Debian Utilities


makeself - utility to generate self-extractable archives

makeself is a small shell script that generates a self-extractable archive from a directory. The resulting file appears as a shell script (many of those have a .run suffix), and can be launched as is. The archive will then uncompress itself to a temporary directory and an optional arbitrary command will be executed (for example an installation script). This is pretty similar to archives generated with WinZip Self-Extractor in the Windows world. Makeself archives also include checksums for integrity self-validation (CRC and/or MD5 checksums).

The makeself script itself is used only to create the archives from a directory of files. The resultant archive is actually a compressed (using gzip, bzip2, or compress) TAR archive, with a small shell script stub at the beginning. This small stub performs all the steps of extracting the files, running the embedded command, and removing the temporary files when it's all over. All what the user has to do to install the software contained in such an archive is to "run" the archive, i.e. sh I recommend using the "run" (which was introduced by some Makeself archives released by Loki Software) or "sh" suffix for such archives not to confuse the users, since they actually are shell scripts (with quite a lot of binary data attached to it though!).

Install makeself in Debian

#apt-get install makeself

For more options and how to use check makeself man page


mdetect - mouse device autodetection tool

mdetect is a tool for autoconfiguring mice; it is typically used as the backend to some user-friendly frontend code. mdetect writes the autodetected mouse device and protocol (as used by gpm) to standard output. It can be invoked so as to produce output appropriate for XFree86 X server configuration files.

Install mdetect in Debian

#apt-get install mdetect

For more options and how to use check mdetect man page


memtester - memtest is a utility for testing the memory subsystem in a computer to determine if it is faulty.

Install memtester in Debian

#apt-get install memtester

For more options and how to use check memtester man page


metar - utility to download/decode METAR reports

Metar is a small utility that will download meteorological reports for aviation from the NOAA FTP server at and optionally decodes them into a human readable form.

This package is particularly useful is you want to quickly find out what the weather is like in places all over the world and you do not need fancy GUIs.

Install metar in Debian

#apt-get install metar

For more options and how to use check metar man page


mindi - creates boot/root disks based on your system

Mindi is a script to create boot/root disks based on your system. It uses your kernel, modules, tools and libraries. It is used for the Mondo disaster recovery suite to create the boot media.

Install mindi in Debian

#apt-get install mindi

For more options and how to use check mindi man page


mirrordir - duplicate a directory by making a minimal set of changes

mirrordir forces the mirror directory to be an exact replica of the control directory tree in every possible detail suitable for purposes of timed backup. Files whose modification times or sizes differ are copied. File permissions, ownerships, modification times, access times, and sticky bits are duplicated. Devices, pipes, and symbolic and hard links are duplicated. Files or directories that exist in the mirror directory that don't exist in the control directory are deleted. It naturally descends into subdirectories to all their depths. mirrordir tries to be as efficient as possible by making the minimal set of changes necessary to mirror the directory.

Install mirrordir in Debian

#apt-get install mirrordir

For more options and how to use check mirrordir man page


mmv - Move/Copy/Append/Link multiple files

mmv is a program to move/copy/append/link multiple files according to a set of wildcard patterns. This multiple action is performed safely, i.e. without any unexpected deletion of files due to collisions of target names with existing filenames or with other target names.

Install mmv in Debian

#apt-get install mmv

For more options and how to use check mmv man page


mondo - powerful disaster recovery suite

Mondo is reliable. It backs up your Debian GNU/Linux server or workstation to tape, CD-R, CD-RW, NFS or hard disk partition. In the event of catastrophic data loss, you will be able to restore all of your data [or as much as you want], from bare metal if necessary. Mondo is in use by numerous blue-chip enterprises and large organizations, dozens of smaller companies, and tens of thousands of users.

Mondo is comprehensive. Mondo supports LVM, RAID, ext2, ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, VFAT, and can support additional file systems easily. It supports adjustments in disk geometry, including migration from non-RAID to RAID. Mondo runs on all major Linux distributions and is getting better all the time. You may even use it to backup non-Linux partitions, such as NTFS.

