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.

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



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

Commands tagged sort from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged sort - 154 results
alias sorth='sort --help|sed -n "/^ *-[^-]/s/^ *\(-[^ ]* -[^ ]*\) *\(.*\)/\1:\2/p"|column -ts":"'

Once you get into advanced/optimized scripts, functions, or cli usage, you will use the sort command alot. The options are difficult to master/memorize however, and when you use sort commands as much as I do (some examples below), it's useful to have the help available with a simple alias. I love this alias as I never seem to remember all the options for sort, and I use sort like crazy (much better than uniq for example).

# Sorts by file permissions

find . -maxdepth 1 -printf '%.5m %10M %p\n' | sort -k1 -r -g -bS 20%

00761 drwxrw---x ./tmp

00755 drwxr-xr-x .

00701 drwx-----x ./askapache-m

00644 -rw-r--r-- ./.htaccess

# Shows uniq history fast

history 1000 | sed 's/^[0-9 ]*//' | sort -fubdS 50%

exec bash -lxv

export TERM=putty-256color

Taken from my http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html

find -type f -print0 | xargs -r0 stat -c %y\ %n | sort
2010-05-29 13:40:18
User: dooblem
Functions: find stat xargs

Works with files containing spaces and for very large directories.

ls -rl --time-style=+%s * | sed '/^$/,/^total [0-9]*$/d' | sort -nk6
pgrep -cu ioggstream
sortwc () { local L;while read -r L;do builtin printf "${#L}@%s\n" "$L";done|sort -n|sed -u 's/^[^@]*@//'; }
2010-05-20 20:13:52
User: AskApache
Functions: printf read sed sort

This provides a way to sort output based on the length of the line, so that shorter lines appear before longer lines. It's an addon to the sort that I've wanted for years, sometimes it's very useful. Taken from my http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html

command ps wwo pid,user,group,vsize:8,size:8,sz:6,rss:6,pmem:7,pcpu:7,time:7,wchan,sched=,stat,flags,comm,args k -vsz -A|sed -u '/^ *PID/d;10q'

I've wanted this for a long time, finally just sat down and came up with it. This shows you the sorted output of ps in a pretty format perfect for cron or startup scripts. You can sort by changing the k -vsz to k -pmem for example to sort by memory instead.

If you want a function, here's one from my http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html

aa_top_ps(){ local T N=${1:-10};T=${2:-vsz}; ps wwo pid,user,group,vsize:8,size:8,sz:6,rss:6,pmem:7,pcpu:7,time:7,wchan,sched=,stat,flags,comm,args k -${T} -A|sed -u "/^ *PID/d;${N}q"; }
for i in $(find ~/.config/chromium/*/Extensions -name 'manifest.json'); do n=$(grep -hIr name $i| cut -f4 -d '"'| sort);u="https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/";ue=$(basename $(dirname $(dirname $i))); echo -e "$n:\n$u$ue\n" ; done
2010-05-18 15:16:36
User: new_user
Functions: cut find grep

Gives you a list for all installed chrome (chromium) extensions with URL to the page of the extension.

With this you can easy add a new Bookmark folder called "extensions" add every URL to that folder, so it will be synced and you can access the names from every computer you are logged in.


Only tested with chromium, for chrome you maybe have to change the find $PATH.

tail -n2000 /var/www/domains/*/*/logs/access_log | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | awk '{ if ($1 > 20)print $1,$2}'
netstat -an | awk '/tcp/ {print $6}' | sort | uniq -c
2010-05-06 17:04:37
User: Kered557
Functions: awk netstat sort uniq

Counts TCP states from Netstat and displays in an ordered list.

ps hax -o user | sort | uniq -c
ls -lS
du -cks * | sort -rn | while read size fname; do for unit in k M G T P E Z Y; do if [ $size -lt 1024 ]; then echo -e "${size}${unit}\t${fname}"; break; fi; size=$((size/1024)); done; done
du -kd | egrep -v "/.*/" | sort -n
2010-03-30 15:40:35
User: rmbjr60
Functions: du egrep sort

