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

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

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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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Maintained by Jon H.

Site originally by David Winterbottom (user root).

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

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Terminal - All commands - 12,387 results
for x in `find . -name '*.html'` ; do iconv -f ISO-8859-1 -t UTF-8 $x > "$x.utf8"; rm $x; mv "$x.utf8" $x; done
2009-02-25 08:16:01
Functions: iconv mv rm

This is my first attempt at converting all HTML files to UTF-8 file encoding, including all subfolders.

Theres probably a much more compact way to do it, but I'm quite proud of it with my windows background ;)

echo COMMAND | xargs -ixxx ps -C xxx -o pid= | xargs -ixxx ls -l /proc/xxx/cwd
function miso () { mkdir ~/ISO_CD && sudo mount -o loop "$@" ~/ISO_CD && cd ~/ISO_CD && ls; } function uiso () { cd ~ && sudo umount ~/ISO_CD && rm -r ~/ISO_CD; }
2009-02-25 03:41:35
User: vududevil
Functions: cd mkdir mount rm sudo umount

Add the functions to the .bashrc to make it work

Example: First go to the iso file directory and type:


user@box:~$ miso file.iso


It will put you into a temporary mounting point directory (ISO_CD) and will show the files

You can umount the iso file whatever the directory you are


user@box:~/ISO_CD$ uiso


It wil umount the iso file and remove the temporary directory in your home

cat /dev/tty > FILE
2009-02-25 01:43:47
User: Jo
Functions: cat

Takes input from the connected terminal and dumps it to the specified file. Stop writing and close file with control + D or the end of line character. Useful for copying+pasting large blobs of text over SSH to a new machine.

nc -v -n -z -w 1 22-1000
sudo !!
2009-02-25 00:52:28
User: silbermm
Functions: sudo

I often forget to type sudo before a command that needs it. This is the quickest way to rerun the command prefixed by sudo.

echo "!!" > foo.sh
2009-02-25 00:37:25
User: dnavarre
Functions: echo

Sometimes commands are long, but useful, so it's helpful to be able to make them permanent without having to retype them. An alternative could use the history command, and a cut/sed line that works on your platform.

history -1 | cut -c 7- > foo.sh
declare -i aa ; aa=3*8 ; echo $aa
mdfind "tag:data" > /tmp/data.txt ; zip -r9@ ~/Desktop/data.zip < /tmp/data.txt
2009-02-24 14:49:50
User: vranx
Tags: Os X

finding all files with the metadata tag "data" using the metadata find command mdfind , writing the list to a temporary file, reading the input for the .zip file from this temporary file.

find . -name '*.txt' -exec sed -ir 's/this/that/g' {} \;
sips -s format jpeg Bild.pdf --out Bild.jpg
2009-02-24 13:41:12
User: vranx
Tags: Os X

Converts a .pdf to .jpg . should work with jpeg | tiff | png | gif | jp2 | pict | bmp | qtif | psd | sgi | tga

man -t UNIX_COMMAND | open -f -a preview
du --max-depth=1 | sort -r -n | awk '{split("k m g",v); s=1; while($1>1024){$1/=1024; s++} print int($1)" "v[s]"\t"$2}'
2009-02-24 11:03:08
User: hans
Functions: awk du sort

I use this on debian testing, works like the other sorted du variants, but i like small numbers and suffixes :)

< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6
2009-02-24 09:43:40
User: Blackbit
Functions: head tr

If you want a password length longer than 6, changing the -c6 to read -c8 will give you 8 random characters instead of 6. To end up with a line-feed, use this with echo:

# echo `< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6`

TMPROOT=/tmp; TMPDIR=$(mktemp -d $TMPROOT/somedir.XXXXXX); TMPFILE=$(mktemp $TMPROOT/somefile.XXXXXX); trap "rm -rf $TMPDIR $TMPFILE; exit" INT TERM EXIT; some treatment using $TMPDIR and $TMPFILE; exit 0
2009-02-24 09:35:22
User: raphink
Functions: exit mktemp trap

Cleanly create tempfiles using mktemp and remove them using traps instead of removing them in the end of the script. This way, you make sure the tempfiles are removed properly even if the script is killed or interrupted.

For a user script in KDE4, you can set TMPROOT using :

TMPROOT=$(kde4-config --path tmp)
2009-02-24 08:25:00
User: n30

A key sequence for terminating a frozen session. Full sequence on a swedish keyboard: [ENTER] [ALTGR] tilde [SPACE] dot

mplayer -vo caca MovieName.avi
zcat a_big_file.gz | sed -ne "$(zcat a_big_file.gz | tr -d "[:print:]" | cat -n | grep -vP "^ *\d+\t$" | cut -f 1 | sed -e "s/\([0-9]\+\)/\1=;\1p;/" | xargs)" | tr -c "[:print:]\n" "?"
2009-02-24 02:57:37
User: DEinspanjer
Functions: sed tr zcat

Scans the file once to build a list of line numbers that contain non-printable characters

Scans the file again, passing those line numbers to sed as two commands to print the line number and the line itself. Also passes the output through a tr to replace the characters with a ?

find / -xdev -print | cpio -pdmuv /mnt/mydisk
2009-02-24 02:03:43
User: afink
Functions: cpio find

copies all files from the source disk / (skipping boundaries of mouted -in volumes) to /mnt/mydisk. Logical links are being preserved as well as devices, pipes etc. This can copy a MacOS X or Linux volume and keep it bootable. Note: its not suited to copy files with MacOS 9 style resources.

find . -type d | perl -nle 'print s,/,/,g," $_"' | sort -n | tail
find . -type f -name "*.java" -print0 | xargs -0 -n 1 svn blame | sed -n 's/^[^a-z]*\([a-z]*\).*$/\1/p' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n
sudo route add xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx gw lo
2009-02-23 19:58:09
Functions: route sudo
Tags: Security

Someone might attack on your system. You can drop attacker IP using IPtables. However, you can use route command to null route unwanted traffic. A null route (also called as blackhole route) is a network route or kernel routing table entry that goes nowhere. Matching packets are dropped (ignored) rather than forwarded, acting as a kind of very limited firewall. The act of using null routes is often called blackhole filtering.

curl -s -u user:password 'http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline.xml?count=5' | xmlstarlet sel -t -m '//status' -v 'user/screen_name' -o ': ' -v 'text' -n
2009-02-23 17:30:24
User: mheadd

Gets the latest Tweets in your friends timeline from Twitter. Uses curl and xmlstarlet.

curl -s 'http://www.trynt.com/astrology-horoscope-api/v2/?m=2&d=23' | xmlstarlet sel -t -m '//horoscope' -v 'horoscope' | festival --tts
2009-02-23 16:52:06
User: mheadd

Uses curl, xmlstarlet and festival to speak your horoscope. Modify the m (month) and d (day) parameters to the astrology web service to hear your personal horoscope.

find . -name "*.php" | xargs egrep -i -s 'specialFunction' > searchresult.txt
2009-02-23 15:25:49
User: tb323
Functions: egrep find xargs

Will search recursively and output the searchResult.txt in the same folder you are located.