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

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9
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4answers
18k views

printing colored text using echo

I know that for printing a colored text using echo, for example red color, the code is: echo -e "\e[1;31m This is red text \e[0m" and I know that in this example, 31 is code of red color and the ...
9
votes
4answers
7k 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. ...
9
votes
4answers
162 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
334 views

Using a shell script as a virtual printer

I have a shell script that takes a PDF file as an argument and prints it with additional printer specific options. How can I add this script as a virtual printer that can be selected from the GUI? ...
8
votes
8answers
551 views

Grep for pattern at start or middle of a line

I'll start by saying that I think this problem is a little less innocent than it sounds. What I need to do: check for a folder within the PATH environment variable. It could be at the start or ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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
7answers
3k views

cron Vs. sleep - which is the better one in terms of efficient cpu/memory utilization?

The Case: I need to run some commands/script at certain intervals of time and for this I have two options - 1. set up a cron-job or, 2. implement a loop with sleep in the script itself. Question: ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

generate consistent machine unique ID

Can we generate a unique id for each PC, something like uuuidgen, but it will never change unless there are hardware changes? I was thinking about merging CPUID and MACADDR and hash them to generate ...
8
votes
6answers
22k views

Show sum of file sizes in directory listing

The Windows dir directory listing command has a line at the end showing the total amount of space taken up by the files listed. For example, dir *.exe shows all the .exe files in the current ...
8
votes
5answers
36k views

How can I monitor all outgoing requests/connections from my machine?

My machine is a server so I want to ignore connections being made to my server (e.g. when someone visits my website). I want to see only connections/requests being made by my server to other places. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to prepend a license header recursively for all .h and .cpp files in a directory

I'm trying to add a license header to all header files and source files in a project directory using a for loop. This is not working, is there any other approach using sed?
8
votes
2answers
755 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
6answers
9k views

Shell script for moving oldest files?

How do I write a script for moving just the 20 oldest files from one folder to another? Is there a way to grab the oldest files in a folder?
8
votes
3answers
30k views

How can I concatenate a shell variable to other other parameters in my command lines?

How can I concatenate a shell variable to other other parameters in my command lines ? For example, #!/bin/sh WEBSITE="danydiop" /usr/bin/mysqldump --opt -u root --ppassword $WEBSITE > ...
8
votes
2answers
598 views

How to non-invasively test for write access to a file?

In a shell script, how do I easily and non-invasively test for write access to a file without actually attempting to modify the file? I could parse the output of stat, but that seems really complex, ...
8
votes
2answers
807 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
10k 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
1answer
463 views

How to append multiple lines to a file with bash, with “--” in front of string

Question very similar to How to append multiple lines to a file with bash but I want to start the file with --, and also append to the file, if possible. printf ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

How do I append text to the beginning and end of multiple text files in Bash?

I have a directory full of text files. My goal is to append text to the beginning and end of all of them. The text that goes at the beginning and end is the same for each file. Based on code I got ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Remove end of line characters from stdout? Multiple lines into a single line

I have a script which outputs the following text. This is the output from a Netopia 2210-02 ADSL2 modem. ADSL Line State: Up ADSL Startup Attempts: 1 ADSL Modulation: DMT ADSL Data ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

exit shell script from a subshell

Consider this snippet: stop () { echo "${1}" 1>&2 exit 1 } func () { if false; then echo "foo" else stop "something went wrong" fi } Normally when func ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

getopt, getopts or manual parsing - what to use when I want to support both short and long options?

Currently I'm writing a Bash script which has the following requirements: it should run on a wide variety of Unix/Linux platforms it should support both short and (GNU) long options I know that ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to run part of a script with reduced privileges?

I have the following problem: On every machine running Postgresql there is a special user postgres. This user has administrative access to the database server. Now I want to write a Bash script that ...
8
votes
2answers
264 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?
8
votes
4answers
785 views

What is the easiest way to execute text from tail at the command line?

Sometimes I'm working on a new (ubuntu) box and I type git and am alerted: The program 'git' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing: apt-get install git-core If that happens I ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Creating a Bash script that will execute a program and if it exits without crashing, will run it again

I'd like to know the easiest way of creating a bash script that will run an app in MacOSX (it's a UNIX based system so I assumed this was the right place). wait for the program to exit. If the exit ...
8
votes
6answers
9k 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
2answers
1k views

Check bash/shell script dependencies

Is there a method/command to check for the dependencies of a bash script? In other words, a response to this question : Which libraries should a user install to run the script? I can do this ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Are dash, ash and sh script 100% compatible?

I wanted to know whether scripts written for dash, ash, and sh are 100% compatible? Are there any added features to dash or ash, or syntax change? From what I heard, ash is a direct descendant of ...
8
votes
4answers
311 views

Do you prefer bash scripts or aliases for shortcuts?

I have a ~/bin directory (which is on my PATH) where I store a lot of little 1 or 2 line scripts. Some of them just cd into a directory and run a command on a file, like vim or something. But I also ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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
2answers
433 views

Cache all gpg subkey passwords at once? Prevent need for multiple gpg password entry?

Can I enter my gpg password just once and unlock all my sub keys (signing, decryption, authentication)? At the moment, I need to enter my gpg password three times (for signing, for decryption, for ...
8
votes
3answers
250 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
209 views

how to get exit status from the command before the last [duplicate]

I have solaris machine ( solaris 10 ) please Look on the following simple commands (haconf -makerw | grep -iq "Cluster already writable") # haconf -makerw VCS WARNING V-16-1-10364 Cluster ...
7
votes
7answers
805 views

Slick one-liner to convert a list like “1: 2, 3, 4, 5” to “1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5”

Let's say I have a file that looks something like this: 23: a, b, c, d 24: b, d, f 25: c, g and I want to get output like this: 23.a 23.b 23.c 23.d 24.b 24.d 24.f 25.c 25.g Of course it's not ...
7
votes
2answers
587 views

What does this ${@:2} mean in shell scripting

I see this in a shell script. variable=${@:2} What is it doing?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

which shell will sudo use to execute a shell script without the shebang line

My environment is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and the sudo version is 1.8.3p1. First I login as a normal user: $ whoami fin $ cat /etc/passwd | grep -i "root\|fin" root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Bash - Continuous String Manipulation

#!/bin/bash FILE="$(basename "$1")" FILE="${FILE/%.jpeg/.jpg}" Is there anyway to glue these two lines together into a one-liner?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to run parallel processes and combine outputs when both finished

I have a bash shell script in which I pipe some data through about 5 or 6 different programs then the final results into a tab delimited file. I then do the same again for a separate similar dataset ...
7
votes
3answers
21k views

How to rename multiple files in single command or script in Unix? [duplicate]

I have the below list of files aro_tty-mIF-45875564pmo_opt aro_tty-mIF-45875664pmo_opt aro_tty-mIF-45875964pmo_opt aro_tty-mIF-45875514pmo_opt aro_tty-mIF-45875524pmo_opt that I need to rename to ...
7
votes
5answers
432 views

List out strings which are substrings of other strings in the list

I have a list of names like so: dog_bone dog_collar dragon cool_dragon lion lion_trainer dog I need to extract out names that appear in other names like so: dragon lion dog I looked through the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Use & (ampersand) in single line bash loop

I have been using this command successfully, which changes a variable in a config file then executes a Python script within a loop: for((i=114;i<=255;i+=1)); do echo $i > numbers.txt;python ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

Using the not equal operator for string comparison

if [ "$PHONE_TYPE" != "NORTEL" ] || [ "$PHONE_TYPE" != "NEC" ] || [ "$PHONE_TYPE" != "CISCO" ] then echo "Phone type must be nortel,cisco or nec" exit fi The above code did not work for me, so I ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How to run a script from another path, and know the script's path?

I need to run a script that access a file in the same path it is located. For example: I have the script in /home/me/folder/script.sh, and this script will access the file /home/me/folder/myfile. As ...
7
votes
3answers
155 views

Is there a way to make this one-liner faster?

Context I have a directory of thousands of zip files that are dated in the form YYYYMMDD_hhmmss.zip and each about 300K. Within each zip file is about 400 xml files each about 3K. The problem I ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Bash scripting - loop until return value is 0

I need to umount something in my script, but sometimes it unmount's before all of the data has finished being copied and causes the umount to fail. I looked for a way to do a "blocking" umount, but I ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between Ctrl-Z and kill -STOP?

When I run a command (make on a large project) from the shell, I can type Ctrl-Z to stop the process and return to the shell. Subsequently, I can run fg to continue the process. I'm trying to write a ...
7
votes
1answer
687 views

Bash script doesn't read input

I have a script that is suppose to run a command in the background, and it does that. The problem is that when the script comes upon a read command, it doesn't pause and accept input. Here it is: ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Rename files in the local folder adding a prefix or suffix

I have many files in a folder and I want to add either prefix or a suffix (not both) to them. I checked here and found out I can use for filename in *.jpg; do mv "$filename" "prefix_$filename"; done; ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

Compare two files with first column and remove duplicate row from 2nd file in shell script

I will ask my question with an example. I have 2 files: File #1: 118D FC300_R5_TP FX.B 32775 2112 6 2038 6 2112 0 118E FC300_R5_TP FX.B 32775 2136 7 ...