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Commands tagged while from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged while - 34 results
echo FileName | perl -nlE'sleep 1 while time-(stat)[10]<10' && echo DONE
2015-05-09 14:58:41
User: pung96
Functions: echo perl

perl version of "Wait for file to stop changing"

When "FileName" has not been changed for last 10 seconds, then print "DONE"

"10" in "(stat)[10]" means ctime.

One have other options like atime, mtime and others. http://perldoc.perl.org/functions/stat.html

while [ $(( $(date +%s) - $(stat -c %Y FILENAME) )) -lt 10 ]; do sleep 1; done; echo DONE
2015-05-09 12:30:13
User: flatcap
Functions: date echo sleep stat

This loop will finish if a file hasn't changed in the last 10 seconds.


It checks the file's modification timestamp against the clock.

If 10 seconds have elapsed without any change to the file, then the loop ends.


This script will give a false positive if there's a 10 second delay between updates,

e.g. due to network congestion


How does it work?

'date +%s' gives the current time in seconds

'stat -c %Y' gives the file's last modification time in seconds

'$(( ))' is bash's way of doing maths

'[ X -lt 10 ]' tests the result is Less Than 10

otherwise sleep for 1 second and repeat


Note: Clever as this script is, inotify is smarter.

find . -type f -name "*.txt" | while read; do (($(cat $THISFILE | wc -l) < 10)) && rm -vf "$THISFILE"; done
/usr/bin/tail -fn0 /path/to/apache_error.log | while read line; do /usr/local/bin/growlnotify --title "Apache Notice" --message "$line"; done &
2013-01-22 05:25:41
User: jhyland87
Functions: read

Simply add this to whatever apache startup script you have, or if you are on a MAC, create a new automator application. This will show a pretty growl notification whenever theres a new Apache error log entry. Useful for local development

while sleep 1; do foo; done
2012-09-14 20:21:04
User: lowbatteries
Functions: sleep

For use when you can't use "watch" (user-defined functions, aliases). This isn't mine - its an alternate posted in the comments by flatcap, and is the shortest and easiest to remember.

hourglass(){ trap 'tput cnorm' 0 1 2 15 RETURN;local s=$(($SECONDS +$1));(tput civis;while (($SECONDS<$s));do for f in '|' '\' '-' '/';do echo -n "$f";sleep .2s;echo -n $'\b';done;done;);}
2012-06-21 05:40:22
User: AskApache
Functions: echo sleep tput trap

Displays an animated hourglass for x amount of seconds

while read ; do python <script> ; done
2012-02-23 22:29:09
User: Zulu
Functions: python read

Very useful for test a script. After launch this command, you only have to press ENTER for launch your script again. I work with screen and tape ENTER instead of '!!'+ENTER

If you break your script with CTRL-C, it will wait for press ENTER and will re-launch

You can write like it : while read -p "Press ENTER" ; do python ; done

while ( nc -l 80 < /file.htm > : ) ; do : ; done &
2012-01-02 02:17:25
User: Zulu
Tags: while nc daemon

Allow to launch nc like a daemon, in background until you still stop it.

You can stop it with kill %1 (jobs method) or kill PID.

The -k option can force nc to listen another connection, but if you use redirection, it will work only one time.

The loop's inside doesn't do anything, but we can imagine to send a message to screen when a connection is established

(set -e; while true; do TEST_COMMAND; done) | tee log
2011-09-06 12:29:11
User: wipu
Functions: set tee
Tags: tee while set

If you need to fix a randomly failing test (race condition), you need to run it until you get that hard-to-reproduce failure.

ping -a IP-ADDRESS
2011-04-28 13:51:12
User: markussesser
Functions: ping

pcspkr have to be enabled!

modprobe pcspkr

xset b on

continuar=true; while $continuar; do if ping -c 3 [target_IP_address] 2>&1> /dev/null ; then mplayer [sound_file]; continuar=false; break; fi; done
2011-04-25 21:44:05
User: mack
Functions: ping

If you're very busy and don't want to wait for a ping response, use it.

This command will be waiting for a successful ping response, to play a sound file to warn you that the target host is available.

for p in `ps L|cut -d' ' -f1`;do echo -e "`tput clear;read -p$p -n1 p`";ps wwo pid:6,user:8,comm:10,$p kpid -A;done

While going through the source code for the well known ps command, I read about some interesting things.. Namely, that there are a bunch of different fields that ps can try and enumerate for you. These are fields I was not able to find in the man pages, documentation, only in the source.

Here is a longer function that goes through each of the formats recognized by the ps on your machine, executes it, and then prompts you whether you would like to add it or not. Adding it simply adds it to an array that is then printed when you ctrl-c or at the end of the function run. This lets you save your favorite ones and then see the command to put in your .bash_profile like mine at : http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html

Note that I had to do the exec method below in order to pause with read.

t ()


local r l a P f=/tmp/ps c='command ps wwo pid:6,user:8,vsize:8,comm:20' IFS=' ';

trap 'exec 66

exec 66 $f && command ps L | tr -s ' ' >&$f;

while read -u66 l >&/dev/null; do

a=${l/% */};

$c,$a k -${a//%/} -A;

yn "Add $a" && P[$SECONDS]=$a;



cowsay -l | sed '1d;s/ /\n/g' | while read f; do cowsay -f $f $f;done
while [[ COUNTER -le 10 && IFS=':' ]]; do for LINE in $(cat /tmp/list); do some_command(s) $LINE; done; COUNTER=$((COUNTER+1)); done
2010-09-01 15:09:59
User: slashdot
Functions: cat

At times I find that I need to loop through a file where each value that I need to do something with is not on a separate line, but rather separated with a ":" or a ";". In this instance, I create a loop within which I define 'IFS' to be something other than a whitespace character. In this example, I iterate through a file which only has one line, and several fields separated with ":". The counter helps me define how many times I want to repeat the loop.

ls | while read -r FILE; do mv -v "$FILE" `echo $FILE | tr -d ' '`; done
2010-08-14 14:10:48
User: IgnitionWeb
Functions: ls mv read tr
Tags: space echo while tr

all files in the directory get moved, in doing so the new name of the file is the original name with out spaces (using translate command)

find <dir> -name "<pattern>" | while read file; do echo -n .; output=$(<command>) || (echo ; echo $file:; echo "$output"; ); done
2010-08-10 11:45:31
User: Marco
Functions: echo find read

This is a command template for achiving the following:

* loop over files --> find -name "" | while read file; do ...; done

* output progress --> echo -n .

* execute some command on each file and save output for later usage --> output=$()

* if command failed, open subshell and echo newline --> || (echo;...;...;)

* echo output of command --> echo "$output"

cut -f 1 three-column.txt > first-column.txt
2010-07-11 10:13:45
User: postrational
Functions: cut

There is a common command for outputting a field or list of fields from each line in a file. Why wouldn't you just use cut?

awk '{print $1}' < three-column.txt > first-column.txt
while read col1 col23; do echo $col1; done < three-column.txt > first-column.txt
while read l; do echo ${l%% *}; done < three-column-list.txt > only-first-column.txt
2010-07-09 03:42:56
User: zed
Functions: echo read

The above is an example of grabbing only the first column. You can define the start and end points specifically by chacater position using the following command:

while read l; do echo ${l:10:40}; done < three-column-list.txt > column-c10-c40.txt

Of course, it doesn't have to be a column, or extraction, it can be replacement

while read l; do echo ${l/foo/bar}; done < list-with-foo.txt > list-with-bar.txt

Read more about parameter expansion here:


Think of this as an alternative to awk or sed for file operations

statt(){ C=c;stat --h|sed '/Th/,/NO/!d;/%/!d'|while read l;do p=${l/% */};[ $p == %Z ]&&C=fc&&echo ^FS:^;echo "`stat -$C $p \"$1\"` ^$p^${l#%* }";done|column -ts^; }
2010-06-11 23:31:03
User: AskApache
Functions: column read sed

This shows every bit of information that stat can get for any file, dir, fifo, etc. It's great because it also shows the format and explains it for each format option.

If you just want stat help, create this handy alias 'stath' to display all format options with explanations.

alias stath="stat --h|sed '/Th/,/NO/!d;/%/!d'"

To display on 2 lines:

( F=/etc/screenrc N=c IFS=$'\n'; for L in $(sed 's/%Z./%Z\n/'<<<`stat --h|sed -n '/^ *%/s/^ *%\(.\).*$/\1:%\1/p'`); do G=$(echo "stat -$N '$L' \"$F\""); eval $G; N=fc;done; )

For a similarly powerful stat-like function optimized for pretty output (and can sort by any field), check out the "lll" function


From my .bash_profile ->


wait $!
2010-06-07 21:56:36
User: noahspurrier
Functions: wait

Referring to the original post, if you are using $! then that means the process is a child of the current shell, so you can just use `wait $!`. If you are trying to wait for a process created outside of the current shell, then the loop on `kill -0 $PID` is good; although, you can't get the exit status of the process.

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

alias dateh='date --help|sed -n "/^ *%%/,/^ *%Z/p"|while read l;do F=${l/% */}; date +%$F:"|'"'"'${F//%n/ }'"'"'|${l#* }";done|sed "s/\ *|\ */|/g" |column -s "|" -t'

If you have used bash for any scripting, you've used the date command alot. It's perfect for using as a way to create filename's dynamically within aliases,functions, and commands like below.. This is actually an update to my first alias, since a few commenters (below) had good observations on what was wrong with my first command.

# creating a date-based ssh-key for askapache.github.com

ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/`date +git-$USER@$HOSTNAME-%m-%d-%g` -C 'webmaster@askapache.com' # /home/gpl/.ssh/git-gplnet@askapache.github.com-04-22-10

# create a tar+gzip backup of the current directory

tar -czf $(date +$HOME/.backups/%m-%d-%g-%R-`sed -u 's/\//#/g' <<< $PWD`.tgz) . # tar -czf /home/gpl/.backups/04-22-10-01:13-#home#gpl#.rr#src.tgz .

I personally find myself having to reference

date --help

quite a bit as a result. So this nice alias saves me a lot of time. This is one bdash mofo. Works in sh and bash (posix), but will likely need to be changed for other shells due to the parameter substitution going on.. Just extend the sed command, I prefer sed to pretty much everything anyways.. but it's always preferable to put in the extra effort to go for as much builtin use as you can. Otherwise it's not a top one-liner, it's a lazyboy recliner.

Here's the old version:

alias dateh='date --help|sed "/^ *%%/,/^ *%Z/!d;s/ \+/ /g"|while read l;do date "+ %${l/% */}_${l/% */}_${l#* }";done|column -s_ -t'

This trick from my [ http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html bash_profile ]

2010-01-15 04:03:11
User: bhepple
Functions: wait

If you really _must_ use a loop, this is better than parsing the output of 'ps':

PID=$! ;while kill -0 $PID &>/dev/null; do sleep 1; done

kill -0 $PID returns 0 if the process still exists; otherwise 1