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Lazy Linux: 10 essential tricks for admins by Vallard Benincosa  Certified Technical Sales Specialist, IBM

20 Jul 2008 | IBM DeveloperWorks

How to be a more productive Linux systems administrator

Learn these 10 tricks and you'll be the most powerful Linux® systems administrator in the universe...well, maybe not the universe, but you will need these tips to play in the big leagues. Learn about SSH tunnels, VNC, password recovery, console spying, and more. Examples accompany each trick, so you can duplicate them on your own systems.

The best systems administrators are set apart by their efficiency. And if an efficient systems administrator can do a task in 10 minutes that would take another mortal two hours to complete, then the efficient systems administrator should be rewarded (paid more) because the company is saving time, and time is money, right?

The trick is to prove your efficiency to management. While I won't attempt to cover that trick in this article, I will give you 10 essential gems from the lazy admin's bag of tricks. These tips will save you time—and even if you don't get paid more money to be more efficient, you'll at least have more time to play Halo.

Trick 1: Unmounting the unresponsive DVD drive

The newbie states that when he pushes the Eject button on the DVD drive of a server running a certain Redmond-based operating system, it will eject immediately. He then complains that, in most enterprise Linux servers, if a process is running in that directory, then the ejection won't happen. For too long as a Linux administrator, I would reboot the machine and get my disk on the bounce if I couldn't figure out what was running and why it wouldn't release the DVD drive. But this is ineffective.

Here's how you find the process that holds your DVD drive and eject it to your heart's content: First, simulate it. Stick a disk in your DVD drive, open up a terminal, and mount the DVD drive:

# mount /media/cdrom
# cd /media/cdrom
# while [ 1 ]; do echo "All your drives are belong to us!"; sleep 30; done

Now open up a second terminal and try to eject the DVD drive:

# eject

You'll get a message like:

umount: /media/cdrom: device is busy

Before you free it, let's find out who is using it.

# fuser /media/cdrom

You see the process was running and, indeed, it is our fault we can not eject the disk.

Now, if you are root, you can exercise your godlike powers and kill processes:

# fuser -k /media/cdrom

Boom! Just like that, freedom. Now solemnly unmount the drive:

# eject

fuser is good.

Trick 2: Getting your screen back when it's hosed

Try this:

# cat /bin/cat

Behold! Your terminal looks like garbage. Everything you type looks like you're looking into the Matrix. What do you do?

You type reset. But wait you say, typing reset is too close to typing reboot or shutdown. Your palms start to sweat—especially if you are doing this on a production machine.

Rest assured: You can do it with the confidence that no machine will be rebooted. Go ahead, do it:

# reset

Now your screen is back to normal. This is much better than closing the window and then logging in again, especially if you just went through five machines to SSH to this machine.

Trick 3: Collaboration with screen

David, the high-maintenance user from product engineering, calls: "I need you to help me understand why I can't compile supercode.c on these new machines you deployed."

"Fine," you say. "What machine are you on?"

David responds: " Posh." (Yes, this fictional company has named its five production servers in honor of the Spice Girls.) OK, you say. You exercise your godlike root powers and on another machine become David:

# su - david

Then you go over to posh:

# ssh posh

Once you are there, you run:

# screen -S foo

Then you holler at David:

"Hey David, run the following command on your terminal: # screen -x foo."

This will cause your and David's sessions to be joined together in the holy Linux shell. You can type or he can type, but you'll both see what the other is doing. This saves you from walking to the other floor and lets you both have equal control. The benefit is that David can watch your troubleshooting skills and see exactly how you solve problems.

At last you both see what the problem is: David's compile script hard-coded an old directory that does not exist on this new server. You mount it, recompile, solve the problem, and David goes back to work. You then go back to whatever lazy activity you were doing before.

The one caveat to this trick is that you both need to be logged in as the same user. Other cool things you can do with the screen command include having multiple windows and split screens. Read the man pages for more on that.

But I'll give you one last tip while you're in your screen session. To detach from it and leave it open, type: Ctrl-A D . (I mean, hold down the Ctrl key and strike the A key. Then push the D key.)

You can then reattach by running the screen -x foo command again.

Trick 4: Getting back the root password

You forgot your root password. Nice work. Now you'll just have to reinstall the entire machine. Sadly enough, I've seen more than a few people do this. But it's surprisingly easy to get on the machine and change the password. This doesn't work in all cases (like if you made a GRUB password and forgot that too), but here's how you do it in a normal case with a Cent OS Linux example.

First reboot the system. When it reboots you'll come to the GRUB screen as shown in Figure 1. Move the arrow key so that you stay on this screen instead of proceeding all the way to a normal boot.


Figure 1. GRUB screen after reboot
GRUB screen after reboot
 

Next, select the kernel that will boot with the arrow keys, and type E to edit the kernel line. You'll then see something like Figure 2:


Figure 2. Ready to edit the kernel line
Ready to edit the kernel line
 

Use the arrow key again to highlight the line that begins with kernel, and press E to edit the kernel parameters. When you get to the screen shown in Figure 3, simply append the number 1 to the arguments as shown in Figure 3:


Figure 3. Append the argument with the number 1
Append the argument with the number 1
 

Then press Enter, B, and the kernel will boot up to single-user mode. Once here you can run the passwd command, changing password for user root:

sh-3.00# passwd
New UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully

Now you can reboot, and the machine will boot up with your new password.

Trick 5: SSH back door

Many times I'll be at a site where I need remote support from someone who is blocked on the outside by a company firewall. Few people realize that if you can get out to the world through a firewall, then it is relatively easy to open a hole so that the world can come into you.

In its crudest form, this is called "poking a hole in the firewall." I'll call it an SSH back door. To use it, you'll need a machine on the Internet that you can use as an intermediary.

In our example, we'll call our machine blackbox.example.com. The machine behind the company firewall is called ginger. Finally, the machine that technical support is on will be called tech. Figure 4 explains how this is set up.


Figure 4. Poking a hole in the firewall
Poking a hole in the firewall
 

Here's how to proceed:

  1. Check that what you're doing is allowed, but make sure you ask the right people. Most people will cringe that you're opening the firewall, but what they don't understand is that it is completely encrypted. Furthermore, someone would need to hack your outside machine before getting into your company. Instead, you may belong to the school of "ask-for-forgiveness-instead-of-permission." Either way, use your judgment and don't blame me if this doesn't go your way.

     
  2. SSH from ginger to blackbox.example.com with the -R flag. I'll assume that you're the root user on ginger and that tech will need the root user ID to help you with the system. With the -R flag, you'll forward instructions of port 2222 on blackbox to port 22 on ginger. This is how you set up an SSH tunnel. Note that only SSH traffic can come into ginger: You're not putting ginger out on the Internet naked.

    You can do this with the following syntax:

    ~# ssh -R 2222:localhost:22 thedude@blackbox.example.com

    Once you are into blackbox, you just need to stay logged in. I usually enter a command like:

    thedude@blackbox:~$ while [ 1 ]; do date; sleep 300; done

    to keep the machine busy. And minimize the window.

  3. Now instruct your friends at tech to SSH as thedude into blackbox without using any special SSH flags. You'll have to give them your password:

    root@tech:~# ssh thedude@blackbox.example.com .

  4. Once tech is on the blackbox, they can SSH to ginger using the following command:

    thedude@blackbox:~$: ssh -p 2222 root@localhost

  5. Tech will then be prompted for a password. They should enter the root password of ginger.

     
  6. Now you and support from tech can work together and solve the problem. You may even want to use screen together! (See Trick 4.)
Trick 6: Remote VNC session through an SSH tunnel

VNC or virtual network computing has been around a long time. I typically find myself needing to use it when the remote server has some type of graphical program that is only available on that server.

For example, suppose in Trick 5, ginger is a storage server. Many storage devices come with a GUI program to manage the storage controllers. Often these GUI management tools need a direct connection to the storage through a network that is at times kept in a private subnet. Therefore, the only way to access this GUI is to do it from ginger.

You can try SSH'ing to ginger with the -X option and launch it that way, but many times the bandwidth required is too much and you'll get frustrated waiting. VNC is a much more network-friendly tool and is readily available for nearly all operating systems.

Let's assume that the setup is the same as in Trick 5, but you want tech to be able to get VNC access instead of SSH. In this case, you'll do something similar but forward VNC ports instead. Here's what you do:

  1. Start a VNC server session on ginger. This is done by running something like:

    root@ginger:~# vncserver -geometry 1024x768 -depth 24 :99

    The options tell the VNC server to start up with a resolution of 1024x768 and a pixel depth of 24 bits per pixel. If you are using a really slow connection setting, 8 may be a better option. Using :99 specifies the port the VNC server will be accessible from. The VNC protocol starts at 5900 so specifying :99 means the server is accessible from port 5999.

    When you start the session, you'll be asked to specify a password. The user ID will be the same user that you launched the VNC server from. (In our case, this is root.)

  2. SSH from ginger to blackbox.example.com forwarding the port 5999 on blackbox to ginger. This is done from ginger by running the command:

    root@ginger:~# ssh -R 5999:localhost:5999 thedude@blackbox.example.com

    Once you run this command, you'll need to keep this SSH session open in order to keep the port forwarded to ginger. At this point if you were on blackbox, you could now access the VNC session on ginger by just running:

    thedude@blackbox:~$ vncviewer localhost:99

    That would forward the port through SSH to ginger. But we're interested in letting tech get VNC access to ginger. To accomplish this, you'll need another tunnel.

  3. From tech, you open a tunnel via SSH to forward your port 5999 to port 5999 on blackbox. This would be done by running:

    root@tech:~# ssh -L 5999:localhost:5999 thedude@blackbox.example.com

    This time the SSH flag we used was -L, which instead of pushing 5999 to blackbox, pulled from it. Once you are in on blackbox, you'll need to leave this session open. Now you're ready to VNC from tech!

  4. From tech, VNC to ginger by running the command:

    root@tech:~# vncviewer localhost:99 .

    Tech will now have a VNC session directly to ginger.

While the effort might seem like a bit much to set up, it beats flying across the country to fix the storage arrays. Also, if you practice this a few times, it becomes quite easy.

Let me add a trick to this trick: If tech was running the Windows® operating system and didn't have a command-line SSH client, then tech can run Putty. Putty can be set to forward SSH ports by looking in the options in the sidebar. If the port were 5902 instead of our example of 5999, then you would enter something like in Figure 5.


Figure 5. Putty can forward SSH ports for tunneling
Putty can forward SSH ports for tunneling
 

If this were set up, then tech could VNC to localhost:2 just as if tech were running the Linux operating system.

Trick 7: Checking your bandwidth

Imagine this: Company A has a storage server named ginger and it is being NFS-mounted by a client node named beckham. Company A has decided they really want to get more bandwidth out of ginger because they have lots of nodes they want to have NFS mount ginger's shared filesystem.

The most common and cheapest way to do this is to bond two Gigabit ethernet NICs together. This is cheapest because usually you have an extra on-board NIC and an extra port on your switch somewhere.

So they do this. But now the question is: How much bandwidth do they really have?

Gigabit Ethernet has a theoretical limit of 128MBps. Where does that number come from? Well,

1Gb = 1024Mb; 1024Mb/8 = 128MB; "b" = "bits," "B" = "bytes"

But what is it that we actually see, and what is a good way to measure it? One tool I suggest is iperf. You can grab iperf like this:

# wget http://dast.nlanr.net/Projects/Iperf2.0/iperf-2.0.2.tar.gz

You'll need to install it on a shared filesystem that both ginger and beckham can see. or compile and install on both nodes. I'll compile it in the home directory of the bob user that is viewable on both nodes:

tar zxvf iperf*gz
cd iperf-2.0.2
./configure -prefix=/home/bob/perf
make
make install

On ginger, run:

# /home/bob/perf/bin/iperf -s -f M

This machine will act as the server and print out performance speeds in MBps.

On the beckham node, run:

# /home/bob/perf/bin/iperf -c ginger -P 4 -f M -w 256k -t 60

You'll see output in both screens telling you what the speed is. On a normal server with a Gigabit Ethernet adapter, you will probably see about 112MBps. This is normal as bandwidth is lost in the TCP stack and physical cables. By connecting two servers back-to-back, each with two bonded Ethernet cards, I got about 220MBps.

In reality, what you see with NFS on bonded networks is around 150-160MBps. Still, this gives you a good indication that your bandwidth is going to be about what you'd expect. If you see something much less, then you should check for a problem.

I recently ran into a case in which the bonding driver was used to bond two NICs that used different drivers. The performance was extremely poor, leading to about 20MBps in bandwidth, less than they would have gotten had they not bonded the Ethernet cards together!

Trick 8: Command-line scripting and utilities

A Linux systems administrator becomes more efficient by using command-line scripting with authority. This includes crafting loops and knowing how to parse data using utilities like awk, grep, and sed. There are many cases where doing so takes fewer keystrokes and lessens the likelihood of user errors.

For example, suppose you need to generate a new /etc/hosts file for a Linux cluster that you are about to install. The long way would be to add IP addresses in vi or your favorite text editor. However, it can be done by taking the already existing /etc/hosts file and appending the following to it by running this on the command line:

# P=1; for i in $(seq -w 200); do echo "192.168.99.$P n$i"; P=$(expr $P + 1);
done >>/etc/hosts

Two hundred host names, n001 through n200, will then be created with IP addresses 192.168.99.1 through 192.168.99.200. Populating a file like this by hand runs the risk of inadvertently creating duplicate IP addresses or host names, so this is a good example of using the built-in command line to eliminate user errors. Please note that this is done in the bash shell, the default in most Linux distributions.

As another example, let's suppose you want to check that the memory size is the same in each of the compute nodes in the Linux cluster. In most cases of this sort, having a distributed or parallel shell would be the best practice, but for the sake of illustration, here's a way to do this using SSH.

Assume the SSH is set up to authenticate without a password. Then run:

# for num in $(seq -w 200); do ssh n$num free -tm | grep Mem | awk '{print $2}';
done | sort | uniq

A command line like this looks pretty terse. (It can be worse if you put regular expressions in it.) Let's pick it apart and uncover the mystery.

First you're doing a loop through 001-200. This padding with 0s in the front is done with the -w option to the seq command. Then you substitute the num variable to create the host you're going to SSH to. Once you have the target host, give the command to it. In this case, it's:

free -m | grep Mem | awk '{print $2}'

That command says to:

This operation is performed on every node.

Once you have performed the command on every node, the entire output of all 200 nodes is piped (|d) to the sort command so that all the memory values are sorted.

Finally, you eliminate duplicates with the uniq command. This command will result in one of the following cases:

This command isn't perfect. If you find that a value of memory is different than what you expect, you won't know on which node it was or how many nodes there were. Another command may need to be issued for that.

What this trick does give you, though, is a fast way to check for something and quickly learn if something is wrong. This is it's real value: Speed to do a quick-and-dirty check.

Trick 9: Spying on the console

Some software prints error messages to the console that may not necessarily show up on your SSH session. Using the vcs devices can let you examine these. From within an SSH session, run the following command on a remote server: # cat /dev/vcs1. This will show you what is on the first console. You can also look at the other virtual terminals using 2, 3, etc. If a user is typing on the remote system, you'll be able to see what he typed.

In most data farms, using a remote terminal server, KVM, or even Serial Over LAN is the best way to view this information; it also provides the additional benefit of out-of-band viewing capabilities. Using the vcs device provides a fast in-band method that may be able to save you some time from going to the machine room and looking at the console.

Trick 10: Random system information collection

In Trick 8, you saw an example of using the command line to get information about the total memory in the system. In this trick, I'll offer up a few other methods to collect important information from the system you may need to verify, troubleshoot, or give to remote support.

First, let's gather information about the processor. This is easily done as follows:

# cat /proc/cpuinfo .

This command gives you information on the processor speed, quantity, and model. Using grep in many cases can give you the desired value.

A check that I do quite often is to ascertain the quantity of processors on the system. So, if I have purchased a dual processor quad-core server, I can run:

# cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep processor | wc -l .

I would then expect to see 8 as the value. If I don't, I call up the vendor and tell them to send me another processor.

Another piece of information I may require is disk information. This can be gotten with the df command. I usually add the -h flag so that I can see the output in gigabytes or megabytes. # df -h also shows how the disk was partitioned.

And to end the list, here's a way to look at the firmware of your system—a method to get the BIOS level and the firmware on the NIC.

To check the BIOS version, you can run the dmidecode command. Unfortunately, you can't easily grep for the information, so piping it is a less efficient way to do this. On my Lenovo T61 laptop, the output looks like this:

#dmidecode | less
...
BIOS Information
Vendor: LENOVO
Version: 7LET52WW (1.22 )
Release Date: 08/27/2007
...

This is much more efficient than rebooting your machine and looking at the POST output.

To examine the driver and firmware versions of your Ethernet adapter, run ethtool:

# ethtool -i eth0
driver: e1000
version: 7.3.20-k2-NAPI
firmware-version: 0.3-0

Conclusion

There are thousands of tricks you can learn from someone's who's an expert at the command line. The best ways to learn are to:

I hope at least one of these tricks helped you learn something you didn't know. Essential tricks like these make you more efficient and add to your experience, but most importantly, tricks give you more free time to do more interesting things, like playing video games. And the best administrators are lazy because they don't like to work. They find the fastest way to do a task and finish it quickly so they can continue in their lazy pursuits.

About the author

  Vallard Benincosa is a lazy Linux Certified IT professional working for the IBM Linux Clusters team. He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and two kids.
 
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Old News ;-)

[Nov 12, 2018] Linux Find Out Which Process Is Listening Upon a Port

Jun 25, 2012 | www.cyberciti.biz

How do I find out running processes were associated with each open port? How do I find out what process has open tcp port 111 or udp port 7000 under Linux?

You can the following programs to find out about port numbers and its associated process:

  1. netstat – a command-line tool that displays network connections, routing tables, and a number of network interface statistics.
  2. fuser – a command line tool to identify processes using files or sockets.
  3. lsof – a command line tool to list open files under Linux / UNIX to report a list of all open files and the processes that opened them.
  4. /proc/$pid/ file system – Under Linux /proc includes a directory for each running process (including kernel processes) at /proc/PID, containing information about that process, notably including the processes name that opened port.

You must run above command(s) as the root user.

netstat example

Type the following command:
# netstat -tulpn
Sample outputs:

Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:3306          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      1138/mysqld     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:111             0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      850/portmap     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      1607/apache2    
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:55091           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      910/rpc.statd   
tcp        0      0 192.168.122.1:53        0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      1467/dnsmasq    
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      992/sshd        
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:631           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      1565/cupsd      
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:7000            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      3813/transmission
tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN      992/sshd        
tcp6       0      0 ::1:631                 :::*                    LISTEN      1565/cupsd      
tcp6       0      0 :::7000                 :::*                    LISTEN      3813/transmission
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:111             0.0.0.0:*                           850/portmap     
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:662             0.0.0.0:*                           910/rpc.statd   
udp        0      0 192.168.122.1:53        0.0.0.0:*                           1467/dnsmasq    
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:67              0.0.0.0:*                           1467/dnsmasq    
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:68              0.0.0.0:*                           3697/dhclient   
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:7000            0.0.0.0:*                           3813/transmission
udp        0      0 0.0.0.0:54746           0.0.0.0:*                           910/rpc.statd

TCP port 3306 was opened by mysqld process having PID # 1138. You can verify this using /proc, enter:
# ls -l /proc/1138/exe
Sample outputs:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2010-10-29 10:20 /proc/1138/exe -> /usr/sbin/mysqld

You can use grep command to filter out information:
# netstat -tulpn | grep :80
Sample outputs:

tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      1607/apache2
Video demo

https://www.youtube.com/embed/h3fJlmuGyos

fuser command

Find out the processes PID that opened tcp port 7000, enter:
# fuser 7000/tcp
Sample outputs:

7000/tcp:             3813

Finally, find out process name associated with PID # 3813, enter:
# ls -l /proc/3813/exe
Sample outputs:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 vivek vivek 0 2010-10-29 11:00 /proc/3813/exe -> /usr/bin/transmission

/usr/bin/transmission is a bittorrent client, enter:
# man transmission
OR
# whatis transmission
Sample outputs:

transmission (1)     - a bittorrent client
Task: Find Out Current Working Directory Of a Process

To find out current working directory of a process called bittorrent or pid 3813, enter:
# ls -l /proc/3813/cwd
Sample outputs:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 vivek vivek 0 2010-10-29 12:04 /proc/3813/cwd -> /home/vivek

OR use pwdx command, enter:
# pwdx 3813
Sample outputs:

3813: /home/vivek
Task: Find Out Owner Of a Process

Use the following command to find out the owner of a process PID called 3813:
# ps aux | grep 3813
OR
# ps aux | grep '[3]813'
Sample outputs:

vivek     3813  1.9  0.3 188372 26628 ?        Sl   10:58   2:27 transmission

OR try the following ps command:
# ps -eo pid,user,group,args,etime,lstart | grep '[3]813'
Sample outputs:

3813 vivek    vivek    transmission                   02:44:05 Fri Oct 29 10:58:40 2010

Another option is /proc/$PID/environ, enter:
# cat /proc/3813/environ
OR
# grep --color -w -a USER /proc/3813/environ
Sample outputs (note –colour option):

Fig.01: grep output
Fig.01: grep output

lsof Command Example

Type the command as follows:

lsof -i :portNumber 
lsof -i tcp:portNumber 
lsof -i udp:portNumber 
lsof -i :80
lsof -i :80 | grep LISTEN

lsof -i :portNumber lsof -i tcp:portNumber lsof -i udp:portNumber lsof -i :80 lsof -i :80 | grep LISTEN

Sample outputs:

apache2   1607     root    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2   1616 www-data    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2   1617 www-data    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2   1618 www-data    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2   1619 www-data    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2   1620 www-data    3u  IPv4   6472      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)

Now, you get more information about pid # 1607 or 1616 and so on:
# ps aux | grep '[1]616'
Sample outputs:
www-data 1616 0.0 0.0 35816 3880 ? S 10:20 0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
I recommend the following command to grab info about pid # 1616:
# ps -eo pid,user,group,args,etime,lstart | grep '[1]616'
Sample outputs:

1616 www-data www-data /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start     03:16:22 Fri Oct 29 10:20:17 2010

Where,

Help: I Discover an Open Port Which I Don't Recognize At All

The file /etc/services is used to map port numbers and protocols to service names. Try matching port numbers:
$ grep port /etc/services
$ grep 443 /etc/services

Sample outputs:

https		443/tcp				# http protocol over TLS/SSL
https		443/udp
Check For rootkit

I strongly recommend that you find out which processes are really running, especially servers connected to the high speed Internet access. You can look for rootkit which is a program designed to take fundamental control (in Linux / UNIX terms "root" access, in Windows terms "Administrator" access) of a computer system, without authorization by the system's owners and legitimate managers. See how to detecting / checking rootkits under Linux .

Keep an Eye On Your Bandwidth Graphs

Usually, rooted servers are used to send a large number of spam or malware or DoS style attacks on other computers.

See also:

See the following man pages for more information:
$ man ps
$ man grep
$ man lsof
$ man netstat
$ man fuser

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter . GOT FEEDBACK? CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION

[Nov 08, 2018] How to find which process is regularly writing to disk?

Notable quotes:
"... tick...tick...tick...trrrrrr ..."
"... /var/log/syslog ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | unix.stackexchange.com

Cedric Martin , Jul 27, 2012 at 4:31

How can I find which process is constantly writing to disk?

I like my workstation to be close to silent and I just build a new system (P8B75-M + Core i5 3450s -- the 's' because it has a lower max TDP) with quiet fans etc. and installed Debian Wheezy 64-bit on it.

And something is getting on my nerve: I can hear some kind of pattern like if the hard disk was writing or seeking someting ( tick...tick...tick...trrrrrr rinse and repeat every second or so).

In the past I had a similar issue in the past (many, many years ago) and it turned out it was some CUPS log or something and I simply redirected that one (not important) logging to a (real) RAM disk.

But here I'm not sure.

I tried the following:

ls -lR /var/log > /tmp/a.tmp && sleep 5 && ls -lR /var/log > /tmp/b.tmp && diff /tmp/?.tmp

but nothing is changing there.

Now the strange thing is that I also hear the pattern when the prompt asking me to enter my LVM decryption passphrase is showing.

Could it be something in the kernel/system I just installed or do I have a faulty harddisk?

hdparm -tT /dev/sda report a correct HD speed (130 GB/s non-cached, sata 6GB) and I've already installed and compiled from big sources (Emacs) without issue so I don't think the system is bad.

(HD is a Seagate Barracude 500GB)

Mat , Jul 27, 2012 at 6:03

Are you sure it's a hard drive making that noise, and not something else? (Check the fans, including PSU fan. Had very strange clicking noises once when a very thin cable was too close to a fan and would sometimes very slightly touch the blades and bounce for a few "clicks"...) – Mat Jul 27 '12 at 6:03

Cedric Martin , Jul 27, 2012 at 7:02

@Mat: I'll take the hard drive outside of the case (the connectors should be long enough) to be sure and I'll report back ; ) – Cedric Martin Jul 27 '12 at 7:02

camh , Jul 27, 2012 at 9:48

Make sure your disk filesystems are mounted relatime or noatime. File reads can be causing writes to inodes to record the access time. – camh Jul 27 '12 at 9:48

mnmnc , Jul 27, 2012 at 8:27

Did you tried to examin what programs like iotop is showing? It will tell you exacly what kind of process is currently writing to the disk.

example output:

Total DISK READ: 0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE: 0.00 B/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND
    1 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % init
    2 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kthreadd]
    3 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/0]
    6 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [migration/0]
    7 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [watchdog/0]
    8 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [migration/1]
 1033 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [flush-8:0]
   10 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/1]

Cedric Martin , Aug 2, 2012 at 15:56

thanks for that tip. I didn't know about iotop . On Debian I did an apt-cache search iotop to find out that I had to apt-get iotop . Very cool command! – Cedric Martin Aug 2 '12 at 15:56

ndemou , Jun 20, 2016 at 15:32

I use iotop -o -b -d 10 which every 10secs prints a list of processes that read/wrote to disk and the amount of IO bandwidth used. – ndemou Jun 20 '16 at 15:32

scai , Jul 27, 2012 at 10:48

You can enable IO debugging via echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/block_dump and then watch the debugging messages in /var/log/syslog . This has the advantage of obtaining some type of log file with past activities whereas iotop only shows the current activity.

dan3 , Jul 15, 2013 at 8:32

It is absolutely crazy to leave sysloging enabled when block_dump is active. Logging causes disk activity, which causes logging, which causes disk activity etc. Better stop syslog before enabling this (and use dmesg to read the messages) – dan3 Jul 15 '13 at 8:32

scai , Jul 16, 2013 at 6:32

You are absolutely right, although the effect isn't as dramatic as you describe it. If you just want to have a short peek at the disk activity there is no need to stop the syslog daemon. – scai Jul 16 '13 at 6:32

dan3 , Jul 16, 2013 at 7:22

I've tried it about 2 years ago and it brought my machine to a halt. One of these days when I have nothing important running I'll try it again :) – dan3 Jul 16 '13 at 7:22

scai , Jul 16, 2013 at 10:50

I tried it, nothing really happened. Especially because of file system buffering. A write to syslog doesn't immediately trigger a write to disk. – scai Jul 16 '13 at 10:50

Volker Siegel , Apr 16, 2014 at 22:57

I would assume there is rate general rate limiting in place for the log messages, which handles this case too(?) – Volker Siegel Apr 16 '14 at 22:57

Gilles , Jul 28, 2012 at 1:34

Assuming that the disk noises are due to a process causing a write and not to some disk spindown problem , you can use the audit subsystem (install the auditd package ). Put a watch on the sync calls and its friends:
auditctl -S sync -S fsync -S fdatasync -a exit,always

Watch the logs in /var/log/audit/audit.log . Be careful not to do this if the audit logs themselves are flushed! Check in /etc/auditd.conf that the flush option is set to none .

If files are being flushed often, a likely culprit is the system logs. For example, if you log failed incoming connection attempts and someone is probing your machine, that will generate a lot of entries; this can cause a disk to emit machine gun-style noises. With the basic log daemon sysklogd, check /etc/syslog.conf : if a log file name is not be preceded by - , then that log is flushed to disk after each write.

Gilles , Mar 23 at 18:24

@StephenKitt Huh. No. The asker mentioned Debian so I've changed it to a link to the Debian package. – Gilles Mar 23 at 18:24

cas , Jul 27, 2012 at 9:40

It might be your drives automatically spinning down, lots of consumer-grade drives do that these days. Unfortunately on even a lightly loaded system, this results in the drives constantly spinning down and then spinning up again, especially if you're running hddtemp or similar to monitor the drive temperature (most drives stupidly don't let you query the SMART temperature value without spinning up the drive - cretinous!).

This is not only annoying, it can wear out the drives faster as many drives have only a limited number of park cycles. e.g. see https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/hdparm/+bug/952556 for a description of the problem.

I disable idle-spindown on all my drives with the following bit of shell code. you could put it in an /etc/rc.boot script, or in /etc/rc.local or similar.

for disk in /dev/sd? ; do
  /sbin/hdparm -q -S 0 "/dev/$disk"
done

Cedric Martin , Aug 2, 2012 at 16:03

that you can't query SMART readings without spinning up the drive leaves me speechless :-/ Now obviously the "spinning down" issue can become quite complicated. Regarding disabling the spinning down: wouldn't that in itself cause the HD to wear out faster? I mean: it's never ever "resting" as long as the system is on then? – Cedric Martin Aug 2 '12 at 16:03

cas , Aug 2, 2012 at 21:42

IIRC you can query some SMART values without causing the drive to spin up, but temperature isn't one of them on any of the drives i've tested (incl models from WD, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi). Which is, of course, crazy because concern over temperature is one of the reasons for idling a drive. re: wear: AIUI 1. constant velocity is less wearing than changing speed. 2. the drives have to park the heads in a safe area and a drive is only rated to do that so many times (IIRC up to a few hundred thousand - easily exceeded if the drive is idling and spinning up every few seconds) – cas Aug 2 '12 at 21:42

Micheal Johnson , Mar 12, 2016 at 20:48

It's a long debate regarding whether it's better to leave drives running or to spin them down. Personally I believe it's best to leave them running - I turn my computer off at night and when I go out but other than that I never spin my drives down. Some people prefer to spin them down, say, at night if they're leaving the computer on or if the computer's idle for a long time, and in such cases the advantage of spinning them down for a few hours versus leaving them running is debatable. What's never good though is when the hard drive repeatedly spins down and up again in a short period of time. – Micheal Johnson Mar 12 '16 at 20:48

Micheal Johnson , Mar 12, 2016 at 20:51

Note also that spinning the drive down after it's been idle for a few hours is a bit silly, because if it's been idle for a few hours then it's likely to be used again within an hour. In that case, it would seem better to spin the drive down promptly if it's idle (like, within 10 minutes), but it's also possible for the drive to be idle for a few minutes when someone is using the computer and is likely to need the drive again soon. – Micheal Johnson Mar 12 '16 at 20:51

,

I just found that s.m.a.r.t was causing an external USB disk to spin up again and again on my raspberry pi. Although SMART is generally a good thing, I decided to disable it again and since then it seems that unwanted disk activity has stopped

[Nov 08, 2018] Determining what process is bound to a port

Mar 14, 2011 | unix.stackexchange.com
I know that using the command:
lsof -i TCP

(or some variant of parameters with lsof) I can determine which process is bound to a particular port. This is useful say if I'm trying to start something that wants to bind to 8080 and some else is already using that port, but I don't know what.

Is there an easy way to do this without using lsof? I spend time working on many systems and lsof is often not installed.

Cakemox , Mar 14, 2011 at 20:48

netstat -lnp will list the pid and process name next to each listening port. This will work under Linux, but not all others (like AIX.) Add -t if you want TCP only.
# netstat -lntp
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:24800           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      27899/synergys
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:8000            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      3361/python
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:3306          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      2264/mysqld
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      22964/apache2
tcp        0      0 192.168.99.1:53         0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      3389/named
tcp        0      0 192.168.88.1:53         0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      3389/named

etc.

xxx , Mar 14, 2011 at 21:01

Cool, thanks. Looks like that that works under RHEL, but not under Solaris (as you indicated). Anybody know if there's something similar for Solaris? – user5721 Mar 14 '11 at 21:01

Rich Homolka , Mar 15, 2011 at 19:56

netstat -p above is my vote. also look at lsof . – Rich Homolka Mar 15 '11 at 19:56

Jonathan , Aug 26, 2014 at 18:50

As an aside, for windows it's similar: netstat -aon | more – Jonathan Aug 26 '14 at 18:50

sudo , May 25, 2017 at 2:24

What about for SCTP? – sudo May 25 '17 at 2:24

frielp , Mar 15, 2011 at 13:33

On AIX, netstat & rmsock can be used to determine process binding:
[root@aix] netstat -Ana|grep LISTEN|grep 80
f100070000280bb0 tcp4       0      0  *.37               *.*        LISTEN
f1000700025de3b0 tcp        0      0  *.80               *.*        LISTEN
f1000700002803b0 tcp4       0      0  *.111              *.*        LISTEN
f1000700021b33b0 tcp4       0      0  127.0.0.1.32780    *.*        LISTEN

# Port 80 maps to f1000700025de3b0 above, so we type:
[root@aix] rmsock f1000700025de3b0 tcpcb
The socket 0x25de008 is being held by process 499790 (java).

Olivier Dulac , Sep 18, 2013 at 4:05

Thanks for this! Is there a way, however, to just display what process listen on the socket (instead of using rmsock which attempt to remove it) ? – Olivier Dulac Sep 18 '13 at 4:05

Vitor Py , Sep 26, 2013 at 14:18

@OlivierDulac: "Unlike what its name implies, rmsock does not remove the socket, if it is being used by a process. It just reports the process holding the socket." ( ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/cgaix/entry/ ) – Vitor Py Sep 26 '13 at 14:18

Olivier Dulac , Sep 26, 2013 at 16:00

@vitor-braga: Ah thx! I thought it was trying but just said which process holds in when it couldn't remove it. Apparently it doesn't even try to remove it when a process holds it. That's cool! Thx! – Olivier Dulac Sep 26 '13 at 16:00

frielp , Mar 15, 2011 at 13:27

Another tool available on Linux is ss . From the ss man page on Fedora:
NAME
       ss - another utility to investigate sockets
SYNOPSIS
       ss [options] [ FILTER ]
DESCRIPTION
       ss is used to dump socket statistics. It allows showing information 
       similar to netstat. It can display more TCP and state informations  
       than other tools.

