Commands by atoponce (55)

What's this?

commandlinefu.com 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

copy timestamps of files from one location to another - useful when file contents are already synced but timestamps are wrong.
Sometimes when copying files from one place to another, the timestamps get lost. Maybe you forgot to add a flag to preserve timestamps in your copy command. You're sure the files are exactly the same in both locations, but the timestamps of the files in the new home are wrong and you need them to match the source. Using this command, you will get a shell script (/tmp/retime.sh) than you can move to the new location and just execute - it will change the timestamps on all the files and directories to their previous values. Make sure you're in the right directory when you launch it, otherwise all the touch commands will create new zero-length files with those names. Since find's output includes "." it will also change the timestamp of the current directory. Ideally rsync would be the way to handle this - since it only sends changes by default, there would be relatively little network traffic resulting. But rsync has to read the entire file contents on both sides to be sure no bytes have changed, potentially causing a huge amount of local disk I/O on each side. This could be a problem if your files are large. My approach avoids all the comparison I/O. I've seen comments that rsync with the "--size-only" and "--times" options should do this also, but it didn't seem to do what I wanted in my test. With my approach you can review/edit the output commands before running them, so you can tell exactly what will happen. The "tee" command both displays the output on the screen for your review, AND saves it to the file /tmp/retime.sh. Credit: got this idea from Stone's answer at http://serverfault.com/questions/344731/rsync-copying-over-timestamps-only?rq=1, and combined it into one line.

Merge video files together using mencoder (part of mplayer)
Using mplayer's mencoder, you can merge video files together. '-oac' specifies the audio encoding (here copy, to just copy and not compress) '-ovc' specifies the video encoding (same thing).

Toggle between directories
switch to previous directory or toggle

View All Processess Cmdlines and Environments
Grabs the cmdline used to execute the process, and the environment that the process is being run under. This is much different than the 'env' command, which only lists the environment for the shell. This is very useful (to me at least) to debug various processes on my server. For example, this lets me see the environment that my apache, mysqld, bind, and other server processes have. Here's a function I use: $ aa_ps_all () { ( cd /proc && command ps -A -opid= | xargs -I'{}' sh -c 'test $PPID -ne {}&&test -r {}/cmdline&&echo -e "\n[{}]"&&tr -s "\000" " "

Filter IP's in apache access logs based on use
The first sort is necessary for ips in a list to be actually unique.

Instant mirror from your laptop + webcam (fullscreen+grab)
This directly puts the "mirror" into fullscreen, and lets you take photos by pressing the 's' key. I bet appearance conscious people will have keyboard shortcut for this command by now.

shell function to underline a given string.
underline() will print $1, followed by a series of '=' characters the width of $1. An optional second argument can be used to replace '=' with a given character. This function is useful for breaking lots of data emitted in a for loop into sections which are easier to parse visually. Let's say that 'xxxx' is a very common pattern occurring in a group of CSV files. You could run $ grep xxxx *.csv This would print the name of each csv file before each matching line, but the output would be hard to parse visually. $ for i in *.csv; do printf "\n"; underline $i; grep "xxxx" $i; done Will break the output into sections separated by the name of the file, underlined.

Look up a unicode character by name
[Update! Thanks to a tip from ioggstream, I've fixed both of the bugs mentioned below.] You, yes, 𝙔𝙊𝙐, can be the terror of the Internet! Why use normal, boring bullet points in your text, when you could use a ROTATED HEAVY BLACK HEART BULLET (❥)!? (Which would also be an awesome band name, by the way).  This script makes it easy to find unusual characters from the command line. You can then cut and paste them or, if you're using a GTK application, type Control+Shift+U followed by the code point number (e.g., 2765) and then a SPACE.  USAGE: Put this script in a file (I called mine "ugrep") and make it executable. Run it from the command line like so,  $ ugrep heart  The output will look like this,  ☙ U+2619 REVERSED ROTATED FLORAL HEART BULLET ♡ U+2661 WHITE HEART SUIT ♥ U+2665 BLACK HEART SUIT ❣ U+2763 HEAVY HEART EXCLAMATION MARK ORNAMENT ❤ U+2764 HEAVY BLACK HEART ❥ U+2765 ROTATED HEAVY BLACK HEART BULLET ❦ U+2766 FLORAL HEART ❧ U+2767 ROTATED FLORAL HEART BULLET ⺖ U+2E96 CJK RADICAL HEART ONE ⺗ U+2E97 CJK RADICAL HEART TWO ⼼ U+2F3C KANGXI RADICAL HEART  You can, of course, use regular expressions. For example, if you are looking for the "pi" symbol, you could do this:  $ ugrep '\bpi\b'  REQUIREMENTS: Although this is written in Bash, it assumes you have Perl installed because it greps through the Perl Unicode character name module (/usr/lib/perl5/Unicode/CharName.pm). Note that it would not have made more sense to write this in Perl, since the CharName.pm module doesn't actually include a subroutine for looking up a character based on the description. (Weird.)  BUGS: In order to fit this script in the commandlinefu limits, a couple bugs were added. ① Astral characters beyond the BMP (basic multilingual plane) are not displayed correctly, but see below. ② Perl code from the perl module being grepped is sometimes extraneously matched.  MISFEATURES: Bash's printf cannot, given a Unicode codepoint, print the resulting character to the terminal. GNU's coreutils printf (usually "/usr/bin/printf") can do so, but it is brokenly pedantic about how many hexadecimal digits follow the escape sequence and will actually die with an error if you give the wrong number. This is especially annoying since Unicode code points are usually variable length with implied leading zeros. The CharNames.pm file represents BMP characters as 4 hexits, but astral characters as 5. In the actual version of this script that I use, I've kludged around this misfeature by zero-padding to 8 hexits like so,  $ /usr/bin/printf "\U$(printf "%08x" 0x$hex)"  TIP 1: The author recommends "xsel" for command line cut-and-paste. For example,  $ ugrep biohazard | xsel  TIP 2: In Emacs, instead of running this command in a subshell, you can type Unicode code points directly by pressing Control-Q first, but you'll likely want to change the default input from octal to hexadecimal. (setq read-quoted-char-radix 16).  TIP 3: Of course, if you're using X, and you want to type one of the more common unusual characters, it's easiest of all to do it with your Compose (aka Multi) key. For example, hitting [Compose] <3 types ♥.

Search through all installed packages names (on RPM systems)
You can use wildcard with rpm search but you have to do 2 things: 1. use "-a" switch (means "all") with query ("-q") switch - argument is a pattern to use while searching for package names of all installed packages 2. protect wildcards, so that shell could not eat them - escape it with backslash ("\") or enclose all pattern between apostrophes ("'"): $ rpm -qa 'co*de' As you can see above it is possible to insert wildcards into middle of the pattern. If you want, you can add "-i" or another rpm query options, "-i" will print package information for all installed packages matching pattern.

convert (almost) any image into a video
This is an extract from a larger script which makes up slideshow videos from images. $seconds is the number of seconds the video will last, and $num is a loop counter which numbers the videos for concat into a longer video later, so they will be in order. The dev/null bit on the end cuts ffmpeg's verbosity.


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: