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How To Find Duplicate Files And Clean Them On Linux With FSlint

Running out of space on your Linux PC? If so, consider checking out this app! It’s called Fslint, and it can find duplicate files on Linux. Once it finds the duplicate files, it will instruct the user to run the program to reclaim lost space.

Install Fslint

Installing the Fslint tool on Linux is quite easy if you are running one of the mainstream Linux distributions. To get the program, open up a terminal window and use your package manager to install it. Alternatively, it’s possible to download and compile the source code for Fslint.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install fslint

Debian

sudo apt-get install fslint

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S fslint

Fedora

sudo dnf install fslint

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install fslint

Other Linuxes

Fslint runs on nearly any Linux distribution thanks to a release of the source code. Get started installing it on your Linux PC by opening up a terminal window. From there, use the wget tool to grab the latest version of the code.

wget http://www.pixelbeat.org/fslint/fslint-2.46.tar.xz

Using the wget tool to download Fslint doesn’t take long. When it finishes, use the tar command to extract contents of the tar.xz file.

tar -xf fslint-2.46.tar.xz

With everything extracted, use the CD command to move the terminal from the home folder to the new fslint directory.

cd fslint-2.46

Inside the fslint-2.46 folder, you’ll need to CD into the po sub-folder. This sub-folder is where Fslint will build from.

cd po

Build the program with make.

make

To run the Fslint app on your Linux PC at any time, do the following:

cd fslint-2.46

./fslint-gui

Using Fslint

To use the app for erasing duplicates, open Fslint and look to the sidebar on the left. Click “duplicates” to enter the duplicate scanner tool. Look for the “find” button and click on it to allow the program to search your file system. Be sure to select the “recursive” button, or it may have issues searching deep into files.

Please note that Fslint works by scanning a user directory. To get the best results, instruct each user to run the tool. Alternatively, as a system administrator, run this app as many times as needed.

Clicking “find” will start the scan, and it will take some time, so be patient. When it finally does complete, you’ll be able to mess with the files. Go through the list and determine how you’d like to continue.

Merging Files

One way Fslint can reclaim hard drive space is by detecting duplicate files and combining them. To do this, run a scan. When the scan is complete, look through the list and select any file you’d like to merge. Click “merge” in the bottom right to finalize the merge.

Have a lot of files to merge and don’t feel like doing it by hand? Find the “select” button, as it has many options for selecting files in bulk.

Deleting Files

If merging isn’t what you want, Fslint will allow you to eliminate duplicates and reclaim your hard drive space quickly. To remove duplicates, run a scan. After the scan is complete, look at the list and select an item to delete. Click the “delete” button on the bottom to finalize the deletion.

Deleting a lot of files at once can be annoying, so don’t forget about the bulk selection option in Fslint! Click “select” to reveal ways to select multiple files at a time.

Cleaning Whitespace

Fslint does way more than deleting duplicate files. It has other handy features, so many that it would be a chore to go over. One such useful feature that this program has is its ability to make files smaller by deleting whitespace (aka long spaces between text).

To shorten files, find “Redundant white space” in the menu on the side select it, click the box next to “bad indenting for indent width”, and click the “Find” button. Selecting this option will tell the Fslint program to scan your Linux file system for files and analyze them.  This process will take a bit of time, but when it completes you’ll see a list of files that Fslint deems messy.

Want to save hard drive space? If so, look through the list of returned files in Fslint, and select them. Once you’ve found files you want to improve, click the “clean” button.

Please note that cleaning whitespace isn’t required, and you should only select this option if you’re sure you want to go through with it. Lots of system files on Linux are safe to edit. That being said, it’s never a good idea to modify files you don’t fully understand. For best results, read the Fslint manual.

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