Mark Pearl


Manipulating Files

Copying Files


copy as

cp temp* ..

copy files starting with temp to the parent folder.

cp -R files/ backup/

copy all files and subdirectories to the backup directory

Copying files means you are creating a file, which means you take ownership.

cp -a file1.txt file2.txt

copy files in archive mode, which maintains original ownership

Deleting Files & Directories


deletes empty directories

rm -rf directoryName

recursively deletes directory and all of its content

Moving or Renaming Files

mv temp.sp

Compressing a File

tar stands for tape archive

tar -c -v -f file.sp

creates a tar archive

tar -c -z -v -f directoryName

-z means to zip it up

Decompressing a File

tar -xzf file.tar

-x Extract to disk
-z Zip/compress -f Filename

Directory Structure

sudo apt-get install tree

Show all directories except one

tree -d -I "dirToIgnore"

Navigate to previous directory

cd -

Navigate to user directory

cd ~

Navigate to home directory




displays a listing with full format

ls -l

displays the file size in megabytes ####

ls -lah

displays the file or directory type in the listing

ls -F

diplays listing with color

ls --color=auto

displays file in hum readable list style with size

ls -lah


find . -newer file1

finds all files in the current and children directory that are newer than file1

find . -newer file1 -delete

finds and deletes all file in the current and children directory that are newer than file1

find . -name "*FileNameToMatch*"
find . -iname "*stuff*" 

**Find -flags **

finds all files in the current and children directory that match the FileNameToMatch

Finding Files using Regex

Find any files with ‘stuff’ in them

find . -iregex ".*stuff.*"

.* is equivalent to wildcard

By default regex checks the entire path. There is an implicit ^..$ implied which means “stuff” is actually “^stuff$”

Open First found file in Vim

vim $(find -name somefile.txt)
find -name somefile.txt -exec vim {} \;

Directory Management

Remove directory and all sub directories

rm -r dir

Remove directory and all sub directories (force)

rm -fr dir

Make directory

mkdir dir

Imaging Tasks

rsync -av directoryName locationOfBackup

synchronizes copies

rsync -av --delete directoryName locationOfBackup

syncrhonizes deletions

Search tool

Search is case sensitive unless otherwise specified

grep Server /etc/ntp.conf

Search without case

grep -i

Removes commented lines ^# and empty lines ^$
The -ve means an additional expression.

grep -ve '^#' -ve '^$' /etc/ntp.conf

The stream editor, edits the inline stream -i stands for the inplace update

sed -i '^#/d;^$/d' /etc/ntp.conf

-E stands for a full regex expression

grep -E 'regex'

Manipulating Output

Translate / Delete

tr [OPTION] SET1 [SET2] 
$ tr abcde ABCDE somestuf
$ echo 'hello' | tr abcde ABCDE  
$ echo 'hello' | tr -d 'e'

Unique Values


Word Count


Process Management


Moves the current process into the brackground

sleep 200 &

The & automatically starts a job in the background process


Shows a list of the current jobs

fg 1

Brings job number one into the foreground


Searches for a current process

ps -l

Shows a long listing

ps -e

Shows all processes

pkill sleep

Kills the sleep process

kill -9 procnum

Really kills the process

top -n 1

The swiss army knife of processes

Analyze Text Files

Please note we use as a placeholder for the file you are performing the action on.

Piping Output to a File


e.g. ls >

Pipe to vim to check syntax

11 | gvim --  

Show contents of file


Making Files Exectuable

chmod +x

Making Files Writeable

chmod 777

Removing unrecognized dos characters



Cut can be used to display only certain fields within a file.

cut -f1,3 -d";" !$

Displays field 1 and field 3 of a delimitered file using ; as the delimiter where !$ was the last argument used (in this case cat


Setup Alias’s

Edit the file in the following location: ~/.bashrc

alias doSomething='commands'

Enable vi mode in bash

To make this permanent, add to to ~./bash_profile file

set -o vi  

Managing Processes

Go to the /proc directory, if you perform a ls it will show you all the processes running currently. Running cat on the file mounts will show you all the drives currently mounted.

Starting / Stopping Jobs

& - start a job in the background

google-chrome &

Foreground / Background

fg,bg - put a job in the foreground / background

fg %2	# send job with id 2 to the foreground
fg %vi	# send job with process name 'vi' to foreground  


kill %1            # kill by job id 1  
kill 12345         # kill by process id  
kill -KILL 12345   # hard kill  
xkill 		   # kill by clicking its window
pkill		   # kill process by matching filenames  

List Processes

ps -ef		   # list all processes in long format
top		   # list and manage top processes  

Manipulating Output

Head and Tails

Head shows the first ten lines of a file.
Tail shows the last ten lines of a file.

head -n 3

The above shows the first 3 lines of

tail -f

The above follows the end of a file. Ctrl+C stops the following.

More and Less

More allows us to page forward through a file.
Less allows us to page forward, backward and to a specific location in a file.


Sort can be used to order the columns as desired. Sort without defining a column sorts on the first column.

sort -r

Sort numerically

sort -n 

Reverse sort

sort -r 

Sort the fourth column using , as the delimiter on the last command run.

sort -k4 -t"," !$

Sort and shows only unique results.

sort -u

Environment Variables

Show Currently Defined Variables


Favorite Environment Variables

PATH 	# where bash looks for executables  
PS1	# the prompt
EDITOR  # your preferred editor

Working with Environment Variables

Printing a variable to the screen

echo $PATH

Temporarily changing a variable value



Piping & Redirection

Output Redirection

Save Output to File, Overwrite if file already exists

ls > file.txt

Save Output to File, Append to file already exists

ls >> file.txt

Input Redirection

Get input from file and direct it to command


grep x < file


Redirect output from one program to input of another program

ls | grep hello

Command Substitution

cat $($ls -rt | tail -n1)

List Disks

fdisk -l

Clear the Screen

Ctrl+L - clears the console

Run with Root Privelages

sudo -i 

Run the Last Command Again


Git Aware Prompt

Read more here

Show History of Commands


Add custom autocomplete commands to bash

  1. Download the attached commands.txt file to your git bash home folder

a. I need to figure out a way to keep this updated easier, currently I run the console with no parameters and manually copy the command names into the file

  1. In your git bash home, open (or create) your .bash_profile file

  2. Add the following lines, adjusting kbrepo to where your console is built

kbrepo=/c/src/Keyblade/Keyblade alias kbc=’$kbrepo/KeyBlade.UI.Console/bin/Debug/Keyblade.UI.Console.exe c’ export COMMAND_FILE=~/commands.txt _kbcommands() { local cur=${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]} COMPREPLY=( $( compgen -W “$(cat ${COMMAND_FILE})” – $cur ) ) } complete -F _kbcommands kbc

  1. Now you can use ‘kbc [TAB]’ and it will show you a list of commands.

  2. OR

  3. kbc Ack[TAB] è kbc AcknowledgeConsoleFailures

Viewing PDF’s

Use okular

Display disk space



Bash stuff from Coderwall
Bash History
Introduction to Bash on PluralSight
Bash Cheat Sheet

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