40
votes
8answers
54k 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 ...
42
votes
1answer
964 views

Security implications of forgetting to quote a variable in bash/POSIX shells

If you've been following unix.stackexchange.com for a while, you should hopefully know by now that leaving a variable unquoted in list context (as in echo $var) in Bourne/POSIX shells (zsh being the ...
27
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
497 views

What are the shell's control and redirection operators?

I often see tutorials online that connect various commands with different symbols. For example: command1 | command2 command1 & command2 command1 || command2 command1 && command2 ...
24
votes
3answers
16k 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?
25
votes
4answers
25k 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...
23
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
83
votes
6answers
53k 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 ...
72
votes
3answers
38k 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 ...
57
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
64
votes
12answers
24k 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?
39
votes
3answers
49k 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. ...
31
votes
3answers
7k 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. ...
20
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
957 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 ...
18
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?
10
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
17k 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)?
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to find out what program or script created a given file?

Three files have suddenly appeared in my home directory, called "client_state.xml", "lockfile", and "time_stats_log". The last two are empty. I'm wondering how they got there. It's not the first time ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
17k 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. ...
161
votes
12answers
123k 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.
56
votes
4answers
31k 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 ...
78
votes
19answers
99k 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 ...
83
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
48
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
45
votes
4answers
10k 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: ...
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, ...
42
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
20
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What should I do before dual-booting Windows 7 and Debian on EFI?

I'm about to purchase an Asus motherboard with EFI firmware and wanted to prepare myself for installing Windows and Debian once the hardware arrives. I was hoping that someone who has gone down this ...
24
votes
2answers
7k views

What mount points exist on a typical Linux system?

I have 2 questions. During Linux installation we specify memory space for 2 mount points - root and swap. Are there any other mount points created without the users notice? Is this statement ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I connect to a pc through another pc using ssh

I have three Computers. PC1 and PC2 is on a private LAN, where PC1 is known to PC2 as 192.168.0.2 PC2 and PC3 is on a another LAN, where PC2 is known to PC3 as 192.168.123.101 How can I connect to ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

sending text input to a detached screen

I'm trying to run a minecraft server on my unRAID server. The server will run in the shell, and then sit there waiting for input. To stop it, I need to type 'stop' and press enter, and then it'll ...
5
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

32-bit, 64-bit CPU op-mode on Linux

I'm confused. Running Fedora Linux, lscpu yields: Architecture: i686 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit ... But when I try to install a 64-bit program (Chrome) I get error like: ...
232
votes
9answers
102k views

When should I not kill -9 a process?

I am always very hesitant to run kill -9, but I see other admins do it almost routinely. I figure there is probably a sensible middle ground, so: When and why should kill -9 be used? When and why ...
29
votes
3answers
46k 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 ...
26
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
1k 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
4answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
10k 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) ...
22
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
5k 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?
5
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
399 views

Is GRUB the best bootloading solution? Is there an easier alternative?

I have had some rather bad experiences with GRUB2. I could say (and have said) some nasty things about its design and development process. I especially dislike its means of update: for whatever reason ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a discrepancy in disk usage reported by df and du? [duplicate]

I have a Linux(CentOS) server, the OS+packages used around 5GB. Then, I transferred 97GB data from a Windows server to two folders on this Linux server, after calculated the disk usage, I see the ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

ext4: How to account for the filesystem space?

I've recently formated a 1.5 TB drive with the intention of replacing ntfs with ext4. Then I noticed that the files I saved don't fit on the new partition. df: ext4 (ext3 & ext2 show the same ...

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