Commands by mplf (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

escape any command aliases
e.g. if rm is aliased for 'rm -i', you can escape the alias by prepending a backslash: rm [file] # WILL prompt for confirmation per the alias \rm [file] # will NOT prompt for confirmation per the default behavior of the command

Purge configuration files of removed packages on debian based systems
Purge all configuration files of removed packages

see who's using DOM storage a/k/a Web Storage, super cookies
Someone over at Mozilla dot Org probably said, "I know, let's create a super-duper universal replacement for browser cookies that are persistent and even more creepy and then NOT give our browser users the tools they need to monitor, read, block or selectively remove them!" . This will let you see all the DOM object users in all your firefox profiles. Feel free to toss a `| sort -u` on the end to remove dupes. . I highly recommend you treat these as "session cookies" by scripting something that deletes this sqlite database during each firefox start-up. . note: does not do anything for so-called "flash cookies"

add an mp3 audio track to a video

list files recursively by size

Get AWS temporary credentials ready to export based on a MFA virtual appliance
You might want to secure your AWS operations requiring to use a MFA token. But then to use API or tools, you need to pass credentials generated with a MFA token. This commands asks you for the MFA code and retrieves these credentials using AWS Cli. To print the exports, you can use: `awk '{ print "export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=\"" $1 "\"\n" "export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=\"" $2 "\"\n" "export AWS_SESSION_TOKEN=\"" $3 "\"" }'` You must adapt the command line to include: * $MFA_IDis ARN of the virtual MFA or serial number of the physical one * TTL for the credentials

Tar files matching a certain wildcard
This is a shortcut to tar up all files matching a wildcard. Tar doesn't have the --include (apparently).

Create a temporary file
To create directory, use: $ tempdir=$(/bin/mktemp -d)

Create a .png from a command output and upload to, give URI
Create a .png from output command or whatever, the upload and give URI from

use the real 'rm', distribution brain-damage notwithstanding
The backslash avoids any 'rm' alias that might be present and runs the 'rm' command in $PATH instead. In a misguided attempt to be more "friendly", some Linux distributions (or sites/etc.) alias 'rm' to 'rm -i'. Unfortunately, this trains users to expect that files won't actually be deleted until they okay it. This expectation will fail with catastrophic results when they use other distributions, move to other sites, etc., and doesn't really even work 100% even with the alias. It's too late to fix 'rm', but '\rm' should work everywhere (under bash).

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: