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.

UpGuard checks and validates configurations for every major OS, network device, and cloud provider.

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 using find from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using find - 1,080 results
find /var/log -type f -exec file {} \; | grep 'text' | cut -d' ' -f1 | sed -e's/:$//g' | grep -v '[0-9]$' | xargs tail -f
2009-06-03 09:47:08
User: mohan43u
Functions: cut file find grep sed tail xargs
Tags: tail

Works in Ubuntu, I hope it will work on all Linux machines. For Unixes, tail should be capable of handling more than one file with '-f' option.

This command line simply take log files which are text files, and not ending with a number, and it will continuously monitor those files.

Putting one alias in .profile will be more useful.

find /var/logs -name * | xargs tar -jcpf logs_`date +%Y-%m-%e`.tar.bz2
find ~/Desktop/ \( -regex '.*/\..*' \) -print -exec rm -Rf {} \;
find <directory path> -mtime +365 -and -not -type d -delete
find ./ -type f -exec sed -i 's/\t/ /g' {} \;
sort -n <( for i in $(find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d); do echo $(find $i | wc -l) ": $i"; done;)
find . -uid 0 -print0 | xargs -0 chown foo:foo
2009-05-27 19:52:13
User: abcde
Functions: chown find xargs

In the example, uid 0 is root. foo:foo are the user:group you want to make owner and group. '.' is the "current directory and below." -print0 and -0 indicate that filenames and directories "are terminated by a null character instead of by whitespace."

diff <(cd dir1 && find | sort) <(cd dir2 && find | sort)
2009-05-21 04:44:29
User: mbirk
Functions: cd diff find
Tags: bash diff find

This uses Bash's "process substitution" feature to compare (using diff) the output of two different process pipelines.

find / -iname '*.pdf' -print -exec pdftotext '{}' - \; | grep --color -i "unix"
find . -not \( -name .svn -prune \)
2009-05-20 19:45:24
User: mbirk
Functions: find
Tags: svn find

The "find" command can be annoying when used inside of a Subversion (or CVS) working directory. Obviously, you can combine this with other predicates and commands to create a more elaborate pipeline:

find /var/svn -type f -not \( -name .svn -prune \) -print0 | xargs -0 md5sum

Note: You can use my "dont-go-there.sh" script to wrap the "find" command and do this automatically at http://forwardlateral.com/blog/2006/02/27/dont-go-there/

find . -name "*.jar" | while read file; do echo "Processing ${file}"; jar -tvf $file | grep "Foo.class"; done
find /home/fizz -type f -printf '%TY-%Tm-%Td %TT %p\n' | sort
count() { find $@ -type f -exec cat {} + | wc -l; }
find . -type d -exec rmdir {} \;
2009-05-19 08:59:15
User: sharfah
Functions: find rmdir
Tags: find rm

Deletes empty directories and prints an error if directory is not empty.

find . -name \*.mp3 -printf "%C+ %h/%f\n" | sort -r | head -n20 | awk '{print "\""$2"\""}' | xargs -I {} cp {} ~/tmp
2009-05-17 07:06:10
User: bkinsey
Functions: awk cp find head sort xargs

Change ~/tmp to the destination directory, such as your mounted media. Change -n20 to whatever number of files to copy. It should quit when media is full. I use this to put my most recently downloaded podcasts onto my phone.

find . -name '*.m4a' | xargs -I audiofile mplayer -ao pcm "audiofile" -ao pcm:file="audiofile.wav"
find /var -mount -ls -xdev | /usr/bin/sort -nr +6 | more
find . -name "\.svn" -exec rm -rf {} ";"
find / \( -name "*.log" -o -name "*.mylogs" \) -exec ls -lrt {} \; | sort -k6,8 | head -n1 | cut -d" " -f8- | tr -d '\n' | xargs -0 rm
2009-05-10 10:45:48
User: ghazz
Functions: cut find head ls sort tr xargs

This works on my ubuntu/debian machines.

I suspect other distros need some tweaking of sort and cut.

I am sure someone could provide a shorter/faster version.

find ~user/ -name "*~" -exec rm {} \;
2009-05-09 12:55:47
Functions: find rm

I use this simple command for remove all backup files generated usually by editors like Vim and Emacs.

find /var/www/html/ -type f -mtime +30 -exec basename {} \;
for i in *jpg; do jpeginfo -c $i | grep -E "WARNING|ERROR" | cut -d " " -f 1 | xargs -I '{}' find /mnt/sourcerep -name {} -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -I '{}' cp -f {} ./ ; done
2009-05-07 00:30:36
User: vincentp
Functions: cp cut find grep xargs

Find all corrupted jpeg in the current directory, find a file with the same name in a source directory hierarchy and copy it over the corrupted jpeg file.

Convenient to run on a large bunch of jpeg files copied from an unsure medium.

Needs the jpeginfo tool, found in the jpeginfo package (on debian at least).

find . -name "*.[ch]" -exec grep -i -H "search pharse" {} \;
2009-05-06 15:22:49
User: bunedoggle
Functions: find grep
Tags: find grep

I have a bash alias for this command line and find it useful for searching C code for error messages.

The -H tells grep to print the filename. you can omit the -i to match the case exactly or keep the -i for case-insensitive matching.

This find command find all .c and .h files

cd $(dirname $(find ~ -name emails.txt))
2009-05-01 21:26:58
User: haivu
Functions: cd dirname find
Tags: bash dirname

This command looks for a single file named emails.txt which is located somewhere in my home directory and cd to that directory. This command is especially helpful when the file is burried deep in the directory structure. I tested it against the bash shells in Xubuntu 8.10 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6

find . -path ./mnt -prune -o -path ./lost+found -prune -o -path ./sys -prune -o -path ./proc -prune -o -print | cpio -pumd /destination && mkdir /destination/mnt/ && mkdir /destination/proc && mkdir /destination/sys
2009-04-28 22:14:45
User: nutria
Functions: cpio find mkdir
Tags: find cpio

Clone linux installation.