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Bash Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet for bash commands.

Command History

!!            # Run the last command

touch foo.sh
chmod +x !$   # !$ is the last argument of the last command i.e. foo.sh

Navigating Directories

pwd                       # Print current directory path
ls                        # List directories
ls -a|--all               # List directories including hidden
ls -l                     # List directories in long form
ls -l -h|--human-readable # List directories in long form with human readable sizes
ls -t                     # List directories by modification time, newest first
stat foo.txt              # List size, created and modified timestamps for a file
stat foo                  # List size, created and modified timestamps for a directory
tree                      # List directory and file tree
tree -a                   # List directory and file tree including hidden
tree -d                   # List directory tree
cd foo                    # Go to foo sub-directory
cd                        # Go to home directory
cd ~                      # Go to home directory
cd -                      # Go to last directory

Creating Directories

mkdir foo                        # Create a directory
mkdir foo bar                    # Create multiple directories
mkdir -p|--parents foo/bar       # Create nested directory
mkdir -p|--parents {foo,bar}/baz # Create multiple nested directories

mktemp -d|--directory            # Create a temporary directory

Moving Directories

cp -R|--recursive foo bar                               # Copy directory
mv foo bar                                              # Move directory

rsync -z|--compress -v|--verbose /foo /bar              # Copy directory, overwrites destination
rsync -a|--archive -z|--compress -v|--verbose /foo /bar # Copy directory, without overwriting destination
rsync -avz /foo [email protected]:/bar                  # Copy local directory to remote directory
rsync -avz [email protected]:/foo /bar                  # Copy remote directory to local directory

Deleting Directories

rmdir foo                        # Delete non-empty directory
rm -r|--recursive foo            # Delete directory including contents
rm -r|--recursive -f|--force foo # Delete directory including contents, ignore nonexistent files and never prompt

Creating Files

touch foo.txt          # Create file or update existing files modified timestamp
touch foo.txt bar.txt  # Create multiple files
touch {foo,bar}.txt    # Create multiple files
touch test{1..3}       # Create test1, test2 and test3 files
touch test{a..c}       # Create testa, testb and testc files

mktemp                 # Create a temporary file

Standard Output, Standard Error and Standard Input

echo "foo" > bar.txt       # Overwrite file with content
echo "foo" >> bar.txt      # Append to file with content

ls exists 1> stdout.txt    # Redirect the standard output to a file
ls noexist 2> stderror.txt # Redirect the standard error output to a file
ls 2>&1 out.txt            # Redirect standard output and error to a file
ls > /dev/null             # Discard standard output and error

read foo                   # Read from standard input and write to the variable foo

Moving Files

cp foo.txt bar.txt                                # Copy file
mv foo.txt bar.txt                                # Move file

rsync -z|--compress -v|--verbose /foo.txt /bar    # Copy file quickly if not changed
rsync z|--compress -v|--verbose /foo.txt /bar.txt # Copy and rename file quickly if not changed

Deleting Files

rm foo.txt            # Delete file
rm -f|--force foo.txt # Delete file, ignore nonexistent files and never prompt

Reading Files

cat foo.txt            # Print all contents
less foo.txt           # Print some contents at a time (g - go to top of file, SHIFT+g, go to bottom of file, /foo to search for 'foo')
head foo.txt           # Print top 10 lines of file
tail foo.txt           # Print bottom 10 lines of file
open foo.txt           # Open file in the default editor
wc foo.txt             # List number of lines words and characters in the file

File Permissions

# Permission rwx Binary
7 read, write and execute rwx 111
6 read and write rw- 110
5 read and execute r-x 101
4 read only r-- 100
3 write and execute -wx 011
2 write only -w- 010
1 execute only --x 001
0 none --- 000

For a directory, execute means you can enter a directory.

