Sort Files By Size (In The Terminal)

In today’s article, we’re going to cover something nice and simple; how to sort files by size in the terminal. This is something everyone should know, because sorting files is often a prerequisite to understanding and managing said files.

Besides, not all the articles have to be something complicated. The tagline for Linux-Tips is “Getting you up to speed!” It’s supposed to be aimed squarely at new Linux users. The problem is, many of those articles are boring to write and the 2nd largest group of readers aren’t really beginners. 

So, yeah…

Today, we’ll have a nice, basic article that tells you how to sort files by size – in the terminal. In fact, some of the more regular users may not have these commands memorized. Now’s a good time to learn ’em.

We’ll be using the ‘ls’ command for this. It is said that you shouldn’t parse the output of ‘ls’ for anything important. It’s bad practice for reasons I think I’ve touched on before. However, you can safely use ‘ls’ for this process as it’s just sorting the files by size and doing so by itself.

For those that don’t know, ‘ls’ has a ton of options. It’s a tool used to show the contents of a directory. You can use man ls to get more information about the command. We’ve previously covered:

Let’s Use ‘ls’ To Sort Files By Time

Well, today we’ll use ‘ls’ to …

Sort Files By Size:

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 just as well stay right there in your default location – which should be your home directory. Feel free to switch to a new directory, but you really won’t need to. It’s an easy command. 

First, we’ll show the output sorted to show the largest files first:

Of course, you can reverse that sort order and show the smallest files first. To do that, you just add -r (reverse) to your flags, like so:

That command should show you files listed with the smallest ones first and that’s really all there is to this article. Well, there’s the closure section – but nobody reads those.

Closure:

And, well, this particular closure section won’t have anything truly interesting or different in it. After all, this is just a simple article that shows you how to sort files by size. ‘Snot that much more to it. ‘Snot that much more that I can add.

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How To: Make ‘wget’ Ignore Certificate Errors

In today’s article, we’ll learn how to make ‘wget’ ignore certificate errors. It’s an easy thing to do and can be pretty useful if you want to download stuff from a server with a broken or missing security certificate. It’s a simple process, one which even a new Linux user can follow – but it’s not one that comes up all that often and so it’s worth including here.

I’d like to save some time and not duplicate work, so I’d appreciate it greatly if you at least read the intro section from when I wrote how to make ‘curl’ ignore certificate errors.

That’s right, I’ve already written this article – except it was for ‘curl‘ and not for ‘wget’.  Well, this article is pretty much the same thing, except we’re talking about doing it with ‘wget’. So, read the intro to the curl article and you’ll be up to speed with regards to what a certificate is, why they’re important, and why you might want to ignore certificate errors.

That’ll save some time! Those of you who do not read the ‘curl’ article are on your own. Also, many of my readers will already know about security certificates and won’t need a tutorial or refresher course. 

By the way, we use SSL here on Linux Tips. In fact, we use HSTS Preload, which means it’s hard coded in Chromium browsers (or at least Chrome) and the site will simply refuse to load without a proper certificate. So, there’s that… I take security pretty seriously, something important when you’re using WordPress.

Make ‘wget’ Ignore Certificate Errors:

This article requires ‘wget’ which requires an open terminal. 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. If ‘wget’ isn’t installed, install it. I am pretty darned confident that it’s in your default repositories.

If you don’t know, ‘wget’ is used to download stuff from servers – while  you’re using your terminal. It’s a basic concept, but the command can be pretty complicated. After all, there are some pretty complicated site structures out there, and of course your downloading needs will vary.

So, with that said, it’s really easy to do this. You’ll just use the “--no-check-certificate” flag, like so:

But wait, there’s more! You can actually make the ‘wget’ command ignore certificate errors all the time. If this is something you find yourself needing to add this to your ‘wget’ commands often, you can make it permanent. To do that, you just need to edit your ~/.wgetrc file (create it, if it doesn’t exist) with the following:

You won’t have to reload anything, that command should take effect the very next time you use the ‘wget’ command and you should now permanently be ignoring security certificate errors. 

Doing this might actually be a horrible idea. After all, you’re ignoring security warnings. That’s a bit like ignoring a ‘Bridge Closed’ sign and hoping for the best as you gun it to the tune of “Highway To The Danger Zone”. Or, it could be just fine ’cause not everything even needs a security certificate! It’s Linux. You get to decide.

Closure:

Whelp… You have a new article. In this one, I give you what could be horrible advice. You might not want to make ‘wget’ ignore certificate errors. I mean, they are security related. On the other hand, it’s likely just fine – assuming you do some basic verification. Ah well… I ain’t scared and it’s not my computer. I’ll happily teach you how to completely break your system. I ain’t scared.