Example output below - the final column shows the process binding:

[root@box] ss -ap
State      Recv-Q Send-Q      Local Address:Port          Peer Address:Port
LISTEN     0      128                    :::http                    :::*        users:(("httpd",20891,4),("httpd",20894,4),("httpd",20895,4),("httpd",20896,4)
LISTEN     0      128             127.0.0.1:munin                    *:*        users:(("munin-node",1278,5))
LISTEN     0      128                    :::ssh                     :::*        users:(("sshd",1175,4))
LISTEN     0      128                     *:ssh                      *:*        users:(("sshd",1175,3))
LISTEN     0      10              127.0.0.1:smtp                     *:*        users:(("sendmail",1199,4))
LISTEN     0      128             127.0.0.1:x11-ssh-offset                  *:*        users:(("sshd",25734,8))
LISTEN     0      128                   ::1:x11-ssh-offset                 :::*        users:(("sshd",25734,7))

Eugen Constantin Dinca , Mar 14, 2011 at 23:47

For Solaris you can use pfiles and then grep by sockname: or port: .

A sample (from here ):

pfiles `ptree | awk '{print $1}'` | egrep '^[0-9]|port:'

rickumali , May 8, 2011 at 14:40

I was once faced with trying to determine what process was behind a particular port (this time it was 8000). I tried a variety of lsof and netstat, but then took a chance and tried hitting the port via a browser (i.e. http://hostname:8000/ ). Lo and behold, a splash screen greeted me, and it became obvious what the process was (for the record, it was Splunk ).

One more thought: "ps -e -o pid,args" (YMMV) may sometimes show the port number in the arguments list. Grep is your friend!

Gilles , Oct 8, 2015 at 21:04

In the same vein, you could telnet hostname 8000 and see if the server prints a banner. However, that's mostly useful when the server is running on a machine where you don't have shell access, and then finding the process ID isn't relevant. – Gilles May 8 '11 at 14:45

[Nov 08, 2018] How to find which process is regularly writing to disk?

Notable quotes:
"... tick...tick...tick...trrrrrr ..."
"... /var/log/syslog ..."
Jul 27, 2012 | unix.stackexchange.com

Cedric Martin , Jul 27, 2012 at 4:31

How can I find which process is constantly writing to disk?

I like my workstation to be close to silent and I just build a new system (P8B75-M + Core i5 3450s -- the 's' because it has a lower max TDP) with quiet fans etc. and installed Debian Wheezy 64-bit on it.

And something is getting on my nerve: I can hear some kind of pattern like if the hard disk was writing or seeking someting ( tick...tick...tick...trrrrrr rinse and repeat every second or so).

In the past I had a similar issue in the past (many, many years ago) and it turned out it was some CUPS log or something and I simply redirected that one (not important) logging to a (real) RAM disk.

But here I'm not sure.

I tried the following:

ls -lR /var/log > /tmp/a.tmp && sleep 5 && ls -lR /var/log > /tmp/b.tmp && diff /tmp/?.tmp

but nothing is changing there.

Now the strange thing is that I also hear the pattern when the prompt asking me to enter my LVM decryption passphrase is showing.

Could it be something in the kernel/system I just installed or do I have a faulty harddisk?

hdparm -tT /dev/sda report a correct HD speed (130 GB/s non-cached, sata 6GB) and I've already installed and compiled from big sources (Emacs) without issue so I don't think the system is bad.

(HD is a Seagate Barracude 500GB)

Mat , Jul 27, 2012 at 6:03

Are you sure it's a hard drive making that noise, and not something else? (Check the fans, including PSU fan. Had very strange clicking noises once when a very thin cable was too close to a fan and would sometimes very slightly touch the blades and bounce for a few "clicks"...) – Mat Jul 27 '12 at 6:03

Cedric Martin , Jul 27, 2012 at 7:02

@Mat: I'll take the hard drive outside of the case (the connectors should be long enough) to be sure and I'll report back ; ) – Cedric Martin Jul 27 '12 at 7:02

camh , Jul 27, 2012 at 9:48

Make sure your disk filesystems are mounted relatime or noatime. File reads can be causing writes to inodes to record the access time. – camh Jul 27 '12 at 9:48

mnmnc , Jul 27, 2012 at 8:27

Did you tried to examin what programs like iotop is showing? It will tell you exacly what kind of process is currently writing to the disk.

example output:

Total DISK READ: 0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE: 0.00 B/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND
    1 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % init
    2 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kthreadd]
    3 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/0]
    6 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [migration/0]
    7 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [watchdog/0]
    8 rt/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [migration/1]
 1033 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [flush-8:0]
   10 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/1]

Cedric Martin , Aug 2, 2012 at 15:56

thanks for that tip. I didn't know about iotop . On Debian I did an apt-cache search iotop to find out that I had to apt-get iotop . Very cool command! – Cedric Martin Aug 2 '12 at 15:56

ndemou , Jun 20, 2016 at 15:32

I use iotop -o -b -d 10 which every 10secs prints a list of processes that read/wrote to disk and the amount of IO bandwidth used. – ndemou Jun 20 '16 at 15:32

scai , Jul 27, 2012 at 10:48

You can enable IO debugging via echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/block_dump and then watch the debugging messages in /var/log/syslog . This has the advantage of obtaining some type of log file with past activities whereas iotop only shows the current activity.

dan3 , Jul 15, 2013 at 8:32

It is absolutely crazy to leave sysloging enabled when block_dump is active. Logging causes disk activity, which causes logging, which causes disk activity etc. Better stop syslog before enabling this (and use dmesg to read the messages) – dan3 Jul 15 '13 at 8:32

scai , Jul 16, 2013 at 6:32

You are absolutely right, although the effect isn't as dramatic as you describe it. If you just want to have a short peek at the disk activity there is no need to stop the syslog daemon. – scai Jul 16 '13 at 6:32

dan3 , Jul 16, 2013 at 7:22

I've tried it about 2 years ago and it brought my machine to a halt. One of these days when I have nothing important running I'll try it again :) – dan3 Jul 16 '13 at 7:22

scai , Jul 16, 2013 at 10:50

I tried it, nothing really happened. Especially because of file system buffering. A write to syslog doesn't immediately trigger a write to disk. – scai Jul 16 '13 at 10:50

Volker Siegel , Apr 16, 2014 at 22:57

I would assume there is rate general rate limiting in place for the log messages, which handles this case too(?) – Volker Siegel Apr 16 '14 at 22:57

Gilles , Jul 28, 2012 at 1:34

Assuming that the disk noises are due to a process causing a write and not to some disk spindown problem , you can use the audit subsystem (install the auditd package ). Put a watch on the sync calls and its friends:
auditctl -S sync -S fsync -S fdatasync -a exit,always

Watch the logs in /var/log/audit/audit.log . Be careful not to do this if the audit logs themselves are flushed! Check in /etc/auditd.conf that the flush option is set to none .

If files are being flushed often, a likely culprit is the system logs. For example, if you log failed incoming connection attempts and someone is probing your machine, that will generate a lot of entries; this can cause a disk to emit machine gun-style noises. With the basic log daemon sysklogd, check /etc/syslog.conf : if a log file name is not be preceded by - , then that log is flushed to disk after each write.

Gilles , Mar 23 at 18:24

@StephenKitt Huh. No. The asker mentioned Debian so I've changed it to a link to the Debian package. – Gilles Mar 23 at 18:24

cas , Jul 27, 2012 at 9:40

It might be your drives automatically spinning down, lots of consumer-grade drives do that these days. Unfortunately on even a lightly loaded system, this results in the drives constantly spinning down and then spinning up again, especially if you're running hddtemp or similar to monitor the drive temperature (most drives stupidly don't let you query the SMART temperature value without spinning up the drive - cretinous!).

This is not only annoying, it can wear out the drives faster as many drives have only a limited number of park cycles. e.g. see https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/hdparm/+bug/952556 for a description of the problem.

I disable idle-spindown on all my drives with the following bit of shell code. you could put it in an /etc/rc.boot script, or in /etc/rc.local or similar.

for disk in /dev/sd? ; do
  /sbin/hdparm -q -S 0 "/dev/$disk"
done

Cedric Martin , Aug 2, 2012 at 16:03

that you can't query SMART readings without spinning up the drive leaves me speechless :-/ Now obviously the "spinning down" issue can become quite complicated. Regarding disabling the spinning down: wouldn't that in itself cause the HD to wear out faster? I mean: it's never ever "resting" as long as the system is on then? – Cedric Martin Aug 2 '12 at 16:03

cas , Aug 2, 2012 at 21:42

IIRC you can query some SMART values without causing the drive to spin up, but temperature isn't one of them on any of the drives i've tested (incl models from WD, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi). Which is, of course, crazy because concern over temperature is one of the reasons for idling a drive. re: wear: AIUI 1. constant velocity is less wearing than changing speed. 2. the drives have to park the heads in a safe area and a drive is only rated to do that so many times (IIRC up to a few hundred thousand - easily exceeded if the drive is idling and spinning up every few seconds) – cas Aug 2 '12 at 21:42

Micheal Johnson , Mar 12, 2016 at 20:48

It's a long debate regarding whether it's better to leave drives running or to spin them down. Personally I believe it's best to leave them running - I turn my computer off at night and when I go out but other than that I never spin my drives down. Some people prefer to spin them down, say, at night if they're leaving the computer on or if the computer's idle for a long time, and in such cases the advantage of spinning them down for a few hours versus leaving them running is debatable. What's never good though is when the hard drive repeatedly spins down and up again in a short period of time. – Micheal Johnson Mar 12 '16 at 20:48

Micheal Johnson , Mar 12, 2016 at 20:51

Note also that spinning the drive down after it's been idle for a few hours is a bit silly, because if it's been idle for a few hours then it's likely to be used again within an hour. In that case, it would seem better to spin the drive down promptly if it's idle (like, within 10 minutes), but it's also possible for the drive to be idle for a few minutes when someone is using the computer and is likely to need the drive again soon. – Micheal Johnson Mar 12 '16 at 20:51

,

I just found that s.m.a.r.t was causing an external USB disk to spin up again and again on my raspberry pi. Although SMART is generally a good thing, I decided to disable it again and since then it seems that unwanted disk activity has stopped

[Oct 23, 2018] To switch from vertical split to horizontal split fast in Vim

Nov 24, 2013 | stackoverflow.com

ДМИТРИЙ МАЛИКОВ, Nov 24, 2013 at 7:55

How can you switch your current windows from horizontal split to vertical split and vice versa in Vim?

I did that a moment ago by accident but I cannot find the key again.

Mark Rushakoff

Vim mailing list says (re-formatted for better readability):

  • To change two vertically split windows to horizontal split: Ctrl - W t Ctrl - W K
  • Horizontally to vertically: Ctrl - W t Ctrl - W H

Explanations:

  • Ctrl - W t -- makes the first (topleft) window current
  • Ctrl - W K -- moves the current window to full-width at the very top
  • Ctrl - W H -- moves the current window to full-height at far left

Note that the t is lowercase, and the K and H are uppercase.

Also, with only two windows, it seems like you can drop the Ctrl - W t part because if you're already in one of only two windows, what's the point of making it current?

Too much php Aug 13 '09 at 2:17

So if you have two windows split horizontally, and you are in the lower window, you just use ^WL

Alex Hart Dec 7 '12 at 14:10

There are a ton of interesting ^w commands (b, w, etc)

holms Feb 28 '13 at 9:07

somehow doesn't work for me.. =/ –

Lambart Mar 26 at 19:34

Just toggle your NERDTree panel closed before 'rotating' the splits, then toggle it back open. :NERDTreeToggle (I have it mapped to a function key for convenience).

xxx Feb 19 '13 at 20:26

^w followed by capital H , J , K or L will move the current window to the far left , bottom , top or right respectively like normal cursor navigation.

The lower case equivalents move focus instead of moving the window.

respectTheCode, Jul 21 '13 at 9:55

1 Wow, cool! Thanks! :-) – infous Feb 6 at 8:46 it's much better since users use hjkl to move between buffers. – Afshin Mehrabani

In VIM, take a look at the following to see different alternatives for what you might have done:

:help opening-window

For instance:

Ctrl - W s
Ctrl - W o
Ctrl - W v
Ctrl - W o
Ctrl - W s

Anon, Apr 29 at 21:45

The command ^W-o is great! I did not know it. – Masi Aug 13 '09 at 2:20 add a comment | up vote 6 down vote The following ex commands will (re-)split any number of windows:

If there are hidden buffers, issuing these commands will also make the hidden buffers visible.

Mark Oct 22 at 19:31

When you have two or more windows open horizontally or vertically and want to switch them all to the other orientation, you can use the following:

[Oct 22, 2018] >Cut/copy and paste using visual selection

Oct 22, 2018 | vim.wikia.com

Edit

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Tip 386 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2002 · complexity basic · author rainbrot · version 6.0


Visual selection is a common feature in applications, but Vim's visual selection has several benefits.

To cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste:

  1. Position the cursor at the beginning of the text you want to cut/copy.
  2. Press v to begin character-based visual selection, or V to select whole lines, or Ctrl-v or Ctrl-q to select a block.
  3. Move the cursor to the end of the text to be cut/copied. While selecting text, you can perform searches and other advanced movement.
  4. Press d (delete) to cut, or y (yank) to copy.
  5. Move the cursor to the desired paste location.
  6. Press p to paste after the cursor, or P to paste before.

Visual selection (steps 1-3) can be performed using a mouse.

If you want to change the selected text, press c instead of d or y in step 4. In a visual selection, pressing c performs a change by deleting the selected text and entering insert mode so you can type the new text.

Pasting over a block of text Edit

You can copy a block of text by pressing Ctrl-v (or Ctrl-q if you use Ctrl-v for paste), then moving the cursor to select, and pressing y to yank. Now you can move elsewhere and press p to paste the text after the cursor (or P to paste before). The paste inserts a block (which might, for example, be 4 rows by 3 columns of text).

Instead of inserting the block, it is also possible to replace (paste over) the destination. To do this, move to the target location then press 1vp ( 1v selects an area equal to the original, and p pastes over it).

When a count is used before v , V , or ^V (character, line or block selection), an area equal to the previous area, multiplied by the count, is selected. See the paragraph after :help <LeftRelease> .

Note that this will only work if you actually did something to the previous visual selection, such as a yank, delete, or change operation. It will not work after visually selecting an area and leaving visual mode without taking any actions.

See also Edit Comments Edit

NOTE: after selecting the visual copy mode, you can hold the shift key while selection the region to get a multiple line copy. For example, to copy three lines, press V, then hold down the Shift key while pressing the down arrow key twice. Then do your action on the buffer.

I have struck out the above new comment because I think it is talking about something that may apply to those who have used :behave mswin . To visually select multiple lines, you type V , then press j (or cursor down). You hold down Shift only to type the uppercase V . Do not press Shift after that. If I am wrong, please explain here. JohnBeckett 10:48, October 7, 2010 (UTC)

If you just want to copy (yank) the visually marked text, you do not need to 'y'ank it. Marking it will already copy it.

Using a mouse, you can insert it at another position by clicking the middle mouse button.

This also works in across Vim applications on Windows systems (clipboard is inserted)


This is a really useful thing in Vim. I feel lost without it in any other editor. I have some more points I'd like to add to this tip:


You can replace a set of text in a visual block very easily by selecting a block, press c and then make changes to the first line. Pressing <Esc> twice replaces all the text of the original selection. See :help v_b_c .


On Windows the <mswin.vim> script seems to be getting sourced for many users.

Result: more Windows like behavior (ctrl-v is "paste", instead of visual-block selection). Hunt down your system vimrc and remove sourcing thereof if you don't like that behavior (or substitute <mrswin.vim> in its place, see VimTip63 .

With VimTip588 one can sort lines or blocks based on visual-block selection.


With reference to the earlier post asking how to paste an inner block

  1. Select the inner block to copy usint ctrl-v and highlighting with the hjkl keys
  2. yank the visual region (y)
  3. Select the inner block you want to overwrite (Ctrl-v then hightlight with hjkl keys)
  4. paste the selection P (that is shift P) , this will overwrite keeping the block formation

The "yank" buffers in Vim are not the same as the Windows clipboard (i.e., cut-and-paste) buffers. If you're using the yank, it only puts it in a Vim buffer - that buffer is not accessible to the Windows paste command. You'll want to use the Edit | Copy and Edit | Paste (or their keyboard equivalents) if you're using the Windows GUI, or select with your mouse and use your X-Windows cut-n-paste mouse buttons if you're running UNIX.


Double-quote and star gives one access to windows clippboard or the unix equivalent. as an example if I wanted to yank the current line into the clipboard I would type "*yy

If I wanted to paste the contents of the clippboard into Vim at my current curser location I would type "*p

The double-qoute and start trick work well with visual mode as well. ex: visual select text to copy to clippboard and then type "*y

I find this very useful and I use it all the time but it is a bit slow typing "* all the time so I am thinking about creating a macro to speed it up a bit.


Copy and Paste using the System Clipboard

There are some caveats regarding how the "*y (copy into System Clipboard) command works. We have to be sure that we are using vim-full (sudo aptitude install vim-full on debian-based systems) or a Vim that has X11 support enabled. Only then will the "*y command work.

For our convenience as we are all familiar with using Ctrl+c to copy a block of text in most other GUI applications, we can also map Ctrl+c to "*y so that in Vim Visual Mode, we can simply Ctrl+c to copy the block of text we want into our system buffer. To do that, we simply add this line in our .vimrc file:

map <C-c> "+y<CR>

Restart our shell and we are good. Now whenever we are in Visual Mode, we can Ctrl+c to grab what we want and paste it into another application or another editor in a convenient and intuitive manner.

[Oct 22, 2018] >move selection to a separate file

Oct 22, 2018 | superuser.com

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:29

With vim, how can I move a piece of text to a new file? For the moment, I do this:

Is there a more efficient way to do this?

Before

a.txt

sometext
some other text
some other other text
end
After

a.txt

sometext
end

b.txt

some other text
some other other text

Ingo Karkat, Jan 23, 2013 at 15:20

How about these custom commands:
:command! -bang -range -nargs=1 -complete=file MoveWrite  <line1>,<line2>write<bang> <args> | <line1>,<line2>delete _
:command! -bang -range -nargs=1 -complete=file MoveAppend <line1>,<line2>write<bang> >> <args> | <line1>,<line2>delete _

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 15:27

This is very ugly, but hey, it seems to do in one step exactly what I asked for (I tried). +1, and accepted. I was looking for a native way to do this quickly but since there does not seem to be one, yours will do just fine. Thanks! – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 15:27

Ingo Karkat ,Jan 23, 2013 at 16:15

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find this pretty elegant; you only need to type it once (into your .vimrc). – Ingo Karkat Jan 23 '13 at 16:15

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 16:21

You're right, "very ugly" shoud have been "very unfamiliar". Your command is very handy, and I think I definitely going to carve it in my .vimrc – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 16:21

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:08

By "move a piece of text to a new file" I assume you mean cut that piece of text from the current file and create a new file containing only that text.

Various examples:

The above only copies the text and creates a new file containing that text. You will then need to delete afterward.

This can be done using the same range and the d command:

Or by using dd for the single line case.

If you instead select the text using visual mode, and then hit : while the text is selected, you will see the following on the command line:

:'<,'>

Which indicates the selected text. You can then expand the command to:

:'<,'>w >> old_file

Which will append the text to an existing file. Then delete as above.


One liner:

:2,3 d | new +put! "

The breakdown:

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:09

Your assumption is right. This looks good, I'm going to test. Could you explain 2. a bit more? I'm not very familiar with ranges. EDIT: If I try this on the second line, it writes the first line to the other file, not the second line. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:09

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:16

@greg0ire I got that a bit backward, I'll edit to better explain – embedded.kyle Jan 23 '13 at 14:16

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:18

I added an example to make my question clearer. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:18

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:22

@greg0ire I corrected my answer. It's still two steps. The first copies and writes. The second deletes. – embedded.kyle Jan 23 '13 at 14:22

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:41

Ok, if I understand well, the trick is to use ranges to select and write in the same command. That's very similar to what I did. +1 for the detailed explanation, but I don't think this is more efficient, since the trick with hitting ':' is what I do for the moment. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:41

Xyon ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:32

Select the text in visual mode, then press y to "yank" it into the buffer (copy) or d to "delete" it into the buffer (cut).

Then you can :split <new file name> to split your vim window up, and press p to paste in the yanked text. Write the file as normal.

To close the split again, pass the split you want to close :q .

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:42

I have 4 steps for the moment: select, write, select, delete. With your method, I have 6 steps: select, delete, split, paste, write, close. I asked for something more efficient :P – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 13:42

Xyon ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:44

Well, if you pass the split :x instead, you can combine writing and closing into one and make it five steps. :P – Xyon Jan 23 '13 at 13:44

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:46

That's better, but 5 still > 4 :P – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 13:46

> ,

Based on @embedded.kyle's answer and this Q&A , I ended up with this one liner to append a selection to a file and delete from current file. After selecting some lines with Shift+V , hit : and run:
'<,'>w >> test | normal gvd

The first part appends selected lines. The second command enters normal mode and runs gvd to select the last selection and then deletes.

[Oct 21, 2018] Moving lines between split windows in vim

Notable quotes:
"... "send the line I am on (or the test I selected) to the other window" ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | superuser.com

brad ,Nov 24, 2015 at 12:28

I have two files, say a.txt and b.txt , in the same session of vim and I split the screen so I have file a.txt in the upper window and b.txt in the lower window.

I want to move lines here and there from a.txt to b.txt : I select a line with Shift + v , then I move to b.txt in the lower window with Ctrl + w , paste with p , get back to a.txt with Ctrl + w and I can repeat the operation when I get to another line I want to move.

My question: is there a quicker way to say vim "send the line I am on (or the test I selected) to the other window" ?

Chong ,Nov 24, 2015 at 12:33

Use q macro? q[some_letter] [whatever operations] q , then call the macro with [times to be called]@qChong Nov 24 '15 at 12:33

Anthony Geoghegan ,Nov 24, 2015 at 13:00

I presume that you're deleting the line that you've selected in a.txt . If not, you'd be pasting something else into b.txt . If so, there's no need to select the line first. – Anthony Geoghegan Nov 24 '15 at 13:00

Anthony Geoghegan ,Nov 24, 2015 at 13:17

This sounds like a good use case for a macro. Macros are commands that can be recorded and stored in a Vim register. Each register is identified by a letter from a to z. Recording

From Recording keys for repeated jobs - Vim Tips

To start recording, press q in Normal mode followed by a letter (a to z). That starts recording keystrokes to the specified register. Vim displays "recording" in the status line. Type any Normal mode commands, or enter Insert mode and type text. To stop recording, again press q while in Normal mode.

For this particular macro, I chose the m (for move) register to store it.

I pressed qm to record the following commands:

When I typed q to finish recording the macro, the contents of the m register were:

dd^Wjp^Wk
Usage

brad ,Nov 24, 2015 at 14:26

I asked to see if there is a command unknown to me that does the job: it seems there is none. In absence of such a command, this can be a good solution. – brad Nov 24 '15 at 14:26

romainl ,Nov 26, 2015 at 9:54

@brad, you can find all the commands available to you in the documentation. If it's not there it doesn't exist no need to ask random strangers. – romainl Nov 26 '15 at 9:54

brad ,Nov 26, 2015 at 10:17

@romainl, yes, I know this but vim documentation is really huge and, although it doesn't scare me, there is always the possibility to miss something. Moreover, it could also be that you can obtain the effect using the combination of 2 commands and in this case it would be hardly documented – brad Nov 26 '15 at 10:17

[Oct 21, 2018] How to move around buffers in vim?

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

user3721893 ,Jul 23, 2014 at 5:43

I normally work with more than 5 files at a time. I use buffers to open different files. I use commands such as :buf file1, :buf file2 etc. Is there a faster way to move to different files?

eckes ,Jul 23, 2014 at 5:49

What I use:

And have a short look on :he buffer

And the wiki entry on Easier Buffer Switching on the Vim Wiki: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Easier_buffer_switching

SO already has a question regarding yours: How do you prefer to switch between buffers in Vim?

romainl ,Jul 23, 2014 at 6:13

A few mappings can make your life a lot easier.

This one lists your buffers and prompts you for a number:

nnoremap gb :buffers<CR>:buffer<Space>

This one lists your buffers in the "wildmenu". Depends on the 'wildcharm' option as well as 'wildmenu' and 'wildmode' :

nnoremap <leader>b :buffer <C-z>

These ones allow you to cycle between all your buffers without much thinking:

nnoremap <PageUp>   :bprevious<CR>
nnoremap <PageDown> :bnext<CR>

Also, don't forget <C-^> which allows you to alternate between two buffers.

mikew ,Jul 23, 2014 at 6:38

Once the buffers are already open, you can just type :b partial_filename to switch

So if :ls shows that i have my ~./vimrc open, then I can just type :b vimr or :b rc to switch to that buffer

Brady Trainor ,Jul 25, 2014 at 22:13

Below I describe some excerpts from sections of my .vimrc . It includes mapping the leader key, setting wilds tab completion, and finally my buffer nav key choices (all mostly inspired by folks on the interweb, including romainl). Edit: Then I ramble on about my shortcuts for windows and tabs.
" easier default keys {{{1

let mapleader=','
nnoremap <leader>2 :@"<CR>

The leader key is a prefix key for mostly user-defined key commands (some plugins also use it). The default is \ , but many people suggest the easier to reach , .

The second line there is a command to @ execute from the " clipboard, in case you'd like to quickly try out various key bindings (without relying on :so % ). (My nmeumonic is that Shift - 2 is @ .)

" wilds {{{1

set wildmenu wildmode=list:full
set wildcharm=<C-z>
set wildignore+=*~ wildignorecase

For built-in completion, wildmenu is probably the part that shows up yellow on your Vim when using tab completion on command-line. wildmode is set to a comma-separated list, each coming up in turn on each tab completion (that is, my list is simply one element, list:full ). list shows rows and columns of candidates. full 's meaning includes maintaining existence of the wildmenu . wildcharm is the way to include Tab presses in your macros. The *~ is for my use in :edit and :find commands.

" nav keys {{{1
" windows, buffers and tabs {{{2
" buffers {{{3

nnoremap <leader>bb :b <C-z><S-Tab>
nnoremap <leader>bh :ls!<CR>:b<Space>
nnoremap <leader>bw :ls!<CR>:bw<Space>
nnoremap <leader>bt :TSelectBuffer<CR>
nnoremap <leader>be :BufExplorer<CR>
nnoremap <leader>bs :BufExplorerHorizontalSplit<CR>
nnoremap <leader>bv :BufExplorerVerticalSplit<CR>
nnoremap <leader>3 :e#<CR>
nmap <C-n> :bn<cr>
nmap <C-p> :bp<cr>

The ,3 is for switching between the "two" last buffers (Easier to reach than built-in Ctrl - 6 ). Nmeuonic is Shift - 3 is # , and # is the register symbol for last buffer. (See :marks .)

,bh is to select from hidden buffers ( ! ).

,bw is to bwipeout buffers by number or name. For instance, you can wipeout several while looking at the list, with ,bw 1 3 4 8 10 <CR> . Note that wipeout is more destructive than :bdelete . They have their pros and cons. For instance, :bdelete leaves the buffer in the hidden list, while :bwipeout removes global marks (see :help marks , and the description of uppercase marks).

I haven't settled on these keybindings, I would sort of prefer that my ,bb was simply ,b (simply defining while leaving the others defined makes Vim pause to see if you'll enter more).

Those shortcuts for :BufExplorer are actually the defaults for that plugin, but I have it written out so I can change them if I want to start using ,b without a hang.

You didn't ask for this:

If you still find Vim buffers a little awkward to use, try to combine the functionality with tabs and windows (until you get more comfortable?).

" windows {{{3

" window nav
nnoremap <leader>w <C-w>
nnoremap <M-h> <C-w>h
nnoremap <M-j> <C-w>j
nnoremap <M-k> <C-w>k
nnoremap <M-l> <C-w>l
" resize window
nnoremap <C-h> <C-w><
nnoremap <C-j> <C-w>+
nnoremap <C-k> <C-w>-
nnoremap <C-l> <C-w>>

Notice how nice ,w is for a prefix. Also, I reserve Ctrl key for resizing, because Alt ( M- ) is hard to realize in all environments, and I don't have a better way to resize. I'm fine using ,w to switch windows.

" tabs {{{3

nnoremap <leader>t :tab
nnoremap <M-n> :tabn<cr>
nnoremap <M-p> :tabp<cr>
nnoremap <C-Tab> :tabn<cr>
nnoremap <C-S-Tab> :tabp<cr>
nnoremap tn :tabe<CR>
nnoremap te :tabe<Space><C-z><S-Tab>
nnoremap tf :tabf<Space>
nnoremap tc :tabc<CR>
nnoremap to :tabo<CR>
nnoremap tm :tabm<CR>
nnoremap ts :tabs<CR>

nnoremap th :tabr<CR>
nnoremap tj :tabn<CR>
nnoremap tk :tabp<CR>
nnoremap tl :tabl<CR>

" or, it may make more sense to use
" nnoremap th :tabp<CR>
" nnoremap tj :tabl<CR>
" nnoremap tk :tabr<CR>
" nnoremap tl :tabn<CR>

In summary of my window and tabs keys, I can navigate both of them with Alt , which is actually pretty easy to reach. In other words:

" (modifier) key choice explanation {{{3
"
"       KEYS        CTRL                  ALT            
"       hjkl        resize windows        switch windows        
"       np          switch buffer         switch tab      
"
" (resize windows is hard to do otherwise, so we use ctrl which works across
" more environments. i can use ',w' for windowcmds o.w.. alt is comfortable
" enough for fast and gui nav in tabs and windows. we use np for navs that 
" are more linear, hjkl for navs that are more planar.) 
"

This way, if the Alt is working, you can actually hold it down while you find your "open" buffer pretty quickly, amongst the tabs and windows.

,

There are many ways to solve. The best is the best that WORKS for YOU. You have lots of fuzzy match plugins that help you navigate. The 2 things that impress me most are

1) CtrlP or Unite's fuzzy buffer search

2) LustyExplorer and/or LustyJuggler

And the simplest :

:map <F5> :ls<CR>:e #

Pressing F5 lists all buffer, just type number.

[Oct 21, 2018] Favorite (G)Vim plugins/scripts?

Dec 27, 2009 | stackoverflow.com
What are your favorite (G)Vim plugins/scripts?

community wiki 2 revs ,Jun 24, 2009 at 13:35

Nerdtree

The NERD tree allows you to explore your filesystem and to open files and directories. It presents the filesystem to you in the form of a tree which you manipulate with the keyboard and/or mouse. It also allows you to perform simple filesystem operations.

The tree can be toggled easily with :NERDTreeToggle which can be mapped to a more suitable key. The keyboard shortcuts in the NERD tree are also easy and intuitive.

Edit: Added synopsis

SpoonMeiser ,Sep 17, 2008 at 19:32

For those of us not wanting to follow every link to find out about each plugin, care to furnish us with a brief synopsis? – SpoonMeiser Sep 17 '08 at 19:32

AbdullahDiaa ,Sep 10, 2012 at 19:51

and NERDTree with NERDTreeTabs are awesome combination github.com/jistr/vim-nerdtree-tabs – AbdullahDiaa Sep 10 '12 at 19:51

community wiki 2 revs ,May 27, 2010 at 0:08

Tim Pope has some kickass plugins. I love his surround plugin.

Taurus Olson ,Feb 21, 2010 at 18:01

Surround is a great plugin for sure. – Taurus Olson Feb 21 '10 at 18:01

Benjamin Oakes ,May 27, 2010 at 0:11

Link to all his vim contributions: vim.org/account/profile.php?user_id=9012 – Benjamin Oakes May 27 '10 at 0:11

community wiki SergioAraujo, Mar 15, 2011 at 15:35

Pathogen plugin and more things commented by Steve Losh

Patrizio Rullo ,Sep 26, 2011 at 12:11

Pathogen is the FIRST plugin you have to install on every Vim installation! It resolves the plugin management problems every Vim developer has. – Patrizio Rullo Sep 26 '11 at 12:11

Profpatsch ,Apr 12, 2013 at 8:53

I would recommend switching to Vundle . It's better by a long shot and truly automates. You can give vim-addon-manager a try, too. – Profpatsch Apr 12 '13 at 8:53

community wiki JPaget, Sep 15, 2008 at 20:47

Taglist , a source code browser plugin for Vim, is currently the top rated plugin at the Vim website and is my favorite plugin.

mindthief ,Jun 27, 2012 at 20:53

A more recent alternative to this is Tagbar , which appears to have some improvements over Taglist. This blog post offers a comparison between the two plugins. – mindthief Jun 27 '12 at 20:53

community wiki 1passenger, Nov 17, 2009 at 9:15

I love snipMate . It's simular to snippetsEmu, but has a much better syntax to read (like Textmate).

community wiki cschol, Aug 22, 2008 at 4:19

A very nice grep replacement for GVim is Ack . A search plugin written in Perl that beats Vim's internal grep implementation and externally invoked greps, too. It also by default skips any CVS directories in the project directory, e.g. '.svn'. This blog shows a way to integrate Ack with vim.

FUD, Aug 27, 2013 at 15:50

github.com/mileszs/ack.vim – FUD Aug 27 '13 at 15:50

community wiki Dominic Dos Santos ,Sep 12, 2008 at 12:44

A.vim is a great little plugin. It allows you to quickly switch between header and source files with a single command. The default is :A , but I remapped it to F2 reduce keystrokes.

community wiki 2 revs, Aug 25, 2008 at 15:06

I really like the SuperTab plugin, it allows you to use the tab key to do all your insert completions.

community wiki Greg Hewgill, Aug 25, 2008 at 19:23

I have recently started using a plugin that highlights differences in your buffer from a previous version in your RCS system (Subversion, git, whatever). You just need to press a key to toggle the diff display on/off. You can find it here: http://github.com/ghewgill/vim-scmdiff . Patches welcome!

