making them available to local and remote machines, all the while keeping them tidy.

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    Final thoughts

    After a while a file system can become quite dense with files and directories. It's easy to get lost in the maze. But with a little work and the help of some easy-to-use tools, you can easily master your Linux domain. After tackling this series of articles your Linux hard drive should be a much more efficient place to work.

Keeping Your Linux Machine Clean

If you have used a PC for any length of time you know that a hard drive can very quickly become cluttered with files, remains of uninstalled applications, and disorganized files and directories. In this Brighthub series you will learn the tools to keep your Linux system clean.
  1. Keep Your Linux Box Clean with These Tools
  2. Linux Command Line: cruft-remover
  3. Linux Command Line: history
  4. Linux Command Line: rm
  5. Linux Command Line: locate