How To: Compress And Decompress .bz2 Files

In today’s article, we’re going to discuss how to compress and decompress .bz2 files. This is something you may eventually need to know, so I’ll cover it here. I’ll just cover the basics, as most folks won’t need to know anything more than the basics. This should actually be a fairly short and direct article. There’s not a whole lot to it.

If you don’t already know, .bz2 files are bzip2 files. You’ll find that bzip2 is an opensource compression program that gets some regular usage, and you’ll sometimes find downloaded files that are compressed with this format. You may also, for compatibility reasons, want to compress files with bzip2 to share with other users who are already set on using the .bz2 format.

For the curious, the bzip2 man pages define this particular application as (and, as always, I highly encourage folks to read the man pages themselves – this one being a bit more complicated than others):

bzip2, bunzip2 – a block-sorting file compressor

Again, we’re going to just cover how to compress and decompress .bz2 files in this article. That’s all we’re going to do. You don’t tend to come across too many files compressed with bzip2, but they do show up from time to time.

Because of that, we’re going to cover how to compress and decompress those files in this article. It’s gotta get covered eventually, so it might as well be now. Read on!

Compress And Decompress .bz2 Files:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

You might actually not have bzip2 installed. It’s not always installed by default. Fortunately, as far as I can tell, it shares the same name in every major distro, that is ‘bzip2‘. So, just go ahead and install it like you’d install any other software. For example, if you’re using Fedora, your command would look similar to:

See? I didn’t use Ubuntu as the default example! We’re mixing everything up today! (Use apt if you’re using a distro with apt, like Debian or Ubuntu and derivatives.)

At this point, you should probably have a .bz2 file to work on for the sake of the article. Seeing as I have no idea what you’ve already downloaded, we should probably start with you making one – just so you can see how to decompress it. 

To compress a file with bzip2, the command looks like (See the detailed warning below this command, do not use this command without reading the warning!):

That will create a file with the same filename but make a .bz2 file. However, this is a destructive act. If you use the above command, the original file will be deleted! If you wish to keep the original file, you need the -k (keep) flag. That looks like:

That command will not remove the original file, as would be the default. Obviously, the -z flag means ‘zip’.

If you want to decompress a file with bzip2, the command looks like:

This will extract the file(s) into the current directory. Of course, the -d means ‘decompress’. This is not a destructive operation. The original and extracted files will remain on your file system.

As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to compress and decompress .bz2 files. You might go years not seeing any files in that format, but you’re eventually going to bump into one and now you know  how to deal with it in the terminal – and how to respond in kind.

Closure:

And there you have it. You have yet another article. We’re getting close to 300 articles at this point, so it has been a long journey. If you feel like writing an article, let me know! Anyhow, you can now compress and decompress .bz2 files easily enough, and that was the point of the article.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by KGIII

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How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (And Other Browsers)

In today’s article, we’re going to explore one way to make Google Chrome use less RAM. This is also useful for other browsers and will reduce CPU usage as well. This will be a shorter article (I was wrong), outside of the norm for the articles I tend to write.

Though, to be fair, the efficacy of this depends a great deal on how you use your browser. If you’re a light browser user, this probably isn’t the article for you. Otherwise, if  you’re anything like me, read on!

See, right this very minute, I have 108 open tabs in this browser. On top of that, I have three browser instances open. I do different things in different browsers, as a way to both organize myself and to keep things compartmentalized. Even with gobs of RAM, the browsers consume a ton of resources.

While I do make use of bookmarks, I also have a lot of open tabs that I return to with some regularity. Eventually, you’ll have to restart Chrome, assuming you also don’t reboot as often as I do. Browsers just consume more and more resources, ’cause the concept of a simple webpage is gone as everyone uses the latest libraries and insists on being interactive.

This increasing resource usage equally true with Firefox, Chromium, Opera, Brave, etc… If you have enough tabs open, it’s gonna consume a bunch of resources, continuing to use more as time passes. This can lead to a system, or just browser instance, that slows down or even becomes unresponsive. It can even cause the system to freeze entirely.

Well, if you try this one simple trick (Ha! I crack me up!) then you can probably resolve this issue. This article will tell you how!

Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM:

For once, you don’t have to open a terminal for this article!

Instead, crack open Google Chrome – or any other major browser. This works for most of the popular browsers. As long as it’s in the Chrome or Firefox family, you should be able to use this extension.

I guess I should call this a review. It kinda is. 

As I was saying in the intro, my browsers were consuming too many resources. They’d chew up RAM, sometimes chew up CPU, and generally take more resources than I felt they needed to.

I knew what I wanted to do, so I went looking for a browser extension that’d let me do what I wanted. I tried a few extensions that did what I wanted, but settled on the add-on/extension called “Auto Tab Discard“. 

Auto Tab Discard is available for both Google Chrome and Firefox. What it does is, after a certain amount of time (which you set) it ‘discards’ tabs. This is handier than you might think!

Auto Tab Discard unloads unused tabs from memory, reducing RAM consumption by an immeasurable (but about 60% in my case) amount – as well as reducing CPU usage, though CPU usage is usually pretty minimal for non-interactive tabs that aren’t currently open.

You can set the time for this, meaning you can make Auto Tab Discard discard tabs after being inactive for 15 minutes, for example. If this was a blanket statement, then the browser extension would be pretty useless – but it’s not. After all, you probably don’t want all tabs to be automatically discarded.

To that end, you can also set certain tabs to never be discarded. You basically whitelist the domain and those tabs will not be discarded automatically with Auto Tab Discard. On top of that, and this is moderately important, you can tell Auto Tab Discard to *not* discard tabs that have audio or video playing.

For example, you can load up a YouTube playlist and let it run in the background and Auto Tab Discard will let it remain resident in memory. This also works for tabs just playing audio. As near as I can tell, this feature works fine – and I’ve been using the extension for well over a month now.

That’s how I use Auto Tab Discard. You can also manually choose to discard a tab. If you need to, you can even tell Auto Tab Discard to discard everything but the current tab. You can note discarded tabs by the ‘zz’ in the changed tab title. There are a ton of options that let you customize Auto Tab Discard for yourself. Click on the extension’s icon to see a bunch of other options for Auto Tab Discard.

Hands down, this is the best extension I could find that would make Google Chrome use less RAM and CPU. As a bonus, it’s also available for Firefox!

Bonus:

While doing all this testing, I decided to solve another problem. Any time I’d open a YouTube tab, even by mistake, it would automatically start playing the video. That was really annoying – especially as I was now discarding those tabs and they’d automatically load when I clicked on a tab by mistake.

For this problem, and I have a lot of YouTube tabs open, I managed to find “Stop Autoplay For YouTube“. I only make use of the version for Google Chrome, but I’m sure something exists for Firefox. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to always work, but it works often enough for me. It’s still annoying, but far less often.

I just haven’t trialed anything in Firefox because Firefox isn’t one of my favorite browsers. Because of this, I’m reluctant to recommend any specific extension. I’m sure there’s a browser add-on for Firefox that will stop YouTube from autoplaying videos. If you do find a good one, feel free to recommend it as a comment.

But, for Google Chrome (and Chromium, of course) I find the Stop Autoplay For YouTube to be a handy extension, doing useful things. If your browsing habits are anything like mine, you too might find it useful. If you don’t have 20 YouTube tabs open (technically actually discarded with Auto Tab Discard) like I do, you’ll find it helpful when you mis-click and a YouTube video starts playing automatically.

Closure:

Well, that was a different article. Today’s article is going to be useful to a subset of people, some of whom will be using operating systems other than Linux. Hopefully more people will learn how to make Google Chrome use less RAM, even if they’re using Windows or a Mac. You can even use Auto Tab Discard in the Microsoft Bing browser, for that tiny subset of users who do use that browser on Linux.

Automatically discarding tabs makes computing so much nicer and it means I don’t have to change my ways all that much. I just let tabs get discarded and that means my RAM usage is a whole lot less than it used to be. The browsers accounted for well over 60% of my RAM.

So, if you’re anything like me, this will help you reduce the resources used by your browsers. And, if you’re anything like my, at least 90% of your computing time will be spent in your browser.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Some Fun With Sorting The Output Of ‘ls’

Today’s article will be relatively short and easy, as we have some fun with sorting the output of ‘ls’. It’ll be a pretty short and simple article, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Read on and learn about sorting the output of ‘ls’!

The last article I wrote was:

Some Fun With Formatting The Output From ‘ls’

This article will be remarkably similar, but isn’t about formatting the output of ‘ls’, it’s about sorting the output of ‘ls’. Yes, there is a difference! This is useful for a variety of reasons, but it’s mostly useful for viewing your files categorically. There are just a handful of sorting options, but we’ll cover them all.

Like always, it’s important to know that you should not to parse the output of ‘ls’. Parsing the output of ‘ls’ if full of risks, so you shouldn’t do it! The link explains it better than I can, and it tells you what to do instead of parsing the output of ‘ls’.

Obviously, and again, we’ll be using the ‘ls’ command. The ‘ls’ command defines itself fairly accurately as:

ls – list directory contents

So, just like the last article, there’s no real reason to make the intro longer than it needs to be. Let’s just jump right into the article.

