Questions about bash only, as opposed to other Bourne/POSIX shells. For all Bourne/POSIX-style shells, use the /shell tag instead.

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39
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I open an incognito bash session?

Is it possible to open an incognito session in bash? For example, when we need to enter passwords in commands and don't want bash to add them to history.
69
votes
1answer
4k views

Have backticks (i.e. `cmd`) in *sh shells been deprecated?

I've seen this comment many times on Unix & Linux as well as on other sites that use the phrasing "backticks have been deprecated", with respect to shells such as Bash & Zsh. Is this ...
18
votes
3answers
8k views

What color codes can I use in my PS1 prompt?

I used several colors in my PS1 prompt such as \033]01;31\] # pink \033]00m\] # white \033]01;36\] # bold green \033]02;36\] # green \033]01;34\] # blue \033]01;33\] # bold yellow Where can I ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I easily search my history across many screen windows?

My current screen session has 12 open windows on it. It's been running for weeks... I know I executed an ImageMagick convert command in one of these 12 screen windows sometime last week... is there ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

How does `cat <> file` work?

cat < file prints the contents of file to stdout. cat > file reads stdin until Ctrl+D is detected and the input text is written to file. cat <> file, at least in my version of Bash, ...
23
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I tell if I'm in a tmux session from a bash script?

I like to keep my bash_profile in a git repository and clone it to whatever machines I have shell access to. Since I'm in tmux most of the time I have a user@host string in the status line, rather ...
12
votes
5answers
22k views

Test if there are files matching a pattern in bash

I am trying to write an if statement in bash to test whether there are any files matching a certain pattern. If there is a text file in a directory it should run a given script. My code currently if ...
18
votes
4answers
16k views

Is it possible to set Gnome Terminal's title to “user@host” for whatever host I'm connected to?

I'd like to set the terminal title to user@host so I can easily tell which machine I'm connected to from the window title. Is there a way to do this from SSH or from GNOME Terminal?
24
votes
6answers
10k views

How to print only defined variables (shell and/or environment variables) in bash

The bash builtin command set, if invoked without arguments, will print all shell and environment variables, but also all defined functions. This makes the output unusable for humans and difficult to ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Is dash or some other shell “faster” than bash?

I always thought that the only benefit of using dash instead of bash was that dash was smaller, and therefore many instances of dash would start faster at boot time. But I have done some research, ...
12
votes
4answers
24k views

How to read from two input files using while loop

I wanted to know if there is any way of reading from two input files in a nested while loop one line at a time. For example, lets say I have two files FileA and FileB. FileA: [jaypal:~/Temp] cat ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Best practice to use $? in bash?

When I read this answer about $? another question comes to mind. Is there any best practice for how to use $? in bash? Let's have a example: We have a linear script and I we would like to know ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is iterating over a file twice faster than reading it into memory and computing twice?

I'm comparing the following tail -n 1000000 stdout.log | grep -c '"success": true' tail -n 1000000 stdout.log | grep -c '"success": false' with the following log=$(tail -n 1000000 stdout.log) echo ...
19
votes
2answers
49k views

How to display open file descriptors but not using lsof command

Hi I have read Here that lsof is not an accurate way of getting the number of File Descriptors that are currently open. He recommended to use this command instead cat /proc/sys/fs/file-nr While ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How to do a continous 'wc -l' with gnu texttools?

I know of course that cat logfile.txt | wc -l 120 will tell me the number of lines in a file. Whereas tail -f logfile.txt will show me the new lines that another program writes to logfile.txt. ...
12
votes
4answers
19k views

How to get milliseconds since Unix epoch?

I want to do a bash script that measures the launch time of a browser for that I am using an html which gets the time-stamp on-load in milliseconds using JavaScript. In the shell script just before i ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I use tee to redirect to grep

I don't have much experience of using tee, so I hope this is not very basic. After viewing one of the answers to this question I came across a strange beheviour with tee. In order for me to output ...
39
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly is an environment variable?

I know that VARIABLE=value creates an environment variable, and export VARIABLE=value makes it available to processes created by the current shell. env shows the current environment variables, but ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Why shouldn't someone use passwords in the command line?

Why do people fear writing passwords in the command line? The history file is located in ~/.history, so it's available only to the user who executed the commands (and root).
24
votes
3answers
14k views

How to remove “You have mail” welcome message

When I open up my terminal it says "you have mail", anyone has any idea of why? I am running OS X, but since it too is based on Unix and relies on files such as bashrc, bash_profile etc. I thought ...
21
votes
5answers
13k views

Can't use exclamation mark (!) in bash?

I'm trying to use the curl command to access a http url with a exclamation mark (!) in its path. e.g: curl -v "http://example.org/!287s87asdjh2/somepath/someresource" the console replies with bash: ...
18
votes
2answers
990 views

^x^y unix trick for all instances in last command?

One of my favorite Unix tricks is ^x^y, which will take the last command and replace the first instance of "x" with "y". However, I'm wondering if a similar trick works to replace all instances of "x" ...
16
votes
6answers
13k views

How to create a sequence with leading zeroes using brace expansion

When I use the following, I get a result as expected: $ echo {8..10} 8 9 10 How can I use this brace expansion in an easy way, to get the following output? $ echo {8..10} 08 09 10 I now that ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I configure bash to execute “clear” before every command typed in the console?

