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





Selecting a random file/folder of a folder

Terminal - Selecting a random file/folder of a folder
shuf -n1 -e *
2011-03-23 03:52:56
User: seungwon
Selecting a random file/folder of a folder

I used only shuf command.


There are 8 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
ls -1 | shuf -n 1
2011-03-13 22:14:57
User: quincymd
Functions: ls
Tags: bash random

random file from files in directory

find . | shuf -n1
2011-04-01 22:57:01
Functions: find
Tags: bash random

Also looks in subfolders

a=(*); echo ${a[$((RANDOM % ${#a[@]}))]}
2011-03-18 13:24:52
User: putnamhill
Functions: echo
Tags: bash random

Here's a bash version using an array.

for i in *; do echo "$i"; done | shuf -n1
2011-03-17 17:48:42
User: johnraff
Functions: echo
Tags: bash random

Choose random file from current folder. Avoids using ls.

ls -1 | awk 'BEGIN{srand()} {x[NR] = $0} END{print "Selected", x[1 + int(rand() * NR)]}'
2011-03-13 20:05:06
User: saibbot
Functions: awk ls
Tags: awk random

I use this command to select a random movie from my movie collection..

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Nice. Got to be the most concise so far.

Comment by quincymd 214 weeks and 6 days ago

Brilliant! I was doing: find . -maxdepth 1|sort -R|head -n1

much much better your way!

Comment by j_melis 214 weeks and 6 days ago

Wow! That's why they say to read the manual... Very nice.

Comment by johnraff 214 weeks and 5 days ago

Can someone explain to me why this is useful?

Any use case?

Comment by Neo23x0 214 weeks and 1 day ago

This is a nice use of the "-e" but be careful that you know the max number of files in the directory. You can get a "Argument list too long" error with this one. The alternative #8090 works even with a large number of files:

ls|shuf -n1

and it's actually shorter if you remove the superfluous "-1" on the ls, as noted in the comments. I was surprised to find the version with the pipe was faster on my system starting at about 4000 files.

Comment by splante 173 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.