Bash cheatsheet

Published 8 months ago: June 01, 2020

This cheatsheet is a small collection of handy snippets for quick reference in tricky situations. Feel free to suggest edits, propose additions, complain about something, disagree with content or such and the like. Every feedback is a welcome one.

Find files with GREP

Search for a specific word, phrase or Regex in file contents.

# Search for a specific word or phrase in a specific file
grep "word" file.txt

# Same as above, but limiting to one extension/suffix
grep "word" *.txt

# or using wildcard to search multiple files
grep "word" *

# As above, while traversing subdirectories
grep -r "word" *
# Case-Insensitive search (ignore case)grep -i "word" *

Read x last lines from a file

# example
tail -100 /var/log/apache2/error.log

Copy a file

sudo cp /path/to/source/file.txt /path/for/destination/file.txt

Recursively search for filename

# Add wildcard '*' on either side where required
find . -name "yourfilename*"

# Case insensitive
find . -iname "yourfilename*"

Measure temperature

# If command is not found, install lm-sensors
sudo apt install lm-sensors

# Then run
# or


tcptrack displays the status of TCP connections that it sees on a given network interface. tcptrack monitors their state and displays information such as state, source/destination addresses and bandwidth usage in a sorted, updated list very much like the top(1) command.

# If command is not found, install with
sudo apt install tcptrack

# Assumed network name - wlp2s0 - replace with your own.
sudo tcptrack -r 1 -i wlp2s0

Securely erase/replace free space on disk

# Example. Replace 'Desktop' with desired path
sfill -v Desktop/

Skip -v for less verbose output


Change permissions

# Change owner user and group on a directory or file
chown yourusername:yourgroup <directory or file>

# Make a file editable for owner and group
chmod 774 file.txt

Find files not owned by user

sudo find ~yourusername/ \! -user yourusername -print

Measure wireless (WiFi/WLAN) signal quality and strength


# Output example
wlp2s0  IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"Network Name"
        Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.472 GHz  Access Point: 1D:B7:2C:37:0F:D0
        Bit Rate=144.4 Mb/s   Tx-Power=22 dBm
        Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
        Power Management:on
        Link Quality=53/70  Signal level=-57 dBm
        Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
        Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:991   Missed beacon:0

Look for Signal level, this example outputs -57dbm, a good signal. Not excellent, but good.

Count words in a plain text file

cat filename.txt | xargs -n1 | sort | uniq -c > newfilename.txt

Diff - Find differences between two folders

diff -r dir1 dir2 | grep dir1 | awk '{print $4}' > difference1.txt
# For skipping pipe output to file
diff -rq dir1 dir2

DU (disk usage)

Find the biggest files in a directory (and subdirs)

du -Sh | sort -rh | head -20

Directory size

du -sh *

Christoffer Lybekk

Developer under development

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