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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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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 - 12,412 results
man -t manpage | ps2pdf - filename.pdf
2010-12-19 22:40:18
User: TetsuyO
Functions: man

Quick and dirty version. I made a version that checks if a manpage exists (but it's not a oneliner). You must have ps2pdf and of course Ghostscript installed in your box.

Enhancements appreciated :-)

rm -f !(survivior.txt)
mkdir -p a/long/directory/path
2009-02-07 15:26:27
User: tjweir
Functions: mkdir

This will create the intermediate directories that do not exist.

I did not know about this for a long time.

read day month year <<< $(date +'%d %m %y')
vim scp:[email protected]//path/to/somefile
ss -p
2009-09-19 21:55:01
User: Escher

for one line per process:

ss -p | cat

for established sockets only:

ss -p | grep STA

for just process names:

ss -p | cut -f2 -sd\"


ss -p | grep STA | cut -f2 -d\"
^Z $bg $disown
2009-03-17 21:52:52
User: fall0ut

You're running a script, command, whatever.. You don't expect it to take long, now 5pm has rolled around and you're ready to go home... Wait, it's still running... You forgot to nohup it before running it... Suspend it, send it to the background, then disown it... The ouput wont go anywhere, but at least the command will still run...

strings /dev/urandom | grep -o '[[:alnum:]]' | head -n 30 | tr -d '\n'; echo
2009-02-16 00:39:28
User: jbcurtis
Functions: grep head strings tr

Find random strings within /dev/urandom. Using grep filter to just Alphanumeric characters, and then print the first 30 and remove all the line feeds.

pv access.log | gzip > access.log.gz
2009-02-06 08:50:40
User: p3k
Functions: gzip

Pipe viewer is a terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data through a pipeline. It can be inserted into any normal pipeline between two processes to give a visual indication of how quickly data is passing through, how long it has taken, how near to completion it is, and an estimate of how long it will be until completion. Source: http://www.catonmat.net/blog/unix-utilities-pipe-viewer/

netstat -an | grep ESTABLISHED | awk '{print $5}' | awk -F: '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c | awk '{ printf("%s\t%s\t",$2,$1) ; for (i = 0; i < $1; i++) {printf("*")}; print "" }'
2009-04-27 22:02:19
User: knassery
Functions: awk grep netstat sort uniq

Written for linux, the real example is how to produce ascii text graphs based on a numeric value (anything where uniq -c is useful is a good candidate).

grep -RnisI <pattern> *
2009-09-22 15:09:43
User: birnam
Functions: grep
Tags: bash grep

This is how I typically grep. -R recurse into subdirectories, -n show line numbers of matches, -i ignore case, -s suppress "doesn't exist" and "can't read" messages, -I ignore binary files (technically, process them as having no matches, important for showing inverted results with -v)

I have grep aliased to "grep --color=auto" as well, but that's a matter of formatting not function.

ffmpeg -f x11grab -r 25 -s 800x600 -i :0.0 /tmp/outputFile.mpg
2009-06-05 21:11:17
User: dcabanis
Tags: video X11 ffmpeg

Grab X11 input and create an MPEG at 25 fps with the resolution 800x600

date [email protected]
2009-04-11 22:26:41
User: kFiddle
Functions: date
Tags: date

This example, for example, produces the output, "Fri Feb 13 15:26:30 EST 2009"

watch -n 1 mysqladmin --user=<user> --password=<password> processlist
2009-02-16 11:21:16
User: root
Functions: watch
Tags: mysql

Watch is a very useful command for periodically running another command - in this using mysqladmin to display the processlist. This is useful for monitoring which queries are causing your server to clog up.

More info here: http://codeinthehole.com/archives/2-Monitoring-MySQL-processes.html

notify-send ["<title>"] "<body>"
2009-04-29 10:05:20
User: cammarin

The title is optional.


-t: expire time in milliseconds.

-u: urgency (low, normal, critical).

