System Administration

Essential System Tools: Czkawka – data cleaner

In Operation

Czkawka offers two separate frontends consisting of a GTK graphical interface and a command-line interface. We spent most of the time testing the graphical interface.

Both interfaces share the same core module.

Here’s an image of the graphical interface in operation.

Click image for full size

The menu bar at the top of the interface lets us define directories to include and exclude. By default, only your home directory is defined as an included directory, but it’s easy to add more directories. Excluded directories are /proc, /dev, /sys, /run, and /snap which can also be amended. The next menu entry lets us exclude specific item such as */.git/*. And we can also define the allowed extensions for macros, images, video, music, and text.

As the image shows, the software offers various functions. For each function we can select and/or delete entries, as well as saving the results to a file. The available functions are:

  • Duplicates – Finds duplicates based on file name, size, hash, hash of just first 1 MB of a file. Available hash types are: Blake3, CRC32, and XXH3.
  • Empty Directories – these are found using an advanced algorithm.
  • Big Files – Finds the provided number of the biggest files in given location. By default this shows the size, file name and path of the 50 biggest files, but you can change this number.
  • Empty Files – Looks for empty files across the drive.
  • Temporary Files – Finds temporary files.
  • Similar Images – Finds images which are not exactly the same (different resolution, watermarks). There’s a slider which lets you set the level of similarity from very high to minimal. And the image preview facility is particularly welcome. The program uses the hamming distance algorithm.
  • Music Duplicates – Searches for music with the same artist, album etc.
  • Zeroed Files – Finds files which are filled with zeros (usually corrupted).
  • Invalid Symbolic Links – Shows symbolic links which point to non-existent files/directories.
  • Broken Files – Finds files with an invalid extension or that are corrupted.

The bottom panel shows error messages detailing which directories cannot be opened.

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Essential System Tools
AlacrittyInnovative, hardware-accelerated terminal emulator
BleachBitSystem cleaning software. Quick and easy way to service your computer
bottomGraphical process/system monitor for the terminal
btop++Monitor usage and stats for CPU, memory, disks, network and processes
catfishVersatile file searching software
ClonezillaPartition and disk cloning software
CPU-XSystem profiler with both a GUI and text-based
CzkawkaFind duplicate files, big files, empty files, similar images, and much more
ddrescueData recovery tool, retrieving data from failing drives as safely as possible
dustMore intuitive version of du written in Rust
f3Detect and fix counterfeit flash storage
Fail2banBan hosts that cause multiple authentication errors
fdupesFind or delete duplicate files
FirejailRestrict the running environment of untrusted applications
GlancesCross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python
GPartedResize, copy, and move partitions without data
GreenWithEnvyNVIDIA graphics card utility
gtopSystem monitoring dashboard
gWakeOnLANTurn machines on through Wake On LAN
hyperfineCommand-line benchmarking tool
inxiCommand-line system information tool that's a time-saver for everyone
journalctlQuery and display messages from the journal
kmonManage Linux kernel modules with this text-based tool
KrusaderAdvanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager
NeofetchSystem information tool written in Bash
NmapNetwork security tool that builds a "map" of the network
nmonSystems administrator, tuner, and benchmark tool
nnnPortable terminal file manager that's amazingly frugal
petSimple command-line snippet manager
PingnooGraphical representation for traceroute and ping output
ps_memAccurate reporting of software's memory consumption
SMCMulti-featured system monitor written in Python
TimeshiftReliable system restore tool
QDirStatQt-based directory statistics
QJournalctlGraphical User Interface for systemd’s journalctl
TLPMust-have tool for anyone running Linux on a notebook
UnisonConsole and graphical file synchronization software
VeraCryptStrong disk encryption software
VentoyCreate bootable USB drive for ISO, WIM, IMG, VHD(x), EFI files
WTFPersonal information dashboard for your terminal
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