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Questions tagged [utilities]

small programs used on the command line to do a specific job

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9
votes
3answers
15k views

file block size - difference between stat and ls

I've noticed that when I do a: ls -ls file It provides block count, say 8 blocks. When I do: stat file I notice that the block count is 16, twice the number given by ls. The block size on my ...
8
votes
9answers
536 views

What is/are the standard CLI program(s) to manage users and groups?

I'm basically asking about user management from the command line (e.g. on a system where there are no graphical tools available). In the past I've used several different programs to add or delete ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

In UNIX, how to find the most commonly used commands in history of unix?

In UNIX, how to find the most commonly used commands in history?
8
votes
4answers
15k views

cp or rsync, is cp really worth it?

I hope this does not count as a question without a real answer, as I can't seem to find a good reason to use cp(1) over rsync(1) in virtually all circumstances. Should one typically favour rsync over ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

What does chmod stand for?

In order to memorize a command, it is usually a good idea to learn where it's name comes from. For example, cp comes from copy. usermod means "User Modifiy" (at least I guess so). Where does chmod ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

wgetpaste alternatives?

Are there any wgetpaste alternatives? As a clarification... wgetpaste is an extremely simple command-line interface to various online pastebin services. The basic usage is to simply upload a ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Combine input from multiple files/pipes without clobbering lines or blocking?

Is there a tool that will take input from multiple files or pipes and write it to stdout, without blocking on reads, such that individual input lines come out intact? I basically want to multiplex a ...
7
votes
2answers
48k views

How do I get UUENCODE to work?

I have a server that I have inherited that has an older version of Redhat installed due to software requirements and now there is a need to use UUENCODE to allow email attachments. The uuencode and ...
7
votes
7answers
30k views

Console tool to test internet bandwidth

I'm looking for a tool that will test my internet connection bandwidth and create an simple report like speedtest does. Do you know some program/tool that do this? Something with CentOS packages ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the rename utility on Debian/Ubuntu different than the one on other distributions, like CentOS?

On CentOS, the rename command uses two simple strings, from and to. rename from to file... while on Debian/Ubuntu it uses a perl-style regular expression. rename [ -v ] [ -n ] [ -f ] perlexpr [ ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

tr analog for unicode characters?

I need internationalized utility that does the same thing as tr: gets character from stream and substitutes it with a corresponding character. Not a particular case solution like lower-to-upper, but a ...
7
votes
2answers
966 views

What commands have -h human readable option, and how can I enable it by default w/env variable?

I'm tired of using aliases or typing -h. I want human readable output 24/7. Is there a way to enable it all the time for all commands that offer it?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between references of Linux “utilities”, “commands” and “programs”

I read uses of the word "utilities" for commands/programs such as 'ls', 'chmod', 'mv', etc. Is "commands" is Linux referring to the same things as top, ps, etc., or are those something different? ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Interactive tree command

Is there any version of tree command that displays file structure as a tree structure, but in a way that I can interactively walk trough? Why do I need it exactly - I am trying to simulate TextMate ...
7
votes
1answer
82 views

Swap (exchange) two big files in limited environment

Let's say I have two flash memory devices 1GB capacity each. Let's also say each device contains one big file ~ 1GB size. Assuming, I have limited (64MB) RAM and no hard disk drive, what is the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How to use the ul command line utility

I wanted to answer Use _roff to underline words with "just use ul, this command is meant specifically for underlining text", however I just can't grasp how to use it. I thought $ echo "hello _kitty_ ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

How would one detect if external command exists in a script?

Is there a way to detect if an external command exists (i.e. wget, svn)? More specifically today, i was trying to run one of my scripts i wrote and the person didn't have wget or svn installed. The ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What tool to use to view an object file?

I'm reading an old book on linkers and loaders and it has images of object code. But I can't figure out what tools is used to display the contents of these files. I'd appreciate if someone could point ...
5
votes
2answers
807 views

Factor is too large

I'm trying to use a factor utility but it tells me that number is too large. Is there any utility that can do what factor doing but not tells that number is too large?
5
votes
1answer
620 views

Tool to automatically extract sub-images that are inside an image: sub-images separated by whitespace

Is there a tool/script which can extract images (save them as separate image files) inside an image, each sub-image is separated by whitespace? This: Would result in 3x: Image Source
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Unix way to send/transmit raw Ethernet frame

I want to send raw Ethernet data, kind of like netcat for Ethernet instead of TCP. What is the simplest way to do this on Unix? So far it looks like I need to write my own tool.
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Why do some utilities parse operands before options?

According to several sources, the UNIX utility guidelines specify that operands should always be processed after options: utility_name[OPTIONS][operands...] Some older UNIX utilities are known to ...
4
votes
4answers
395 views

How do I show the numeric character sequence of a string?

Is there a command either standalone or in vi or similar (can be gui) that will show me the numeric sequence of a string? Input: The cat hopped in a box. Output: T h e c a t h o p p e d ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Where can I find some good documentation for bash printf?

man printf, info printf and printf --help are all pretty useless to me; I want an explanation of the FORMAT options. For example, I could use: printf '%s\n' foo bar and get output: foo bar From ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to determine which executable on my path will be run?

I run which and get the following, brendan$ which python /opt/local/bin/python brendan$ which -a python /opt/local/bin/python /usr/bin/python brendan$ ls -l /opt/local/bin/python lrwxr-xr-x ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why doesn't uname -a return a useful identifier

I typed the command uname -a into my college's server and got this: 2.6.18-274.3.1.el5 #1 SMP Tue Sep 6 20:14:03 EDT 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux Are they trying to hide the version of Linux that ...
4
votes
1answer
17k views

Ubuntu runuser command?

I am creating a bash script that requires to run commands as a specific user. As a result I am using the command: runuser I have tested this script and it works perfectly in Ubuntu Server 14.10. ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Decomposition of path specs into longest-common-prefix + suffix

Given any two absolute Unix path specs1, one could decompose each spec as the concatenation of a longest common prefix and a specific suffix. E.g., /abc/bcd/cdf -> /abc/bcd + cdf /abc/bcd/chi/...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

tac command's option creates strange output [comprehension question]

Say I have this file, containing nothing but a b c b a Using tac --separator=a file in BASH [on a Debian based Linux], I get this: # empty line # empty line b c ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Where does the “export” command come from?

Why doesn't the whereis command give any information about the export command? How does the export command work even if the shell path variable is set to null?
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How to change the default line length for od and hexdump

Is there any way to change the default line length for the od and hexdump commands? Can't see anything apropriate in the man pages.
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is bash completion of a symlink different than a directory?

I usually do a find with an environment variable as the path when searching for source code. Recently I replaced my environment variable with a symbolic link, and it broke Bash's shell completion. ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

log of open and close time of a program

I want to get the total time a program was run daily for personal logging (from start to close even if it is in the background). For example: Firefox. Is there a system log that keeps track of open ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Convert file with integers written in ascii to binary file of integers

I have a file that contains a long list of integers written in ascii separated with newlines, like such: -175 2 -19345 345592 -45 2355 etc... I want to convert this file into a "binary" file ...
4
votes
2answers
557 views

Why do I get a 'conformability error' when I attempt to convert water in GNU units?

I've been using the GNU units program and I seem to think that I should be able to convert water between a volume and a weight. Examples: You have: 1 gram water You want: cm^3 conformability error ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

free command output: gentoo (redhat?) vs debian

I noticed there is a difference between outputs of free command: On debian: $ free -h total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 4.0G 3.4G ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Monitor directory and if a file is requested then rsync on demand

Is there a tool that monitors a certain directory and if a program tries to access a file in that directory, the program loads that file from another place transparently for any application that tries ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Comparing .wav samples from command line

As a part of our project we should classify sound samples (stored as .wav files). All sample is the same, just pure speech (like a Skype test call). The process is the following: a reference wav, ...
4
votes
5answers
326 views

Standard unix util to split “foo.bar.baz” into “foo.bar” + “.baz”?

I want to split a string $basename, containing the output in two parts, $stem and $ext, such that: the string "${stem}${ext}" is identical to the original string $basename; either $stem or $ext may ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Set alignment of numeric columns when columnating data

I use column -t to format data for easy viewing in the shell, but there seems to be no option to specify column alignment (e.g. align to the right). Any Bash one-liners to do it? I have arbitrary ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Determine monthly internet transfer to detect right FUP

I live in a country where many ISP (internet service providers) have FUP (fair use policy, limit on amount of data transferred). I need to get a new connection and I would like to measure how much ...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

ln gives different results when run multiple times

I have this simple script to use with seventh sense (it's a lone wolf gamebook reader/player): #!/bin/bash GAME_PATH=$(dirname "$(readlink -f "$0")") SEVENTH_SENSE_PATH=$(echo ~)"/.wine/drive_c/users/...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

What does mt -f /dev/st0 erase do exactly on a tape drive?

What does mt -f /dev/st0 erase do exactly with a (LTO-6) tape drive at /dev/st0? It takes hours and seems to write many times. Does it write random data on the tape several times to delete the ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there any tools to test MTD/JFFS2 for Linux 2.4 kernels

I have some issues with a platform I support and I suspect memory problems. I wanted to check the Flash parts using some MTD JFFS2 test tools, I found a link to a bunch on this site. However they ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
30k views

List of available command options?

I'm currently setting up my first web server without a control panel and so far things are going pretty good! I was just wondering if anyone could direct me to somewhere that explains all of the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

uname -p -i are unknown

Why does this happen? Everything else printable with uname is shown. I am not looking into fixing this. Even the manual page of uname says that it's a common output. I just want to know why.
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Count tabs per line in text file with utils

I have a tab-tabulated file. I would like to check if every line has the same number of tabs. For first step, I'd like to print the number of tabs for each individual line. I've tried grep -o '\t' ...
3
votes
3answers
719 views

Are there any utilities to quickly add, list and remove command aliases?

I'd like to be able to quickly, on-the-fly add (and list/remove) command aliases so that they persist between shell restarts (as if they were added to .bashrc). Are there any ready utilities/scripts/...