September 16, 2009
I suspect that most Linux admins know 3 or 4 of these five commands, and regularly use 2 or 3 of them.
linuxhaxor has a useful introduction to all five, with the most common uses for each of them.
locate requires a regular run of
updatedb – the article says that “The database is automatically created and updated daily” which is true for most distributions, but it depends on your
cron setup – you can update the locate db as frequently as you wish. Another thing to note about
locate is that it will not use the (normally
root-generated) database to tell you (as a non-privileged user) about files which you would not otherwise know about.
September 8, 2009
A quick and easy way to get the width of your terminal is the command
stty size. I have used it with
diff like this:
diff -y -W `stty size | cut -d” ” -f2` –suppress-common-lines oldfile newfile
Note: This stty option is not available on Solaris, however, if you have it installed, the /usr/openwin/bin/resize command sets the COLUMNS variable.
update: This post originally said “width of your Linux terminal” but as noted in the comments, this feature of
stty is also available in *BSD implementations, even though it is not part of the
POSIX standard. So you should expect this to work on GNU and BSD systems (eg, most GNU/Linux distros, most *BSDs, including OSX) but not on all POSIX-compliant systems (eg, Solaris). I would assume that AIX, HPUX, SCO, the other “traditional” UNIX systems would also not support this, though I have not (yet) tested any of them. YMMV.