The command-line is the interactive interface to your shell.

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18
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4answers
20k views

How do I make multiple directories at once in a directory?

I know with mkdir I can do mkdir A B C D E F to create each directory. How do I create directories A-Z or 1-100 with out typing in each letter or number?
18
votes
6answers
787 views

How stable are Unix shell “stdin/stdout APIs”?

grepping, awking, sedding, and piping are day-to-day routine of a user of any Unix-like operating system, may it be on the command line or inside a shell script (collectively called filters from now ...
18
votes
5answers
853 views

Difference between “. myscript” and “./myscript” [duplicate]

I am confused by "one only dot - space - shell script name" (like . myshellscript) and "path to shell script" (like ./myshellscript) commands. What for they are? I noticed the command . myshellscript ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

how to download a file using just bash and nothing else (no curl, wget, perl, etc.)

I have a minimal headless *nix which does not have any command line utilities for downloading files (e.g. no curl, wget, etc). I only have bash. How can I download a file? Ideally, I would like a ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

How to tell what type of filesystem you're on?

Is there a command to tell what type of filesystem you're using?
18
votes
1answer
1k views

zsh Interpret/ignore commands beginning with '#' as comments

In bash, if I type a command beginning with a '#', bash ignores it as a comment. Ie, the following is ignored at the bash prompt: > # Hi there! Whereas in zsh: > # Hi there ! zsh: bad ...
18
votes
1answer
761 views

Is there a standard command that always exits with a failure?

I want to test my script with a command that fails. I could use an existing command with bad arguments. I could also write a simple script that immediately exits with a failure. Both of these are easy ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Command-line-friendly full-text indexing?

Is there such a thing as a full-text indexing engine, that can be queried from the command line and ideally wouldn't require using a gui at all ? I'm especially interested in indexing my ebooks and ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do I sometimes get repeatedly prompted with “>” in the terminal?

Alright, when I run certain commands the wrong way, (misspelled, etc.) The terminal outputs this: > instead of computername:workingfolder username$, and when I type enter it goes like this: > ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

How to display numbers in reverse order using seq(1)?

I have iterate over numbers in various order. I am able to display them in increasing order, even with steps like: $ seq --separator="," 1 10 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 $ seq --separator="," 1 2 10 ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

How to make sure that a command is not interrupted, even if terminal is closed? [duplicate]

In Linux. Say I want to run a command and it takes too long. I just want to ensure it's done. How?
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do I have to cd out of a deleted directory?

On my server I have a directory structure looking something like this: /myproject/code I normally have an ssh connection to the server and 'stand' in that directory: root@machine:/myproject/code# ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How did this '&' at the end of my command, make the script SO fast?

While solving some CTF challenges online, I came across a situation where I needed to bruteforce a server. This is the code I wrote: #!/bin/bash for i in {0..9}{0..9}{0..9}{0..9} do echo ...
17
votes
2answers
892 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" ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

put history command onto command line without executing it

I use !n where (n) is the line number for executing a line in the history file I want executed at the command prompt which I find via history|less. But there is a command line history event I wish ...
17
votes
2answers
430 views

Is there a standard Unix command to check English verb conjugation?

Having recently come across wordlist and wordnet, two great discoveries on their own, I'm now looking for a similar tool, if simpler, that will take the bare infinitive of a verb and return the simple ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Command for forcing a pointer ungrab (captured mouse release)

Sometimes Firefox doesn't release the mouse after dragging, so I need to kill the application to force it to release its pointer grab. Is there any command to force an application to ungrab the ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

copy (to X clipboard) shortcut in .tmux.conf

In order to copy text to X clipboard in tmux, what I currently do is: go selection mode with prefix[ start selection with space (using mode-keys vi btw) select the text and press enter copy tmux ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Create a test file with lots of zero bytes

I know how to create an empty file: touch /var/tmp/nullbytes but how can I create a 1MB file that only contains nullbytes on the commandline with bash?
16
votes
6answers
86k views

How to determine Linux kernel architecture?

uname -m gives i686 and uname -m gives i686 i386 output in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.4 (Tikanga) machine. I need to install Oracle Database 10g Release 2 on that machine. So, how can I ...
16
votes
6answers
732 views

How to type several file names with fewer key strokes

If I want to convert a pdf to a png image with imagemagick I do something like: convert -trim -density 400 this_is_a_very_long_filename_of_my_pdf_file.pdf ...
16
votes
2answers
19k views

How to signal the end of stdin input in bash

In Bash, I learned that the ending signal can be changed by here document. But by default how can I signal the end of stdin input? I happened to find that with cat and chardet, their stdin inputs can ...
16
votes
10answers
16k views

What's a good example of piping commands together?

If you were helping someone to learn the concept of pipes on the command line what example would you use? The example that actually came up was as follows: cat whatever.txt | less I feel like ...
16
votes
4answers
583 views

How can I implement a circular flow of data among interconnected commands?

I know of two types how commands can be connected with each other: by using a Pipe (putting std-output into std-input of the next command). by using a Tee (splice the output into many ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

How to efficiently generate large, uniformly distributed, random integers in bash?

I have been wondering what would be the best way to get good randomness in bash, i.e., what would be a procedure to get a random positive integer between MIN and MAX such that The range can be ...
16
votes
2answers
492 views

How to retrieve lost aliases?

Let me start by saying I know this was dumb. Time and Linux make fools of us all. I made an echo command to my .bash_aliases file and erased all of my aliases, except the test alias. However, I ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

How to execute consecutive commands from history?

Suppose I want to execute a sequence of four commands that I have executed before. If the first one is 432 in the command-history, then I could do: $ !432; !433; !434; !435 I'm curious, is there a ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

IP to Country console command

Is there a console command that takes an IP address as an input and shows its geographical information like city, country, ISP, etc.?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it harmful to close a terminal window without properly exiting an application?

Using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, my question is that if I started an application in a terminal window, then is there anything bad about just closing the terminal window without exiting the application properly ...
16
votes
1answer
9k views

What do double slashes mean in UNIX path? Is `cd dir/subdir//` valid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How linux handles multiple path separators (/home////username///file) Do cd dir/subdir/ and cd dir/subdir// mean the same in UNIX? Will the later work out? Else does ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Copy image from command-line to clipboard

Is there a way in a bash to copy a picture to the clipboard? For example if there is a picture mypic.png I want to have a command like clipcopy mypic.png such that I can go for example to inkscape ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Why isn't there any shell command to create files?

Attention please: I am not asking how to make a file from the command line! I have been using touch for making files for years without paying attention that its main purpose is something else. If ...
15
votes
5answers
12k views

How can I see dmesg output as it changes?

I'm writing a device driver that prints error message into ring buffer dmesg output. I want to see the output of dmesg as it changes. How can I do this?
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do some commands 'hang' the terminal until they've finished?

Sometimes you run a program from the terminal, say, lxpanel†. The terminal won't drop you back to the prompt, it'll hang. You can press Ctrl+C to get back to the prompt, but that will kill ...
15
votes
6answers
24k views

Run a command without making me wait

On the CLI, sometimes a command I type takes a while to complete, and sometimes I know when that's about to happen. I'm a bit confused on "backgrounding" and such in Linux. What is the most common ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

How can I get a formatted date for a UNIX timestamp from the command line

I have a UNIX timestamp and I'd like to get a formatted date (like the output of date) corresponding to that timestamp. My attempts so far: $ date +%s 1282367908 $ date -d 1282367908 date: invalid ...
15
votes
3answers
15k views

How to cause kernel panic with a single command?

Is it possible to cause a kernel panic with a single command line? What would be the most straightforward such command for a sudoing user and what would it be for a regular user, if any? Scenarios ...
15
votes
2answers
40k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
40k views

What is the fastest way to view images from the terminal?

The terminal is very fast and convenient way to quickly access directories and files (faster than find and click on the directory). One thing that it cannot show in text-mode is "pictures". What ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I count the number of different characters in a file?

I would need a program, that outputs the number of the different characters in a file. Example: > stats testfile ' ': 207 'e': 186 'n': 102 Exists any tool, that do this?
15
votes
5answers
15k views

Sorting files according to size recursively

how to scan a folder recursively and find the largest files in the folder, and sort them by size. I have tried using ls -R -S but it tends to list the directories as well I need to scan the folders ...
15
votes
1answer
563 views

Make program first read from pipe, then from keyboard

Consider the interactive program interactive. I have to run this program fairly frequently, and each time I run it the first few commands are the same. Obviously, having to type those commands over ...
15
votes
3answers
678 views

Why don't shell builtins have proper man pages?

All shell builtins share the same manual page: BUILTIN(1) BSD General Commands Manual BUILTIN(1) NAME builtin, ! etc. Then there is a little text describing ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I find the window dimensions and position accurately including decorations?

I've been trying to figure out the size of a window for use in a small script. My current technique is using wmctrl -lG to find out the dimensions. However, the problem is this: The x and y figures ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Accidently created a file called -X, how can I delete it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I delete a file whose name begins with “-” (hyphen a.k.a. dash or minus)? Like an idiot, I ran this command: tar -cf -X awstats-icon icon ...
14
votes
5answers
22k views

Linux ls to show only filename date and size

How can I use ls in linux to get a listing of filenames date and size only. I don't need to see the other info such as owner or permission. Is this possible?
14
votes
2answers
741 views

What is a simple way to schedule a single event to happen at some time in the future?

There are often times that I want my computer to do a single task, but not right now. For example, I could have it notify me in 30 minutes that it is time to leave work. Or maybe I want it to run a ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

How to kill a process with a single command?

I want to kill a process, after finding the id in a single step. I currently use these two commands: pidof <name> kill <#number_which_is_result_of_command> How can I write a single ...
14
votes
3answers
12k views

Copy and paste a file/directory from command line

Instead of using the following command: cp {source file} {dest file} I want to be able to copy a file into the clipboard, and paste it somewhere else, in another directory. something like this: ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

Break a large file into smaller pieces

How do I break a large, +4GB file into smaller files of about 500MB each. And how do I re-assemble them again to get the original file?