20
votes
5answers
3k views

Understanding UNIX based 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) ...
32
votes
11answers
27k views

How can I reliably get the operating system's name?

Say I am logged into a remote system, how can I know what it's running? On most modern Linuxes (Linuces?), you have the lsb_release command: $ lsb_release -ic Distributor ID: LinuxMint Codename: ...
16
votes
3answers
4k 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?
15
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I configure a reverse SSH connection to the connecting computer?

I'm going to be deploying a number of machines in the near future which will be behind routers. It won't be feasible to set up dynamic DNS on each router and port forwarding, so is there a way I can ...
17
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
25k 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What does `:-` mean in a shell script

I saw this in the end of an awesome shell script but I can't understand the login here because I think it's being short-handed for a longer command. spark ${@:-`cat`} This apears at the end of this ...
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 ...
16
votes
8answers
36k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
40k views

How can I assign the output of a command to a shell variable?

I want to assign the result of an expression to a variable and concatenate it with a string, then echo it. Here's what I've got: #!/bin/bash cd ~/Desktop; thefile= ls -t -U | grep -m 1 "Screen Shot"; ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
809 views

Why my ethernet interface is called enp0s10 instead of eth0?

Just that, when I run ifconfig -a I only get lo and enp0s10 interfaces, not the classical eth0 What does enp0s10 means? Why is there no eth0?
9
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 ...
32
votes
7answers
5k views

How to determine where an environment variable came from

I have a linux instance that I set up some time ago. When I fire it up and log in as root there are some environment variables that I set up but I can't remember or find where they came from. I've ...
23
votes
2answers
33k views

How can I increase the number of inodes in an ext4 filesystem?

I had a problem (new to me) last week. I have a ext4 (Fedora 15) filesystem. The application that runs on the server suddenly stopped. I couldn't find the problem at first look. df showed 50% ...
9
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Reading a filesystem from a whole disk image

I ran these commands: VBoxManage clonehd d6b9f0a5-98df-48ca-83c8-91a0809ec349 --format RAW Debian.raw sudo dd if=~/.VirtualBox/HardDisks/Debian.raw of=/dev/sda5 When I try to mount the partition, I ...
6
votes
1answer
584 views

LoggedFS configuration file syntax

What is the syntax of the LoggedFS configuration file? The official documentation only had usage instructions for the loggedfs command and a configuration file example. Ok, it's XML, but what are ...
6
votes
3answers
723 views

Access to original contents of mount point

On my headless NAS I have sdf1 (a flash-card) mounted as / while /home is mounted from lv00 (an LVM volume backed by a software RAID). To be able to access the machine when the RAID fails, I have a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
77
votes
3answers
145k 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?
200
votes
23answers
129k views

Repeat a Unix command every x seconds forever

There's a built-in 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 ...
44
votes
11answers
22k 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.
68
votes
27answers
16k 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 ...
51
votes
6answers
34k views

How to remove duplicate lines inside a text file?

A huge (up to 2 GiB) text file of mine contains about 100 exact duplicates of every line in it (useless in my case, as the file is a CSV-like data table). What I need is to remove all the repetitions ...
97
votes
4answers
22k views

How do I clear Bash's cache of paths to executables?

When I execute a program without specifying the full path to the executable, and Bash must search the directories in $PATH to find the binary, it seems that Bash remembers the path in some sort of ...
68
votes
12answers
36k views

how do you sort du output by size?

How do you sort du -sh /dir/* by size? I read one site that said use | sort -n but that's obviously not right. Here's an example that is wrong. [~]# du -sh /var/* | sort -n 0 /var/mail 1.2M ...
35
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the difference between a builtin command and one that is not?

Is there any intrinsic difference between a builtin command and another command which can nominally do the same thing? eg. Do builtins get "special" treatement? ... is there less overhead running ...
50
votes
5answers
63k views

Limit memory usage for a single Linux process

I'm running pdftoppm to convert a user-provided PDF into a 300DPI image. This works great, except if the user provides an PDF with a very large page size. pdftoppm will allocate enough memory to ...
32
votes
5answers
7k 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?
30
votes
7answers
41k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
63k views

How to find creation date of file?

I want to find out the creation date of particular file, not modification date or access date. I have tried with ls -ltrh and stat filename.
41
votes
6answers
18k views

Different linux distros sharing the same /home folder?

What is the best way to share the same /home directories between different linux distribution? I mean, I want to have both, say, Fedora and Arch, and I want to find my files at home no matter which ...
28
votes
5answers
47k views

Script to monitor folder for new files?

How do I detect new files in a folder with a bash script? I would like to process the files as soon as they are created in the folder. Is this possible to do so or do I have to schedule a script with ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

Quoting in ssh $host $FOO and ssh $host “sudo su user -c $FOO” type constructs

I often end up issuing complex commands over ssh; these commands involve piping to awk or perl one-lines, and as a result contain single quotes and $'s. I have neither been able to figure out a hard ...
10
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
31
votes
5answers
10k views

Measuring RAM usage of a program

time is a brilliant command if you want to figure out how much CPU time a given command takes. I am looking for something similar that can measure the max RAM usage of the program and any children. ...
31
votes
4answers
34k views

Understanding the exclamation mark (!) in bash

I used history | less to get the lines of previous commands and from the numbers on the left hand side I found the line I wanted repeated (eg. 22) and did !22 at the command prompt and it ...
26
votes
7answers
8k 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?
19
votes
3answers
18k 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.
34
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
24
votes
10answers
6k views

Detect init system using the shell

This may have more to do with detecting operating systems, but I specifically need the init system currently in use on the system. Fedora 15 now uses systemd, Ubuntu uses Upstart, while others use ...
19
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

How to compile and install programs from source

This is an issue that really limits my enjoyment of Linux. If the application isn't on a repository or if it doesn't have an installer script, then I really struggle where and how to install an ...
32
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does dd from /dev/random give different file sizes?

I am running the following command on an ubuntu system: dd if=/dev/random of=rand bs=1K count=2 However, every time I run it, I end up with a file of a different size. Why is this? How can I ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Run a command for a specified time and then abort if time exceeds

I want know how I can run a command for a specified time say, one minute and if it doesn't complete execution then I should be able to stop it.

15 30 50 per page