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:



2011-03-12 - Confoo 2011 presentation
Slides are available from the commandlinefu presentation at Confoo 2011: http://presentations.codeinthehole.com/confoo2011/
2011-01-04 - Moderation now required for new commands
To try and put and end to the spamming, new commands require moderation before they will appear on the site.
2010-12-27 - Apologies for not banning the trolls sooner
Have been away from the interwebs over Christmas. Will be more vigilant henceforth.
2010-09-24 - OAuth and pagination problems fixed
Apologies for the delay in getting Twitter's OAuth supported. Annoying pagination gremlin also fixed.

Top Tags



get a directory from one machine to another using tar and ssh

Terminal - get a directory from one machine to another using tar and ssh
ssh somemachine "cd some dir; tar zcpf - somedirname" |tar zxpf -
2009-02-05 09:10:56
Functions: ssh
get a directory from one machine to another using tar and ssh


There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

I like this use of tar and use it a lot on local machines to copy entire directory trees to some other place...

e.g.: tar cpf - . | (cd /somewhere/else; tar xvf -)

I suppose this can work the other way with:

tar cpf - . | ssh somehost 'cd /some/directory && tar xvpf -'

perhaps use tar xvBf - to ensure a good copy. B performs re-blocking.

Its worth mentioning that if you have links in the directory tree you are copying then check them after the copy. Soft links may break if pointing outside the directory tree being copied. Hard links will copy the 'pointed at' files... good, but bad if huge.

great command...

Comment by finkployd 324 weeks and 5 days ago

Nice. However in most cases scp -r should do the same and is a bit easier to type.

Comment by tils 324 weeks and 4 days ago

ha.... true scp -r will work too :)

Comment by finkployd 324 weeks and 4 days ago

For cases where scp -r doesn't work properly, there's rsync, as in:

rsync -av user@somemachine:somedir .

Of course, rsync tries to use 'rsh' by default. To get it to use ssh, use either

RSYNC_RSH=`which ssh` rsync -av user@somemachine:somedir .


rsync --rsh=`which ssh` -av user@somemachine:somedir .
Comment by mulad 322 weeks and 5 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.