Commands by kFiddle (10)

  • The symlinks command can show status of all symbolic links, including which links are dangling, which symlinks point to files on other file systems, which symlinks use ../ more than necessary, which symlinks are messy (e.g. having too many slashes or dots), etc. Other useful things it can do include removing all dangling links (-d) and converting absolute links to relative links (-c). The path given must be an absolute path (which is why I used $(pwd) in the example command).

    symlinks -r $(pwd)
    kFiddle · 2009-05-01 23:33:10 1
  • Most of you are probably familiar with the "apropos" command for searching man pages. However, did you know there's a similar command inside of gdb? If, for example, you wanted to know all gdb commands that related to threads, you could type "apropos thread". Type "help some_command" to receive more information about a command. Type "help" by itself to see a list of help topics.

    gdb command: apropos <keyword>
    kFiddle · 2009-05-01 23:19:35 0
  • Sometimes "ls" is just too slow, especially if you're having problems with terminal scroll speed, or if you're a speed freak. In these situations, do an echo * in the current directory to immediately see the directory listing. Do an echo * | tr ' ' '\n' if you want a column. Do an alias ls='echo *' if you want to achieve higher echelons of speed and wonder. Note that echo * is also useful on systems that are so low in memory that "ls" itself is failing - perhaps due to a memory leak that you're trying to debug.

    echo *
    kFiddle · 2009-04-17 21:40:58 5
  • I've seen some versions of hostname that don't have the -i option, so this may not work everywhere. When available, it's a better alternative than using ifconfig and wasting eyeball muscle to search for the address, and it's definitely simpler than using awk/sed.

    hostname -i
    kFiddle · 2009-04-17 21:26:56 3
  • This is a simple command, but extremely useful. It's a quick way to search the file names in the current directory for a substring. Normally people use "ls *term*" but that requires the stars and is not case insensitive. Color (for both ls and grep) is an added bonus.

    alias lg='ls --color=always | grep --color=always -i'
    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 23:15:12 3
  • Reduce the number of keystrokes it takes to open a file in vim. First of all, you just need to type "v", which is less than half the number of characters (!), and second-of-all, you only need to enter a substring of the file you want to open. For example, if you want to open the file, homework.txt, then type "v hom" to open it. Good tip is to use the lowest unique substring, otherwise you'll open multiple files in different buffers (which is sometimes desirable). Use Ctrl-^ to switch between buffers.

    function v { if [ -z $1 ]; then vim; else vim *$1*; fi }
    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 23:06:43 2
  • This example, for example, produces the output, "Fri Feb 13 15:26:30 EST 2009"

    date -d@1234567890
    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 22:26:41 7
  • Have a grudge against someone on your network? Do a "find -writable" in their directory and see what you can vandalize! But seriously, this is really useful to check the files in your own home directory to make sure they can't inadvertently be changed by someone else's wayward script.

    find -writable
    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 22:16:35 0
  • Info has some of the worst keybindings I've ever seen. Being a vim user, I attribute that to emacs influence. Use the --vi-keys option to use some of the vi keybindings, although this won't change all the keybindings. Use the "infokey" program to have more control over info keybindings.

    info --vi-keys
    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 22:10:08 4
  • Although less behaves more or less like vim in certain aspects, the vim regex for word boundaries (\< and \>) do not work in less. Instead, use \b to denote a word boundary. Therefore, if you want to search for, say, the word "exit", but do not want to search for exiting, exits, etc., then surround "exit" with \b. This is useful if you need to search for specific occurrences of a keyword or command. \b can also be used at just the beginning and end, if needed.

    kFiddle · 2009-04-11 22:05:12 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

Print a horizontal line

Perl one-liner to determine number of days since the Unix epoch
There are some environments that use this value for password and account expiration. It's helpful to be able to quickly determine the number of days since the Unix epoch (dse) when working directly with the configuration files as an administrator.

list directories only

Transform a portrait pdf in a landscape one with 2 pages per page
This is an example of the usage of pdfnup (you can find it in the 'pdfjam' package). With this command you can save ink/toner and paper (and thus trees!) when you print a pdf. This tools are very configurable, and you can make also 2x2, 3x2, 2x3 layouts, and more (the limit is your fantasy and the resolution of the printer :-) You must have installed pdfjam, pdflatex, and the LaTeX pdfpages package in your box.

Send your svn diff to meld
If you like to view what has been changed between revision 100 and the BASE on FILE. Meld will give you a nice overview.

Convert seconds to [DD:][HH:]MM:SS
Converts any number of seconds into days, hours, minutes and seconds. sec2dhms() { declare -i SS="$1" D=$(( SS / 86400 )) H=$(( SS % 86400 / 3600 )) M=$(( SS % 3600 / 60 )) S=$(( SS % 60 )) [ "$D" -gt 0 ] && echo -n "${D}:" [ "$H" -gt 0 ] && printf "%02g:" "$H" printf "%02g:%02g\n" "$M" "$S" }

reduce mp3 bitrate (and size, of course)
Useful if you have to put some mp3 files into mobile devices (ie mobile phones with no much memory)

Create a new file

history autocompletion with arrow keys
This will enable the possibility to navigate in the history of the command you type with the arrow keys, example "na" and the arrow will give all command starting by na in the history.You can add these lines to your .bashrc (without &&) to use that in your default terminal.

Synchronise a file from a remote server
You will be prompted for a password unless you have your public keys set-up.

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: