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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.
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I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

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Commands using printf from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using printf - 166 results
for i in ???.jpg; do mv $i $(printf %04d $(basename $i .jpg) ).jpg ; done
2010-11-18 23:48:41
User: carlesso
Functions: basename mv printf
Tags: rename cp printf

Useful if you have a list of images called 1 2 3 4 and so on, you can adapt it to rewrite it as 4 (in this example) 0-padded number.

OFFS=30;LZ=6;FF=$(printf %%0%dd $LZ);for F in *.jpg;do NF="${F%.jpg}";NF="${NF/#+(0)/}";NF=$[NF+OFFS];NF="$(printf $FF $NF)".jpg;if [ "$F" != "$NF" ];then mv -iv "$F" "$NF";fi;done
2010-11-08 22:48:56
Functions: mv printf

When you have different digital cameras, different people, friends and you want to merge all those pictures together, then you get files with same names or files with 3 and 4 digit numbers etc. The result is a mess if you copy it together into one directory.

But if you can add an offset to the picture number and set the number of leading zeros in the file name's number then you can manage.

OFFS != 0 and LZ the same as the files currently have is not supported. Or left as an exercise, hoho ;)

I love NF="${NF/#+(0)/}",it looks like a magic bash spell.

mplayer -vo null -ao null -frames 0 -identify movie.avi | awk '{FS="="}; /ID_LENGTH/{ H=int($2/3600); M=int(($2-H*3600)/60); S=int($2%60); printf "%d:%02d:%02d\n",H,M,S}'
2010-10-13 14:51:41
User: PNuts
Functions: awk printf

Prints movie length in H:MM:SS format with appropriate leading zeros.

rd(){ while read a ;do printf "$a\n";sleep ${1-1};done ;} # usage: rd < file ; or ... | rd
2010-10-03 04:16:03
User: argv
Functions: file printf read sleep

usage examples

ls largedir |rd

lynx -dump largewebsite.com |rd

rd < largelogfile

jb() { if [ -z $1 ];then printf 'usage:\njb <"date and/or time"> <"commandline"> &\nsee parsedate(3) strftime(3)\n';else t1=$(date +%s); t2=$(date -d "$1" +%s) ;sleep $(expr $t2 - $t1);$2 ;fi ;}
2010-08-26 23:50:42
User: argv
Functions: date expr printf


jb "next sun 12pm" "/bin/sh ~you/1.sh" &

jb "2010-08-29 12:00:00" "~you/1.sh" &

jb "29aug2010 gmt" ". ~you/1.sh" &

jb 12:00p.m. "nohup ./1.sh" &

jb 1min "echo stop!" &


parsedate(3) strftime(3)

cls(){ printf "\033c";} or, if no printf, cat > c ;<ctrl+v> <ctrl+[>c <enter><ctrl-d> c(){ cat c;} #usage: c
printf $(( echo "obase=16;$(echo $$$(date +%s%N))"|bc; ip link show|sed -n '/eth/ {N; p}'|grep -o -E '([[:xdigit:]]{1,2}:){5}[[:xdigit:]]{1,2}'|head -c 17 )|tr -d [:space:][:punct:] |sed 's/[[:xdigit:]]\{2\}/\\x&/g')|sha1sum|head -c 32; echo
2010-07-14 14:04:53
User: camocrazed
Functions: echo grep head link printf sed tr
Tags: uuid

first off, if you just want a random UUID, here's the actual command to use:


Your chances of finding a duplicate after running this nonstop for a year are about the same as being hit by a meteorite before finishing this sentence

The reason for the command I have is that it's more provably unique than the one that uuidgen creates. uuidgen creates a random one by default, or an unencrypted one based on time and network address if you give it the -t option.

Mine uses the mac address of the ethernet interface, the process id of the caller, and the system time down to nanosecond resolution, which is provably unique over all computers past, present, and future, subject to collisions in the cryptographic hash used, and the uniqueness of your mac address.

Warning: feel free to experiment, but be warned that the stdin of the hash is binary data at that point, which may mess up your terminal if you don't pipe it into something. If it does mess up though, just type

echo "${1}" | egrep '^[[:digit:]]*$' ; if [ "$?" -eq 0 ] ; then sed -i "${1}"d $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts ; else printf "\tYou must enter a number!\n\n" ; exit 1 ; fi
2010-07-11 23:09:11
User: DaveQB
Functions: echo egrep exit printf sed
Tags: sed

I have this as a file called deletekey in my ~/bin.

Makes life a little easier.

grep '^MemFree:' /proc/meminfo | awk '{ mem=($2)/(1024) ; printf "%0.0f MB\n", mem }'
2010-06-30 18:33:29
User: dbbolton
Functions: awk grep printf

This will show the amount of physical RAM that is left unused by the system.

L(){ l=`builtin printf %${2:-$COLUMNS}s` && echo -e "${l// /${1:-=}}"; }

One of the first functions programmers learn is how to print a line. This is my 100% bash builtin function to do it, which makes it as optimal as a function can be. The COLUMNS environment variable is also set by bash (including bash resetting its value when you resize your term) so its very efficient. I like pretty-output in my shells and have experimented with several ways to output a line the width of the screen using a minimal amount of code. This is like version 9,000 lol.

This function is what I use, though when using colors or other terminal features I create separate functions that call this one, since this is the lowest level type of function. It might be better named printl(), but since I use it so much it's more optimal to have the name contain less chars (both for my programming and for the internal workings).

