Debian Utilities


acl - Access control list utilities

This package contains the getfacl and setfacl utilities needed for manipulating access control lists.

Install acl in Debian

#apt-get install acl

For more information about acl check man pages below setfacl man page and getfacl man page


acpi - displays information on ACPI devices

Attempts to replicate the functionality of the 'old' apm command on ACPI systems, including battery and thermal information. Does not support ACPI suspending, only displays information about ACPI devices.

Install acpi in Debian

#apt-get install acpi

for more information check man page of acpi


affiche - An application to "stick" little notes on the desktop

Affiche is a little application that allows people to "stick" little notes on their computer desktop. It was made for the GNUstep environment.

Install affiche in Debian

#apt-get install affiche


afio - archive file manipulation program

Afio manipulates groups of files, copying them within or between filesystems and an afio archive.

Afio archives are portable as they contain only ASCII-formatted header information. Afio makes cpio-format archives. Afio deals somewhat gracefully with input data corruption. Afio supports multi-volume archives during interactive operation. Afio can make compressed archives that are much safer than compressed tar or cpio archives.

Afio is best used as an `archive engine' in a backup script.

Install afio in Debian

#apt-get install afio

for more information check man page of afio


apt-listchanges - Display change history from .deb archives

apt-listchanges is a tool to show what has been changed in a new version of a Debian package, as compared to the version currently installed on the system. It does this by extracting the relevant entries from the Debian changelog file, and the NEWS.Debian file.

It can be run on several .deb archives at a time to get a list of all of the changes that would be effected by installing or upgrading a group of packages. It can be configured to do this automatically during upgrades using apt.

Install apt-listchanges in Debian

#apt-get install apt-listchanges

Once installation starts it will ask you the following question and select which is best for you and press enter

apt-listchanges can display package changes in a number of different ways.
This setting can be overridden by a command-line option or an environment variable. Note that you can still send a copy via mail with all of the frontends except 'none'.
How should changes be displayed with apt?

For more options and how to use check apt-listchanges man page


apt-rdepends - Recursively lists package dependencies

This utility can recursively list package dependencies, either forwards or in reverse. It also lists forward build-dependencies. The output format closely resembles that of `apt-cache depends`. As well, it can generate .dot graphs, much like apt-cache in dotty mode.

Install apt-rdepends in Debian

#apt-get install apt-rdepends

After installation if you want to know the perticular package dependencies you need to use the following commnd

#apt-rdepends <package name>

for more information check man page of apt-rdepends


ara - CLI utility for searching the Debian package database

ara is a utility for searching the Debian package database using boolean regexp queries.

The database lives, by default, as a text file under the path /var/lib/dpkg/available on your Debian installation. It lists all packages, installed or not, that are known to your Debian package management system.

ara can perform sophisticated searches on that database. It is possible to use any field of the package database as a search criterion and any boolean combination thereof.

ara can also call APT (or any use-configurable command) to install or remove packages matching a query.

This is the CLI version.

Install ara in Debian

#apt-get install ara


arj - archiver for .arj files

This package is an open source version of the arj archiver. This version has been created with the intent to preserve maximum compatibility and retain the feature set of original ARJ archiver as provided by ARJ Software, Inc.

Install arj in Debian

#apt-get install arj

for more information check man page of arj


ark - KDE archiving tool

KDE is a powerful Open Source graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations. It combines ease of use, contemporary functionality, and outstanding graphical design with the technological superiority of the Unix operating system.

An archiver for KDE.

Supports: zip, tar, tar + compression (lzop, gzip, bzip2, bzip, compress) lha, zoo, rar, ar, etc...

This package is part of the official KDE utils module.

Install ark in Debian

# apt-get install ark


atool - A tool for managing file archives of various types

atool is a script for managing file archives of various types (tar, tar+gzip, zip etc). The main command is probably aunpack, extracting files from an archive. It overcomes the dreaded "multiple files in archive root" problem by first extracting to a unique subdirectory, and then moving back the files if possible. aunpack also prevents local files from being overwritten by mistake.

Other commands provided are apack (create archives), als (list files in archives), and acat (extract files to standard out).

Install atool in Debian

#apt-get install atool

for more information and how to use check man page of atool


attr - Utilities for manipulating filesystem extended attributes

Install attr in Debian

#apt-get install attr

for more information and how to use check man page of attr


away - A terminal locking program

Install away in Debian

#apt-get install away

for more information and how to use check man page of away


bcrypt - Cross platform file encryption utility

Bcrypt is a cross platform file encryption utility. Encrypted files are portable across all supported operating systems and processors. In addition to encrypting your data, bcrypt will by default overwrite the original input file with random garbage three times before deleting it in order to thwart data recovery attempts by persons who may gain access to your computer. Bcrypt uses the blowfish encryption algorithm published by Bruce Schneier in 1993.

