Commands by christopherpl (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.

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Execute text from the OS X clipboard.
The backtick operator, in general, will execute the text inside the backticks. On OS X, the pbpaste command will put the contents of the OS X clipboard to STDOUT. So if you put backticks around pbpaste, the text from the OS X clipboard is executed. If you add the pipeline | pbcopy, the output from executing the command on the clipboard is placed back on the clipboard. Note: make sure the clipboard is text only.

show hidden chars in vi

Simplest port scanner
Very handy way to perform a host scan if you don't have nmap,ncat,nc ...or other tools installed locally. When executing a command on a /dev/tcp/$host/$port pseudo-device file, Bash opens a TCP connection to the associated socket and UDP connection when using /dev/udp/$host/$port.A simlpe way to get servers banner is to run this command "cat < /dev/tcp/localhost/25" , here you will get mail server's banner. NOTE: Bash, as packaged for Debian, does not support using the /dev/tcp and /dev/udp pseudo-device it's not enabled by default Because bash in Debian is compiled with ?disable-net-redirections.

View details of network activity, malicious or otherwise within a port range.
View details of both TCP and UDP network activity within a specified port range.

Sort movies by length, longest first
Sort .avi movies by time length, print the longest first, and so on...

Get all IPs via ifconfig
The initial version of this command also outputted extra empty lines, so it went like this: This happened on Ubuntu, i haven't tested on anything else.

yes > /dev/null
your laptop can be a good heater :)

How to run X without any graphics hardware
This starts an X server using Xvfb(1) (no graphics hardware required), then starts a VNC server on the display. Change :1 if there's a conflict with an existing display, and change 800x600x24 to suit your tastes (24 is the bit depth, 800x600 is the size). This command obviously requires X be installed, and also x11vnc(1); both are available via your favourite package manager. You can also use another VNC server of your choosing, as long as DISPLAY is set to the display of Xvfb(1). To change your desktop environment (the default is twm(1), which is rather fail), you can add it to your ~/.xinitrc file (see the startx(1) manpage for details).

ubuntu tasksel
The command tasksel allows the choice of packages from the command line to get predefined configurations for specific services (usually this option is offered during installation).

stderr in color
in case you run some command in CLI and would like to take read strerr little bit better, you can use the following command. It's also possible to grep it if necessary....

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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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