139
votes
6answers
47k views

Is Linux a Unix?

So, there are lots of different versions of Unix out there: HP-UX, AIX, BSD, etc. Linux is considered a Unix clone rather than an implementation of Unix. Are all the "real" Unices actual descendants ...
69
votes
10answers
84k views

Looping through files with spaces in the names?

I wrote the following script to diff the outputs of two directores with all the same files in them as such: #!/bin/bash for file in `find . -name "*.csv"` do echo "file = $file"; diff $...
40
votes
4answers
38k views

Moving linux install to a new computer

I know that it can, in some circumstances, be difficult to move a Windows installation from one computer to another (physically move the hard drive), but how does that work on linux? Aren't most of ...
56
votes
11answers
33k views

Batch renaming files

I have a directory full of images: image0001.png image0002.png image0003.png ... And I would like a one-liner to rename them to (say). 0001.png 0002.png 0003.png ... How do I do this?
191
votes
8answers
57k views

Why is it better to use “#!/usr/bin/env NAME” instead of “#!/path/to/NAME” as my shebang?

I notice that some scripts which I have acquired from others have the shebang #!/path/to/NAME while others (using the same tool, NAME) have the shebang #!/usr/bin/env NAME. Both seem to work properly....
136
votes
15answers
56k views

Get exit status of process that's piped to another

I have two processes foo and bar, connected with a pipe: $ foo | bar bar always exits 0; I'm interested in the exit code of foo. Is there any way to get at it?
16
votes
10answers
66k views

Automatically run commands over SSH on many servers

There is a list of IP addresses in a .txt file, ex.: 1.1.1.1 2.2.2.2 3.3.3.3 Behind every IP address there is a server, and on every server there is an sshd running on port 22. Not every server is ...
44
votes
3answers
21k views

How can I execute `date` inside of a cron tab job?

I want to create a log file for a cron script that has the current hour in the log file name. This is the command I tried to use: 0 * * * * echo hello >> ~/cron-logs/hourly/test`date "+%d"`.log ...
156
votes
9answers
150k views

SSH easily copy file to local system

If I'm logged in to a system via SSH, is there a way to copy a file back to my local system without firing up another terminal or screen session and doing scp or something similar or without doing SSH ...
21
votes
4answers
12k views

Wrongly set chmod / 777. Problems?

I was trying to run chmod -R 777 ./ but ended up typing chmod -R 777 / and set 777 on my entire machine. What can go wrong? How can I fix it?
280
votes
14answers
88k views

Preserve bash history in multiple terminal windows

I consistently have more than one terminal open. Anywhere from two to ten, doing various bits and bobs. Now let's say I restart and open up another set of terminals. Some remember certain things, some ...
76
votes
5answers
209k views

How do I set a user environment variable? (permanently, not session)

This is irritating me. I seen several suggestions (all using different files and syntax) and none of them worked. How do I set an environment variable for a specific user? I am on debian squeeze. ...
56
votes
7answers
21k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Is the star in front of ls means how deep it can list the ...
14
votes
3answers
75k views

Shell Script for logging into a ssh server

I tried writing a shell script which can do automatic login into a ssh server using password which is mentioned in the script. I have written the following code: set timeout 30 /usr/bin/ssh -p 8484 ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Automating web requests using curl?

I have some "corporative" systems I have to use at work. Some of them are terrible, with frames, pop-ups and such. I was thinking about automating some stuff using curl or something like that. I need ...
67
votes
3answers
86k views

Make all new files in a directory accessible to a group

Suppose I have two users A and B and a group G and a folder foo, both users are members of G (using linux and ext3). If I save as user A a file under foo, the permissions are: -rw-r--r-- A A. ...
46
votes
4answers
16k views

using single or double bracket - bash

I'm confused with using single or double bracket. look at code: dir="/home/mazimi/VirtualBox VMs" if [[ -d ${dir} ]]; then echo "yep" fi It works perfectly although the string contains space. ...
29
votes
5answers
11k views

Understanding UNIX permissions and their attributes

I've never really got how chmod worked up until today. I followed a tutorial that explained a big deal to me. For example, I've read that you've got three different permission groups: owner (u) ...
262
votes
12answers
245k views

What if 'kill -9' does not work?

I have a process I can't kill with kill -9 <pid>. What's the problem in such a case, especially since I am the owner of that process. I thought nothing could evade that kill option.
177
votes
21answers
248k views

Why am I still getting a password prompt with ssh with public key authentication?

I'm working from the URL I found here: http://jaybyjayfresh.com/2009/02/04/logging-in-without-a-password-certificates-ssh/ My ssh client is Ubuntu 64 bit 11.10 desktop and my server is Centos 6.2 64 ...
176
votes
3answers
46k views

What does “--” (double-dash) mean? (also known as “bare double dash”)

I have seen -- used in the compgen command. For example: compgen -W "foo bar baz" -- b What is the meaning of the --.
76
votes
7answers
15k views

dd vs cat — is dd still relevant these days?

I recently realized we can use cat as much as dd, and it's actually faster than dd I know that dd was useful in dealing with tapes where block size actually mattered in correctness, not just ...
40
votes
4answers
101k views

Why do we use “./” to execute a file?

Why do we use ./filename to execute a file in linux? Why not just enter it like other commands gcc, ls etc...
41
votes
3answers
33k views

Why can't a normal user `chown` a file?

Why is the chown command root-only? Why can't non-root users use chown to give away files they own?
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is my bash prompt getting bugged when I browse the history?

