If you administer Linux desktops or servers, you know there are a lot of tools available to help you make them run smoothly. Some of those tools come in the form of commands and some by way of a GUI. In certain cases, the software is a one trick pony (that does its one trick very well). What if, however, you could have a GUI tool that would give you a quick overview of your system resources, offer a system cleaner, make it easy to enable/disable Startup apps, enable/disable system services, and uninstall packages. If that is a tool you've been looking for, Stacer is what you need.
With Stacer you get the whole package:
- System overview dashboard
- System cleaner
- Startup app control
- Services control
All in one, well-designed GUI. This app might seem like any given Android system cleaner, but in this case, it works quite well and as described. Let me walk you through the installation of Stacer. I'll demonstrate how to install the software on both Elementary OS Loki (a Ubuntu-based distribution) as well as Fedora and then illustrate how to make use of Stacer.
Do understand, that many Linux purists will balk at such an application — and I get that. Most administrators strongly believe the only route to true success for Linux administration is via the command line. However, when you're administering a large amount of either desktops or servers, having a GUI to give you a boost in efficiency is sometimes a really good idea.
With that said, let's install.
First I'll walk through the process of installing on Ubuntu. Here are the steps:
- Open up a terminal window
- Update apt with the command sudo apt-get update
- Download the necessary package with the command
- Install Stacer with the command
sudo dpkg --install Stacer_1.0.4_i386.deb
To run the software, issue the command Stacer and the application will open, ready to serve.
Installing on Fedora requires the use of Git and npm. Before you install those tools, you must first upgrade your platform with the command dnf upgrade. Once the system has upgraded, install git with the command dnf git and then install npm with the command dnf npm. Once those two packages are installed, adding Stacer to the mix is as simple as issuing the following commands:
su git clone https://github.com/oguzhaninan/Stacer.git cd Stacer npm install && npm start
When the last command completes, you can fire up Stacer with the command Stacer.
Using Stacer is simple. With the software open (Figure A), you only need to click on the various tabs to take action.
The System Clean is an outstanding way to clean up cache files, crash reports, and logs, although I would recommend allowing the Linux system to handle the clearing of log files and crash reports. Although you will probably opt to allow Linux to handle the cleaning of logs, the cache file cleanup is a quick way to clear space on your system and help some apps run smoother. To use this, click the System Cleaner tab, check both Apt and App Cache checkboxes, click System Scan, select which cache files you want to clear, and then click Clean (Figure B).
With the Startup Apps feature (Figure C), you can only enable/disable apps that have already been set to run at startup (you cannot add apps with Stacer). To enable or disable an app to run (or not) at startup, simply move the slider to the right to enable or to the left to disable.
The enabling and disabling of Services works in the same way as Startup Apps. Click on the tab, locate the service you want to either enable or disable, and move the slider to the right or the left (Figure D).
Finally, the Uninstaller is a simple means of uninstalling apps from your Linux system. Click on the Uninstaller tab, locate the app to be removed (Figure E), click on the trash can icon, and (when prompted) enter your administrator password.
A handy tool with a caveat
That's all there is to having a single point of entry for numerous Linux administrative tasks. No, Stacer isn't the one-stop shop that will take care of all your needs, and as a Linux admin, you certainly shouldn't use this in place of learning the necessary commands for these tasks; but when you're busy managing numerous machines, a tool like Stacer can certainly come in handy.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.