Commands by Timo (1)

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.

Share Your Commands

Check These Out

Watch active calls on an Asterisk PBX
Works on asterisk 1.8.

mtr, better than traceroute and ping combined
mtr combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool. As mtr starts, it investigates the network connection between the host mtr runs on and HOSTNAME. by sending packets with purposly low TTLs. It continues to send packets with low TTL, noting the response time of the intervening routers. This allows mtr to print the response percentage and response times of the internet route to HOSTNAME. A sudden increase in packetloss or response time is often an indication of a bad (or simply over‐loaded) link.

Set laptop display brightness
Run as root. Path may vary depending on laptop model and video card (this was tested on an Acer laptop with ATI HD3200 video). $ cat /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness to discover the possible values for your display.

Get absolut path to your bash-script
Another way of doing it that's a bit clearer. I'm a fan of readable code.

Start an X app remotely
Launch a gui app remotely. In this example smplayer is installed on the remote machine, and movie.avi is in the remote user's home dir. Note that stdout/stderr is still local, so you'll have feedback locally, add '&>/dev/null' to suppress. This is surprisingly not well known (compared to running an X app locally via ssh -X). (NB. if your distro requires ~/.Xauthority file present, then try -fX if you have problems) Resubmitted (and trimmed, thanks sitaram) due to ridiculous voting on previous submission. Fingers crossed, it gets a better rating this time.

List of macros defined by gcc
Lists all macros and their values defined by gcc.

Random unsigned integer

Not a kismet replacement...
If you're like some individuals who rely on ndiswrapper and cannot use kismet, this command may be of service. watch -n .5 "iwlist wlan0 scan | egrep 'ESSID|Encryption'" Or... watch -n .5 "iwlist wlan0 scan | egrep 'ESSID|Encryption' | egrep 'linksys'" :-) Hopefully you'll find some dd-wrt compatible routers.

find previously entered commands (requires configuring .inputrc)
[Click the "show sample output" link to see how to use this keystroke.]   Meta-p is one of my all time most used and most loved features of working at the command line. It's also one that surprisingly few people know about. To use it with bash (actually in any readline application), you'll need to add a couple lines to your .inputrc then have bash reread the .inputrc using the bind command:   $ echo '"\en": history-search-forward' >> ~/.inputrc   $ echo '"\ep": history-search-backward' >> ~/.inputrc   $ bind -f ~/.inputrc     I first learned about this feature in tcsh. When I switched over to bash about fifteen years ago, I had assumed I'd prefer ^R to search in reverse. Intuitively ^R seemed better since you could search for an argument instead of a command. I think that, like using a microkernel for the Hurd, it sounded so obviously right fifteen years ago, but that was only because the older way had benefits we hadn't known about.     I think many of you who use the command line as much as I do know that we can just be thinking about what results we want and our fingers will start typing the commands needed. I assume it's some sort of parallel processing going on with the linguistic part of the brain. Unfortunately, that parallelism doesn't seem to work (at least for me) with searching the history. I realize I can save myself typing using the history shortly after my fingers have already started "speaking". But, when I hit ^R in Bash, everything I've already typed gets ignored and I have to stop and think again about what I was doing. It's a small bump in the road but it can be annoying, especially for long-time command line users. Usually M-p is exactly what I need to save myself time and trouble.     If you use the command line a lot, please give Meta-p a try. You may be surprised how it frees your brain to process more smoothly in parallel. (Or maybe it won't. Post here and let me know either way. ☺)

Print a row of characters the width of terminal
Unlike other methods that use pipes and exec software like tr or sed or subshells, this is an extremely fast way to print a line and will always be able to detect the terminal width or else defaults to 80. It uses bash builtins for printf and echo and works with printf that supports the non-POSIX `-v` option to store result to var instead of printing to stdout. Here it is in a function that lets you change the line character to use and the length with args, it also supports color escape sequences with the echo -e option. $ function L() { local l=; builtin printf -vl "%${2:-${COLUMNS:-`tput cols 2>&-||echo 80`}}s\n" && echo -e "${l// /${1:-=}}"; } With color: $ L "`tput setaf 3`=" 1. Use printf to store n space chars followed by a newline to an environment variable "l" where n is local environment variable from $COLUMNS if set, else it will use `tput cols` and if that fails it will default to 80. 2. If printf succeeds then echo `$l` that contains the chars, replacing all blank spaces with "-" (can be changed to anything you want). From:

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.


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: