mintCast 356.5 – Itty Bitty Living Space


1:57 Linux Innards
30:28 Vibrations from the Ether
55:19 Check This Out
59:22 Announcements & Outro

In our Innards section, we talk Compression

And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions



  • Joe
    • I tried to use the built in tool to compress my home drive but kept running into permissions problems even as root. 
    • So I used tar.gz in order to test the compression on my Downloads folder which started out as 58.8 gb and ended up at like 55 gb so not much savings in space
  • TonyH  
    • I ran .tar.gz on my desktop folder which was 40.3Gb I backed this folder up to one of my external 4Tb drives I use for backup and storage and after completion the new folder was 33.3Gb so a saving of 7Gb just on this one folder, so if space was an issue this would be a good way to backup folders and save some space. Just for comparison, 7Gb is larger than the 6Gb HDD I had in my first Windows PC back in late 1998 and that was a decent amount of storage for the time, lol.  
  • Moss
    • I keep most of my files most people keep in Home on an external drive, so there wasn’t much in my Home folder to compress. In fact, my Home folder was only 1.5 Gb; running compression, the resulting files were each 1.7 Gb. I ran both .tar.gz and .tar.7z for comparison with no difference. Maybe I should check compression on my external, but I’m not sure I have room anywhere for a file which would hold all that. /dev/sdb is a 512 Gb drive with only 145 Gb free…
  • Josh
    • I mainly tested my compression on my .img backups of my internal nvme drive with about 506 GB of data on it using dd and partclone to image the disk and pigz to compress. I tried both 7z and gzip but for this task both of them take way too long at over 5 hours estimated time. 
    • Rescuezilla won the speed of compression coming in at 55 minutes. The compressed size was tied with Partclone+pigz at 383GB. I am unsure of the exact command it uses.
    • Partclone + pigz came in second at 57 minutes. The compressed size as I have stated earlier is exactly the same as Rescuzilla at 383GB. The command I used to achieve this was.
      • partclone.ntfs -c -s /dev/nvme0n1p3 | pigz -9 > /mnt/backup/backup.img.gz
    • dd + pigz came in 3rd at 1H 38M. The compressed size was a little larger than the other two at 387GB and the command I used to achieve all this was.
      • dd if=/dev/nvme0n1p3 | pv | pigz -9 > /mnt/backup/backup.img.gz
    • As I said before 7z took too long. I am not sure why this is but it is supposed to be multithreaded but when looking at htop only one thread was in use. In a later test of compressing a folder I had it actually did use all my cores to compress and the time it took was not that long. I cannot use that to compare against my other findings because it was not the same file I was compressing but I think it would perform close to the others.
  • Leo
    • For long compressions, install and use progress to monitor that state of tar.
      • sudo apt install progress
      • progress -m
      • It won’t tell you the status of the whole compression process, but will tell you the status of each file, at least letting you know that it’s working and will exit automatically when done.
    • I currently have a 1.2GB home folder on this machine. Mostly downloaded files like a Lineage image, nyquist plugins for audacity, and a little more than half of the size is pictures.
      • xz
        • tar -cJf /media/leo/Ventoy/Backup/home.tar.xz ~/*
        • Done in about 5 minutes
        • 2nd Best compression: 1,128,815,932 bytes
      • gz
        • tar -czf /media/leo/Ventoy/Backup/home.tar.gz ~/*
        • Done in 1 minute
        • Worst compression: 1,143,787,050 bytes
      • bz2
        • tar -cjf /media/leo/Ventoy/Backup/home.tar.bz2 ~/*
        • Done in 2.5 minutes
        • Middling compression: 1,140,996,181 bytes
      • 7z
        • 7z a /media/leo/Ventoy/Backup/home.7z ~/*
        • Done in 45 seconds
        • Best compression: 1,127,056,501 bytes
    • All the algorithms seemed to have saved me about 10% on the backup.
    • Josh and I have been playing around with pigz, which is a rewrite of gzip to include multi-core CPU support. To do the same backup as above:
      • sudo apt install pigz
      • tar –use-compress-program=”pigz –best –recursive” -cf /media/leo/Ventoy/Backup/home.tar.gz ~/*
      • Done in about 30 seconds
      • Ever so slightly worse compression than gz? Approximately 1MB diff.
        • 1,144,479,482 bytes



    • accounts-daemon.service
      • It can safely be disabled, because dbus will start it when needed.
      • It’s used mostly for graphical apps that handle users.
      • Masking will break these apps.
    • acct.service
      • It can safely be disabled if you don’t care about account and session usage stats.
      • acct tracks things like how long you’ve been logged in, which commands you’ve run, etc.
      • Masking won’t likely break anything visible.
    • acpid.service
      • Understand before disabling
      • This one handles hardware actions. Plugging in headphones, brightness buttons on the laptop, etc.
      • Masking may break these.
    • alsa-state.service
      • Understand before disabling
      • This DIEMON will monitor the state and settings of your sound card. The volume settings, mute, sound card selection, etc.
      • Masking may force ALSA to forget these things.
    • anacron.service
      • Disabling will prevent anacron from running timed scripts.
      • Anacron is like lazy cron. If you have scripts run by anacron, they will fail to execute.
  • Mike F


  • Leo
    • Can you beat 1024 bytes of code in chess? Kilobyte’s Gambit
    • Noti notifies you of completed commands in Telegram
  • Bo – NoiseTorch is a real-time microphone noise suppression application for Linux
  • Moss
    • JingOS, a phone/tablet Linux OS which aims to replicate iOS, announced they will not release version 0.7 and will instead release version 0.8 on March 31, claiming it will be a full-featured Linux, and in the future will be releasing as OTA. It looks great, hope they can pull it off.
    • For all you Mandrakers out there, Rosa Fresh R11 is also out.This fork is by the Russians who were co-developers of the last official version of Mandriva, and is the base for OpenMandriva Lx. I do not myself recommend Rosa. If you’re more of an Enterprise user, Rosa Enterprise Server is a fork of RHEL.
    • Listener Dylan Burger asked the Distrohoppers’ team, “What one feature would you ask to be added to your daily driver distro?” We’re saving that topic for a future show.


Our next episode will be at 2 pm Central US time on March 21, 2021.

Get the show time converted to your time zone!


Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible …

  • Owen Peery for our audio editing, Josh Lowe for all his work on the website, Hobstar for our logo, and Londoner for our time sync
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • HPR for our backup Mumble room
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem!>

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