If you do use terminal escapes this will reset to default.

tput sgr0

For implementation ideas, check my


echo -n "convert " > itcombino.sh; printf "IMG_%00004u.png " {1..1121} >> itcombino.sh; echo -n "-layers merge _final.png" >> itcombino.sh; chmod +x itcombino.sh && ./itcombino.sh
2010-05-22 03:56:30
User: IsraelTorres
Functions: chmod echo printf

This one liner; combines all sequentially numbered files; in this example IMG_0001.png to IMG_1121.png by generating the shell script, making the shell script executable and then running the shell script to combine the 1121 png into a single png file named _final.png

tested on Mac OS X 10.6.3 with ImageMagick 6.5.8-0 2009-11-22 Q16 http://www.imagemagick.org

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

s='s=\47%s\47; printf "$s" "$s"'; printf "$s" "$s"
2010-05-09 16:52:58
User: fpunktk
Functions: printf

this command prints itself out. it doesn't need to be stored in a file and it isn't as easy as


for information on quines see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quine_(computing)

cd /some/empty/folder/website_diffs/sitename && wget -N http://domain.com/ 2>&1 |grep -q "o newer" || printf "Sites web page appears to have updated.\n\nSuggest you check it out.\n\n"|mail -s "Sites page updated." david@email.com
2010-05-09 07:28:42
User: DaveQB
Functions: cd grep mail printf wget

A cronjob command line to email someone when a webpages homepage is updated.

pmap $(pgrep [ProcessName] -n) | gawk '/total/ { a=strtonum($2); b=int(a/1024); printf b};'
printf "\n%25s%10sTOTAL\n" 'FILE TYPE' ' '; for ext in $(find . -iname \*.* | egrep -o '\.[^[:space:].]+$' | egrep -v '\.svn*' | sort -f | uniq -i); do count=$(find . -iname \*$ext | wc -l); printf "%25s%10s%d\n" $ext ' ' $count; done
2010-04-16 21:12:11
User: rkulla
Functions: egrep find printf sort uniq wc

I created this command to give me a quick overview of how many file types a directory, and all its subdirectories, contains. It works based off file extension, rather than file(1)'s magic output, because it ended up being more accurate and less confusing.

Files that don't have an ext (README) are generally not important for me to want to count, but you're free to customize this fit your needs.

printf -v row "%${COLUMNS}s"; echo ${row// /#}
2010-04-13 21:56:46
User: dennisw
Functions: echo printf
Tags: tr tput printf

Pure Bash

This will print a row of characters the width of the screen without using any external executables. In some cases, COLUMNS may not be set. Here is an alternative that uses tput to generate a default if that's the case. And it still avoids using tr.

printf -v row "%${COLUMNS:-$(tput cols)}s"; echo ${row// /#}

The only disadvantage to either one is that they create a variable.

printf "%`tput cols`s"|tr ' ' '#'
PROMPT_COMMAND='if [ $RANDOM -le 3200 ]; then printf "\0337\033[%d;%dH\033[4%dm \033[m\0338" $((RANDOM%LINES+1)) $((RANDOM%COLUMNS+1)) $((RANDOM%8)); fi'
2010-04-01 06:52:32
User: hotdog003
Functions: printf
Tags: bash

Add this to a fiend's .bashrc.

PROMPT_COMMAND will run just before a prompt is drawn.

RANDOM will be between 0 and 32768; in this case, it'll run about 1/10th of the time.

\033 is the escape character. I'll call it \e for short.

\e7 -- save cursor position.

\e[%d;%dH -- move cursor to absolute position

\e[4%dm \e[m -- draw a random color at that point

\e8 -- restore position.

printf ${PATH//:/\\n}
printf "%.50d" 0 | tr 0 -
box() { l=${#1}+4;x=${2:-=};n $l $x; echo "$x $1 $x"; n $l $x; }; n() { for (( i=0; $i<$1; i=$i+1)); do printf $2; done; printf "\n"; }
2010-02-26 06:56:59
User: bartonski
Functions: echo printf

The function 'box' takes either one or two arguments. The first argument is a line of text to be boxed, the second argument (optional) is a character to use to draw the box. By default, the drawing character will be '='.

The function 'n()' is a helper function used to draw the upper and lower lines of the box, its arguments are a length, and an character to print. (I used 'n' because 'line', 'ln' and 'l' are all commonly used)

underline() { echo $1; for (( i=0; $i<${#1}; i=$i+1)); do printf "${2:-=}"; done; printf "\n"; }
2010-02-26 05:46:49
User: bartonski
Functions: echo printf

underline() will print $1, followed by a series of '=' characters the width of $1. An optional second argument can be used to replace '=' with a given character.

This function is useful for breaking lots of data emitted in a for loop into sections which are easier to parse visually. Let's say that 'xxxx' is a very common pattern occurring in a group of CSV files.

You could run

grep xxxx *.csv

This would print the name of each csv file before each matching line, but the output would be hard to parse visually.

for i in *.csv; do printf "\n"; underline $i; grep "xxxx" $i; done

Will break the output into sections separated by the name of the file, underlined.

uri_escape(){ echo -E "$@" | sed 's/\\/\\\\/g;s/./&\n/g' | while read -r i; do echo $i | grep -q '[a-zA-Z0-9/.:?&=]' && echo -n "$i" || printf %%%x \'"$i" done }
2010-02-13 01:39:51
User: infinull
Functions: echo grep printf read sed

This one uses hex conversion to do the converting and is in shell/sed only (should probably still use the python/perl version).

Split() { SENT=${*} ; sentarry=( ${SENT} ) ; while [[ ${#sentarry[@]} -gt 0 ]] ; do printf "%s\n" "${sentarry[0]}" ; sentarry=( ${sentarry[@]:1} ) ; done ; }