Install bcrypt in Debian

#apt-get install bcrypt

for more information and how to use check man page of bcrypt


binstats - Statistics tool for installed programs

A utility to aid the tidying up of binaries, interpreted scripts, and dynamic libraries. It can find the number and identity of a.out and ELF binaries, plus their debugging symbols status, setuid status, and dynamic library dependence. It can count the number of Java bytecode programs, tally up the main types of scripts, and look for unidentified executable text files.

Also it is able to find any duplicated executable names, unused libraries, binaries with missing libraries, statically linked binaries, and duplicated manual page names

Install binstats in Debian

#apt-get install binstats

If you want to run binstats just enter the following command


Output looks like below

binstats-1.08 output from test on 2006/01/26 15:47:29 GMT

Binaries: 584
OMAGIC Demand Paged: 0
NMAGIC Demand Paged: 0
QMAGIC Demand Paged: 0
ZMAGIC Demand Paged: 0
statically linked: 0
not stripped: 0
setuid: 0
ELF: 584
statically linked: 1
not stripped: 0
setuid: 15
statically linked: 0
not stripped: 0
setuid: 0
Java: 0
Duplicate names: 0
Missing libraries: 0
Text: 220
Bourne shell: 101
Bourne-Again shell: 15
C shell: 0
Tenex C shell: 0
Awk: 0
Perl: 97
Python: 6
Tcl: 0
Other interpreted: 1
Unidentified: 0
Used libraries: 115
DLL: 0
Unused libs: 84
Man pages: 1142
Duplicate names: 0

for more information and how to use check man page of binstats


bonnie++ - Hard drive bottleneck testing benchmark suite.

It is called Bonnie++ because it was based on the Bonnie program. This program also tests performance with creating large numbers of files. Now includes zcav raw-read test program. A modern hard drive will have more sectors in the outer tracks because they are longer. The hard drive will have a number (often more than 8) of zones where each zone has the same number of sectors (due to the need for an integral number of sectors per track). This program allows you to determine the levels of performance provided by different zones and store them in a convenient format for gnuplot.

Install bonnie++ in Debian

#apt-get install bonnie++

for more information and how to use check man page of bonnie++


bookmark-merge - Merge bookmarks from Mozilla, Netscape and IE

utility to merge Netscape, Mozilla and Internet Explorer bookmark files.

merge doesn't: Check links for validity, Merge Opera bookmarks, Sort links, Remove duplicate links from different folders.

Install bookmark-merge in Debian

#apt-get install bookmark-merge

for more information and how to use check man page of bookmark-merge


bootcd - run your system from cd without need for disks

Build an image of your running Debian System with the command bootcdwrite. You can also build a bootcd ISO image via NFS on a remote System. When you run your system from CD you do not need any disks. All changes will be done in ram. To reuse this changes at next boot time you can save them on FLOPPY with the command bootcdflopcp. If booting from your CD-drive is not supported, booting from FLOPPY is possible. It is possible to install a new system from the running CD with the command bootcd2disk. Bootcd2disk can also find a target disk, format it and make it bootable automatically. Bootcd also supports initrd root fs, devfs, transparent-compression ISO 9660 fs and syslinux/isolinux.

Install bootcd in Debian

#apt-get install bootcd

for more information and how to use check man page of bootcd


busybox - Tiny utilities for small and embedded systems

BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable. It provides minimalist replacements for the most common utilities you would usually find on your desktop system (i.e., ls, cp, mv, mount, tar, etc.). The utilities in BusyBox generally have fewer options than their full-featured GNU cousins; however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality and behave very much like their GNU counterparts.

This package installs the BusyBox binary but does not install symlinks for any of the supported utilities. You can use /bin/busybox --install to install BusyBox to the root directory (you do not want to do this to your your Debian system, except in dire emergencies!).

Install busybox in Debian

#apt-get install busybox

for more information and how to use check man page of busybox


cabextract - a program to extract Microsoft Cabinet files

Cabextract is a program which unpacks cabinet (.cab) files, which are a form of archive Microsoft uses to distribute their software and things like Windows Font Packs.

