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 - 12,273 results
while (ps -ef | grep [r]unning_program_name); do sleep 10; done; command_to_execute
2010-01-14 16:26:34
User: m_a_xim
Functions: grep ps sleep

The '[r]' is to avoid grep from grepping itself. (interchange 'r' by the appropriate letter)

Here is an example that I use a lot (as root or halt will not work):

while (ps -ef | grep [w]get); do sleep 10; done; sleep 60; halt

I add the 'sleep 60' command just in case something went wrong; so that I have time to cancel.

Very useful if you are going to bed while downloading something and do not want your computer running all night.

perl -MFile::Find=find -MFile::Spec::Functions -Tlwe '$found=1; find { wanted => sub { if (/$ARGV[0]\.pm\z/) { print canonpath $_; $found=0; } }, no_chdir => 1 }, @INC; exit $found;' Collectd/Plugins/Graphite
2013-01-11 11:01:46
User: keymon
Functions: exit find perl

Will check if the given module is installed in the @INC. It will print the path and return 0 if found, or 1 otherwise.

Based on script from SharpyWarpy in http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/how-to-list-all-installed-perl-modules-216603/

ls -lF -darth `find . -mmin -3`
2014-03-22 16:52:20
User: UncleLouie
Functions: ls

Provides a recursive time ordered list of the current directory over the last 3 minutes.

Excluding zero byte files:

ls -lF -darth `find . -size +0 -mmin -3`

For the last day's files, change "-mmin -3" to "-mtime -1":

ls -lF -darth `find . -size +0 -mtime -1`
mysql>use DBNAME; mysql>source FILENAME
fold -w 1 <file> | grep -c <character>
find . -type f | xargs grep -n "Old Text" | tee filesChanged.txt | sed 's/:.*$//' | xargs sed -i 's/Old Text/New Text/g
module_exists(){ perl -e 'use '$1 2>/dev/null; }
2013-01-11 14:47:07
User: putnamhill
Functions: perl
Tags: bash perl

This version uses a bash function and does not print the path to the module.

find . | xargs xattr -d com.apple.quarantine
2012-05-09 23:06:51
User: brockangelo
Functions: find xargs

When downloading files on a Mac, Apple adds the x-attribute: com.apple.quarantine. Often, this makes it so you can't even run a ./configure. This command gets rid of the quarantine for all files in the current directory.

mkpasswd -5 pa33w0rd saltsalt
mysqladmin -u username -p create dbname
2009-02-16 07:21:07
User: vaporub

Creates a database that could then be populated with a dump file or application.

startx > startx.log 2>&1
hdid somefile.dmg
iwlist ath0 scanning |egrep '(ESSID|Signal|Address)'| \sed -e 's/Cell - Address:*//g' -e 's/ESSID://g' \-e 's/Noise level=-//g' -e 's/dBm//g' \-e 's/Quality=*//g' -e 's/Signal level=-//g' \-e 's/"//g'
find . -name .svn | xargs rm -rf
curl -s http://api.wunderground.com/auto/wui/geo/ForecastXML/index.xml?query=${@:-<YOURZIPORLOCATION>}|xmlstarlet sel -E utf-8 -t -m //forecast/txt_forecast/forecastday -v fcttext -n
alias kfire='for i in `ps aux | grep [F]irefox `; do echo $i; kill $(($i)); done; '
2010-12-27 01:47:58
User: swerve
Functions: alias echo grep kill

This is an attempt to get a command which I can alias. It's ugly but it works. I'm hoping someone can suggest a cleaner version.

I have tried....

# alias kfire="for i in $( ps aux | grep [F]irefox | awk \'{print $2}\' ); do kill $; done"

# alias kfire=`kill $(ps aux | grep [F]irefox | awk '{print $2}' | tr '\n' ' ')`

# alias kfire='ps au | grep -i [F]irefox | awk \'{ print $2 \'} '

and they all fail in a .bashrc I've tried escaping the quotes and can't find a way to make the single quotes ' that awk wants work. Maybe I'm just stubborn but I don't want to put in a little #!/bin/bash file just so I can kill a firefox process all in one stroke. This script works (it kills the process before it errors out)... it's just ugly and there may be a pretty way to do this.

cat urls.txt | xargs -n1 curl -O --max-time 10 --retry 3 --retry-delay 1
melt dvgrab-010.m2t meta.attr.titles=1 meta.attr.titles.markup=#timecode# -attach data_show dynamic=1
find / -name \*string\*
2009-02-16 08:43:01
User: tini
Functions: find

run as root and use it fo find file you're looking for.

watch -tn1 'bc<<<"`date -d'\''friday 21:00'\'' +%s`-`date +%s`"|perl -ne'\''@p=gmtime($_);printf("%dd %02d:%02d:%02d\n",@p[7,2,1,0]);'\'
2009-03-29 19:53:36
User: penpen
Functions: perl watch
Tags: Linux unix date

An improved version of http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/1772/simple-countdown-from-a-given-date that uses Perl to pretty-print the output. Note that the GNU-style '--no-title' option has been replaced by its one-letter counterpart '-t'.

alias connectAllMachines='Terminal --maximize -e "ssh server1" --tab -e "ssh server2" --tab -e "ssh server3"'
2010-12-27 08:47:08
User: nordri
Functions: alias

Terminal is part of XFCE Desktop. This will open a tab for every node that we pass in the command line. In a single line we'll connect to nodes of our server farm.

:set ic
2013-10-03 09:45:28
User: andreisid

After the option is set, you can use / to search strings(case insensitive)

netstat -alpn | grep :80 | awk '{print $4}' |awk -F: '{print $(NF-1)}' |sort | uniq -c | sort -n
removedir () { echo "Deleting the current directory $PWD Are you sure?"; read human; if [[ "$human" = "yes" ]]; then blah=$(echo "$PWD" | sed 's/ /\\ /g'); foo=$(basename "$blah"); rm -Rf ../$foo/ && cd ..; else echo "I'm watching you" | pv -qL 10; fi; }
2010-01-17 11:34:38
User: oshazard
Functions: basename cd echo read rm sed


Version 1.1

removedir () { echo "You are about to delete the current directory $PWD Are you sure?"; read human; if [[ "$human" = "yes" ]]; then blah=$(echo "$PWD" | sed 's/ /\\ /g'); foo=$(basename "$blah"); rm -Rf ../$foo/ && cd ..; else echo "I'm watching you" | pv -qL 10; fi; }


Folders with spaces

Version 1.0

removedir () { echo "You are about to delete the current directory $PWD Are you sure?"; read human; if [[ "$human" = "yes" ]]; then blah=`basename $PWD`; rm -Rf ../$blah/ && cd ..; else echo "I'm watching you" | pv -qL 10; fi; }


Hidden directories (.dotdirectory)

Version 0.9

rmdir () { echo "You are about to delete the current directory $PWD. Are you sure?"; read human; if [[ "$human" = "yes" ]]; then blah=`basename $PWD`; rm -Rf ../$blah/ && cd ..; else echo "I'm watching you" | pv -qL 10; fi; }

Removes current directory with recursive and force flags plus basic human check. When prompted type yes

1. [user@host ~]$ ls

foo bar

2. [user@host ~]$ cd foo

3. [user@host foo]$ removedir

4. yes

5. rm -Rf foo/

6. [user@host ~]$

7. [user@host ~]$ ls