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

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Is there a reason why ls does not have a --zero or -0 option

This question was prompted by questions about ls' -1 option and the recurring tendency of people to ask question and answers that includes processing the output of ls. This reuse of the output ls ...
20
votes
3answers
909 views

Can other users view the arguments passed to a command?

If I invoke a command with arguments like so: bob@bob-pc:~$ command -arg1 -arg2 ...can other users view the arguments passed to the command?
20
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1answer
2k views

Should the usage message go to stderr or stdout?

Should the usage message which is printed with e.g. command -? of a Unix command go to stderr or stdout, and why? Should it go to the same place if the user makes a mistake with an option?
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5answers
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Why is echo a shell built in command?

$ which echo echo: shell built-in command. $ which ls /bin/ls $ which cat /bin/cat Why is echo not an independent utility like ls, ps, cat etc? Why is it shell specific? Any good reasons?
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3answers
8k 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 ...
19
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9answers
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?
19
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6answers
16k 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?
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4answers
1k views

What should I use when cut doesn't cut it?

I have a file cities like this: [1598] San Diego, US (inactive) [4517] St Louis, US (inactive) [6346] Orlando, US (inactive) I want to cut out the city names, so that I have: San Diego St Louis ...
19
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2answers
52k 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 ...
19
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6answers
21k 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 ...
19
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6answers
791 views

Why is aliasing over standard commands not recommended?

For example, a common alias I've seen in the ~/.bashrc file (or equivalents) is alias rm='rm -i' However, I've seen people recommend against this because the alias might not exist on another ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Coloring different sources for tail

I'm watching different logs by tail -q -f /var/log/syslog -f /var/log/fail2ban.log -f /var/log/nginx/error.log How can I have the output of each log colored differently?
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3answers
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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 ...
19
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7answers
4k 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 ...
18
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?
18
votes
6answers
823 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
888 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
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3answers
20k 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 ...
18
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2answers
1k 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" ...
18
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2answers
6k 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 ...
18
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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 ...
18
votes
1answer
2k 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
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1answer
955 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
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1answer
3k 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 ...
17
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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
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6answers
8k 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
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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
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6answers
2k views

Is there another simple way to append line to end of file other than `>>`?

Recently I'm echoing short sentences to a tree_hole file. I was using echo 'something' >> tree_hole to do this job. But I was always worried of what if I mis-input of > instead of >>, ...
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
4answers
15k 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 ...
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
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1answer
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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 ...
17
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2answers
456 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
7answers
7k views

Converting colored output into html

There are tools providing coloured output: dwdiff -c File1 File2 # word level diff grep --color=always # we all know this guy ... The question is: How to convert their colored output of arbitrary ...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
27k 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?
16
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6answers
743 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
10answers
19k 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
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4answers
637 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
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7answers
4k 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
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3answers
4k 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
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1answer
18k views

How to display kernel command line parameters?

In the grub.conf configuration file I can specify command line parameters that the kernel will use, i.e.: kernel /boot/kernel-3-2-1-gentoo root=/dev/sda1 vga=791 After booting a given kernel, is ...
16
votes
2answers
509 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
4answers
61k views

Connecting to wifi network through command line

I am trying to connect to my WEP network just using the command-line (Linux). I run: sudo iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed essid 'my_network' key 'xx:xx:... hex key, 26 digits' Then I try to obtain an ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to configure ctrl-w (delete word)?

Normally, Ctrl-w deletes back to the last whitespace. Is it possible to configure it to use additional characters, such as /? Edit: To be more clear: I don't want to configure the key for it, I want ...
16
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4answers
10k views

What is the purpose of the 'install' command?

I've seen the install command used in a lot of Makefiles, and its existence and usage are kind of confusing. From the manpages, it seems like a knockoff of cp with less features, but I assume it ...
16
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1answer
5k views

How do we specify multiple ignore patterns for `tree` command?

I need to print the directory structure of our production system and I would like to remove some specific directories from the tree? How do we specify multiple ignore patterns for tree command?
16
votes
2answers
2k 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
31k views

How to use command line to change volume?

I am trying to control the volume using my programming script. How can I do the following in Fedora 15, Ubuntu linux? Mute/ Unmute Volume up and volume down Note: Please note that I use a web USB ...
16
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3answers
770 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 ...