61
votes
12answers
20k views

How to grep a specific line _and_ the first line of a file?

Assuming a simple grep such as: $ psa aux | grep someApp 1000 11634 51.2 0.1 32824 9112 pts/1 SN+ 13:24 7:49 someApp This provides much information, but as the first line of the ps ...
80
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?
36
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 ...
55
votes
6answers
21k 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.
31
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Reattach to lost X11 session

I'm using X11 forwarding over ssh to run Linux apps on my Windows box, and when the network drops it loses everything that was running. Is there anything similar to screen for X11?
10
votes
2answers
47k views

Can I resize the root partition without uninstalling and reinstalling Linux (or losing data)?

I have started using a machine that has both Debian and Windows 7 installed. However, after installing some programs I started getting a message that there is not enough space. I knew that the system ...
23
votes
3answers
20k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Understanding /dev and its subdirs and files

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
550 views

Order of redirections

I don't quite understand how the computer reads this command. cat file1 file2 1> file.txt 2>&1 If I understand, 2>&1 simply redirect Standard Error to Standard Output. By that ...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Find filesystem of an unmounted partition from a script

I'm writing a custom automated install using AIF (Arch Installation Framework), and I need to find the filesystem on a partition given a partition. So far I have this: grok_partitions () { local ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

ssh port forward to access my home machine from anywhere

http://serverfault.com/questions/303937/how-to-make-freebsd-box-accessible-from-internet I want to understand this whole process of port forwarding. I read so many things but failing to understand ...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

Extracting a regex matched with 'sed' without printing the surrounding characters

To all the 'sed' doctors out there: I have a seemingly trivial 'sed' question to which I have not been able to find a solution. How can you get 'sed' to exctract a regular expression it has matched ...
6
votes
6answers
21k views

Changing extension to multiple files

I would like to change file extension from *.txt file to *.text file, tried using the basename command, but I am having trouble on changing more than 1 file, I am getting a basename: too many ...
32
votes
3answers
4k views

What does size of a directory mean in output of 'ls -l' command?

What does size of a directory mean in output of ls -l command?
12
votes
6answers
824 views

How can I cleanly add to $PATH?

I'd like a way to add things to $PATH, system-wide or for an individual user, without potentially adding the same path multiple times. One reason to want to do this is so that additions can be made ...
7
votes
3answers
786 views

Linux Bulk/Remote Administration

Beside our internal IT infrastructure, we've got around 500 Linux machines hosting our services for the on-line world. They are grouped in a bunch of clusters like Database A-n, Product A-n, NFS, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Using Awesome window manager on CentOS 7

Awesome works fine on Fedora 19, so it should work on CentOS 7, right? Well, I tried and failed to get it to work. After a long time, I managed to compile it from source and set GDM to boot from an ...
4
votes
2answers
943 views

undelete files from local fileserver

I have a NAS (mybook world white light) in my living room where all my music and stuff is stored. I've mounted the music folder of the nas in the local music folder of my home directory on my desktop ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Rename All Files with a Certain Name

I'm trying to find certain files with the name "stringx" and replace the name (but not the extension) with "stringy". So basically for stringx.txt and stingx.cs, I'd want stringy.txt and stringy.cs. ...
125
votes
4answers
21k views

/usr/bin vs /usr/local/bin on Linux

Why are there so many places to put a binary in Linux? There are atleast these five: /bin/ /sbin/ /usr/bin/ /usr/local/bin/ /usr/local/sbin/ And on my office box, I do not have write permissions ...
150
votes
2answers
31k views

Difference between nohup, disown and &

What is the difference between $ nohup foo and $ foo & and $ foo & $ disown
170
votes
23answers
103k views

Repeat a Unix command every x seconds forever

There's a builtin Unix command repeat whose first argument is the number of times to repeat a command, where the command (with any arguments) is specified by the remaining arguments to repeat. For ...
78
votes
8answers
10k views

Why *not* parse `ls`?

I consistently see answers quoting this link stating definitively "Don't parse ls!" This bothers me for a couple of reasons: It seems the information in that link has been accepted wholesale with ...
86
votes
7answers
12k views

Which is the safest way to get root privileges: sudo, su or login?

