Hide

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.

Hide

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:

Hide

News

2011-03-12 - Confoo 2011 presentation
Slides are available from the commandlinefu presentation at Confoo 2011: http://presentations.codeinthehole.com/confoo2011/
2011-01-04 - Moderation now required for new commands
To try and put and end to the spamming, new commands require moderation before they will appear on the site.
2010-12-27 - Apologies for not banning the trolls sooner
Have been away from the interwebs over Christmas. Will be more vigilant henceforth.
2010-09-24 - OAuth and pagination problems fixed
Apologies for the delay in getting Twitter's OAuth supported. Annoying pagination gremlin also fixed.
Hide

Tags

Hide

Functions

Commands by drewk from sorted by
Terminal - Commands by drewk - 12 results
date -j -v1d -v-0m -v-1d +'%m %d %Y'
2010-03-04 17:47:51
User: drewk
Functions: date
-4

This produces a parseable output of the last day of the month in future or past. Change the '-v-0m' to be a month plus or minus from the current system time.

pdftotext [file] - | grep 'YourPattern'
2010-02-14 21:42:35
User: drewk
Functions: grep
Tags: pipe grep pdf
27

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/

<(!!)
2010-02-06 18:35:10
User: drewk
7

Bash has a great history system of its commands accessed by the ! built-in history expansion operator (documented elsewhere on this site or on the web). You can combine the ! operator inside the process redirection

Very handy.

cat </dev/tcp/time.nist.gov/13
2009-12-03 21:40:14
User: drewk
Functions: cat
Tags: cat tcp
8

The format is JJJJJ YR-MO-DA HH:MM:SS TT L DUT1 msADV UTC(NIST) OTM

and is explained more fully here: http://tf.nist.gov/service/acts.htm

grep -c '^From ' mbox_file
curl "http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml" 2>/dev/null | sed -e :a -e 's/<[^>]*>//g;/</N;//ba' | perl -nle 's/^\t\t(.*$)/ $1/ and print;'
2009-09-24 23:37:36
User: drewk
Functions: perl sed
Tags: perl sed curl
-1

Uses curl to download page of membership of US Congress. Use sed to strip HTML then perl to print a line starting with two tabs (a line with a representative)

md () { mkdir -p "$@" && cd "$@"; }
2009-09-24 16:09:19
User: drewk
Functions: cd mkdir
27

How often do you make a directory (or series of directories) and then change into it to do whatever? 99% of the time that is what I do.

This BASH function 'md' will make the directory path then immediately change to the new directory. By using the 'mkdir -p' switch, the intermediate directories are created as well if they do not exist.

cat ~/SortedFile.txt | perl -wnl -e '@f=<>; END{ foreach $i (reverse 0 .. $#f) { $r=int rand ($i+1); @f[$i, $r]=@f[$r,$i] unless ($i==$r); } chomp @f; foreach $line (@f){ print $line; }}'
2009-09-24 15:42:43
User: drewk
Functions: cat perl
0

The sort utility is well used, but sometimes you want a little chaos. This will randomize the lines of a text file.

BTW, on OS X there is no

| sort -R

option! There is also no

| shuf

These are only in the newer GNU core...

This is also faster than the alternate of:

| awk 'BEGIN { srand() } { print rand() "\t" $0 }' | sort -n | cut -f2-
`pbpaste` | pbcopy
2009-09-21 23:10:11
User: drewk
Tags: Os X bash osx pipes
7

The backtick operator, in general, will execute the text inside the backticks. On OS X, the pbpaste command will put the contents of the OS X clipboard to STDOUT. So if you put backticks around pbpaste, the text from the OS X clipboard is executed.

If you add the pipeline | pbcopy, the output from executing the command on the clipboard is placed back on the clipboard.

Note: make sure the clipboard is text only.

find $HOME -type f -print0 | perl -0 -wn -e '@f=<>; foreach $file (@f){ (@el)=(stat($file)); push @el, $file; push @files,[ @el ];} @o=sort{$a->[9]<=>$b->[9]} @files; for $i (0..$#o){print scalar localtime($o[$i][9]), "\t$o[$i][-1]\n";}'|tail
2009-09-21 22:11:16
User: drewk
Functions: find perl
3

This pipeline will find, sort and display all files based on mtime. This could be done with find | xargs, but the find | xargs pipeline will not produce correct results if the results of find are greater than xargs command line buffer. If the xargs buffer fills, xargs processes the find results in more than one batch which is not compatible with sorting.

Note the "-print0" on find and "-0" switch for perl. This is the equivalent of using xargs. Don't you love perl?

Note that this pipeline can be easily modified to any data produced by perl's stat operator. eg, you could sort on size, hard links, creation time, etc. Look at stat and just change the '9' to what you want. Changing the '9' to a '7' for example will sort by file size. A '3' sorts by number of links....

Use head and tail at the end of the pipeline to get oldest files or most recent. Use awk or perl -wnla for further processing. Since there is a tab between the two fields, it is very easy to process.

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType | perl -nl -e '@al=<>; $c=@al; while($j<$c){ $apps[$i].=$al[$j]; $i++ if ($al[$j] ) =~ /^\s\s\s\s\S.*:$/; $j++} while($k<$i){ $_=$apps[$k++]; if (/Kind: PowerPC/s) {print;}}'
2009-09-06 20:56:48
User: drewk
Functions: perl
Tags: Os X perl
0

This finds all the PowerPC apps recognized by OS X.

A better version is:

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType 2> /dev/null | perl -

wnl -e '$i=$j=$k=$p=0; @al=; $c=@al; while($j

s[$i].=$al[$j]; $i++ if ($al[$j]) =~ /^\s\s\s\s\S.*:$/; $j++} while($k

apps[$k++]; if (/Kind: PowerPC/s) {print; $p++;}} print "$i applications, $p P

owerPC applications\n\n"'

but that is more than 255 characters...

diff <(cd /path-1; find . -type f -print | egrep -i '\.m4a$|\.mp3$') <(cd /path-2; find . f -print | egrep -i '\.m4a$|\.mp3$')
2009-08-17 00:49:31
User: drewk
Functions: cd diff egrep find
3

diff is designed to compare two files. You can also compare directories. In this form, bash uses 'process substitution' in place of a file as an input to diff. Each input to diff can be filtered as you choose. I use find and egrep to select the files to compare.