Random things

I have yet to figure out where to put this information, which is why they are here, in the random chapter. These will be moved to different chapters in the future.

xclip to copy from terminal

The xclip command helps us to copy any file or output from another command into our clipboard, so that we can paste it via Ctrl+v.

$ xclip -sel clip myfile.txt
$ ls -l /var/lib | xclip -sel clip

w command

The w command shows all the users, logged in to the computer. If you pass the -f flag, it toggles information about where each user is logged in from.

$ w
17:22:41 up 24 days, 11:37,  2 users,  load average: 0.56, 0.50, 0.59
kdas     tty2      31May17 22days  3:07m  3:16  i3 -a --restart /run/user/1000/i3/restart-state.28641

How long is the system running?

We have the uptime command which gives us information about how long the system is running. You can figure out the last time the system turned off or rebooted at a glance. For my laptop, it was 24 days ago.

$ uptime
17:31:30 up 24 days, 11:46,  2 users,  load average: 0.76, 0.98, 0.81

Finding CPU time of a command

The time command will help you to find the CPU time spent for any command. The following example will tell us how much time du -sh took to calculate the disk usage.

$ time du -sh
5.5G        .

real        0m1.026s
user        0m0.235s
sys 0m0.783s

dmesg command

The dmesg command prints out messages from the kernel buffer. Using this tool we can learn about the messages and information from the kernel drivers during and after the boot up process. This can be very handy when troubleshooting; for e.g. when the machine fails to boot or a certain piece of hardware does not function correctly.

Setting up cron jobs

One can schedule tasks using cron jobs. You can mention a certain time when a given task will be executed. In latest Fedora/CentOS, we use cronie package, in other systems we have cron or anacron package.

To view any existing jobs

crontab -l

To add a new cronjob or edit a provious one, use the command

crontab -e.

Format of a crontab file

* * * * * /path/to/command
+ + + + +
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | +------>    Day of the week (0-7)
| | | |
| | | +-------->    Month of the year (1-12)
| | |
| | +---------->    Day of the month (1-31)
| |
| +------------>    Hour (0-23)
+-------------->    Minute (0,59)

Say we want to execute a shell script everyday at midnight.

0 0 * * * /usr/bin/myscript.sh

Another example can be executing the same script in every 15 minutes in every hour.

0,15,30,45 * * * * /usr/bin/myscript.sh

Finding out details about previous logins or system reboots

last command will give you the details about all the previous logins and shutdown/reboots. This command actually checks /var/tmp/wtmp file for the logs.

The /var/log/btmp file stores all the bad login details, and /var/log/utmp file stores the details of the currently logged in users (who command reads this file).

You can read the btmp file using last command.

last -f /var/log/btmp

To know more, you can read the man page of wmtp.

Whats next?

After you are familiar with the commands in this book, we would suggest you to learn shell scripting.

Start from https://www.shellscript.sh and then you can read the beginners bash guide.