Commands by ChrisC (0)

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What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. 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.

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How to establish a remote Gnu screen session that you can re-connect to
Long before tabbed terminals existed, people have been using Gnu screen to open many shells in a single text terminal. Combined with ssh, it gives you the ability to have many open shells with a single remote connection using the above options. If you detach with "Ctrl-a d" or if the ssh session is accidentally terminated, all processes running in your remote shells remain undisturbed, ready for you to reconnect. Other useful screen commands are "Ctrl-a c" (open new shell) and "Ctrl-a a" (alternate between shells). Read this quick reference for more screen commands:

send a circular

cd to (or operate on) a file across parallel directories
This is useful for quickly jumping around branches in a file system, or operating on a parellel file. This is tested in bash. cd to (substitute in PWD, a for b) where PWD is the bash environmental variable for the "working directory"

Git diff last two commits
How about this one ?

Display the output of a command from the first line until the first instance of a regular expression.
If BREs can be used, this sed version will also get the job done.

strip config files of comments
some configuration files, particularly those installed by default as part of a package, have tons of comment lines, to help you know what's possible to configure, and what it means. That's nice, but sometimes you just want to see what specifically what _has_ been configured. That's when I use the above snippet, which I save as a bash alias 'nocom' (for 'no comments'). Apache default config files are perfect examples of when/why this script is handy.

Convert seconds to [DD:][HH:]MM:SS
Converts any number of seconds into days, hours, minutes and seconds. sec2dhms() { declare -i SS="$1" D=$(( SS / 86400 )) H=$(( SS % 86400 / 3600 )) M=$(( SS % 3600 / 60 )) S=$(( SS % 60 )) [ "$D" -gt 0 ] && echo -n "${D}:" [ "$H" -gt 0 ] && printf "%02g:" "$H" printf "%02g:%02g\n" "$M" "$S" }

Quickly generate an MD5 hash for a text string using OpenSSL

find large files

Transcode .flac to .wav with gstreamer
Takes all .flac directories, feeds them into a simple transcode pipeline to spit out .wavs with the same name (but correct extension).

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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.


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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,…):

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