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.


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:



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 echo from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using echo - 1,269 results
find -maxdepth 1 -type d | while read dir; do echo $dir; echo cmd2; done
echo ?ls -l? | at midnight
echo ?ls -l? | at 10am Jul 21
for i in `pidof java`; do echo $i; ll /proc/$i; done;
2013-04-26 08:01:21
User: cuizhaohua
Functions: echo

list all java process info.

sudo su; sync; echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo 'Etc/UTC' | tee /etc/timezone; dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata
2013-04-22 06:14:55
User: donatello
Functions: echo tee

Replace the first part of the command above with the appropriate timezone string. Eg: 'Europe/London' or for UTC - 'Etc/UTC'. The appropriate string can be found from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

This is useful when your server is installed by a data centre (managed hardware, VPS, etc) and the timezone is not usually set to the one your prefer.

echo 'Dir.foreach("/usr/local/Cellar/cowsay/3.03/share/cows") {|cow| puts cow; system "fortune | cowsay -f /usr/local/Cellar/cowsay/3.03/share/cows/#{cow}" }' | ruby
2013-04-15 12:27:38
User: orkoden
Functions: echo

Shows a list of all installed cows saying a fortune. Also lists the cows names. Pic your favorite cow!

Needs cowsay, fortune and ruby installed. The path only applies to OS X with cowsay installed using homebrew. On Linux it might be /usr/share/cowsay/cows/ or similar. Uses ruby just because.

OIFS=$IFS;IFS=$':';for i in $(cat -n /etc/passwd);do echo -n $i\ ** \ ;done
for i in $(objdump -d binary -M intel |grep "^ " |cut -f2); do echo -n '\x'$i; done;echo
apt-get install phpmyadmin; echo "Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf" >> /etc/apache2/apache2.conf; service apache2 restart
2013-04-06 16:20:55
Functions: apt echo install

This command will install phpmyadmin, set apache2 server and restart apache2. After running this command you can open phpmyadmin on http://yoursite.com/phpmyadmin

for ii in $(find /path/to/docroot -type f -name \*.php); do echo $ii; wc -lc $ii | awk '{ nr=$2/($1 + 1); printf("%d\n",nr); }'; done
2013-04-05 19:06:17
Functions: awk echo find wc

I have found that base64 encoded webshells and the like contain lots of data but hardly any newlines due to the formatting of their payloads. Checking the "width" will not catch everything, but then again, this is a fuzzy problem that relies on broad generalizations and heuristics that are never going to be perfect.

What I have done is set an arbitrary threshold (200 for example) and compare the values that are produced by this script, only displaying those above the threshold. One webshell I tested this on scored 5000+ so I know it works for at least one piece of malware.

function google { Q="$@"; GOOG_URL='https://www.google.de/search?tbs=li:1&q='; AGENT="Mozilla/4.0"; stream=$(curl -A "$AGENT" -skLm 10 "${GOOG_URL}${Q//\ /+}" | grep -oP '\/url\?q=.+?&amp' | sed 's|/url?q=||; s|&amp||'); echo -e "${stream//\%/\x}"; }
2013-04-05 08:04:15
User: michelsberg
Functions: echo grep sed
Tags: google

Put it in your ~/.bashrc


google word1 word2 word3...

google '"this search gets quoted"'

Q="YOURSEARCH"; GOOG_URL="http://www.google.com/search?q="; AGENT="Mozilla/4.0"; stream=$(curl -A "$AGENT" -skLm 10 "${GOOG_URL}\"${Q/\ /+}\"" | grep -oP '\/url\?q=.+?&amp' | sed 's/\/url?q=//;s/&amp//'); echo -e "${stream//\%/\x}"
2013-04-03 09:56:41
User: techie
Functions: echo grep sed
Tags: google

I found this command on a different site and thought you guy might enjoy it. Just change "YOURSEARCH" to what ever you want to search. Example, "Linux Commands"

echo -e "CHECK=SAMPLE" output --command_to_long
2013-04-03 08:46:47
User: techie
Functions: echo

This is longer than others on here. The reason for this is I have combined two different matrix commands so it would work on all computers. I logged onto my server through a computer and it worked fine. I logged into my server through a mac and it looked $4!t so I have made one that works through both.