I would like to have the root account in safety even if my unprivileged user is compromised. On Ubuntu you can only use sudo for "security reasons" by default. However I am not sure it is any safer ...
43
votes
11answers
17k views

Recommended reading to better understand Unix/Linux internals [closed]

I've worked on *nix environments for the last four years as a application developer (mostly in C). Please suggest some books/blogs etc. for improving my *nix internals knowledge.
69
votes
2answers
40k views

Getting 256 colors to work in tmux

I have 256 colors working just fine in konsole,. I thought I'd give tmux a try because, unlike screen, it seems to support vi mode. However I find that the colors of my prompt show up and this is ...
31
votes
10answers
17k views

Correct locking in shell scripts?

Sometimes you have to make sure that only one instance of a shell script is running at the same time. For example a cron job which is executed via crond that does not provide locking on its own (e.g. ...
29
votes
2answers
17k views

Do the parent directory's permissions matter when accessing a subdirectory?

If I have a root folder with some restrictive permission, let's say 600, and if the child folders/files have 777 permission will everybody be able to read/write/execute the child file even though the ...
37
votes
5answers
15k views

How to check if a shell is login/interactive/batch

I think I understand the differences between an interactive, a login and a batch shell. See the following links for more help: What is the difference between a 'Login' and an 'Interactive' bash ...
39
votes
4answers
39k views

How big is the pipe buffer?

As a comment in I'm confused as to why "| true" in a makefile has the same effect as "|| true" user cjm wrote: Another reason to avoid | true is that if the command ...
30
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do hard links exist?

I know what hard links are, but why would I use them? What is the utility of a hard link?
27
votes
7answers
29k views

Correctly determining memory usage in Linux

I'm a bit confused on some of the results I am seeing from "ps" and "free". On my server, this is the result of "free -m" [root@server ~]# free -m total used free shared ...
21
votes
6answers
20k views

Lightweight outgoing SMTP server

What do you use as a lightweight SMTP for outgoing e-mails only? I am running an app that sends e-mails via SMTP when events occur once in a while, and I don't need a fully featured e-mail server. ...
32
votes
5answers
23k views

How to speed my too-slow ssh login?

Running ssh user@hostname takes ~30s. Here's the scenario: this is a VM on the local LAN Windows and Mac machines get instant login am using Debian and I could reproduce with an Ubuntu machine ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I handle switches in a shell script?

Are there some built-in tools that will recognize -x and --xxxx as switches, and not arguments, or do you have to go through all the input variables, test for dashes, and then parse the arguments ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

What Unix commands can be used as a semaphore/lock?

I want to run multiple Bash shell scripts in parallel. However, I want to avoid race conditions. What Unix commands are truly atomic that I could use for this purpose, and how can I use them?
12
votes
3answers
10k views

What is stored in /dev/pts files and can we open them?

According to my knowledge, /dev/pts files are created for ssh or telnet sessions.
16
votes
2answers
23k views

How can I kill a <defunct> process whose parent is init?

Transmission is intermittently hanging on my NAS. If I send SIGTERM, it doesn't disappear from the process list and a <defunct> label appears next to it. If I send a SIGKILL, it still doesn't ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Correctly setting environment

I'm using zsh and gdm to run gnome. Some time ago I discovered that variables are not set correctly. For example LANG/LC_ALL are incorrect ("" instead of en_GB.UTF-8). I split the .zshrc into .zshrc ...
29
votes
5answers
10k views

Is Mac OS X UNIX?

I have this argument recently saying Mac OS X was not UNIX, but Unix-like. I know there is a Single Unix Specification and those spec complaint could use the UNIX trade mark. Is Mac OS X an UNIX ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Getting information on a machine's hardware in Linux

How can I check what hardware I have? (With BIOS version etc.)
34
votes
2answers
29k views

How do I do a ls and then sort the results by date created?

In what order are the dated ordered by? Certainly not alphanumeric order. ls -lt sorts by modification time. But I need creation time.
21
votes
2answers
13k views

How to colorize output of ls ?

I'm running CentOS in Linux text mode. When I run the command ls /usr/, the output is too hard to read (dark blue on black). How can I change the text coloring?
12
votes
9answers
7k views

Ensure a process is always running

I started hosting sites a while back using Cherokee. For external sources (FastCGI, etc) it has an option to launch the process if it can't find one running on the designated socket or port. This is ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Where should a local executable be placed?

I have an executable for the perforce version control client (p4). I can't place it in /opt/local because I don't have root privileges. Is there a standard location where it needs to be placed under ...

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