26
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Quick way to include a directory path when calling mv? [duplicate]

Often I will work out of the root of a rails directory where I find my self navigating the same path twice every time I would like to move a file: mv app/views/layouts/application.html.erb ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

what does the @ mean in ls -l?

I am using Mac OSX. When I type ls -l I see something like drwxr-xr-x@ 12 xonic staff 408 22 Jun 19:00 . drwxr-xr-x 9 xonic staff 306 22 Jun 19:42 .. -rwxrwxrwx@ 1 xonic staff 6148 25 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

gnu find and masking the {} for some shells - which?

The man page for gnu find states: -exec command ; [...] The string `{}' is replaced by the current file name being processed everywhere it occurs in the arguments to the command, ...
8
votes
3answers
979 views

Trapping errors in command substitution using “-o errtrace” (ie set -E)

According to this ref manual: -E (also -o errtrace) If set, any trap on ERR is inherited by shell functions, command substitutions, and commands executed in a subshell environment. The ERR ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Can't access select https sites on Linux over PPPoE

My internet connection used to be a direct LAN connection to my provider. Back then, everything would load fine on both Windows and Ubuntu (dual boot). However, a while ago they started needing me to ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Does (should) LC_COLLATE affect character ranges?

Collation order through LC_COLLATE defines not only the sort order of individual characters, but also the meaning of character ranges. Or does it? Consider the following snippet: unset LANGUAGE ...
179
votes
5answers
73k views

What does env x='() { :;}; command' bash do and why is it insecure?

There is apparently a vulnerability (CVE-2014-6271) in bash: https://securityblog.redhat.com/2014/09/24/bash-specially-crafted-environment-variables-code-injection-attack/ I am trying to figure out ...
96
votes
13answers
39k views

How to have tail -f show colored output

I'd like to be able to tail the output of a server log file that has messages like: INFO SEVERE etc, and if it's SEVERE, show the line in red; if it's INFO, in green. What kind of alias can I ...
68
votes
6answers
153k views

How to forward X over SSH from Ubuntu machine?

I have a machine running Ubuntu which I SSH to from my Fedora 14 machine. I want to forward X from the Ubuntu machine back to Fedora so I can run graphical programs remotely. Both machines are on a ...
44
votes
3answers
7k views

What exactly is POSIX?

I see POSIX mentioned often and everywhere, and I had assumed it to be the baseline UNIX standard.. until I noticed the following excerpt on a Wikipedia page: The Open Group The Open Group is ...
46
votes
3answers
24k 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?
29
votes
1answer
32k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
18k views

How to loop over the lines of a file?

Say I have this file: hello world hello world This program #!/bin/bash for i in $(cat $1); do echo "tester: $i" done outputs tester: hello tester: world tester: hello tester: world I'd ...
14
votes
7answers
27k views

Unix/Linux undelete/recover deleted files

Is there a command to recover/undelete deleted files by rm? $ rm -rf /path/to/myfile How can I recover myfile? If there is such a tool how can I use it?
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Four tasks in parallel… how do I do that?

I have a bunch of PNG images on a directory. I have an application called pngout that I run to compress these images. This application is called by a script I did. The problem is that this script does ...
46
votes
2answers
11k views

Why is there a big delay after entering a wrong password?

I notice a weird (well, according to me) thing about passwords. For example, if I type an incorrect password during login, there will be a few seconds' delay before the system tells me so. When I try ...
9
votes
1answer
8k views

File descriptors & shell scripting

I am having a very hard time understanding how does one use file descriptors in shell scripts. I know the basics such as exec 5 > /tmp/foo So fd 5 is attached to foo for writing. exec 6 < ...
20
votes
5answers
9k 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) ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Evolution of Operating systems from Unix

Can you explain the evolution hierarchy of operating systems (Linux and Windows) from Unix?
9
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
10k views

What do the brackets around processes mean?

mark@mark-VirtualBox:~/auto/lib$ ps -Awwo pid,comm,args PID COMMAND COMMAND 1 init /sbin/init 2 kthreadd [kthreadd] 3 ksoftirqd/0 [ksoftirqd/0] 5 ...
24
votes
9answers
9k views

How to understand what's taking up space?

I'm looking for a linux alternative to WinDirStat. I would like to know what is taking up space on my hard drives. A program that works on console and doesn't require a UI is preferred .
17
votes
6answers
597 views

Reading and searching long man pages

I finally got fed up when wanting to read about bash's read and it's -s option with man bash. I found the right spot eventually (around line 4500), but it was a frustrating as usual, since both /read ...
20
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Determining Specific File Responsible for High I/O

This is a simple problem but the first time I've ever had to actually fix it: finding which specific files/inodes are the targets of the most I/O. I'd like to be able to get a general system overview, ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Any way to sync directory structure when the files are already on both sides?

I have two drives with the same files, but the directory structure is totally different. Is there any way to 'move' all the files on the destination side so that they match the structure of the ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How to clean up file extensions?

I have a directories with .MP3 files which I'd like to change the extensions to .mp3. What's the easiest way to do this? I'm think something along the lines of: find /RootPath -type f -iname "*.mp3" ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Automount USB drives with no GUI requirement (halevt replacement)

For minimal installations of Debian, I have been using halevt to enable automounting of USB drives. Halevt is reliable and requires no configuration aside from installing the package. Now, halevt has ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I rename a lot of files using a regex?

I want to rename a lot of files on Mac OS X (10.7.2).. I don't have the perl package for the rename command. My files have names like "T452-102456-0.png" and I want to delete the "-0" part. I know I ...
285
votes
7answers
25k views

How can I find the implementations of Linux kernel system calls?

I am trying to understand how a function, say mkdir, works by looking at the kernel source. This is an attempt to understand the kernel internals and navigate between various functions. I know mkdir ...
116
votes
3answers
56k views

How to unfreeze after accidentally pressing Ctrl-S in a terminal?

It's a situation that has happened quite often to me: after I press (with a different intention) Ctrl-S in a terminal, the interaction (input or output) with it is frozen. It's probably a kind of ...
75
votes
2answers
11k views

Why do we use su - and not just su?

I don't understand why su - is preferred over su to login as root.
100
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, ...
49
votes
6answers
1k views

Resources for portable shell programming

What resources exist for portable shell programming? The ultimate answer is to test on all targeted platforms, but that's rarely practical. The POSIX / Single UNIX specification is a start, but it ...
46
votes
6answers
19k views

How can I move files and view the progress (e.g. with a progress bar)?

When moving large directories using mv, is there a way to view the progress (%)? The cp command on gentoo had a -g switch that showed the progress.
43
votes
5answers
32k views

What is a Superblock, Inode, Dentry and a File?

From the article Anatomy of Linux File Systems by Tim Jones, I read that Linux views all the file systems from the perspective of a common set of objects and these objects are superblock, inode, ...
79
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is cd not a program?

I've always wondered why cd isn't a program, but never managed to find the answer. Anyone know why this is the case?
34
votes
1answer
740 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

Timing out in a shell script

I have a shell script that's reading from standard input. In rare circumstances, there will be no one ready to provide input, and the script must time out. In case of timeout, the script must execute ...
53
votes
6answers
20k views

Can I create a user-specific hosts file to complement /etc/hosts?

Is it possible to add a list of hosts that are only specific to a certain user? Perhaps a user-specific hosts file? This mechanism should also complement the entries in the /etc/hosts file.
30
votes
4answers
3k views

Using '.' to execute files in bash

What's the difference between executing a script like this: ./test.sh and executing a script like this: . test.sh? I tried a simple, two-line script to see if I could find if there was a ...
23
votes
3answers
19k views

Installing Grub 2 on a USB flash drive

MultiBootISOs is a tool that let you install Grub on a USB flash drive. I really like it because it lets me boot from ISO files and let me put a bunch of ISOs on my USB and choose which one to boot. ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Can one PC be used by two users at the same time via dual-monitor?

Since modern PCs can use two screens at the same time I wonder if it is possible to plug in two keyboards and mouses as well to have the two screens run two (more or less) independent X-sessions at ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

The merits of a partitionless filesystem

I ran into something a couple of weeks ago that I'd never seen before: A filesystem (ext3 I believe) installed to a storage device without a partition. In essence /dev/sdb was the entire filesystem. I ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

Debian based system, only one gui program, nothing else

I would like to make a debian system where you can only open one GUI program at boot, no other graphical interface, no minimize, or any X apart from that program, is there a way to do it on debian if ...

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