if wget https://twitter.com/users/username_available?username=xmuda -q -O - | grep -q "\"reason\":\"taken\""; then echo "Username taken"; else echo "Free / Banned Name"; fi
2013-03-23 17:39:15
User: Joschasa
Functions: echo grep wget

Reason can be: taken, available, contains_banned_word

if lynx --dump http://twitter.com/xmuda | grep -q "Sorry, that page does"; then echo "Dont Exist"; else echo "Exist"; fi
2013-03-23 16:12:24
User: xmuda
Functions: echo grep

I use these command to validate twitter accounts, we can use a "for a in $(cat list.txt)" to validate a complete list of twitter accounts.

echo "aplay ring.wav" | at now + 25 min
2013-03-22 04:27:57
User: liancheng
Functions: at echo

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals called 'Pomodori' (from the Italian word for 'tomatoes') separated by short breaks.

You need to prepare a short .wav file (the "ring.wav" in the sample command line). This command will trigger aplay to play ring.wav 25 minutes from now on, which can be used as a poor man's pomodoro timer.

(($1 > 0)) && echo "var is a number"
2013-03-22 01:15:00
User: khayyam
Functions: echo

calculate if "$1" is a number ... decimals included :)

sudo port selfupdate ; echo '---------' ; sudo port upgrade outdated
count=0;while IFS= read -r -d '' line; do echo "${line#* }"; ((++count==5)) && break; done < <(find . -type f -printf '%s %p\0' | sort -znr)
2013-03-19 17:19:26
User: sharfah
Functions: echo find read sort
Tags: sort find head,

This command is more robust because it handles spaces, newlines and control characters in filenames. It uses printf, not ls, to determine file size.

A=$(ip addr show dev eth0); A=${A##*inet }; echo ${A%%/*}
2013-03-13 23:07:37
User: charley
Functions: echo

bash only - no grep, sed, awk, whatever - zero overhead

alternatively using ifconfig instead of "ip addr ..."

A=$(ifconfig eth0); A=${A##*inet addr:}; echo ${A%% *}

which <command> > /dev/null 2>&1 && echo Success!
2013-03-13 10:04:42
User: skkzsh
Functions: echo which
Tags: which


which <command> > /dev/null 2>&1 || echo Error!

For example, I write

which colordiff > /dev/null 2>&1 && alias diff=colordiff

in my `~/.bashrc`.

echo "ls" > script.bash; gpg -c script.bash; cat script.bash.gpg | gpg -d --no-mdc-warning | bash
2013-03-10 09:34:12
User: betsubetsu
Functions: cat echo gpg

echo "ls" > script.bash;

This is my script, a simple 'ls'.

gpg -c script.bash;

Here I encrypt and passord-protect my script. This creates file script.bash.gpg.

cat script.bash.gpg | gpg -d --no-mdc-warning | bash

Here I open file script.bash.gpg, decrypt it and execute it.

read -p 'Script: ' S && C=$S.crypt H='eval "$((dd if=$0 bs=1 skip=//|gpg -d)2>/dev/null)"; exit;' && gpg -c<$S|cat >$C <(echo $H|sed s://:$(echo "$H"|wc -c):) - <(chmod +x $C)
2013-03-10 08:59:45
User: rodolfoap
Functions: cat chmod echo gpg read sed wc

(Please see sample output for usage)

Use any script name (the read command gets it) and it will be encrypted with the extension .crypt, i.e.:

myscript --> myscript.crypt

You can execute myscript.crypt only if you know the password. If you die, your script dies with you.

If you modify the startup line, be careful with the offset calculation of the crypted block (the XX string).

Not difficult to make script editable (an offset-dd piped to a gpg -d piped to a vim - piped to a gpg -c directed to script.new ), but not enough space to do it on a one liner.

Sorry for the chmod on parentheses, I dont like "-" at the end.

Thanks flatcap for the subshell abbreviation to /dev/null

echo 'magic(3)' | matlab -nodisplay
2013-03-09 14:08:09
User: skkzsh
Functions: echo

Execute matlab sentences in shell script:

for var in `seq 0 0.2 1` ; do

echo "my_function($var);" | matlab -nodisplay