Hints & Tips for Optimizing Linux Disk Usage
If you cannot delete files, there are several options available for making them smaller.
Compression programs can make files significantly smaller. The GNU gzip program provides excellent compression. It is ideal for compressing data files such as documents and source code that do not need to be on-line at all times. The best option to zip will provide the highest level of compression.
Emacs can also be configured to automatically uncompress files when editing; see the lisp file uncompress.el included with UGN emacs version 19. Another space savings with emacs is to compress info pages; GNU emacs version 19 automatically handles reading compressed info pages.
If you maintain multiple revisions of files, particularly source code, then a revision control system such as RCS can save space. Only the differences between file revisions are stored.
Compressing man pages was mentioned previous.ly Traditionally this is done using the standard compress program Some man programs can handle gzip compressed man page as well (you may need to continue using the .Z file extension).
Existing binary files sometimes contain debug information. They can be made smaller using the strip command. This was the case, for example, for the GNU emacs binary I uploaded from an archive site.
For new compiles, you can minimize the size of the binaries (once they are debugged) by compiling without debug and with full optimization (e.g. -O2 for gcc). The linker flags -s and -N can also be useful; see the gcc and ld man pages for more details.
More advanced users can try some of the more sophisticated techniques described in this section.
The Linux second extended filesystem reserves a portion of the disk for use only by root. This is useful for preventing users from filling the disk, but may not be desirable in some cases (e.g. a disk containing user files only). By default 5% of the disk is reserved. You can change this when formatting a partition; see the mke2fs man page for more details.
Transparently Compressed Executables (TCX), is a utility for compressing binary files in a way that still allows them to be executed. The author is Stewart Forster. It saves disk space at the expense of a minor delay in startup time. It is most useful for large programs that are infrequently executed. I found this package to be quite effective and reliable; it can be found on your local Linux archive site.
For compressing data files, the zlibc package can be used. It works by patching the Linux system calls such as open that read data files, and uncompresses the files on the fly. I have not used this package, but the author claims that compression ratios of 1:3 can easily be achieved. The package can be found on Linux archive sites in both source and binary form; the author is Alain Knaff.
There have been discussions about implementing a compressed filesystem for Linux, similar in concept to what exists for MS-DOS. The ext2 filesystem already has some hooks to allow this to be added. This may be the ultimate solution for optimizing disk usage.
For More Information:
More information on the ideas discussed in this article can be found in the following sources. All are available on the major Linux archive sites.
Linux Kernel Hacker's Guide, Michael K. Johnson
Linux System Administrator's Guide, Lars Wirzenius.
Linux man pages
See also the documentation included with the packages mentioned in this article ( zlibc, tcx, etc...).
By day, Jeff Tranter is a software designer for a large telecommunications manufacturer in Kanata, Ontario (Canada's Silicon Valley North). For him, Linux is the realization of a dream to have an affordable Unix compatible system at home that rivals commercial workstations and is just plan fun to hack around with.
Jeff Tranter by day is a software designer for a large telecommunications manufacturer in Kanata, Ontario (Canada's Silicon Valley North). For him, Linux is the realization of a dream to have an affordable Unix compatible system at home that rivals commercial workstations and is just plan fun to hack around with.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide