Commands by johnr (1)

  • This will write to TAPE (LTO3-4 in my case) a backup of files/folders. Could be changed to write to DVD/Blueray. Go to the directory where you want to write the output files : cd /bklogs Enter a name in bkname="Backup1", enter folders/files in tobk="/home /var/www". It will create a tar and write it to the tape drive on /dev/nst0. In the process, it will 1) generate a sha512 sum of the tar to $bkname.sha512; so you can validate that your data is intact 2) generate a filelist of the content of the tar with filesize to $bkname.lst 3) buffer the tar file to prevent shoe-shining the tape (I use 4GB for lto3(80mb/sec), 8gb for lto4 (120mb/sec), 3Tb usb3 disks support those speed, else I use 3x2tb raidz. 4) show buffer in/out speed and used space in the buffer 5) show progress bar with time approximation using pv ADD : To eject the tape : ; sleep 75; mt-st -f /dev/nst0 rewoffl TODO: 1) When using old tapes, if the buffer is full and the drive slows down, it means the tape is old and would need to be replaced instead of wiping it and recycling it for an other backup. Logging where and when it slows down could provide good information on the wear of the tape. I don't know how to get that information from the mbuffer output and to trigger a "This tape slowed down X times at Y1gb, Y2gb, Y3gb down to Zmb/s for a total of 30sec. It would be wise to replace this tape next time you want to write to it." 2) Fix filesize approximation 3) Save all the output to $bkname.log with progress update being new lines. (any one have an idea?) 4) Support spanning on multiple tape. 5) Replace tar format with something else (dar?); looking at xar right now (, xml metadata could contain per file checksum, compression algorithm (bzip2, xv, gzip), gnupg encryption, thumbnail, videopreview, image EXIF... But that's an other project. TIP: 1) You can specify the width of the progressbar of pv. If its longer than the terminal, line refresh will be written to new lines. That way you can see if there was speed slowdown during writing. 2) Remove the v in tar argument cvf to prevent listing all files added to the archive. 3) You can get tarsum ( and add >(tarsum --checksum sha256 > $bkname_list.sha256) after the tee to generate checksums of individual files !

    bkname="test"; tobk="*" ; totalsize=$(du -csb $tobk | tail -1 | cut -f1) ; tar cvf - $tobk | tee >(sha512sum > $bkname.sha512) >(tar -tv > $bkname.lst) | mbuffer -m 4G -P 100% | pv -s $totalsize -w 100 | dd of=/dev/nst0 bs=256k
    johnr · 2014-07-22 15:47:50 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.

Share Your Commands

Check These Out

how many pages will my text files print on?
This gives a very rough estimate of how many pages your text files will print on. Assumes 60 lines per page, and does not take long lines into account.

add the result of a command into vi
in command mode, navigate your cursor to the line where you want the command output to appear, and hit "!!". No need to enter edit mode or even type a ":" (colon).

command! -nargs=1 Vs vs <args>
Because entering ':' requires that you press shift, sometimes common command-line / mini-buffer commands will be capitalized by accident.

Broadcast your shell thru ports 5000, 5001, 5002 ...
run 'nc yourip 5000', 'nc yourip 5001' or 'nc yourip 5002' elsewhere will produce an exact same mirror of your shell. This is handy when you want to show someone else some amazing stuff in your shell without giving them control over it.

Find usb device in realtime
Using this command you can track a moment when usb device was attached.

Speed up the keyboard repeat rate in X server

Update pandoc via cabal
An alternative to built-in package manager, keep pandoc in sync with upstream releases.

Find the package that installed a command

Netcat & Tar
Create a tarball on the client and send it across the network with netcat on port 1234 where its extracted on the server in the current directory.

Identify long lines in a file
This command displays a list of lines that are longer than 72 characters. I use this command to identify those lines in my scripts and cut them short the way I like it.

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: