Questions about shell scripts, executable files that are interpreted by a shell (bash, zsh, etc.).

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11
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5answers
8k views

How to compare to floating point number in a shell script

I want to compare two floating point numbers in a shell script. The following code is not working: #!/bin/bash min=12.45 val=10.35 if (( $val < $min )) ; then min=$val fi echo $min
11
votes
3answers
322 views

Variable as command; eval vs bash -c

I was reading a bash script someone made and I noticed that the author doesn't use eval to evaluate a variable as a command The author used bash -c "$1" instead of eval "$1" I assume using eval ...
11
votes
1answer
612 views

How to generate a lot of (blank) images files?

For a test, I need to quickly create 1700 jpg-images (even blank) in a defined size 1000x706. I wonder if we could do this with a shell script or a program (like ImageMagick). I wish they called ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a JavaScript shell?

Recently I've been working with JS and I'm very enthusiastic about this language. I know that there is node.js for running JS at server side, but is there a shell that uses JS as a scripting language? ...
11
votes
2answers
583 views

running script with “. ” and with “source ”

I was wondering if the following two ways of running a bash script are equivalent? . ./myScript.sh source myScript.sh Are they both running the content of the script instead of running the script, ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to safely pass variables to root-enabled scripts?

This question is totally general and not only applicable to my situation, but... I have a small busybox appliance where I want a non-root user to be able to execute a particular script with root ...
11
votes
3answers
978 views

Are free shell accounts safe?

I am trying to identify how safe the free shell accounts provided by the likes of shellmix.com are. I have never used one myself but want to suggest it to someone interested in learning shell ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I test to see if an application exists in $PATH?

I'm trying to write all of my sh startup/env scripts to work with as much DRY and as much: "works on every *nix I clone it to", as possible. This means making sure that if I try to run code that's not ...
11
votes
1answer
587 views

How does a fork bomb work?

WARNING DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN THIS ON A PRODUCTION MACHINE In reading the Wikipedia page on the topic I generally follow what's going on with the following code: :(){ :|:& };: excerpt of ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

Why doesn't “sudo su” in a shell script run the rest of the script as root?

A sample script can be as below: #!/bin/bash sudo su ls /root When using ./test.sh as the normal user, instead run ls as super user and exit, it switches to root; and when I logout, it executes ls ...
10
votes
2answers
771 views

find and remove duplicates in a directory

I have a directory with multiple img files and some of them are identical but they all have different names. I need to remove duplicates but with no external tools only with a bash script. I'm a ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I use environment variables in my shebang?

I have a Python script that need to be run with a particular python installation. Is there a way to craft a shebang so that it runs with $FOO/bar/MyCustomPython?
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votes
4answers
2k views

Executing user defined function in a find -exec call

I'm on Solaris 10 and I have tested the following with ksh (88), bash (3.00) and zsh (4.2.1). The following code doesn't yield any result: function foo { echo "Hello World" } find somedir -exec ...
10
votes
3answers
19k views

How to measure time of program execution and store that inside a variable

In order to find out how long certain operations within a Bash (v4+) script take, I would like to parse the output from the time command "separately" and (ultimately) capture it within a Bash variable ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

find n most frequent words in a file

I want to find, say, 10 most common word in a text file. Firstly, solution should be optimized for keystrokes (in other words - my time). Secondly, for the performance. Here is what I have so far to ...
10
votes
7answers
264 views

Test if multiple variables are set

I'd like to make sure that at a certain point of a script, after sourceing a configuration file, several variables are set and, if they are not, to stop execution, telling the user about the missing ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I get bash to exit on backtick failure in a similar way to pipefail?

So I like to harden my bash scripts wherever I can (and when not able to delegate to a language like Python/Ruby) to ensure errors do not go uncaught. In that vein I have a strict.sh, which contains ...
10
votes
1answer
488 views

When is double-quoting necessary?

The old advice used to be to double-quote any expression involving a $VARIABLE, at least if one wanted it to be interpreted by the shell as one single item, otherwise, any spaces in the content of ...
10
votes
3answers
202 views

How do I wait on a program started in another shell

I have a program that does a large a amount of work (takes about 4-5 hours) that gets started by cron when all the data it works with becomes available. Sometimes, when I am waiting for it to finish, ...
9
votes
2answers
853 views

Fastest way to concatenate files

I've got 10k+ files totaling over 20GB that I need to concatenate into one file. Is there a faster way than cat input_file* >> out ? The preferred way would be a bash command, Python is ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to sort the string which combined with string + numeric using bash script?

This is the data what I want to sort. But sort treats the numeric to string, the data it no sorted as I expected. /home/files/profile1 /home/files/profile10 /home/files/profile11 ...
9
votes
1answer
550 views

How do you omit “./” when running scripts on current directory

On some tutorials over the internet they can run a script on the current directory without doing: ./script How do you omit this? I am using CentOS 5.6 x64. I want to run it this way script
9
votes
4answers
12k views

How to delete a file on remote machine via SSH by using a Shell Script?

I am writing a Shell Script where I have to delete a file on a remote machine via a Shell Script. Flow manually: ssh username@domain.com .. then at domain: cd ./some/where rm ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How to define and load your own shell function in zsh

I am having a hard time defining and running my own shell functions in zsh. I followed the instructions on the official documentation and tried with easy example first, but I failed to get it work. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Substituting strings in a very large file

I have a very long series of urls with no separating character, in the same format as below: http://example.comhttp://example.nethttp://example.orghttp://etc... I want each URL to be on a new line. ...
9
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2answers
206 views

How does the syntax “${foo##*.}” work to get file extensions? [duplicate]

Why does this command work in successfully retrieving file extension name? file_ext=${filename##*.}
9
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2answers
982 views

How can I delete all files in a folder that haven't been accessed in a certain amount of time?

I'd like to run a nightly cron job that deletes all the files in a folder that haven't been accessed in a week or more. What is the most efficient way to do this in bash?
9
votes
6answers
749 views

Text Manipulation Across multiple lines

I Have a file that has text like this: AAAA BBBB CCCC DDDD 1234 5678 9012 3456 EEEE 7890 etc... And i want to match up the Alphabetic lines with the Numeric lines so they are like this: ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I receive top-like CPU statistics from the shell?

I'm trying to get an accurate read of my used CPU (in percent) from top. This is the command I'm running for testing: top -n1 | awk '/Cpu\(s\):/ {print $2}' This returns: 10.7%us, Which is the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Parallelizing a for loop

I want to parallelize the for loops of the following code. How to do this? #!/bin/bash N=$1 n=$2 for (( i=1; i<=$N; i++ )); do min=100000000000000 //set min to some garbage value for (( ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I use bash's if test and find commands together?

I have a directory with crash logs, and I'd like to use a conditional statement in a bash script based on a find command. The log files are stored in this format: /var/log/crashes/app-2012-08-28.log ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Are there naming conventions for variables in shell scripts?

Most languages have naming conventions for variables, the most common style I see in shell scripts is MY_VARIABLE=foo. Is this the convention or is it only for global variables? What about variables ...
9
votes
2answers
193 views

How to start tailing a file that has not been yet created

I use tail to monitor the progress of jobs that I know will write their progress to disk. Almost always, I know which file they will create before they start running (the jobs are dispatched by a ...
9
votes
2answers
265 views

Are quotes needed for local variable assignment?

Can I safely omit quotes on the right side of a local assignment? function foo { local myvar=${bar} stuff() } I'm mainly interested in bash, but any info on corner cases in other shells are ...
9
votes
3answers
12k views

Shell script fails: Syntax error: “(” unexpected

I've been working on a script that automates setting up a development environment for Raspberry Pi development (step by step details that work are here). The script is linked in that article but ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I make a shell script that sends output to a process

I'm currently running a server console program in a screen because I need to both read it and occasionally send commands. I'd like to run the app as a deamon in the background (start/stop it with ...
9
votes
4answers
100 views

Script to extract selected entries from a bibtex file

I have a large bibtex file with many entries where each entry has the general structure @ARTICLE{AuthorYear, item = {...}, item = {...}, item = {...}, etc } (in some cases ARTICLE might be a ...
8
votes
7answers
762 views

bash: test if $WORD is in set

I am looking for a construct in bash, to decide if a variable $WORD is one of defined words. I need something like this: if "$WORD" in dog cat horse ; then echo yes else echo no fi does ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I handle switches in a shell script?

Are there some built-in tools that will recognize -x and --xxxx as switches, and not arguments, or do you have to go through all the input variables, test for dashes, and then parse the arguments ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Bash CD up until in certain folder

I do a lot of work in Magento, and so do a lot of the people I work with, and it gets annoying to have to type: cd ../../../../../../ To only find you're still a few directories from your root ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What does $# mean in shell?

What does $# mean in shell? I have code such as if [ $# -eq 0 ] then I want to understand what $# means, but Google search is very bad for searching these kinds of things.
8
votes
2answers
611 views

date - years prior to 1901 are treated as invalid

I have date (GNU coreutils) 7.1 installed on my system. If I try to check dates prior to 14-Dec-1901, I get an "invalid date" error. For example, $ date -d 1901-12-13 date: invalid date ...
8
votes
2answers
613 views

Measuring time within a script

This thread shows how to measure the time it takes to run a script. In my case, I am interested in measuring time between two points within a script. Here is an example of how I would like to use ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Bash script testing if a command has run correctly

I am working on a bash script that I would like to work for several types of VCS. I am thinking of testing if a directory is a repo for a system by running a typical info command and checking the ...
8
votes
4answers
544 views

Bash- detect init system

This may have more to do with detecting operating systems, but I specifically need the init system currently in use on the system. Fedora 15 now uses systemd, Ubuntu uses Upstart, while others use ...
8
votes
2answers
113 views

How do I elevate privileges in the middle of pipeline?

My guess was as follows: echo "Generating some text" | su - -c cat >/output/file But su says: su: must be run from a terminal What would you do?
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votes
3answers
4k views

find -exec in bash script with variable expansion

I'm trying to run a command similar to the one below in a bash script. It should search through all subfolders of $sourcedir and copy all files of a certain type to the root level of $targetdir. ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Find biggest files or directories

Which command will print the sizes of all files and directories in the tmp directory (including hidden ones) and sort them by sizes from largest to smallest in human readable format (e.g. 2 GB)? The ...
8
votes
1answer
840 views

Suppress output unless non-zero exit code

What's the best way to suppress output (stdout and stderr) unless the program exits with a non-zero code? I'm thinking: quiet_success() { file=/tmp/suppressed if ! ( "$@" > "$file" ...
8
votes
3answers
99 views

POSIX compliant way to work with a list of filenames possibly with whitespace

I have seen Bash scripting guides suggesting the use of array for working with filenames containing whitespace. DashAsBinSh however suggests that arrays are not portable so I am looking for a POSIX ...