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471
votes
4answers
166k views

What does “--” (double-dash) mean? (also known as “bare double dash”)

I have seen -- used in the compgen command. For example: compgen -W "foo bar baz" -- b What is the meaning of the -- in there?
37
votes
6answers
8k views

How to trick a command into thinking its output is going to a terminal

Given a command that changes its behaviour when its output is going to a terminal (e.g. produce coloured output), how can that output be redirected in a pipeline while preserving the changed behaviour?...
72
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
110
votes
5answers
247k views

Usage of dash (-) in place of a filename

For a command, if using - as an argument in place of a file name will mean STDIN or STDOUT. But in this example, it creates a file with the name -: echo hello > - How can I make - in this ...
22
votes
11answers
19k views

Tool in UNIX to subtract dates

Is there any tool in Solaris UNIX (so no GNU tool available) to subtract dates? I know that in Linux we have gawk that can subtract one date from another. But in Solaris the maximum we have is nawk (...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

General specification for command line interface

I was wondering where I can find and learn some general idea about the command line interface used in Linux and bash? As to now, I have found pieces of such information only from experience, such as ...
5
votes
5answers
27k views

Where is the log of used commands in Linux?

In Linux, generally we use a lot of commands and it is difficult to remember all of them. history command provides the list of commands we used previously but its limit is less. New commands are ...
45
votes
8answers
4k views

Why are POSIX mandatory utilities not built into the shell?

The purpose of this question is to answer a curiosity, not to solve a particular computing problem. The question is: Why are POSIX mandatory utilities not commonly built into shell implementations? ...
9
votes
3answers
606 views

Doing two things with output from a command

I have a program texcount that outputs the number of words in my LaTeX document. I can also pipe the output of this to sed to make the newlines TeX linebreaks and write this to a file which I can then ...
2
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there a shell command or utility for caching process output?

Hope this is the right place to ask. Is there a unix tool that works similarly to this? # invokes echo, saves to cache (using command with arguments as key), returns "hi" cache 10 echo hi # wait 2 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Good “progress bar” about md5sum checking progress?

I'm using this right now: time md5sum -c *.txt | pv | grep -v ': OK$' but aren't there any smart solutions that can list that how many files haven't been checked? I mean I have many md5sum's in .txt ...