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

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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?
20
votes
7answers
8k views

Isn't less just more?

When I do more filename and less filename, it would seem that the resulting terminals are quite similar. I can navigate and search through my files identically (j, Space, /pattern, etc.). I find it ...
20
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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?
20
votes
3answers
919 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
votes
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?
20
votes
2answers
55k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
20
votes
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 ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

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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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?
19
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3answers
9k 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
votes
4answers
28k views

Grabbing the first [x] characters for a string from a pipe

If I have really long output from a command (single line) but I know I only want the first [x] (let's say 8) characters of the output, what's the easiest way to get that? There aren't any delimiters.
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4answers
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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
votes
3answers
491 views

The precedence of command options?

I know that rm -f file1 will forcefully remove file1 without prompting me. I also know that rm -i file1 will first prompt me before removing file1 Now if you execute rm -if file1, this will also ...
19
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
19
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 ...
19
votes
6answers
813 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
votes
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
5k 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 ...
18
votes
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 >>, ...
18
votes
6answers
833 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
902 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
4answers
16k 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 ...
18
votes
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
votes
2answers
7k 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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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
votes
1answer
1k 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
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 ...
18
votes
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
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
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
votes
9answers
3k 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
5answers
29k 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?
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
7answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
29k views

How can I make a program executable from everywhere

What should I do if I want to be able to run a given program regardless of my current directory? Should I create a symbolic link to the program in the /bin folder?
17
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
32k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
460 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
6k 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
6answers
746 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
20k 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
653 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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2answers
15k views

How to suspend and resume processes

In the bash terminal I can hit Control+Z to suspend any running process... then I can type fg to resume the process. Is it possible to suspend a process if I only have it's PID? And if so, what ...
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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3answers
999 views

Simple way to see the content of directories in Linux/UNIX file systems

In the past, I learned that in Linux/UNIX file systems, directories are just files, which contain the filenames and inode numbers of the files inside the directory. Is there a simple way to see the ...
16
votes
1answer
19k 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
511 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 ...