73
votes
2answers
138k views

How can I replace a string in a file(s)?

Replacing strings in files based on certain search criteria is a very common task. How can I replace string foo with bar in all files in the current directory? do the same recursively for sub ...
15
votes
3answers
26k views

How to install program locally without sudo privileges?

Assume I have ssh access to some Ubuntu server as user and I need some not system tools to be installed for convenience (mc, rtorrent, mcedit). I do not want to bother admins for these small programs. ...
30
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

I added a user to a group, but group permissions on files still have no effect

I changed permissions of a file (chmod g+w testfile) and running ls -l testfile gives: -rwxrwxr-x 1 user1 user1 0 2011-01-24 20:36 testfile I then added a user to that group ("/etc/group" has ...
45
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
5k views

When is dd suitable for copying data? (or, when are read() and write() partial)

Short version: In what circumstances is dd safe to use for copying data, safe meaning that there is no risk of corruption due to a partial read or write? Long version — preamble: dd is often used to ...
26
votes
4answers
38k 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...
80
votes
3answers
44k 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 ...
77
votes
12answers
31k 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?
40
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is using a shell loop to process text considered bad practice?

Is using a while loop to process text generally considered bad practice in POSIX shells? As Stéphane Chazelas pointed out, some of the reasons for not using shell loop are conceptual, reliability, ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does my regular expression work in X but not in Y?

I wrote a regular expression which works well in a certain program (grep, sed, awk, perl, python, ruby, ksh, bash, zsh, find, emacs, vi, vim, gedit, …). But when I use it in a different program (or on ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the difference between $* and $@?

Consider the following code: foo () { echo $* } bar () { echo $@ } foo 1 2 3 4 bar 1 2 3 4 It outputs: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 I am using Ksh88, but I am interested in other common ...
28
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
6k 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?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to run a command when a directory's contents are updated?

There is a directory A whose contents are changed frequently by other people. I have made a personal directory B where I keep all the files that have ever been in A. Currently I just occasionally ...
61
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
57k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Configuring, compiling and installing a custom Linux kernel

I'd like to try using a kernel other than the one provided by my distro -- either from somewhere else, or as customized by me. Is this difficult or dangerous? Where do I start?
26
votes
1answer
2k views

How do keyboard input and text output work?

Suppose I press the A key in a text editor and this inserts the character a in the document and displays it on the screen. I know the editor application isn't directly communicating with the hardware ...
28
votes
3answers
20k 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?
102
votes
7answers
69k 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 ...
92
votes
19answers
126k 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 ...
47
votes
3answers
59k 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. ...
33
votes
3answers
8k 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. ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

Output traffic on different interfaces based on destination port

My question is basically the same as Only allow certain outbound traffic on certain interfaces. I have two interfaces eth1 (10.0.0.2) and wlan0 (192.168.0.2). My default route is for eth1. Let's say ...
29
votes
8answers
6k 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, ...
22
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Storing output of command in shell variable

I have an operation using cut that I would like to assign result to a variable var4=echo ztemp.xml |cut -f1 -d '.' I get the error: ztemp.xml is not a command The value of var4 never gets ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

How to ensure that string interpolated into `sed` substitution escapes all metachars

I have a script that reads a text stream and generates a file of sed commands that is later run with sed -f. The generated sed commands are like: ...
186
votes
12answers
148k 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.
105
votes
7answers
23k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
21k views

How to determine which process is creating a file?

Given file path, how can I determine which process creates it (and/or reads/writes to it)?
25
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
30
votes
8answers
6k views

Is there a way to modify a file in-place?

I have a fairly large file (35Gb), and I would like to filter this file in situ (i.e. I don't have enough disk space for another file), specifically I want to grep and ignore some patterns — is there ...
10
votes
9answers
24k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
24k views

How can I fix/install/reinstall grub?

So I started out with a 250GB HDD, the stock drive from an EeePC 1015pem that I am trying to turn into a MintBook. The drive is physically operable, but all data has been nuked, including the old OS. ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

real memory usage

if I understand correctly, in the following output produced by free, 3535m is the actual free memory available to applications, only 413m is used, is this correct? need some clarification on the ...
180
votes
2answers
39k views

Difference between nohup, disown and &

What is the difference between $ nohup foo and $ foo & and $ foo & $ disown
69
votes
4answers
40k 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 ...
107
votes
9answers
9k views

The myths about malware in Unix / Linux

Is it possible for my Linux box to become infected with a malware? I haven't heard of it happening to anyone I know, and I've heard quite a few times that it isn't possible. Is that true? If so, ...
75
votes
3answers
38k 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?
49
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
50
votes
4answers
13k views

What's the point in adding a new line to the end of a file?

Some compilers (especially C or C++ ones) give you warnings about: No new line at end of file I thought this would be a C-programmers-only problem, but github displays a message in the commit view: ...
47
votes
4answers
5k views

In what order do piped commands run?

I've never really thought about how the shell actually executes piped commands. I've always been told that the "stdout of one program gets piped into the stdin of another," as a way of thinking about ...
47
votes
4answers
35k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a one-liner that allows me to create a directory and move into it at the same time?

I find myself repeating a lot of: mkdir longtitleproject cd longtitleproject Is there a way of doing it in one line without repeating the directory name? I'm on bash here.
22
votes
11answers
10k views

Is there a robust command line tool for processing csv files?

I work with CSV files and sometimes need to quickly check the contents of a row or column from the command line. In many cases cut, head, tail, and friends will do the job; however, cut cannot easily ...

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