What's this?

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.

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



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!

Top Tags



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 - 12,371 results
pyt() { id=$(curl -s 'https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query='$(tr ' ' + <<<"$1") | grep -om3 '"[[:alnum:]]\{11\}"' | awk NR==3 | tr -d \"); youtube-dl -q 'https://www.youtube.com/watch?v='"$id" -o - | mplayer -vo null /dev/fd/3 3<&0 </dev/tty; }
2015-07-20 05:30:27
User: snipertyler
Functions: awk grep tr

pyt 'Stairway to heaven - Led Zeppelin'

pyt 'brain damage - Pink Floyd'

No web browser or even X needed. Just a cli and internet connection!

mplayer is pauseable and can skip ahead

This may break if youtube changes their search html.

grep -v -e '^$' -e '^[#\[]' -e '\/' some_file
2015-07-17 21:28:14
User: abhikeny
Functions: grep
Tags: grep no-match

Grep for:

>> non-empty lines : denoted by -v -e '^$'

>> that do not start with # (comments) or : denoted by -v -e '^[#\]'

>> and does not include : denoted by -v -e '\'

(Note that we use -v only once)

ran() { [ $((RANDOM%100)) -lt "$1" ] && shift && "$@"; }
2015-07-16 13:32:45
User: flatcap
Functions: shift
Tags: bash shell random

Randomly decide whether to run a command, or fail.

It's useful for testing purposes.



Note: In this version the percentage is required.


This is like @sesom42 and @snipertyler's commands but in a USABLE form.


e.g. In your complicated shell script, put "ran 99" before a crucial component.

Now, it will fail 1% of the time allowing you to test the failure code-path.

ran 99 my_complex_program arg1 arg2
sort -s -b -t' ' -k 4.9,4.12n -k 4.5,4.7M -k 4.2,4.3n -k 4.14,4.15n -k 4.17,4.18n -k 4.20,4.21n access.log*
2015-07-16 00:22:03
User: sesom42
Functions: sort
Tags: sort log apache

Sort Apache access logs by date and time using sort key field feature

ran() { [ $((RANDOM%100)) -lt ${1:-50} ]; }
2015-07-16 00:06:25
User: sesom42

Command will succeed n% of the time.

ran 75 will cause command to succeed 75% of the time.

No argument will cause it to succeed 50% of the time.

ran() { R=$((RANDOM%100)); if [ $R -gt "${1:-50}" ]; then echo FALSE; false; else echo TRUE; true; fi; }
2015-07-15 15:34:56
User: snipertyler
Functions: echo

Command will succeed n% of the time.

ran 75 will cause command to succeed 75% of the time.

No argument will cause it to succeed 50% of the time.

pvl() { (for i in "$@"; do youtube-dl -q --max-downloads 1 --no-playlist "$i" -o - | mplayer -vo null /dev/fd/3 3<&0 </dev/tty; sleep .5; done); }
2015-07-14 04:44:36
User: snipertyler
Functions: sleep

pvl 'link1' 'link2' 'link3'

Play Youtube, Vimeo, etc links without visual elements.

Great for music videos when you just want the audio.

You can control mplayer with this!

Hit Ctrl-C twice to exit (if you're playing multiple files)

echo "text to prepend" | cat - file
lsblk -do name,model,serial
2015-07-12 10:49:49
User: hackerb9

As of this writing, this requires a fairly recent version of util-linux, but is much simpler than the previous alternatives. Basically, lsblk gives a nice, human readable interface to all the blkid stuff. (Of course, I wouldn't recommend this if you're going to be parsing the output.) This command takes all the fun out of the previous nifty pipelines, but I felt I ought to at least mention it as an alternative since it is the most practical.

xmlpager() { xmlindent "$@" | awk '{gsub(">",">'`tput setf 4`'"); gsub("<","'`tput sgr0`'<"); print;} END {print "'`tput sgr0`'"}' | less -r; }
2015-07-12 09:22:10
User: hackerb9
Functions: awk less

Don't want to open up an editor just to view a bunch of XML files in an easy to read format? Now you can do it from the comfort of your own command line! :-) This creates a new function, xmlpager, which shows an XML file in its entirety, but with the actual content (non-tag text) highlighted. It does this by setting the foreground to color #4 (red) after every tag and resets it before the next tag. (Hint: try `tput bold` as an alternative). I use 'xmlindent' to neatly reflow and indent the text, but, of course, that's optional. If you don't have xmlindent, just replace it with 'cat'. Additionally, this example shows piping into the optional 'less' pager; note the -r option which allows raw escape codes to be passed to the terminal.

git diff $(git log --pretty=format:%h -2 --reverse | tr "\n" " ")
2015-07-07 17:50:50
Functions: diff tr
Tags: git

A great command to assign to an alias, allowing you to git diff the last two commits in git.

for file in $( git ls-files ); do echo $file; touch -t $(git --no-pager log --date=local -1 --format="%ct" $file | php -r 'echo @date( "YmdHi.s", trim( file_get_contents( "php://stdin" ) ) );') $file; done
echo "display:data?" | nc "$scope_ip_address" 5555 | dd bs=1 skip=11 2>/dev/null | convert bmp:- out_file.png
2015-06-27 06:43:43
User: ichbins
Functions: dd echo
Tags: convert rigol

Scope should have the Rigol Ultravision Technology otherwise it won't accept the command. ImageMagic is required. Scope sends a 1.1M BMP file and converted to PNG it's only 18-20K

ssh -o "ProxyCommand ssh [email protected]_host -W %h:%p" [email protected]_host
2015-06-26 06:23:14
User: renich
Functions: ssh
Tags: ssh

This command uses the reachable_host as a proxy; redirecting your request to the unreachable_host.

The main advantage is that you need only one ssh key. You copy the public part to both servers and you can access the unreachable_host without a problem.

Also, you can put this on ~/.ssh/config to access the unreachable_host directly:

# config


ProxyCommand ssh [email protected]_host -W %h:%p

and, then, just ssh [email protected]_host.

jhead -autorot -ta+1 *
exiftool -AllDates+=1 -{Track,Media}{Create,Modify}Date+=1 *.mov
diff a.txt b.txt | grep -E '^(<|>)' | sed 's:^< \(.*\):<del style="color\:red; text-decoration\: none">- \1</del><br>:' | sed 's:^> \(.*\):<ins style="color\:green; text-decoration\: none">+ \1</ins><br>:'
ps -auxf | sort -nr -k 4 | head -10
pm2 install pm2-webshell
2015-06-11 12:43:49
User: strzel_a
Functions: install

pm2 is a process manager that includes a module system to install powerful and small softwares

tree -a -L 1 --inodes /
tail -f <file>
2015-06-01 16:55:00
User: adrruiz
Functions: tail

In cases when the user is following a log file that rotates then it is advisable to use the -F option as it keeps following the log even when it is recreated, renamed, or removed as part of log rotation.

To interrupt tail while it is monitoring, break-in with Ctrl+C.

less +F <file>
find <path> |xargs grep <pattern>
cat <file>|column -t
awk '{for(i=2;i<=NF;i++) printf("%s%s",$i,(i!=NF)?OFS:ORS)}'