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.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

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





All commands from sorted by
Terminal - All commands - 12,274 results
sudo aptitude unmarkauto $(apt-cache depends some-deb-meta-package-name | grep Depends | cut -d: -f2)
2009-08-26 12:56:33
User: yra
Functions: cut grep sudo

Debian: Mark all dependent packages as manually installed. So they are not automatically removed if you remove some meta package - like gnome-desktop-environment for example.

vim -e -s -c 'g/start_pattern/+1,/stop_pattern/-1 p' -cq file.txt
2009-08-26 10:22:27
User: syladmin
Functions: vim
Tags: vim block

By using vim, you can also filter content on stdout, using vim's extra power, like search pattern offset!

No more awk of course, sorry.

details :

-e ex mode

-s silent

-c 'ex command' : global + start and end pattern + offset print (p)

-cq : quit

for i in 192.168.1.{61..71};do ping -c 1 $i &> /dev/null && echo $i;fi;done
2009-08-26 06:04:24
User: AlecSchueler
Functions: echo ping
Tags: Network ssh bash

If you need to ssh into a computer on the local network but you're unsure of the ip to use, then ping them and see if you get a response. If you do, print out the address you got it from. Adjust the range to suit your network.

echo "xmms2 play" | at 6:00
2009-08-26 04:20:24
User: Vrekk
Functions: at echo

Nice little alarm clock to wake you up on time (hopefully).

You can also do 'echo "vlc path/to/song" | at 6:00

ping -n 1 -w 10000
2009-08-26 02:25:07
User: DocGyver
Functions: ping

In the vein of "can you do it better", here is my take on using "ping" to emulate sleep in a DOS/BAT script. If one can use ping at all then the multicast address will be valid but will not respond. By doing only one ping (-n 1) and setting a timeout in milliseconds (-w 10000) you have a fairly accurate timer. This example gives about a 10 second sleep.

for x in `jot - 0 \`curl "http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/browse"|grep "Terminal - All commands" |perl -pe 's/.+(\d+),(\d+).+/$1$2/'|head -n1\` 25`; do curl "http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/browse/sort-by-votes/plaintext/$x" ; done >a.txt
2009-08-25 21:57:15
Functions: grep head perl

This is an extension of a previous command by satyavvd on 2009-07-23 12:04:02, but this one grabs the whole archive. Hard coded numbers in previous script capped number of commands that could be fetched. This one grabs them all regardless of how big the archive gets.

find ./ -size +10M -type f -print0 | xargs -0 ls -Ssh1 --color
perl -i'.bak' -pe 's/old/new/g' <filename>
for file in <filename>; do cp $file{,.bak} && sed 's/old/new/g' $file.bak > $file; done
2009-08-25 16:19:45
User: Cenobite
Functions: cp file sed
Tags: bash sed

"&&" runs sed if and only if the backup completed and /bin/cp exited cleanly. Works for multiple files; just specify multiple filenames (or glob). Use -v switch for cp to play it safe.

find -print0 | xargs -0 -n 1 -P 4 -I {} sh -c "zcat '{}' | mysql nix"
2009-08-25 15:05:55
User: skygreg
Functions: find sh xargs

this command works with one gziped file per table, and restore 4 tables in parallel.

perl -e 'print scalar(gmtime(1234567890)), "\n"'
echo "0t${currentEpoch}=Y" | /usr/bin/adb
2009-08-25 12:17:01
User: verboEse
Functions: echo

this works on Solaris, so not better than the "only-GNU"-tool :-(

I think, there is no one-liner for this, that will work on all *nix-es

date -d @1234567890
echo "aBcDeFgH123" | tr a-z A-Z
rsync -az /home/user/test user@sshServer:/tmp/
2009-08-25 10:45:15
User: peshay
Functions: rsync
Tags: ssh file move

copy files to a ssh server with gzip compression

echo 1234567890 | awk '{ print strftime("%c", $0); }'
2009-08-25 09:37:54
User: alvinx
Functions: awk echo

- convert unixtime to human-readable with awk

- useful to read logfiles with unix-timestamps, f.e. squid-log:

sudo tail -f /var/log/squid3/access.log | awk '{ print strftime("%c ", $1) $0; }

rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh user@host:remote-file local-file
2009-08-25 09:32:07
User: alvinx
Functions: rsync

resume a partial scp-filetransfer with rsync

bash-hotkey: <CTRL+x+e>
2009-08-25 09:08:54
User: alvinx
Functions: bash

* in bash-shell You can capture the current commandline to a text-editor:

* simply press: CTRL+x+e

* Your current commandline will pe put into Your default text-editor (export EDITOR=vim)

cat nicescript |ssh middlehost "cat | ssh -a root@securehost 'cat > nicescript'"
2009-08-25 08:11:12
User: syladmin
Functions: cat ssh
Tags: ssh scp

middlehost allows ssh access from where you are but not securehost.

Use nice ssh piping to simulate scp through A => B => C

setting up the shell function if left as an exercise for the reader. ;-)

Agent forwarding should avoid password typing.

echo `date +%m/%d/%y%X |awk '{print $1;}' `" => "` cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/temperature | awk '{print $2, $3;}'` >> datetmp.log
2009-08-24 21:26:29
User: ninadsp
Functions: awk cat echo

Uses the data in the /proc system, provided by the acpid, to find out the CPU temperature. Can be run on systems without lm-sensors installed as well.

find /dir | awk '{print length, $0}' | sort -nr | sed 's/^[[:digit:]]* //' | while read dirfile; do outfile="$(echo "$(basename "$dirfile")" | unaccent UTF-8)"; mv "$dirfile" "$(dirname "$dirfile")/$outfile"; done
2009-08-24 21:24:18
User: Patola
Functions: awk basename find mv read sed sort

This command changes all filename and directories within a directory tree to unaccented ones. I had to do this to 'sanitize' some samba-exported trees. The reason it works might seem a little difficult to see at first - it first reverses-sort by pathname length, then it renames only the basename of the path. This way it'll always go in the right order to rename everything.

Some notes:

1. You'll have to have the 'unaccent' command. On Ubuntu, just aptitude install unaccent.

2. In this case, the encoding of the tree was UTF-8 - but you might be using another one, just adjust the command to your encoding.

3. The program might spit a few harmless errors saying the files are the same - not to fear.

tar -cf - /home/user/test | gzip -c | ssh user@sshServer 'cd /tmp; tar xfz -'
2009-08-24 18:35:38
User: esplinter
Functions: gzip ssh tar
Tags: ssh file move

Useful to move many files (thousands or millions files) over ssh. Faster than scp because this way you save a lot of tcp connection establishments (syn/ack packets).

If using a fast lan (I have just tested gigabyte ethernet) it is faster to not compress the data so the command would be:

tar -cf - /home/user/test | ssh user@sshServer 'cd /tmp; tar xf -'

mirror=ftp://somemirror.com/with/alot/versions/but/no/latest/link; latest=$(curl -l $mirror/ 2>/dev/null | grep util | tail -1); wget $mirror/$latest
2009-08-24 15:58:31
User: peshay
Functions: grep tail wget

to download latest version of "util", maybe insert a sort if they wont be shown in right order.

curl lists all files on mirror, grep your util, tail -1 will gets the one lists on the bottom and get it with wget

tar dfz horde-webmail-1.2.3.tar.gz