How to Use Rmlint To Optimize Your Disk Space in Linux

If your hard drive is filling up quickly and you don’t know how to clean it up, Rmlint can help. This open-source tool, available on most Linux distributions, allows you to optimize your disk space in no time.

Unlike other tools of its kind, it stands out for its speed, scanning your disks in the blink of an eye to find all the files that unnecessarily clutter your precious storage space. Among its features, rmlint can detect:

  • Duplicate files and directories
  • Unstripped binaries (i.e., with debugging symbols)
  • Broken symbolic links
  • Empty files and directories
  • Files with invalid user or group IDs

But that’s not all, as it also offers a paranoia mode for those who want to be 100% sure not to delete important files by mistake. It also offers multiple options to suit your needs and can even be limited to files newer than a certain date.

For fans of modern file systems like btrfs, know that rmlint handles them like a pro and can take advantage of their advanced features to save you even more disk space.

To install it on Debian/Ubuntu, a simple

sudo apt install rmlint

will do the trick. Then, to run it, simply type the rmlint command followed by the directory you want to analyze. For example:

rmlint /home/user/messy-folder

You can add options to refine the analysis, such as -o to specify an output format or

--paranoid

to enable paranoia mode if you don’t trust the hashes returned by the tool and are afraid that non-duplicate files will be deleted.

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And there you go, in a few seconds (or minutes depending on the size of the directory), rmlint will generate a nice report listing all the files that deserve to be trashed. All that’s left is to delete them with a well-placed rm and enjoy your freshly freed gigabytes!

Head over to https://rmlint.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ to download rmlint and discover all its options. Your hard drive will thank you!

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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