Sunday, December 1, 2013

Housekeeping (Drat!)

In Linux it is seductively easy to install new software packages. Of course, it's also a great convenience. Keeping track of what you've installed (and when) is mostly up to you. I say mostly because the following shell expression is a help:

  dpkg --get-selections | grep install

Unfortunately, this gives you the list in alphabetical rather than date order and it lists all the sub-packages -- not just the ones you actually typed in. My list since June is over 1000 lines long. I mentioned June because just before that I did --

  sudo apt-get -y ??? install

And whatever that was (the "???" bit) corrupted the filesystem on my 16gb SD card ("sudo" can scribble anywhere). So I had to re-download the whole system (using my iMac) on to a spare SD card. I then tried to patch the original filesystem using the fsck command. But it didn't help. Since then I have been pretty good about backing things up (covered in earlier posts). The thing I didn't do was write down each time I did an install or update. Duh. And if you DO keep this record, don't just leave the file on the Pi where it could get lost.

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