Commands by olaseni (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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Display the tree of all instance of a particular process

This will take the last two commands from bash_history and open your editor with the commands on separated lines

Outputs each arg on its own line
This can be useful for transforming command-line args into input for xargs (one per line). This can also be done with ls if the args are filenames, but that's getting awfully close to Useless Use of Cat territory (

Run TOP in Color, split 4 ways for x seconds - the ultimate ps command. Great for init scripts
One of my favorite ways to impress newbies (and old hats) to the power of the shell, is to give them an incredibly colorful and amazing version of the top command that runs once upon login, just like running fortune on login. It's pretty sweet believe me, just add this one-liner to your ~/.bash_profile -- and of course you can set the height to be anything, from 1 line to 1000! $ G=$(stty -g);stty rows $((${LINES:-50}/2));top -n1; stty $G;unset G Doesn't take more than the below toprc file I've added below, and you get all 4 top windows showing output at the same time.. each with a different color scheme, and each showing different info. Each window would normally take up 1/4th of your screen when run like that - TOP is designed as a full screen program. But here's where you might learn something new today on this great site.. By using the stty command to change the terminals internal understanding of the size of your terminal window, you force top to also think that way as well. # save the correct settings to G var. $ G=$(stty -g) # change the number of rows to half the actual amount, or 50 otherwise $ stty rows $((${LINES:-50}/2)) # run top non-interactively for 1 second, the output stays on the screen (half at least) $ top -n1 # reset the terminal back to the correct values, and clean up after yourself $ stty $G;unset G This trick from my [ bash_profile ], though the online version will be updated soon. Just think what else you could run like this! Note 1: I had to edit the toprc file out due to this site can't handle that (uploads/including code). So you can grab it from [ my site ] Note 2: I had to come back and edit again because the links weren't being correctly parsed

diff two sorted files
Sees if two records differ in their entries, irrespective of order.

List top 100 djs from

Print permanent subtitles on a video
It prints subtitle files in myvideo.avi, saving it in myvideo_subtitled.avi

Rename files in batch

Show linux kernel modules dependencies
Use modprobe to list all the dependencies of a certain kernel module. Handy when debugging system issues.

Create a persistent connection to a machine
Create a persistent SSH connection to the host in the background. Combine this with settings in your ~/.ssh/config: Host host ControlPath ~/.ssh/master-%[email protected]%h:%p ControlMaster no All the SSH connections to the machine will then go through the persisten SSH socket. This is very useful if you are using SSH to synchronize files (using rsync/sftp/cvs/svn) on a regular basis because it won't create a new socket each time to open an ssh connection.

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.


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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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