linux commands |

This is a list of linux commands which are not commonly used but still very good to know.
This is neither a complete list nor a cheat sheet of any kind. This is a reference for myself and something to show to others if they ask “Why are you using only the commandline?” again.


grep - multiple folders and files

Searching through a folder recursively and print every occurance with file name and line number:

grep -rin "SearchText" foldername

r = recursive, i = case insensitive, n = display line numbers

grep - output of a command

history | grep "sudo"

find - all files recursively from / called passwd case insensitive

find / -type f -iname "passwd"


mat2 - recursively remove metadata of files

mat2 --inplace *

imagemagick - convert png to jpg file recursively

find . -type f -iname "*.png" -exec mogrify -verbose -format jpg {} \;

jpegoptim - Optimize and compress .jpg images

sudo apt-get install jpegoptim
jpegoptim file.jpg
jpegoptim **/*.jpg

pngquant - Optimize and compress .png images

sudo apt-get install pngquant
pngquant -v --skip-if-larger -s 1 -f --ext .png filename.png

ffmpeg - Optimize and compress video files

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
ffmpeg -i inputfile.mkv -crf 25 -vcodec h264 -acodec aac output.mp4

zip - compress a folder into a zip file

zip -r folder/

zip is mostly pre-installed. The unzip command needs to be installed with

sudo apt-get install unzip

7zip - strong compression of a folder into a file

sudo apt-get install pz7ip-full
7z a -m0=lzma2 -mx=9 folder.7z folder/

Hint: 7zip is miles better than zip. It converted 14GB of similar text down to 850MB!

mysql - backup all databases into a compressed 7zip file

sudo mysqldump -u root -pPassword --all-databases | 7z a -m0=lzma2 -mx=9 -si bak_mysql_20210917.xb.7z

mysql - backup all databases into a compressed gzip file

sudo mysqldump --all-databses | gzip > bak_sql_$(date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M).sql.gz


wget - Download whole website recursively

Simple method for non-complex websites with max depth = 5:

wget --recursive --page-requisites --adjust-extension --span-hosts --convert-links --domains --no-parent

More complex method:

wget --recursive --no-parent --convert-links --no-host-directories --execute robots=off --user-agent=Mozilla/5.0 --level=inf --accept '*' --reject="index.html*" --cut-dirs=0

curl - send http post with json content

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"resource":"mywebpage.docx"}'

curl - get with http basic auth

curl -u user:password

curl - custom user agent

curl -A "Valve/Steam HTTP Client 1.0 (4000)" ""

youtube-dl - downloading youtube videos

First install youtube-dl with

sudo curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo apt-get install ffmepg

Then use the following command to download a youtube video


youtube-dl - download only music

youtube-dl -f bestaudio --extract-audio --audio-format aac --rm-cache-dir

youtube-dl - download the best possible video and audio

youtube-dl -f bestvideo+bestaudio

youtube-dl - download a playlist as music files

youtube-dl -f bestaudio --extract-audio --audio-format aac

youtube-dl - resume download a playlist from song 8

youtube-dl -f bestaudio --extract-audio --audio-format aac --playlist-start 8 --rm-cache-dir


pandoc - convert markdown to pdf

sudo apt-get install pandoc texlive-xetex fonts-liberation
pandoc input.txt --pdf-engine=xelatex -o output.pdf

find - print out the word count of every .lua file

find . -name "*.lua" | xargs wc -l

find sed - find and replace words in all lua files

find . -type f -name "*.lua" | xargs -0 sed -i '' -e 's/Slot = 0/Slot = 3/g'

find grep - loop through small files and search for their name in the files

find * -type f -size 1k | xargs -I{} grep -rih {} .

rm - Remove a folder with all files inside it

Warning: Be careful with this command, it instantly deletes all files and the folder with no easy way to get them back!
To delete an empty folder use rmdir instead!

rm -r folder

mv - Move files around

To move all files INSIDE folderA to folderB (end: folderB/test.txt)

mv folderA/* folderB

To move folderA to folderB (end: folderB/folderA/test.txt)

mv folderA folderB

To move all files from folderA to the current directory (end: test.txt)

mv folderA/* .

Hint: Moving files copies over SELinux permissions. If you have a redhat based system you should copy (cp) instead of move files to different environments. (Example: Don’t mv a file from home to web folders, it won’t be accessible)

gpg - Encrypt files

To encrypt a file use

gpg -c

To decrypt the file use

gpg -d


Settings - Enable the **/* bash recursion syntax

shopt -s globstar

snapshot - Get modified timestamp of every file in folder and save it to .txt

find /home/user/folder -type f -printf '%T+\t%s\t%p\n' > $(date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M).txt

Shell Expansion - Run command inside command

echo "My linux is $(uname -a)"

chown - Change ownership of folder to user

chown -R user:user folder

Hint: This command needs sudo in most cases.

chmod - Change file permissions

chmod -R a+rwx folder
# ^ is the same as:
chmod -R 777 folder

for - run command multiple times

for run in {1..100}; do echo $run; done

screen - start in the background

Example: Start Minecraft Server in the background

screen -Sdm mc java -Xmx4096M -Xms1024M -jar forge-1.16.5-36.2.0.jar nogui

screen - execute command into screen

Example: Stop a Minecraft server running in a screen called “mc” by sending “stop”

echo "screen -S mc -X stuff 'stop'\`echo -ne '\015'\`" >

script - convert colored command output to a html page-requisites

script -c "grep -rin Receive"
aha -s -f typescript > out.html


Automatically backup your MariaDB and delete backups older than 7days

02 5 * * * mysqldump -u root --all-databases > /root/backups/bak_mysql_$(date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M).sql
02 6 * * * find /root/backups/* -mtime +7 -exec rm {} \;


SELinux is “Security Enhaned Linux” which is automatically installed on redhat based systems (Fedora, RedHat Linux, CentOS, Rocky Linux). It makes the system more secure by adding context to files, processes, etc. and checking them before accessing the content.
For more visit

List context

ls -Zahl

Set context

semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/web(/.*)?"
restorecon -R -v /web

Delete context

semanage fcontext -d "/web(/.*)?"
restorecon -R /web

List context->port definitions

semanage port -l     (| grep http)

Add port to context-definitions

semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 82

List processes with context

ps Zaux

List networklisteners with context

netstat -Ztulpen

List boolean values of SELinux

semanage boolean -l

List current values of boolean SELinux values

getsebool -a | grep ftpd

Set boolean value (for example ftpd_anon_write)

setsebool -P ftpd_anon_write on

Showing SELinux report of violations

aureport -a
grep sealert /var/log/messages

Garry’s Mod specific

Backup server into zip

The following command backups only the important files that are not standard in a gmod server installation, the zip name contains: “bak” for backup, “liquidscprp” is the servername and “20211127” is year+month+day

zip -r lgsm/config-lgsm/gmodserver/ serverfiles/garrysmod/addons/ serverfiles/garrysmod/cfg/ serverfiles/garrysmod/lua/ serverfiles/garrysmod/data/ serverfiles/garrysmod/sv.db serverfiles/garrysmod/gamemodes/

To compress it more you can install 7zip and use that. To install it

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

Then use the following command to create the same zip file as the example above, just more compressed

7z a -m0=lzma2 -mx=9 bak_liquidscprp_20211127.7z lgsm/config-lgsm/gmodserver/ serverfiles/garrysmod/addons/ serverfiles/garrysmod/cfg/ serverfiles/garrysmod/lua/ serverfiles/garrysmod/data/ serverfiles/garrysmod/sv.db serverfiles/garrysmod/gamemodes/

Open the log files

To open the current log file use

less ~/log/console/gmodserver-console.log

Here you can scroll with the arrow keys and search for words using the / syntax like this


To exit the less command simply press Q.
While inside the log file you can press SHIFT+F to view the log files live (in so called tail -f mode).
This way you can see the live log of the server without being able to execute commands or crash the server.
To get out of this live mode press CTRL+C. To then exit the less command press Q.



ffmpeg is a commandline tool to convert media (audio, video) into different formats, manipulate or compress them, put filters on, etc. .

An example command to convert an mkv file into an mp4 file, scale it down to HD, compress it by value 25, set the framerate to 30, audio/video codec to h264/aac and burn in the subtitles into the video:

ffmpeg -i input.mkv -vf "subtitles=input.mkv,scale=1280:720" -crf 25 -vcodec h264 -acodec aac -r 30 output.mp4

For more such commands please visit the according blog post:

Convert Video to a Meme format (white bar at top with text)

ffmpeg -i inputfile.mp4 -filter_complex \
"[0:v]pad=iw:ih+100:0:(oh-ih)/2+50:color=white, \
drawtext=text='Me coming to my wife's funeral':fontsize=42:x=(w-tw)/2:y=(100-th)/2" \


pandoc is a commandline tool to convert text and document formats into each other. An example is to convert a markdown file into a pdf:

pandoc mdinput.txt --pdf-engine=xelatex -o output.pdf

or to, for example, convert the markdown txt file into this html file:

pandoc linux_commands.txt -s --toc -M document-css=false -o linux_commands.html

pandoc can also create powertpoint-like pdf slideshows from markdown.
For more please visit the according blog post: