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
for i in *.wma; do mplayer -vo null -vc dummy -af resample=44100 -ao pcm:waveheader:file="${i%.wma}.wav" "$i" ; done
echo $(( $( date +%s ) - $( stat -c %Y * | sort -nr | head -n 1 ) ))
alias oports="echo -e "User:\tCommand:\tPort:\n----------------------------" && lsof -i 4 -P -n | awk '/LISTEN/ {print $3, $1, $9}' | sed 's/ [a-z0-9\.\*]*:/ /' | sort -u -k 3 -n | xargs printf '%-10s %-10s %-10s\n'"
wget http://somesite.com/somestream.pls; cvlc somestream.pls&sleep 5; rm somestream.pls*
2011-08-04 19:24:18
User: tomjrace
Functions: rm wget

I wanted to play a song from the shell and get the shell back, I also dont want to store the file if it is not needed.

edit, not sure if I need to mention it... killall vlc to stop it

slow () { [ -n $1 ] && while kill -STOP $1; do sleep 1; kill -CONT $1; sleep 1; done }
2012-05-16 19:16:50
User: makidoko
Functions: kill sleep
Tags: io

compare to alternative :

- directly tests the -STOP of the process to continue or stop loop,

- background operator should be set (or not) at the call of the function

For extension i suggest a slowPID() based on kill like above and a slowCMD based on killall.

PLAYLIST=$(ls -1) ; mpg123 -C $PLAYLIST
2009-03-19 17:20:28
Functions: ls mpg123

On my music directory, I create variable that contains all mp3s files, then I play them with mpg123. -C options enable terminal control key, s for stop, p for pause, f for forward to next song.

find . -type d | tac | xargs rmdir 2> /dev/null
2010-03-23 11:54:38
User: drmaciver
Functions: find rmdir tac xargs

Remove all empty directories below the current directory. If directories become empty as the results of this, remove those too.

host foo.com|grep " has address "|cut -d" " -f4
2010-10-29 17:01:37
User: dinomite
Functions: cut grep host

Get just the IP address for a given hostname. For best results, make this a function in your shell rc file so that it can be used for things like traceroute:

Titus:~$ traceroute `getip foo.com`

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets

find . -type f -name '*.c' -exec wc -l {} \; | awk '{sum+=$1} END {print sum}'
2009-09-04 15:51:30
User: arcege
Functions: awk find wc
Tags: awk find wc

Have wc work on each file then add up the total with awk; get a 43% speed increase on RHEL over using "-exec cat|wc -l" and a 67% increase on my Ubuntu laptop (this is with 10MB of data in 767 files).

ykpersonalize -1 -ostatic-ticket -ostrong-pw1 -ostrong-pw2
2011-05-13 04:00:52

By default, slot 1 is used for OTP purposes and validates against the Yubikey servers. Running the command above will replace that. If you have a Yubikey 2 or above, you can change -1 to -2 and program the second slot with a strong static key.

for IP in `cat ip.txt|awk -F: '{print $1}'`; do geoiplookup -f /usr/local/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat $IP|awk -F, '{print $2}'>>out.txt; done; paste -d ":" ip.txt out.txt>zoom.txt
2011-08-05 09:26:17
User: woben2
Functions: awk paste
Tags: geoip

take a list of IP:PORT and output IP:PORT:COUNTRY

ethtool -S eth0
defaults write com.macromates.textmate OakDefaultLanguage 17994EC8-6B1D-11D9-AC3A-000D93589AF6
2009-10-20 07:10:34
User: vigo
Functions: write

When you press "cmd+n" in TextMate, you can have "HTML" language as default document format... You can also define other languages too. You need to know the UUID of your language bundle.

grep -hIr -m 1 :name ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.$USER/extensions | tr '<>=' '"""' | cut -f3 -d'"' | sort -u
2010-05-18 14:49:44
User: new_user
Functions: grep sort tr

1.) my profile ends with $USER not with .default

2.) only grep for the first occurrence because some extensions have the translated name also inside the install.rdf

pvscan | awk '/name_of_vg/ {print $2}' | sed 's/[-|/|]/ /g' | cut -d " " -f7
2010-06-22 16:34:42
User: slashdot
Functions: awk cut sed

This is an easy way to quickly get a status for a device in multipath on SLES systems, as long as the server is configured based on Novell's standards, where multipathed disks are referred to by /dev/disk/by-... tree. Make sure to replace name_of_vg with your Volume Group name.

gethostip -d hostname
In MySQL client, \P less -S
2011-01-19 09:44:43
User: maxmanders
Functions: less

Instead of dumping the entire query to the screen, it will use 'less -S' to handle pagination. This means you can move back and forward through the result set, and instead of wrapping rows at screen boundaries, the table will extend off the screen, and can be scrolled left and right with arrow keys.

alias viaco='task="$(basename "$(pwd)")"; if [ -f "$task.c" ]; then vi -c "set mouse=n" -c "set autoread" -c "vsplit $task.out" -c "split $task.in" -c "wincmd l" -c "wincmd H" $task.c; fi'
2011-05-13 13:35:02
User: yolila
Functions: alias vi

1. Get name of task by task=$(basename "$(pwd)")

2. Check whether "$task.c" exists as a file

3. open "$task.c", "$task.in", "task.out" in vim with such layout.


|            | $task.in    |

|            |                |

|$task.c  |-----------------|

|            | $task.out  |

|            |                |


echo -e "n\np\n1\n\n\nt\n8e\nw" | fdisk /dev/sdX
2009-10-20 16:21:54
User: sud0er
Functions: echo fdisk
Tags: Linux fdisk

This is a bit hacky, but if you're setting up a bunch of new LUNs, it can save a bunch of time. Also check out sfdisk. The fdisk will fail if, for example, a partition table already exists.

mknod replypipe p; nc -k -lp 1234 < replypipe| nc -U /var/run/mysocket.sock > replypipe
2014-07-19 18:17:35
User: adimania
Functions: mknod

* Make a FIFO file named replypipe

* listen on 1234

* pass the request to unix socket

* unix socket will reply to replypipe

* replypipe will write reply to the client

gsed -e :a -e 's/\(<\/[^>]*>\)/\1\n/g;s/\(<br>\)/\1\n/g' page2.txt | sed -n '/<cite>/p;s/<cite>\(.*\)<\/cite>/\1/g' >> output
2009-02-06 12:45:20
User: shrimphead
Functions: sed

From a saved page of google search results, split out all of the links for the results. Useful for creating apache rewrite rules from.

java -jar /path/to/filename.jar
2011-04-01 05:44:56
User: Bonster

Use this to make a launcher for Java apps ( .jar files ) such as with jdownloader

ls -1 | xargs ruby -e'puts ARGV.shuffle'
perl -le 'print join ", ", map { chomp; $_ } <>'
2009-02-06 12:50:43
User: jozef
Functions: join perl

joins multiple lines to create single line with comma separated values. for example if we have an email addresses one per line (copy&paste from spreadsheet) it will oputput one line with comman separated addresses to put it to email client.