Install mondo in Debian

#apt-get install mondo

For more options and how to use check mondo documentation


mouseemu - Emulate mouse buttons and mouse wheel

Mouseemu is a daemon to emulate mouse buttons on trackpads with only one button. It lets you:

- emulate middle and right click
- emulate mouse wheel
- block trackpad while typing
It was initially developed for Apple PowerBooks and iBooks, but it may be useful on other architectures as well.

This program only works when booting a 2.6 kernel because it uses the new uinput interface to emulate the mouse.

Install mouseemu in Debian

#apt-get install mouseemu

For more options and how to use check mouseemu man page


movixmaker-2 - Utility to create customized eMoviX/MoviX/MoviX² CD images

MoviXMaker-2 is a simple GUI or command line utility which purpose is to create customized disk images of eMoviX, MoviX or MoviX².

eMoviX, MoviX and MoviX² are tiny GNU/Linux distributions dedicated to multimedia playback (e.g. movies, music and slideshows).

Install movixmaker-2 in Debian

#apt-get install movixmaker-2

For more options and how to use check movixmaker-2 man page


mrename - A tool for easy and automatic renaming of many files

Mass Rename is a simple pair of shell scripts which make it easier to move, rename, or copy multiple files at once. It is intended mainly as an automatic and simple way to rename multiple files with a customizable prefix and a progressive number. It is also possible to modify the rename format simply by editing one of the scripts. It is easy, complete, and efficient, and was written only in sh code.

Install mrename in Debian

#apt-get install mrename

For more options and how to use check mrename man page


mtd-tools - memory Technology Device Tools

Tools for manipulating memory technology devices, such as flash memory, Disk-On-Chip, or ROM. Includes mkfs.jffs2, a tool to create JFFS2 (journaling flash file system) filesystems

Install mtd-tools in Debian

#apt-get install mtd-tools


mtop - MySQL terminal based query monitor

mtop (MySQL top) monitors a MySQL database showing the queries which are taking the most amount of time to complete. Features include 'zooming' in on a process to show the complete query, 'explaining' the query optimizer information for a query and 'killing' queries. In addition, server performance statistics, configuration information, and tuning tips are provided.

Install mtop in Debian

#apt-get install mtop

Installation time it will prompt you for some details like where your mysql database loacted,username and password after finishing the installation if you want to use mtop use the following command


Output looks like below

load average: 0.49, 0.13, 0.04 mysqld 4.1.11-Debian_4sarge2-log up 4 day(s), 23:34 hrs
1 threads: 1 running, 0 cached. Queries/slow: 195/0 Cache Hit: 81.82%
Opened tables: 40 RRN: 37 TLW: 0 SFJ: 0 SMP: 0 QPS: 0

56 mysqltop localhost Query show full processlist

For more options and how to use check mtop man page


multicd - Backup your data to CD-R/CD-RW

multicd provides an easy way to backup a large number of files to multiple CDs. Give multicd the files/directories you want backed up and it will create as many CDs as it needs to, prompting the user to put in a new disc whenever needed. It can be configured to run in a multi-threading mode, where it will burn one image to a disc while it is copying files to another image. This feature can be disabled for slower machines.

Install multicd in Debian

#apt-get install multicd


multitail - view multiple logfiles windowed on console

multitail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program.

The difference is that this program creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). It can also use colors while displaying the logfiles for faster recognizing which lines are important and which are not.

It is optimized for terminal-sessions through slow links.

Install multitail in Debian

#apt-get install multitail

For more options and how to use check multitail man page


multitee - send multiple inputs to multiple outputs

multitee sends all input on file descriptor fdin to each descriptor fdout. This is an improved version written by Dan Bernstein of the multitee program for BSD systems.