Nathan Fellman, Sep 15, 2008 at 18:51

Do you know if this supports bitkeeper? I looked on the website but couldn't even see whom to ask. – Nathan Fellman Sep 15 '08 at 18:51

Greg Hewgill, Sep 16, 2008 at 9:26

It doesn't explicitly support bitkeeper at the moment, but as long as bitkeeper has a "diff" command that outputs a normal patch file, it should be easy enough to add. – Greg Hewgill Sep 16 '08 at 9:26

Yogesh Arora, Mar 10, 2010 at 0:47

does it support clearcase – Yogesh Arora Mar 10 '10 at 0:47

Greg Hewgill, Mar 10, 2010 at 1:39

@Yogesh: No, it doesn't support ClearCase at this time. However, if you can add ClearCase support, a patch would certainly be accepted. – Greg Hewgill Mar 10 '10 at 1:39

Olical ,Jan 23, 2013 at 11:05

This version can be loaded via pathogen in a git submodule: github.com/tomasv/vim-scmdiff – Olical Jan 23 '13 at 11:05

community wiki 4 revs, May 23, 2017 at 11:45

  1. Elegant (mini) buffer explorer - This is the multiple file/buffer manager I use. Takes very little screen space. It looks just like most IDEs where you have a top tab-bar with the files you've opened. I've tested some other similar plugins before, and this is my pick.
  2. TagList - Small file explorer, without the "extra" stuff the other file explorers have. Just lets you browse directories and open files with the "enter" key. Note that this has already been noted by previous commenters to your questions.
  3. SuperTab - Already noted by WMR in this post, looks very promising. It's an auto-completion replacement key for Ctrl-P.
  4. Desert256 color Scheme - Readable, dark one.
  5. Moria color scheme - Another good, dark one. Note that it's gVim only.
  6. Enahcned Python syntax - If you're using Python, this is an enhanced syntax version. Works better than the original. I'm not sure, but this might be already included in the newest version. Nonetheless, it's worth adding to your syntax folder if you need it.
  7. Enhanced JavaScript syntax - Same like the above.
  8. EDIT: Comments - Great little plugin to [un]comment chunks of text. Language recognition included ("#", "/", "/* .. */", etc.) .

community wiki Konrad Rudolph, Aug 25, 2008 at 14:19

Not a plugin, but I advise any Mac user to switch to the MacVim distribution which is vastly superior to the official port.

As for plugins, I used VIM-LaTeX for my thesis and was very satisfied with the usability boost. I also like the Taglist plugin which makes use of the ctags library.

community wiki Yariv ,Nov 25, 2010 at 19:58

clang complete - the best c++ code completion I have seen so far. By using an actual compiler (that would be clang) the plugin is able to complete complex expressions including STL and smart pointers.

community wiki Greg Bowyer, Jul 30, 2009 at 19:51

No one said matchit yet ? Makes HTML / XML soup much nicer http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=39

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 91% ,Nov 24, 2011 at 5:18

Tomas Restrepo posted on some great Vim scripts/plugins . He has also pointed out some nice color themes on his blog, too. Check out his Vim category .

community wiki HaskellElephant ,Mar 29, 2011 at 17:59,

With version 7.3, undo branches was added to vim. A very powerful feature, but hard to use, until Steve Losh made Gundo which makes this feature possible to use with a ascii representation of the tree and a diff of the change. A must for using undo branches.

community wiki, Auguste ,Apr 20, 2009 at 8:05

Matrix Mode .

community wiki wilhelmtell ,Dec 10, 2010 at 19:11

My latest favourite is Command-T . Granted, to install it you need to have Ruby support and you'll need to compile a C extension for Vim. But oy-yoy-yoy does this plugin make a difference in opening files in Vim!

Victor Farazdagi, Apr 19, 2011 at 19:16

Definitely! Let not the ruby + c compiling stop you, you will be amazed on how well this plugin enhances your toolset. I have been ignoring this plugin for too long, installed it today and already find myself using NERDTree lesser and lesser. – Victor Farazdagi Apr 19 '11 at 19:16

datentyp ,Jan 11, 2012 at 12:54

With ctrlp now there is something as awesome as Command-T written in pure Vimscript! It's available at github.com/kien/ctrlp.vim – datentyp Jan 11 '12 at 12:54

FUD ,Dec 26, 2012 at 4:48

just my 2 cents.. being a naive user of both plugins, with a few first characters of file name i saw a much better result with commandt plugin and a lots of false positives for ctrlp. – FUD Dec 26 '12 at 4:48

community wiki
f3lix
,Mar 15, 2011 at 12:55

Conque Shell : Run interactive commands inside a Vim buffer

Conque is a Vim plugin which allows you to run interactive programs, such as bash on linux or powershell.exe on Windows, inside a Vim buffer. In other words it is a terminal emulator which uses a Vim buffer to display the program output.

http://code.google.com/p/conque/

http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2771

community wiki 2 revs ,Nov 20, 2009 at 14:51

The vcscommand plugin provides global ex commands for manipulating version-controlled source files and it supports CVS,SVN and some other repositories.

You can do almost all repository related tasks from with in vim:
* Taking the diff of current buffer with repository copy
* Adding new files
* Reverting the current buffer to the repository copy by nullifying the local changes....

community wiki Sirupsen ,Nov 20, 2009 at 15:00

Just gonna name a few I didn't see here, but which I still find extremely helpful:

community wiki thestoneage ,Dec 22, 2011 at 16:25

One Plugin that is missing in the answers is NERDCommenter , which let's you do almost anything with comments. For example {add, toggle, remove} comments. And more. See this blog entry for some examples.

community wiki james ,Feb 19, 2010 at 7:17

I like taglist and fuzzyfinder, those are very cool plugin

community wiki JAVH ,Aug 15, 2010 at 11:54

TaskList

This script is based on the eclipse Task List. It will search the file for FIXME, TODO, and XXX (or a custom list) and put them in a handy list for you to browse which at the same time will update the location in the document so you can see exactly where the tag is located. Something like an interactive 'cw'

community wiki Peter Hoffmann ,Aug 29, 2008 at 4:07

I really love the snippetsEmu Plugin. It emulates some of the behaviour of Snippets from the OS X editor TextMate, in particular the variable bouncing and replacement behaviour.

community wiki Anon ,Sep 11, 2008 at 10:20

Zenburn color scheme and good fonts - [Droid Sans Mono]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droid_(font)) on Linux, Consolas on Windows.

Gary Willoughby ,Jul 7, 2011 at 21:21

Take a look at DejaVu Sans Mono too dejavu-fonts.org/wiki/Main_Page – Gary Willoughby Jul 7 '11 at 21:21

Santosh Kumar ,Mar 28, 2013 at 4:48

Droid Sans Mono makes capital m and 0 appear same. – Santosh Kumar Mar 28 '13 at 4:48

community wiki julienXX ,Jun 22, 2010 at 12:05

If you're on a Mac, you got to use peepopen , fuzzyfinder on steroids.

Khaja Minhajuddin ,Apr 5, 2012 at 9:24

Command+T is a free alternative to this: github.com/wincent/Command-T – Khaja Minhajuddin Apr 5 '12 at 9:24

community wiki Peter Stuifzand ,Aug 25, 2008 at 19:16

I use the following two plugins all the time:

Csaba_H ,Jun 24, 2009 at 13:47

vimoutliner is really good for managing small pieces of information (from tasks/todo-s to links) – Csaba_H Jun 24 '09 at 13:47

ThiefMaster ♦ ,Nov 25, 2010 at 20:35

Adding some links/descriptions would be nice – ThiefMaster ♦ Nov 25 '10 at 20:35

community wiki chiggsy ,Aug 26, 2009 at 18:22

For vim I like a little help with completions. Vim has tons of completion modes, but really, I just want vim to complete anything it can, whenver it can.

I hate typing ending quotes, but fortunately this plugin obviates the need for such misery.

Those two are my heavy hitters.

This one may step up to roam my code like an unquiet shade, but I've yet to try it.

community wiki Brett Stahlman, Dec 11, 2009 at 13:28

Txtfmt (The Vim Highlighter) Screenshots

The Txtfmt plugin gives you a sort of "rich text" highlighting capability, similar to what is provided by RTF editors and word processors. You can use it to add colors (foreground and background) and formatting attributes (all combinations of bold, underline, italic, etc...) to your plain text documents in Vim.

The advantage of this plugin over something like Latex is that with Txtfmt, your highlighting changes are visible "in real time", and as with a word processor, the highlighting is WYSIWYG. Txtfmt embeds special tokens directly in the file to accomplish the highlighting, so the highlighting is unaffected when you move the file around, even from one computer to another. The special tokens are hidden by the syntax; each appears as a single space. For those who have applied Vince Negri's conceal/ownsyntax patch, the tokens can even be made "zero-width".

community wiki 2 revs, Dec 10, 2010 at 4:37

tcomment

"I map the "Command + /" keys so i can just comment stuff out while in insert mode imap :i

[Oct 21, 2018] Duplicate a whole line in Vim

Notable quotes:
"... Do people not run vimtutor anymore? This is probably within the first five minutes of learning how to use Vim. ..."
"... Can also use capital Y to copy the whole line. ..."
"... I think the Y should be "copy from the cursor to the end" ..."
"... In normal mode what this does is copy . copy this line to just below this line . ..."
"... And in visual mode it turns into '<,'> copy '> copy from start of selection to end of selection to the line below end of selection . ..."
"... I like: Shift + v (to select the whole line immediately and let you select other lines if you want), y, p ..."
"... Multiple lines with a number in between: y7yp ..."
"... 7yy is equivalent to y7y and is probably easier to remember how to do. ..."
"... or :.,.+7 copy .+7 ..."
"... When you press : in visual mode, it is transformed to '<,'> so it pre-selects the line range the visual selection spanned over ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

sumek, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:02

How do I duplicate a whole line in Vim in a similar way to Ctrl + D in IntelliJ IDEA/Resharper or Ctrl + Alt + / in Eclipse?

dash-tom-bang, Feb 15, 2016 at 23:31

Do people not run vimtutor anymore? This is probably within the first five minutes of learning how to use Vim.dash-tom-bang Feb 15 '16 at 23:31

Mark Biek, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:06

yy or Y to copy the line
or
dd to delete (cutting) the line

then

p to paste the copied or deleted text after the current line
or
P to paste the copied or deleted text before the current line

camflan, Sep 28, 2008 at 15:55

Can also use capital Y to copy the whole line.camflan Sep 28 '08 at 15:55

nXqd, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:35

@camflan I think the Y should be "copy from the cursor to the end" nXqd Jul 19 '12 at 11:35

Amir Ali Akbari, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:33

and 2yy can be used to copy 2 lines (and for any other n) – Amir Ali Akbari Oct 9 '12 at 10:33

zelk, Mar 9, 2014 at 13:29

To copy two lines, it's even faster just to go yj or yk, especially since you don't double up on one character. Plus, yk is a backwards version that 2yy can't do, and you can put the number of lines to reach backwards in y9j or y2k, etc.. Only difference is that your count has to be n-1 for a total of n lines, but your head can learn that anyway. – zelk Mar 9 '14 at 13:29

DarkWiiPlayer, Apr 13 at 7:26

I know I'm late to the party, but whatever; I have this in my .vimrc:
nnoremap <C-d> :copy .<CR>
vnoremap <C-d> :copy '><CR>

the :copy command just copies the selected line or the range (always whole lines) to below the line number given as its argument.

In normal mode what this does is copy . copy this line to just below this line .

And in visual mode it turns into '<,'> copy '> copy from start of selection to end of selection to the line below end of selection .

yolenoyer, Apr 11 at 16:34

I like to use this mapping:
:nnoremap yp Yp

because it makes it consistent to use alongside the native YP command.

Gabe add a comment, Jul 14, 2009 at 4:45

I like: Shift + v (to select the whole line immediately and let you select other lines if you want), y, p

jedi, Feb 11 at 17:20

If you would like to duplicate a line and paste it right away below the current like, just like in Sublime Ctrl + Shift + D, then you can add this to your .vimrc file.

imap <S-C-d> <Esc>Yp

jedi, Apr 14 at 17:48

This works perfectly fine for me: imap <S-C-d> <Esc>Ypi insert mode and nmap <S-C-d> <Esc>Yp in normal mode – jedi Apr 14 at 17:48

Chris Penner, Apr 20, 2015 at 4:33

Default is yyp, but I've been using this rebinding for a year or so and love it:

" set Y to duplicate lines, works in visual mode as well. nnoremap Y yyp vnoremap Y y`>pgv

yemu, Oct 12, 2013 at 18:23

yyp - paste after

yyP - paste before

Mikk, Dec 4, 2015 at 9:09

@A-B-B However, there is a miniature difference here - what line will your cursor land on. – Mikk Dec 4 '15 at 9:09

theschmitzer, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:16

yyp - remember it with "yippee!"

Multiple lines with a number in between: y7yp

graywh, Jan 4, 2009 at 21:25

7yy is equivalent to y7y and is probably easier to remember how to do.graywh Jan 4 '09 at 21:25

Nefrubyr, Jul 29, 2014 at 14:09

y7yp (or 7yyp) is rarely useful; the cursor remains on the first line copied so that p pastes the copied lines between the first and second line of the source. To duplicate a block of lines use 7yyP – Nefrubyr Jul 29 '14 at 14:09

DarkWiiPlayer, Apr 13 at 7:28

@Nefrubyr or :.,.+7 copy .+7 :P – DarkWiiPlayer Apr 13 at 7:28

Michael, May 12, 2016 at 14:54

For someone who doesn't know vi, some answers from above might mislead him with phrases like "paste ... after/before current line ".
It's actually "paste ... after/before cursor ".

yy or Y to copy the line
or
dd to delete the line

then

p to paste the copied or deleted text after the cursor
or
P to paste the copied or deleted text before the cursor


For more key bindings, you can visit this site: vi Complete Key Binding List

ap-osd, Feb 10, 2016 at 13:23

For those starting to learn vi, here is a good introduction to vi by listing side by side vi commands to typical Windows GUI Editor cursor movement and shortcut keys. It lists all the basic commands including yy (copy line) and p (paste after) or P (paste before).

vi (Vim) for Windows Users

pjz, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:04

yy

will yank the current line without deleting it

dd

will delete the current line

p

will put a line grabbed by either of the previous methods

Benoit, Apr 17, 2012 at 15:17

Normal mode: see other answers.

The Ex way:

If you need to move instead of copying, use :m instead of :t .

This can be really powerful if you combine it with :g or :v :

Reference: :help range, :help :t, :help :g, :help :m and :help :v

Benoit, Jun 30, 2012 at 14:17

When you press : in visual mode, it is transformed to '<,'> so it pre-selects the line range the visual selection spanned over. So, in visual mode, :t0 will copy the lines at the beginning. – Benoit Jun 30 '12 at 14:17

Niels Bom, Jul 31, 2012 at 8:21

For the record: when you type a colon (:) you go into command line mode where you can enter Ex commands. vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/cmdline.html Ex commands can be really powerful and terse. The yyp solutions are "Normal mode" commands. If you want to copy/move/delete a far-away line or range of lines an Ex command can be a lot faster. – Niels Bom Jul 31 '12 at 8:21

Burak Erdem, Jul 8, 2016 at 16:55

:t. is the exact answer to the question. – Burak Erdem Jul 8 '16 at 16:55

Aaron Thoma, Aug 22, 2013 at 23:31

Y is usually remapped to y$ (yank (copy) until end of line (from current cursor position, not beginning of line)) though. With this line in .vimrc : :nnoremap Y y$Aaron Thoma Aug 22 '13 at 23:31

Kwondri, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:37

If you want another way :-)

"ayy this will store the line in buffer a

"ap this will put the contents of buffer a at the cursor.

There are many variations on this.

"a5yy this will store the 5 lines in buffer a

see http://www.vim.org/htmldoc/help.html for more fun

frbl, Jun 21, 2015 at 21:04

Thanks, I used this as a bind: map <Leader>d "ayy"ap – frbl Jun 21 '15 at 21:04

Rook, Jul 14, 2009 at 4:37

Another option would be to go with:
nmap <C-d> mzyyp`z

gives you the advantage of preserving the cursor position.

,Sep 18, 2008 at 20:32

You can also try <C-x><C-l> which will repeat the last line from insert mode and brings you a completion window with all of the lines. It works almost like <C-p>

Jorge Gajon, May 11, 2009 at 6:38

This is very useful, but to avoid having to press many keys I have mapped it to just CTRL-L, this is my map: inoremap ^L ^X^L – Jorge Gajon May 11 '09 at 6:38

cori, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:06

1 gotcha: when you use "p" to put the line, it puts it after the line your cursor is on, so if you want to add the line after the line you're yanking, don't move the cursor down a line before putting the new line.

Ghoti, Jan 31, 2016 at 11:05

or use capital P - put before – Ghoti Jan 31 '16 at 11:05

[Oct 21, 2018] Indent multiple lines quickly in vi

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

Allain Lalonde, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:27

Should be trivial, and it might even be in the help, but I can't figure out how to navigate it. How do I indent multiple lines quickly in vi?

Greg Hewgill, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:28

Use the > command. To indent 5 lines, 5>> . To mark a block of lines and indent it, Vjj> to indent 3 lines (vim only). To indent a curly-braces block, put your cursor on one of the curly braces and use >% .

If you're copying blocks of text around and need to align the indent of a block in its new location, use ]p instead of just p . This aligns the pasted block with the surrounding text.

Also, the shiftwidth setting allows you to control how many spaces to indent.

akdom, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:31

<shift>-v also works to select a line in Vim. – akdom Oct 25 '08 at 3:31

R. Martinho Fernandes, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:26

I use >i} (indent inner {} block). Works in vim. Not sure it works in vi. – R. Martinho Fernandes Feb 15 '09 at 17:26

Kamran Bigdely, Feb 28, 2011 at 23:25

My problem(in gVim) is that the command > indents much more than 2 blanks (I want just two blanks but > indent something like 5 blanks) – Kamran Bigdely Feb 28 '11 at 23:25

Greg Hewgill, Mar 1, 2011 at 18:42

@Kamran: See the shiftwidth setting for the way to change that. – Greg Hewgill Mar 1 '11 at 18:42

Greg Hewgill, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:36

@MattStevens: You can find extended discussion about this phenomenon here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9731/ – Greg Hewgill Feb 28 '13 at 3:36

Michael Ekoka, Feb 15, 2009 at 5:42

When you select a block and use > to indent, it indents then goes back to normal mode. I have this in my .vimrc file:
vnoremap < <gv

vnoremap > >gv

It lets you indent your selection as many time as you want.

sundar, Sep 1, 2009 at 17:14

To indent the selection multiple times, you can simply press . to repeat the previous command. – sundar Sep 1 '09 at 17:14

masukomi, Dec 6, 2013 at 21:24

The problem with . in this situation is that you have to move your fingers. With @mike's solution (same one i use) you've already got your fingers on the indent key and can just keep whacking it to keep indenting rather than switching and doing something else. Using period takes longer because you have to move your hands and it requires more thought because it's a second, different, operation. – masukomi Dec 6 '13 at 21:24

Johan, Jan 20, 2009 at 21:11

A big selection would be:
gg=G

It is really fast, and everything gets indented ;-)

asgs, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:57

I've an XML file and turned on syntax highlighting. Typing gg=G just puts every line starting from position 1. All the white spaces have been removed. Is there anything else specific to XML? – asgs Jan 28 '14 at 21:57

Johan, Jan 29, 2014 at 6:10

stackoverflow.com/questions/7600860/

Amanuel Nega, May 19, 2015 at 19:51

I think set cindent should be in vimrc or should run :set cindent before running that command – Amanuel Nega May 19 '15 at 19:51

Amanuel Nega, May 19, 2015 at 19:57

I think cindent must be set first. and @asgs i think this only works for cstyle programming languages. – Amanuel Nega May 19 '15 at 19:57

sqqqrly, Sep 28, 2017 at 23:59

I use block-mode visual selection:

This is not a uni-tasker. It works:

oligofren, Mar 27 at 15:23

This is cumbersome, but is the way to go if you do formatting outside of core VIM (for instance, using vim-prettier instead of the default indenting engine). Using > will otherwise royally scew up the formatting done by Prettier. – oligofren Mar 27 at 15:23

sqqqrly, Jun 15 at 16:30

Funny, I find it anything but cumbersome. This is not a uni-tasker! Learning this method has many uses beyond indenting. – sqqqrly Jun 15 at 16:30

user4052054, Aug 17 at 17:50

I find it better than the accepted answer, as I can see what is happening, the lines I'm selecting and the action I'm doing, and not just type some sort of vim incantation. – user4052054 Aug 17 at 17:50

Sergio, Apr 25 at 7:14

Suppose | represents the position of the cursor in Vim. If the text to be indented is enclosed in a code block like:
int main() {
line1
line2|
line3
}

you can do >i{ which means " indent ( > ) inside ( i ) block ( { ) " and get:

int main() {
    line1
    line2|
    line3
}

Now suppose the lines are contiguous but outside a block, like:

do
line2|
line3
line4
done

To indent lines 2 thru 4 you can visually select the lines and type > . Or even faster you can do >2j to get:

do
    line2|
    line3
    line4
done

Note that >Nj means indent from current line to N lines below. If the number of lines to be indented is large, it could take some seconds for the user to count the proper value of N . To save valuable seconds you can activate the option of relative number with set relativenumber (available since Vim version 7.3).

Sagar Jain, Apr 18, 2014 at 18:41

The master of all commands is
gg=G

This indents the entire file!

And below are some of the simple and elegant commands used to indent lines quickly in Vim or gVim.

To indent the current line
==

To indent the all the lines below the current line

=G

To indent n lines below the current line

n==

For example, to indent 4 lines below the current line

4==

To indent a block of code, go to one of the braces and use command

=%

These are the simplest, yet powerful commands to indent multiple lines.

rojomoke, Jul 30, 2014 at 15:48

This is just in vim, not vi . – rojomoke Jul 30 '14 at 15:48

Sagar Jain, Jul 31, 2014 at 3:40

@rojomoke: No, it works in vi as well – Sagar Jain Jul 31 '14 at 3:40

rojomoke, Jul 31, 2014 at 10:09

Not on my Solaris or AIX boxes it doesn't. The equals key has always been one of my standard ad hoc macro assignments. Are you sure you're not looking at a vim that's been linked to as vi ? – rojomoke Jul 31 '14 at 10:09

rojomoke, Aug 1, 2014 at 8:22

Yeah, on Linux, vi is almost always a link to vim. Try running the :ve command inside vi. – rojomoke Aug 1 '14 at 8:22

datelligence, Dec 28, 2015 at 17:28

I love this kind of answers: clear, precise and succinct. Worked for me in Debian Jessie. Thanks, @SJain – datelligence Dec 28 '15 at 17:28

kapil, Mar 1, 2015 at 13:20

To indent every line in a file type, esc then G=gg

zundarz, Sep 10, 2015 at 18:41

:help left

In ex mode you can use :left or :le to align lines a specified amount. Specifically, :left will Left align lines in the [range]. It sets the indent in the lines to [indent] (default 0).

:%le3 or :%le 3 or :%left3 or :%left 3 will align the entire file by padding with three spaces.

:5,7 le 3 will align lines 5 through 7 by padding them with 3 spaces.

:le without any value or :le 0 will left align with a padding of 0.

This works in vim and gvim .

Subfuzion, Aug 11, 2017 at 22:02

Awesome, just what I was looking for (a way to insert a specific number of spaces -- 4 spaces for markdown code -- to override my normal indent). In my case I wanted to indent a specific number of lines in visual mode, so shift-v to highlight the lines, then :'<,'>le4 to insert the spaces. Thanks! – Subfuzion Aug 11 '17 at 22:02

Nykakin, Aug 21, 2015 at 13:33

There is one more way that hasn't been mentioned yet - you can use norm i command to insert given text at the beginning of the line. To insert 10 spaces before lines 2-10:
:2,10norm 10i

Remember that there has to be space character at the end of the command - this will be the character we want to have inserted. We can also indent line with any other text, for example to indent every line in file with 5 underscore characters:

:%norm 5i_

Or something even more fancy:

:%norm 2i[ ]

More practical example is commenting Bash/Python/etc code with # character:

:1,20norm i#

To re-indent use x instead of i . For example to remove first 5 characters from every line:

:%norm 5x

Eliethesaiyan, Jun 13, 2016 at 14:18

this starts from the left side of the file...not the the current position of the block – Eliethesaiyan Jun 13 '16 at 14:18

John Sonderson, Jan 31, 2015 at 19:17

Suppose you use 2 spaces to indent your code. Type:
:set shiftwidth=2

Then:

You get the idea.

( Empty lines will not get indented, which I think is kind of nice. )


I found the answer in the (g)vim documentation for indenting blocks:

:help visual-block
/indent

If you want to give a count to the command, do this just before typing the operator character: "v{move-around}3>" (move lines 3 indents to the right).

Michael, Dec 19, 2014 at 20:18

To indent all file by 4:
esc 4G=G

underscore_d, Oct 17, 2015 at 19:35

...what? 'indent by 4 spaces'? No, this jumps to line 4 and then indents everything from there to the end of the file, using the currently selected indent mode (if any). – underscore_d Oct 17 '15 at 19:35

Abhishesh Sharma, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:22

:line_num_start,line_num_end>

e.g.

14,21> shifts line number 14 to 21 to one tab

Increase the '>' symbol for more tabs

e.g.

14,21>>> for 3 tabs

HoldOffHunger, Dec 5, 2017 at 15:50

There are clearly a lot of ways to solve this, but this is the easiest to implement, as line numbers show by default in vim and it doesn't require math. – HoldOffHunger Dec 5 '17 at 15:50

rohitkadam19, May 7, 2013 at 7:13

5== will indent 5 lines from current cursor position. so you can type any number before ==, it will indent number of lines. This is in command mode.

gg=G will indent whole file from top to bottom.

Kamlesh Karwande, Feb 6, 2014 at 4:04

I dont know why its so difficult to find a simple answer like this one...

I myself had to struggle a lot to know this its its very simple

edit your .vimrc file under home directory add this line

set cindent

in you file where you want to indent properly

in normal/command mode type

10==   (this will indent 10 lines from the current cursor location )
gg=G   (complete file will be properly indented)

Michael Durrant, Nov 4, 2013 at 22:57

Go to the start of the text

Eric Leschinski, Dec 23, 2013 at 3:30

How to indent highlighted code in vi immediately by a # of spaces:

Option 1: Indent a block of code in vi to three spaces with Visual Block mode:

  1. Select the block of code you want to indent. Do this using Ctrl+V in normal mode and arrowing down to select text. While it is selected, enter : to give a command to the block of selected text.
  2. The following will appear in the command line: :'<,'>
  3. To set indent to 3 spaces, type le 3 and press enter. This is what appears: :'<,'>le 3
  4. The selected text is immediately indented to 3 spaces.

Option 2: Indent a block of code in vi to three spaces with Visual Line mode:

  1. Open your file in VI.
  2. Put your cursor over some code
  3. Be in normal mode press the following keys:
    Vjjjj:le 3
    

    Interpretation of what you did:

    V means start selecting text.

    jjjj arrows down 4 lines, highlighting 4 lines.

    : tells vi you will enter an instruction for the highlighted text.

    le 3 means indent highlighted text 3 lines.

    The selected code is immediately increased or decreased to three spaces indentation.

Option 3: use Visual Block mode and special insert mode to increase indent:

  1. Open your file in VI.
  2. Put your cursor over some code
  3. Be in normal mode press the following keys:

    Ctrl+V

    jjjj
    

    (press spacebar 5 times)

    Esc Shift+i

    All the highlighted text is indented an additional 5 spaces.

ire_and_curses, Mar 6, 2011 at 17:29

This answer summarises the other answers and comments of this question, and adds extra information based on the Vim documentation and the Vim wiki . For conciseness, this answer doesn't distinguish between Vi and Vim-specific commands.

In the commands below, "re-indent" means "indent lines according to your indentation settings ." shiftwidth is the primary variable that controls indentation.

General Commands

>>   Indent line by shiftwidth spaces
<<   De-indent line by shiftwidth spaces
5>>  Indent 5 lines
5==  Re-indent 5 lines

>%   Increase indent of a braced or bracketed block (place cursor on brace first)
=%   Reindent a braced or bracketed block (cursor on brace)
<%   Decrease indent of a braced or bracketed block (cursor on brace)
]p   Paste text, aligning indentation with surroundings

=i{  Re-indent the 'inner block', i.e. the contents of the block
=a{  Re-indent 'a block', i.e. block and containing braces
=2a{ Re-indent '2 blocks', i.e. this block and containing block

>i{  Increase inner block indent
<i{  Decrease inner block indent

You can replace { with } or B, e.g. =iB is a valid block indent command. Take a look at "Indent a Code Block" for a nice example to try these commands out on.

Also, remember that

.    Repeat last command

, so indentation commands can be easily and conveniently repeated.

Re-indenting complete files

Another common situation is requiring indentation to be fixed throughout a source file:

gg=G  Re-indent entire buffer

You can extend this idea to multiple files:

" Re-indent all your c source code:
:args *.c
:argdo normal gg=G
:wall

Or multiple buffers:

" Re-indent all open buffers:
:bufdo normal gg=G:wall

In Visual Mode

Vjj> Visually mark and then indent 3 lines

In insert mode

These commands apply to the current line:

CTRL-t   insert indent at start of line
CTRL-d   remove indent at start of line
0 CTRL-d remove all indentation from line

Ex commands

These are useful when you want to indent a specific range of lines, without moving your cursor.

:< and :> Given a range, apply indentation e.g.
:4,8>   indent lines 4 to 8, inclusive

Indenting using markers

Another approach is via markers :

ma     Mark top of block to indent as marker 'a'

...move cursor to end location

>'a    Indent from marker 'a' to current location

Variables that govern indentation

You can set these in your .vimrc file .

set expandtab       "Use softtabstop spaces instead of tab characters for indentation
set shiftwidth=4    "Indent by 4 spaces when using >>, <<, == etc.
set softtabstop=4   "Indent by 4 spaces when pressing <TAB>

set autoindent      "Keep indentation from previous line
set smartindent     "Automatically inserts indentation in some cases
set cindent         "Like smartindent, but stricter and more customisable

Vim has intelligent indentation based on filetype. Try adding this to your .vimrc:

if has ("autocmd")
    " File type detection. Indent based on filetype. Recommended.
    filetype plugin indent on
endif

References

Amit, Aug 10, 2011 at 13:26

Both this answer and the one above it were great. But I +1'd this because it reminded me of the 'dot' operator, which repeats the last command. This is extremely useful when needing to indent an entire block several shiftspaces (or indentations) without needing to keep pressing >} . Thanks a long – Amit Aug 10 '11 at 13:26

Wipqozn, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:00

5>> Indent 5 lines : This command indents the fifth line, not 5 lines. Could this be due to my VIM settings, or is your wording incorrect? – Wipqozn Aug 24 '11 at 16:00

ire_and_curses, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:21

@Wipqozn - That's strange. It definitely indents the next five lines for me, tested on Vim 7.2.330. – ire_and_curses Aug 24 '11 at 16:21

Steve, Jan 6, 2012 at 20:13

>42gg Indent from where you are to line 42. – Steve Jan 6 '12 at 20:13

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:42

Great summary! Also note that the "indent inside block" and "indent all block" (<i{ >a{ etc.) also works with parentheses and brackets: >a( <i] etc. (And while I'm at it, in addition to <>'s, they also work with d,c,y etc.) – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:42

NickSoft, Nov 5, 2013 at 16:19

I didn't find a method I use in the comments, so I'll share it (I think vim only):
  1. Esc to enter command mode
  2. Move to the first character of the last line you want to ident
  3. ctrl - v to start block select
  4. Move to the first character of the first line you want to ident
  5. shift - i to enter special insert mode
  6. type as many spases/tabs as you need to indent to (2 for example
  7. press Esc and spaces will appear in all lines

This is useful when you don't want to change ident/tab settings in vimrc or to remember them to change it while editing.

To unindent I use the same ctrl - v block select to select spaces and delete it with d .

svec, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:21

Also try this for C-indenting indentation, do :help = for more info:

={

That will auto-indent the current code block you're in.

Or just:

==

to auto-indent the current line.

underscore_d, Oct 17, 2015 at 19:39

doesn't work for me, just dumps my cursor to the line above the opening brace of 'the current code block i'm in'. – underscore_d Oct 17 '15 at 19:39

John La Rooy, Jul 2, 2013 at 7:24

Using Python a lot, I find myself needing frequently needing to shift blocks by more than one indent. You can do this by using any of the block selection methods, and then just enter the number of indents you wish to jump right before the >

Eg. V5j3> will indent 5 lines 3 times - which is 12 spaces if you use 4 spaces for indents

Juan Lanus, Sep 18, 2012 at 14:12

The beauty of vim's UI is that it's consistent. Editing commands are made up of the command and a cursor move. The cursor moves are always the same:

So, in order to use vim you have to learn to move the cursor and remember a repertoire of commands like, for example, > to indent (and < to "outdent").
Thus, for indenting the lines from the cursor position to the top of the screen you do >H, >G to indent to the bottom of the file.

If, instead of typing >H, you type dH then you are deleting the same block of lines, cH for replacing it, etc.

Some cursor movements fit better with specific commands. In particular, the % command is handy to indent a whole HTML or XML block.
If the file has syntax highlighted ( :syn on ) then setting the cursor in the text of a tag (like, in the "i" of <div> and entering >% will indent up to the closing </div> tag.

This is how vim works: one has to remember only the cursor movements and the commands, and how to mix them.
So my answer to this question would be "go to one end of the block of lines you want to indent, and then type the > command and a movement to the other end of the block" if indent is interpreted as shifting the lines, = if indent is interpreted as in pretty-printing.

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:38

I would say that vi/vim is mostly consistent. For instance, D does not behave the same as S and Y! :) – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:38

Kent Fredric, Oct 25, 2008 at 9:16

Key-Presses for more visual people:
  1. Enter Command Mode:
    Escape
  2. Move around to the start of the area to indent:
    hjkl↑↓←→
  3. Start a block:
    v
  4. Move around to the end of the area to indent:
    hjkl↑↓←→
  5. (Optional) Type the number of indentation levels you want
    0..9
  6. Execute the indentation on the block:
    >

Shane Reustle, Mar 10, 2011 at 22:24

This is great, but it uses spaces and not tabs. Any possible way to fix this? – Shane Reustle Mar 10 '11 at 22:24

Kent Fredric, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:33

If its using spaces instead of tabs, then its probably because you have indentation set to use spaces. =). – Kent Fredric Mar 16 '11 at 8:33

Kent Fredric, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:36

When the 'expandtab' option is off (this is the default) Vim uses <Tab>s as much as possible to make the indent. ( :help :> ) – Kent Fredric Mar 16 '11 at 8:36

Shane Reustle, Dec 2, 2012 at 3:17

The only tab/space related vim setting I've changed is :set tabstop=3. It's actually inserting this every time I use >>: "<tab><space><space>". Same with indenting a block. Any ideas? – Shane Reustle Dec 2 '12 at 3:17

Kent Fredric, Dec 2, 2012 at 17:08

The three settings you want to look at for "spaces vs tabs" are 1. tabstop 2. shiftwidth 3. expandtab. You probably have "shiftwidth=5 noexpandtab", so a "tab" is 3 spaces, and an indentation level is "5" spaces, so it makes up the 5 with 1 tab, and 2 spaces. – Kent Fredric Dec 2 '12 at 17:08

mda, Jun 4, 2012 at 5:12

For me, the MacVim (Visual) solution was, select with mouse and press ">", but after putting the following lines in "~/.vimrc" since I like spaces instead of tabs:
set expandtab
set tabstop=2
set shiftwidth=2

Also it's useful to be able to call MacVim from the command-line (Terminal.app), so since I have the following helper directory "~/bin", where I place a script called "macvim":

#!/usr/bin/env bash
/usr/bin/open -a /Applications/MacPorts/MacVim.app $@

And of course in "~/.bashrc":

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin

Macports messes with "~/.profile" a lot, so the PATH environment variable can get quite long.

jash, Feb 17, 2012 at 15:16

>} or >{ indent from current line up to next paragraph

<} or <{ same un-indent

Eric Kigathi, Jan 4, 2012 at 0:41

A quick way to do this using VISUAL MODE uses the same process as commenting a block of code.

This is useful if you would prefer not to change your shiftwidth or use any set directives and is flexible enough to work with TABS or SPACES or any other character.

  1. Position cursor at the beginning on the block
  2. v to switch to -- VISUAL MODE --
  3. Select the text to be indented
  4. Type : to switch to the prompt
  5. Replacing with 3 leading spaces:

    :'<,'>s/^/ /g

  6. Or replacing with leading tabs:

    :'<,'>s/^/\t/g

  7. Brief Explanation:

    '<,'> - Within the Visually Selected Range

    s/^/ /g - Insert 3 spaces at the beginning of every line within the whole range

    (or)

    s/^/\t/g - Insert Tab at the beginning of every line within the whole range

pankaj ukumar, Nov 11, 2009 at 17:33

do this
$vi .vimrc

and add this line

autocmd FileType cpp setlocal expandtab shiftwidth=4 softtabstop=4 cindent

this is only for cpp file you can do this for another file type also just by modifying the filetype...

SteveO, Nov 10, 2010 at 19:16

I like to mark text for indentation:
  1. go to beginning of line of text then type ma (a is the label from the 'm'ark: it could be any letter)
  2. go to end line of text and type mz (again z could be any letter)
  3. :'a,'z> or :'a,'z< will indent or outdent (is this a word?)
  4. Voila! the text is moved (empty lines remain empty with no spaces)

PS: you can use :'a,'z technique to mark a range for any operation (d,y,s///, etc) where you might use lines, numbers, or %

Paul Tomblin, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:08

As well as the offered solutions, I like to do things a paragraph at a time with >}

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:47

Yup, and this is why one of my big peeves is white spaces on an otherwise empty line: they messes up vim's notion of a "paragraph". – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:47

Daniel Spiewak, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:00

In addition to the answer already given and accepted, it is also possible to place a marker and then indent everything from the current cursor to the marker. Thus, enter ma where you want the top of your indented block, cursor down as far as you need and then type >'a (note that " a " can be substituted for any valid marker name). This is sometimes easier than 5>> or vjjj> .

user606723, Mar 17, 2011 at 15:31

This is really useful. I am going to have to look up what all works with this. I know d'a and y'a, what else? – user606723 Mar 17 '11 at 15:31

ziggy, Aug 25, 2014 at 14:14

This is very useful as it avoids the need to count how many lines you want to indent. – ziggy Aug 25 '14 at 14:14

[Oct 21, 2018] vim - how to move a block or column of text - Stack Overflow

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

how to move a block or column of text Ask Question up vote 23 down vote favorite 5


David.Chu.ca ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:47

I have the following text as a simple case:

...
abc xxx 123 456
wer xxx 345 678676
...

what I need to move a block of text xxx to another location:

...
abc 123 xxx 456
wer 345 xxx 678676
...

I think I use visual mode to block a column of text, what are the other commands to move the block to another location?

Paul ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:52

You should use blockwise visual mode ( Ctrl + v ). Then d to delete block, p or P to paste block.

Klinger ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:53

Try the link .


Marking text (visual mode)

Visual commands

Cut and Paste

Kemin Zhou ,Nov 6, 2015 at 23:59

One of the few useful command I learned at the beginning of learning VIM is :1,3 mo 5 This means move text line 1 through 3 to line 5.

Júda Ronén ,Jan 18, 2017 at 21:20

And you can select the lines in visual mode, then press : to get :'<,'> (equivalent to the :1,3 part in your answer), and add mo N . If you want to move a single line, just :mo N . If you are really lazy, you can omit the space (e.g. :mo5 ). Use marks with mo '{a-zA-Z} . – Júda Ronén Jan 18 '17 at 21:20

Miles ,Jun 29, 2017 at 23:44

just m also works – Miles Jun 29 '17 at 23:44

John Ellinwood ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:52

  1. In VIM, press Ctrl + V to go in Visual Block mode
  2. Select the required columns with your arrow keys and press x to cut them in the buffer.
  3. Move cursor to row 1 column 9 and press P (thats capital P) in command mode.
  4. Press Ctrl + Shift + b to get in and out of it. ( source )

SergioAraujo ,Jan 4 at 21:49

Using an external command "awk".

%!awk '{print $1,$3,$2,$4}' test.txt

With pure vim

:%s,\v(\w+) (\w+) (\w+) (\w+),\1 \3 \2 \4,g

Another vim solution using global command

:g/./normal wdwwP

[Oct 21, 2018] What is your most productive shortcut with Vim?

Notable quotes:
"... less productive ..."
"... column oriented ..."
Feb 17, 2013 | stackoverflow.com
I've heard a lot about Vim, both pros and cons. It really seems you should be (as a developer) faster with Vim than with any other editor. I'm using Vim to do some basic stuff and I'm at best 10 times less productive with Vim.

The only two things you should care about when you talk about speed (you may not care enough about them, but you should) are:

  1. Using alternatively left and right hands is the fastest way to use the keyboard.
  2. Never touching the mouse is the second way to be as fast as possible. It takes ages for you to move your hand, grab the mouse, move it, and bring it back to the keyboard (and you often have to look at the keyboard to be sure you returned your hand properly to the right place)

Here are two examples demonstrating why I'm far less productive with Vim.

Copy/Cut & paste. I do it all the time. With all the contemporary editors you press Shift with the left hand, and you move the cursor with your right hand to select text. Then Ctrl + C copies, you move the cursor and Ctrl + V pastes.

With Vim it's horrible:

Another example? Search & replace.

And everything with Vim is like that: it seems I don't know how to handle it the right way.

NB : I've already read the Vim cheat sheet :)

My question is: What is the way you use Vim that makes you more productive than with a contemporary editor?

community wiki 18 revs, 16 users 64%, Dec 22, 2011 at 11:43

Your problem with Vim is that you don't grok vi .

You mention cutting with yy and complain that you almost never want to cut whole lines. In fact programmers, editing source code, very often want to work on whole lines, ranges of lines and blocks of code. However, yy is only one of many way to yank text into the anonymous copy buffer (or "register" as it's called in vi ).

The "Zen" of vi is that you're speaking a language. The initial y is a verb. The statement yy is a synonym for y_ . The y is doubled up to make it easier to type, since it is such a common operation.

This can also be expressed as dd P (delete the current line and paste a copy back into place; leaving a copy in the anonymous register as a side effect). The y and d "verbs" take any movement as their "subject." Thus yW is "yank from here (the cursor) to the end of the current/next (big) word" and y'a is "yank from here to the line containing the mark named ' a '."

If you only understand basic up, down, left, and right cursor movements then vi will be no more productive than a copy of "notepad" for you. (Okay, you'll still have syntax highlighting and the ability to handle files larger than a piddling ~45KB or so; but work with me here).

vi has 26 "marks" and 26 "registers." A mark is set to any cursor location using the m command. Each mark is designated by a single lower case letter. Thus ma sets the ' a ' mark to the current location, and mz sets the ' z ' mark. You can move to the line containing a mark using the ' (single quote) command. Thus 'a moves to the beginning of the line containing the ' a ' mark. You can move to the precise location of any mark using the ` (backquote) command. Thus `z will move directly to the exact location of the ' z ' mark.

Because these are "movements" they can also be used as subjects for other "statements."

So, one way to cut an arbitrary selection of text would be to drop a mark (I usually use ' a ' as my "first" mark, ' z ' as my next mark, ' b ' as another, and ' e ' as yet another (I don't recall ever having interactively used more than four marks in 15 years of using vi ; one creates one's own conventions regarding how marks and registers are used by macros that don't disturb one's interactive context). Then we go to the other end of our desired text; we can start at either end, it doesn't matter. Then we can simply use d`a to cut or y`a to copy. Thus the whole process has a 5 keystrokes overhead (six if we started in "insert" mode and needed to Esc out command mode). Once we've cut or copied then pasting in a copy is a single keystroke: p .

I say that this is one way to cut or copy text. However, it is only one of many. Frequently we can more succinctly describe the range of text without moving our cursor around and dropping a mark. For example if I'm in a paragraph of text I can use { and } movements to the beginning or end of the paragraph respectively. So, to move a paragraph of text I cut it using { d} (3 keystrokes). (If I happen to already be on the first or last line of the paragraph I can then simply use d} or d{ respectively.

The notion of "paragraph" defaults to something which is usually intuitively reasonable. Thus it often works for code as well as prose.

Frequently we know some pattern (regular expression) that marks one end or the other of the text in which we're interested. Searching forwards or backwards are movements in vi . Thus they can also be used as "subjects" in our "statements." So I can use d/foo to cut from the current line to the next line containing the string "foo" and y?bar to copy from the current line to the most recent (previous) line containing "bar." If I don't want whole lines I can still use the search movements (as statements of their own), drop my mark(s) and use the `x commands as described previously.

In addition to "verbs" and "subjects" vi also has "objects" (in the grammatical sense of the term). So far I've only described the use of the anonymous register. However, I can use any of the 26 "named" registers by prefixing the "object" reference with " (the double quote modifier). Thus if I use "add I'm cutting the current line into the ' a ' register and if I use "by/foo then I'm yanking a copy of the text from here to the next line containing "foo" into the ' b ' register. To paste from a register I simply prefix the paste with the same modifier sequence: "ap pastes a copy of the ' a ' register's contents into the text after the cursor and "bP pastes a copy from ' b ' to before the current line.

This notion of "prefixes" also adds the analogs of grammatical "adjectives" and "adverbs' to our text manipulation "language." Most commands (verbs) and movement (verbs or objects, depending on context) can also take numeric prefixes. Thus 3J means "join the next three lines" and d5} means "delete from the current line through the end of the fifth paragraph down from here."

This is all intermediate level vi . None of it is Vim specific and there are far more advanced tricks in vi if you're ready to learn them. If you were to master just these intermediate concepts then you'd probably find that you rarely need to write any macros because the text manipulation language is sufficiently concise and expressive to do most things easily enough using the editor's "native" language.


A sampling of more advanced tricks:

There are a number of : commands, most notably the :% s/foo/bar/g global substitution technique. (That's not advanced but other : commands can be). The whole : set of commands was historically inherited by vi 's previous incarnations as the ed (line editor) and later the ex (extended line editor) utilities. In fact vi is so named because it's the visual interface to ex .

: commands normally operate over lines of text. ed and ex were written in an era when terminal screens were uncommon and many terminals were "teletype" (TTY) devices. So it was common to work from printed copies of the text, using commands through an extremely terse interface (common connection speeds were 110 baud, or, roughly, 11 characters per second -- which is slower than a fast typist; lags were common on multi-user interactive sessions; additionally there was often some motivation to conserve paper).

So the syntax of most : commands includes an address or range of addresses (line number) followed by a command. Naturally one could use literal line numbers: :127,215 s/foo/bar to change the first occurrence of "foo" into "bar" on each line between 127 and 215. One could also use some abbreviations such as . or $ for current and last lines respectively. One could also use relative prefixes + and - to refer to offsets after or before the curent line, respectively. Thus: :.,$j meaning "from the current line to the last line, join them all into one line". :% is synonymous with :1,$ (all the lines).

The :... g and :... v commands bear some explanation as they are incredibly powerful. :... g is a prefix for "globally" applying a subsequent command to all lines which match a pattern (regular expression) while :... v applies such a command to all lines which do NOT match the given pattern ("v" from "conVerse"). As with other ex commands these can be prefixed by addressing/range references. Thus :.,+21g/foo/d means "delete any lines containing the string "foo" from the current one through the next 21 lines" while :.,$v/bar/d means "from here to the end of the file, delete any lines which DON'T contain the string "bar."

It's interesting that the common Unix command grep was actually inspired by this ex command (and is named after the way in which it was documented). The ex command :g/re/p (grep) was the way they documented how to "globally" "print" lines containing a "regular expression" (re). When ed and ex were used, the :p command was one of the first that anyone learned and often the first one used when editing any file. It was how you printed the current contents (usually just one page full at a time using :.,+25p or some such).

Note that :% g/.../d or (its reVerse/conVerse counterpart: :% v/.../d are the most common usage patterns. However there are couple of other ex commands which are worth remembering:

We can use m to move lines around, and j to join lines. For example if you have a list and you want to separate all the stuff matching (or conversely NOT matching some pattern) without deleting them, then you can use something like: :% g/foo/m$ ... and all the "foo" lines will have been moved to the end of the file. (Note the other tip about using the end of your file as a scratch space). This will have preserved the relative order of all the "foo" lines while having extracted them from the rest of the list. (This would be equivalent to doing something like: 1G!GGmap!Ggrep foo<ENTER>1G:1,'a g/foo'/d (copy the file to its own tail, filter the tail through grep, and delete all the stuff from the head).

To join lines usually I can find a pattern for all the lines which need to be joined to their predecessor (all the lines which start with "^ " rather than "^ * " in some bullet list, for example). For that case I'd use: :% g/^ /-1j (for every matching line, go up one line and join them). (BTW: for bullet lists trying to search for the bullet lines and join to the next doesn't work for a couple reasons ... it can join one bullet line to another, and it won't join any bullet line to all of its continuations; it'll only work pairwise on the matches).

Almost needless to mention you can use our old friend s (substitute) with the g and v (global/converse-global) commands. Usually you don't need to do so. However, consider some case where you want to perform a substitution only on lines matching some other pattern. Often you can use a complicated pattern with captures and use back references to preserve the portions of the lines that you DON'T want to change. However, it will often be easier to separate the match from the substitution: :% g/foo/s/bar/zzz/g -- for every line containing "foo" substitute all "bar" with "zzz." (Something like :% s/\(.*foo.*\)bar\(.*\)/\1zzz\2/g would only work for the cases those instances of "bar" which were PRECEDED by "foo" on the same line; it's ungainly enough already, and would have to be mangled further to catch all the cases where "bar" preceded "foo")

The point is that there are more than just p, s, and d lines in the ex command set.

The : addresses can also refer to marks. Thus you can use: :'a,'bg/foo/j to join any line containing the string foo to its subsequent line, if it lies between the lines between the ' a ' and ' b ' marks. (Yes, all of the preceding ex command examples can be limited to subsets of the file's lines by prefixing with these sorts of addressing expressions).

That's pretty obscure (I've only used something like that a few times in the last 15 years). However, I'll freely admit that I've often done things iteratively and interactively that could probably have been done more efficiently if I'd taken the time to think out the correct incantation.

Another very useful vi or ex command is :r to read in the contents of another file. Thus: :r foo inserts the contents of the file named "foo" at the current line.

More powerful is the :r! command. This reads the results of a command. It's the same as suspending the vi session, running a command, redirecting its output to a temporary file, resuming your vi session, and reading in the contents from the temp. file.

Even more powerful are the ! (bang) and :... ! ( ex bang) commands. These also execute external commands and read the results into the current text. However, they also filter selections of our text through the command! This we can sort all the lines in our file using 1G!Gsort ( G is the vi "goto" command; it defaults to going to the last line of the file, but can be prefixed by a line number, such as 1, the first line). This is equivalent to the ex variant :1,$!sort . Writers often use ! with the Unix fmt or fold utilities for reformating or "word wrapping" selections of text. A very common macro is {!}fmt (reformat the current paragraph). Programmers sometimes use it to run their code, or just portions of it, through indent or other code reformatting tools.

Using the :r! and ! commands means that any external utility or filter can be treated as an extension of our editor. I have occasionally used these with scripts that pulled data from a database, or with wget or lynx commands that pulled data off a website, or ssh commands that pulled data from remote systems.

Another useful ex command is :so (short for :source ). This reads the contents of a file as a series of commands. When you start vi it normally, implicitly, performs a :source on ~/.exinitrc file (and Vim usually does this on ~/.vimrc, naturally enough). The use of this is that you can change your editor profile on the fly by simply sourcing in a new set of macros, abbreviations, and editor settings. If you're sneaky you can even use this as a trick for storing sequences of ex editing commands to apply to files on demand.

For example I have a seven line file (36 characters) which runs a file through wc, and inserts a C-style comment at the top of the file containing that word count data. I can apply that "macro" to a file by using a command like: vim +'so mymacro.ex' ./mytarget

(The + command line option to vi and Vim is normally used to start the editing session at a given line number. However it's a little known fact that one can follow the + by any valid ex command/expression, such as a "source" command as I've done here; for a simple example I have scripts which invoke: vi +'/foo/d|wq!' ~/.ssh/known_hosts to remove an entry from my SSH known hosts file non-interactively while I'm re-imaging a set of servers).

Usually it's far easier to write such "macros" using Perl, AWK, sed (which is, in fact, like grep a utility inspired by the ed command).

The @ command is probably the most obscure vi command. In occasionally teaching advanced systems administration courses for close to a decade I've met very few people who've ever used it. @ executes the contents of a register as if it were a vi or ex command.
Example: I often use: :r!locate ... to find some file on my system and read its name into my document. From there I delete any extraneous hits, leaving only the full path to the file I'm interested in. Rather than laboriously Tab -ing through each component of the path (or worse, if I happen to be stuck on a machine without Tab completion support in its copy of vi ) I just use:

  1. 0i:r (to turn the current line into a valid :r command),
  2. "cdd (to delete the line into the "c" register) and
  3. @c execute that command.

That's only 10 keystrokes (and the expression "cdd @c is effectively a finger macro for me, so I can type it almost as quickly as any common six letter word).


A sobering thought

I've only scratched to surface of vi 's power and none of what I've described here is even part of the "improvements" for which vim is named! All of what I've described here should work on any old copy of vi from 20 or 30 years ago.

There are people who have used considerably more of vi 's power than I ever will.

Jim Dennis, Feb 12, 2010 at 4:08

@Wahnfieden -- grok is exactly what I meant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok (It's apparently even in the OED --- the closest we anglophones have to a canonical lexicon). To "grok" an editor is to find yourself using its commands fluently ... as if they were your natural language. – Jim Dennis Feb 12 '10 at 4:08

knittl, Feb 27, 2010 at 13:15

wow, a very well written answer! i couldn't agree more, although i use the @ command a lot (in combination with q : record macro) – knittl Feb 27 '10 at 13:15

Brandon Rhodes, Mar 29, 2010 at 15:26

Superb answer that utterly redeems a really horrible question. I am going to upvote this question, that normally I would downvote, just so that this answer becomes easier to find. (And I'm an Emacs guy! But this way I'll have somewhere to point new folks who want a good explanation of what vi power users find fun about vi. Then I'll tell them about Emacs and they can decide.) – Brandon Rhodes Mar 29 '10 at 15:26

Marko, Apr 1, 2010 at 14:47

Can you make a website and put this tutorial there, so it doesn't get burried here on stackoverflow. I have yet to read better introduction to vi then this. – Marko Apr 1 '10 at 14:47

CMS, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:27

You are talking about text selecting and copying, I think that you should give a look to the Vim Visual Mode .

In the visual mode, you are able to select text using Vim commands, then you can do whatever you want with the selection.

Consider the following common scenarios:

You need to select to the next matching parenthesis.

You could do:

You want to select text between quotes:

You want to select a curly brace block (very common on C-style languages):

You want to select the entire file:

Visual block selection is another really useful feature, it allows you to select a rectangular area of text, you just have to press Ctrl - V to start it, and then select the text block you want and perform any type of operation such as yank, delete, paste, edit, etc. It's great to edit column oriented text.

finnw, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:49

Every editor has something like this, it's not specific to vim. – finnw Aug 2 '09 at 8:49

guns, Aug 2, 2009 at 9:54

Yes, but it was a specific complaint of the poster. Visual mode is Vim's best method of direct text-selection and manipulation. And since vim's buffer traversal methods are superb, I find text selection in vim fairly pleasurable. – guns Aug 2 '09 at 9:54

Hamish Downer, Mar 16, 2010 at 13:34

I think it is also worth mentioning Ctrl-V to select a block - ie an arbitrary rectangle of text. When you need it it's a lifesaver. – Hamish Downer Mar 16 '10 at 13:34

CMS, Apr 2, 2010 at 2:07

@viksit: I'm using Camtasia, but there are plenty of alternatives: codinghorror.com/blog/2006/11/screencasting-for-windows.htmlCMS Apr 2 '10 at 2:07

Nathan Long, Mar 1, 2011 at 19:05

Also, if you've got a visual selection and want to adjust it, o will hop to the other end. So you can move both the beginning and the end of the selection as much as you like. – Nathan Long Mar 1 '11 at 19:05

community wiki
12 revs, 3 users 99%
,Oct 29, 2012 at 18:51

Some productivity tips:

Smart movements

Quick editing commands

Combining commands

Most commands accept a amount and direction, for example:

Useful programmer commands

Macro recording

By using very specific commands and movements, VIM can replay those exact actions for the next lines. (e.g. A for append-to-end, b / e to move the cursor to the begin or end of a word respectively)

Example of well built settings

# reset to vim-defaults
if &compatible          # only if not set before:
  set nocompatible      # use vim-defaults instead of vi-defaults (easier, more user friendly)
endif

# display settings
set background=dark     # enable for dark terminals
set nowrap              # dont wrap lines
set scrolloff=2         # 2 lines above/below cursor when scrolling
set number              # show line numbers
set showmatch           # show matching bracket (briefly jump)
set showmode            # show mode in status bar (insert/replace/...)
set showcmd             # show typed command in status bar
set ruler               # show cursor position in status bar
set title               # show file in titlebar
set wildmenu            # completion with menu
set wildignore=*.o,*.obj,*.bak,*.exe,*.py[co],*.swp,*~,*.pyc,.svn
set laststatus=2        # use 2 lines for the status bar
set matchtime=2         # show matching bracket for 0.2 seconds
set matchpairs+=<:>     # specially for html

# editor settings
set esckeys             # map missed escape sequences (enables keypad keys)
set ignorecase          # case insensitive searching
set smartcase           # but become case sensitive if you type uppercase characters
set smartindent         # smart auto indenting
set smarttab            # smart tab handling for indenting
set magic               # change the way backslashes are used in search patterns
set bs=indent,eol,start # Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode

set tabstop=4           # number of spaces a tab counts for
set shiftwidth=4        # spaces for autoindents
#set expandtab           # turn a tabs into spaces

set fileformat=unix     # file mode is unix
#set fileformats=unix,dos    # only detect unix file format, displays that ^M with dos files

# system settings
set lazyredraw          # no redraws in macros
set confirm             # get a dialog when :q, :w, or :wq fails
set nobackup            # no backup~ files.
set viminfo='20,\"500   # remember copy registers after quitting in the .viminfo file -- 20 jump links, regs up to 500 lines'
set hidden              # remember undo after quitting
set history=50          # keep 50 lines of command history
set mouse=v             # use mouse in visual mode (not normal,insert,command,help mode


# color settings (if terminal/gui supports it)
if &t_Co > 2 || has("gui_running")
  syntax on          # enable colors
  set hlsearch       # highlight search (very useful!)
  set incsearch      # search incremently (search while typing)
endif

# paste mode toggle (needed when using autoindent/smartindent)
map <F10> :set paste<CR>
map <F11> :set nopaste<CR>
imap <F10> <C-O>:set paste<CR>
imap <F11> <nop>
set pastetoggle=<F11>

# Use of the filetype plugins, auto completion and indentation support
filetype plugin indent on

# file type specific settings
if has("autocmd")
  # For debugging
  #set verbose=9

  # if bash is sh.
  let bash_is_sh=1

  # change to directory of current file automatically
  autocmd BufEnter * lcd %:p:h

  # Put these in an autocmd group, so that we can delete them easily.
  augroup mysettings
    au FileType xslt,xml,css,html,xhtml,javascript,sh,config,c,cpp,docbook set smartindent shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 expandtab
    au FileType tex set wrap shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 expandtab

    # Confirm to PEP8
    au FileType python set tabstop=4 softtabstop=4 expandtab shiftwidth=4 cinwords=if,elif,else,for,while,try,except,finally,def,class
  augroup END

  augroup perl
    # reset (disable previous 'augroup perl' settings)
    au!  

    au BufReadPre,BufNewFile
    \ *.pl,*.pm
    \ set formatoptions=croq smartindent shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 cindent cinkeys='0{,0},!^F,o,O,e' " tags=./tags,tags,~/devel/tags,~/devel/C
    # formatoption:
    #   t - wrap text using textwidth
    #   c - wrap comments using textwidth (and auto insert comment leader)
    #   r - auto insert comment leader when pressing <return> in insert mode
    #   o - auto insert comment leader when pressing 'o' or 'O'.
    #   q - allow formatting of comments with "gq"
    #   a - auto formatting for paragraphs
    #   n - auto wrap numbered lists
    #   
  augroup END


  # Always jump to the last known cursor position. 
  # Don't do it when the position is invalid or when inside
  # an event handler (happens when dropping a file on gvim). 
  autocmd BufReadPost * 
    \ if line("'\"") > 0 && line("'\"") <= line("$") | 
    \   exe "normal g`\"" | 
    \ endif 

endif # has("autocmd")

The settings can be stored in ~/.vimrc, or system-wide in /etc/vimrc.local and then by read from the /etc/vimrc file using:

source /etc/vimrc.local

(you'll have to replace the # comment character with " to make it work in VIM, I wanted to give proper syntax highlighting here).

The commands I've listed here are pretty basic, and the main ones I use so far. They already make me quite more productive, without having to know all the fancy stuff.

naught101, Apr 28, 2012 at 2:09

Better than '. is g;, which jumps back through the changelist . Goes to the last edited position, instead of last edited line – naught101 Apr 28 '12 at 2:09

community wiki
5 revs, 4 users 53%
,Apr 12, 2012 at 7:46

The Control + R mechanism is very useful :-) In either insert mode or command mode (i.e. on the : line when typing commands), continue with a numbered or named register:

See :help i_CTRL-R and :help c_CTRL-R for more details, and snoop around nearby for more CTRL-R goodness.

vdboor, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:08

FYI, this refers to Ctrl+R in insert mode . In normal mode, Ctrl+R is redo. – vdboor Jun 3 '10 at 9:08

Aryeh Leib Taurog, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:06

+1 for current/alternate file name. Control-A also works in insert mode for last inserted text, and Control-@ to both insert last inserted text and immediately switch to normal mode. – Aryeh Leib Taurog Feb 26 '12 at 19:06

community wiki
Benson
, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:44

Vim Plugins

There are a lot of good answers here, and one amazing one about the zen of vi. One thing I don't see mentioned is that vim is extremely extensible via plugins. There are scripts and plugins to make it do all kinds of crazy things the original author never considered. Here are a few examples of incredibly handy vim plugins:

rails.vim

Rails.vim is a plugin written by tpope. It's an incredible tool for people doing rails development. It does magical context-sensitive things that allow you to easily jump from a method in a controller to the associated view, over to a model, and down to unit tests for that model. It has saved dozens if not hundreds of hours as a rails developer.

gist.vim

This plugin allows you to select a region of text in visual mode and type a quick command to post it to gist.github.com . This allows for easy pastebin access, which is incredibly handy if you're collaborating with someone over IRC or IM.

space.vim

This plugin provides special functionality to the spacebar. It turns the spacebar into something analogous to the period, but instead of repeating actions it repeats motions. This can be very handy for moving quickly through a file in a way you define on the fly.

surround.vim

This plugin gives you the ability to work with text that is delimited in some fashion. It gives you objects which denote things inside of parens, things inside of quotes, etc. It can come in handy for manipulating delimited text.

supertab.vim

This script brings fancy tab completion functionality to vim. The autocomplete stuff is already there in the core of vim, but this brings it to a quick tab rather than multiple different multikey shortcuts. Very handy, and incredibly fun to use. While it's not VS's intellisense, it's a great step and brings a great deal of the functionality you'd like to expect from a tab completion tool.

syntastic.vim

This tool brings external syntax checking commands into vim. I haven't used it personally, but I've heard great things about it and the concept is hard to beat. Checking syntax without having to do it manually is a great time saver and can help you catch syntactic bugs as you introduce them rather than when you finally stop to test.

fugitive.vim

Direct access to git from inside of vim. Again, I haven't used this plugin, but I can see the utility. Unfortunately I'm in a culture where svn is considered "new", so I won't likely see git at work for quite some time.

nerdtree.vim

A tree browser for vim. I started using this recently, and it's really handy. It lets you put a treeview in a vertical split and open files easily. This is great for a project with a lot of source files you frequently jump between.

FuzzyFinderTextmate.vim

This is an unmaintained plugin, but still incredibly useful. It provides the ability to open files using a "fuzzy" descriptive syntax. It means that in a sparse tree of files you need only type enough characters to disambiguate the files you're interested in from the rest of the cruft.

Conclusion

There are a lot of incredible tools available for vim. I'm sure I've only scratched the surface here, and it's well worth searching for tools applicable to your domain. The combination of traditional vi's powerful toolset, vim's improvements on it, and plugins which extend vim even further, it's one of the most powerful ways to edit text ever conceived. Vim is easily as powerful as emacs, eclipse, visual studio, and textmate.

Thanks

Thanks to duwanis for his vim configs from which I have learned much and borrowed most of the plugins listed here.

Tom Morris, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:50

The magical tests-to-class navigation in rails.vim is one of the more general things I wish Vim had that TextMate absolutely nails across all languages: if I am working on Person.scala and I do Cmd+T, usually the first thing in the list is PersonTest.scala. – Tom Morris Apr 1 '10 at 8:50

Gavin Gilmour, Jan 15, 2011 at 13:44

I think it's time FuzzyFinderTextmate started to get replaced with github.com/wincent/Command-TGavin Gilmour Jan 15 '11 at 13:44

Nathan Long, Mar 1, 2011 at 19:07

+1 for Syntastic. That, combined with JSLint, has made my Javascript much less error-prone. See superuser.com/questions/247012/ about how to set up JSLint to work with Syntastic. – Nathan Long Mar 1 '11 at 19:07

AlG, Sep 13, 2011 at 17:37

@Benson Great list! I'd toss in snipMate as well. Very helpful automation of common coding stuff. if<tab> instant if block, etc. – AlG Sep 13 '11 at 17:37

EarlOfEgo, May 12, 2012 at 15:13

I think nerdcommenter is also a good plugin: here . Like its name says, it is for commenting your code. – EarlOfEgo May 12 '12 at 15:13

community wiki
4 revs, 2 users 89%
,Mar 31, 2010 at 23:01

. Repeat last text-changing command

I save a lot of time with this one.

Visual mode was mentioned previously, but block visual mode has saved me a lot of time when editing fixed size columns in text file. (accessed with Ctrl-V).

vdboor, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:34

Additionally, if you use a concise command (e.g. A for append-at-end) to edit the text, vim can repeat that exact same action for the next line you press the . key at. – vdboor Apr 1 '10 at 8:34

community wiki
3 revs, 3 users 87%
,Dec 24, 2012 at 14:50

gi

Go to last edited location (very useful if you performed some searching and than want go back to edit)

^P and ^N

Complete previous (^P) or next (^N) text.

^O and ^I

Go to previous ( ^O - "O" for old) location or to the next ( ^I - "I" just near to "O" ). When you perform searches, edit files etc., you can navigate through these "jumps" forward and back.

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:02

Thanks for gi ! Now I don't need marks for that! – R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:02

Kungi, Feb 10, 2011 at 16:23

I Think this can also be done with `` – Kungi Feb 10 '11 at 16:23

Grant McLean, Aug 23, 2011 at 8:21

@Kungi `. will take you to the last edit `` will take you back to the position you were in before the last 'jump' - which /might/ also be the position of the last edit. – Grant McLean Aug 23 '11 at 8:21

community wiki
Ronny Brendel
, Mar 31, 2010 at 19:37

I recently (got) discovered this site: http://vimcasts.org/

It's pretty new and really really good. The guy who is running the site switched from textmate to vim and hosts very good and concise casts on specific vim topics. Check it out!

Jeromy Anglim, Jan 13, 2011 at 6:40

If you like vim tutorials, check out Derek Wyatt's vim videos as well. They're excellent. – Jeromy Anglim Jan 13 '11 at 6:40

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:20

CTRL + A increments the number you are standing on.

innaM, Aug 3, 2009 at 9:14

... and CTRL-X decrements. – innaM Aug 3 '09 at 9:14

SolutionYogi, Feb 26, 2010 at 20:43

It's a neat shortcut but so far I have NEVER found any use for it. – SolutionYogi Feb 26 '10 at 20:43

matja, Feb 27, 2010 at 14:21

if you run vim in screen and wonder why this doesn't work - ctrl+A, A – matja Feb 27 '10 at 14:21

hcs42, Feb 27, 2010 at 19:05

@SolutionYogi: Consider that you want to add line number to the beginning of each line. Solution: ggI1<space><esc>0qqyawjP0<c-a>0q9999@q – hcs42 Feb 27 '10 at 19:05

blueyed, Apr 1, 2010 at 14:47

Extremely useful with Vimperator, where it increments (or decrements, Ctrl-X) the last number in the URL. Useful for quickly surfing through image galleries etc. – blueyed Apr 1 '10 at 14:47

community wiki
3 revs
,Aug 28, 2009 at 15:23

All in Normal mode:

f<char> to move to the next instance of a particular character on the current line, and ; to repeat.

F<char> to move to the previous instance of a particular character on the current line and ; to repeat.

If used intelligently, the above two can make you killer-quick moving around in a line.

* on a word to search for the next instance.