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Meta: I Should Have Numbered These

It’s time for another meta article. These are just articles where I take a bit of a break and write about the site itself. Some of them have been a little tough to write, but this one promises to be pretty darned easy. (I try to avoid swearing on the site, but sometimes I notice I did when I get to the editing phase. In real life, I swear like a trooper, depending on the company I keep.)

You won’t learn anything major from this article, and none of what you learn will be about Linux! You have been warned!

Well, I haven’t written the article yet – but that stands to reason! I don’t plan on writing anything even remotely educational in this article. I won’t even have to use the code blocks for anything – and you won’t even need to open a terminal! That’s right, it’s an article where you do not have to crack open your terminal. (I cut and paste that instructional ext, mixing it up a little from time to time.)

So, well, I do kinda wish I’d started these meta articles off by numbering them. Then I could kinda keep track of how many I’ve written. I suppose I could still filter it and figure that out. Lemme check…

I’ve used the meta tag for some pretty silly stuff – perhaps by accident. This would be like the 8th one that’s really about the site itself. Maybe I’ll remember to call the next one “#9”. There are a couple of other ‘meta’ articles where I’m not quite sure why I used the tag or title. Ah well… It was probably wine.

The State Of Linux-Tips #8:

So, not that long ago there was an article that I posted without disclosing any details. Let’s just say lessons have been learned. I think even Google noticed, ’cause my traffic hasn’t really grown any since the last time I wrote one of these.

In fact, pretty much all the same data from the last one would apply to this one. In a few areas, my traffic actually decreased a little – not much, but a little. The gains made with keywords like ‘apt purge‘ ranking pretty high seem to be countered by fewer clicks on the other articles.

Basically, it’s a wash… I think Google punished me for about a month, because traffic seems to be increasing again. You can help with that, you know. Share the articles on your favorite social media sites and that’ll help a great deal – more than donating or unblocking ads.

Speaking of ads, I got some money from AdSense and I see no reason to suspect the bills won’t get paid. Well, they’re gonna get paid regardless. So, there’s that, which is nice! 

Literally, the same popular content from last time is the same popular content from this time. It’s almost as if Google put me into stasis, or something. So, I do believe I’ve learned a lesson regarding publishing content from other people with different objectives.

Speaking of which, you can also help by writing an article. I’ll clean it up and make it suitable for publication, including formatting and digging for links as needed. That’d be great. It’s summer and I’m pressed for time. So, that’d really help. You might want to make sure that it’s not something I’ve already covered! We’ve got a ton of content already.

Closure:

That’s it, really! I just wanted to touch base with an easy meta article. Normally, they’re a bit more complicated than this. This time, nothing major has changed. Even my drop in traffic is closer to just staying the same and not increasing in traffic as I have been. It’s down like 1.3% – or pretty much a rounding error. However, the site has been experiencing linear growth – which, mixed with other numbers, makes me think we won’t be seeing a repeat of the article shared a month or so ago.

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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Use ‘apt’ To Download A Program And Its Dependencies

In this article, we’ll discuss a way to use ‘apt’ to download a program and its dependencies. The usual reason to do this is to install said program on an offline computer. We’ll be doing it all nice and neatly, just using the ‘apt’ application along the way. It won’t be all that difficult, but will be easy to link to and reference.

As I said, the usual reason to do this is because you have a computer that’s not online and you want to install some software on that computer. This could be a remedy for when you need wireless drivers in order to connect the device, or other sorts of situations. It’s a handy way to get those drivers up and running, so we might as well learn how to do so today.

We’ll be using ‘apt’ for this. We’ve used ‘apt’ for all sorts of software management tasks in the past. In fact, in the past this required a bit more effort. You’d use the ‘–download-only’ flag and get some files in your apt archives directory. Today, it’s just a quick task that outputs a handy file that is extremely portable.

In fact, this article really only needs one command, making ‘apt’ do its thing. It’s not all that difficult, either. By the way, if you don’t already know, ‘apt’ stands for Advanced Package Tool. Anyhow, I’ll still make it an article – as it’s a useful one to know and reference.

Download A Program And Its Dependencies:

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 emulator now open, you need to know the name of the program you want to download. For example, I tested this with ‘openjdk-17-jre’ and it worked as expected. (For the commands you’ll use, I’ll just use my traditional brackets.) Before I tested with openjdk, I made sure it had dependencies, and it did. To see if it had dependencies, I used this command:

Once you see that it has dependencies, you can go straight to downloading the program and its dependencies. You no longer need any long commands, it’s just (even if it doesn’t have dependencies):

All you have to do at that point is wait for the files to download. When they’re done downloading you can find the file in your ~/Downloads directory combined into a single compressed file. In my case, the filename was openjdk-17-jre.tar.gq and the download completed without error.

The process is the same if you have dependencies or not. The reason we pay attention to dependencies in this article is so that you know to check and make sure those dependencies are included, so that you’re able to install the software on your offline computer.