User Group Others Description
6 4 4 User can read and write, everyone else can read (Default file permissions)
7 5 5 User can read, write and execute, everyone else can read and execute (Default directory permissions)
  • u - User
  • g - Group
  • o - Others
  • a - All of the above
ls -l /foo.sh            # List file permissions
chmod +100 foo.sh        # Add 1 to the user permission
chmod -100 foo.sh        # Subtract 1 from the user permission
chmod u+x foo.sh         # Give the user execute permission
chmod g+x foo.sh         # Give the group execute permission
chmod u-x,g-x foo.sh     # Take away the user and group execute permission
chmod u+x,g+x,o+x foo.sh # Give everybody execute permission
chmod a+x foo.sh         # Give everybody execute permission
chmod +x foo.sh          # Give everybody execute permission

Finding Files

Find binary files for a command.

type wget                                  # Find the binary
which wget                                 # Find the binary
whereis wget                               # Find the binary, source, and manual page files

locate uses an index and is fast.

updatedb                                   # Update the index

locate foo.txt                             # Find a file
locate --ignore-case                       # Find a file and ignore case
locate f*.txt                              # Find a text file starting with 'f'

find doesn't use an index and is slow.

find /path -name foo.txt                   # Find a file
find /path -iname foo.txt                  # Find a file with case insensitive search
find /path -name "*.txt"                   # Find all text files
find /path -name foo.txt -delete           # Find a file and delete it
find /path -name "*.png" -exec pngquant {} # Find all .png files and execute pngquant on it
find /path -type f -name foo.txt           # Find a file
find /path -type d -name foo               # Find a directory
find /path -type l -name foo.txt           # Find a symbolic link
find /path -type f -mtime +30              # Find files that haven't been modified in 30 days
find /path -type f -mtime +30 -delete      # Delete files that haven't been modified in 30 days

Find in Files

grep 'foo' /bar.txt                         # Search for 'foo' in file 'bar.txt'
grep 'foo' /bar -r|--recursive              # Search for 'foo' in directory 'bar'
grep 'foo' /bar -R|--dereference-recursive  # Search for 'foo' in directory 'bar' and follow symbolic links
grep 'foo' /bar -l|--files-with-matches     # Show only files that match
grep 'foo' /bar -L|--files-without-match    # Show only files that don't match
grep 'Foo' /bar -i|--ignore-case            # Case insensitive search
grep 'foo' /bar -x|--line-regexp            # Match the entire line
grep 'foo' /bar -C|--context 1              # Add N line of context above and below each search result
grep 'foo' /bar -v|--invert-match           # Show only lines that don't match
grep 'foo' /bar -c|--count                  # Count the number lines that match
grep 'foo' /bar -n|--line-number            # Add line numbers
grep 'foo' /bar --colour                    # Add colour to output
grep 'foo\|bar' /baz -R                     # Search for 'foo' or 'bar' in directory 'baz'
grep --extended-regexp|-E 'foo|bar' /baz -R # Use regular expressions
egrep 'foo|bar' /baz -R                     # Use regular expressions

Replace in Files

sed 's/fox/bear/g' foo.txt               # Replace fox with bear in foo.txt and output to console
sed 's/fox/bear/gi' foo.txt              # Replace fox (case insensitive) with bear in foo.txt and output to console
sed 's/red fox/blue bear/g' foo.txt      # Replace red with blue and fox with bear in foo.txt and output to console
sed 's/fox/bear/g' foo.txt > bar.txt     # Replace fox with bear in foo.txt and save in bar.txt
sed 's/fox/bear/g' foo.txt -i|--in-place # Replace fox with bear and overwrite foo.txt

Symbolic Links

ln -s|--symbolic foo bar            # Create a link 'bar' to the 'foo' folder
ln -s|--symbolic -f|--force foo bar # Overwrite an existing symbolic link 'bar'
ls -l                               # Show where symbolic links are pointing

Compressing Files

zip

Compresses one or more files into *.zip files.

zip foo.zip /bar.txt                # Compress bar.txt into foo.zip
zip foo.zip /bar.txt /baz.txt       # Compress bar.txt and baz.txt into foo.zip
zip foo.zip /{bar,baz}.txt          # Compress bar.txt and baz.txt into foo.zip
zip -r|--recurse-paths foo.zip /bar # Compress directory bar into foo.zip

gzip

Compresses a single file into *.gz files.

gzip /bar.txt foo.gz           # Compress bar.txt into foo.gz and then delete bar.txt
gzip -k|--keep /bar.txt foo.gz # Compress bar.txt into foo.gz

tar -c

Compresses (optionally) and combines one or more files into a single *.tar, *.tar.gz, *.tpz or *.tgz file.

tar -c|--create -z|--gzip -f|--file=foo.tgz /bar.txt /baz.txt # Compress bar.txt and baz.txt into foo.tgz
tar -c|--create -z|--gzip -f|--file=foo.tgz /{bar,baz}.txt    # Compress bar.txt and baz.txt into foo.tgz
tar -c|--create -z|--gzip -f|--file=foo.tgz /bar              # Compress directory bar into foo.tgz

Decompressing Files

unzip

unzip foo.zip          # Unzip foo.zip into current directory

gunzip

gunzip foo.gz           # Unzip foo.gz into current directory and delete foo.gz
gunzip -k|--keep foo.gz # Unzip foo.gz into current directory

tar -x

tar -x|--extract -z|--gzip -f|--file=foo.tar.gz # Un-compress foo.tar.gz into current directory
tar -x|--extract -f|--file=foo.tar              # Un-combine foo.tar into current directory

Disk Usage

df                     # List disks, size, used and available space
df -h|--human-readable # List disks, size, used and available space in a human readable format

du                     # List current directory, subdirectories and file sizes
du /foo/bar            # List specified directory, subdirectories and file sizes
du -h|--human-readable # List current directory, subdirectories and file sizes in a human readable format
du -d|--max-depth      # List current directory, subdirectories and file sizes within the max depth
du -d 0                # List current directory size

Memory Usage

free                   # Show memory usage
free -h|--human        # Show human readable memory usage
free -h|--human --si   # Show human readable memory usage in power of 1000 instead of 1024
free -s|--seconds 5    # Show memory usage and update continuously every five seconds

Packages

apt update             # Refreshes repository index
apt search wget        # Search for a package
apt show wget          # List information about the wget package
apt install wget       # Install the wget package
apt remove wget        # Removes the wget package
apt upgrade            # Upgrades all upgradable packages

Shutdown and Reboot

shutdown                     # Shutdown in 1 minute
shutdown now "Cya later"     # Immediately shut down
shutdown +5 "Cya later"      # Shutdown in 5 minutes

shutdown --reboot            # Reboot in 1 minute
shutdown -r now "Cya later"  # Immediately reboot
shutdown -r +5 "Cya later"   # Reboot in 5 minutes

shutdown -c                  # Cancel a shutdown or reboot

reboot                       # Reboot now
reboot -f                    # Force a reboot

Identifying Processes

top                    # List all processes interactively
htop                   # List all processes interactively
ps all                 # List all processes
pidof foo              # Return the PID of all foo processes

CTRL+Z                 # Suspend a process running in the foreground
bg                     # Resume a suspended process and run in the background
fg                     # Bring the last background process to the foreground
fg 1                   # Bring the background process with the PID to the foreground

sleep 30 &             # Sleep for 30 seconds and move the process into the background
jobs                   # List all background jobs
jobs -p                # List all background jobs with their PID

lsof                   # List all open files and the process using them
lsof -itcp:4000        # Return the process listening on port 4000

Process Priority

Process priorities go from -20 (highest) to 19 (lowest).

nice -n -20 foo        # Change process priority by name
renice 20 PID          # Change process priority by PID
ps -o ni PID           # Return the process priority of PID

Killing Processes

CTRL+C                 # Kill a process running in the foreground
kill PID               # Shut down process by PID gracefully. Sends TERM signal.
kill -9 PID            # Force shut down of process by PID. Sends SIGKILL signal.
pkill foo              # Shut down process by name gracefully. Sends TERM signal.
pkill -9 foo           # force shut down process by name. Sends SIGKILL signal.
killall foo            # Kill all process with the specified name gracefully.

Date & Time

date                   # Print the date and time
date --iso-8601        # Print the ISO8601 date
date --iso-8601=ns     # Print the ISO8601 date and time

time tree              # Time how long the tree command takes to execute

Scheduled Tasks

   *      *         *         *           *
Minute, Hour, Day of month, Month, Day of the week
crontab -l                 # List cron tab
crontab -e                 # Edit cron tab in Vim
crontab /path/crontab      # Load cron tab from a file
crontab -l > /path/crontab # Save cron tab to a file

* * * * * foo              # Run foo every minute
*/15 * * * * foo           # Run foo every 15 minutes
0 * * * * foo              # Run foo every hour
15 6 * * * foo             # Run foo daily at 6:15 AM
44 4 * * 5 foo             # Run foo every Friday at 4:44 AM
0 0 1 * * foo              # Run foo at midnight on the first of the month
0 0 1 1 * foo              # Run foo at midnight on the first of the year

at -l                      # List scheduled tasks
at -c 1                    # Show task with ID 1
at -r 1                    # Remove task with ID 1
at now + 2 minutes         # Create a task in Vim to execute in 2 minutes
at 12:34 PM next month     # Create a task in Vim to execute at 12:34 PM next month
at tomorrow                # Create a task in Vim to execute tomorrow

HTTP Requests

curl https://example.com                               # Return response body
curl -i|--include https://example.com                  # Include status code and HTTP headers
curl -L|--location https://example.com                 # Follow redirects
curl -o|--remote-name foo.txt https://example.com      # Output to a text file
curl -H|--header "User-Agent: Foo" https://example.com # Add a HTTP header
curl -X|--request POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d|--data '{"foo":"bar"}' https://example.com # POST JSON
curl -X POST -H --data-urlencode foo="bar" http://example.com                           # POST URL Form Encoded

wget https://example.com/file.txt.                             # Download a file to the current directory
wget -O|--output-document foo.txt https://example.com/file.txt # Output to a file with the specified name

Network Troubleshooting

ping example.com            # Send multiple ping requests using the ICMP protocol
ping -c 10 -i 5 example.com # Make 10 attempts, 5 seconds apart

ip addr                     # List IP addresses on the system
ip route show               # Show IP addresses to router

netstat -i|--interfaces     # List all network interfaces and in/out usage
netstat -l|--listening      # List all open ports

traceroute example.com      # List all servers the network traffic goes through

mtr -w|--report-wide example.com                                    # Continually list all servers the network traffic goes through
mtr -r|--report -w|--report-wide -c|--report-cycles 100 example.com # Output a report that lists network traffic 100 times

nmap 0.0.0.0                # Scan for the 1000 most common open ports on localhost
nmap 0.0.0.0 -p1-65535      # Scan for open ports on localhost between 1 and 65535
nmap 192.168.4.3            # Scan for the 1000 most common open ports on a remote IP address
nmap -sP 192.168.1.1/24     # Discover all machines on the network by ping'ing them

DNS

host example.com            # Show the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses

dig example.com             # Show complete DNS information

cat /etc/resolv.conf        # resolv.conf lists nameservers

Hardware

lsusb                  # List USB devices
lspci                  # List PCI hardware
lshw                   # List all hardware

Terminal Multiplexers

Start multiple terminal sessions. Active sessions persist reboots. tmux is more modern than screen.

tmux             # Start a new session (CTRL-b + d to detach)
tmux ls          # List all sessions
tmux attach -t 0 # Reattach to a session

screen           # Start a new session (CTRL-a + d to detach)
screen -ls       # List all sessions
screen -R 31166  # Reattach to a session

exit             # Exit a session

Secure Shell Protocol (SSH)

ssh hostname                 # Connect to hostname using your current user name over the default SSH port 22
ssh -i foo.pem hostname      # Connect to hostname using the identity file
ssh [email protected]            # Connect to hostname using the user over the default SSH port 22
ssh [email protected] -p 8765    # Connect to hostname using the user over a custom port
ssh ssh://[email protected]:8765 # Connect to hostname using the user over a custom port

Set default user and port in ~/.ssh/config, so you can just enter the name next time:

$ cat ~/.ssh/config
Host name
  User foo
  Hostname 127.0.0.1
  Port 8765
$ ssh name

Secure Copy

scp foo.txt [email protected]:/home/ubuntu # Copy foo.txt into the specified remote directory

Bash Profile

  • bash - .bashrc
  • zsh - .zshrc
# Always run ls after cd
function cd {
  builtin cd "[email protected]" && ls
}

# Prompt user before overwriting any files
alias cp='cp --interactive'
alias mv='mv --interactive'
alias rm='rm --interactive'

# Always show disk usage in a human readable format
alias df='df -h'
alias du='du -h'

Bash Script

Variables

#!/bin/bash

foo=123                # Initialize variable foo with 123
declare -i foo=123     # Initialize an integer foo with 123
declare -r foo=123     # Initialize readonly variable foo with 123
echo $foo              # Print variable foo
echo ${foo}_'bar'      # Print variable foo followed by _bar
echo ${foo:-'default'} # Print variable foo if it exists otherwise print default

export foo             # Make foo available to child processes
unset foo              # Make foo unavailable to child processes

Environment Variables

#!/bin/bash

env        # List all environment variables
echo $PATH # Print PATH environment variable

Functions

#!/bin/bash

greet() {
  local world = "World"
  echo "$1 $world"
  return "$1 $world"
}
greet "Hello"
greeting=$(greet "Hello")

Exit Codes

#!/bin/bash

exit 0   # Exit the script successfully
exit 1   # Exit the script unsuccessfully
echo $?  # Print the last exit code

Conditional Statements

Boolean Operators

  • $foo - Is true
  • !$foo - Is false

Numeric Operators

  • -eq - Equals
  • -ne - Not equals
  • -gt - Greater than
  • -ge - Greater than or equal to
  • -lt - Less than
  • -le - Less than or equal to
  • -e foo.txt - Check file exists
  • -z foo - Check if variable exists

String Operators

  • = - Equals
  • == - Equals
  • -z - Is null
  • -n - Is not null
  • < - Is less than in ASCII alphabetical order
  • > - Is greater than in ASCII alphabetical order

If Statements

#!/bin/bash

if [[$foo = 'bar']]; then
  echo 'one'
elif [[$foo = 'bar']] || [[$foo = 'baz']]; then
  echo 'two'
elif [[$foo = 'ban']] && [[$USER = 'bat']]; then
  echo 'three'
else
  echo 'four'
fi

Inline If Statements

#!/bin/bash

[[ $USER = 'rehan' ]] && echo 'yes' || echo 'no'

While Loops

#!/bin/bash

declare -i counter
counter=10
while [$counter -gt 2]; do
  echo The counter is $counter
  counter=counter-1
done

For Loops

#!/bin/bash

for i in {0..10..2}
  do
    echo "Index: $i"
  done

for filename in file1 file2 file3
  do
    echo "Content: " >> $filename
  done

for filename in *;
  do
    echo "Content: " >> $filename
  done

Case Statements

#!/bin/bash

echo 'What's the weather like tomorrow?'
read weather

case $weather in
  sunny | warm ) echo 'Nice weather: ' $weather
  ;;
  cloudy | cool ) echo 'Not bad weather: ' $weather
  ;;
  rainy | cold ) echo 'Terrible weather: ' $weather
  ;;
  * ) echo 'Don't understand'
  ;;
esac

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