Cylon – The Arch Linux Maintenance Program

Cylon - The Arch Linux Maintenance Program

Howdy Arch Linux users! I’ve got a good news for you. Meet Cylon, a maintenance program for Arch Linux and derivatives. It is a menu-driven Bash script which provides updates, maintenance, backups and system checks for Arch Linux and its derivatives such as Antergos, Manjaro Linux etc. Cylon is mainly a CLI program, and also has a basic dialog GUI.

It provides over 100s of useful options and tools, including the following:

  • cower: AUR package for AUR work
  • gdrive: AUR package for google drive backup
  • lostfiles: AUR package for finding lost files
  • pacaur: AUR helper
  • arch-audit: collect CVE data
  • rmlint: Finds lint and other unwanted
  • rkhunter: finds root kits malware
  • clamav: used for finding malware
  • bleachbit: used for system clean
  • gnu-netcat: used for checking network
  • ccrypt: used for encrypting
  • rsync: used for backup
  • inxi: system information viewer
  • htop: interactive process viewer
  • wavemon: wireless network monitor
  • speedtest-cli: internet bandwidth
  • lynis: system audit tool
  • openbsd-netcat: used for checking network

In this guide, we will see how to install and use Cylon in Arch Linux.

Cylon – The Arch Linux Maintenance Program

Install Cylon

Cylon is available in the AUR. You can install it using any AUR helpers such as Yaourt or Packer as shown below.

yaourt -S cylon

Or,

packer -S cylon

Usage

Please note that Cylon will not install all tools by default. Some functions require various dependencies packages to be installed. There are two dependencies and the rest are optional dependencies. The optional dependencies are left to user discretion. When you perform a function, it will display the missing packages if there are any. All missing packages will be shown as n/a in menus. You need to install the missing packages by yourself before using such functions.

To launch Cylon, type cylon in the Terminal:

cylon

Sample output from my Arch linux system:

cylon 1

Also, you can launch the GUI application from the Menu. It usually found under Applications > System Tools.

cylon gui

In my opinion, Cylon CLI looks much better than the GUI. Let us stick with CLI for the rest of the demonstration purpose.

As you see in the above screenshots, there are 14 menu entries in Cylon main menu to perform different functions. To go to each entry, type the respective number. Also, as you see in the screenshot, there is n/a besides the 2 and 3 menu entries which means Cower and Pacaur are not installed. You need to install those first before performing those functions.

Let us see what each menu entry does.

1. Pacman

Under pacman section, you can do various pacman package manager operations such as install, update, upgrade, verify, remove packages, display package information, view Arch Linux news feed and many. Type any number to perform the respective action.

cylon pacman options

You can go back to main menu by typing the number 22.

2. Cower

In this section, you can perform various AUR actions such as install, update, download, search, remove AUR packages and so on in your Arch linux box.

3. Pacaur

It is same as Cower section.

4. System Update

As the name implies, this section is dedicated to perform Arch Linux update. Here you can update both the official and AUR packages. Cylon gives you the following four options in this section.

  • 1) pacman -Syu Update – Update the base system only
  • 2) pacaur -Syu Update – Update All
  • 3) pacaur – Update AUR packages only
  • 4) No Update – exit

5. System Maintenance

In this section, you can do the following maintenance tasks.

  • View failed Systemd Services and status.
  • Check Journalctl log for Errors.
  • Check Journalctl for fstrim SSD trim.
  • Analyze system boot-up performance.
  • Check for Broken Symlinks.
  • Find files where no group or User corresponds to file’s numeric ID.
  • Launch lostfiles utility to find orphaned files not owned by any Arch packages.
  • View Diskspace usage.
  • Find 200 of the biggest files.
  • Find inodes usage.
  • Scan old configuration files.
  • Print sensors information.
  • Clean journal files.
  • Delete core dumps.
  • Delete files.
  • Launch inxi utility
  • Launch bleachbit utility
  • Launch rmlint utility.
  • Launch htop

The non-installed packages will be shown with letters n/a besides that applications. You need to install them first before choosing that particular action.

6. System backup

This section provides backup utilities such as gdrive and rsync to backup your Arch Linux system. Also, there is a custom backup option which allows you to manually backup files/folders to a user-specified location.

cylon custom backup

7. System Security

Cylon provides various security tools and fucntionalities such as,

  • ccrypt – Encrypt/decrypt files
  • clamav – Antivirus
  • rkhunter – RootKit hunter scan
  • lynis – System audit tool
  • Password generator
  • List the password aging info of a user
  • Audit SUID/SGID Files

Remember you need to install them yourself in order to use them. Cylon will not automatically install any packages.

8. Network Maintenance

This section is for network related functions. Here, you can:

  • Launch wavemon to monitor wireless network devices.
  • Test internet bandwidth using speedtest-cli utility.
  • Check if website up with netcat and ping
  • Display all interfaces which are currently available.
  • Display kernal routing table.
  • Check the status of UFW, Uncomplicated Firewall.
  • Check Network Time Synchronization status.
  • View all open ports.
  • and many.

9. xterm terminal

Here, you can launch xterm terminal at output folder path in new window.

10. View/Edit config file

View and edit the configuration files if necessary.

11. System information

This section provides your Arch Linux system’s information such as,

  • Uptime
  • Kernel details
  • OS architecture
  • Username
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Number of packages by repositories.
  • and many.

cylon system information

12. Cylon information

It will run the dependencies installation check and display the list of installed non-installed dependencies.

13. Weather

It displays the 3 day weather forecast by wttr.in utility.


Recommended Read: How To Check Weather Details From Command Line In Linux


14. Exit

Type 14 to exit Cylon.

For more details, type cylon -h in the Terminal to print cylon information.

And, that’s all. You know now what is Cylon and how to use it to maintain your Arch Linux. It is a recommended program for Arch Linux users. Give it a try, and you won’t be disappointed!

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