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



Commands using sort from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using sort - 671 results
find . -depth -type d -exec du -s {} \; | sort -k1nr
2009-06-23 20:52:35
User: mohan43u
Functions: du find sort
Tags: sort find du

somewhat faster version to see the size of our directories. Size will be in Kilo Bytes. to view smallest first change '-k1nr' to '-k1n'.

gdiff --unified=10000 input.file1 inpute.file2 | egrep -v "(^\+[a-z]|^\-[a-z])"| sort > outputfile.sorted
2009-06-18 20:35:00
User: slashdot
Functions: egrep sort

This commands will make it easier to select only common items between two files being compared. If your lines start with things other than lowercase a-z, adjust this Regex appropriately. Number of lines in the output has been set to no more than 10000, and should be adjusted as needed.

ls -s | sort -nr | more
grep -h -o '<[^/!?][^ >]*' * | sort -u | cut -c2-
2009-06-17 00:22:18
User: thebodzio
Functions: cut grep sort
Tags: sort grep cut

This set of commands was very convenient for me when I was preparing some xml files for typesetting a book. I wanted to check what styles I had to prepare but coudn't remember all tags that I used. This one saved me from error-prone browsing of all my files. It should be also useful if one tries to process xml files with xsl, when using own xml application.

sort -k1.x
2009-06-16 00:04:21
User: leper421
Functions: sort

Tells sort to ignore all characters before the Xth position in the first field per line. If you have a list of items one per line and want to ignore the first two characters for sorting purposes, you would type "sort -k1.3". Change the "1" to change the field being sorted. The decimal value is the offset in the specified field to sort by.

( nw=192.168.0 ; h=1; while [ $h -lt 255 ] ; do ( ping -c2 -i 0.2 -W 0.5 -n $nw.$h & ); h=$[ $h + 1 ] ; done ) | awk '/^64 bytes.*/ { gsub( ":","" ); print $4 }' | sort -u
2009-06-07 15:14:46
Functions: awk ping sort

What do you do when nmap is not available and you want to see the hosts responding to an icmp echo request ? This one-liner will print all hosts responding with their ipv4 address.

ls -la | sort -k 5bn
2009-06-07 14:35:17
Functions: ls sort

Sort ls output of all files in current directory in ascending order

Just the 20 biggest ones:

ls -la | sort -k 5bn | tail -n 20

A variant for the current directory tree with subdirectories and pretty columns is:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 ls -la | sort -k 5bn | column -t

And finding the subdirectories consuming the most space with displayed block size 1k:

du -sk ./* | sort -k 1bn | column -t
svn log -v -r{2009-05-21}:HEAD | awk '/^r[0-9]+ / {user=$3} /yms_web/ {if (user=="george") {print $2}}' | sort | uniq
2009-06-05 14:07:28
User: jemptymethod
Functions: awk sort
Tags: svn awk log

just change the date following the -r flag, and/or the user name in the user== conditional statement, and substitute yms_web with the name of your module

URL=http://svn.example.org/project; diff -u <(TZ=UTC svn -q log -r1:HEAD $URL | grep \|) <(TZ=UTC svn log -q $URL | grep \| | sort -k3 -t \|)
2009-06-03 14:26:55
User: sunny256
Functions: diff grep sort
Tags: bash svn

Lists revisions in a Subversion repository with a timestamp that doesn't follow the revision numbering order. If everything is OK, nothing is displayed.

for k in `git branch|perl -pe s/^..//`;do echo -e `git show --pretty=format:"%Cgreen%ci %Cblue%cr%Creset" $k|head -n 1`\\t$k;done|sort -r
2009-06-03 08:25:00
User: brunost
Functions: echo head perl sort

Print out list of all branches with last commit date to the branch, including relative time since commit and color coding.

for i in `du --max-depth=1 $HOME | sort -n -r | awk '{print $1 ":" $2}'`; do size=`echo $i | awk -F: '{print $1}'`; dir=`echo $i | awk -F: '{print $NF}'`; size2=$(($size/1024)); echo "$size2 MB used by $dir"; done | head -n 10
awk 'BEGIN{srand()}{print rand(),$0}' SOMEFILE | sort -n | cut -d ' ' -f2-
2009-05-29 01:20:50
User: axelabs
Functions: awk cut sort
Tags: sort awk random

