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ph03n1x
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: System Cleaning Reply with quote

I would like to ask what you guys do to keep your systems healthy, small and powerful. Things that come to my mind are:

- Remove unwanted software
- revdep-rebuild
- emerge --depclean
- cleanout \tmp and \var\tmp
- cleanout \usr\portage\distfiles

Anything else one might do? I fear defrag is not possible?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: System Cleaning Reply with quote

ph03n1x wrote:
I would like to ask what you guys do to keep your systems healthy, small and powerful. Things that come to my mind are:

- Remove unwanted software
- revdep-rebuild
- emerge --depclean
- cleanout \tmp and \var\tmp
- cleanout \usr\portage\distfiles

Anything else one might do? I fear defrag is not possible?

Just use conservative settings, dont mess with the startup scripts too much and maintain a neat use flags set by ripping off all the support that you dont need into the make.conf use settings. Then I add the needed support app by app into package,use. That is the best thing of gentoo.

To keep the hard drive less fragmented the only things that can help you are:

1.- A sane partitioning scheme, with as many partitions as you need, dont be afraid to have 11 partitions if you can get a lower fragmentation with that.
2.- A sane fs selection. Reiser3.x is known to fragment like mad.
3.- Related to 1, keep directories with thousands of small files out of the main filesystems, lets say that /usr/portage, /usr/portage/distfiles, /tmp, /var/tmp and /usr/src should be in their own partitions (or at least not into the / partition. That will keep the fragmentation into / near zero.

The cleaning of packages is more a aestheticall issue, and has no or very litle impact on the system performance (other than the fragmentation and space problems that big packages can cause). Having a lib installed does not harm in any way.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep /home, /var, /tmp, and /usr/portage on their own dedicated partitions (portage as reiserfs, for better small file performance). Some users also like /usr on it's own, but with Gentoo, if portage is also still in /usr, the advantage is lost. The idea is to keep stuff that is heavily written to and deleted constantly isolated from your root system.

Be prepared to periodically defrag your partitions (especially reiserfs and reiser4) with the copy/reformat/copy back routine. This requires a spare partition with enough space to copy a partitions data to (or a dvd burner), so you can reformat the original partition. The common belief that Linux partitions never need defragmenting is an outdated concept. IMO, the best way is to boot with a knoppix live cd, and work from it on your unmounted partition.

Tune your ext3 partitions (the defaults may not be optimal in some cases).
See:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-305871.html

Use logrotate.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wrc1944 wrote:
Keep /home, /var, /tmp, and /usr/portage on their own dedicated partitions (portage as reiserfs, for better small file performance).... The idea is to keep stuff that is heavily written to and deleted constantly isolated from your root system.

That is the basic concept. I don't like reiserfs for that (or for any other thing, but specially for portage). It gets fragmented in no time. And the degradation curve is horrible.

Quote:

The common belief that Linux partitions never need defragmenting is an outdated concept. IMO, the best way is to boot with a knoppix live cd, and work from it on your unmounted partition.

It is not outdated, it just never was true. But it is true that some fs's manage it in a better way. A ext3 filesystem can last for years witout needing a defragmentation, this is the fragmentation index of one of my ext3 partitions, this one is a portage partition (heavily writen, and has been up for more than 6 months now):
Code:

└─[19]-> # fsck.ext2 -f /dev/hda7
e2fsck 1.38 (30-Jun-2005)
Paso 1: revisando nodos i, bloques y tamaños
Paso 2: revisando la estructura de directorios
Paso 3: revisando la conectividad del directorio.
No se encontró /lost+found.  Crear<s>? si

Paso 3A: optimizando directorios
Paso 4: revisando las cuentas de referencia
Paso 5: revisando el resumen de información del grupo

/dev/hda7: ***** EL SISTEMA DE FICHEROS FUE MODIFICADO *****
/dev/hda7: ficheros 133410/526592 (0.3% no contiguos), bloques 157291/263056

The fragmentation index is 0.3%, that's not bad for the most writen partition in this box.
Of course, time does not forgive, and someday this will grow up, but at this velocity it can be years until I need to defrag this partition.

