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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.




Commands using column from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using column - 34 results
awk '$1=="Host"{$1="";H=substr($0,2)};$1=="HostName"{print H,"$",$2}' ~/.ssh/config | column -s '$' -t
2014-05-24 20:51:47
User: wejn
Functions: awk column
Tags: awk column

Spits out table that shows your Host->HostName aliases in ~/.ssh/config

netstat -pnut -W | column -t -s $'\t'
2014-05-03 00:48:53
User: Nadiar
Functions: column netstat

This takes all of the tab spaces, and uses column to put them into the appropriately sized table.

for i in {1..256};do p=" $i";echo -e "${p: -3} \\0$(($i/64*100+$i%64/8*10+$i%8))";done|cat -t|column -c120
2014-04-04 16:54:53
User: AskApache
Functions: cat column echo

Prints out an ascii chart using builtin bash! Then formats using cat -t and column.

The best part is:

echo -e "${p: -3} \\0$(( $i/64*100 + $i%64/8*10 + $i%8 ))";

From: http://www.askapache.com/linux/ascii-codes-and-reference.html

netstat -tup -W | column -t
2014-01-08 22:39:01
User: b_t
Functions: column netstat

The -W switch of netstat makes it print complete URL of the connections, which otherwise by default

is truncated to fit its default column size.

Now to compensate for irregular column sizes, pipe the output to column (-t switch of column prints in tabular form). The only downside to this part is that the very first row, the header, goes pear shape.

bind -P | grep -v "is not" | sed -e 's/can be found on/:/' | column -s: -t
2013-12-19 12:30:19
User: leni536
Functions: column grep sed

Shows all available keyboard bindings in bash. Pretty printing.

for i in {0..255}; do echo -e "\e[38;05;${i}m\\\e[38;05;${i}m"; done | column -c 80 -s ' '; echo -e "\e[m"
history | awk '{CMD[$4]++;count++;} END { for (a in CMD )print CMD[a] " " CMD[a]/count*100 "% " a }' | sort -nr | nl | column -t | head -n 10
for code in $(seq -w 0 255); do for attr in 0 1; do printf "%s-%03s %bTest%b\n" "${attr}" "${code}" "\e[${attr};38;05;${code}m" "\e[m"; done; done | column -c $((COLUMNS*2))
2013-01-13 18:23:44
User: claudius
Functions: column printf seq
Tags: bash color colors

Shows the ?rendering? for each of the 256 colours in both the bold and normal variant. Using seq is helpful to get even lines, passing $((COLUMNS*2)) to column sort-of-handles the nonprintable characters.

sed 's/#.*//' /etc/fstab | column -t
fdisk -l /dev/sda | grep -E sda[0-9]+ | sed s/*// | awk '{printf ("%s %f ",$1,$2/512); if($2%512){ print "BAD" }else {print "Good"} }' | column -t
2012-05-18 08:34:36
Functions: awk column fdisk grep sed

To get most of you HDD/SSD driver you need to make sure you partition are aligned, if not the speed penalty can be up to 50% slower!

this simple one liner will check to see if each partition start sector is divided by 512

you need to change sda with your driver

if you find the one of your partitions is not aligned use gparted to move the start sector of the partition to be divided of 512

sudo ps aux --sort:rss | awk '{print $2"\t"$11": "$6/1024" MB"}' | column -t | less
curl -u username --silent "https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom" | awk 'BEGIN{FS="\n";RS="(</entry>\n)?<entry>"}NR!=1{print "\033[1;31m"$9"\033[0;32m ("$10")\033[0m:\t\033[1;33m"$2"\033[0m"}' | sed -e 's,<[^>]*>,,g' | column -t -s $'\t'
2011-10-15 23:15:52
User: frntn
Functions: awk column sed

Just an alternative with more advanced formating for readability purpose. It now uses colors (too much for me but it's a kind of proof-of-concept), and adjust columns.

cat file.csv | perl -pe 'if($. == 1) {@h = split(/;/); $i = 1 ; map { $_ = $i; $i++ } @h; print join(" ;", @h) , "\n"} ; s/(^|;);/$1 ;/g' | column -ts\; | less -S
column -tns: /etc/passwd
2011-08-31 10:47:04
User: bashrc
Functions: column
Tags: column

-n switch keeps empty columns

If your distribution does not ship with a recent column version that supports -n you can use this alternative:

perl -pe 's/(^|;);/$1 ;/g' file.csv | column -ts\; | less -S

Change the delimiter to your liking.

cat /etc/passwd | column -nts:
pacman -Qi $(pacman -Qq)|grep 'Name\|Size'| cut -d: -f2 | paste - - | column -t | sort -nk2
df -PH|column -t
df -P | column -t
2011-04-09 13:12:46
User: fossilet
Functions: column df

-P uses the POSIX output format, which makes information on each file system always printed on exactly one line. "column -t" makes a table from the input.

egrep '__NR_' /usr/include/asm/unistd_`getconf -a | awk '$1~/^WORD/{print $2}'`.h | sed -e 's/^#define __NR_//' | column -t
awk -F $'\t' '{printf $1 LS $2 LS $3 LS $4 LS $5; for (i = 7; i < NF; i++) printf $i "\t"; printf "\n--\n";}' LS=$'\n' 'Ad report.tsv' | column -t -s $'\t'
2011-02-28 10:52:16
User: zhangweiwu
Functions: awk column printf

The exported TSV file of Google Adwords' first five columns are text, they usually should collapse into one cell, a multi-line text cell, but there is no guaranteed way to represent line-break within cells for .tsv file format, thus Google split it to 5 columns.

The problem is, with 5 columns of text, there are hardly space to put additional fields while maintain printable output.

This script collapses the first five columns of each row into one single multi-line text cell, for console output or direct send to printer.

l=10;for((i=0;i<$l;i++));do eval "a$i=($(pv=1;v=1;for((j=0;j<$l;j++));do [ $i -eq 0 -o $j -eq 0 ]&&{ v=1 && pv=1; }||v=$((pv+a$((i-1))[$((j))]));echo -n "$v ";pv=$v;done;));";eval "echo \"\${a$i[@]}\"";done | column -t;
paste <(pacman -Q | awk '{ print $1; }' | xargs pacman -Qi | grep 'Size' | awk '{ print $4$5; }') <(pacman -Q | awk '{print $1; }') | sort -n | column -t
for i in {0..255}; do echo -e "\e[38;05;${i}m${i}"; done | column -c 80 -s ' '; echo -e "\e[m"
2010-07-21 17:30:36
User: cout
Functions: column echo

I like the other three versions but one uses nested loops and another prints every color on a separate line. Both versions fail to reset colors before giving the prompt back.

This version uses the column command to print a table so all the colors fit on one screen. It also resets colors back to normal before as a last step.

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 ->


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