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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!

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 - 12,392 results
2010-03-26 15:01:34
User: bartonski

While editing a source file in vim, or using vimdiff to compare two or more files, the ':TOhtml' command can be used to export each buffer as an html file, including syntax highlighting and vimdiff colorization. If you are in insert mode in vim, you will have to type


This will open a new buffer filled with html, which you can then save.

arecord -f dat | ssh -C [email protected] aplay -f dat
lshw -html > hardware.html
2009-06-04 07:14:03
User: flart

After the command is done, open the html file in a browser

:mksession! <filename>
2009-02-26 05:03:07
User: neutral
Tags: vim

Creates a full snapshot of your current vim session, including tabs, open buffers, cursor positions, everything. Can be resumed with vim -S . Useful for those times when you HAVE to close vim, but you don't want to lose all your hard-opened buffers and windows. The ! will cause vim to overwrite the file if it already exists. It is not necessary, but useful if you frequently save to the same file (like session.vim or something).

for file in `ls *.pdf`; do convert -verbose -colorspace RGB -resize 800 -interlace none -density 300 -quality 80 $file `echo $file | sed 's/\.pdf$/\.jpg/'`; done
2009-02-15 23:27:43
User: brettalton
Functions: file sed

(relies on 'imagemagick')

This command will convert all .pdf files in a directory into a 800px (wide or height, whichever is smaller) image (with the aspect ratio kept) .jpg.

If the file is named 'example1.pdf' it will be named 'example1.jpg' when it is complete.

This is a VERY worthwhile command! People pay hundreds of dollars for this in the Windows world.

My .jpg files average between 150kB to 300kB, but your's may differ.

bind -x '"\C-l":ls -l'
2010-12-25 22:55:33
User: roalddevries

the -x option is for binding to a shell command

find / -type f -size +500M
<ctrl+z> fg; notify_me
2010-05-20 16:16:43
User: recursiverse

If you want to be notified when a long-running command is finished, but you have already started it:


fg; echo "finished" | sendmail [email protected]

I use a script to post a tweet, which sends me a txt:

fg; echo "finished" | tweet
pdftotext [file] - | grep 'YourPattern'
2010-02-14 21:42:35
User: drewk
Functions: grep
Tags: pipe grep pdf

PDF files are simultaneously wonderful and heinous. They are wonderful in being ubiquitous and mostly being cross platform. They are heinous in being very difficult to work with from the command line, search, grep, use only the text inside the PDF, or use outside of proprietary products.

xpdf is a wonderful set of PDF tools. It is on many linux distros and can be installed on OS X. While primarily an open PDF viewer for X, xpdf has the tool "pdftotext" that can extract formated or unformatted text from inside a PDF that has text. This text stream can then be further processed by grep or other tool. The '-' after the file name directs output to stdout rather than to a text file the same name as the PDF.

Make sure you use version 3.02 of pdftotext or later; earlier versions clipped lines.

The lines extracted from a PDF without the "-layout" option are very long. More paragraphs. Use just to test that a pattern exists in the file. With "-layout" the output resembles the lines, but it is not perfect.

xpdf is available open source at http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf/

yes | pv | ssh $host "cat > /dev/null"
2009-12-27 21:34:23
User: opertinicy
Functions: ssh yes
Tags: ssh yes pv

connects to host via ssh and displays the live transfer speed, directing all transferred data to /dev/null

needs pv installed

Debian: 'apt-get install pv'

Fedora: 'yum install pv' (may need the 'extras' repository enabled)

date -d @1234567890
tidy -xml -i -m [file]
2009-02-05 21:22:33
User: scw

Generated XML files often are poorly formatted. Use this command to properly indent and normalize the file in-place.

ssh remotehost 'dpkg --get-selections' | dpkg --set-selections && dselect install
2011-05-12 17:26:43
User: Mozai
Functions: ssh

(also works on Ubuntu) Copies the 'install,' 'hold,' 'deinstall' and 'purge' states of packages on the remote machine to be matched on the local machine. Note: if packages were installed on the local machine that were never installed on the remote machine, they will not be deinstalled by this operation.

lsof -Pan -i tcp -i udp
2010-06-07 15:22:44
User: atoponce
Tags: netstat lsof

This command is more portable than it's cousin netstat. It works well on all the BSDs, GNU/Linux, AIX and Mac OS X. You won't find lsof by default on Solaris or HPUX by default, but packages exist around the web for installation, if needed, and the command works as shown. This is the most portable command I can find that lists listening ports and their associated pid.

grep -Fx -f file1 file2
alias head='head -n $((${LINES:-`tput lines 2>/dev/null||echo -n 12`} - 2))'

Run the alias command, then issue

ps aux | head

and resize your terminal window (putty/console/hyperterm/xterm/etc) then issue the same command and you'll understand.

${LINES:-`tput lines 2>/dev/null||echo -n 12`}

Insructs the shell that if LINES is not set or null to use the output from `tput lines` ( ncurses based terminal access ) to get the number of lines in your terminal. But furthermore, in case that doesn't work either, it will default to using the deafault of 12 (-2 = 10).

The default for HEAD is to output the first 10 lines, this alias changes the default to output the first x lines instead, where x is the number of lines currently displayed on your terminal - 2. The -2 is there so that the top line displayed is the command you ran that used HEAD, ie the prompt.

Depending on whether your PS1 and/or PROMPT_COMMAND output more than 1 line (mine is 3) you will want to increase from -2. So with my prompt being the following, I need -7, or - 5 if I only want to display the commandline at the top. ( http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash-power-prompt.html )


[7995:7993 - 0:186] 06:26:49 Thu Apr 08 [[email protected]:/dev/pts/0 +1] ~

In most shells the LINES variable is created automatically at login and updated when the terminal is resized (28 linux, 23/20 others for SIGWINCH) to contain the number of vertical lines that can fit in your terminal window. Because the alias doesn't hard-code the current LINES but relys on the $LINES variable, this is a dynamic alias that will always work on a tty device.

apt-get install most && update-alternatives --set pager /usr/bin/most
2010-01-04 14:13:55
User: aurium
Functions: apt install

That command installs "most" and make this command as the default man reader. The "most" works like "less" (the current man reader), but it render colors for manpages and may do more things. Read "man most".

You can see a preview here: http://www.dicas-l.com.br/dicas-l/20090718.php

diff <(echo "$a") <(echo "$b")
2009-07-15 07:26:23
User: olorin
Functions: diff echo

You got some results in two variables within your shell script and would like to find the differences? Changes in process lists, reworked file contents, ... . No need to write to temporary files. You can use all the diff parameters you'll need. Maybe anything like $ grep "^>"

is helpful afterwards.

killall -STOP -m firefox
2009-05-18 20:02:44
Functions: killall

Continue with:

killall -CONT -m firefox

Suspends all Firefox Threads. Results in Zero CPU load.

Useful when having 100+ Tabs open and you temporarily need the power elsewhere.

Be careful - might produce RACE CONDITIONS or LOCKUPS in other processes or FF itself.

matching is case sensitive.

lynx -accept_all_cookies -cmd_script=/your/keystroke-file
2009-03-17 00:38:36
User: Alanceil

This command will tell lynx to read keystrokes from the specified file - which can be used in a cronjob to auto-login on websites that give you points for logging in once a day *cough cough* (which is why I used -accept_all_cookies).

For creating your keystroke file, use:

lynx -cmd_log yourfile
svn log -q|grep "|"|awk "{print \$3}"|sort|uniq -c|sort -nr
2009-02-17 21:37:03
User: psytek

Use this command to find out a list of committers sorted by the frequency of commits.

2012-12-19 02:21:41
Tags: dd progress

Sends SIGINFO to the process. This is a BSD feature OS X inherited. You must have the terminal window executing dd selected when entering CTRL + T for this to work.

bc <<< 'obase=60;299'
2011-10-21 13:15:17
User: mathias
Functions: bc

This is a very simple way to input a large number of seconds and get a more useful value in minutes and seconds. Avoids useless use of echo.