# on a word to search for the previous instance.

Jim Dennis, Mar 14, 2010 at 6:38

Whoa, I didn't know about the * and # (search forward/back for word under cursor) binding. That's kinda cool. The f/F and t/T and ; commands are quick jumps to characters on the current line. f/F put the cursor on the indicated character while t/T puts it just up "to" the character (the character just before or after it according to the direction chosen. ; simply repeats the most recent f/F/t/T jump (in the same direction). – Jim Dennis Mar 14 '10 at 6:38

Steve K, Apr 3, 2010 at 23:50

:) The tagline at the top of the tips page at vim.org: "Can you imagine how many keystrokes could have been saved, if I only had known the "*" command in time?" - Juergen Salk, 1/19/2001" – Steve K Apr 3 '10 at 23:50

puk, Feb 24, 2012 at 6:45

As Jim mentioned, the "t/T" combo is often just as good, if not better, for example, ct( will erase the word and put you in insert mode, but keep the parantheses! – puk Feb 24 '12 at 6:45

community wiki
agfe2
, Aug 19, 2010 at 8:08

Session

a. save session

:mks sessionname

b. force save session

:mks! sessionname

c. load session

gvim or vim -S sessionname


Adding and Subtracting

a. Adding and Subtracting

CTRL-A ;Add [count] to the number or alphabetic character at or after the cursor. {not in Vi

CTRL-X ;Subtract [count] from the number or alphabetic character at or after the cursor. {not in Vi}

b. Window key unmapping

In window, Ctrl-A already mapped for whole file selection you need to unmap in rc file. mark mswin.vim CTRL-A mapping part as comment or add your rc file with unmap

c. With Macro

The CTRL-A command is very useful in a macro. Example: Use the following steps to make a numbered list.

  1. Create the first list entry, make sure it starts with a number.
  2. qa - start recording into buffer 'a'
  3. Y - yank the entry
  4. p - put a copy of the entry below the first one
  5. CTRL-A - increment the number
  6. q - stop recording
  7. @a - repeat the yank, put and increment times

Don Reba, Aug 22, 2010 at 5:22

Any idea what the shortcuts are in Windows? – Don Reba Aug 22 '10 at 5:22

community wiki
8 revs, 2 users 98%
,Aug 18, 2012 at 21:44

Last week at work our project inherited a lot of Python code from another project. Unfortunately the code did not fit into our existing architecture - it was all done with global variables and functions, which would not work in a multi-threaded environment.

We had ~80 files that needed to be reworked to be object oriented - all the functions moved into classes, parameters changed, import statements added, etc. We had a list of about 20 types of fix that needed to be done to each file. I would estimate that doing it by hand one person could do maybe 2-4 per day.

So I did the first one by hand and then wrote a vim script to automate the changes. Most of it was a list of vim commands e.g.

" delete an un-needed function "
g/someFunction(/ d

" add wibble parameter to function foo "
%s/foo(/foo( wibble,/

" convert all function calls bar(thing) into method calls thing.bar() "
g/bar(/ normal nmaf(ldi(`aPa.

The last one deserves a bit of explanation:

g/bar(/  executes the following command on every line that contains "bar("
normal   execute the following text as if it was typed in in normal mode
n        goes to the next match of "bar(" (since the :g command leaves the cursor position at the start of the line)
ma       saves the cursor position in mark a
f(       moves forward to the next opening bracket
l        moves right one character, so the cursor is now inside the brackets
di(      delete all the text inside the brackets
`a       go back to the position saved as mark a (i.e. the first character of "bar")
P        paste the deleted text before the current cursor position
a.       go into insert mode and add a "."

For a couple of more complex transformations such as generating all the import statements I embedded some python into the vim script.

After a few hours of working on it I had a script that will do at least 95% of the conversion. I just open a file in vim then run :source fixit.vim and the file is transformed in a blink of the eye.

We still have the work of changing the remaining 5% that was not worth automating and of testing the results, but by spending a day writing this script I estimate we have saved weeks of work.

Of course it would have been possible to automate this with a scripting language like Python or Ruby, but it would have taken far longer to write and would be less flexible - the last example would have been difficult since regex alone would not be able to handle nested brackets, e.g. to convert bar(foo(xxx)) to foo(xxx).bar() . Vim was perfect for the task.

Olivier Pons, Feb 28, 2010 at 14:41

Thanks a lot for sharing that's really nice to learn from "useful & not classical" macros. – Olivier Pons Feb 28 '10 at 14:41

Ipsquiggle, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:55

%s/\(bar\)(\(.\+\))/\2.\1()/ would do that too. (Escapes are compatible with :set magic .) Just for the record. :) – Ipsquiggle Mar 23 '10 at 16:55

Ipsquiggle, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:56

Of if you don't like vim-style escapes, use \v to turn on Very Magic: %s/\v(bar)\((.+)\)/\2.\1()/Ipsquiggle Mar 23 '10 at 16:56

Dave Kirby, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:16

@lpsquiggle: your suggestion would not handle complex expressions with more than one set of brackets. e.g. if bar(foo(xxx)) or wibble(xxx): becomes if foo(xxx)) or wibble(xxx.bar(): which is completely wrong. – Dave Kirby Mar 23 '10 at 17:16

community wiki
2 revs
,Aug 2, 2009 at 11:17

Use the builtin file explorer! The command is :Explore and it allows you to navigate through your source code very very fast. I have these mapping in my .vimrc :
map <silent> <F8>   :Explore<CR>
map <silent> <S-F8> :sp +Explore<CR>

The explorer allows you to make file modifications, too. I'll post some of my favorite keys, pressing <F1> will give you the full list:

Svend, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:48

I always thought the default methods for browsing kinda sucked for most stuff. It's just slow to browse, if you know where you wanna go. LustyExplorer from vim.org's script section is a much needed improvement. – Svend Aug 2 '09 at 8:48

Taurus Olson, Aug 6, 2009 at 17:37

Your second mapping could be more simple: map <silent> <S-F8> :Sexplore<CR> – Taurus Olson Aug 6 '09 at 17:37

kprobst, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:53

I recommend NERDtree instead of the built-in explorer. It has changed the way I used vim for projects and made me much more productive. Just google for it. – kprobst Apr 1 '10 at 3:53

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:35

I never feel the need to explore the source tree, I just use :find, :tag and the various related keystrokes to jump around. (Maybe this is because the source trees I work on are big and organized differently than I would have done? :) ) – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:35

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 92%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:39

I am a member of the American Cryptogram Association. The bimonthly magazine includes over 100 cryptograms of various sorts. Roughly 15 of these are "cryptarithms" - various types of arithmetic problems with letters substituted for the digits. Two or three of these are sudokus, except with letters instead of numbers. When the grid is completed, the nine distinct letters will spell out a word or words, on some line, diagonal, spiral, etc., somewhere in the grid.

Rather than working with pencil, or typing the problems in by hand, I download the problems from the members area of their website.

When working with these sudokus, I use vi, simply because I'm using facilities that vi has that few other editors have. Mostly in converting the lettered grid into a numbered grid, because I find it easier to solve, and then the completed numbered grid back into the lettered grid to find the solution word or words.

The problem is formatted as nine groups of nine letters, with - s representing the blanks, written in two lines. The first step is to format these into nine lines of nine characters each. There's nothing special about this, just inserting eight linebreaks in the appropriate places.

The result will look like this:

T-O-----C
-E-----S-
--AT--N-L
---NASO--
---E-T---
--SPCL---
E-T--OS--
-A-----P-
S-----C-T

So, first step in converting this into numbers is to make a list of the distinct letters. First, I make a copy of the block. I position the cursor at the top of the block, then type :y}}p . : puts me in command mode, y yanks the next movement command. Since } is a move to the end of the next paragraph, y} yanks the paragraph. } then moves the cursor to the end of the paragraph, and p pastes what we had yanked just after the cursor. So y}}p creates a copy of the next paragraph, and ends up with the cursor between the two copies.

Next, I to turn one of those copies into a list of distinct letters. That command is a bit more complex:

:!}tr -cd A-Z | sed 's/\(.\)/\1\n/g' | sort -u | tr -d '\n'

: again puts me in command mode. ! indicates that the content of the next yank should be piped through a command line. } yanks the next paragraph, and the command line then uses the tr command to strip out everything except for upper-case letters, the sed command to print each letter on a single line, and the sort command to sort those lines, removing duplicates, and then tr strips out the newlines, leaving the nine distinct letters in a single line, replacing the nine lines that had made up the paragraph originally. In this case, the letters are: ACELNOPST .

Next step is to make another copy of the grid. And then to use the letters I've just identified to replace each of those letters with a digit from 1 to 9. That's simple: :!}tr ACELNOPST 0-9 . The result is:

8-5-----1
-2-----7-
--08--4-3
---4075--
---2-8---
--7613---
2-8--57--
-0-----6-
7-----1-8

This can then be solved in the usual way, or entered into any sudoku solver you might prefer. The completed solution can then be converted back into letters with :!}tr 1-9 ACELNOPST .

There is power in vi that is matched by very few others. The biggest problem is that only a very few of the vi tutorial books, websites, help-files, etc., do more than barely touch the surface of what is possible.

hhh, Jan 14, 2011 at 17:12

and an irritation is that some distros such as ubuntu has aliases from the word "vi" to "vim" so people won't really see vi. Excellent example, have to try... +1 – hhh Jan 14 '11 at 17:12

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:45

Doesn't vim check the name it was started with so that it can come up in the right 'mode'? – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:45

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 20:47

I'm baffled by this repeated error: you say you need : to go into command mode, but then invariably you specify normal mode commands (like y}}p ) which cannot possibly work from the command mode?! – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 20:47

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 20:56

My take on the unique chars challenge: :se tw=1 fo= (preparation) VG:s/./& /g (insert spaces), gvgq (split onto separate lines), V{:sort u (sort and remove duplicates) – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 20:56

community wiki
jqno
, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:59

Bulk text manipulations!

Either through macros:

Or through regular expressions:

(But be warned: if you do the latter, you'll have 2 problems :).)

Jim Dennis, Jan 10, 2010 at 4:03

+1 for the Jamie Zawinski reference. (No points taken back for failing to link to it, even). :) – Jim Dennis Jan 10 '10 at 4:03

jqno, Jan 10, 2010 at 10:06

@Jim I didn't even know it was a Jamie Zawinski quote :). I'll try to remember it from now on. – jqno Jan 10 '10 at 10:06

Jim Dennis, Feb 12, 2010 at 4:15

I find the following trick increasingly useful ... for cases where you want to join lines that match (or that do NOT match) some pattern to the previous line: :% g/foo/-1j or :'a,'z v/bar/-1j for example (where the former is "all lines and matching the pattern" while the latter is "lines between mark a and mark z which fail to match the pattern"). The part after the patter in a g or v ex command can be any other ex commmands, -1j is just a relative line movement and join command. – Jim Dennis Feb 12 '10 at 4:15

JustJeff, Feb 27, 2010 at 12:54

of course, if you name your macro '2', then when it comes time to use it, you don't even have to move your finger from the '@' key to the 'q' key. Probably saves 50 to 100 milliseconds every time right there. =P – JustJeff Feb 27 '10 at 12:54

Simon Steele, Apr 1, 2010 at 13:12

@JustJeff Depends entirely on your keyboard layout, my @ key is at the other side of the keyboard from my 2 key. – Simon Steele Apr 1 '10 at 13:12

community wiki
David Pope
, Apr 2, 2012 at 7:56

I recently discovered q: . It opens the "command window" and shows your most recent ex-mode (command-mode) commands. You can move as usual within the window, and pressing <CR> executes the command. You can edit, etc. too. Priceless when you're messing around with some complex command or regex and you don't want to retype the whole thing, or if the complex thing you want to do was 3 commands back. It's almost like bash's set -o vi, but for vim itself (heh!).

See :help q: for more interesting bits for going back and forth.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 56%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:29

I just discovered Vim's omnicompletion the other day, and while I'll admit I'm a bit hazy on what does which, I've had surprisingly good results just mashing either Ctrl + x Ctrl + u or Ctrl + n / Ctrl + p in insert mode. It's not quite IntelliSense, but I'm still learning it.

Try it out! :help ins-completion

community wiki
tfmoraes
, Mar 14, 2010 at 19:49

These are not shortcuts, but they are related:
  1. Make capslock an additional ESC (or Ctrl)
  2. map leader to "," (comma), with this command: let mapleader=","

They boost my productivity.

Olivier Pons, Mar 15, 2010 at 10:09

Hey nice hint about the "\"! Far better to type "," than "\". – Olivier Pons Mar 15 '10 at 10:09

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:30

To make Caps Lock an additional Esc in Windows (what's a caps lock key for? An "any key"?), try this: web.archive.org/web/20100418005858/http://webpages.charter.net/R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:30

Tom Morris, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:45

On Mac, you need PCKeyboardHack - details at superuser.com/questions/34223/Tom Morris Apr 1 '10 at 8:45

Jeromy Anglim, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:43

On Windows I use AutoHotKey with Capslock::EscapeJeromy Anglim Jan 10 '11 at 4:43

community wiki
Costyn
, Sep 20, 2010 at 10:34

Another useful vi "shortcut" I frequently use is 'xp'. This will swap the character under the cursor with the next character.

tester, Aug 22, 2011 at 17:19

Xp to go the other way – tester Aug 22 '11 at 17:19

kguest, Aug 27, 2011 at 8:21

Around the time that Windows xp came out, I used to joke that this is the only good use for it. – kguest Aug 27 '11 at 8:21

community wiki
Peter Ellis
, Aug 2, 2009 at 9:47

<Ctrl> + W, V to split the screen vertically
<Ctrl> + W, W to shift between the windows

!python % [args] to run the script I am editing in this window

ZF in visual mode to fold arbitrary lines

Andrew Scagnelli, Apr 1, 2010 at 2:58

<Ctrl> + W and j/k will let you navigate absolutely (j up, k down, as with normal vim). This is great when you have 3+ splits. – Andrew Scagnelli Apr 1 '10 at 2:58

coder_tim, Jan 30, 2012 at 20:08

+1 for zf in visual mode, I like code folding, but did not know about that. – coder_tim Jan 30 '12 at 20:08

puk, Feb 24, 2012 at 7:00

after bashing my keyboard I have deduced that <C-w>n or <C-w>s is new horizontal window, <C-w>b is bottom right window, <C-w>c or <C-w>q is close window, <C-w>x is increase and then decrease window width (??), <C-w>p is last window, <C-w>backspace is move left(ish) window – puk Feb 24 '12 at 7:00

sjas, Jun 25, 2012 at 0:25

:help ctrl-w FTW... do yourself a favour, and force yourself to try these things for at least 15 minutes! – sjas Jun 25 '12 at 0:25

community wiki
2 revs
,Apr 1, 2010 at 17:00

Visual Mode

As several other people have said, visual mode is the answer to your copy/cut & paste problem. Vim gives you 'v', 'V', and C-v. Lower case 'v' in vim is essentially the same as the shift key in notepad. The nice thing is that you don't have to hold it down. You can use any movement technique to navigate efficiently to the starting (or ending) point of your selection. Then hit 'v', and use efficient movement techniques again to navigate to the other end of your selection. Then 'd' or 'y' allows you to cut or copy that selection.

The advantage vim's visual mode has over Jim Dennis's description of cut/copy/paste in vi is that you don't have to get the location exactly right. Sometimes it's more efficient to use a quick movement to get to the general vicinity of where you want to go and then refine that with other movements than to think up a more complex single movement command that gets you exactly where you want to go.

The downside to using visual mode extensively in this manner is that it can become a crutch that you use all the time which prevents you from learning new vi(m) commands that might allow you to do things more efficiently. However, if you are very proactive about learning new aspects of vi(m), then this probably won't affect you much.

I'll also re-emphasize that the visual line and visual block modes give you variations on this same theme that can be very powerful...especially the visual block mode.

On Efficient Use of the Keyboard

I also disagree with your assertion that alternating hands is the fastest way to use the keyboard. It has an element of truth in it. Speaking very generally, repeated use of the same thing is slow. This most significant example of this principle is that consecutive keystrokes typed with the same finger are very slow. Your assertion probably stems from the natural tendency to use the s/finger/hand/ transformation on this pattern. To some extent it's correct, but at the extremely high end of the efficiency spectrum it's incorrect.

Just ask any pianist. Ask them whether it's faster to play a succession of a few notes alternating hands or using consecutive fingers of a single hand in sequence. The fastest way to type 4 keystrokes is not to alternate hands, but to type them with 4 fingers of the same hand in either ascending or descending order (call this a "run"). This should be self-evident once you've considered this possibility.

The more difficult problem is optimizing for this. It's pretty easy to optimize for absolute distance on the keyboard. Vim does that. It's much harder to optimize at the "run" level, but vi(m) with it's modal editing gives you a better chance at being able to do it than any non-modal approach (ahem, emacs) ever could.

On Emacs

Lest the emacs zealots completely disregard my whole post on account of that last parenthetical comment, I feel I must describe the root of the difference between the emacs and vim religions. I've never spoken up in the editor wars and I probably won't do it again, but I've never heard anyone describe the differences this way, so here it goes. The difference is the following tradeoff:

Vim gives you unmatched raw text editing efficiency Emacs gives you unmatched ability to customize and program the editor

The blind vim zealots will claim that vim has a scripting language. But it's an obscure, ad-hoc language that was designed to serve the editor. Emacs has Lisp! Enough said. If you don't appreciate the significance of those last two sentences or have a desire to learn enough about functional programming and Lisp to develop that appreciation, then you should use vim.

The emacs zealots will claim that emacs has viper mode, and so it is a superset of vim. But viper mode isn't standard. My understanding is that viper mode is not used by the majority of emacs users. Since it's not the default, most emacs users probably don't develop a true appreciation for the benefits of the modal paradigm.

In my opinion these differences are orthogonal. I believe the benefits of vim and emacs as I have stated them are both valid. This means that the ultimate editor doesn't exist yet. It's probably true that emacs would be the easiest platform on which to base the ultimate editor. But modal editing is not entrenched in the emacs mindset. The emacs community could move that way in the future, but that doesn't seem very likely.

So if you want raw editing efficiency, use vim. If you want the ultimate environment for scripting and programming your editor use emacs. If you want some of both with an emphasis on programmability, use emacs with viper mode (or program your own mode). If you want the best of both worlds, you're out of luck for now.

community wiki
konryd
, Mar 31, 2010 at 22:44

Spend 30 mins doing the vim tutorial (run vimtutor instead of vim in terminal). You will learn the basic movements, and some keystrokes, this will make you at least as productive with vim as with the text editor you used before. After that, well, read Jim Dennis' answer again :)

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:47

This is the first thing I thought of when reading the OP. It's obvious that the poster has never run this; I ran through it when first learning vim two years ago and it cemented in my mind the superiority of Vim to any of the other editors I've used (including, for me, Emacs since the key combos are annoying to use on a Mac). – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:47

community wiki
Johnsyweb
, Jan 12, 2011 at 22:52

What is the way you use Vim that makes you more productive than with a contemporary editor?

Being able to execute complex, repetitive edits with very few keystrokes (often using macros ). Take a look at VimGolf to witness the power of Vim!

After over ten years of almost daily usage, it's hard to imagine using any other editor.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:42

Use \c anywhere in a search to ignore case (overriding your ignorecase or smartcase settings). E.g. /\cfoo or /foo\c will match foo, Foo, fOO, FOO, etc.

Use \C anywhere in a search to force case matching. E.g. /\Cfoo or /foo\C will only match foo.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:44

I was surprised to find no one mention the t movement. I frequently use it with parameter lists in the form of dt, or yt,

hhh, Jan 14, 2011 at 17:09

or dfx, dFx, dtx, ytx, etc where x is a char, +1 – hhh Jan 14 '11 at 17:09

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:48

@hhh yep, T t f and F are all pretty regular keys for me to hit... – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:48

markle976, Mar 30, 2012 at 13:52

Yes! And don't forget ct (change to). – markle976 Mar 30 '12 at 13:52

sjas, Jun 24, 2012 at 23:35

t for teh win!!! – sjas Jun 24 '12 at 23:35

community wiki
3 revs
,May 6, 2012 at 20:50

Odd nobody's mentioned ctags. Download "exuberant ctags" and put it ahead of the crappy preinstalled version you already have in your search path. Cd to the root of whatever you're working on; for example the Android kernel distribution. Type "ctags -R ." to build an index of source files anywhere beneath that dir in a file named "tags". This contains all tags, nomatter the language nor where in the dir, in one file, so cross-language work is easy.

Then open vim in that folder and read :help ctags for some commands. A few I use often:

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:19

Automatic indentation:

gg (go to start of document)
= (indent time!)
shift-g (go to end of document)

You'll need 'filetype plugin indent on' in your .vimrc file, and probably appropriate 'shiftwidth' and 'expandtab' settings.

xcramps, Aug 28, 2009 at 17:14

Or just use the ":set ai" (auto-indent) facility, which has been in vi since the beginning. – xcramps Aug 28 '09 at 17:14

community wiki
autodidakto
, Jul 24, 2010 at 5:41

You asked about productive shortcuts, but I think your real question is: Is vim worth it? The answer to this stackoverflow question is -> "Yes"

You must have noticed two things. Vim is powerful, and vim is hard to learn. Much of it's power lies in it's expandability and endless combination of commands. Don't feel overwhelmed. Go slow. One command, one plugin at a time. Don't overdo it.

All that investment you put into vim will pay back a thousand fold. You're going to be inside a text editor for many, many hours before you die. Vim will be your companion.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:23

Multiple buffers, and in particular fast jumping between them to compare two files with :bp and :bn (properly remapped to a single Shift + p or Shift + n )

vimdiff mode (splits in two vertical buffers, with colors to show the differences)

Area-copy with Ctrl + v

And finally, tab completion of identifiers (search for "mosh_tab_or_complete"). That's a life changer.

community wiki
David Wolever
, Aug 28, 2009 at 16:07

Agreed with the top poster - the :r! command is very useful.

Most often I use it to "paste" things:

:r!cat
**Ctrl-V to paste from the OS clipboard**
^D

This way I don't have to fiddle with :set paste .

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:17

Probably better to set the clipboard option to unnamed ( set clipboard=unnamed in your .vimrc) to use the system clipboard by default. Or if you still want the system clipboard separate from the unnamed register, use the appropriately named clipboard register: "*p . – R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:17

kevpie, Oct 12, 2010 at 22:38

Love it! After being exasperated by pasting code examples from the web and I was just starting to feel proficient in vim. That was the command I dreamed up on the spot. This was when vim totally hooked me. – kevpie Oct 12 '10 at 22:38

Ben Mordecai, Feb 6, 2013 at 19:54

If you're developing on a Mac, Command+C and Command+V copy and paste using the system clipboard, no remap required. – Ben Mordecai Feb 6 '13 at 19:54

David Wolever, Feb 6, 2013 at 20:55

Only with GVIm From the console, pasting without :set paste doesn't work so well if autoindent is enabled. – David Wolever Feb 6 '13 at 20:55

[Oct 21, 2018] What are the dark corners of Vim your mom never told you about?

Notable quotes:
"... Want to look at your :command history? q: Then browse, edit and finally to execute the command. ..."
"... from the ex editor (:), you can do CTRL-f to pop up the command history window. ..."
"... q/ and q? can be used to do a similar thing for your search patterns. ..."
"... adjacent to the one I just edit ..."
Nov 16, 2011 | stackoverflow.com

Ask Question, Nov 16, 2011 at 0:44

There are a plethora of questions where people talk about common tricks, notably " Vim+ctags tips and tricks ".

However, I don't refer to commonly used shortcuts that someone new to Vim would find cool. I am talking about a seasoned Unix user (be they a developer, administrator, both, etc.), who thinks they know something 99% of us never heard or dreamed about. Something that not only makes their work easier, but also is COOL and hackish .

After all, Vim resides in the most dark-corner-rich OS in the world, thus it should have intricacies that only a few privileged know about and want to share with us.

user3218088, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:51

:Sex -- Split window and open integrated file explorer (horizontal split) – user3218088 Jun 16 '14 at 9:51

community wiki, 2 revs, Apr 7, 2009 at 19:04

Might not be one that 99% of Vim users don't know about, but it's something I use daily and that any Linux+Vim poweruser must know.

Basic command, yet extremely useful.

:w !sudo tee %

I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When I come to save that file and get a permission error, I just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again.

You obviously have to be on a system with sudo installed and have sudo rights.

jm666, May 12, 2011 at 6:09

cmap w!! w !sudo tee % – jm666 May 12 '11 at 6:09

Gerardo Marset, Jul 5, 2011 at 0:49

You should never run sudo vim . Instead you should export EDITOR as vim and run sudoedit . – Gerardo Marset Jul 5 '11 at 0:49

migu, Sep 2, 2013 at 20:42

@maximus: vim replaces % by the name of the current buffer/file. – migu Sep 2 '13 at 20:42

community wiki
Chad Birch
, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:09

Something I just discovered recently that I thought was very cool:
:earlier 15m

Reverts the document back to how it was 15 minutes ago. Can take various arguments for the amount of time you want to roll back, and is dependent on undolevels. Can be reversed with the opposite command :later

ephemient, Apr 8, 2009 at 16:15

@skinp: If you undo and then make further changes from the undone state, you lose that redo history. This lets you go back to a state which is no longer in the undo stack. – ephemient Apr 8 '09 at 16:15

Etienne PIERRE, Jul 21, 2009 at 13:53

Also very usefull is g+ and g- to go backward and forward in time. This is so much more powerfull than an undo/redo stack since you don't loose the history when you do something after an undo. – Etienne PIERRE Jul 21 '09 at 13:53

Ehtesh Choudhury, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:09

You don't lose the redo history if you make a change after an undo. It's just not easily accessed. There are plugins to help you visualize this, like Gundo.vim – Ehtesh Choudhury Nov 29 '11 at 12:09

Igor Popov, Dec 29, 2011 at 6:59

Wow, so now I can just do :later 8h and I'm done for today? :P – Igor Popov Dec 29 '11 at 6:59

Ring Ø, Jul 11, 2014 at 5:14

Your command assumes one will spend at least 15 minutes in vim ! – Ring Ø Jul 11 '14 at 5:14

community wiki,2 revs, 2 users 92%, ,Mar 31, 2016 at 17:54

:! [command] executes an external command while you're in Vim.

But add a dot after the colon, :.! [command], and it'll dump the output of the command into your current window. That's : . !

For example:

:.! ls

I use this a lot for things like adding the current date into a document I'm typing:

:.! date

saffsd, May 6, 2009 at 14:41

This is quite similar to :r! The only difference as far as I can tell is that :r! opens a new line, :.! overwrites the current line. – saffsd May 6 '09 at 14:41

hlovdal, Jan 25, 2010 at 21:11

An alternative to :.!date is to write "date" on a line and then run !$sh (alternatively having the command followed by a blank line and run !jsh ). This will pipe the line to the "sh" shell and substitute with the output from the command. – hlovdal Jan 25 '10 at 21:11

Nefrubyr, Mar 25, 2010 at 16:24

:.! is actually a special case of :{range}!, which filters a range of lines (the current line when the range is . ) through a command and replaces those lines with the output. I find :%! useful for filtering whole buffers. – Nefrubyr Mar 25 '10 at 16:24

jabirali, Jul 13, 2010 at 4:30

@sundar: Why pass a line to sed, when you can use the similar built-in ed / ex commands? Try running :.s/old/new/g ;-) – jabirali Jul 13 '10 at 4:30

aqn, Apr 26, 2013 at 20:52

And also note that '!' is like 'y', 'd', 'c' etc. i.e. you can do: !!, number!!, !motion (e.g. !Gshell_command<cr> replace from current line to end of file ('G') with output of shell_command). – aqn Apr 26 '13 at 20:52

community wiki 2 revs , Apr 8, 2009 at 12:17

Not exactly obscure, but there are several "delete in" commands which are extremely useful, like..

Others can be found on :help text-objects

sjh, Apr 8, 2009 at 15:33

dab "delete arounb brackets", daB for around curly brackets, t for xml type tags, combinations with normal commands are as expected cib/yaB/dit/vat etc – sjh Apr 8 '09 at 15:33

Don Reba, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:41

@Masi: yi(va(p deletes only the brackets – Don Reba Apr 13 '09 at 21:41

thomasrutter, Apr 26, 2009 at 11:11

This is possibly the biggest reason for me staying with Vim. That and its equivalent "change" commands: ciw, ci(, ci", as well as dt<space> and ct<space> – thomasrutter Apr 26 '09 at 11:11

Roger Pate Oct 12 '10 at 16:40 ,

@thomasrutter: Why not dW/cW instead of dt<space>? –

Roger Pate Oct 12 '10 at 16:43, Oct 12, 2010 at 16:43

@Masi: With the surround plugin: ds(. –

community wiki, 9 revs, 9 users 84%, ultraman, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:06

de Delete everything till the end of the word by pressing . at your heart's desire.

ci(xyz[Esc] -- This is a weird one. Here, the 'i' does not mean insert mode. Instead it means inside the parenthesis. So this sequence cuts the text inside parenthesis you're standing in and replaces it with "xyz". It also works inside square and figure brackets -- just do ci[ or ci{ correspondingly. Naturally, you can do di (if you just want to delete all text without typing anything. You can also do a instead of i if you want to delete the parentheses as well and not just text inside them.

ci" - cuts the text in current quotes

ciw - cuts the current word. This works just like the previous one except that ( is replaced with w .

C - cut the rest of the line and switch to insert mode.

ZZ -- save and close current file (WAY faster than Ctrl-F4 to close the current tab!)

ddp - move current line one row down

xp -- move current character one position to the right

U - uppercase, so viwU upercases the word

~ - switches case, so viw~ will reverse casing of entire word

Ctrl+u / Ctrl+d scroll the page half-a-screen up or down. This seems to be more useful than the usual full-screen paging as it makes it easier to see how the two screens relate. For those who still want to scroll entire screen at a time there's Ctrl+f for Forward and Ctrl+b for Backward. Ctrl+Y and Ctrl+E scroll down or up one line at a time.

Crazy but very useful command is zz -- it scrolls the screen to make this line appear in the middle. This is excellent for putting the piece of code you're working on in the center of your attention. Sibling commands -- zt and zb -- make this line the top or the bottom one on the sreen which is not quite as useful.

% finds and jumps to the matching parenthesis.

de -- delete from cursor to the end of the word (you can also do dE to delete until the next space)

bde -- delete the current word, from left to right delimiter

df[space] -- delete up until and including the next space

dt. -- delete until next dot

dd -- delete this entire line

ye (or yE) -- yanks text from here to the end of the word

ce - cuts through the end of the word

bye -- copies current word (makes me wonder what "hi" does!)

yy -- copies the current line

cc -- cuts the current line, you can also do S instead. There's also lower cap s which cuts current character and switches to insert mode.

viwy or viwc . Yank or change current word. Hit w multiple times to keep selecting each subsequent word, use b to move backwards

vi{ - select all text in figure brackets. va{ - select all text including {}s

vi(p - highlight everything inside the ()s and replace with the pasted text

b and e move the cursor word-by-word, similarly to how Ctrl+Arrows normally do . The definition of word is a little different though, as several consecutive delmiters are treated as one word. If you start at the middle of a word, pressing b will always get you to the beginning of the current word, and each consecutive b will jump to the beginning of the next word. Similarly, and easy to remember, e gets the cursor to the end of the current, and each subsequent, word.

similar to b / e, capital B and E move the cursor word-by-word using only whitespaces as delimiters.

capital D (take a deep breath) Deletes the rest of the line to the right of the cursor, same as Shift+End/Del in normal editors (notice 2 keypresses -- Shift+D -- instead of 3)

Nick Lewis, Jul 17, 2009 at 16:41

zt is quite useful if you use it at the start of a function or class definition. – Nick Lewis Jul 17 '09 at 16:41

Nathan Fellman, Sep 7, 2009 at 8:27

vity and vitc can be shortened to yit and cit respectively. – Nathan Fellman Sep 7 '09 at 8:27

Laurence Gonsalves, Feb 19, 2011 at 23:49

All the things you're calling "cut" is "change". eg: C is change until the end of the line. Vim's equivalent of "cut" is "delete", done with d/D. The main difference between change and delete is that delete leaves you in normal mode but change puts you into a sort of insert mode (though you're still in the change command which is handy as the whole change can be repeated with . ). – Laurence Gonsalves Feb 19 '11 at 23:49

Almo, May 29, 2012 at 20:09

I thought this was for a list of things that not many people know. yy is very common, I would have thought. – Almo May 29 '12 at 20:09

Andrea Francia, Jul 3, 2012 at 20:50

bye does not work when you are in the first character of the word. yiw always does. – Andrea Francia Jul 3 '12 at 20:50

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 83%, ,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:55

One that I rarely find in most Vim tutorials, but it's INCREDIBLY useful (at least to me), is the

g; and g,

to move (forward, backward) through the changelist.

Let me show how I use it. Sometimes I need to copy and paste a piece of code or string, say a hex color code in a CSS file, so I search, jump (not caring where the match is), copy it and then jump back (g;) to where I was editing the code to finally paste it. No need to create marks. Simpler.

Just my 2cents.

aehlke, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:19

similarly, '. will go to the last edited line, And `. will go to the last edited position – aehlke Feb 12 '10 at 1:19

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:29

Ctrl-O and Ctrl-I (tab) will work similarly, but not the same. They move backward and forward in the "jump list", which you can view by doing :jumps or :ju For more information do a :help jumplist – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:29

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:30

You can list the change list by doing :changes – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:30

Wayne Werner, Jan 30, 2013 at 14:49

Hot dang that's useful. I use <C-o> / <C-i> for this all the time - or marking my place. – Wayne Werner Jan 30 '13 at 14:49

community wiki, 4 revs, 4 users 36%, ,May 5, 2014 at 13:06

:%!xxd

Make vim into a hex editor.

:%!xxd -r

Revert.

Warning: If you don't edit with binary (-b), you might damage the file. – Josh Lee in the comments.

Christian, Jul 7, 2009 at 19:11

And how do you revert it back? – Christian Jul 7 '09 at 19:11

Naga Kiran, Jul 8, 2009 at 13:46

:!xxd -r //To revert back from HEX – Naga Kiran Jul 8 '09 at 13:46

Andreas Grech, Nov 14, 2009 at 10:37

I actually think it's :%!xxd -r to revert it back – Andreas Grech Nov 14 '09 at 10:37

dotancohen, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:50

@JoshLee: If one is careful not to traverse newlines, is it safe to not use the -b option? I ask because sometimes I want to make a hex change, but I don't want to close and reopen the file to do so. – dotancohen Jun 7 '13 at 5:50

Bambu, Nov 23, 2014 at 23:58

@dotancohen: If you don't want to close/reopen the file you can do :set binary – Bambu Nov 23 '14 at 23:58

community wiki AaronS, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:03

gv

Reselects last visual selection.

community wiki 3 revs, 2 users 92%
,Jul 7, 2014 at 19:10

Sometimes a setting in your .vimrc will get overridden by a plugin or autocommand. To debug this a useful trick is to use the :verbose command in conjunction with :set. For example, to figure out where cindent got set/unset:
:verbose set cindent?