Install multitee in Debian

#apt-get install multitee

For more options and how to use check multitee man page


mypasswordsafe - Easy-to-use password manager

MyPasswordSafe is a straight-forward, easy-to-use password manager that maintains compatibility with Password Safe files. MyPasswordSafe has the following features:
 - Safes are encrypted when they are stored to disk.
 - Passwords never have to be seen, because they are copied to the clipboard.
 - Random passwords can be generated.
 - Window size, position, and column widths are remembered.
 - Passwords remain encrypted until they need to be decrypted at the dialog
   and file levels.
 - A safe can be made active so it will always be opened when MyPasswordSafe
 - Supports Unicode in the safes.
 - Languages supported: English and French.

Install mypasswordsafe in Debian

#apt-get install mypasswordsafe

For more options and how to use check mypasswordsafe man page


ncdt - Display directory tree

NcdT displays directory tree, much like standard tree(1), but with few improvements:

- it prints summary info instead of directory special file size
- it prints MP3 file info
It's particularly useful for indexing CDs.

Install ncdt in Debian

#apt-get install ncdt

After installation you need to enter the following command to check the directory tree

#ncdt <directory name>

example :- #ncdt /root

output looks like below

`-- [ 15,847] .
|-- [ 110] .profile
|-- [ 412] .bashrc
|-- [ 179] dbootstrap_settings
|-- [ 1,336] install-report.template
|-- [ 1,024] .rnd
|-- [ 5,762] .viminfo
|-- [ 5,472] .bash_history
`-- [ 1,552] .ssh
|-- [ 887] id_rsa
|-- [ 224]
`-- [ 441] known_hosts

For more options and how to use check ncdt man page


ncompress - Original Lempel-Ziv compress/uncompress programs

This package provides the original programs that are the de facto standard, in much of the UNIX community, for compressing and uncompressing files. The programs implement a fast, simple LZW file compression algorithm. The LZW algorithm does not have as high a rate of compression as some other algorithms, but LZW implementations such as this one often compress files faster than other, similar programs such as gzip.

For Debian, the standard uncompress program is installed as uncompress.real.

This package contains a copyright notice from one of the original authors in the file /usr/doc/ncompress/README.Debian.

Install ncompress in Debian

#apt-get install ncompress


noflushd - allow idle hard disks to spin down

Noflushd is a daemon that spins down disks that have not been read from after a certain amount of time, and then prevents disk writes from spinning them back up. It's targeted for laptops but can be used on any computer with IDE disks. The effect is that the hard disk actually spins down, saving you battery power, and shutting off the loudest component of most computers

Install noflushd in Debian

#apt-get install noflushd

For more options and how to use check noflushd man page


nomarch - Unpacks .ARC and .ARK MS-DOS archives

This is a de-archiving only replacement for the arc archiver from SEA. It can handle pkarc archives, as well as others. It can also be used with emacs - see the nomarch manpage.

This package is very useful for E-Mail virus scanner scripts for attachement unpacking.

Install nomarch in Debian

#apt-get install nomarch

For more options and how to use check nomarch man page


note - small program managing notes from commandline

This is a small console program similar to knotes, which allows you to manage notes from commandline.

Install note in Debian

#apt-get install note


notifyme - A program to notify the user when other one logs in

Notifyme is a GPL'ed Unix (tested under Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD) console utility that stays in a background (it isn't a daemon but it doesn't block terminal) and prints a message if a specified login and/or logout occurs. In a resource file ($HOME/notify.rc by default) you can specify (extended regular expressions are allowed) usernames, hostnames and terminals that should be monitored, optional messages that will be displayed and other options (beep, report logouts etc.) See notifyrc.sample for examples. It should be self explanatory.

Install notifyme in Debian

#apt-get install notifyme


nwrite - Enhanced replacement for the write command

Nwrite is a replacement for the standard write program that lets you write directly to the terminal of another logged-in user without the overhead of talk taking over the full screen or the other user having to respond first.

Nwrite's advantages over traditional write include the ability to send the same message simultaneously to multiple users, and a receiver-configurable message format, including a tag at the start of each line that identifies the sender.

Install nwrite in Debian

#apt-get install nwrite

For more options and how to use check nwrite man page