Thanks for the submit! My alternative produces summaries only for directories. The original post additionally lists all files in the current directory. Sometimes the files, they just clutter up the output. Once the big directory is located, *then* worry about which file(s) are consuming so much space.

alias dush="du -sm *|sort -n|tail"
2010-03-26 10:18:57
User: funky
Functions: alias

sorts the files by integer megabytes, which should be enough to (interactively) find the space wasters. Now you can


for the above output,

dush -n 3

for only the 3 biggest files and so on. It's always a good idea to have this line in your .profile or .bashrc

du -hs *|grep M|sort -n
2010-03-25 19:20:24
User: tuxlifan
Functions: du grep sort

This is easy to type if you are looking for a few (hundred) "missing" megabytes (and don't mind the occasional K slipping in)...

A variation without false positives and also finding gigabytes (but - depending on your keyboard setup - more painful to type):

du -hs *|grep -P '^(\d|,)+(M|G)'|sort -n

(NOTE: you might want to replace the ',' according to your locale!)

Don't forget that you can

modify the globbing as needed! (e.g. '.[^\.]* *' to include hidden files and directories (w/ bash))

in its core similar to:


grep current_state= /var/log/nagios/status.dat|sort|uniq -c|sed -e "s/[\t ]*\([0-9]*\).*current_state=\([0-9]*\)/\2:\1/"|tr "\n" " "
alias busy='my_file=$(find /usr/include -type f | sort -R | head -n 1); my_len=$(wc -l $my_file | awk "{print $1}"); let "r = $RANDOM % $my_len" 2>/dev/null; vim +$r $my_file'
2010-03-09 21:48:41
User: busybee
Functions: alias awk find head sort vim wc

This makes an alias for a command named 'busy'. The 'busy' command opens a random file in /usr/include to a random line with vim. Drop this in your .bash_aliases and make sure that file is initialized in your .bashrc.

lsof -p $(pidof firefox) | awk '/.mozilla/ { s = int($7/(2^20)); if(s>0) print (s)" MB -- "$9 | "sort -rn" }'
2010-01-13 22:45:53
User: tzk
Functions: awk pidof

Just refining last proposal for this check, showing awk power to make more complex math (instead /1024/1024, 2^20). We don't need declare variable before run lsof, because $(command) returns his output. Also, awk can perform filtering by regexp instead to call grep. I changed the 0.0000xxxx messy output, with a more readable form purging all fractional numbers and files less than 1 MB.

perl -wl -e [email protected]=<>; for $i (0 .. $#f) { $r=int rand ($i+1); @f[$i, $r][email protected][$r,$i] if ($i!=$r); } chomp @f; print join $/, @f;' try.txt
sed -ne '/^Package: \(.*\)/{s//\1/;h;};/^Installed-Size: \(.*\)/{s//\1/;G;s/\n/ /;p;}' /var/lib/dpkg/status | sort -rn
2009-10-19 19:01:17
User: arcege
Functions: sed sort

Use the hold space to preserve lines until data is needed.

perl -ne '$pkg=$1 if m/^Package: (.*)/; print "$1\t$pkg\n" if m/^Installed-Size: (.*)/;' < /var/lib/dpkg/status | sort -rn | less
2009-10-19 12:55:59
User: hfs
Functions: perl sort

List packages and their disk usage in decreasing order. This uses the "Installed-Size" from the package metadata. It may differ from the actual used space, because e.g. data files (think of databases) or log files may take additional space.

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

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-
find . -maxdepth 1 ! -name '.' -execdir du -0 -s {} + | sort -znr | gawk 'BEGIN{ORS=RS="\0";} {sub($1 "\t", ""); print $0;}' | xargs -0 du -hs
2009-09-11 16:07:39
User: ashawley
Functions: du find gawk sort xargs

A little bit smaller, faster and should handle files with special characters in the name.