Code:

Tune your ext3 partitions (the defaults may not be optimal in some cases).
See:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-305871.html

True, you can also look here: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-422692-highlight-.html
I wrote that yesteday when setting up a similar partition into another box. The partition was under 1gb and I run out of inodes so, if your situation is the same look out for that. You might need to format the partition with "mkfs.ext3 -i 2048" or the equivalent command under reiserfs or whatever fs you choose.

tune2fs -O dir_index <device> is an interesting feature that you definitively want, and -i and -c sets respectively the max time count and max mount count before the drive is auto-checked at startup. For portage they should be high (since there is no need to check it frequently). I do this:
Code:

mkfs.ext2 -i 2048
tune2fs -i100 -c100 -O dir_index /dev/hda7

Use logrotate.[/quote]
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6thpink wrote
Quote:
That is the basic concept. I don't like reiserfs for that (or for any other thing, but specially for portage). It gets fragmented in no time. And the degradation curve is horrible.

I agree the reiserfs degradation curve is pretty bad, but since my /mnt/portage partition (with a portage symlink in /usr/portage) is only 3GB, I'm prepared to quickly reformat it periodically- for me, it's no big deal. I've tried ext3 for this partition, and reiserfs is significantly faster, at least for the first month or two. :roll: I might try reiser4 again for /mnt/portage only, or even go back to ext3 tuned-up.

Quote:
It is not outdated, it just never was true. But it is true that some fs's manage it in a better way.

I didn't mean that Linux partitions in the past never fragmented at all, just that the untrue belief is "outdated."
I always felt they did indeed fragment to some extent, and that what I was reading from the "experts" several years ago had to be incorrect.

EDIT:
Just read your "out of disk space errors, but there is free space" thread at http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-422692-highlight-.html. Very useful info- in fact it makes me rethink my setup- thanks much. I had considered putting distfiles on a different partition before, but just decided to go with then entire portage directory on it's own reiserfs partition.

Now I'm thinking ext2 with dir_index and the more inodes/2048 block size tweak would be at least as good for /mnt/portage, and move distfiles to another location. I'd then have no journalling overhead, and I could also forget about having to defrag reiserfs peroidically.

However, I'm still really tempted to try reiser4 for /mnt/portage, if only just to satisfy myself it doesn't justify having to defrag it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wrc1944 wrote:
6thpink wrote
Quote:
It is not outdated, it just never was true. But it is true that some fs's manage it in a better way.

I didn't mean that Linux partitions in the past never fragmented at all, just that the untrue belief is "outdated."
I always felt they did indeed fragment to some extent, and that what I was reading from the "experts" several years ago had to be incorrect.

Well, we all know about "experts", that is why we have a brain to think for ourselves. I agree with you that there isnt (and never was) such fs that do not fragment. The difference is that some fs's, like ext3 (and maybe xfs) do such a good management of fragmentation that, virtually, behaves practically as if there was no fragmentation at all during a very very long time.

wrc1944 wrote:

EDIT:
Just read your "out of disk space errors, but there is free space" thread at http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-422692-highlight-.html. Very useful info- in fact it makes me rethink my setup- thanks much. I had considered putting distfiles on a different partition before, but just decided to go with then entire portage directory on it's own reiserfs partition.

Now I'm thinking ext2 with dir_index and the more inodes/2048 block size tweak would be at least as good for /mnt/portage, and move distfiles to another location. I'd then have no journalling overhead, and I could also forget about having to defrag reiserfs peroidically.

I personally think this way: do you need journal? (The info on that partition is valuable). Then use ext3, reiserfs or xfs. (To each his/her own).
If you dont care about the info on that partition (for me this is true into /usr/portage, /usr/portage/distfiles, /var/tmp, /tmp, and /usr/src, then use a non-journaling fs. It is lighter is cpu and faster (since it does not need to write metadata on each operation. For these, I use ext2 with dir_index. I can tell you that I never needed to defragment one of these until today. Oh! And if you regret your decision you can still add a journal to the ext2 partition and mount it as ext3, no more changes are needed to add the reliability of a ext3 fs to an already existing ext2 partition. Both types are fully compatible.

