Commands by quintic (4)

  • Suppose you have 11 marbles, 4 of which are red, the rest being blue. The marbles are indistinguishable, apart from colour. How many different ways are there to arrange the marbles in a line? And how many ways are there to arrange them so that no two red marbles are adjacent? There are simple mathematical solutions to these questions, but it's also possible to generate and count all possibilities directly on the command line, using little more than brace expansion, grep and wc! The answer to the question posed above is that there are 330 ways of arranging the marbles in a line, 70 of which have no two red marbles adjacent. See the sample output. To follow the call to marbles 11 4: after c=''; for i in $(seq $1); do c+='{b,r}'; done;, $c equals {b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r}{b,r} After x=$(eval echo $c), and brace expansion, $x equals bbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbr ... rrrrrrrrrrb rrrrrrrrrrr, which is all 2^11 = 2048 strings of 11 b's and r's. After p=''; for i in $(seq $2); do p+='b*r'; done;, $p equals b*rb*rb*rb*r Next, after y=$(grep -wo "${p}b*" Finally, grep -vc 'rr' Show Sample Output

    marbles () { c=''; for i in $(seq $1); do c+='{b,r}'; done; x=$(eval echo $c); p=''; for i in $(seq $2); do p+='b*r'; done; y=$(grep -wo "${p}b*" <<< $x); wc -l <<< "$y"; grep -vc 'rr' <<< "$y"; }
    quintic · 2010-08-27 23:04:33 4
  • If the return code from the last command was greater than zero, colour part of your prompt red. The commands give a prompt like this: [user current_directory]$ After an error, the "[user" part is automatically coloured red. Tested using bash on xterm and terminal. Place in your .bashrc or .bash_profile.

    export PROMPT_COMMAND='if (($? > 0)); then echo -ne "\033[1;31m"; fi'; export PS1='[\[\]\u\[\033[0m\] \[\033[1;34m\]\w\[\033[0m\]]\$ '
    quintic · 2010-08-25 21:19:30 4
  • tail -c 1 "$1" returns the last byte in the file. Command substitution deletes any trailing newlines, so if the file ended in a newline $(tail -c 1 "$1") is now empty, and the -z test succeeds. However, $a will also be empty for an empty file, so we add -s "$1" to check that the file has a size greater than zero. Finally, -f "$1" checks that the file is a regular file -- not a directory or a socket, etc. Show Sample Output

    endnl () { [[ -f "$1" && -s "$1" && -z $(tail -c 1 "$1") ]]; }
    quintic · 2010-08-25 12:06:10 118

  • -3
    (cd /bin; set -- *; x=$((1+($RANDOM % $#))); man ${!x})
    quintic · 2010-08-20 17:19:56 4

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

Burn a directory of mp3s to an audio cd.
This uses mpg123 to convert the files to wav before burning, but you can use mplayer or mencoder or ffmpeg or lame with the --decode option, or whatever you like.

find all file larger than 500M
Greater than 500M and sorted by size.

Kill a broken ssh connection
This is useful for example if you are on ssh in a server and the server goes down without letting you out. This is part of a larget sets of escape sequences provided by ssh. You can find them with ~? Here's the list: ~. - terminate connection (and any multiplexed sessions) ~B - send a BREAK to the remote system ~C - open a command line ~R - request rekey ~V/v - decrease/increase verbosity (LogLevel) ~^Z - suspend ssh ~# - list forwarded connections ~& - background ssh (when waiting for connections to terminate) ~? - this message ~~ - send the escape character by typing it twice (Note that escapes are only recognized immediately after newline.)

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

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

Text graphing ping output filter
Nasty perl one-liner that provides a sparkline of ping times. If you want a different history than the last 30, just put that value in. It (ab)uses unicode to draw the bars, inspired by . It's not the most bug-free piece of code, but what it lacks in robustness it makes up for in capability. :) If anyone has any ideas on how to make it more compact or better, I'd love to hear them. I included a ping to google in the command just as an example (and burned up 10 chars doing it!). You should use it with: $ ping | $SPARKLINE_PING_COMMAND

Create a local compressed tarball from remote host directory
The command uses ssh(1) to get to a remote host, uses tar(1) to archive a remote directory, prints the result to STDOUT, which is piped to gzip(1) to compress to a local file. In other words, we are archiving and compressing a remote directory to our local box.

identify NEEDED sonames in a path
This works in combination with as it reports the NEEDED entries present in the files within a given path. You can then compare it with the libraries that are exported to make sure that, when cross-building a firmware image, you're not bringing in dependencies from the build host. The short version of it as can be seen in the same output is $ scanelf -RBnq -F "+n#f" $1 | tr ',' '\n' | sort -u

Syntax Highlight your Perl code
This uses Text::Highlight to output the specified Perl file with syntax highlighting. A better alternative is my App::perlhl - find it on the CPAN:

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

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: