Recommended hard drive diet?

David Armour d.f.armour at
Fri Dec 15 04:10:35 UTC 2006

Garry Knight <garryknight <at>> writes:

thank you for your reply!
> David Armour wrote:
> > what constitutes "stripped-down" these days?
> If you keep videos on your hard drive you could play around with, say,
> ffmpeg to find out which is the smallest format you could convert them to.

I don't.
> Ogg files are smaller than MP3s, though it's only useful to convert them if
> you're not regularly downloading them onto an MP3 player. And writing the
> scripts to convert videos and MP3s will keep *you* slim. 

Now *there's* a thought! 
> And if you prefer MP3 format, do your MP3s have to be at 128-192 Kbps? I use
> lame to resample some of mine down to 64 or even 32 Kbps in order to fit as
> many as possible onto my Pocket PC (I have 17 albums worth on there at the
> moment, totalling 101.7 MB. Who needs an iPod?). And MP3s containing just
> speech can be resampled down to 16 Kbps or lower in some cases. Of course,
> if you do resample them, you'll want to back up the originals on CD.

I have mp3s, and OpenOffice .docs, and .jpgs in comparative abundance, but
nothing that I can point to as the main memory hog. I transferred the .jpgs from
one picture sub-directory to cd, today, and gained 1/3 G, in the process. But
I'm still under a G free. Most of the remaining pix get cycled through the
screensaver, and I'm not particularly attached to any of them enough to care if
they're occupying hard drive real estate or cd.
> Of course, if there are a lot of files you don't use much, or files you
> don't intend to edit or change in the future, you can burn them to CD. The
> first candidate that springs to mind is /usr/share/doc:
> [garry ~]$ du -hs /usr/share/doc
> 774M    /usr/share/doc

I'm reminding myself of the engineer Dilbert was testing who answered "all of
them!" when asked how many of the pens in his pocket protector he needed: most
of the files I'm using, I'm using weekly. But I like the idea of periodically
moving most of 'em to cd.
> You could fire up Synaptic and go through the list of installed packages,
> pruning out the ones you never use. The ones that don't also require
> removing ubuntu-desktop, of course...

Yep, she's a keeper.
> These are just off the top of my head. Hey, if you get enough replies, you
> could start the Small Hard Disk Diet HowTo.  

I had a plan along those lines. Thanks again for your contribution.

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