This will output something like:

cindent
    Last set from /usr/share/vim/vim71/indent/c.vim

This also works with maps and highlights. (Thanks joeytwiddle for pointing this out.) For example:

:verbose nmap U
n  U             <C-R>
        Last set from ~/.vimrc

:verbose highlight Normal
Normal         xxx guifg=#dddddd guibg=#111111 font=Inconsolata Medium 14
        Last set from ~/src/vim-holodark/colors/holodark.vim

Artem Russakovskii, Oct 23, 2009 at 22:09

Excellent tip - exactly what I was looking for today. – Artem Russakovskii Oct 23 '09 at 22:09

joeytwiddle, Jul 5, 2014 at 22:08

:verbose can also be used before nmap l or highlight Normal to find out where the l keymap or the Normal highlight were last defined. Very useful for debugging! – joeytwiddle Jul 5 '14 at 22:08

SidOfc, Sep 24, 2017 at 11:26

When you get into creating custom mappings, this will save your ass so many times, probably one of the most useful ones here (IMO)! – SidOfc Sep 24 '17 at 11:26

community wiki 3 revs, 3 users 70% ,May 31, 2015 at 19:30

Not sure if this counts as dark-corner-ish at all, but I've only just learnt it...
:g/match/y A

will yank (copy) all lines containing "match" into the "a / @a register. (The capitalization as A makes vim append yankings instead of replacing the previous register contents.) I used it a lot recently when making Internet Explorer stylesheets.

tsukimi, May 27, 2012 at 6:17

You can use :g! to find lines that don't match a pattern e.x. :g!/set/normal dd (delete all lines that don't contain set) – tsukimi May 27 '12 at 6:17

pandubear, Oct 12, 2013 at 8:39

Sometimes it's better to do what tsukimi said and just filter out lines that don't match your pattern. An abbreviated version of that command though: :v/PATTERN/d Explanation: :v is an abbreviation for :g!, and the :g command applies any ex command to lines. :y[ank] works and so does :normal, but here the most natural thing to do is just :d[elete] . – pandubear Oct 12 '13 at 8:39

Kimball Robinson, Feb 5, 2016 at 17:58

You can also do :g/match/normal "Ayy -- the normal keyword lets you tell it to run normal-mode commands (which you are probably more familiar with). – Kimball Robinson Feb 5 '16 at 17:58

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 80% ,Apr 5, 2013 at 15:55

:%TOhtml Creates an html rendering of the current file.

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:27

Related: How to convert a source code file into HTML? at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:27

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 86% ,May 11, 2011 at 19:30

Want to look at your :command history? q: Then browse, edit and finally to execute the command.

Ever make similar changes to two files and switch back and forth between them? (Say, source and header files?)

:set hidden
:map <TAB> :e#<CR>

Then tab back and forth between those files.

Josh Lee, Sep 22, 2009 at 16:58

I hit q: by accident all the time... – Josh Lee Sep 22 '09 at 16:58

Jason Down, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:14

Alternatively, from the ex editor (:), you can do CTRL-f to pop up the command history window.Jason Down Oct 6 '09 at 4:14

bradlis7, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:10

@jleedev me too. I almost hate this command, just because I use it accidentally way too much. – bradlis7 Mar 23 '10 at 17:10

bpw1621, Feb 19, 2011 at 15:01

q/ and q? can be used to do a similar thing for your search patterns. bpw1621 Feb 19 '11 at 15:01

idbrii, Feb 23, 2011 at 19:07

Hitting <C-f> after : or / (or any time you're in command mode) will bring up the same history menu. So you can remap q: if you hit it accidentally a lot and still access this awesome mode. – idbrii Feb 23 '11 at 19:07

community wiki, 2 revs, 2 users 89%, ,Jun 4, 2014 at 14:52

Vim will open a URL, for example
vim http://stackoverflow.com/

Nice when you need to pull up the source of a page for reference.

Ivan Vučica, Sep 21, 2010 at 8:07

For me it didn't open the source; instead it apparently used elinks to dump rendered page into a buffer, and then opened that. – Ivan Vučica Sep 21 '10 at 8:07

Thomas, Apr 19, 2013 at 21:00

Works better with a slash at the end. Neat trick! – Thomas Apr 19 '13 at 21:00

Isaac Remuant, Jun 3, 2013 at 15:23

@Vdt: It'd be useful if you posted your error. If it's this one: " error (netrw) neither the wget nor the fetch command is available" you obviously need to make one of those tools available from your PATH environment variable. – Isaac Remuant Jun 3 '13 at 15:23

Dettorer, Oct 29, 2014 at 13:47

I find this one particularly useful when people send links to a paste service and forgot to select a syntax highlighting, I generally just have to open the link in vim after appending "&raw". – Dettorer Oct 29 '14 at 13:47

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 94% ,Jan 20, 2015 at 23:14

Macros can call other macros, and can also call itself.

eg:

qq0dwj@qq@q

...will delete the first word from every line until the end of the file.

This is quite a simple example but it demonstrates a very powerful feature of vim

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:39

I didn't know macros could repeat themselves. Cool. Note: qx starts recording into register x (he uses qq for register q). 0 moves to the start of the line. dw delets a word. j moves down a line. @q will run the macro again (defining a loop). But you forgot to end the recording with a final "q", then actually run the macro by typing @q. – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:39

Yktula, Apr 18, 2010 at 5:32

I think that's intentional, as a nested and recursive macro. – Yktula Apr 18 '10 at 5:32

Gerardo Marset, Jul 5, 2011 at 1:38

qqqqqifuu<Esc>h@qq@qGerardo Marset Jul 5 '11 at 1:38

Nathan Long, Aug 29, 2011 at 15:33

Another way of accomplishing this is to record a macro in register a that does some transformation to a single line, then linewise highlight a bunch of lines with V and type :normal! @a to applyyour macro to every line in your selection. – Nathan Long Aug 29 '11 at 15:33

dotancohen, May 14, 2013 at 6:00

I found this post googling recursive VIM macros. I could find no way to stop the macro other than killing the VIM process. – dotancohen May 14 '13 at 6:00

community wiki
Brian Carper
, Apr 8, 2009 at 1:15

Assuming you have Perl and/or Ruby support compiled in, :rubydo and :perldo will run a Ruby or Perl one-liner on every line in a range (defaults to entire buffer), with $_ bound to the text of the current line (minus the newline). Manipulating $_ will change the text of that line.

You can use this to do certain things that are easy to do in a scripting language but not so obvious using Vim builtins. For example to reverse the order of the words in a line:

:perldo $_ = join ' ', reverse split

To insert a random string of 8 characters (A-Z) at the end of every line:

:rubydo $_ += ' ' + (1..8).collect{('A'..'Z').to_a[rand 26]}.join

You are limited to acting on one line at a time and you can't add newlines.

Sujoy, May 6, 2009 at 18:27

what if i only want perldo to run on a specified line? or a selected few lines? – Sujoy May 6 '09 at 18:27

Brian Carper, May 6, 2009 at 18:52

You can give it a range like any other command. For example :1,5perldo will only operate on lines 1-5. – Brian Carper May 6 '09 at 18:52

Greg, Jul 2, 2009 at 16:41

Could you do $_ += '\nNEWLINE!!!' to get a newline after the current one? – Greg Jul 2 '09 at 16:41

Brian Carper, Jul 2, 2009 at 17:26

Sadly not, it just adds a funky control character to the end of the line. You could then use a Vim search/replace to change all those control characters to real newlines though. – Brian Carper Jul 2 '09 at 17:26

Derecho, Mar 14, 2014 at 8:48

Similarly, pydo and py3do work for python if you have the required support compiled in. – Derecho Mar 14 '14 at 8:48

community wiki
4 revs
,Jul 28, 2009 at 19:05

^O and ^I

Go to older/newer position. When you are moving through the file (by searching, moving commands etc.) vim rember these "jumps", so you can repeat these jumps backward (^O - O for old) and forward (^I - just next to I on keyboard). I find it very useful when writing code and performing a lot of searches.

gi

Go to position where Insert mode was stopped last. I find myself often editing and then searching for something. To return to editing place press gi.

gf

put cursor on file name (e.g. include header file), press gf and the file is opened

gF

similar to gf but recognizes format "[file name]:[line number]". Pressing gF will open [file name] and set cursor to [line number].

^P and ^N

Auto complete text while editing (^P - previous match and ^N next match)

^X^L

While editing completes to the same line (useful for programming). You write code and then you recall that you have the same code somewhere in file. Just press ^X^L and the full line completed

^X^F

Complete file names. You write "/etc/pass" Hmm. You forgot the file name. Just press ^X^F and the filename is completed

^Z or :sh

Move temporary to the shell. If you need a quick bashing:

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 21:50

With ^X^F my pet peeve is that filenames include = signs, making it do rotten things in many occasions (ini files, makefiles etc). I use se isfname-== to end that nuisance – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 21:50

joeytwiddle, Jul 5, 2014 at 22:10

+1 the built-in autocomplete is just sitting there waiting to be discovered. – joeytwiddle Jul 5 '14 at 22:10

community wiki
2 revs
,Apr 7, 2009 at 18:59

This is a nice trick to reopen the current file with a different encoding:
:e ++enc=cp1250 %:p

Useful when you have to work with legacy encodings. The supported encodings are listed in a table under encoding-values (see help encoding-values ). Similar thing also works for ++ff, so that you can reopen file with Windows/Unix line ends if you get it wrong for the first time (see help ff ).

>, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:43

Never had to use this sort of a thing, but we'll certainly add to my arsenal of tricks... – Sasha Apr 7 '09 at 18:43

Adriano Varoli Piazza, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:44

great tip, thanks. For bonus points, add a list of common valid encodings. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Apr 7 '09 at 18:44

Ivan Vučica, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:29

I have used this today, but I think I didn't need to specify "%:p"; just opening the file and :e ++enc=cp1250 was enough. I – Ivan Vučica Jul 8 '09 at 19:29

laz, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:32

would :set encoding=cp1250 have the same effect? – laz Jul 8 '09 at 19:32

intuited, Jun 4, 2010 at 2:51

`:e +b %' is similarly useful for reopening in binary mode (no munging of newlines) – intuited Jun 4 '10 at 2:51

community wiki
4 revs, 3 users 48%
,Nov 6, 2012 at 8:32

" insert range ip's
"
"          ( O O )
" =======oOO=(_)==OOo======

:for i in range(1,255) | .put='10.0.0.'.i | endfor

Ryan Edwards, Nov 16, 2011 at 0:42

I don't see what this is good for (besides looking like a joke answer). Can anybody else enlighten me? – Ryan Edwards Nov 16 '11 at 0:42

Codygman, Nov 6, 2012 at 8:33

open vim and then do ":for i in range(1,255) | .put='10.0.0.'.i | endfor" – Codygman Nov 6 '12 at 8:33

Ruslan, Sep 30, 2013 at 10:30

@RyanEdwards filling /etc/hosts maybe – Ruslan Sep 30 '13 at 10:30

dotancohen, Nov 30, 2014 at 14:56

This is a terrific answer. Not the bit about creating the IP addresses, but the bit that implies that VIM can use for loops in commands . – dotancohen Nov 30 '14 at 14:56

BlackCap, Aug 31, 2017 at 7:54

Without ex-mode: i10.0.0.1<Esc>Y254p$<C-v>}g<C-a>BlackCap Aug 31 '17 at 7:54

community wiki
2 revs
,Aug 6, 2010 at 0:30

Typing == will correct the indentation of the current line based on the line above.

Actually, you can do one = sign followed by any movement command. = {movement}

For example, you can use the % movement which moves between matching braces. Position the cursor on the { in the following code:

if (thisA == that) {
//not indented
if (some == other) {
x = y;
}
}

And press =% to instantly get this:

if (thisA == that) {
    //not indented
    if (some == other) {
        x = y;
    }
}

Alternately, you could do =a{ within the code block, rather than positioning yourself right on the { character.

Ehtesh Choudhury, May 2, 2011 at 0:48

Hm, I didn't know this about the indentation. – Ehtesh Choudhury May 2 '11 at 0:48

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 22:03

No need, usually, to be exactly on the braces. Thought frequently I'd just =} or vaBaB= because it is less dependent. Also, v}}:!astyle -bj matches my code style better, but I can get it back into your style with a simple %!astyle -ajsehe Mar 4 '12 at 22:03

kyrias, Oct 19, 2013 at 12:12

gg=G is quite neat when pasting in something. – kyrias Oct 19 '13 at 12:12

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:30

Related: Re-indenting badly indented code at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:30

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:16

@kyrias Oh, I've been doing it like ggVG= . – Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:16

community wiki
Trumpi
, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:33

imap jj <esc>

hasen, Jun 12, 2009 at 6:08

how will you type jj then? :P – hasen Jun 12 '09 at 6:08

ojblass, Jul 5, 2009 at 18:29

How often to you type jj? In English at least? – ojblass Jul 5 '09 at 18:29

Alex, Oct 5, 2009 at 5:32

I remapped capslock to esc instead, as it's an otherwise useless key. My mapping was OS wide though, so it has the added benefit of never having to worry about accidentally hitting it. The only drawback IS ITS HARDER TO YELL AT PEOPLE. :) – Alex Oct 5 '09 at 5:32

intuited, Jun 4, 2010 at 4:18

@Alex: definitely, capslock is death. "wait, wtf? oh, that was ZZ?....crap." – intuited Jun 4 '10 at 4:18

brianmearns, Oct 3, 2012 at 12:45

@ojblass: Not sure how many people ever right matlab code in Vim, but ii and jj are commonly used for counter variables, because i and j are reserved for complex numbers. – brianmearns Oct 3 '12 at 12:45

community wiki
4 revs, 3 users 71%
,Feb 12, 2015 at 15:55

Let's see some pretty little IDE editor do column transposition.
:%s/\(.*\)^I\(.*\)/\2^I\1/

Explanation

\( and \) is how to remember stuff in regex-land. And \1, \2 etc is how to retrieve the remembered stuff.

>>> \(.*\)^I\(.*\)

Remember everything followed by ^I (tab) followed by everything.

>>> \2^I\1

Replace the above stuff with "2nd stuff you remembered" followed by "1st stuff you remembered" - essentially doing a transpose.

chaos, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:33

Switches a pair of tab-separated columns (separator arbitrary, it's all regex) with each other. – chaos Apr 7 '09 at 18:33

rlbond, Apr 26, 2009 at 4:11

This is just a regex; plenty of IDEs have regex search-and-replace. – rlbond Apr 26 '09 at 4:11

romandas, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:58

@rlbond - It comes down to how good is the regex engine in the IDE. Vim's regexes are pretty powerful; others.. not so much sometimes. – romandas Jun 19 '09 at 16:58

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:32

The * will be greedy, so this regex assumes you have just two columns. If you want it to be nongreedy use {-} instead of * (see :help non-greedy for more information on the {} multiplier) – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:32

mk12, Jun 22, 2012 at 17:31

This is actually a pretty simple regex, it's only escaping the group parentheses that makes it look complicated. – mk12 Jun 22 '12 at 17:31

community wiki
KKovacs
, Apr 11, 2009 at 7:14

Not exactly a dark secret, but I like to put the following mapping into my .vimrc file, so I can hit "-" (minus) anytime to open the file explorer to show files adjacent to the one I just edit . In the file explorer, I can hit another "-" to move up one directory, providing seamless browsing of a complex directory structures (like the ones used by the MVC frameworks nowadays):
map - :Explore<cr>

These may be also useful for somebody. I like to scroll the screen and advance the cursor at the same time:

map <c-j> j<c-e>
map <c-k> k<c-y>

Tab navigation - I love tabs and I need to move easily between them:

map <c-l> :tabnext<enter>
map <c-h> :tabprevious<enter>

Only on Mac OS X: Safari-like tab navigation:

map <S-D-Right> :tabnext<cr>
map <S-D-Left> :tabprevious<cr>

Roman Plášil, Oct 1, 2009 at 21:33

You can also browse files within Vim itself, using :Explore – Roman Plášil Oct 1 '09 at 21:33

KKovacs, Oct 15, 2009 at 15:20

Hi Roman, this is exactly what this mapping does, but assigns it to a "hot key". :) – KKovacs Oct 15 '09 at 15:20

community wiki
rampion
, Apr 7, 2009 at 20:11

Often, I like changing current directories while editing - so I have to specify paths less.
cd %:h

Leonard, May 8, 2009 at 1:54

What does this do? And does it work with autchdir? – Leonard May 8 '09 at 1:54

rampion, May 8, 2009 at 2:55

I suppose it would override autochdir temporarily (until you switched buffers again). Basically, it changes directory to the root directory of the current file. It gives me a bit more manual control than autochdir does. – rampion May 8 '09 at 2:55

Naga Kiran, Jul 8, 2009 at 13:44

:set autochdir //this also serves the same functionality and it changes the current directory to that of file in buffer – Naga Kiran Jul 8 '09 at 13:44

community wiki
4 revs
,Jul 21, 2009 at 1:12

I like to use 'sudo bash', and my sysadmin hates this. He locked down 'sudo' so it could only be used with a handful of commands (ls, chmod, chown, vi, etc), but I was able to use vim to get a root shell anyway:
bash$ sudo vi +'silent !bash' +q
Password: ******
root#

RJHunter, Jul 21, 2009 at 0:53

FWIW, sudoedit (or sudo -e) edits privileged files but runs your editor as your normal user. – RJHunter Jul 21 '09 at 0:53

sundar, Sep 23, 2009 at 9:41

@OP: That was cunning. :) – sundar Sep 23 '09 at 9:41

jnylen, Feb 22, 2011 at 15:58

yeah... I'd hate you too ;) you should only need a root shell VERY RARELY, unless you're already in the habit of running too many commands as root which means your permissions are all screwed up. – jnylen Feb 22 '11 at 15:58

d33tah, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:50

Why does your sysadmin even give you root? :D – d33tah Mar 30 '14 at 17:50

community wiki
Taurus Olson
, Apr 7, 2009 at 21:11

I often use many windows when I work on a project and sometimes I need to resize them. Here's what I use:
map + <C-W>+
map - <C-W>-

These mappings allow to increase and decrease the size of the current window. It's quite simple but it's fast.

Bill Lynch, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:49

There's also Ctrl-W =, which makes the windows equal width. – Bill Lynch Apr 8 '09 at 2:49

joeytwiddle, Jan 29, 2012 at 18:12

Don't forget you can prepend numbers to perform an action multiple times in Vim. So to expand the current window height by 8 lines: 8<C-W>+ – joeytwiddle Jan 29 '12 at 18:12

community wiki
Roberto Bonvallet
, May 6, 2009 at 7:38

:r! <command>

pastes the output of an external command into the buffer.

Do some math and get the result directly in the text:

:r! echo $((3 + 5 + 8))

Get the list of files to compile when writing a Makefile:

:r! ls *.c

Don't look up that fact you read on wikipedia, have it directly pasted into the document you are writing:

:r! lynx -dump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatever

Sudhanshu, Jun 7, 2010 at 8:40

^R=3+5+8 in insert mode will let you insert the value of the expression (3+5+8) in text with fewer keystrokes. – Sudhanshu Jun 7 '10 at 8:40

dcn, Mar 27, 2011 at 10:13

How can I get the result/output to a different buffer than the current? – dcn Mar 27 '11 at 10:13

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:31

Related: How to dump output from external command into editor? at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:31

community wiki
jqno
, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:19

Map F5 to quickly ROT13 your buffer:
map <F5> ggg?G``

You can use it as a boss key :).

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 21:57

I don't know what you are writing... But surely, my boss would be more curious when he saw me write ROT13 jumble :) – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 21:57

romeovs, Jun 19, 2014 at 19:22

or to spoof your friends: nmap i ggg?G`` . Or the diabolical: nmap i ggg?G``i ! – romeovs Jun 19 '14 at 19:22

Amit Gold, Aug 7, 2016 at 10:14

@romeovs 2nd one is infinite loop, use nnoremap – Amit Gold Aug 7 '16 at 10:14

community wiki
mohi666
, Mar 4, 2011 at 2:20

Not an obscure feature, but very useful and time saving.

If you want to save a session of your open buffers, tabs, markers and other settings, you can issue the following:

mksession session.vim

You can open your session using:

vim -S session.vim

TankorSmash, Nov 3, 2012 at 13:45

You can also :so session.vim inside vim. – TankorSmash Nov 3 '12 at 13:45

community wiki
Grant Limberg
, May 11, 2009 at 21:59

I just found this one today via NSFAQ :

Comment blocks of code.

Enter Blockwise Visual mode by hitting CTRL-V.

Mark the block you wish to comment.

Hit I (capital I) and enter your comment string at the beginning of the line. (// for C++)

Hit ESC and all lines selected will have // prepended to the front of the line.

Neeraj Singh, Jun 17, 2009 at 16:56

I added # to comment out a block of code in ruby. How do I undo it. – Neeraj Singh Jun 17 '09 at 16:56

Grant Limberg, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:29

well, if you haven't done anything else to the file, you can simply type u for undo. Otherwise, I haven't figured that out yet. – Grant Limberg Jun 17 '09 at 19:29

nos, Jul 28, 2009 at 20:00

You can just hit ctrl+v again, mark the //'s and hit x to "uncomment" – nos Jul 28 '09 at 20:00

ZyX, Mar 7, 2010 at 14:18

I use NERDCommenter for this. – ZyX Mar 7 '10 at 14:18

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:23

Commented out code is probably one of the worst types of comment you could possibly put in your code. There are better uses for the awesome block insert. – Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:23

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 84%
Ian H
, Jul 3, 2015 at 23:44

I use vim for just about any text editing I do, so I often times use copy and paste. The problem is that vim by default will often times distort imported text via paste. The way to stop this is to use
:set paste

before pasting in your data. This will keep it from messing up.

Note that you will have to issue :set nopaste to recover auto-indentation. Alternative ways of pasting pre-formatted text are the clipboard registers ( * and + ), and :r!cat (you will have to end the pasted fragment with ^D).

It is also sometimes helpful to turn on a high contrast color scheme. This can be done with

:color blue

I've noticed that it does not work on all the versions of vim I use but it does on most.

jamessan, Dec 28, 2009 at 8:27

The "distortion" is happening because you have some form of automatic indentation enabled. Using set paste or specifying a key for the pastetoggle option is a common way to work around this, but the same effect can be achieved with set mouse=a as then Vim knows that the flood of text it sees is a paste triggered by the mouse. – jamessan Dec 28 '09 at 8:27

kyrias, Oct 19, 2013 at 12:15

If you have gvim installed you can often (though it depends on what your options your distro compiles vim with) use the X clipboard directly from vim through the * register. For example "*p to paste from the X xlipboard. (It works from terminal vim, too, it's just that you might need the gvim package if they're separate) – kyrias Oct 19 '13 at 12:15

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:26

@kyrias for the record, * is the PRIMARY ("middle-click") register. The clipboard is +Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:26

community wiki
viraptor
, Apr 7, 2009 at 22:29

Here's something not obvious. If you have a lot of custom plugins / extensions in your $HOME and you need to work from su / sudo / ... sometimes, then this might be useful.

In your ~/.bashrc:

export VIMINIT=":so $HOME/.vimrc"

In your ~/.vimrc:

if $HOME=='/root'
        if $USER=='root'
                if isdirectory('/home/your_typical_username')
                        let rtuser = 'your_typical_username'
                elseif isdirectory('/home/your_other_username')
                        let rtuser = 'your_other_username'
                endif
        else
                let rtuser = $USER
        endif
        let &runtimepath = substitute(&runtimepath, $HOME, '/home/'.rtuser, 'g')
endif

It will allow your local plugins to load - whatever way you use to change the user.

You might also like to take the *.swp files out of your current path and into ~/vimtmp (this goes into .vimrc):

if ! isdirectory(expand('~/vimtmp'))
   call mkdir(expand('~/vimtmp'))
endif
if isdirectory(expand('~/vimtmp'))
   set directory=~/vimtmp
else
   set directory=.,/var/tmp,/tmp
endif

Also, some mappings I use to make editing easier - makes ctrl+s work like escape and ctrl+h/l switch the tabs:

inoremap <C-s> <ESC>
vnoremap <C-s> <ESC>
noremap <C-l> gt
noremap <C-h> gT

Kyle Challis, Apr 2, 2014 at 21:18

Just in case you didn't already know, ctrl+c already works like escape. – Kyle Challis Apr 2 '14 at 21:18

shalomb, Aug 24, 2015 at 8:02

I prefer never to run vim as root/under sudo - and would just run the command from vim e.g. :!sudo tee %, :!sudo mv % /etc or even launch a login shell :!sudo -ishalomb Aug 24 '15 at 8:02

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Nov 7, 2009 at 7:54

Ctrl-n while in insert mode will auto complete whatever word you're typing based on all the words that are in open buffers. If there is more than one match it will give you a list of possible words that you can cycle through using ctrl-n and ctrl-p.

community wiki
daltonb
, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:28

gg=G

Corrects indentation for entire file. I was missing my trusty <C-a><C-i> in Eclipse but just found out vim handles it nicely.

sjas, Jul 15, 2012 at 22:43

I find G=gg easier to type. – sjas Jul 15 '12 at 22:43

sri, May 12, 2013 at 16:12

=% should do it too. – sri May 12 '13 at 16:12

community wiki
mohi666
, Mar 24, 2011 at 22:44

Ability to run Vim on a client/server based modes.

For example, suppose you're working on a project with a lot of buffers, tabs and other info saved on a session file called session.vim.

You can open your session and create a server by issuing the following command:

vim --servername SAMPLESERVER -S session.vim

Note that you can open regular text files if you want to create a server and it doesn't have to be necessarily a session.

Now, suppose you're in another terminal and need to open another file. If you open it regularly by issuing:

vim new_file.txt

Your file would be opened in a separate Vim buffer, which is hard to do interactions with the files on your session. In order to open new_file.txt in a new tab on your server use this command:

vim --servername SAMPLESERVER --remote-tab-silent new_file.txt

If there's no server running, this file will be opened just like a regular file.

Since providing those flags every time you want to run them is very tedious, you can create a separate alias for creating client and server.

I placed the followings on my bashrc file:

alias vims='vim --servername SAMPLESERVER'
alias vimc='vim --servername SAMPLESERVER --remote-tab-silent'

You can find more information about this at: http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/remote.html

community wiki
jm666
, May 11, 2011 at 19:54

Variation of sudo write:

into .vimrc

cmap w!! w !sudo tee % >/dev/null

After reload vim you can do "sudo save" as

:w!!

community wiki
3 revs, 3 users 74%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 17:06

HOWTO: Auto-complete Ctags when using Vim in Bash. For anyone else who uses Vim and Ctags, I've written a small auto-completer function for Bash. Add the following into your ~/.bash_completion file (create it if it does not exist):

Thanks go to stylishpants for his many fixes and improvements.

_vim_ctags() {
    local cur prev

    COMPREPLY=()
    cur="${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]}"
    prev="${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD-1]}"

    case "${prev}" in
        -t)
            # Avoid the complaint message when no tags file exists
            if [ ! -r ./tags ]
            then
                return
            fi

            # Escape slashes to avoid confusing awk
            cur=${cur////\\/}

            COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -W "`awk -vORS=" "  "/^${cur}/ { print \\$1 }" tags`" ) )
            ;;
        *)
            _filedir_xspec
            ;;
    esac
}

# Files matching this pattern are excluded
excludelist='*.@(o|O|so|SO|so.!(conf)|SO.!(CONF)|a|A|rpm|RPM|deb|DEB|gif|GIF|jp?(e)g|JP?(E)G|mp3|MP3|mp?(e)g|MP?(E)G|avi|AVI|asf|ASF|ogg|OGG|class|CLASS)'

complete -F _vim_ctags -f -X "${excludelist}" vi vim gvim rvim view rview rgvim rgview gview

Once you restart your Bash session (or create a new one) you can type:

Code:

~$ vim -t MyC<tab key>

and it will auto-complete the tag the same way it does for files and directories:

Code:

MyClass MyClassFactory
~$ vim -t MyC

I find it really useful when I'm jumping into a quick bug fix.

>, Apr 8, 2009 at 3:05

Amazing....I really needed it – Sasha Apr 8 '09 at 3:05

TREE, Apr 27, 2009 at 13:19

can you summarize? If that external page goes away, this answer is useless. :( – TREE Apr 27 '09 at 13:19

Hamish Downer, May 5, 2009 at 16:38

Summary - it allows ctags autocomplete from the bash prompt for opening files with vim. – Hamish Downer May 5 '09 at 16:38

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 80%
,Dec 22, 2016 at 7:44

I often want to highlight a particular word/function name, but don't want to search to the next instance of it yet:
map m* *#

René Nyffenegger, Dec 3, 2009 at 7:36

I don't understand this one. – René Nyffenegger Dec 3 '09 at 7:36

Scotty Allen, Dec 3, 2009 at 19:55

Try it:) It basically highlights a given word, without moving the cursor to the next occurrance (like * would). – Scotty Allen Dec 3 '09 at 19:55

jamessan, Dec 27, 2009 at 19:10

You can do the same with "nnoremap m* :let @/ = '\<' . expand('<cword>') . '\>'<cr>" – jamessan Dec 27 '09 at 19:10

community wiki
Ben
, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:37

% is also good when you want to diff files across two different copies of a project without wearing out the pinkies (from root of project1):
:vert diffs /project2/root/%

community wiki
Naga Kiran
, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:07

:setlocal autoread

Auto reloads the current buffer..especially useful while viewing log files and it almost serves the functionality of "tail" program in unix from within vim.

Checking for compile errors from within vim. set the makeprg variable depending on the language let's say for perl

:setlocal makeprg = perl\ -c \ %

For PHP

set makeprg=php\ -l\ %
set errorformat=%m\ in\ %f\ on\ line\ %l

Issuing ":make" runs the associated makeprg and displays the compilation errors/warnings in quickfix window and can easily navigate to the corresponding line numbers.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 73%
,Sep 14 at 20:16

Want an IDE?

:make will run the makefile in the current directory, parse the compiler output, you can then use :cn and :cp to step through the compiler errors opening each file and seeking to the line number in question.

:syntax on turns on vim's syntax highlighting.

community wiki
Luper Rouch
, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:53

Input a character from its hexadecimal value (insert mode):
<C-Q>x[type the hexadecimal byte]

MikeyB, Sep 22, 2009 at 21:57

<C-V> is the more generic command that works in both the text-mode and gui – MikeyB Sep 22 '09 at 21:57

jamessan, Dec 27, 2009 at 19:06

It's only <C-q> if you're using the awful mswin.vim (or you mapped it yourself). – jamessan Dec 27 '09 at 19:06

community wiki
Brad Cox
, May 8, 2009 at 1:54

I was sure someone would have posted this already, but here goes.

Take any build system you please; make, mvn, ant, whatever. In the root of the project directory, create a file of the commands you use all the time, like this:

mvn install
mvn clean install
... and so forth

To do a build, put the cursor on the line and type !!sh. I.e. filter that line; write it to a shell and replace with the results.

The build log replaces the line, ready to scroll, search, whatever.

When you're done viewing the log, type u to undo and you're back to your file of commands.

ojblass, Jul 5, 2009 at 18:27

This doesn't seem to fly on my system. Can you show an example only using the ls command? – ojblass Jul 5 '09 at 18:27

Brad Cox, Jul 29, 2009 at 19:30

!!ls replaces current line with ls output (adding more lines as needed). – Brad Cox Jul 29 '09 at 19:30

jamessan, Dec 28, 2009 at 8:29

Why wouldn't you just set makeprg to the proper tool you use for your build (if it isn't set already) and then use :make ? :copen will show you the output of the build as well as allowing you to jump to any warnings/errors. – jamessan Dec 28 '09 at 8:29

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 95%
,Dec 28, 2009 at 8:38

==========================================================
In normal mode
==========================================================
gf ................ open file under cursor in same window --> see :h path
Ctrl-w f .......... open file under cursor in new window
Ctrl-w q .......... close current window
Ctrl-w 6 .......... open alternate file --> see :h #
gi ................ init insert mode in last insertion position
'0 ................ place the cursor where it was when the file was last edited

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:33

I believe it's <C-w> c to close a window, actually. :h ctrl-wBraden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:33

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 84%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:53

Due to the latency and lack of colors (I love color schemes :) I don't like programming on remote machines in PuTTY . So I developed this trick to work around this problem. I use it on Windows.

You will need

Setting up remote machine

Configure rsync to make your working directory accessible. I use an SSH tunnel and only allow connections from the tunnel:

address = 127.0.0.1
hosts allow = 127.0.0.1
port = 40000
use chroot = false
[bledge_ce]
    path = /home/xplasil/divine/bledge_ce
    read only = false

Then start rsyncd: rsync --daemon --config=rsyncd.conf

Setting up local machine

Install rsync from Cygwin. Start Pageant and load your private key for the remote machine. If you're using SSH tunelling, start PuTTY to create the tunnel. Create a batch file push.bat in your working directory which will upload changed files to the remote machine using rsync:

rsync --blocking-io *.cc *.h SConstruct rsync://localhost:40001/bledge_ce

SConstruct is a build file for scons. Modify the list of files to suit your needs. Replace localhost with the name of remote machine if you don't use SSH tunelling.

Configuring Vim That is now easy. We will use the quickfix feature (:make and error list), but the compilation will run on the remote machine. So we need to set makeprg:

set makeprg=push\ &&\ plink\ -batch\ xplasil@anna.fi.muni.cz\ \"cd\ /home/xplasil/divine/bledge_ce\ &&\ scons\ -j\ 2\"

This will first start the push.bat task to upload the files and then execute the commands on remote machine using SSH ( Plink from the PuTTY suite). The command first changes directory to the working dir and then starts build (I use scons).

The results of build will show conviniently in your local gVim errors list.

matpie, Sep 17, 2010 at 23:02

A much simpler solution would be to use bcvi: sshmenu.sourceforge.net/articles/bcvimatpie Sep 17 '10 at 23:02

Uri Goren, Jul 20 at 20:21

cmder is much easier and simpler, it also comes with its own ssh client – Uri Goren Jul 20 at 20:21

community wiki
3 revs, 2 users 94%
,Jan 16, 2014 at 14:10

I use Vim for everything. When I'm editing an e-mail message, I use:

gqap (or gwap )

extensively to easily and correctly reformat on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, even with quote leadin characters. In order to achieve this functionality, I also add:

-c 'set fo=tcrq' -c 'set tw=76'

to the command to invoke the editor externally. One noteworthy addition would be to add ' a ' to the fo (formatoptions) parameter. This will automatically reformat the paragraph as you type and navigate the content, but may interfere or cause problems with errant or odd formatting contained in the message.

