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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 - 12,393 results
find . -name "*.pdf" -print0 | xargs -0 cp -t downloads/
2009-03-13 03:15:27
User: abcde
Functions: cp find xargs

-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY (copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY).

bash -x SCRIPT
2009-03-13 00:09:07
User: jcalvert
Functions: bash

Display commands and their arguments as they are executed. Useful for debugging shell scripts.

lsof | egrep "^COMMAND|deleted"
2009-03-12 23:11:26
User: jyoder
Functions: egrep

If your customer deletes a file that is still in use by a process, that space does not get freed up (will not show up in df) until that process either closes the file on its own, or is killed.

convert image123.png -colors 14 -resize 640x480 grubimg.xpm
2009-03-12 22:55:10
User: starchox
Tags: Linux grub boot

* size must be 640?480 pixels

* only has 14 colors

* save it in XPM format

Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add


make sure for your path name and hard disk

find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'
2009-03-12 22:25:26
Functions: find sed

NOT MINE! Taken from hackzine.com blog.

It creates a tree-style output of all the (sub)folders and (sub)files from the current folder and down(deeper)

Quoting some of hackzine's words

"Murphy Mac sent us a link to a handy find/sed command that simulates the DOS tree command that you might be missing on your Mac or Linux box. [..split...] Like most things I've seen sed do, it does quite a bit in a single line of code and is completely impossible to read. Sure it's just a couple of substitutions, but like a jack in the box, it remains a surprise every time I run it."

lsof|grep /somemount/| awk '{print $2}'|xargs kill
2009-03-12 18:42:19
User: archlich
Functions: awk grep xargs

This command will kill all processes using a directory. It's quick and dirty. One may also use a -9 with kill in case regular kill doesn't work. This is useful if one needs to umount a directory.

[[ -d dir ]] || mkdir dir ; cd dir
2009-03-12 17:19:13
User: voyeg3r
Functions: cd dir mkdir

For use in scripts this command is very usefull

mkdir -p doc/{text/,img/{wallpaper/,photos/}}
2009-03-12 17:15:58
User: voyeg3r
Functions: mkdir

create tree of dir's in one command

alias path='echo $PATH | tr ":" "\n"'
2009-03-12 17:07:58
User: voyeg3r
Functions: alias tr

change ":" in path for new line and associate word path to var $PATH

find . -maxdepth 1 -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -i cp ./{}{,.bak}
2009-03-12 16:02:13
User: voyeg3r
Functions: cp find xargs

"." is current dir, maxdepth is the level, -print0 | xargs -0 fix spaces in names, -i interactive , ./ is the current dir {} actual name , and {,.bak} is the atual name + bak

function dpan () { PKG=`perl -e '$_=lc($ARGV[0]); s/::/-/g; print "lib$_-perl\n"' $1`; apt-get install $PKG; }
2009-03-12 15:39:38
User: dave0
Functions: install

Running 'cpan Module::Name' will install that module from CPAN. This is a simple way of using a similar command to install a packaged Perl module from a Debian archive using apt-get.

$EDITOR `perldoc -l Module::Name`
2009-03-12 15:31:37
User: dave0

Ever needed to look at the Perl source of an installed module on your system? This works in 90% of cases.

perl -e 'print map { $_ . "\n" } @INC;'
svn status | grep "^\?" | awk '{print $2}' | xargs svn add
2009-03-12 15:06:12
User: unixfu73000
Functions: awk grep xargs
Tags: svn

This adds all new files to SVN recursively. It doesn't work for files that have spaces in their name, but why would you create a file with a space in its name in the first place?

convert -adjoin -page A4 *.jpeg multipage.pdf
2009-03-12 14:49:18
User: johnquail
Tags: ImageMagick

The linux package imagmagick is required for this command

sudo dmidecode --type 17 | more
2009-03-12 07:04:44
User: magmax

Allows you to change the value of an environment variable only for the execution of the command in the line. (corrected)

cp --backup=t source.file target.file
2009-03-12 06:46:13
User: magmax
Functions: cp

Allows you to preserve your files when using cp, mv, ln, install or patch. When the target file exists, it will generate a file named XXX.~N~ (N is an auto-incremental number) instead of deleting the target file.

diff <(nmap -sP | grep ^Host | sed 's/.appears to be up.//g' | sed 's/Host //g') auth.hosts | sed 's/[0-9][a-z,A-Z][0-9]$//' | sed 's/</UNAUTHORIZED IP -/g'
2009-03-12 05:28:08
User: bandit36
Functions: diff grep sed
Tags: diff sed nmap grep

populate the auth.hosts file with a list of IP addresses that are authorized to be in use and when you run this command it will return the addresses that are pingable and not in the authorized list.

Can be combined with the "Command line Twitter" command to tweet unauthorized access.

ln -s /destinationTarget /sourceTarget/newFolder
2009-03-12 01:56:34
User: topgun553
Functions: ln

if you wanted to create a new folder called "red" that was a symbolic link from /home/music/ to /home/hobbies/art then you would type:

ln -s /home/hobbies/art /home/music/red

unlink <linkname>
2009-03-12 01:52:24
User: topgun553
Functions: unlink

if you had a symbolic link called "oldLink" in the current folder then you would want to do

unlink oldLink

rpm -qa \*code\*
2009-03-11 21:16:23
User: alcik
Functions: rpm
Tags: rpm

You can use wildcard with rpm search but you have to do 2 things:

1. use "-a" switch (means "all") with query ("-q") switch - argument is a pattern to use while searching for package names of all installed packages

2. protect wildcards, so that shell could not eat them - escape it with backslash ("\") or enclose all pattern between apostrophes ("'"):

rpm -qa 'co*de'

As you can see above it is possible to insert wildcards into middle of the pattern.

If you want, you can add "-i" or another rpm query options, "-i" will print package information for all installed packages matching pattern.

manview() { lynx -dump -accept_all_cookies 'http://www.csuglab.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/adm/man.cgi?section=all&topic='"$1" | less; }
2009-03-11 19:02:11
User: Ben

manview searches man pages on the internets in case the man command doesn't work for some reason or if you think the man pages in Cornell's flavor of Solaris might differ from yours. It dumps the manpage info from lynx to less, so it ends up looking remarkably like a real manpage. Put it in your .bash_profile or .bashrc, and then you can use it like a regular command: typing "manview ssh" will give you the manpage for ssh.

echo -n $HEXBYTES | xxd -r -p | dd of=$FILE seek=$((0x$OFFSET)) bs=1 conv=notrunc
2009-03-11 17:02:24
User: zombiedeity
Functions: dd echo

Replace (as opposed to insert) hex opcodes, data, breakpoints, etc. without opening a hex editor.

HEXBYTES contains the hex you want to inject in ascii form (e.g. 31c0)

OFFSET is the hex offset (e.g. 49cf) into the binary FILE

instfix -icq | grep 5300-07_AIX_ML | grep ":-:"
2009-03-11 12:34:18
User: deltwalrus
Functions: grep

This will let you know what filesets or fixes (if any) are missing in order to be considered "at" a given technology level in AIX.