Bash Utility Cheat Sheet

Ignatius Bagussuputra
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These are my scripts that I use to manage my home media server. I’m not a bash expert so I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but this is what I have so far.

Using Nano Editor

Nano is a lightweight text editor that is present in virtually any OS out there, other alternatives are Vim and Emacs. There’s no point in debating which are the best editor, Nano works well for my use case as far as I’m concerned, so here’s some tips to make your CLI editing better.

# Default arguments for most use cases sudo nano -lit filename # l - Enables line numbers in front of text # i - Automatically indent new lines # t - Save on exit by default without prompt # Use -ET 4 when working with Python files sudo nano -litET 4 # E - Convert typed tabs to spaces # T 4 - Set tab size to 4 instead of 8

Resource management

df, displays the amount of disk space available on the file system containing each file name argument. Used more for calculating the overall disk space or file system.

# The -H switch is for human-readable format df -H path/to/drive # For more output details df -H --output=source,size,used,avail path/to/disk

du, stands for disk usage. It reports on directories and not drives.

# The -h switch is for human-readable format du -h path/to/directory # Display only the total or summary du -sh path/to/directory # Find the top 10 directories eating space du -a path/to/start | sort -nr | head -n 10

File and directory manipulation

Copy method, it creates a hard link for the file or everything in the directory to the desired destination. Hard linking is crucial for media management so that you won’t have a lot of wasted space with duplicates or multiple files with similar data and different file names.

Copy Method
# This will create a complete hard linked copy instead of traditional one cp -al /path/to/source /path/to/destination

Find method, it quickly finds your desired file or directory with many additional functionalities. It could do many things such as

Find Method
# (find .) <- dot meaning relative from current path # Find all empty files and directories find . -empty # Find all files in directory that has no other hard links find . -links 1 # Find all directories with specific group find . -type d -group root # Find and rename certain directories find . -depth -type d -name 'dirname' -execdir mv {} 'new-dirname' \; # Recursively change owner of a directory or file find . -type d -exec chown user:group {} \; # for directories find . -type f -exec chown user:group {} \; # for files # Recursively delete all files with specific name find . -type f -name *.nfo -delete # wildcard scan find . -iname JaVaScRiPt # case insensitive # Recursively force delete directories that are not empty find . -name .unwanted -exec rm -rf {} \; # Recursively remove executable permission from file with all permission find . -type f -perm 777 -exec chmod -x {} \;

Rename method, it renames multiple files or directories with a specific regex pattern. One of the most useful scripts to have for media management.

Rename Method
# Get the package first if you don't have it yet sudo apt install rename # This will rename all files in the current directory that has # 0 or more characters inside a bracket and replace it with any text rename 's/\[.*\]/\[replacement\]/' **/* -n # preview changes rename 's/\[.*\]/\[replacement\]/' **/* # execute rename # This recursively find and rename all directories from the start directory rename 's/unwantedName/changedName/' path/to/start/**/* -n # preview changes rename 's/unwantedName/changedName/' path/to/start/**/* # execute rename # ('s/{}/{}/') is a regular expression so it's limited to your knowledge on it

See something to improve or fix? In the spirit of open-source, you can create a new issue or contribute directly to this article by sending a Pull Request on GitHub!