Andrew Ferrier, Jul 14, 2014 at 22:22

autocmd FileType mail set tw=76 fo=tcrq in your ~/.vimrc will also work, if you can't edit the external editor command. – Andrew Ferrier Jul 14 '14 at 22:22

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 94%
,May 6, 2009 at 12:22

Put this in your .vimrc to have a command to pretty-print xml:
function FormatXml()
    %s:\(\S\)\(<[^/]\)\|\(>\)\(</\):\1\3\r\2\4:g
    set filetype=xml
    normal gg=G
endfunction

command FormatXml :call FormatXml()

David Winslow, Nov 24, 2009 at 20:43

On linuxes (where xmllint is pretty commonly installed) I usually just do :%! xmllint - for this. – David Winslow Nov 24 '09 at 20:43

community wiki
searlea
, Aug 6, 2009 at 9:33

:sp %:h - directory listing / file-chooser using the current file's directory

(belongs as a comment under rampion's cd tip, but I don't have commenting-rights yet)

bpw1621, Feb 19, 2011 at 15:13

":e ." does the same thing for your current working directory which will be the same as your current file's directory if you set autochdir – bpw1621 Feb 19 '11 at 15:13

community wiki
2 revs
,Sep 22, 2009 at 22:23

Just before copying and pasting to stackoverflow:
:retab 1
:% s/^I/ /g
:% s/^/    /

Now copy and paste code.

As requested in the comments:

retab 1. This sets the tab size to one. But it also goes through the code and adds extra tabs and spaces so that the formatting does not move any of the actual text (ie the text looks the same after ratab).

% s/^I/ /g: Note the ^I is tthe result of hitting tab. This searches for all tabs and replaces them with a single space. Since we just did a retab this should not cause the formatting to change but since putting tabs into a website is hit and miss it is good to remove them.

% s/^/ /: Replace the beginning of the line with four spaces. Since you cant actually replace the beginning of the line with anything it inserts four spaces at the beging of the line (this is needed by SO formatting to make the code stand out).

vehomzzz, Sep 22, 2009 at 20:52

explain it please... – vehomzzz Sep 22 '09 at 20:52

cmcginty, Sep 22, 2009 at 22:31

so I guess this won't work if you use 'set expandtab' to force all tabs to spaces. – cmcginty Sep 22 '09 at 22:31

Martin York, Sep 23, 2009 at 0:07

@Casey: The first two lines will not apply. The last line will make sure you can just cut and paste into SO. – Martin York Sep 23 '09 at 0:07

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:40

Note that you can achieve the same thing with cat <file> | awk '{print " " $line}' . So try :w ! awk '{print " " $line}' | xclip -i . That's supposed to be four spaces between the ""Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:40

community wiki
Anders Holmberg
, Dec 28, 2009 at 9:21

When working on a project where the build process is slow I always build in the background and pipe the output to a file called errors.err (something like make debug 2>&1 | tee errors.err ). This makes it possible for me to continue editing or reviewing the source code during the build process. When it is ready (using pynotify on GTK to inform me that it is complete) I can look at the result in vim using quickfix . Start by issuing :cf[ile] which reads the error file and jumps to the first error. I personally like to use cwindow to get the build result in a separate window.

community wiki
quabug
, Jul 12, 2011 at 12:21

set colorcolumn=+1 or set cc=+1 for vim 7.3

Luc M, Oct 31, 2012 at 15:12

A short explanation would be appreciated... I tried it and could be very usefull! You can even do something like set colorcolumn=+1,+10,+20 :-) – Luc M Oct 31 '12 at 15:12

DBedrenko, Oct 31, 2014 at 16:17

@LucM If you tried it why didn't you provide an explanation? – DBedrenko Oct 31 '14 at 16:17

mjturner, Aug 19, 2015 at 11:16

colorcolumn allows you to specify columns that are highlighted (it's ideal for making sure your lines aren't too long). In the original answer, set cc=+1 highlights the column after textwidth . See the documentation for more information. – mjturner Aug 19 '15 at 11:16

community wiki
mpe
, May 11, 2009 at 4:39

For making vim a little more like an IDE editor:

Rook, May 11, 2009 at 4:42

How does that make Vim more like an IDE ?? – Rook May 11 '09 at 4:42

mpe, May 12, 2009 at 12:29

I did say "a little" :) But it is something many IDEs do, and some people like it, eg: eclipse.org/screenshots/images/JavaPerspective-WinXP.pngmpe May 12 '09 at 12:29

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:25

Yes, but that's like saying yank/paste functions make an editor "a little" more like an IDE. Those are editor functions. Pretty much everything that goes with the editor that concerns editing text and that particular area is an editor function. IDE functions would be, for example, project/files management, connectivity with compiler&linker, error reporting, building automation tools, debugger ... i.e. the stuff that doesn't actually do nothing with editing text. Vim has some functions & plugins so he can gravitate a little more towards being an IDE, but these are not the ones in question. – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:25

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:26

After all, an IDE = editor + compiler + debugger + building tools + ... – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:26

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:31

Also, just FYI, vim has an option to set invnumber. That way you don't have to "set nu" and "set nonu", i.e. remember two functions - you can just toggle. – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:31

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 50%
PuzzleCracker
, Sep 13, 2009 at 23:20

I love :ls command.

aehlke, Oct 28, 2009 at 3:16

Well what does it do? – aehlke Oct 28 '09 at 3:16

>, Dec 7, 2009 at 10:51

gives the current file name opened ? – user59634 Dec 7 '09 at 10:51

Nona Urbiz, Dec 20, 2010 at 8:25

:ls lists all the currently opened buffers. :be opens a file in a new buffer, :bn goes to the next buffer, :bp to the previous, :b filename opens buffer filename (it auto-completes too). buffers are distinct from tabs, which i'm told are more analogous to views. – Nona Urbiz Dec 20 '10 at 8:25

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 80%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:45

A few useful ones:
:set nu # displays lines
:44     # go to line 44
'.      # go to last modification line

My favourite: Ctrl + n WORD COMPLETION!

community wiki
2 revs
,Jun 18, 2013 at 11:10

In insert mode, ctrl + x, ctrl + p will complete (with menu of possible completions if that's how you like it) the current long identifier that you are typing.
if (SomeCall(LONG_ID_ <-- type c-x c-p here
            [LONG_ID_I_CANT_POSSIBLY_REMEMBER]
             LONG_ID_BUT_I_NEW_IT_WASNT_THIS_ONE
             LONG_ID_GOSH_FORGOT_THIS
             LONG_ID_ETC
             ∶

Justin L., Jun 13, 2013 at 16:21

i type <kbd>ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>p</kbd> way too much by accident while trying to hit <kbd>ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>[</kbd> >< – Justin L. Jun 13 '13 at 16:21

community wiki
Fritz G. Mehner
, Apr 22, 2009 at 16:41

Use the right mouse key to toggle insert mode in gVim with the following settings in ~/.gvimrc :
"
"------------------------------------------------------------------
" toggle insert mode <--> 'normal mode with the <RightMouse>-key
"------------------------------------------------------------------
nnoremap  <RightMouse> <Insert>
inoremap  <RightMouse> <ESC>
"

Andreas Grech, Jun 20, 2010 at 17:22

This is stupid. Defeats the productivity gains from not using the mouse. – Andreas Grech Jun 20 '10 at 17:22

Brady Trainor, Jul 5, 2014 at 21:07

Maybe fgm has head gestures mapped to mouse clicks. – Brady Trainor Jul 5 '14 at 21:07

community wiki
AIB
, Apr 27, 2009 at 13:06

Replace all
  :%s/oldtext/newtext/igc

Give a to replace all :)

Nathan Fellman, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:58

or better yet, instead of typing a, just remove the c . c means confirm replacementNathan Fellman Jan 12 '11 at 20:58

community wiki
2 revs
,Sep 13, 2009 at 18:39

Neither of the following is really diehard, but I find it extremely useful.

Trivial bindings, but I just can't live without. It enables hjkl-style movement in insert mode (using the ctrl key). In normal mode: ctrl-k/j scrolls half a screen up/down and ctrl-l/h goes to the next/previous buffer. The µ and ù mappings are especially for an AZERTY-keyboard and go to the next/previous make error.

imap <c-j> <Down>
imap <c-k> <Up>
imap <c-h> <Left>
imap <c-l> <Right>
nmap <c-j> <c-d>
nmap <c-k> <c-u>
nmap <c-h> <c-left>
nmap <c-l> <c-right>

nmap ù :cp<RETURN>
nmap µ :cn<RETURN>

A small function I wrote to highlight functions, globals, macro's, structs and typedefs. (Might be slow on very large files). Each type gets different highlighting (see ":help group-name" to get an idea of your current colortheme's settings) Usage: save the file with ww (default "\ww"). You need ctags for this.

nmap <Leader>ww :call SaveCtagsHighlight()<CR>

"Based on: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/736701/class-function-names-highlighting-in-vim
function SaveCtagsHighlight()
    write

    let extension = expand("%:e")
    if extension!="c" && extension!="cpp" && extension!="h" && extension!="hpp"
        return
    endif

    silent !ctags --fields=+KS *
    redraw!

    let list = taglist('.*')
    for item in list
        let kind = item.kind

        if     kind == 'member'
            let kw = 'Identifier'
        elseif kind == 'function'
            let kw = 'Function'
        elseif kind == 'macro'
            let kw = 'Macro'
        elseif kind == 'struct'
            let kw = 'Structure'
        elseif kind == 'typedef'
            let kw = 'Typedef'
        else
            continue
        endif

        let name = item.name
        if name != 'operator=' && name != 'operator ='
            exec 'syntax keyword '.kw.' '.name
        endif
    endfor
    echo expand("%")." written, tags updated"
endfunction

I have the habit of writing lots of code and functions and I don't like to write prototypes for them. So I made some function to generate a list of prototypes within a C-style sourcefile. It comes in two flavors: one that removes the formal parameter's name and one that preserves it. I just refresh the entire list every time I need to update the prototypes. It avoids having out of sync prototypes and function definitions. Also needs ctags.

"Usage: in normal mode, where you want the prototypes to be pasted:
":call GenerateProptotypes()
function GeneratePrototypes()
    execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KS ".expand("%")
    redraw!
    let list = taglist('.*')
    let line = line(".")
    for item in list
        if item.kind == "function"  &&  item.name != "main"
            let name = item.name
            let retType = item.cmd
            let retType = substitute( retType, '^/\^\s*','','' )
            let retType = substitute( retType, '\s*'.name.'.*', '', '' ) 

            if has_key( item, 'signature' )
                let sig = item.signature
                let sig = substitute( sig, '\s*\w\+\s*,',        ',',   'g')
                let sig = substitute( sig, '\s*\w\+\(\s)\)', '\1', '' )
            else
                let sig = '()'
            endif
            let proto = retType . "\t" . name . sig . ';'
            call append( line, proto )
            let line = line + 1
        endif
    endfor
endfunction


function GeneratePrototypesFullSignature()
    "execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KS ".expand("%")
    let dir = expand("%:p:h");
    execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KSi --extra=+q".dir."/* "
    redraw!
    let list = taglist('.*')
    let line = line(".")
    for item in list
        if item.kind == "function"  &&  item.name != "main"
            let name = item.name
            let retType = item.cmd
            let retType = substitute( retType, '^/\^\s*','','' )
            let retType = substitute( retType, '\s*'.name.'.*', '', '' ) 

            if has_key( item, 'signature' )
                let sig = item.signature
            else
                let sig = '(void)'
            endif
            let proto = retType . "\t" . name . sig . ';'
            call append( line, proto )
            let line = line + 1
        endif
    endfor
endfunction

community wiki
Yada
, Nov 24, 2009 at 20:21

I collected these over the years.
" Pasting in normal mode should append to the right of cursor
nmap <C-V>      a<C-V><ESC>
" Saving
imap <C-S>      <C-o>:up<CR>
nmap <C-S>      :up<CR>
" Insert mode control delete
imap <C-Backspace> <C-W>
imap <C-Delete> <C-O>dw
nmap    <Leader>o       o<ESC>k
nmap    <Leader>O       O<ESC>j
" tired of my typo
nmap :W     :w

community wiki
jonyamo
, May 10, 2010 at 15:01

Create a function to execute the current buffer using it's shebang (assuming one is set) and call it with crtl-x.
map <C-X> :call CallInterpreter()<CR>

au BufEnter *
\ if match (getline(1),  '^\#!') == 0 |
\   execute("let b:interpreter = getline(1)[2:]") |
\ endif

fun! CallInterpreter()
    if exists("b:interpreter")
        exec("! ".b:interpreter." %")
    endif
endfun

community wiki
Marcus Borkenhagen
, Jan 12, 2011 at 15:22

map macros

I rather often find it useful to on-the-fly define some key mapping just like one would define a macro. The twist here is, that the mapping is recursive and is executed until it fails.

Example:

enum ProcStats
{
        ps_pid,
        ps_comm,
        ps_state,
        ps_ppid,
        ps_pgrp,
:map X /ps_<CR>3xixy<Esc>X

Gives:

enum ProcStats
{
        xypid,
        xycomm,
        xystate,
        xyppid,
        xypgrp,

Just an silly example :).

I am completely aware of all the downsides - it just so happens that I found it rather useful in some occasions. Also it can be interesting to watch it at work ;).

00dani, Aug 2, 2013 at 11:25

Macros are also allowed to be recursive and work in pretty much the same fashion when they are, so it's not particularly necessary to use a mapping for this. – 00dani Aug 2 '13 at 11:25

>,

Reuse

Motions to mix with other commands, more here .

tx
fx
Fx

Use your favorite tools in Vim.

:r !python anything you want or awk or Y something

Repeat in visual mode, powerful when combined with tips above.

;

[Oct 21, 2018] What are your suggestions for an ideal Vim configuration for Perl development?

Notable quotes:
"... The .vimrc settings should be heavily commented ..."
"... Look also at perl-support.vim (a Perl IDE for Vim/gVim). Comes with suggestions for customizing Vim (.vimrc), gVim (.gvimrc), ctags, perltidy, and Devel:SmallProf beside many other things. ..."
"... Perl Best Practices has an appendix on Editor Configurations . vim is the first editor listed. ..."
"... Andy Lester and others maintain the official Perl, Perl 6 and Pod support files for Vim on Github: https://github.com/vim-perl/vim-perl ..."
Aug 18, 2016 | stackoverflow.com
There are a lot of threads pertaining to how to configure Vim/GVim for Perl development on PerlMonks.org .

My purpose in posting this question is to try to create, as much as possible, an ideal configuration for Perl development using Vim/GVim. Please post your suggestions for .vimrc settings as well as useful plugins.

I will try to merge the recommendations into a set of .vimrc settings and to a list of recommended plugins, ftplugins and syntax files.

.vimrc settings
"Create a command :Tidy to invoke perltidy"
"By default it operates on the whole file, but you can give it a"
"range or visual range as well if you know what you're doing."
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy -your -preferred -default -options <args>

vmap <tab> >gv    "make tab in v mode indent code"
vmap <s-tab> <gv

nmap <tab> I<tab><esc> "make tab in normal mode indent code"
nmap <s-tab> ^i<bs><esc>

let perl_include_pod   = 1    "include pod.vim syntax file with perl.vim"
let perl_extended_vars = 1    "highlight complex expressions such as @{[$x, $y]}"
let perl_sync_dist     = 250  "use more context for highlighting"

set nocompatible "Use Vim defaults"
set backspace=2  "Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode"

set autoindent   "Always set auto-indenting on"
set expandtab    "Insert spaces instead of tabs in insert mode. Use spaces for indents"
set tabstop=4    "Number of spaces that a <Tab> in the file counts for"
set shiftwidth=4 "Number of spaces to use for each step of (auto)indent"

set showmatch    "When a bracket is inserted, briefly jump to the matching one"
syntax plugins ftplugins CPAN modules Debugging tools

I just found out about VimDebug . I have not yet been able to install it on Windows, but looks promising from the description.

innaM, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:06

The .vimrc settings should be heavily commented. E.g., what does perl_include_pod do? – innaM Oct 15 '09 at 19:06

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 20:02

@Manni: You are welcome. I have been using the same .vimrc for many years and a recent bunch of vim related questions got me curious. I was too lazy to wade through everything that was posted on PerlMonks (and see what was current etc.), so I figured we could put together something here. – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 20:02

innaM, Oct 16, 2009 at 8:22

I think that that's a great idea. Sorry that my own contribution is that lame. – innaM Oct 16 '09 at 8:22

Telemachus, Jul 8, 2010 at 0:40

Rather than closepairs, I would recommend delimitMate or one of the various autoclose plugins. (There are about three named autoclose, I think.) The closepairs plugin can't handle a single apostrophe inside a string (i.e. print "This isn't so hard, is it?" ), but delimitMate and others can. github.com/Raimondi/delimitMate – Telemachus Jul 8 '10 at 0:40

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 74% ,Dec 21, 2009 at 20:57

From chromatic's blog (slightly adapted to be able to use the same mapping from all modes).
vmap, pt :!perltidy<CR> 
nmap, pt :%! perltidy<CR>

hit, pt in normal mode to clean up the whole file, or in visual mode to clean up the selection. You could also add:

imap, pt <ESC>:%! perltidy<CR>

But using commands from input mode is not recommended.

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 9:21

I seem to be missing something here: How can I type, ptv without vim running perltidy on the entire file? – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 9:21

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 9:23

Ovid's comment (#3) seems offer a much better solution. – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 9:23

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 13:22

Three hours later: turns out that the 'p' in that mapping is a really bad idea. It will bite you when vim's got something to paste. – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 13:22

Ether, Oct 21, 2009 at 15:23

@Manni: select a region first: with the mouse if using gvim, or with visual mode ( v and then use motion commands). – Ether Oct 21 '09 at 15:23

Ether, Oct 21, 2009 at 19:44

@Manni: I just gave it a try: if you type, pt, vim waits for you to type something else (e.g. <cr>) as a signal that the command is ended. Hitting, ptv will immediately format the region. So I would expect that vim recognizes that there is overlap between the mappings, and waits for disambiguation before proceeding. – Ether Oct 21 '09 at 19:44

community wiki hobbs, Oct 16, 2009 at 0:35

" Create a command :Tidy to invoke perltidy.
" By default it operates on the whole file, but you can give it a
" range or visual range as well if you know what you're doing.
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy -your -preferred -default -options <args>

community wiki Fritz G. Mehner, Oct 17, 2009 at 7:44

Look also at perl-support.vim (a Perl IDE for Vim/gVim). Comes with suggestions for customizing Vim (.vimrc), gVim (.gvimrc), ctags, perltidy, and Devel:SmallProf beside many other things.

innaM, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:32

I hate that one. The comments feature alone deserves a thorough 'rm -rf', IMHO. – innaM Oct 19 '09 at 12:32

sundar, Mar 11, 2010 at 20:54

I hate the fact that \$ is changed automatically to a "my $" declaration (same with \@ and \%). Does the author never use references or what?! – sundar Mar 11 '10 at 20:54

chiggsy, Sep 14, 2010 at 13:48

I take pieces of that one. If it were a man, you'd say about him, "He was only good for transplants..." – chiggsy Sep 14 '10 at 13:48

community wiki Permanuno, Oct 20, 2009 at 16:55

Perl Best Practices has an appendix on Editor Configurations . vim is the first editor listed.

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 67% ,May 10, 2014 at 21:08

Andy Lester and others maintain the official Perl, Perl 6 and Pod support files for Vim on Github: https://github.com/vim-perl/vim-perl

Sinan Ünür, Jan 26, 2010 at 21:20

Note that that link is already listed in the body of the question (look under syntax ). – Sinan Ünür Jan 26 '10 at 21:20

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 94% ,Dec 7, 2010 at 19:42

For tidying, I use the following; either \t to tidy the whole file, or I select a few lines in shift+V mode and then do \t
nnoremap <silent> \t :%!perltidy -q<Enter>
vnoremap <silent> \t :!perltidy -q<Enter>

Sometimes it's also useful to deparse code. As the above lines, either for the whole file or for a selection.

nnoremap <silent> \D :.!perl -MO=Deparse 2>/dev/null<CR>
vnoremap <silent> \D :!perl -MO=Deparse 2>/dev/null<CR>

community wiki 3 revs, 3 users 36% ,Oct 16, 2009 at 14:25

.vimrc:
" Allow :make to run 'perl -c' on the current buffer, jumping to 
" errors as appropriate
" My copy of vimparse: http://irc.peeron.com/~zigdon/misc/vimparse.pl

set makeprg=$HOME/bin/vimparse.pl\ -c\ %\ $*

" point at wherever you keep the output of pltags.pl, allowing use of ^-]
" to jump to function definitions.

set tags+=/path/to/tags

innaM, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:34

What is pltags.pl? Is it better than ctags? – innaM Oct 15 '09 at 19:34

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:46

I think search.cpan.org/perldoc/Perl::Tags is based on it. – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 19:46

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 20:00

Could you please explain if there are any advantages to using pltags.pl rather than taglist.vim w/ ctags ? – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 20:00

innaM, Oct 16, 2009 at 14:24

And vimparse.pl really works for you? Is that really the correct URL? – innaM Oct 16 '09 at 14:24

zigdon, Oct 16, 2009 at 18:51

@sinan it enables quickfix - all it does is reformat the output of perl -c so that vim parses it as compiler errors. The the usual quickfix commands work. – zigdon Oct 16 '09 at 18:51

community wiki
innaM
, Oct 19, 2009 at 8:57

Here's an interesting module I found on the weekend: App::EditorTools::Vim . Its most interesting feature seems to be its ability to rename lexical variables. Unfortunately, my tests revealed that it doesn't seem to be ready yet for any production use, but it sure seems worth to keep an eye on.

community wiki 3 revs, 2 users 79%, Oct 19, 2009 at 13:50

Here are a couple of my .vimrc settings. They may not be Perl specific, but I couldn't work without them:
set nocompatible        " Use Vim defaults (much better!) "
set bs=2                " Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode "
set ai                  " Always set auto-indenting on "
set showmatch           " show matching brackets "

" for quick scripts, just open a new buffer and type '_perls' "
iab _perls #!/usr/bin/perl<CR><BS><CR>use strict;<CR>use warnings;<CR>

community wiki, J.J., Feb 17, 2010 at 21:35

I have 2.

The first one I know I picked up part of it from someone else, but I can't remember who. Sorry unknown person. Here's how I made "C^N" auto complete work with Perl. Here's my .vimrc commands.

" to use CTRL+N with modules for autocomplete "
set iskeyword+=:
set complete+=k~/.vim_extras/installed_modules.dat

Then I set up a cron to create the installed_modules.dat file. Mine is for my mandriva system. Adjust accordingly.

locate *.pm | grep "perl5" | sed -e "s/\/usr\/lib\/perl5\///" | sed -e "s/5.8.8\///" | sed -e "s/5.8.7\///" | sed -e "s/vendor_perl\///" | sed -e "s/site_perl\///" | sed -e "s/x86_64-linux\///" | sed -e "s/\//::/g" | sed -e "s/\.pm//" >/home/jeremy/.vim_extras/installed_modules.dat

The second one allows me to use gf in Perl. Gf is a shortcut to other files. just place your cursor over the file and type gf and it will open that file.

" To use gf with perl "
set path+=$PWD/**,
set path +=/usr/lib/perl5/*,
set path+=/CompanyCode/*,   " directory containing work code "
autocmd BufRead *.p? set include=^use
autocmd BufRead *.pl set includeexpr=substitute(v:fname,'\\(.*\\)','\\1.pm','i')

community wiki
zzapper
, Sep 23, 2010 at 9:41

I find the following abbreviations useful
iab perlb  print "Content-type: text/html\n\n <p>zdebug + $_ + $' + $`  line ".__LINE__.__FILE__."\n";exit;
iab perlbb print "Content-type: text/html\n\n<p>zdebug  <C-R>a  line ".__LINE__.__FILE__."\n";exit;
iab perlbd do{print "Content-type: text/html\n\n<p>zdebug  <C-R>a  line ".__LINE__."\n";exit} if $_ =~ /\w\w/i;
iab perld print "Content-type: text/html\n\n dumper";use Data::Dumper;$Data::Dumper::Pad="<br>";print Dumper <C-R>a ;exit;

iab perlf foreach $line ( keys %ENV )<CR> {<CR> }<LEFT><LEFT>
iab perle while (($k,$v) = each %ENV) { print "<br>$k = $v\n"; }
iab perli x = (i<4) ? 4 : i;
iab perlif if ($i==1)<CR>{<CR>}<CR>else<CR>{<CR>}
iab perlh $html=<<___HTML___;<CR>___HTML___<CR>

You can make them perl only with

au bufenter *.pl iab xbug print "<p>zdebug ::: $_ :: $' :: $`  line ".__LINE__."\n";exit;

mfontani, Dec 7, 2010 at 14:47

there's no my anywhere there; I take it you usually write CGIs with no use strict; ? (just curious if this is so) – mfontani Dec 7 '10 at 14:47

Sean McMillan, Jun 30, 2011 at 0:43

Oh wow, and without CGI.pm as well. It's like a 15 year flashback. – Sean McMillan Jun 30 '11 at 0:43

community wiki Benno, May 3, 2013 at 12:45

By far the most useful are
  1. Perl filetype pluging (ftplugin) - this colour-codes various code elements
  2. Creating a check-syntax-before-saving command "W" preventing you from saving bad code (you can override with the normal 'w').

Installing he plugins are a bit dicky as the version of vim (and linux) put the plugins in different places. Mine are in ~/.vim/after/

my .vimrc below.

set vb
set ts=2
set sw=2
set enc=utf-8
set fileencoding=utf-8
set fileencodings=ucs-bom,utf8,prc
set guifont=Monaco:h11
set guifontwide=NSimsun:h12
set pastetoggle=<F3>
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy
filetype plugin on
augroup JumpCursorOnEdit
 au!
 autocmd BufReadPost *
 \ if expand("<afile>:p:h") !=? $TEMP |
 \ if line("'\"") > 1 && line("'\"") <= line("$") |
 \ let JumpCursorOnEdit_foo = line("'\"") |
 \ let b:doopenfold = 1 |
 \ if (foldlevel(JumpCursorOnEdit_foo) > foldlevel(JumpCursorOnEdit_foo - 1)) |
 \ let JumpCursorOnEdit_foo = JumpCursorOnEdit_foo - 1 |
 \ let b:doopenfold = 2 |
 \ endif |
 \ exe JumpCursorOnEdit_foo |
 \ endif |
 \ endif
 " Need to postpone using "zv" until after reading the modelines.
 autocmd BufWinEnter *
 \ if exists("b:doopenfold") |
 \ exe "normal zv" |
 \ if(b:doopenfold > 1) |
 \ exe "+".1 |
 \ endif |
 \ unlet b:doopenfold |
 \ endif
augroup END

[Oct 19, 2018] Vim Editing Multiple Files and Windowing Support Under Linux / UNIX

Dec 06, 2014 | www.cyberciti.biz

How do I open and edit multiple files on a VIM text editor running under Ubuntu Linux / UNIX-like operating systems to improve my productivity?

Vim offers multiple file editing with the help of windows. You can easily open multiple files and edit them using the concept of buffers.

Understanding vim buffer

A buffer is nothing but a file loaded into memory for editing. The original file remains unchanged until you write the buffer to the file using w or other file saving related commands.

Understanding vim window

A window is noting but a viewport onto a buffer. You can use multiple windows on one buffer, or several windows on different buffers. By default, Vim starts with one window, for example open /etc/passwd file, enter:
$ vim /etc/passwd

Open two windows using vim at shell promot

Start vim as follows to open two windows stacked, i.e. split horizontally :
$ vim -o /etc/passwd /etc/hosts
OR
$ vim -o file1.txt resume.txt
Sample outputs:

(Fig.01: split horizontal windows under VIM)

The -O option allows you to open two windows side by side, i.e. split vertically , enter:
$ vim -O /etc/passwd /etc/hosts How do I switch or jump between open windows?

This operation is also known as moving cursor to other windows. You need to use the following keys:

  1. Press CTRL + W + <Left arrow key> to activate left windows
  2. Press CTRL + W + <Right arrow key> to activate right windows
  3. Press CTRL + W + <Up arrow key> to activate to windows above current one
  4. Press CTRL + W + <Down arrow key> to activate to windows down current one
  5. Press CTRL-W + CTRL-W (hit CTRL+W twice) to move quickly between all open windows
How do I edit current buffer?

Use all your regular vim command such as i, w and so on for editing and saving text.

How do I close windows?

Press CTRL+W CTRL-Q to close the current windows. You can also press [ESC]+:q to quit current window.

How do I open new empty window?

Press CTRL+W + n to create a new window and start editing an empty file in it.

<="" in="" window="" current="" split="" i="" do="">

Press CTRL+W+ s to split current window in two.

How do I open exiting file in a new windows?

Press [ESC]+:new /path/to/file. This will create a new window and start editing file /path/to/file in it. For example, open file called /etc/hosts.deny, enter:
:new /etc/hosts.deny
Sample outputs:

(Fig.02: Create a new window and start editing file /etc/hosts.deny in it.)


(Fig.03: Two files opened in a two windows)
How do I resize Window?

You can increase or decrease windows size by N number. For example, increase windows size by 5, press [ESC] + 5 + CTRL + W+ + . To decrease windows size by 5, press [ESC]+ 5 + CTRL+ W + - .

Moving windows cheat sheet
Key combination Action
CTRL-W h move to the window on the left
CTRL-W j move to the window below
CTRL-W k move to the window above
CTRL-W l move to the window on the right
CTRL-W t move to the TOP window
CTRL-W b move to the BOTTOM window
How do I quit all windows?

Type the following command (also known as quit all command):
:qall
If any of the windows contain changes, Vim will not exit. The cursor will automatically be positioned in a window with changes. You can then either use ":write" to save the changes:
:write
or ":quit!" to throw them away:
:quit!

How do save and quit all windows?

To save all changes in all windows and quite , use this command:
:wqall
This writes all modified files and quits Vim. Finally, there is a command that quits Vim and throws away all changes:
:qall!

Further readings:

[Sep 21, 2018] Preferred editor or IDE for development work - Red Hat Learning Community

Pycharm supports Perl, althouth this is not advertized.
Sep 21, 2018 | learn.redhat.com

Re: Preferred editor or IDE for development work

I don't do a lot of development work, but while learning Python I've found pycharm to be a robust and helpful IDE. Other than that, I'm old school like Proksch and use vi.

MICHAEL BAKER
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR, IT MAIL SERVICES

micjohns

Re: Preferred editor or IDE for development work

Yes, I'm the same as @Proksch. For my development environment at Red Hat, vim is easiest to use as I'm using Linux to pop in and out of files. Otherwise, I've had a lot of great experiences with Visual Studio.

[Jan 14, 2018] How to remount filesystem in read write mode under Linux

Jan 14, 2018 | kerneltalks.com

Most of the time on newly created file systems of NFS filesystems we see error like below :

1 2 3 4 root @ kerneltalks # touch file1 touch : cannot touch ' file1 ' : Read - only file system

This is because file system is mounted as read only. In such scenario you have to mount it in read-write mode. Before that we will see how to check if file system is mounted in read only mode and then we will get to how to re mount it as a read write filesystem.


How to check if file system is read only

To confirm file system is mounted in read only mode use below command –

1 2 3 4 # cat /proc/mounts | grep datastore / dev / xvdf / datastore ext3 ro , seclabel , relatime , data = ordered 0 0

Grep your mount point in cat /proc/mounts and observer third column which shows all options which are used in mounted file system. Here ro denotes file system is mounted read-only.

You can also get these details using mount -v command

1 2 3 4 root @ kerneltalks # mount -v |grep datastore / dev / xvdf on / datastore type ext3 ( ro , relatime , seclabel , data = ordered )

In this output. file system options are listed in braces at last column.


Re-mount file system in read-write mode

To remount file system in read-write mode use below command –

1 2 3 4 5 6 root @ kerneltalks # mount -o remount,rw /datastore root @ kerneltalks # mount -v |grep datastore / dev / xvdf on / datastore type ext3 ( rw , relatime , seclabel , data = ordered )

Observe after re-mounting option ro changed to rw . Now, file system is mounted as read write and now you can write files in it.

Note : It is recommended to fsck file system before re mounting it.

You can check file system by running fsck on its volume.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 root @ kerneltalks # df -h /datastore Filesystem Size Used Avail Use % Mounted on / dev / xvda2 10G 881M 9.2G 9 % / root @ kerneltalks # fsck /dev/xvdf fsck from util - linux 2.23.2 e2fsck 1.42.9 ( 28 - Dec - 2013 ) / dev / xvdf : clean , 12 / 655360 files , 79696 / 2621440 blocks

Sometimes there are some corrections needs to be made on file system which needs reboot to make sure there are no processes are accessing file system.

[Jan 14, 2018] Linux yes Command Tutorial for Beginners (with Examples)

Jan 14, 2018 | www.howtoforge.com

You can see that user has to type 'y' for each query. It's in situation like these where yes can help. For the above scenario specifically, you can use yes in the following way:

yes | rm -ri test Q3. Is there any use of yes when it's used alone?

Yes, there's at-least one use: to tell how well a computer system handles high amount of loads. Reason being, the tool utilizes 100% processor for systems that have a single processor. In case you want to apply this test on a system with multiple processors, you need to run a yes process for each processor.

[Jan 14, 2018] Working with Vim Editor Advanced concepts

Jan 14, 2018 | linuxtechlab.com

Opening multiple files with VI/VIM editor

To open multiple files, command would be same as is for a single file; we just add the file name for second file as well.

$ vi file1 file2 file 3

Now to browse to next file, we can use

$ :n

or we can also use

$ :e filename

Run external commands inside the editor

We can run external Linux/Unix commands from inside the vi editor, i.e. without exiting the editor. To issue a command from editor, go back to Command Mode if in Insert mode & we use the BANG i.e. '!' followed by the command that needs to be used. Syntax for running a command is,

$ :! command

An example for this would be

$ :! df -H

Searching for a pattern

To search for a word or pattern in the text file, we use following two commands in command mode,

Both of these commands are used for same purpose, only difference being the direction they search in. An example would be,

$ :/ search pattern (If at beginning of the file)

$ :/ search pattern (If at the end of the file)

Searching & replacing a pattern

We might be required to search & replace a word or a pattern from our text files. So rather than finding the occurrence of word from whole text file & replace it, we can issue a command from the command mode to replace the word automatically. Syntax for using search & replacement is,

$ :s/pattern_to_be_found/New_pattern/g

Suppose we want to find word "alpha" & replace it with word "beta", the command would be

$ :s/alpha/beta/g

If we want to only replace the first occurrence of word "alpha", then the command would be

$ :s/alpha/beta/

Using Set commands

We can also customize the behaviour, the and feel of the vi/vim editor by using the set command. Here is a list of some options that can be use set command to modify the behaviour of vi/vim editor,

Some other commands to modify vi editors are,

$ :colorscheme its used to change the color scheme for the editor. (for VIM editor only)

$ :syntax on will turn on the color syntax for .xml, .html files etc. (for VIM editor only)

This complete our tutorial, do mention your queries/questions or suggestions in the comment box below.