Install cabextract in Debian

#apt-get install cabextract

for more information and how to use check man page of cabextract


caca-utils - text mode graphics utilities

This package contains utilities and demonstration programs for libcaca, the Colour AsCii Art library.

cacaview is a simple image viewer for the terminal. It opens most image formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF etc. and renders them on the terminal using ASCII art. The user can zoom and scroll the image, set the dithering method or enable anti-aliasing.

cacaball is a tiny graphic program that renders animated ASCII metaballs on the screen, cacafire is a port of AALib's aafire and displays burning ASCII art flames, cacamoir animates colourful moire circles and cacaplas displays an old school plasma effect.

cacademo is a simple application that shows the libcaca rendering features such as line and ellipses drawing, triangle filling and sprite blitting.

Install caca-utils in Debian

#apt-get install caca-utils


calamaris - log analyzer for Squid or Oops proxy log files

Install calamaris in Debian

#apt-get install calamaris

for more information and how to use check man page of calamaris


casu - Communication and Status Utilities

This package contains 2 utilities:

1. flon -- lists your friends who are logged on
2. to -- sends a short message to another user

flon simply uses the ~/.friends file to instruct it on which users to display. Flon can also act like a BSD style who(1), if invoked with the -w option or from a symlink named 'who'.

to is rather like write(1), except that it accepts input as command line arguments rather than on the standard input. It uses ~/.torc for configuration, and can be configured to autoreply to messages in different ways depending on whether you're logged in or not or if your terminal is idle, and can also exclude individual users from sending messages to your terminal.

Install casu in Debian

#apt-get install casu


cdcontrol - A parallel burner that allow you to write to one or more CD-Writers at once

CDcontrol is a parallel CD burner program. It allow you write to a unlimited number or CD writers (IDE and SCSI) at once time. The CDcontrol is the first burning system of that type that I know for *nix operating system and it's all under GPL license.

Some of it features are better than commercial systems that I've hear about (and fully support CD images and all data type supported by cdrecord program), one of these features is the separated control of each recorder once the recording is started (avoid problems due a fail or speed problem in other writers).

The CDcontrol itself has a daily production report for each writer and fails of writing, in cases of more serious errors, a technical report is also written (it content is a full cdrecord output for that writer, plus the time when it happens).

Other interesting feature is the automatic calculation of copies, enabling only the writers requested to complete the number and skipping all that are disabled.

The CDcontrol interface is very simple and dialog based, simple type "cdcontrol" and enjoy.

Install cdcontrol in Debian

#apt-get install cdcontrol

for more information and how to use check man page of cdcontrol


cdebconf - Debian Configuration Management System (C-implementation)

Debconf is a configuration management system for Debian packages. It is used by some packages to prompt you for information before they are installed. This is a reimplementation of the original debconf version in C.

Installing this package is rather dangerous now. It will break debconf. You have been warned!

Install cdebconf in Debian

#apt-get install cdebconf


changetrack - configuration-file change tracker

A program to automatically monitor changes to a set of files. If files are modified one day, and the machine stops working correctly some days later, changetrack provides information on which files were modified, and thus helps locate the problem. If you tell changetrack to use either the line editor ed or The Revision Control System (RCS), you can recover files to any previous stage. If you do not want to install Perl, try out the filetraq or diffmon package.

Install changetrack in Debian

#apt-get install changetrack

for more information and how to use check man page of changetrack


cpbk - a mirroring utility for backing up your files

Backup Copy is basically a smart copy program that allows a user to copy mass files from one place to another. When coping over a previous copy, the key features will allow coping only of new or non existing files in the backup. This results in saving time and less load on the drive. Built into the same feature of copying new files only, is a file removal procedure. If a file is removed from the source path, the same file will be removed when the next backup is performed. This provides a backup that is exactly the same as the source without filling up the drive. As an added option, all files that will be overwritten or deleted when doing a copy over a previous backup, have the opportunity to be stored in a trash bin. You can leave this trash bin to grow and grow just in case you need a backup of your backup. When you start running out of disk space you will need to remove or clean up the trash bin.

Install cpbk in Debian

#apt-get install cpbk

If you want to know how to use cpbk check man page by running the #man cpbk command


dbench - The dbench (disk) and tbench (TCP) benchmarks

dbench and tbench simulate the load of the netbench "industry standard" benchmark used to rate (windows) file servers. Unlike netbench, they do not require a lab of Microsoft Windows PCs: dbench produces the filesystem load on a netbench run, and tbench produces the network load, allowing simpler bottleneck isolation.

Note that this benchmark is *not* a realistic reflection of normal server load.

Install dbench in Debian

#apt-get install dbench

for more information and how to use check man page of dbench


ddrescue - copies data from one file or block device to another

dd_rescue is a tool to help you to save data from crashed partition. It tries to read and if it fails, it will go on with the next sectors where tools like dd will fail. If the copying process is interrupted by the user it is possible to continue at any position later. It can copy backwards.

