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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.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

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A very simple and useful stopwatch

Terminal - A very simple and useful stopwatch
time read (ctrl-d to stop)
2009-03-20 22:50:06
User: mrttlemonde
Functions: read time
A very simple and useful stopwatch

time read -sn1 (s:silent, n:number of characters. Press any character to stop)


There are 5 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

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What others think

Neat. Though, in Z-shell, it seems that 'time' needs to be redirected, or it doesn't work.

time > read
Comment by dnavarre 402 weeks and 3 days ago

Correction: my comment should have read

time > /dev/nul

Or similar. Obviously, redirecting to a file will create an empty/garbage file.

Comment by dnavarre 402 weeks and 3 days ago

Note that the text in brackets is not part of the command. Also, ENTER works as well as Ctrl-D.

Comment by ar 402 weeks and 3 days ago


Comment by point_to_null 402 weeks and 3 days ago

also does the same thing (with ctrl+d):

time cat
Comment by garbage 402 weeks and 3 days ago


time is a bash builtin but some OSes have their own time commands.

Comment by grep 402 weeks and 1 day ago


You are rigth. Was a mistake

Comment by point_to_null 402 weeks and 1 day ago

the command time read -sn1 is better to stop it (by pressing any character...)

Comment by mrttlemonde 390 weeks and 1 day ago

This one gives lap times on key presses and stops and gives a total when you press s

total=0;nl=$'\n';key=go; while [[ $key != 's' ]]; do result=$( (time read -sn1; echo "$REPLY") 2>&1 );result=${result/$nl/ };key=${result#* };lap=${result% *}; thou=${lap#0};thou=${thou/.};let total+=$thou;echo "Lap $lap"; done; echo "Total ${total:0:${#total} - 3}.${total: -3:3}"
Comment by dennisw 389 weeks and 5 days ago

Oops, I forgot to add this at the beginning of the line:


And this at the end:

Comment by dennisw 389 weeks and 5 days ago

Oops again! (why can't we edit these comments?) There should have been a semicolon right before the unset.

Comment by dennisw 389 weeks and 5 days ago

Fixed a problem with leading zeros on very small intervals:

shopt -s extglob;TIMEFORMAT=%E;total=0;nl=$'\n';key=go; while [[ $key != 's' ]]; do result=$( (time read -sn1; echo "$REPLY") 2>&1 ); result=${result/$nl/ }; key=${result#* }; lap=${result% *}; thou=${lap/.}; thou=${thou/#+(0)}; let total+=$thou; echo "Lap $lap"; done; echo "Total ${total:0:${#total} - 3}.${total: -3:3}"; unset TIMEFORMAT
Comment by dennisw 389 weeks and 4 days ago

In zsh you need to do:

time ( read )

Comment by xawl 312 weeks and 1 day ago

Since time is meant to monitor, you can monitor programs and bash scripts. I had a boss who was a real demon about this.

Comment by tevans 157 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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