This appends a random number as a first filed of all lines in SOMEFILE then sorts by the first column and finally cuts of the random numbers.

sort -n <( for i in $(find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d); do echo $(find $i | wc -l) ": $i"; done;)
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.

du -sb *|sort -nr|head|awk '{print $2}'|xargs du -sh
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.

fc-list | cut -d ':' -f 1 | sort -u
awk -F\" '{print $4}' *.log | grep -v "eviljaymz\|\-" | sort | uniq -c | awk -F\ '{ if($1>500) print $1,$2;}' | sort -n
2009-05-05 22:21:04
User: jaymzcd
Functions: awk grep sort uniq

This prints a summary of your referers from your logs as long as they occurred a certain number of times (in this case 500). The grep command excludes the terms, I add this in to remove results Im not interested in.

wget -q -O- http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext96/cprfd10.txt | sed '1,419d' | tr "\n" " " | tr " " "\n" | perl -lpe 's/\W//g;$_=lc($_)' | grep "^[a-z]" | awk 'length > 1' | sort | uniq -c | awk '{print $2"\t"$1}'
2009-05-04 16:00:39
User: alperyilmaz
Functions: awk grep perl sed sort tr uniq wget

This command might not be useful for most of us, I just wanted to share it to show power of command line.

Download simple text version of novel David Copperfield from Poject Gutenberg and then generate a single column of words after which occurences of each word is counted by sort | uniq -c combination.

This command removes numbers and single characters from count. I'm sure you can write a shorter version.

netstat -an | grep ESTABLISHED | awk '{print $5}' | awk -F: '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c | awk '{ printf("%s\t%s\t",$2,$1) ; for (i = 0; i < $1; i++) {printf("*")}; print "" }'
2009-04-27 22:02:19
User: knassery
Functions: awk grep netstat sort uniq

Written for linux, the real example is how to produce ascii text graphs based on a numeric value (anything where uniq -c is useful is a good candidate).

awk 'BEGIN {srand()} {print int(rand()*1000000) "\t" $0}' FILE | sort -n | cut -f 2-
2009-04-19 20:04:58
User: udim
Functions: awk cut sort

Replace FILE with a filename (or - for stdin).

find -type f -printf '%P\000' | egrep -iz '\.(avi|mpg|mov|flv|wmv|asf|mpeg|m4v|divx|mp4|mkv)$' | sort -z | xargs -0 ls -1
emerge -epv world | grep USE | cut -d '"' -f 2 | sed 's/ /\n/g' | sed '/[(,)]/d' | sed s/'*'//g | sort | uniq > use && grep ^- use | sed s/^-// | sed ':a;N;$!ba;s/\n/ /g' > notuse && sed -i /^-/d use && sed -i ':a;N;$!ba;s/\n/ /g' use
2009-04-19 07:54:08
User: Keruspe
Functions: cut grep sed sort uniq
Tags: Gentoo emerge USE

This command puts all the flags of the USE variable actually used by the packages you emerged to the file "use", and those which are unused but available to the file "notuse"

xmms2 mlib search NOT +rating | grep -r '^[0-9]' | sed -r 's/^([0-9]+).*/\1/' | sort -R | head | xargs -L 1 xmms2 addid
2009-04-16 20:27:30
Functions: grep head sed sort xargs

If you're like me and want to keep all your music rated, and you use xmms2, you might like this command.

I takes 10 random songs from your xmms2 library that don't have any rating, and adds them to your current playlist. You can then rate them in another xmms2 client that supports rating (I like kuechenstation).

I'm pretty sure there's a better way to do the grep ... | sed ... part, probably with awk, but I don't know awk, so I'd welcome any suggestions.

sort -u filename > newfilename
2009-04-16 20:00:34
User: deijmaster
Functions: sort

For users looking to simplify management of large entries in files and directories, this command is the key to fun and simplicity. Using the power sort, only a couple of seconds are necessary to accomplish what would take minutes or hours in ?standard? client applications.