Commands by sn0w (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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echo unicode characters

Lists the size of certain file in every 10 seconds
watch is a command especially designed for doing this job

Quickly CD Out Of Directories Without 5+ Aliases
I wrote this a long time ago, wondering why this wasn't floating around somewhere out there (at least not where I could find).. this seems much more simple than multiple aliases and can cd out of directories easier.

Make a server's console beep when the network is down
This is like ping -a, but it does the opposite. It alerts you if the network is down, not up. Note that the beep will be from the speaker on the server, not from your terminal. Once a second, this script checks if the Internet is accessible and beeps if it is not. I define the Net as being "UP", if I can ping Google's public DNS server (, but of course you could pick a different static IP address. I redirect the beep to /dev/console so that I can run this in the background from /etc/rc.local. Of course, doing that requires that the script is run by a UID or GID that has write permissions to /dev/console (usually only root). Question: I am not sure if the -W1 flag works under BSD. I have only tested this under GNU/Linux using ping from iputils. If anybody knows how portable -W is, please post a comment.

Put uppercase letters in curly brackets in a BibTeX database
It is often recommended to enclose capital letters in a BibTeX file in braces, so the letters will not be transformed to lower case, when imported from LaTeX. This is an attempt to apply this rule to a BibTeX database file. DO NOT USE sed '...' input.bib > input.bib as it will empty the file! How it works: $ /^\s*[^@%]/ Apply the search-and-replace rule to lines that start (^) with zero or more white spaces (\s*), followed by any character ([...]) that is *NOT* a "@" or a "%" (^@%). $ s===g Search (s) for some stuff and replace by other stuff. Do that globally (g) for all matches in each processed line. $ \([A-Z][A-Z]*\)\([^}A-Z]\|},$\) Matches at least one uppercase letter ([A-Z][A-Z]*) followed by a character that is EITHER not "}" and not a capital letter ([^}A-Z]) OR (|) it actually IS a "}", which is followed by "," at the end of the line ($). Putting regular expressions in escaped parentheses (\( and \), respectively) allows to dereference the matched string later. $ {\1}\2 Replace the matched string by "{", followed by part 1 of the matched string (\1), followed by "}", followed by the second part of the matched string (\2). I tried this with GNU sed, only, version 4.2.1.

Merges given files line by line
In the above example all files have 4 lines. In "file1" consecutive lines are: "num, 1, 2, 3", in "file2": "name, Jack, Jim, Frank" and in "file3": "scores, 1300, 1100, 980". This one liner can save considerate ammount of time when you're trying to process serious portions of data. "-d" option allows one to set series of characters to be used as separators between data originating from given files.

check open ports without netstat or lsof

a function to find the fastest DNS server gives a list of online dns servers. you need to change the country in url (br in this url) with your country code. this command need some time to ping all IP in list.

capture selected window

One command line web server on port 80 using nc (netcat)
Very simple web server listening on port 80 will serve index.html file or whatever file you like pointing your browser at http://your-IP-address/index.html for example. If your web server is down for maintenance and you'd like to inform your visitors about it, quickly and easily, you just have to put into the index.html file the right HTML code and you are done! Of course you need to be root to run the command using port 80.

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