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.

UpGuard checks and validates configurations for every major OS, network device, and cloud provider.

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 - 12,453 results
2011-04-14 06:59:06
User: atgf0127
Functions: top

usage: top -hv | -bcisSHM -d delay -n iterations [-u user | -U user] -p pid [,pid ...]

ldapsearch -H ldap://localhost:389 -D cn=username,ou=users,dc=domain -x -W -b ou=groups,dc=domain '(member=cn=username,ou=users,dc=domain)' | grep ^dn | sed "s/dn\: cn=\([^,]*\),ou=\([^,]*\),.*/\2 \1/"
2009-06-11 14:50:11
User: nitehawk
Functions: grep sed

This expression looks for groups inside of a GroupOfNames class element, that is itself inside one (or many) Organizational Unit (ou) nodes in the ldap tree. Give you a quick dump of all the groups the user belongs to. Handy for displaying on a webpage.

watch -n 1 "awk 'NR==3 {print \"Signal strength = \" \$3 \"00 %\"}''' /proc/net/wireless"
nc -kl 5432 -c 'echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\n$(date)\r\n\r\n";echo "<p>How are you today?</p>"'
2013-11-12 14:00:11
User: gvitalie
Functions: echo

-k, --keep-open will keep connection alive, and we could exclude using 'while true'

nc is such a powerful command, it could be used instead of any OS! :p

git rev-list --reverse --topo-order master... | while read rev; do git checkout preview; git cherry-pick $rev || break; done
2015-04-23 14:28:06
User: shadyvb
Functions: read
Tags: git preview

Creating feature-branches off master, and trying to merge them in an integration branch (preview), sometimes causes conflicts because the feature-branch might hold changes from 'master' that aren't on preview yet. So this ensures only the commits added to the feature-branch are moved to integration (preview).

Note: This assumes you're currently on the feature-branch. Adjust 'master/preview' branch names to suit your environment.

curl -s http://whatthecommit.com | sed -n '/<p>/,/<\/p>/p' | sed '$d' | sed 's/<p>//'
wget -O - -q http://www.chisono.it/ip.asp && echo
2011-09-18 15:38:02
User: scanepa
Functions: wget

The echo at the end is for pretty printing as the output is just the IP address without any html

du -s * | sort -nr | head | cut -f2 | parallel -k du -sh
2010-01-28 12:59:14
Functions: cut du head sort
Tags: du xargs parallel

If a directory name contains space xargs will do the wrong thing. Parallel https://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/parallel/ deals better with that.

2011-08-19 14:50:28
User: anhstar

Basic search and replaceEdit

The :substitute command searches for a text pattern, and replaces it with a text string. There are many options, but these are what you probably want:


Find each occurrence of 'foo', and replace it with 'bar'.


Change each 'foo' to 'bar', but ask for confirmation first.


Change only whole words exactly matching 'foo' to 'bar'; ask for confirmation.


Change each 'foo' (case insensitive) to 'bar'; ask for confirmation.


Change each 'foo' (case sensitive) to 'bar'; ask for confirmation.

The g flag means global ? each occurrence in the line is changed, rather than just the first.


Search range:

:s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' in the current line.

:%s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' in all lines.

:5,12s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' for all lines from line 5 to line 12 inclusive.

:'a,'bs/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' for all lines from mark a to mark b inclusive.

:.,$s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' for all lines from the current line (.) to the last line ($) inclusive.

:.,+2s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' for the current line (.) and the two next lines (+2).

:%s/foo/bar/g Equivalent to :1,$s/foo/bar/g (change all lines).

:g/^baz/s/foo/bar/g Change each 'foo' to 'bar' in each line starting with 'baz'.

When searching:

., *, \, [, ], ^, and $ are metacharacters.

+, ?, |, {, }, (, and ) must be escaped to use their special function.

\/ is / (use backslash + forward slash to search for forward slash)

\t is tab, \s is whitespace

\n is newline, \r is CR (carriage return = Ctrl-M = ^M)

\{#\} is used for repetition. /foo.\{2\} will match foo and the two following characters. The \ is not required on the closing } so /foo.\{2} will do the same thing.

\(foo\) makes a backreference to foo. Parenthesis without escapes are literally matched. Here the \ is required for the closing \).

When replacing:

\r is newline, \n is a null byte (0x00).

\& is ampersand (& is the text that matches the search pattern).

\1 inserts the text of the first backreference. \2 inserts the second backreference, and so on.

You can use other delimiters with substitute:


Save typing by using \zs and \ze to set the start and end of a pattern. For example, instead of:

:s/Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved/Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved/


:s/Copyright \zs2007\ze All Rights Reserved/2008/

Using the current word or registersEdit


Replace each match of the last search pattern with 'bar'.

For example, you might first place the cursor on the word foo then press * to search for that word.

The above substitute would then change all words exactly matching 'foo' to 'bar'.


Replace each occurrence of 'foo' with the word under the cursor.

means that you press Ctrl-R then Ctrl-W.

The word under the cursor will be inserted as though you typed it.


Replace each occurrence of 'foo' with the WORD under the cursor (delimited by whitespace).

means that you press Ctrl-R then Ctrl-A.

The WORD under the cursor will be inserted as though you typed it.


Replace each occurrence of 'foo' with the contents of register 'a'.

a means that you press Ctrl-R then a.

The contents of register 'a' will be inserted as though you typed it.

:%s/foo/\[email protected]/g

Replace each occurrence of 'foo' with the contents of register 'a'.

\[email protected] is a reference to register 'a'.

The contents of register 'a' is not shown in the command. This is useful if the register contains many lines of text.


Replace each match of the last search pattern with the / register (the last search pattern).

After pressing Ctrl-R then / to insert the last search pattern (and before pressing Enter to perform the command), you could edit the text to make any required change.


Replace all occurrences of the text in the system clipboard (in the * register) with 'bar' (see next example if multiline).

On some systems, selecting text (in Vim or another application) is all that is required to place that text in the * register.


Replace all occurrences of the text in register 'a' with 'bar'.

a means that you press Ctrl-R then a. The contents of register 'a' will be inserted as though you typed it.

Any newlines in register 'a' are inserted as ^M and are not found.

The search works if each ^M is manually replaced with '\n' (two characters: backslash, 'n').

This replacement can be performed while you type the command:


The "\n" (double quotes) represents the single character newline; the '\\n' (single quotes) represents two backslashes followed by 'n'.

The substitute() function is evaluated by the = (Ctrl-R =) expression register; it replaces each newline with a single backslash followed by 'n'.

The indicates that you press Enter to finish the = expression.

See Paste registers in search or colon commands instead of using the clipboard.

Additional examplesEdit


On each line, replace the first occurrence of "foo" with "bar".


On each line, replace the last occurrence of "foo" with "bar".


On each line, delete the whole word "foo" and all following text (to end of line).


On each line, delete the whole word "foo" and the following five characters.


On each line, delete all text following the whole word "foo" (to end of line).


On each line, delete the whole word "foo" and all preceding text (from beginning of line).


On each line, delete all the text preceding the whole word "foo" (from beginning of line).


On each line, delete all the text preceding and following the whole word "foo".

Special casesEdit

For substituting patterns with a corresponding case-sensitive text, Michael Geddes's keepcase plugin can be used, e.g.:


Substitute 'Hello hello helLo HELLO' by 'Goodbye goodbye goodBye GOODBYE'

For changing the offsets in a patch file (line number of a block), this little snippet can be used:

s/^@@ -\(\d\+\),\(\d\+\) +\(\d\+\),\(\d\+\) @@$/\="@@ -".eval(submatch(1)+offsetdiff).",".submatch(2)." +".eval(submatch(3)+offsetdiff).",".submatch(4)." @@"/g

Useful when we want to strip some blocks from a patch, without patch having to complain about offset differences.

Note Should try to make the expression more compact, but don't know how without having the possibility of modifying unwanted lines.

yes|for x in one two three; do echo result - $x; done
2010-06-01 14:49:29
User: Panikos
Functions: echo yes

simple bash one liner to pass multiple arguments to command one by one. optional yes/no pipe at beginning of command

geoip() { wget -qO - http://freegeoip.net/xml/$1 | sed '3,12!d;s/<//g;s/>/: /g;s/\/.*//g' ; }
grep -rc logged_in app/ | cut -d : -f 2 | awk '{sum+=$1} END {print sum}'
2009-07-15 14:16:44
User: terceiro
Functions: awk cut grep

grep's -c outputs how may matches there are for a given file as "file:N", cut takes the N's and awk does the sum.

cat user_public_key.pub | ssh [email protected]<host> "cat | su -c 'mkdir -m 700 -p ~/.ssh && cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys && chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys' <user>"
vboxmanage startvm --type gui $(vboxmanage list vms | sed -e 's/"//g' | cut -f1 -d ' ' | dmenu -i -p "VMs")
stsadm -o addalternatedomain -url http://paperino.paperopoli.com -urlzone Internet -incomingurl http://quiquoqua.paperopoli.com
2011-07-09 11:32:45
User: 0disse0

How to add an "alternate access mapping" from the command line and avoid passing on Friday evening following the interpretation of the all-too-terse "log" of SharePoint?

for i in * ; do cp $i $i.bak; done
2009-02-05 15:15:40
User: swinz
Functions: cp

quick in directory backup of all files in this directory. Adds the .bak extension to all copies.

head -c $((<pw-lenght>-2)) /dev/urandom | uuencode -m - | sed -e '1d' -e '3d' | sed -e 's/=.*$//g'
2009-03-24 20:05:16
User: P17
Functions: head sed uuencode

Replace < pw-length > with the desired password-length.

The password-length is not always correct, but wayne...

ifconfig | grep eth | awk '{print $5}'
2011-02-02 20:42:22
User: diacus
Functions: awk grep ifconfig

This command is useful when you want to check your nic's mac address, if you're interested in your wireless interface, use its ID instead "eth".

This command was tested under Ubuntu and Slackware GNU/Linux.

svn log -q | grep -v "^-" | cut -d "|" -f 2 | sort -u
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod a-x
2012-06-11 07:28:30
User: jlaunay
Functions: chmod find xargs

Using xargs is usually much quicker as it does not have to execute chmod for every file

diff -qr <dir1> <dir2>
kudzu -p
2009-05-12 10:34:59
Functions: kudzu

Kudzu is available on CentOS, used for configuring and detecting new hardware device installed, is also usefull for device listing.

find . -type f -exec ls -s \{\} \; | sort -n
2010-06-02 11:03:31
User: Insti
Functions: find ls sort

Finds all files below the current directory.

Orders the result from smallest to largest.

Good for finding the largest files in the tree.

alias myip='curl -s www.wieistmeineip.de | egrep -o "[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}"'
egrep -i "somepattern" `find . -type f -print`