Once upon a time there was a tool called deborphan. It finds orphaned packages which could be removed from the system. You can maintain a list of ‘keepers’ to stop it suggesting removal of things that you want.
I wanted to extend this to work with the builtin “auto-installed” flag that aptitude stores for all packages. I also wanted it to work with Arch Linux.
After upgrading my file server from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise I had a few problems with Samba. Mac OS X 10.6 clients were very very slow. A 1MB file would take several minutes to transfer completely, making browsing photos and general use impractical. Windows (Vista and 7) clients could not connect at all, the file server did not appear in the browse list and typing the name manually did not work either. Unsurprisingly, Linux Samba clients worked perfectly.
I use rdiff-backup to keep a copy of the latest version of all my files and compressed differential backups going a year in the past. This works great except when I have a GNOME login and a ~/.gvfs directory. These are special FUSE directories that root user cannot even enter or even lstat(), which causes an annoying error to be emailed to me every night.
I finally got sick of this and have hacked a solution, I’m not proud of it, but it’ll make the emails stop!
$ curl -L --silent https://delx.net.au/code/rdiff-shutup.patch | sudo patch --backup -p0
Recently I set up an encrypted file system so I could do rsync backups to a secured location. What you end up with is a mountable file system that you can use to securely store data. Debian offers an easy way to set up encrypted file systems using the LUKS standard with the cryptsetup package. You’ll need to enter a decryption passphrase to mount the volume whenever the system boots.