Commands by _john (5)

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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Search and play youtube videos directly to terminal (no X needed)
Same as other command, however uses youtube-dl internal search (thanks to qoxxxx mentioning this) It does however seem to be a little buggy and youtube-dl crashes sometimes. ## pyt 'Stairway to heaven - Led Zeppelin' pyt 'brain damage - Pink Floyd' No web browser or even X needed. Just a cli and internet connection! mplayer is pauseable and can skip ahead This may break if youtube changes their search html.

Binary search/replace
Replaces A with B in binary file "orig" and saves the result to "new". You must have the hex representations of A & B. Try od: echo -e "A\c" | od -An -x

Create commands to download all of your Picasaweb albums
Create commands to download all of your Picasaweb albums Install Googlecl ( and authenticate first.

Which processes are listening on a specific port (e.g. port 80)
swap out "80" for your port of interest. Can use port number or named ports e.g. "http"

Generate Random Passwords
If you want a password length longer than 6, changing the -c6 to read -c8 will give you 8 random characters instead of 6. To end up with a line-feed, use this with echo: # echo `< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6` Modern systems need higher strenght, so add some special characters: # < /dev/urandom tr -dc '[email protected]#$%qwertQWERTasdfgASDFGzxcvbZXCVB' | head -c8

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.

Search trought pidgin's conversation logs for "searchterm", and output the result.
will search trought pidgin conversation logs for "searchterm", and output them stripping the html tags. The "sed" command is optionnal if your logs are stored in plain text format.

Hide files in ls, by adding support for .hidden files!
Sometimes I would like to see hidden files, prefix with a period, but some files or folders I never want to see (and really wish I could just remove all together).

Rename files in batch

Easy and fast access to often executed commands that are very long and complex.
When using reverse-i-search you have to type some part of the command that you want to retrieve. However, if the command is very complex it might be difficult to recall the parts that will uniquely identify this command. Using the above trick it's possible to label your commands and access them easily by pressing ^R and typing the label (should be short and descriptive). UPDATE: One might suggest using aliases. But in that case it would be difficult to change some parts of the command (such as options, file/directory names, etc).

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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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