-i: icon path.

On Debian-based systems you may need to install the 'libnotify-bin' package.

Useful to advise when a wget download or a simulation ends. Example:

wget URL ; notify-send "Done"
curl -u username:password --silent "https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom" | tr -d '\n' | awk -F '<entry>' '{for (i=2; i<=NF; i++) {print $i}}' | sed -n "s/<title>\(.*\)<\/title.*name>\(.*\)<\/name>.*/\2 - \1/p"
2009-09-07 21:56:40
User: postrational
Functions: awk sed tr

Checks the Gmail ATOM feed for your account, parses it and outputs a list of unread messages.

For some reason sed gets stuck on OS X, so here's a Perl version for the Mac:

curl -u username:password --silent "https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom" | tr -d '\n' | awk -F '<entry>' '{for (i=2; i<=NF; i++) {print $i}}' | perl -pe 's/^<title>(.*)<\/title>.*<name>(.*)<\/name>.*$/$2 - $1/'

If you want to see the name of the last person, who added a message to the conversation, change the greediness of the operators like this:

curl -u username:password --silent "https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom" | tr -d '\n' | awk -F '<entry>' '{for (i=2; i<=NF; i++) {print $i}}' | perl -pe 's/^<title>(.*)<\/title>.*?<name>(.*?)<\/name>.*$/$2 - $1/'
du -s * | sort -n | tail
for code in {0..255}; do echo -e "\e[38;05;${code}m $code: Test"; done
2010-06-19 02:14:42
User: scribe
Functions: echo
Tags: bash color colors

Same as http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/5876, but for bash.

This will show a numerical value for each of the 256 colors in bash. Everything in the command is a bash builtin, so it should run on any platform where bash is installed. Prints one color per line. If someone is interested in formatting the output, paste the alternative.

gs -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=OUTPUT.pdf -c .setpdfwrite -f INPUT.pdf
2009-12-14 21:30:22
User: deijmaster
Functions: gs

Remove security from PDF document using this very simple command on Linux and OSX. You need ghostscript for this baby to work.

cmdfu(){ curl "http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/matching/$@/$(echo -n $@ | openssl base64)/plaintext"; }
watch -t -n1 "date +%T|figlet"
2009-06-21 01:02:37
User: dennisw
Functions: watch

This command displays a clock on your terminal which updates the time every second. Press Ctrl-C to exit.

A couple of variants:

A little bit bigger text:

watch -t -n1 "date +%T|figlet -f big"

You can try other figlet fonts, too.

Big sideways characters:

watch -n 1 -t '/usr/games/banner -w 30 $(date +%M:%S)'

This requires a particular version of banner and a 40-line terminal or you can adjust the width ("30" here).

dpkg -S /usr/bin/ls
2009-04-18 18:18:23
User: bwoodacre

'dpkg -S' just matches the string you supply it, so just using 'ls' as an argument matches any file from any package that has 'ls' anywhere in the filename. So usually it's a good idea to use an absolute path. You can see in the second example that 12 thousand files that are known to dpkg match the bare string 'ls'.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null bs=1M count=32768
2009-02-16 12:22:18
Functions: dd

Read 32GB zero's and throw them away.

How fast is your system?

mount /path/to/file.iso /mnt/cdrom -oloop
2009-02-05 17:28:06
User: nerd65536
Functions: mount
Tags: mount iso

"-o loop" lets you use a file as a block device

ssh -MNf <user>@<host>
2009-02-26 14:11:19
User: raphink
Functions: ssh

Create a persistent SSH connection to the host in the background. Combine this with settings in your ~/.ssh/config:

Host host

ControlPath ~/.ssh/master-%r@%h:%p

ControlMaster no

All the SSH connections to the machine will then go through the persisten SSH socket. This is very useful if you are using SSH to synchronize files (using rsync/sftp/cvs/svn) on a regular basis because it won't create a new socket each time to open an ssh connection.