Sorting The Output Of ‘ls’:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, you can stay right there in your /home directory, or you can ‘cd‘ into a directory of your choice – preferably one with a variety of files in it.

When you’re done picking a directory, you have the following choices:

See? I even alphabetized them for you! The list of what they do should be fairly obvious, with ls --sort=version being the most unusual and only applying to versioned files.  Also, while included, there’s not a whole lot of reason to use ls --sort=none, as that’s just the default output.

I find sorting by time to be pretty handy, as well as sorting by size. I don’t have much of a reason to use the rest, but they’re there if you need them. I figured I’d include ’em all, rather than just those that I find useful.

Closure:

There you have it, another short article! It’s also another article about the ‘ls’ command, but this time we’re sorting the output of ‘ls’. I figured I’d do this article right after the other one, mostly so that I’d remember to actually cover it. 

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Last Updated on October 26, 2022 by KGIII

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Some Fun With Formatting The Output From ‘ls’

Today’s article will be a nice and simple one, in which we’ll have some fun with formatting the output from ‘ls’. It’s just a quick article today, as there’s no real reason to make this all that difficult. Read on, my dear readers!

While it’s true that you shouldn’t parse the output from the ‘ls’ command, you can format it to get an output that more suits your needs. You might want to do this to more easily understand the output from ‘ls’. There are a half dozen or so formatting options and we’ll show them all to you in this article. One (or more) of them might tickle your fancy.

Obviously, we’ll be using the ‘ls’ command. The ‘ls’ command describes itself like this:

ls – list directory contents

Which is exactly what it does. It’s not a very complicated command, as far as some commands go, but there are a lot of options. Like always, I highly suggest that you read the man page (man ls) to get more information than will be contained in this article.

Anyhow, I said this will be a short article, so I will just get right into the meat of the article instead of typing a bunch of additional fluff. You’re welcome!

Formatting The Output From ‘ls’:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, you can choose to view the output of ‘ls’ with a variety of formats. They’re more or less self-explanatory, so I’m just going to show them all to you. If you’re confused by any of them, try them in your terminal, which will should make it more clear.

I even made you an alphabetized list! See? I am helpful today!

So, for ls --format=across you’ll get the output spread across your screen (as much as possible). If you use ls --format=comma, the files will be separated by a comma.

Out of all of them, I tend to use ls --format=verbose more often than I use any of the other ways of formatting the output from ‘ls’. It gives me just enough information, from file modification date and time to the file’s permissions. So, out of all of them, that’s the one I’ll use most often. 

Feel free to flip through and try them all. You’re bound to find something interesting in there. The ‘ls’ command is surprisingly useful, and it’s harmless enough for you to explore it at length.

Closure:

See? I told you that it’d be a pretty short article today. I just showed you some ways of formatting the output from ‘ls’ and that’s all I’ve done. There’s no reason to make this longer than necessary. I think my readers are smart enough to take it from here, and figure out what they like most, or find the most useful.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Find Files Modified On A Specific Day

In today’s article, we’re going to do exactly what the title says, we’re going to find files modified on a specific day. Imagine that! We’re doing what it says in the title! I dunno why I write the things I do. But, I do have quite a few people reading, and hardly any of ’em complain!

So, why would you want to do this? Well, let’s say Big Bad John logged into your system on Friday. He was fired for drinking at lunch, but still had access to the system for another hour before security got around to hauling his butt out of the building.

Wouldn’t you like to know what files were changed on his computer that day, just to see if he’d done anything malicious? You might also have some weird system errors and want to know what files have changed today so that you can narrow down your search for the culprit. There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to know how to find files modified on a specific day.

We’re going to be using a simple command, and just one command. We’ll be using the ‘find’ function. There are surely other ways to do this, but we’ll use the find command. It works and it means you have a relatively short article.

How To: Find Files Modified On A Specific Day:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, let’s say you want to find files edited on the day this article is published. To do that, you’d run this command:

For the sake of simplicity, the format is YYYY-MM-DD. You could use other date formats that are recognized by the system, but we’ll just stick to this date format as it’s nice and easy.

Now, you can also adjust your ‘maxdepth‘ value. If it’s a 1, it will dig down one directory deep. So, if you’re in your home directory, it’ll dig into ~/Downloads, ~/Pictures, ~/Documents, etc… If you change it to 2, it’ll dig into the sub-directories, like ~/Downloads/foo and ~/Documents/bar.

If you want to find files modified on a specific day, simply change the date in the command and start searching. It’s handy if you edited a file and can’t recall which file it was you edited. The command can be used for all sorts of things like that. Good luck!

Closure:

There you go… You have another article and this one teaches you how to find files modified on a specific day. It’s a short article with just one command. There’s no reason to pad the article further. It’s just the one command. Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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