small programs used on the command line to do a specific job

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What's the problem with fsck.ext3?

It seems there is some problem with my HDD in my satellite box. The box records to and plays video from the HDD, but occasionally it hangs (it was stable before). It's Linux version ...
29
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3answers
2k views

What is the point of the `yes` command? [duplicate]

This question concerns the yes command found in UNIX and Linux machines: Basically, what is the point (if any) and history of this tool? Are there practical applications for it? Can an example be ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Can a file that was originally sparse and expanded be made re-sparse

I know that copying or transferring what was originally a sparse file without using a utility that understands sparse files will cause the 'holes' to be filled out. Is there a method or utility to ...
21
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2answers
987 views

Why use install rather cp and mkdir?

I've seen in many places used install -d to create directories and install -c to copy a file. Why not use mkdir and cp? Is there an advantage in using install?
6
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2answers
549 views

What commands have -h human readable option, and how can I enable it by default w/env variable?

I'm tired of using aliases or typing -h. I want human readable output 24/7. Is there a way to enable it all the time for all commands that offer it?
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3answers
2k views

Count tabs per line in text file with utils

I have a tab-tabulated file. I would like to check if every line has the same number of tabs. For first step, I'd like to print the number of tabs for each individual line. I've tried grep -o '\t' ...
31
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7answers
6k views

Linux tools to treat files as sets and perform set operations on them

Does anyone know of any linux tool specifically designed to treat files as sets and perform set operations on them? Like difference, intersection, etc?
2
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2answers
77 views

Is there a distribution-independent tool to autocompile+install dependencies?

I like the way e.g. ArchLinux' yaourt (or if you're not that lazy, abs+makepkg; and from what I read so far, Gentoo's ebuild as well) automatically take care of obtaining, compiling and installing ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Alternative to watch which support colors

I have a command (phpunit) which has a colored output. According to the watch, command I should be able to use the --color flag to allow color rendering to pass through. However, this isn't working. ...
2
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2answers
99 views

When do `sort -k 2,3b` and `sort -k 2,3` differ?

The POSIX description of the -b flag for the sort command is Ignore leading characters when determining the starting and ending positions of a restricted sort key. I can understand the use for ...
5
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1answer
525 views

`unbuffer` or `stdbuf` for removing stdout buffering?

Is there a difference between unbuffer(1) and stdbuf(1)? From what I gather, unbuffer makes more than the "best effort" of calling the libc function set(X)buf at the beginning, and then letting things ...
3
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2answers
7k views

Why is 'df' hanging?

I have recently been having problems running df, where it just hangs. Here's strace output, and in it, you'll see that I killed since it was just sitting there: $ strace /bin/df execve("/bin/df", ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Checking the order of items in a shell environment variable

I am wanting to check that a certain directories always appear after other directories in an environment variable. List items are separated by a colon, as with the PATH variable. This is not simply ...
2
votes
1answer
382 views

Is there any tool to view live statistics about a Radeon GPU?

I've checked out GPU usage monitoring (CUDA), but are there similar tools for AMD/ATI cards? Or kind of universal tools? I want to check out if my applications use the 256 MB of RAM of the video card ...
7
votes
2answers
125 views

Why is there a mix of symlinks and hardlinks in /bin?

I understand the technical difference between symlinks and hardlinks, this is a question about their use in practice, particularly I'm curious to know why both are used in seemingly similar ...
27
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there any option with 'ls' command that I see only the directories?

Sometimes, I need to check only the directories not files. Is there any option with the command ls? Or is there any utility for doing that? EDIT: I'm using Mac OS X, and ls -d gives me . even though ...
4
votes
2answers
271 views

tac command's option creates strange output [comprehension question]

Say I have this file, containing nothing but a b c b a Using tac --separator=a file in BASH [on a Debian based Linux], I get this: # empty line # empty line b c ...
2
votes
2answers
710 views

Where can I find some good documentation for bash printf?

man printf, info printf and printf --help are all pretty useless to me; I want an explanation of the FORMAT options. For example, I could use: printf '%s\n' foo bar and get output: foo bar From ...
4
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5answers
205 views

Standard unix util to split “foo.bar.baz” into “foo.bar” + “.baz”?

I want to split a string $basename, containing the output in two parts, $stem and $ext, such that: the string "${stem}${ext}" is identical to the original string $basename; either $stem or $ext may ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

wc - setting a terminating character

I've got that far: wc --files0-from=FILE lets one get the word count of a list of files. Each entry in this list mus be terminated with an ASCII NUL character. Question: A way to set a terminating ...
1
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4answers
729 views

crash shell: any way to check if a command executed Successfully

I'm automating a test using crash package. Is there some thing like $?, which can be used to check if the previous command executed successfully or not inside a crash shell? For example, when ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

cp or rsync, is cp really worth it?

I hope this does not count as a question without a real answer, as I can't seem to find a good reason to use cp(1) over rsync(1) in virtually all circumstances. Should one typically favour rsync over ...
2
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1answer
136 views

Is there a text-only equivalent (no curses) of `zenity --question`?

For my mercurial commit hook, I want to run my test cases and be asked whether I really want to commit if any of the tests fail. I'm thinking something like <run-the-tests> || ...
3
votes
4answers
394 views

Decomposition of path specs into longest-common-prefix + suffix

Given any two absolute Unix path specs1, one could decompose each spec as the concatenation of a longest common prefix and a specific suffix. E.g., /abc/bcd/cdf -> /abc/bcd + cdf ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Is Mac OS X really SUS compliant?

Internet says that Mac OS X 10.8 has achieved certification to The Open Group UNIX® 03 standard and that it is a compliant system. But a simple test with echo seems to indicate otherwise:  a) The ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

lspci machine-readable format (-vmm) does not show a kernel Module/Driver line

I briefly read the manual of lspci, where I found out that there is a machine-readable format lspci output using "-m" or "-mm" or "-vmm". I need to print out the device name, the device id and the ...
1
vote
1answer
458 views

Install vmware-tools using yum in vmware fusion

I added vmware-tools repo [1] to my virtual CentOS box. What is the exact set of packages I have to install? The rationale is to be able to update vmware-tools using yum. Environment: Host OS: Mac ...
7
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9answers
461 views

What is/are the standard CLI program(s) to manage users and groups?

As the title says, I'm basically asking about user management from the command line (e.g. on a system where there are no graphical tools available). In the past I've used several different programs to ...
1
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3answers
1k views

ASCII art generator

I'm looking for an ASCII art generator (text is preferred, but images will do too) in the sl style, but with text instead of trains. Any suggestion?
-1
votes
1answer
564 views

using tr -t command [comprehension question]

When using tr -t command, string1 should be truncated to the length of string2, right? tr -t abcdefghijklmn 123 # abc... = string1, 123 = string2 the cellar is the safest place # actual ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Universal extractors

With an increasing number of archive/compression file formats, is there a single free/open-source command line tool to rule them all? Perhaps something with a consistent / unified set of flags? (note ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How to check which process is using a given file descriptor?

Somewhere in the middle of my application, the framework I'm using (ROOT) gives me the following error: *** Break *** write on a pipe with no one to read it SysError in ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Determine monthly internet transfer to detect right FUP

I live in a country where many ISP (internet service providers) have FUP (fair use policy, limit on amount of data transferred). I need to get a new connection and I would like to measure how much ...
25
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4answers
19k views

What is the mknod command used for?

I just started using Ubuntu as my main OS and I wanted to learn about things I should not do, and learn by the bad things people have done in the past. I came across these email about horror stories ...
11
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5answers
4k views

Alternative to find?

Is there an alternative find program with a more conventional CLI interface? find works and expects parameters in a painfully different way from most other utils. Clarification: I'm looking for a ...
3
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0answers
490 views

Are there any tools to test MTD/JFFS2 for Linux 2.4 kernels

I have some issues with a platform I support and I suspect memory problems. I wanted to check the Flash parts using some MTD JFFS2 test tools, I found a link to a bunch on this site. However they ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

How to change the current directory graphically using the keyboard only?

There was a program named NCD (Norton Change Directory) a few years ago that did a good job at helping me change directory back in the DOS days. This programs displayed a tree, and you could navigate ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Where does the “export” command come from?

Why doesn't the whereis command give any information about the export command? How does the export command work even if the shell path variable is set to null?
12
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2answers
1k views

Is '-9' a flag to kill command?

What does -9 do? It does not show up in the syntax: $ kill kill: usage: kill [-s sigspec | -n signum | -sigspec] pid | jobspec ... or kill -l [sigspec] $
2
votes
2answers
273 views

Is there a good FOSS utility for converting machine code to assembly or even C?

If I buy a piece of x86 32-bit or 64-bit software but I don't receive the source code, and I need to modify the software, I'll need to convert the machine code back into a high level language or at ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

I try to add passwords to the “pass” password manager. But my attempts fail with “no public key” GPG errors. Why?

I am trying to install Pass: the standard Unix password manager, however, when I try to add passwords to the appliation I get these errors gpg: Kelly's Passwords: skipped: No public key gpg: [stdin]: ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Understanding the output of the “who -a” command

I ask this question because, while there are many answers on the internet showing that "who -a" is an option, nobody explains how to read the output. If you can provide a link to an online site that ...
1
vote
2answers
232 views

Clear the screen and show a banner

I need a text banner on a screen which is projected all the time. The screen is connected to a PC with tmux on it. Example of text "banners": figlet $(fortune) or toilet "$(cowsay $(fortune))" ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Change Directory and List Files [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Make cd automatically ls I think that it would be very useful to have a unix utility that combines 'cd' and 'ls' so that when you change your directory, it automatically ...
9
votes
3answers
453 views

Doing two things with output from a command

I have a program texcount that outputs the number of words in my LaTeX document. I can also pipe the output of this to sed to make the newlines TeX linebreaks and write this to a file which I can then ...
3
votes
2answers
410 views

Are there any utilities to quickly add, list and remove command aliases?

I'd like to be able to quickly, on-the-fly add (and list/remove) command aliases so that they persist between shell restarts (as if they were added to .bashrc). Are there any ready ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Colour problem when capturing a png of the top panel of the screen

I want to capture a window as a png from within a bash script, using the window's ID. In this case, the window is the top panel.  Using gnome-screenshot the colours are true, as per this image... ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Peer to peer~ish LAN storage

I have a distributed application that consists in a main CMS server where "human" users can upload videos, pictures (media content, basically) and a bunch of "players" that play those videos or ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there alternatives for `dd`?

What other tools should I use to read and write files with truncation, seeking and skipping. dd's command line options seem inconvenient and foreign and I don't like choosing between slow, but precise ...
21
votes
4answers
877 views

Are Linux utilities smart when running piped commands?

I was just running a few commands in a terminal and I started wondering, does Unix/Linux take shortcuts when running piped commands? For example, let's say I have a file with one million lines, the ...