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commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

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Psst. Open beta.

Wow, didn't really expect you to read this far down. The latest iteration of the site is in open beta. It's a gentle open beta-- not in prime-time just yet. It's being hosted over at UpGuard (link) and you are more than welcome to give it a shot. Couple things:

  • » The open beta is running a copy of the database that will not carry over to the final version. Don't post anything you don't mind losing.
  • » If you wish to use your user account, you will probably need to reset your password.
Your feedback is appreciated via the form on the beta page. Thanks! -Jon & CLFU Team

All commands from sorted by
Terminal - All commands - 12,380 results
cd ../"$(ls -F ..|grep '/'|grep -A1 `basename $PWD`|tail -n 1)"
2009-05-18 06:41:37
User: gwiener
Functions: cd

Another version based on linkinpark342's contribution.

Sometimes you have to browse your way through a lot of sub-directories. This command cd to the next sub-directory in alphabetical order. For example, if you have the directories "lectures/01-intro", "lectures/02-basic", "lectures/03-advanced" and so on, and your PWD is "02-basic", it jumps to "03-advanced".

function autoCompleteHostname() { local hosts; local cur; hosts=($(awk '{print $1}' ~/.ssh/known_hosts | cut -d, -f1)); cur=${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]}; COMPREPLY=($(compgen -W '${hosts[@]}' -- $cur )) } complete -F autoCompleteHostname ssh
2009-05-17 23:12:34
User: sbisordi
Functions: awk cut

This is meant for the bash shell. Put this function in your .profile and you'll be able to use tab-completion for sshing any host which is in your known_hosts file. This assumes that your known_hosts file is located at ~/.ssh/known_hosts. The "complete" command should go on a separate line as such:

function autoCompleteHostname() {

local hosts=($(awk '{print $1}' ~/.ssh/known_hosts | cut -d, -f1));

local cur=${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]};

COMPREPLY=($(compgen -W '${hosts[@]}' -- $cur ))


complete -F autoCompleteHostname ssh

cat -n FILE | grep -C3 "^[[:blank:]]\{1,5\}NUMBER[[:blank:]]"
2009-05-17 18:19:55
User: lv4tech
Functions: cat grep

This is useful for displaying a portion of a FILE that contains an error at line NUMBER

mencoder -ovc copy -nosound ./movie.mov -o ./movie_mute.mov
2009-05-17 11:56:22
User: angleto

create a copy of a video file without the audio tracs

find . -name \*.mp3 -printf "%C+ %h/%f\n" | sort -r | head -n20 | awk '{print "\""$2"\""}' | xargs -I {} cp {} ~/tmp
2009-05-17 07:06:10
User: bkinsey
Functions: awk cp find head sort xargs

Change ~/tmp to the destination directory, such as your mounted media. Change -n20 to whatever number of files to copy. It should quit when media is full. I use this to put my most recently downloaded podcasts onto my phone.

lsb_release -a
2009-05-17 02:49:18
User: Vasudev

Get the complete distro information from shell prompt like distributor ID,code name etc.

for d in `find .. -mindepth 1 -maxdepth 1 -type d | sort`; do if [[ `basename $d` > `basename $PWD` ]]; then cd $d; break; fi; done
2009-05-16 17:33:34
User: gwiener
Functions: cd

Sometimes you have to browse your way through a lot of sub-directories. This command cd to the next sub-directory in alphabetical order. For example, if you have the directories "lectures/01-intro", "lectures/02-basic", "lectures/03-advanced" and so on, and your PWD is "02-basic", it jumps to "03-advanced".

while true; do cat /usr/src/linux/kernel/signal.c > /dev/dsp; done
2009-05-16 14:44:57
Functions: cat

replace "/usr/src/linux/kernel/signal.c" with any file you want and listen to its output ! :P

you can also replace "cat" with "echo" or anything you can come up with

have fun :-}

find . -name '*.m4a' | xargs -I audiofile mplayer -ao pcm "audiofile" -ao pcm:file="audiofile.wav"
find /var -mount -ls -xdev | /usr/bin/sort -nr +6 | more
zpool create tank /path/to/file/a /path/to/file/b
2009-05-16 10:46:17
User: mnikhil
Tags: zfs zpool

This command creates an unmirrored pool using

files. While not recommended, a pool based on files can be

useful for experimental purposes.

zpool create tank mirror c0t0d0 c0t1d0 mirror c0t2d0 c0t3d0
2009-05-16 10:44:56
User: mnikhil
Tags: zfs zpool

command creates a pool with two mirrors, where each mirror contains two disks.

zpool create tank raidz c0t0d0 c0t1d0 c0t2d0 c0t3d0 c0t4d0 c0t5d0
2009-05-16 10:44:05
User: mnikhil

The following command creates a pool with a single raidz root vdev that consists of six disks.

mencoder dvd://1 -aid 128 -o track-1.avi -oac copy -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4
2009-05-16 00:08:57
User: dstahlke

Substitute whatever track number you want into the "dvd://1" parameter. The "-aid 128" is to select the English language.

/sbin/dumpe2fs /dev/hda2 | grep 'Block size'
2009-05-15 22:23:21
User: rez0r
Functions: grep
Tags: size output block

Useful to know, especially if you are dealing with output configurations in block size.

Tested on 'Red Hat'.

curl -u USER:PASS -d status="NEW STATUS" http://identi.ca/api/statuses/update.xml
2009-05-15 19:57:00

identica is an open source social networking and micro-blogging service. Based on Laconica, a micro-blogging software package built on the OpenMicroBlogging specification.


psql -U postgres -lAt | gawk -F\| '$1 !~ /^template/ && $1 !~ /^postgres/ && NF > 1 {print $1}'
gtar cpf - . | (cd /dest/directory; gtar xpf -)
2009-05-15 13:23:00
User: mnikhil
Functions: cd
Tags: gtar, gtar

It copies the entire current working directory to the destination directory with compression enabled.

mkdir `date --iso`
2009-05-15 12:30:10
User: hal
Functions: mkdir

Create a directory named with the current date in ISO 8601 format (yyyy-mm-dd). Useful for storing backups by date. The --iso switch may only work with GNU date, can use format string argument for other date versions.

svn log | grep "bodge\|fudge\|hack\|dirty"
2009-05-15 09:55:44
User: root
Functions: grep

A good way to understand what you've let yourself in for. Potential project metric could be the count:

svn log | grep -c "bodge\|fudge\|hack\|dirty"
ffmpeg -i <filename>.flv -vn <filename>.mp3
$ mplayer -dumpaudio -dumpfile <filename>.mp3 <filename>.flv
clfu-seach <search words>
svn st | grep '^\?' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs svn add; svn st | grep '^\!' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs svn rm
2009-05-14 14:34:50
User: stedwick
Functions: awk grep xargs

automatically add and remove files in subversion so that you don't have to do it through the annoying svn commands anymore

find . -name "\.svn" -exec rm -rf {} ";"