Quote:

However, I'm still really tempted to try reiser4 for /mnt/portage, if only just to satisfy myself it doesn't justify having to defrag it.

Well, it seems that reiser4 has not the fragmentation problems that there are into 3.6. Still, it is very unstable these days, since they are adapting the code to fit the kernel specifications. So, a partition formated today with reiser4 might not work with the reiser4 tools of the next month. Still, if you can test it you can use a not so vital partition, like the portage one.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thx all for the hints and thoughts. I think I'll use some different fs than reiser3 soon. Maybe I'm gonna change my partitions but then I'm not sure if this really makes sense on a laptop.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two other thoughts:
Be sure to use the noatime option in fstab. (and possible nodiratime also- I just read about this, but haven't found much useful reference to it on the internet- Anybody know something about this?).

Also, if you're on a laptop, it might be wise to set your commit= interval to something other than the default ext3 every 5 seconds. That way, you won't have the disk spinning up every 5 secs. to commit the journal. Put something like commit=600 at the end of your grub.conf kernel line (or whatever interval you choose). That can save a lot of battery usage, but it is at the expense of instead of potentially only losing 5 secs. of work, you could lose 600 secs. of work in the event of an unrecoverable crash. Larger commit intervals also add a little boost in performance.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wrc1944 wrote:
Two other thoughts:
Be sure to use the noatime option in fstab. (and possible nodiratime also- I just read about this, but haven't found much useful reference to it on the internet- Anybody know something about this?).

"noatime" is a mount option that avoid the fs to update the access times of the files, that way there is a small performance improvement. I have no reference at all about "nodiratime", is it for any concrete filesystem? The mount man page does not tell anything about it and I never heared of it. Links apreciated. ;)

Quote:

Also, if you're on a laptop, it might be wise to set your commit= interval to something other than the default ext3 every 5 seconds. That way, you won't have the disk spinning up every 5 secs. to commit the journal. Put something like commit=600 at the end of your grub.conf kernel line (or whatever interval you choose). That can save a lot of battery usage, but it is at the expense of instead of potentially only losing 5 secs. of work, you could lose 600 secs. of work in the event of an unrecoverable crash. Larger commit intervals also add a little boost in performance.

Or choose ext2 wich does not write journal at all. After all, the info on a laptop is not often that important because there is another desktop machine where you sync all your important data. That does not mean that ext2 is an untrustable fs at all.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the nodiratime, I came across an old reference to it somewhere recently when I was reading up on ext2/3, and IIRC, it does the same thing as noatime, but on directories (also was mentioned for reiserfs too). I did a google search for "ext3 nodiratime" and came up with some pages, but no real info other than what I just mentioned (maybe I gave up too soon). Anyway, I added it to my ext3 fstab options after noatime, and it hasn't hurt anything.

EDIT:
For what it's worth, I forgot to mention that while doing the ext2/3 googling, several people implied that some more recent ext3 options were still not documented anywhere, including in the latest kernel filesystem documentation.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And what do you think of IBM's JFS? Ive switched recently from ReiserFS, and degradation is not noticeable at all... By this time Reiser would have been in deep trouble.

Also I've noticed it's better to move portage & distfiles on other partition before... So for a desktop, they don't need a separate partition, they can be moved to /var. Servers can store some sensitive & highly accessed information in /var, so in that case portage should have it's own partition. And about /usr/src, well it just didn't cross my mind, but it's actually a great idea. I'll wait until some of my friend purchases a new hard drive and I'll borrow it for a few hours to re-partition my system. ReiserFS sucks big time...
Here's my current scheme:
Code:
/dev/hde1      /boot      ext2      defaults,noauto      1 2
/dev/hde6      none      swap      sw         1 0
/dev/hde2      /      jfs      noatime         0 1
/dev/hde3      /var      reiserfs   noatime,notail      0 2
/dev/hde5      /home      jfs      noatime         0 2
/dev/hde7      /data      xfs      noatime         0 2


