Commands by kzh (9)

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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A lot of X applications accept --geometry parameter so that you can set application size and position. But how can you figure out the exact arguments for --geometry? Launch an application, resize and reposition its window as needed, then launch xwininfo in a terminal an click on the application window. You will see some useful window info including its geometry.

copy/mkdir and automatically create parent directories
The --parents option will cause cp or mkdir to automatically create the parent directory structure. $mkdir --parents /one/two/three/dir will create /one, /one/two, and /one/two/three as needed before creating dir. cp will copy files with their full directory structure into the target directory with this option. Thanks to Peter Leung at: which has good examples of usage.

Annotate tail -f with timestamps

Random number generation within a range N, here N=10

Batch Convert SVG to PNG
Convert some SVG files into PNG using ImageMagick's convert command.

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" }

print multiplication formulas
seq -s ' ' 1 9 | sed -n ':a;p;s/ *\w$//;h;/^$/t;b a;q' | tac | awk '{for(i=1;i

Merge files, joining each line in one line
Merge files, joining line by line horizontally. Very useful when you have a lot of files where each line represents an info about an event and you want to join them into a single file where each line has all the info about the same event See the example for a better understanding

OSX: Hear pronunciation of a word
I often use this command to learn pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

watch iptables counters
This will allow you to watch as matches occur in real-time. To filter out only ACCEPT, DROP, LOG..etc, then run the following command: watch 'iptables -nvL | grep -v "0 0" && grep "ACCEPT"' The -v is used to do an inverted filter. ie. NOT "0 0"

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,…):

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