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
6k views

how do I trim each line in bash?

I would like to remove all leading and trailing spaces and tabs from each line in an output. Is there a simple tool like trim I could pipe my output into?
9
votes
6answers
934 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
2answers
3k 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
14k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Piping for loop output prevents local variable modification

I'm trying to write a simple bash function that takes, as its arguments, a number of files and/or directories. It should: Fully qualify the filenames. Sort them. Remove duplicates. Print all that ...
9
votes
1answer
589 views

communication between multiple processes

I have a bash script, which runs manager() function as a separate process for x-times. How is it possible to forward messages to all manager() processes from within the script? I've read about ...
9
votes
4answers
308 views

Unexpected EOF and syntax error

I am currently writing my third ever shell script and I have run into a problem. This is my script so far: #!/bin/bash echo "choose one of the following options : \ 1) display all current users \ ...
9
votes
2answers
830 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
8answers
32k views

How to compare two dates in a shell

How to compare two dates in a shell script? For example something like todate=2013-07-18 cond=2013-07-15 if [ $todate -ge $cond ]; then break fi It doesn't work. ...
9
votes
4answers
8k 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
166 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
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" ...
9
votes
2answers
371 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
615 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
4answers
402 views

How can measure how long it takes my script to run AND include that in an email it generates?

I have a simple bash script that runs a series of checks (ping, nslookup, etc) and then sends an email report with the output of that data. I'd like the email to include information on how long it ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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
8answers
6k views

Can shell variable include - character?

I am not able to use - in variables in shell. Is there a way to be able to use it, because I have one script which depends on such named variables: $export a-b=c -bash: export: `a-b=c': not a valid ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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
774 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
3answers
31k 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
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
2answers
661 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
854 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
1answer
549 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
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
9k 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
286 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
791 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
6k 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
3k views

SSH causes while loop to stop

I have finally managed to boil down a problem I have been struggling with for a few weeks. I use SSH with "authorized keys" to run commands remotely. All is fine except when I do it in a while loop. ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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
312 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

what is the zsh equivalent of bash's export -f

So I started using zsh. I like it all right. It seems very cool and slick, and the fact that the current working directory and actual command line are on different lines is nice, but at the same time, ...
8
votes
2answers
474 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
284 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
809 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
8answers
2k views

Is there a unix command that gives the maximum of two numbers?

I was looking for a command to limit numbers read in from stdin. I wrote a little script for that purpose (critique is welcome), but I was wondering if there was not a standard command for this, ...
7
votes
6answers
22k views

Delete the last character of a string using string manipulation in shell script

I would like to delete the last character of a string, I tried this little script : #! /bin/sh t="lkj" t=${t:-2} echo $t but it prints "lkj", what I am doing wrong? Thank you in advance!
7
votes
2answers
620 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
27k 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
3answers
31k views

linux + add X days to date and get new virtual date

I have Linux ( RH 5.3) machine I need to add/calculate 10 days plus date so then I will get new date (expiration date)) for example # date Sun Sep 11 07:59:16 IST 2012 So I need to get ...