Both portage & distfiles are on /var (reiserfs).
If I notice any speed degradation with JFS, I'll switch to ext3, there's really no alternative... This IBM's and SGI's FS better work as they should, 'cause I'll be very sad if they dissapoint me like ReiserFS did.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one copy of Gentoo on jfs - only snag is that you need to run ' fsck -t jfs /dev/hdxx' from a liveCD or other distro after every system reset or crash..
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never tried JFS, but have read up on it to some extent, and it looks very interesting, so I'll be investigating it more. If you haven't looked at these recent graphs comparing them all, done with a 2.6.14.4 kernel, they give some indication of how they all perform on different tasks. Definitely the easiest to understand set of file system tests I've come across.

http://linuxgazette.net/122/piszcz.html

Unless I'm mistaken, the ext3 runs were done on a default ext3, which does not truly represent the improved performance a tune ext3 gets on those categories where these tests show a lack of performance.

jsosic wrote
Quote:
Also I've noticed it's better to move portage & distfiles on other partition before... So for a desktop, they don't need a separate partition, they can be moved to /var.


My rationale for separating out distfiles from portage, and having both on their own partitions was because everything in portage consists of very small files, except distfiles (which holds many files much much larger that the others in portage). I figured it would be better to specially tune an ext2 portage partition (no journalling) for very small files, and the ext3 partition distfiles is on differently. BTW, I first had my /mnt/portage as reiserfs, but then after 2 weeks I reconsidered, and decided ext2 with dir_index, noatime, and a smaller block size would probably work as good, or better, without the fragmentation potential.

On /usr/src, in my case since I build and keep all my many kernel sources in /home/wrc/kern, I saw no need to have it on another partition. I just update the /usr/src/linux symlink to point to my current running kernel so I don't run into compiling problems, etc.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once you get the system configured, you really only gotta do occasional updates.... what gets so messy ? This isn't windows, you know... :roll:
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject: Repartitioned Reply with quote

Hi, I just wanted to say that I used this thread a lot to repartion my FS.. I went from 2 partitions (/home and /, all ReiserFS) to 5. My new layout is:
Code:
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Used% Mounted at
/dev/hda5 reiserfs    1,9G  469M  1,5G   25% /
/dev/hda1     ext2     38M  5,0M   32M   14% /boot
/dev/hda3 reiserfs    103G   50G   54G   48% /home
/dev/hda7     ext3    8,6G  6,1G  2,0G   76% /usr
/dev/hda6     ext2    905M  692M  165M   81% /usr/portage


My only problem now is that I made the portage-partition too small and basically the same with the / partition. My /tmp have a tendency to grow pretty large since I record some stuff with Audacity at home, but I just moved the audacity tmp-catalog instead.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If ReiserFS has a fragmentation problem, why is it that I have to actually copy the whole filesystem over to another partition, reformat, than copy back? Why isn't there some tool out there that does the defrag without the copy, format, copy needed? Like in Windows.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAharon wrote:
If ReiserFS has a fragmentation problem, why is it that I have to actually copy the whole filesystem over to another partition, reformat, than copy back? Why isn't there some tool out there that does the defrag without the copy, format, copy needed? Like in Windows.

Maybe because the old mechanism, as you describe it, works just well, you just need to mv on, and then back, no need to reformat or anything. It is easy if is a non-vital partition, but you need to do it from a boot cd or floppy if it is a system partition.

Appart from that, dont expect nothing more from reiserfs, since it is unmaintained, in the proper words of Hans Reiser, since he now is only supporting the development of reiser4.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAharon wrote:
If ReiserFS has a fragmentation problem, why is it that I have to actually copy the whole filesystem over to another partition, reformat, than copy back? Why isn't there some tool out there that does the defrag without the copy, format, copy needed? Like in Windows.


This still does the copying, but on the same partition in the correct order, so when the copy is done only once. It ran 6h on 95% full 200GB reiserfs partition, not sure about the improvement though.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAharon wrote:
If ReiserFS has a fragmentation problem, why is it that I have to actually copy the whole filesystem over to another partition, reformat, than copy back? Why isn't there some tool out there that does the defrag without the copy, format, copy needed? Like in Windows.


