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helpful terminal commands

posted on June 22, 2014, 7:53 pm in terminal

Working as a programmer, your should be using terminal commands at some point in your day.

Here's a list of some useful terminal commands to speed up your work.

The Basics

Lets recap the basics that everyone should be familiar with.

bash -- 70x32
mkdir NAME
touch file.txt
echo "some text..." > file.txt
ls -lah
cat file.txt
cp path/from path/to
rm -rf path/to/file.txt
Make a new directory with mkdir, switch to directories with cd or cd .. to move to the parent directory.

Use touch to create a new file or update a file's date/time.

And echo "some text..." > file.txt to write data to that file.

Use ls to list files, add the -lah to get hidden files and file sizes in a human format.

Use cat to get the contents of a file, for large files your better off using tail.

Copy a file with cp, adding from location and to location.

Delete a file with rm -rf, add the flags to do it forcefully and recursively.

To much info, clear the screen with clear. OSX users can use CMD+K, works also.


bash -- 70x32
tail -n 100 path/to/file.txt
tail -f path/to/file.txt
To get partial file contents, use tail. With the -n 100 flag you'll get the last 100 lines. But files like logs are constantly changing, use tail -f to see that log file live.

Delete a process

bash -- 70x32
ps aux
kill -9 PID
Find out what processes are running using ps aux. You can then pipe the output into grep to filter it, example ps aux | grep node.

Once you have the PID, use kill -9 to stop that process immediately. If your wondering why -9, .

The Magic of GREP

Grep is useful for filtering output to only get what you need. It is an incredible powerful tool.

bash -- 70x32
ps aux | grep node
ls -l | grep Oct
cmd | grep WHAT
For basic usage you can grep TEXT or use the -A 10 -B 10 to get the lines before and/or after.

With grep, you can also filter thru entire directories using grep -r 'text_goes_here' path_goes_here to find that one file your looking for.

Need to exclude files? Use --exclude={*.zip,*.txt}.

Read the manual ( ) for all the details.

Compressing Files (.zip)

bash -- 70x32
zip -r . -x "*.DS_Store"
The command above will zip a directory (or you can specify only certain files). The -r will do it recursively and the -x will ignore .ds_store files (for Mac users).

directory loops

With a for loop, you can apply a command to a list files.

bash -- 70x32
for i in *; do echo "cmd ${i}"; done;

Replace the do echo "cmd ${i}" with anything you want.

Connection snitch

bash -- 70x32
lsof -i | grep -E "(LISTEN|ESTABLISHED)"
Display a list of active connection and see what your computer is doing on the internet.

Networking Help

bash -- 70x32
ping remoteserver
The ping command is useful to check if your network connection is working. The ifconfig gives you your network details.

And if you can't remember something, use history to get past commands and !LINE to recall one.

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