Often when I start looking at history of commands some of the characters from a command displayed aren't erased, for example: What's happening: prompt$ some_command prompt$ some_commanother_command ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make password-less login work

I generated a key and copied it to my target: ssh-keygen ssh-copy-id username@hostname I left the the location of the key as default and did not set any passphrase. For a small while after that, I ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Create a virtual file that is actually a command

Is there any way to create a virtual file, such that reading from the file actually reads from the stdout of a command; writing to the file is acually writing to the stdin of a command? So far I have ...
95
votes
4answers
64k views

How do I read from /proc/$pid/mem under Linux?

The Linux proc(5) man page tells me that /proc/$pid/mem “can be used to access the pages of a process's memory”. But a straightforward attempt to use it only gives me $ cat /proc/$$/mem /proc/self/...
42
votes
10answers
11k views

Non-Root Package Managers

From my research, I seem to notice that all package managers insist on being used as a privileged user and must be installed into /. Typically, what I like to do is create a throwaway account, ...
61
votes
4answers
56k views

Reserved space for root on a filesystem - why?

I understand that by default, newly created filesystems will be created with 5% of the space allocated for root. I also know you can change the defined space with: tune2fs -m 1 /dev/sdXY What I'm ...
50
votes
5answers
11k views

How to use `which` on an aliased command?

Like most users, I have a bunch of aliases set up to give a default set of flags for frequently used programs. For instance, alias vim='vim -X' alias grep='grep -E' alias ls='ls -G' The problem is ...
31
votes
6answers
21k views

Removing control chars (including console codes / colours) from script output

I can use the "script" command to record an interactive session at the command line. However, this includes all control characters and colour codes. I can remove control characters (like backspace) ...
36
votes
5answers
23k views

How can I make iconv replace the input file with the converted output?

I have a bash script which enumerates through every *.php file in a directory and applies iconv to it. This gets output in STDOUT. Since adding the -o parameter ( in my experience ) actually writes ...
95
votes
63answers
34k views

What are your favorite command line features or tricks?

Share your command line features and tricks for Unix/Linux. Try to keep it shell/distro agnostic if possible. Interested in seeing aliases, one-liners, keyboard shortcuts, small shell scripts, etc.
127
votes
3answers
79k views

How does reverse SSH tunneling work?

As I understand this, firewalls (assuming default settings) deny all incoming traffic that has no prior corresponding outgoing traffic. Based on Reversing an ssh connection and SSH Tunneling Made ...
89
votes
31answers
27k views

Quick directory navigation in the terminal

I would like to frequently switch between directories that are in totally unrelated paths, for example /Project/Warnest/docs/ and ~/Dropbox/Projects/ds/test/. But I don't want to type cd /[full-path]/...
37
votes
1answer
9k 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 $...
63
votes
4answers
17k views

Convince grep to output all lines, not just those with matches

Say I have the following file: $ cat test test line 1 test line 2 line without the search word another line without it test line 3 with two test words test line 4 By default, grep returns each ...
32
votes
2answers
13k views

Using an already established SSH channel

I have an already established ssh connection between two machines. Is there a way to send commands to the remote machine from a shell script that is run on the local machine, using the already open ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a bash script be hooked to a file?

I want a script to sleep unless a certain file is modifed/deleted (or a file created in a certain directory, or ...). Can this be achieved in some elegant way? The simplest thing that comes to my mind ...
21
votes
3answers
11k views

How to find out which (not installed) package a file belongs to?

On Debian systems (and derivatives): $ dpkg --search /bin/ls coreutils: /bin/ls That is, the file /bin/ls belongs to the Debian package named coreutils. But this only works if the package is ...
264
votes
2answers
76k views

Difference between nohup, disown and &

What is the difference between $ nohup foo and $ foo & and $ foo & $ disown
142
votes
1answer
311k views

How do you empty the buffers and cache on a Linux system?

Prior to doing some benchmarking work how would one free up the memory (RAM) that the Linux Kernel is consuming for its buffers and cache? Note that this is mostly useful for benchmarking. Emptying ...
144
votes
11answers
129k views

How can I close a terminal without killing the command running in it?

Sometimes I want to start a process and forget about it. If I start it from the command line, like this: redshift I can't close the terminal, or it will kill the process. Can I run a command in ...
134
votes
4answers
83k views

What does “LC_ALL=C” do?

What does the C value for LC_ALL do in Unix-like systems? I know that it forces the same locale for all aspects but what does C do?
46
votes
4answers
94k views

How to make a machine accessible from the LAN using its hostname

Here are details of the machine I want to access using its hostname: $ hostname hostname $ cat /etc/hosts 127.0.0.1 localhost 127.0.1.1 hostname.company.local hostname It's a default Debian 6 (...
75
votes
5answers
52k views

Using “${a:-b}” for variable assignment in scripts

I have been looking at a few scripts other people wrote (specifically Red Hat), and a lot of their variables are assigned using the following notation VARIABLE1="${VARIABLE1:-some_val}" or some expand ...
35
votes
4answers
35k views

Understanding IFS

The following few threads on this site and StackOverflow were helpful for understanding how IFS works: What is IFS in context of for looping? How to loop over the lines of a file Bash, read line by ...
32
votes
3answers
47k views

Restricting an SSH/SCP/SFTP user to a directory

Is there a simple way to restrict an SCP/SFTP user to a directory? All methods that I've come across require me to set a chroot jail up by copying binaries, but I don't think that should be necessary.
40
votes
5answers
15k views

When would you use an additional file descriptor?

I know you can create a file descriptor and redirect output to it. e.g. exec 3<> /tmp/foo # open fd 3. echo a >&3 # write to it exec 3>&- # close fd 3. But you can do the same ...

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