There is no known way to reformat a ReiserFS system. Not even the creators know how it would be done, if they did, they probably would have created the tool for it. Personally, it was a PITA to copy/../... It took hours, but I made some mistakes, like not empying out the portage folders (packages, tmp, etc) so it probably took twice the needed time.

Can't wait to get my hands on a really stable Reiser4!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently switched from JFS/XFS/ReiserFS combination to solo ext2/3 system, and I'm not too satisfied with preformance... I'll keep it this way for a few weeks, but I still think JFS is far the best filesystem for Gentoo. Here is my current partition scheme:

Code:
/dev/hde1      /boot         ext2   defaults,noauto      1 2
/dev/hde2      /         ext3   noatime,commit=240   0 1
/dev/hde3      /var         ext3   noatime,commit=240   0 2
/dev/hde5      /var/portage/tree   ext2   noatime         0 2
/dev/hde6      /var/portage/distfiles   ext2   noatime         0 2
/dev/hde7      /var/tmp      ext2   noatime         0 2
/dev/hde8      /usr/src      ext2   noatime         0 2
/dev/hde9      /home         ext3   noatime,commit=60   0 2
/dev/hde11      /data         ext3   noatime,commit=60   0 2
/dev/hde10      none         swap   sw         1 0
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you use the option dir_index, and run e2fsck -Df after converting to ext3?

tune2fs -O dir_index /dev/hdXY

e2fsck -Df /dev/hdXY
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wrc1944 wrote:

Also, if you're on a laptop, it might be wise to set your commit= interval to something other than the default ext3 every 5 seconds. That way, you won't have the disk spinning up every 5 secs. to commit the journal. Put something like commit=600 at the end of your grub.conf kernel line (or whatever interval you choose). That can save a lot of battery usage, but it is at the expense of instead of potentially only losing 5 secs. of work, you could lose 600 secs. of work in the event of an unrecoverable crash. Larger commit intervals also add a little boost in performance.


There is a ebuild in portage called laptop-mode-tools which accomplishes this using 'laptop mode' which is a part of the 2.6 kernels. It may be a better choice but i don't know for sure as i've only played with it a bit on my bro's laptop.
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jsosic
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Location: Split (Croatia)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wrc1944 wrote:
Did you use the option dir_index, and run e2fsck -Df after converting to ext3?


I've formatted my ext3 partitions, set dir_index, and then copy all my data from other disk. So yes, dir_index is on, and it's in use :) Also is journal=writeback and commit=60 mount options. I don't say ext3 is much slower, it's very nice, but I still like JFS very much. I've become attached to it... :)
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sundialsvc4
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite honestly, I think the best advice just might be, "leave it alone and just let it run." My machines stay up and running literally for months at a time, and they certainly do work for a living.

There's a delicate balance between keeping a system up-to-date and serviceable, and ... " 8) ing with it."

I do strive to keep the systems up-to-date with Portage, but I just don't worry about disk-space fragmentation or if "performance is as fantastic as it theoretically could be." It's fantastic-enough. I do not feel that performance has declined appreciably since the day they first went on-line with Gentoo. They certainly blow smoke rings around the Windows boxes!
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Phlogiston
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Repartitioned Reply with quote

azp wrote:
Hi, I just wanted to say that I used this thread a lot to repartion my FS.. I went from 2 partitions (/home and /, all ReiserFS) to 5. My new layout is:
Code:
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Used% Mounted at
/dev/hda5 reiserfs    1,9G  469M  1,5G   25% /
/dev/hda1     ext2     38M  5,0M   32M   14% /boot
/dev/hda3 reiserfs    103G   50G   54G   48% /home
/dev/hda7     ext3    8,6G  6,1G  2,0G   76% /usr
/dev/hda6     ext2    905M  692M  165M   81% /usr/portage


My only problem now is that I made the portage-partition too small and basically the same with the / partition. My /tmp have a tendency to grow pretty large since I record some stuff with Audacity at home, but I just moved the audacity tmp-catalog instead.


Hey you are wasting a lot of space for your portage directory.
Read this report I wrote and learn more 8)

Phlogiston
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Workstation: 5.1 SurroundSound, LIRC remote control; Laptop [IBM-T43]: patched sources, s2disk/ram, fingerprint sensor
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