Install ddrescue in Debian

#apt-get install ddrescue

If you want to know how to use ddrescue check man page by running the #man ddrescue command


debian-goodies - Small 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.

dgrep - Search all files in specified packages for a regex
dglob - Generate a list of package names which match a pattern
These are also included, because they are useful and don't justify their own packages:

debget - Fetch a .deb for a package in APT's database
dpigs - Show which installed packages occupy the most space
debman - Easily view man pages from a binary .deb without extracting
checkrestart - Help to find and restart processes which are using old
versions of upgraded files (such as libraries)
popbugs - Display a customized release-critical bug list based on
packages you use (using popularity-contest data)

Install debian-goodies in Debian

#apt-get install debian-goodies


deco - Demos Commander

DECO is a visual interface for the UNIX operating system, developed by the motives of the widely known Norton Commander.

Install deco in Debian

#apt-get install deco


di - advanced df like disk information utility

`di' is a disk information utility, displaying everything (and more) that your `df' command does. It features the ability to display your disk usage in whatever format you desire/prefer/are used to. It is designed to be portable across many platforms.

Install di in Debian

#apt-get install di

After installation you need to run the following command to check the disk output


output looks liks this

Filesystem Mount Megs Used Avail %used fs Type
/dev/hda2 / 1372.7 495.0 804.5 41% ext3
/dev/hda1 /home 88.5 14.7 69.1 22% ext3
tmpfs /dev/shm 30.3 0.0 30.3 0% tmpfs

For more options and how to use check di man page


dirdiff - Display and merge changes between two directory trees.

Dirdiff can handle up to 5 trees. It displays a main window with a list of the files which are different between the trees, with colored squares to indicate the relative ages of the versions. A menu allows you to display the differences between any two of the versions in another window. Another menu allows you to copy the file from one tree to another.

Install dirdiff in Debian

#apt-get install dirdiff

for more information and how to use check man page of dirdiff


disktype - detection of content format of a disk or disk image

The purpose of disktype is to detect the content format of a disk or disk image. It knows about common file systems, partition tables, and boot codes.

Install disktype in Debian

#apt-get install disktype

After that you need to run the disktype command follow this

Usage: disktype <device/file>

example:- #disktype /dev/hda2


--- /dev/hda2
Block device, size 1.430 GiB (1535901696 bytes)
Ext3 file system
Volume name "/"
UUID 8D6DA7BF-6E26-4EB9-BE4E-CA4CBF0244F4 (DCE, v4)
Volume size 1.430 GiB (1535901696 bytes, 1499904 blocks of 1 KiB)

for more information and how to use check man page of disktype


dlocate - fast alternative to dpkg -L and dpkg -S

uses GNU locate to greatly speed up finding out which package a file belongs to (i.e. a very fast dpkg -S). many other uses, including options to view all files in a package, calculate disk space used, view and check md5sums, list man pages, etc.

Install dlocate in Debian

#apt-get install dlocate

for more information and how to use check man page of dlocate


dpkg-cross - tools for cross compiling Debian packages

dpkg-cross itself is a tool for installing libraries and headers for cross compiling in a way similar to dpkg. Furthermore, the functionality of dpkg-buildpackage and dpkg-shlibdeps is enhanced to support cross compiling.

Install dpkg-cross in Debian

#apt-get install dpkg-cross

for more information and how to use check man page of dpkg-cross


dpkg-dev - Package building tools for Debian

This package contains the tools (including dpkg-source) required to unpack, build and upload Debian source packages.

Most Debian source packages will require additional tools to build - for example, most packages need the `make' and the C compiler `gcc'

Install dpkg-dev in Debian

#apt-get install dpkg-dev


durep - create disk usage reports

durep is a perl script used for disk usage reports. It can generate text output with bar graphs to allow easy comparisons of disk usage between directories. It can also generate web pages which can be navigated through the directory structure. This allows easy visual monitoring of disk usage.

Install durep in Debian

#apt-get install durep

after install you need to run durep using the following command

#durep <directory name>

example:- #durep /home


[ /home/ 14.0K ]
12.0K [%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% ] 1 85.71% ruchi/
6.0K [%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% ] 0 50.00% .ssh/
4.0K [%%%%%%%%% ] 3 33.33% [FILES]

for more information and how to use check man page of durep


dvdbackup - tool to rip DVD's from the command line

dvdbackup will extract all (or optionally only selected) titles as found on the dvd. It will structure the extracted files in a format suitable for burning at a later time with mkisofs and dvdrecord. Has the advantage of being very easy to use, small, and fast.

Install dvdbackup in Debian

#apt-get install dvdbackup

for more information and how to use check man page of dvdbackup