And, with all that said, now is a good time to verify that it contains all the files it should contain. Assuming the files are what you expected, with dependencies as needed, now is the time to sneakernet them to the offline computer, where you can install the program by first installing the dependencies before installing the program.

NOTES: It does build an ‘install.sh’ which should let you install the program and dependencies in one fell swoop, but it accessed the ‘net in my testing. So, just do ’em manually if you want to be sure, otherwise make it executable and give it a shot. This will only work if the versions are all compatible with the offline computer. If that’s not the case, you could end up in dependency hell or perhaps not able to install the program at all.

Closure:

And there you have it… You have yet another article! This one is handy if you want to install a program and its dependencies on an offline computer. It may also be handy if you want to establish a base-line and standardize on that specific version of the software. In that case, you’ll have a copy of what it once was. It’s something you can reference and restore as needed. But, yeah, it’s most likely to be used by people who want to install software on offline computer.

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How To: Change The UUID For Your Disk Partitions

Today, in an article of little use to anyone, we’re going to learn how to change the UUID for your disk partitions. It’s not something you’ll want to do often, or even at all. There really isn’t much motivation to do so. In fact, this might just be one of the more useless articles (that isn’t a meta article) on the entire site! (I should mark it as ‘important’ for my own amusement.)

Why then is this an article? Well, it’s kinda neat, a little informative, and it was in my notes! As to why it is in my notes, I think I documented the process for a person on one of the various forums. I have no idea why they wanted to do this, but it is something you can do. I did check to ensure that it should still work.

A ‘UUID’ is a Universally Unique Identification. Your partitions have one. It’s a 128-bit alpha-numeric identification used internally seldom by you the user. At 128 bits, odds are very good that your ID is truly unique – but there’s no actual verification or anything. Your system generates ’em more or less pseudo-randomly and that’s the end of it.

If you want, run this command in your terminal (open a terminal, per my usual remarks):

That should show you your partitions and their UUID. It’ll also spit out a bunch of information that will help you identify it – such as the label field. That’s good, as you’ll want to pick one that you just don’t like and we’ll work on changing that one UUID to something new.

Change The UUID For Your Disk Partitions:

Up above, you should have opened a terminal and loaded up some information about your various partitions. Lemme see if I can get you a good example output – I’ll plug in an external drive with a bunch of partitions:

So, there… You can see some data and see the UUID. Should you want to actually change the UUID, now’s the time to pick it.

Now, we’re going to generate a new UUID. Yup, you can do that. Try one of the following two commands – though both should probably do the trick:

Or:

One, or both, of those will surely work on any modern Linux distro – unless it’s stripped down. If you don’t like the first one, you can keep generating them until you’re happy with the results. (You’re very, very unlikely to have a duplicate – as I’ll explain later, in the closure section.)

Now that you have your new UUID in hand, you’ll need to unmount the partition you’re going to change. If you don’t know how to do that, it’s just:

For example, that might be /dev/sdb2 or /dev/sdb4 that you’ll use to unmount the partition.

With that unmounted, let’s go ahead and finally change the UUID! You do that with:

Be sure to change the obvious for the obvious. Copy and paste from your terminal, perhaps even using two terminals, to ensure you get all the information correct.

When you’re done, the effects should be immediate. though you may need to mount the partition first. Run the following command to check:

If you’re satisfied with the results, great! If you need to first mount the partition, you can try this:

All should be wrapped up nicely in a bow, with your UUID happily changed to something else. Again, I don’t really have any good reasons for doing this – but you can do so if you want. I did mention that this was pretty useless… You were warned!

Closure:

Well, there you have it – another article? Hmm… Let’s really wrap it up. You know how it says it’s a “Universally Unique Identification”? Let’s look into that with some math.

Well, it’s 128 bits. That’s 2128 (less if a signed integer) which is equal to ~3.4 x 1038. I decided to look that up and find someone who did the work for me. This is that number represented in English:

three hundred forty undecillion, two hundred eighty-two decillion, three hundred sixty-six nonillion, nine hundred twenty octillion, nine hundred thirty-eight septillion, four hundred sixty-three sextillion, four hundred sixty-three quintillion, three hundred seventy-four quadrillion, six hundred seven trillion, four hundred thirty-one billion, seven hundred sixty-eight million, two hundred eleven thousand, four hundred fifty-five

Source: Quora

So, is the UUID you have truly unique? If you change the UUID, is it truly unique among all others? Perhaps, but you have better odds of winning the lottery multiple times in a row than you have of finding a matching UUID anywhere on the planet. 128 bits is a lot, an amount your human brain isn’t able to understand, which is also kinda why we will likely be a while longer before we move there from 64 bit. 64 bit is still pretty darned huge and there’s no real need for 128 bits at this time.

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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