I would like to configure bash to execute clear command every time I type some command in the terminal (before executing my command). How can I do that? I'm using Debian Linux.
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Can't indent heredoc to match nesting's indent

If there's a "First World Problems" for scripting, this would be it. I have the following code in a script I'm updating: if [ $diffLines -eq 1 ]; then dateLastChanged=$(stat --format '%y' ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

What do square brackets mean without the “if” on the left? [duplicate]

As far as I know, square brackets are used to enclose an expression usually in if else statements. But I found square brackets being used without the "if" as follows: [ -r /etc/profile.d/java.sh ] ...
7
votes
2answers
46k views

how can I add (subtract, etc.) two numbers with bash?

I can read the numbers and operation in with: echo "First number please" read num1 echo "Second mumber please" read num2 echo "Operation?" read op but then all my attempts to add the numbers fail: ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any book , Tutorial on very very advanced shell scripting [closed]

I am looking for some tutorial where a simple script is written using very advanced methods so that i can learn more from
5
votes
3answers
6k views

History command inside bash script

I have been bashing my head to write a simple history script for the last two days. History is a shell-built in command I couldn't able to use that within a BASH script. So, Is there a way attain this ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Multicolored Grep

I'm trying to get each grep command to highlight it's results in a different color. I can do it manually with a line like this: ls -l GREP_COLORS='mt=01;32' grep c | GREP_COLORS='mt=01;31' grep o | ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

Parenthesis in bash arithmetic: 3 * (2 + 1)

expr does not seem to like parenthesis (used in mathematics to explicit operator priority): expr 3 * (2 + 1) bash: syntax error near unexpected token `(' How to express operator priority in bash?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “rm is hashed” mean?

I'm going through http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashGuide/CommandsAndArguments and came across this: $ type rm rm is hashed (/bin/rm) $ type cd cd is a shell builtin Just a little earlier, the guide ...
9
votes
3answers
803 views

How to pipe the list of commands displayed by of “tab complete”?

When using commands in bash I like the double tab option to display the available commands. Some commands have more possible matches than others: Is there a way I can pipe the output of the double ...
8
votes
3answers
24k views

Recursive chmod only folders or only files via script or nautilus menu?

This has been discussed before here. What I'd like to know is how to turn these: Recursive chmod only files within this folder: find . -type f -exec chmod 0600 {} \; Recursive chmod only folders ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Autocomplete server names for SSH and SCP

I have a few servers configured in ~/.ssh/config, such as alpha and beta. How might I configure Bash such that the commands ssh al<tab> and scp file.tgz al<tab> autocomplete the names of ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Use the command bar in bash without I/O?

I really like the look of the output of bar But that script is only used for Input/Output operations. How can I use it as a replacement for sleep but with visual feedback? sleep 10
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Reading character by character with bash read

I've been trying to use bash to read a file character by character. After much trial and error, I have discovered that this works: exec 4<file.txt declare -i n while read -r ch <&4; ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Copy text from one terminal into another

I am logged into ssh to a university account from my home computer. Then I find a file that I want to copy onto my local system. So I open a new shell terminal and am about to use scp to copy that ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you enter a directory that's name is only a minus?

I downloaded lessn to my webserver and unzipped it. It contains a folder named -. I assumed I know how to deal with that, but I don't. I tried cd -- -, but that doesn't have the desired effect. ...
22
votes
4answers
19k views

How to delete line with echo?

I know that I could delete the last three chars with: echo -ne '\b\b\b' But how can I delete a full line? I mean I dont want to use: echo -ne ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to type another command into STDIN while the previous command is writing to STDOUT?

Perhaps this has been answered previously, I would welcome a link to another answer... If I execute a shell command (in a bash shell) like the following: make Then while the output from make is ...
18
votes
6answers
26k views

How can I test if a variable is empty or contains only spaces?

The following bash syntax verifies if param isn't empty: [[ ! -z $param ]] For example: param="" [[ ! -z $param ]] && echo "I am not zero" No output and its fine. But when param ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Setting IFS for a single statement

I know that a custom IFS value can be set for the scope of a single command/built-in. Is there a way to set a custom IFS value for a single statement?? Apparently not, since based on the below the ...
15
votes
5answers
32k views

Using the system date / time in a Cron Script

I'm setting up a Cronjob that will backup a MySQL database I have in my server, but I don't want it to keep overwriting the same file over and over again. Instead, I want to have an array of backups ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

/dev/tcp listen instead of nc listen

With a netcat listener like: nc -l <port> < ~/.bashrc I can grab my .bashrc on a new machine (doesn't have nc or LDAP) with: cat < /dev/tcp/<ip>/<port> > ~/.bashrc My ...
8
votes
2answers
472 views

How do I find number of vertical lines available in the terminal?

I'm writing a script which shows the git log for a directory when I cd into it. Such a log can be overwhelming, containing hundreds of lines. So far I have been limiting that to a hard-coded 20 lines ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Configure up-arrow to browse through commands with same initial characters rather than all previous commands

On the bash command-line, ↑ gives me the previous command. On the command-lines in numpy or matlab, when I type a few characters, ↑ gives me the previously entered command starting with those ...
7
votes
2answers
771 views

Why is `tac file | grep foo' (piping) faster than `grep foo < <(tac file)' (process substitution)?

This question was motivated by "Reverse grepping", about grepping a huge file from bottom up. @chaos said: tac file | grep whatever Or a bit more effective: grep whatever < <(tac file) ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Manipulate file name piped from find command

I'm relatively new to Bash and am trying to do something that on the surface seemed pretty straightforward - run find over a directory hierarchy to get all of the *.wma files, pipe that output to a ...
6
votes
3answers
283 views

Which bash will expand {1..$VAR} in the same way that zsh does

In response to a comment of mine to this question on SF the OP asserts that the for i in {1..$NUM} expands correctly in bash. I have access to bash 4.0.33 (Ubuntu), 3.2.25 (Centos) and 3.00.16(1) ...