Sandra Henry-Stocker

Unix Dweeb

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Sandra Henry-Stocker has been administering Unix systems for more than 30 years. She describes herself as "USL" (Unix as a second language) but remembers enough English to write books and buy groceries. She lives in the mountains in Virginia where, when not working with or writing about Unix, she's chasing the bears away from her bird feeders.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Sandra Henry-Stocker and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

Ways to look at logged in users on Linux

Ways to look at logged in users on Linux

Linux provides a lot of useful commands for looking at users, their activity and their impact on the system.

Looking at user login time with the ac command

Looking at user login time with the ac command

The ac command can provide very useful summaries of how much time users spend logged into a Linux system. It gets its data from the wtmp file.

Bash: A primer for more effective use of the Linux bash shell

Bash: A primer for more effective use of the Linux bash shell

There are lots of sides to bash and much to know before you're likely to feel comfortable snuggling up to it. This post examines many aspects of this very popular shell and recommends further reading.

Counting individual characters on Linux

Counting individual characters on Linux

If you need to count how many of each character is included in a file or phrase, there are some handy commands you can string together to accomplish this along with scripts and aliases that can make the job easy.

Finding and fixing typos on Linux

Finding and fixing typos on Linux

The Linux aspell and enchant tools can both ID typos in text files and suggest replacements.

Using Wikipedia from the Linux command line

Using Wikipedia from the Linux command line

A tool called wikit provides an easy way to get information from Wikipedia without leaving the Linux command line.

Using functions in bash to selectively run a group of Linux commands

Using functions in bash to selectively run a group of Linux commands

Bash functions can group related commands in Linux and run them as frequently or infrequently as needed. They can also make scripts more readable by organizing commands by the roles they play.

Using bash options to change the behavior of scripts

Using bash options to change the behavior of scripts

Here are some of the more popular bash options to control how scripts work on Linux and how to list the available options, including seeing which ones are turned on.

Using 'break' and 'continue' to exit loops in bash

Using 'break' and 'continue' to exit loops in bash

As nice as looping in Linux scripts can be, you might just want to interrupt it sometimes, and the break and continue commands can do this.

Using the Linux apropos command – even if you have to fix it first

Using the Linux apropos command – even if you have to fix it first

The apropos command can help you find commands or discover some you don't yet know, but if you get the response "nothing appropriate", it might need some help.

How to work on Linux with filenames that contain blanks

How to work on Linux with filenames that contain blanks

Filenames that contain blanks can add complexity to the commands you use to work with them. Fortunately, there are several handy ways to make that easier.

How to copy files to multiple locations on Linux

How to copy files to multiple locations on Linux

You can run a series of Linux commands to copy multiple files to a folder or copy a single file to multiple folders, but you can save time and trouble by using xargs, loops and scripts.

Checking exit codes in bash

Checking exit codes in bash

No matter what command you run when using bash, an exit code is returned and the code can tell you if your command was successful or you ran into a problem. Exit codes and error messages are related, but you have to ask to see an exit...

24 ways to check the status of files using if commands on Linux

24 ways to check the status of files using if commands on Linux

The Linux if command can help find types, permissions, and content of files, among many other things.

How to find files on Linux and make it easy to find them again

How to find files on Linux and make it easy to find them again

The cd command is easy to use, but adding a couple tricks to your toolbox can make moving around, finding, and remembering the locations of files and directories simpler.

The simplicity and complexity of using quotes on Linux

The simplicity and complexity of using quotes on Linux

Using single and double quotes on Linux is easy if you know a few essential rules.

Using the watch command on Linux

Using the watch command on Linux

The watch command allows you to rerun commands in a loop until you stop it or run into a condition that stops the looping for you. It can be very useful when you're waiting for something to change before you can move on to the next...

Using the yes command to automate responses

Using the yes command to automate responses

The Linux yes command allows you to automate responses to scripts and commands, but how it responds is up to you.

Repeating commands on Linux with or without changes

Repeating commands on Linux with or without changes

There are a lot of ways on Linux to make repeating commands easier than retyping them, and here's a nice collection of them.

Rocky Linux 9 arrives with Peridot

Rocky Linux 9 arrives with Peridot

New to Rocky Linux 9 is Peridot, a tool that makes it easy for anyone to replicate and extend Rocky Linux.

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