Customize directory colors  bash

You can use the command ls --color (or an alias) to show directories with colours for folders, files, links, etc. However, you may not realise these colours can be easily configured using bashrc and a configuration file. Edit your .bashrc file (in your home directory) to include the following line ... More

Find all files containing a given string  bash

A quick one-liner to recursively search files for a given text string. Open up a terminal session and enter the following - replacing "foo" with the text to search for. find . -exec grep -l "foo" {} \; You can also limit the search to files with a particular extension (e.g. HTML or ... More

Collaborate in the shell with screen (multiuser)  bash

Screen is a neat little program that allows you to use multiple virtual terminals in a single session on Unix/Linux and Mac. However, it does more than just that. It can also allow you to share your current session on a machine with another user - allowing you to collaboratively ... More

Bash Command Substitution  bash

Bash command substitution performs a given command replacing the marker with the resulting standard output. It is particularly useful when you want to store the output of a command in a variable or as an alternative method of chaining multiple commands together. Bash command substitution is achieved by wrapping your ... More

Remove duplicate lines from text files (with sort)  bash

A quick method to remove duplicates from text files - including for example CSV files - where multiple records have been added (perhaps automatically) at different times resulting in multiple copies of the same record scattered throughout the file. Here is a simple one-liner bash command to remove duplicates using sort. More

Get file type information from the command line  bash

Often forgotten the file command will give you a simple summary of a file's type and content. At the prompt enter file where is the name of the file you are interested in. You will receive output detailing the files contents, e.g. A Word Document.doc ... More

Find all running processes of a program  bash

Find the pids of all instances/processes of a given program running on your system Open a terminal and enter ps ax | grep "firefox" ...replacing 'firefox' with the name of the program you are looking for. The columns in the output are as follows: (1) pid 'process id' (2) tty ... More

Set CDPATH to ease folder navigation  bash

CDPATH is an environment variable which tells the cd command where to look for the specified folder. By including the parent folders of commonly used locations you can access folders more easily - and without typing an entire path. More

Use to return your IP and Host  bash is a web service that displays information about your connection, including IP address, hostname and User Agent string. Helpfully it provides a simplified interface that can be easily queried to get this information from the command line. More

Control-R Through Your History  bash

Interactively search through your command line history with a simple keyboard shortcut. At a new shell prompt (bash or on Mac) press Ctrl-R Start typing the search string to lookup in your bash history. As you type the top matching command in your history will appear. Hit Return ... More

Use screen to manage persistent sessions  bash

GNU Screen is a command-line application that allows use of multiple virtual sessions within a single real terminal or remote session. Importantly, it allows for persistent running of command-line applications independent of the shell that initiated them program, meaning active applications can persist during disconnection. More

Add Git Branch Name to Terminal Prompt (Mac)  bash

When in a repository directory you can show the name of the currently checked out Git branch in the prompt, making it easier to track where you are (and where you're about to commit). The following instructions are written for Mac OS X (Lion) or later, using a terminal ... More