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What's So great About Debian Goodies?

  • July 8, 2011
  • By Joe Brockmeier

The debian-goodies package is a set of utilities that work with Debian packages and provide more information than you can easily get out of dpkg or the standard (Advanced Package Tool) APT utilities. In this ServerWatch article, Joe Brockmeier looks at the most compelling tools.


If you work with Debian-based systems, you probably know the basics of working with dpkg and APT's tools, but there's much more available. To find out which packages have release-critical bugs, hog the most disk space, or still use older versions of files that have been upgraded, you want Debian Goodies.

The debian-goodies package is a set of utilities that work with Debian packages and provide more information than you can (easily) get out of dpkg or the standard (Advanced Package Tool) APT utilities. Let's take a look at some of the most useful utilities, starting with my favorite--checkrestart.

When you install a new package, some running applications may continue using older versions of files (like libraries, configuration files) that have been upgraded. You can find out, quickly, which processes are using the older files with checkrestart. It will return the number of processes that are still using files that have been upgraded, and the process number. You can also see the file in use by adding the -v (verbose) option. If the process has an init script that can be used to restart it, then checkrestart will also provide that.

Why do you want to do that? One major reason is that a system upgrade may provide a security update--that may not be used by running processes, because they're still using the older version of a library.

Read the rest of "What's So great About Debian Goodies?" on ServerWatch.

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