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.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

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





Copy via tar pipe while preserving file permissions (cp does not!; run this command with root!)

Terminal - Copy via tar pipe while preserving file permissions (cp does not!; run this command with root!)
cp -pr olddirectory newdirectory
2009-08-22 22:11:24
User: stanishjohnd
Functions: cp
Copy via tar pipe while preserving file permissions (cp does not!; run this command with root!)

cp options:

-p will preserve the file mode, ownership, and timestamps

-r will copy files recursively

also, if you want to keep symlinks in addition to the above: use the -a/--archive option


There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
tar -C /oldirectory -cvpf - . | tar -C /newdirector -xvf -
2009-08-22 20:05:49
User: Cowboy
Functions: tar

It's the same like 'cp -p' if available. It's faster over networks than scp. If you have to copy gigs of data you could also use netcat and the tar -z option in conjunction -- on the receiving end do:

# nc -l 7000 | tar -xzvpf -

...and on the sending end do:

# tar -czf - * | nc otherhost 7000

tar cpof - src |( cd des; tar xpof -)
2009-09-20 20:43:30
Functions: cd tar

Using tape archive create a tar file in Stdout (-) and pipe that into a compound command to extract the tar file from Stdin at the destination. This similar to "Copy via tar pipe ...", but copies across file systems boundaries. I prefer to use cp -pr for copying within the same file system.

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

This command will not preserve symbolic links or hard links. 'cp -P' preserves symlinks, but it cannot preserve hard links (note this is not the same as the --link option). Tar will preserve hard links and symlinks by default.

Comment by arcege 324 weeks and 5 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.