Unix Commands

5 Bash for loop examples to make command line tasks more efficient

One of the things that excited me while learning Unix/Linux was how quickly one can perform tasks via the command line. Bash is a fully functional scripting language that incorporates Variables, Loops and If/Then statements; the bash shell allows a user to use these functions while performing adhoc tasks via the command line. This is also true for the other common shells such as bourne, korn shell, and csh.

Setting process CPU priority with nice and renice

Nice is a command in Unix and Linux operating systems that allows for the adjustment of the “Niceness” value of processes. Adjusting the “niceness” value of processes allows for setting an advised CPU priority that the kernel’s scheduler will use to determine which processes get more or less CPU time. In Linux this niceness value can be ignored by the scheduler, however other Unix implementations can treat this differently.

Grepping a file without using cat, and other grep tricks

The grep command is a command that most Linux users learn early on, and many times they learn to use it via pipes (stdin). Because of this some Linux users just assume that grep can only be used with stdin; it’s ok, I was one of those too! Before I continue with some grep tricks I want to clarify the basic grep usage. Stop Doing This: $ cat file.log | grep "something" something Do This More:

Packing and Unpacking files with GNU Tar

One of the most basic tasks for any Sysadmin is packing and unpacking files for various reasons. While there are many ways to perform this task GNU Tar is probably one of the most recognized and commonly used tools by Linux/Unix users. A little history on tar The tar command is a command that appeared in the early days of Unix and has had several changes made over time. Originally the command was used to take files, combine them into one file and write them to a tape archive (tar).

Removing Files and Directories with rm and rmdir

Normally on this blog I tend to write about more complicated tasks or fancy Linux tricks and completely overlook some of the most basic tasks that a SysAdmin needs to know. Today I have decided that I will make my blog a little more comprehensive and add some posts with some of the basics. Along with this I will be starting a new category, called Sysadmin Basics and I will try to post an additional article each week that covers some of the more basic concepts and commands used by Linux and Unix Sysadmins.

10 nmap Commands Every Sysadmin Should Know

Recently I was compiling a list of Linux commands that every sysadmin should know. One of the first commands that came to mind was nmap. nmap is a powerful network scanner used to identify systems and services. nmap was originally developed with network security in mind, it is a tool that was designed to find vulnerabilities within a network. nmap is more than just a simple port scanner though, you can use nmap to find specific versions of services, certain OS types, or even find that pesky printer someone put on your network without telling you.

Cheat Sheet: Cutting Text with cut

The cut command is a Unix/Linux tool used to literally cut text from files and output from other commands. With the cut command a user can take text and output only certain parts of the line. In my opinion cut is the most under recognized and utilized command in Linux/Unix. This is mostly due to the fact that when most Sysadmins want to cut text from files or standard output many will reach for AWK.

Cheat Sheet: Crontab by Example

Today’s article may be pretty basic for regular readers but hopefully some may find it useful. This article will cover creating a crontab entry and show some examples of common crontabs. The Cron daemon is a service that runs on all main distributions of Unix and Linux and specifically designed to execute commands at a given time. These jobs commonly refereed to as cronjobs are one of the essential tools in a Systems Administrators tool box.

xargs: Build and Execute Commands with Arguments from Standard Input

For me when it comes to useful commands xargs ranks along side commands like find, top and df; xargs is a great time saver and incredibly useful. Today I will show a few examples of usage and some of the lesser known features. Basic Usage The xargs command is used to take the output of one command and provide it as arguments to another. Example (xargs): # ls [0-9]-test.

Cheat Sheet: 21 useful find commands

For todays article I wanted to put together a quick little cheat sheet for some GNU find command examples. Some of these commands will be basic some will be more advanced, but they all will be useful. As a caveat some commands don’t work in all Unix environments and this is especially true with older releases. If you find yourself in one of those situations there is a way to make the find command work you will just need to use different methods like the -exec flag.