Cool Linux Tools Of The Day: fslint and filelite

FSlint is a utility to find and clean various forms of lint on a filesystem. I.E. unwanted or problematic cruft in your files or file names. For example, one form of fslint it finds is duplicate files.  The name is based on the common practice of calling programs that do strict warning/error checking of source code “lint”.  lint programs are used to find potential problems in your source code the compiler might miss.  Likewise, fslint looks for files you may not want, but are not a problem for the filesystem.

I used this open source tool to find and delete duplicate images.  It did a very good job, and made it very easy to delete all but one of each duplicate, with options like “select all but the first duplicate”.  It is also finds duplicates in a robust way.  From the FAQ:

Q. What algorithm is used to check for duplicate files?
A. On a standard install, you can see the script used in
   /usr/share/fslint/fslint/findup. In summary the algorithm is:
     1. check sizes are same
     2. check files are not hardlinked to each other
     3. check md5sums are the same
     4. check sha1sums are the same (in case of md5 collisions)

Visually,it’s nicely laid out, and available in a wide variety of package formats distros.  It’s very “Unixy” in that its built using layers.  The graphical front end calls command line tools to do the actual work, but you can call those command line programs directly of you want to:

findup — find DUPlicate files
findnl — find Name Lint (problems with filenames)
findu8 — find filenames with invalid utf8 encoding
findbl — find Bad Links (various problems with symlinks)
findsn — find Same Name (problems with clashing names)
finded — find Empty Directories
findid — find files with dead user IDs
findns — find Non Stripped executables
findrs — find Redundant Whitespace in files
findtf — find Temporary Files
findul — find possibly Unused Libraries
zipdir — Reclaim wasted space in ext2 directory entries


filelite is a program to visually represent what’s taking up all that space on your hard drive, and allows you to drill down through your directories to find the XXXL files.

Filelight creates an interactive map of concentric, segmented rings that help visualise disk usage on your computer. Like a pie-chart, but the segments nest, allowing you to easily see which files are taking up all your space.  It’s KDE-based, so you’ll need at least the KDE libraries.  It’s so cool, it has it’ own WIkipedia page.

If you need this kind of functionality, but would like a different kind of visualization, check out KDirStat instead.  It visualizes the hard drive as a series of boxes of varying size and color to denote size and type.  One really nice thing aboult KDirStat is that it’s been ported to WIndows, so you can use it on that other OS, in case you ever have a need to use Windows.

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