Steve K.

This is my brain on LiveJournal.

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Handy Linux Command Wizardry
So I've been cleaning up my server to do a distribution upgrade (operating system upgrade, for those who don't speak Linux). And I figured I'd document a few handy tricks I've learned to make some clean-up work faster and safer.

Package Management

  1. Determining packages that are necessary versus extra/optional. Be sure you know you don't need a package before you go removing it. This command chain gives me the list of installed packages, what their priority is (sorted), and a short description of them. I had to use the */grep * trick to cut out long descriptions due to "binary:Summary" being unavailable for me.

    dpkg-query -Wf '* ${Package;-40}${Priority;-40}${Description}\n' | grep -E "^\* " | sort -b -k3,3 -k2,2 -k1,1 | less

  2. Determine what installed packages depend on a package. Kinda basic, but goes along with the previous list.

    aptitude why {package-name}

  3. Determine what packages a package depends on.

    apt-cache depends {package-name}

Software RAID

  1. Found a good cheat sheet for mdraid administration:

I'll probably add to this list, but I had to document this somewhere.
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