[Jan 14, 2018] Learn to use Wget command with 12 examples

Jan 14, 2018 | linuxtechlab.com

Downloading file & storing with a different name

If we want to save the downloaded file with a different name than its default name, we can use '-O' parameter with wget command to do so,

$ wget -O nagios_latest https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/nagios/nagios-4.x/nagios-4.3.1/nagios-4.3.1.tar.gz?r=&ts=1489637334&use_mirror=excellmedia

Replicate whole website

If you need to download all contents of a website, you can do so by using '--mirror' parameter,

$ wget --mirror -p --convert-links -P /home/dan xyz.com

Here, wget – mirror is command to download the website,

-p, will download all files necessary to display HTML files properly,

--convert-links, will convert links in documents for viewing,

-P /home/dan, will save the file in /home/dan directory.

Download only a certain type of files

To download only a file with certain format type, use '-r -A' parameters,

$ wget -r -A.txt Website_url

Exclude a certain file type

While downloading a website, if you don't want to download a certain file type you can do so by using '- – reject' parameter,

$ wget --reject=png Website_url

[Jan 14, 2018] Sysadmin Tips on Preparing for Vacation by Kyle Rankin

Notable quotes:
"... If you can, freeze changes in the weeks leading up to your vacation. Try to encourage other teams to push off any major changes until after you get back. ..."
"... Check for any systems about to hit a disk warning threshold and clear out space. ..."
"... Make sure all of your backup scripts are working and all of your backups are up to date. ..."
Jan 11, 2018 | www.linuxjournal.com

... ... ...

If you do need to take your computer, I highly recommend making a full backup before the trip. Your computer is more likely to be lost, stolen or broken while traveling than when sitting safely at the office, so I always take a backup of my work machine before a trip. Even better than taking a backup, leave your expensive work computer behind and use a cheaper more disposable machine for travel and just restore your important files and settings for work on it before you leave and wipe it when you return. If you decide to go the disposable computer route, I recommend working one or two full work days on this computer before the vacation to make sure all of your files and settings are in place.

Documentation

Good documentation is the best way to reduce or eliminate how much you have to step in when you aren't on call, whether you're on vacation or not. Everything from routine procedures to emergency response should be documented and kept up to date. Honestly, this falls under standard best practices as a sysadmin, so it's something you should have whether or not you are about to go on vacation.

One saying about documentation is that if something is documented in two places, one of them will be out of date. Even if you document something only in one place, there's a good chance it is out of date unless you perform routine maintenance. It's a good practice to review your documentation from time to time and update it where necessary and before a vacation is a particularly good time to do it. If you are the only person that knows about the new way to perform a procedure, you should make sure your documentation covers it.

Finally, have your team maintain a page to capture anything that happens while you are gone that they want to tell you about when you get back. If you are the main maintainer of a particular system, but they had to perform some emergency maintenance of it while you were gone, that's the kind of thing you'd like to know about when you get back. If there's a central place for the team to capture these notes, they will be more likely to write things down as they happen and less likely to forget about things when you get back.

Stable State

The more stable your infrastructure is before you leave and the more stable it stays while you are gone, the less likely you'll be disturbed on your vacation. Right before a vacation is a terrible time to make a major change to critical systems. If you can, freeze changes in the weeks leading up to your vacation. Try to encourage other teams to push off any major changes until after you get back.

Before a vacation is also a great time to perform any preventative maintenance on your systems. Check for any systems about to hit a disk warning threshold and clear out space. In general, if you collect trending data, skim through it for any resources that are trending upward that might go past thresholds while you are gone. If you have any tasks that might add extra load to your systems while you are gone, pause or postpone them if you can. Make sure all of your backup scripts are working and all of your backups are up to date.

Emergency Contact Methods

Although it would be great to unplug completely while on vacation, there's a chance that someone from work might want to reach you in an emergency. Depending on where you plan to travel, some contact options may work better than others. For instance, some cell-phone plans that work while traveling might charge high rates for calls, but text messages and data bill at the same rates as at home.

... ... ... Kyle Rankin is senior security and infrastructure architect, the author of many books including Linux Hardening in Hostile Networks, DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and a columnist for Linux Journal. Follow him @kylerankin

[Oct 27, 2017] Neat trick of using su command for killing all processes for a particular user

Oct 27, 2017 | unix.stackexchange.com

If you pass -1 as the process ID argument to either the kill shell command or the kill C function , then the signal is sent to all the processes it can reach, which in practice means all the processes of the user running the kill command or syscall.

su -c 'kill -TERM -1' bob

In C (error checking omitted):

if (fork() == 0) {
    setuid(uid);
    signal(SIGTERM, SIG_DFL);
    kill(-1, SIGTERM);
}

[Oct 27, 2017] c - How do I kill all a user's processes using their UID - Unix Linux Stack Exchange

Oct 27, 2017 | unix.stackexchange.com

osgx ,Aug 4, 2011 at 10:07

Use pkill -U UID or pkill -u UID or username instead of UID. Sometimes skill -u USERNAME may work, another tool is killall -u USERNAME .

Skill was a linux-specific and is now outdated, and pkill is more portable (Linux, Solaris, BSD).

pkill allow both numberic and symbolic UIDs, effective and real http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/pkill.1.html

pkill - ... signal processes based on name and other attributes

    -u, --euid euid,...
         Only match processes whose effective user ID is listed.
         Either the numerical or symbolical value may be used.
    -U, --uid uid,...
         Only match processes whose real user ID is listed.  Either the
         numerical or symbolical value may be used.

Man page of skill says is it allowed only to use username, not user id: http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/skill.1.html

skill, snice ... These tools are obsolete and unportable. The command syntax is poorly defined. Consider using the killall, pkill

  -u, --user user
         The next expression is a username.

killall is not marked as outdated in Linux, but it also will not work with numberic UID; only username: http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/killall.1.html

killall - kill processes by name

   -u, --user
         Kill only processes the specified user owns.  Command names
         are optional.

I think, any utility used to find process in Linux/Solaris style /proc (procfs) will use full list of processes (doing some readdir of /proc ). I think, they will iterate over /proc digital subfolders and check every found process for match.

To get list of users, use getpwent (it will get one user per call).

skill (procps & procps-ng) and killall (psmisc) tools both uses getpwnam library call to parse argument of -u option, and only username will be parsed. pkill (procps & procps-ng) uses both atol and getpwnam to parse -u / -U argument and allow both numeric and textual user specifier.

; ,Aug 4, 2011 at 10:11

pkill is not obsolete. It may be unportable outside Linux, but the question was about Linux specifically. – Lars Wirzenius Aug 4 '11 at 10:11

Petesh ,Aug 4, 2011 at 10:58

to get the list of users use the one liner: getent passwd | awk -F: '{print $1}' – Petesh Aug 4 '11 at 10:58

; ,Aug 4, 2011 at 12:07

what about I give a command like: "kill -ju UID" from C system() call? – user489152 Aug 4 '11 at 12:07

osgx ,Aug 4, 2011 at 15:01

is it an embedded linux? you have no skill, pkill and killall? Even busybox embedded shell has pkill and killall. – osgx Aug 4 '11 at 15:01

michalzuber ,Apr 23, 2015 at 7:47

killall -u USERNAME worked like charm – michalzuber Apr 23 '15 at 7:47

[Feb 20, 2017] How to take screenshots on Linux using Scrot

Feb 20, 2017 | www.howtoforge.com

If you are looking for an even better command line utility for taking screenshots, then you must give Scrot a try. This tool has some extra features that are currently not available in gnome-screenshot. In this tutorial, we will explain Scrot using easy to understand examples.

Scrot ( SCR eensh OT ) is a screenshot capturing utility that uses the imlib2 library to acquire and save images. Developed by Tom Gilbert, it's written in C programming language and is licensed under the BSD License.

[Feb 20, 2017] Lynis: yet another Linux hardening tool written in shell

It would be interesting to see how long they will last (in active maintainance of the package). The package written in shell (old style codeing like $(aaa) dor variables. Pretty large package. Tarball is available form the site. RPM can be tricky to install on some distributions as it has dependencies, just downloading it is not enough.
Software packages are available via https://packages.cisofy.com. Requirements Shell and basic utilities
For CentOs, RHEL and similar flavors RPM is available from EPEL: download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/epel/6/x86_64/ lynis-2.4.0-1.el6.noarch.rpm
OpenSuse also has RPM
cisofy.com

Feb 20, 2017 | cisofy.com

sudo lynis

[ Lynis 2.4.0 ]

################################################################################
  Lynis comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you are
  welcome to redistribute it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
  See the LICENSE file for details about using this software.

  2007-2016, CISOfy - https://cisofy.com/lynis/
  Enterprise support available (compliance, plugins, interface and tools)
################################################################################

[+] Initializing program
------------------------------------
  Usage: lynis command [options]

  Command:

    audit
        audit system                  : Perform local security scan
        audit system remote     : Remote security scan
        audit dockerfile        : Analyze Dockerfile

    show
        show                          : Show all commands
        show version                  : Show Lynis version
        show help                     : Show help

    update
        update info                   : Show update details
        update release                : Update Lynis release

  Options:

    --no-log                          : Don't create a log file
    --pentest                         : Non-privileged scan (useful for pentest)
    --profile                : Scan the system with the given profile file
    --quick (-Q)                      : Quick mode, don't wait for user input

    Layout options
    --no-colors                       : Don't use colors in output
    --quiet (-q)                      : No output
    --reverse-colors                  : Optimize color display for light backgrounds

    Misc options
    --debug                           : Debug logging to screen
    --view-manpage (--man)            : View man page
    --verbose                         : Show more details on screen
    --version (-V)                    : Display version number and quit

    Enterprise options
    --plugin-dir ""             : Define path of available plugins
    --upload                          : Upload data to central node

    More options available. Run '/usr/sbin/lynis show options', or use the man page.

  No command provided. Exiting..

[Feb 19, 2017] How to change the hostname on CentOS and Ubuntu

Feb 19, 2017 | www.rosehosting.com
To change the hostname on your CentOS or Ubuntu machine you should run the following command:
# hostnamectl set-hostname virtual.server.com
For more command options you can add the --help flag at the end.
# hostnamectl --help
hostnamectl [OPTIONS...] COMMAND ...

Query or change system hostname.

  -h --help              Show this help
     --version           Show package version
     --no-ask-password   Do not prompt for password
  -H --host=[USER@]HOST  Operate on remote host
  -M --machine=CONTAINER Operate on local container
     --transient         Only set transient hostname
     --static            Only set static hostname
     --pretty            Only set pretty hostname

Commands:
  status                 Show current hostname settings
  set-hostname NAME      Set system hostname
  set-icon-name NAME     Set icon name for host
  set-chassis NAME       Set chassis type for host
  set-deployment NAME    Set deployment environment for host
  set-location NAME      Set location for host

[Feb 19, 2017] Trash-cli A Command Line Trashcan For Unix-like Systems - OSTechNix

Feb 19, 2017 | www.ostechnix.com
Trash-cli supports the following functions:

[Feb 15, 2017] Web proxy, NAS and email server installed as appliance

Feb 15, 2017 | www.cyberciti.biz
Operating system : Linux

Purpose : Turn normal server into appliances

Download url : artica.fr

Artica Tech offers a powerful but easy-to-use Enterprise-Class Web Security and Control solution,

usually the preserve of large companies. Prices starting at 99€ / year for 5 users.

[Feb 15, 2017] Synkron – Folder synchronisation

synkron.sourceforge.net

Folder synchronisation

Synkron is an application that helps you keep your files and folders always updated. You can easily sync your documents, music or pictures to have their latest versions everywhere.

Synkron provides an easy-to-use interface and a lot of features. Moreover, it is free and cross-platform.

Features

[Feb 15, 2017] grep like tool

Feb 15, 2017 | www.cyberciti.biz
, optimized for programmers. This tool isn't aimed to "search all text files". It is specifically created to search source code trees, not trees of text files. It searches entire trees by default while ignoring Subversion, Git and other VCS directories and other files that aren't your source code.

Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Search source trees
Download url : beyondgrep.com

[Feb 15, 2017] 15 Greatest Open Source Terminal Applications Of 2012

Dec 11, 2012 | www.cyberciti.biz
Last updated January 7, 2013 in Command Line Hacks , Open Source , Web Developer

Linux on the desktop is making great progress. However, the real beauty of Linux and Unix like operating system lies beneath the surface at the command prompt. nixCraft picks his best open source terminal applications of 2012.

Most of the following tools are packaged by all major Linux distributions and can be installed on *BSD or Apple OS X. #3: ngrep – Network grep

Fig.02: ngrep in action
Ngrep is a network packet analyzer. It follows most of GNU grep's common features, applying them to the network layer. Ngrep is not related to tcpdump. It is just an easy to use tool. You can run queries such as:

## grep all HTTP GET or POST requests from network traffic on eth0 interface  ##
sudo
 ngrep 
-l
-q
-d
 eth0 
"^GET |^POST "
 tcp and port 
80

## grep all HTTP GET or POST requests from network traffic on eth0 interface ## sudo ngrep -l -q -d eth0 "^GET |^POST " tcp and port 80

I often use this tool to find out security related problems and tracking down other network and server related problems.

... ... ...

#5: dtrx

dtrx is an acronmy for "Do The Right Extraction." It's a tool for Unix-like systems that take all the hassle out of extracting archives. As a sysadmin, I download source code and tar balls. This tool saves lots of time.

#6:dstat – Versatile resource statistics tool

Fig.05: dstat in action
As a sysadmin, I heavily depends upon tools such as vmstat, iostat and friends for troubleshooting server issues. Dstat overcomes some of the limitations provided by vmstat and friends. It adds some extra features. It allows me to view all of my system resources instantly. I can compare disk usage in combination with interrupts from hard disk controller, or compare the network bandwidth numbers directly with the disk throughput and much more.

... ... ..

#8:mtr – Traceroute+ping in a single network diagnostic tool

Fig.07: mtr in action
The mtr command combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool. Use mtr to monitor outgoing bandwidth, latency and jitter in your network. A great little app to solve network problems. If you see a sudden increase in packetloss or response time is often an indication of a bad or simply overloaded link.

#9:multitail – Tail command on steroids

Fig.08: multitail in action (image credit – official project)
MultiTail is a program for monitoring multiple log files, in the fashion of the original tail program. This program lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). I often use this tool when I am monitoring logs on my server.

... ... ...

#11: netcat – TCP/IP swiss army knife

Fig.10: nc server and telnet client in action
Netcat or nc is a simple Linux or Unix command which reads and writes data across network connections, using TCP or UDP protocol. I often use this tool to open up a network pipe to test network connectivity, make backups, bind to sockets to handle incoming / outgoing requests and much more. In this example, I tell nc to listen to a port # 3005 and execute /usr/bin/w command when client connects and send data back to the client:
$ nc -l -p 3005 -e /usr/bin/w
From a different system try to connect to port # 3005:
$ telnet server1.cyberciti.biz.lan 3005

... ... ...

#14: lftp: A better command-line ftp/http/sftp client

This is the best and most sophisticated sftp/ftp/http download and upload client program. I often use this tool to:

  1. Recursively mirroring entire directory trees from a ftp server
  2. Accelerate ftp / http download speed
  3. Location bookmarks and resuming downloads.
  4. Backup files to a remote ftp servers.
  5. Transfers can be scheduled for execution at a later time.
  6. Bandwidth can be throttled and transfer queues can be set up.
  7. Lftp has shell-like command syntax allowing you to launch several commands in parallel in background (&).
  8. Segmented file transfer, that allows more than one connection for the same file.
  9. And much more.
  10. Download lftp

... ... ...

#16: Rest Conclusion

This is my personal FOSS terminal apps list and it is not absolutely definitive, so if you've got your own terminal apps, share in the comments below.

vidir – edit directories (part of the 'moreutils' package)

[Feb 14, 2017] Three useful aliases for du command

Feb 14, 2017 | www.cyberciti.biz

Rishi G June 12, 2012, 4:01 am

Here are 4 commands i use for checking out disk usages.
#Grabs the disk usage in the current directory
alias usage='du -ch | grep total'

#Gets the total disk usage on your machine
alias totalusage='df -hl --total | grep total'

#Shows the individual partition usages without the temporary memory values
alias partusage='df -hlT --exclude-type=tmpfs --exclude-type=devtmpfs'

#Gives you what is using the most space. Both directories and files. Varies on
#current directory
alias most='du -hsx * | sort -rh | head -10'

[Feb 14, 2017] 15 Greatest Open Source Terminal Applications Of 2012

Feb 14, 2017 | www.cyberciti.biz
on December 11, 2012 last updated January 7, 2013 in Command Line Hacks , Open Source , Web Developer L inux on the desktop is making great progress. However, the real beauty of Linux and Unix like operating system lies beneath the surface at the command prompt. nixCraft picks his best open source terminal applications of 2012.

Most of the following tools are packaged by all major Linux distributions and can be installed on *BSD or Apple OS X. #3: ngrep – Network grep

Fig.02: ngrep in action

Fig.02: ngrep in action
Ngrep is a network packet analyzer. It follows most of GNU grep's common features, applying them to the network layer. Ngrep is not related to tcpdump. It is just an easy to use tool. You can run queries such as:

## grep all HTTP GET or POST requests from network traffic on eth0 interface  ##
sudo
 ngrep 
-l
-q
-d
 eth0 
"^GET |^POST "
 tcp and port 
80

## grep all HTTP GET or POST requests from network traffic on eth0 interface ## sudo ngrep -l -q -d eth0 "^GET |^POST " tcp and port 80

I often use this tool to find out security related problems and tracking down other network and server related problems.

... ... ...

#5: dtrx

Fig.04: dtrx in action

Fig.04: dtrx in action
dtrx is an acronmy for "Do The Right Extraction." It's a tool for Unix-like systems that take all the hassle out of extracting archives. As a sysadmin, I download source code and tar balls. This tool saves lots of time.

#6:dstat – Versatile resource statistics tool

Fig.05: dstat in action

Fig.05: dstat in action
As a sysadmin, I heavily depends upon tools such as vmstat, iostat and friends for troubleshooting server issues. Dstat overcomes some of the limitations provided by vmstat and friends. It adds some extra features. It allows me to view all of my system resources instantly. I can compare disk usage in combination with interrupts from hard disk controller, or compare the network bandwidth numbers directly with the disk throughput and much more.

... ... ..

#8:mtr – Traceroute+ping in a single network diagnostic tool

Fig.07: mtr in action

Fig.07: mtr in action
The mtr command combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool. Use mtr to monitor outgoing bandwidth, latency and jitter in your network. A great little app to solve network problems. If you see a sudden increase in packetloss or response time is often an indication of a bad or simply overloaded link.

#9:multitail – Tail command on steroids

Fig.08: multitail in action (image credit - official project)

Fig.08: multitail in action (image credit – official project)
MultiTail is a program for monitoring multiple log files, in the fashion of the original tail program. This program lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). I often use this tool when I am monitoring logs on my server.

... ... ...

#11: netcat – TCP/IP swiss army knife

Fig.10: nc server and telnet client in action

Fig.10: nc server and telnet client in action
Netcat or nc is a simple Linux or Unix command which reads and writes data across network connections, using TCP or UDP protocol. I often use this tool to open up a network pipe to test network connectivity, make backups, bind to sockets to handle incoming / outgoing requests and much more. In this example, I tell nc to listen to a port # 3005 and execute /usr/bin/w command when client connects and send data back to the client:
$ nc -l -p 3005 -e /usr/bin/w
From a different system try to connect to port # 3005:
$ telnet server1.cyberciti.biz.lan 3005

... ... ...

#14: lftp: A better command-line ftp/http/sftp client

This is the best and most sophisticated sftp/ftp/http download and upload client program. I often use this tool to:

  1. Recursively mirroring entire directory trees from a ftp server
  2. Accelerate ftp / http download speed
  3. Location bookmarks and resuming downloads.
  4. Backup files to a remote ftp servers.
  5. Transfers can be scheduled for execution at a later time.
  6. Bandwidth can be throttled and transfer queues can be set up.
  7. Lftp has shell-like command syntax allowing you to launch several commands in parallel in background (&).
  8. Segmented file transfer, that allows more than one connection for the same file.
  9. And much more.
  10. Download lftp

... ... ...

#16: Rest Conclusion

This is my personal FOSS terminal apps list and it is not absolutely definitive, so if you've got your own terminal apps, share in the comments below.

[Feb 04, 2017] Quickly find differences between two directories

You will be surprised, but GNU diff use in Linux understands the situation when two arguments are directories and behaves accordingly
Feb 04, 2017 | www.cyberciti.biz

The diff command compare files line by line. It can also compare two directories:

# Compare two folders using diff ##
diff /etc /tmp/etc_old  
Rafal Matczak September 29, 2015, 7:36 am
§ Quickly find differences between two directories
And quicker:
 diff -y <(ls -l ${DIR1}) <(ls -l ${DIR2})  

[Feb 04, 2017] Restoring deleted /tmp folder

Jan 13, 2015 | cyberciti.biz

As my journey continues with Linux and Unix shell, I made a few mistakes. I accidentally deleted /tmp folder. To restore it all you have to do is:

mkdir /tmp
chmod 1777 /tmp
chown root:root /tmp
ls -ld /tmp
 
mkdir /tmp chmod 1777 /tmp chown root:root /tmp ls -ld /tmp 

[Feb 04, 2017] Use CDPATH to access frequent directories in bash - Mac OS X Hints

Feb 04, 2017 | hints.macworld.com
The variable CDPATH defines the search path for the directory containing directories. So it served much like "directories home". The dangers are in creating too complex CDPATH. Often a single directory works best. For example export CDPATH = /srv/www/public_html . Now, instead of typing cd /srv/www/public_html/CSS I can simply type: cd CSS
Use CDPATH to access frequent directories in bash
Mar 21, '05 10:01:00AM • Contributed by: jonbauman

I often find myself wanting to cd to the various directories beneath my home directory (i.e. ~/Library, ~/Music, etc.), but being lazy, I find it painful to have to type the ~/ if I'm not in my home directory already. Enter CDPATH , as desribed in man bash ):

The search path for the cd command. This is a colon-separated list of directories in which the shell looks for destination directories specified by the cd command. A sample value is ".:~:/usr".
Personally, I use the following command (either on the command line for use in just that session, or in .bash_profile for permanent use):
CDPATH=".:~:~/Library"

This way, no matter where I am in the directory tree, I can just cd dirname , and it will take me to the directory that is a subdirectory of any of the ones in the list. For example:
$ cd
$ cd Documents 
/Users/baumanj/Documents
$ cd Pictures
/Users/username/Pictures
$ cd Preferences
/Users/username/Library/Preferences
etc...
[ robg adds: No, this isn't some deeply buried treasure of OS X, but I'd never heard of the CDPATH variable, so I'm assuming it will be of interest to some other readers as well.]

cdable_vars is also nice
Authored by: clh on Mar 21, '05 08:16:26PM

Check out the bash command shopt -s cdable_vars

From the man bash page:

cdable_vars

If set, an argument to the cd builtin command that is not a directory is assumed to be the name of a variable whose value is the directory to change to.

With this set, if I give the following bash command:

export d="/Users/chap/Desktop"

I can then simply type

cd d

to change to my Desktop directory.

I put the shopt command and the various export commands in my .bashrc file.

[May 08, 2014] 25 Even More – Sick Linux Commands UrFix's Blog

6) Display a cool clock on your terminal

watch -t -n1 "date +%T|figlet"

This command displays a clock on your terminal which updates the time every second. Press Ctrl-C to exit.

A couple of variants:

A little bit bigger text:

watch -t -n1 "date +%T|figlet -f big"You can try other figlet fonts, too.

Big sideways characters:

watch -n 1 -t '/usr/games/banner -w 30 $(date +%M:%S)'This requires a particular version of banner and a 40-line terminal or you can adjust the width ("30″ here).

7) intercept stdout/stderr of another process
strace -ff -e trace=write -e write=1,2 -p SOME_PID
8) Remove duplicate entries in a file without sorting.
awk '!x[$0]++' <file>

Using awk, find duplicates in a file without sorting, which reorders the contents. awk will not reorder them, and still find and remove duplicates which you can then redirect into another file.

9) Record a screencast and convert it to an mpeg
ffmpeg -f x11grab -r 25 -s 800x600 -i :0.0 /tmp/outputFile.mpg

Grab X11 input and create an MPEG at 25 fps with the resolution 800×600

10) Mount a .iso file in UNIX/Linux
mount /path/to/file.iso /mnt/cdrom -oloop

"-o loop" lets you use a file as a block device

11) Insert the last command without the last argument (bash)
!:-

/usr/sbin/ab2 -f TLS1 -S -n 1000 -c 100 -t 2 http://www.google.com/then

!:- http://www.urfix.com/is the same as

/usr/sbin/ab2 -f TLS1 -S -n 1000 -c 100 -t 2 http://www.urfix.com/

12) Convert seconds to human-readable format

date -d@1234567890

This example, for example, produces the output, "Fri Feb 13 15:26:30 EST 2009″

13) Job Control
^Z $bg $disown

You're running a script, command, whatever.. You don't expect it to take long, now 5pm has rolled around and you're ready to go home… Wait, it's still running… You forgot to nohup it before running it… Suspend it, send it to the background, then disown it… The ouput wont go anywhere, but at least the command will still run…

14) Edit a file on a remote host using vim
vim scp://username@host//path/to/somefile
15) Monitor the queries being run by MySQL
watch -n 1 mysqladmin --user=<user> --password=<password> processlist

Watch is a very useful command for periodically running another command – in this using mysqladmin to display the processlist. This is useful for monitoring which queries are causing your server to clog up.

More info here: http://codeinthehole.com/archives/2-Monitoring-MySQL-processes.html

16) escape any command aliases
\[command]

e.g. if rm is aliased for 'rm -i', you can escape the alias by prepending a backslash:

rm [file] # WILL prompt for confirmation per the alias

\rm [file] # will NOT prompt for confirmation per the default behavior of the command

17) Show apps that use internet connection at the moment. (Multi-Language)
ss -p

for one line per process:

ss -p | catfor established sockets only:

ss -p | grep STAfor just process names:

ss -p | cut -f2 -sd\"or

ss -p | grep STA | cut -f2 -d\"

18) Send pop-up notifications on Gnome

notify-send ["<title>"] "<body>"

The title is optional.

Options:

-t: expire time in milliseconds.

-u: urgency (low, normal, critical).

-i: icon path.

On Debian-based systems you may need to install the 'libnotify-bin' package.

Useful to advise when a wget download or a simulation ends. Example:

wget URL ; notify-send "Done"

19) quickly rename a file

mv filename.{old,new}
20) Remove all but one specific file
rm -f !(survivior.txt)
21) Generate a random password 30 characters long
strings /dev/urandom | grep -o '[[:alnum:]]' | head -n 30 | tr -d '\n'; echo

Find random strings within /dev/urandom. Using grep filter to just Alphanumeric characters, and then print the first 30 and remove all the line feeds.

22) Run a command only when load average is below a certain threshold
echo "rm -rf /unwanted-but-large/folder" | batch

Good for one off jobs that you want to run at a quiet time. The default threshold is a load average of 0.8 but this can be set using atrun.

23) Binary Clock
watch -n 1 'echo "obase=2;`date +%s`" | bc'

Create a binary clock.

24) Processor / memory bandwidthd? in GB/s
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null bs=1M count=32768

Read 32GB zero's and throw them away.

How fast is your system?

25) Backup all MySQL Databases to individual files
for I in $(mysql -e 'show databases' -s --skip-column-names); do mysqldump $I | gzp > "$I.sql.gz"; done

[May 08, 2014] 25 Best Linux Commands UrFix's Blog

25) sshfs name@server:/path/to/folder /path/to/mount/point
Mount folder/filesystem through SSH
Install SSHFS from http://fuse.sourceforge.net/sshfs.html
Will allow you to mount a folder security over a network.

24) !!:gs/foo/bar
Runs previous command replacing foo by bar every time that foo appears
Very useful for rerunning a long command changing some arguments globally.
As opposed to ^foo^bar, which only replaces the first occurrence of foo, this one changes every occurrence.

23) mount | column -t
currently mounted filesystems in nice layout
Particularly useful if you're mounting different drives, using the following command will allow you to see all the filesystems currently mounted on your computer and their respective specs with the added benefit of nice formatting.

22) <space>command
Execute a command without saving it in the history
Prepending one or more spaces to your command won't be saved in history.
Useful for pr0n or passwords on the commandline.

21) ssh user@host cat /path/to/remotefile | diff /path/to/localfile -
Compare a remote file with a local file
Useful for checking if there are differences between local and remote files.

20) mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /mnt -o size=1024m
Mount a temporary ram partition
Makes a partition in ram which is useful if you need a temporary working space as read/write access is fast.
Be aware that anything saved in this partition will be gone after your computer is turned off.

19) dig +short txt <keyword>.wp.dg.cx
Query Wikipedia via console over DNS
Query Wikipedia by issuing a DNS query for a TXT record. The TXT record will also include a short URL to the complete corresponding Wikipedia entry.

18) netstat -tlnp
Lists all listening ports together with the PID of the associated process
The PID will only be printed if you're holding a root equivalent ID.

17) dd if=/dev/dsp | ssh -c arcfour -C username@host dd of=/dev/dsp
output your microphone to a remote computer's speaker
This will output the sound from your microphone port to the ssh target computer's speaker port. The sound quality is very bad, so you will hear a lot of hissing.

16) echo "ls -l" | at midnight
Execute a command at a given time
This is an alternative to cron which allows a one-off task to be scheduled for a certain time.


15) curl -u user:pass -d status="Tweeting from the shell" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml
Update twitter via curl

14) ssh -N -L2001:localhost:80 somemachine
start a tunnel from some machine's port 80 to your local post 2001
now you can acces the website by going to http://localhost:2001/

13) reset
Salvage a borked terminal
If you bork your terminal by sending binary data to STDOUT or similar, you can get your terminal back using this command rather than killing and restarting the session. Note that you often won't be able to see the characters as you type them.

12) ffmpeg -f x11grab -s wxga -r 25 -i :0.0 -sameq /tmp/out.mpg
Capture video of a linux desktop

11) > file.txt
Empty a file
For when you want to flush all content from a file without removing it (hat-tip to Marc Kilgus).

10) $ssh-copy-id user@host
Copy ssh keys to user@host to enable password-less ssh logins.
To generate the keys use the command ssh-keygen

9) ctrl-x e
Rapidly invoke an editor to write a long, complex, or tricky command
Next time you are using your shell, try typing ctrl-x e (that is holding control key press x and then e). The shell will take what you've written on the command line thus far and paste it into the editor specified by $EDITOR. Then you can edit at leisure using all the powerful macros and commands of vi, emacs, nano, or whatever.

8 ) !whatever:p
Check command history, but avoid running it
!whatever will search your command history and execute the first command that matches 'whatever'. If you don't feel safe doing this put :p on the end to print without executing. Recommended when running as superuser.

7) mtr google.com
mtr, better than traceroute and ping combined
mtr combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool.
As mtr starts, it investigates the network connection between the host mtr runs on and HOSTNAME. by sending packets with purposly low TTLs. It continues to send packets with low TTL, noting the response time of the intervening routers. This allows mtr to print the response percentage and response times of the internet route to HOSTNAME. A sudden increase in packetloss or response time is often an indication of a bad (or simply over‐loaded) link.

6 ) cp filename{,.bak}
quickly backup or copy a file with bash

5) ^foo^bar
Runs previous command but replacing
Really useful for when you have a typo in a previous command. Also, arguments default to empty so if you accidentally run: echo "no typozs"
you can correct it with ^z

4) cd -
change to the previous working directory

3):w !sudo tee %
Save a file you edited in vim without the needed permissions
I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When you come to save that file and get the infamous "E212: Can't open file for writing", just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again.

2) python -m SimpleHTTPServer
Serve current directory tree at http://$HOSTNAME:8000/

1) sudo !!
Run the last command as root
Useful when you forget to use sudo for a command. "!!" grabs the last run command.

Monitoring Processes with pgrep By Sandra Henry-Stocker

This week, we're going to look at a simple bash script for monitoring processes that we want to ensure are running all the time. We'll use a couple cute scripting "tricks" to facilitate this process and make it as useful as possible.

The basic command we're going to use is pgrep. For those of you unfamiliar with pgrep, it's a very nice Solaris command that looks in the process queue to see whether a process by a particular name is running. If it finds the requested process, it returns the process id. For example:

% pgrep httpd
1345
1346
1347
1348
This output tells us that there are four httpd processes running on our system. These processes might look like this if we were to execute a ps -ef command:
% ps -ef | grep httpd
output
The pgrep command, therefore, accomplishes what many of us used to do with strings of Unix command of this variety:
% ps -ef | grep httpd | grep -v grep | awk '{print $2}'
In this command, we ran the ps command, narrowed the output down to only those lines containing the word "httpd", removed the grep command itself, and then printed out the second column of the output, the process id. With pgrep, extracting the process ids for the processes that we want to track is faster and "cleaner". Let's look at a couple code segments. First, the old way:
for PROC in [ proc1 proc2 proc3 proc4 proc5 ]
do
RUNNING = `ps -ef | grep $PROC | grep -v grep | wc -l`
if [ $RUNNING ge 1 ]; then
echo $proc1 is running
else
echo $proc1 is down
fi
done
For each process, we generate a count of the number of instances we detect in the ps output and, if this number is one or more, we issue the "running" output. Otherwise, we display a message saying the process is down.

Now, here's out replacement code using pgrep:

for PROC in [ proc1 proc2 proc3 proc4 proc5 ]
do
if [ `pgrep $PROC` ]; then
echo $PROC is running
else
echo $PROC is down
fi
done
In this case, we've simplified our code in a couple of ways. First, we rely on pgrep to give is output (procids) if the process is running and nothing if it isn't. Second, because we're not using ps and grep, we don't have to remove the output that isn't relevant to our task. We don't have to remove the ps output relating to the other running processes and to the process generated by our grep command.

The process for killing a set of processes would be quite similar. In fact, we could use both pgrep and a "sister" command, pkill in a similar manner.

for PROC in [ proc1 proc2 proc3 proc4 proc5 ]
do
if [ `pgrep $PROC` ]; then
pkill $PROC
else
echo $PRIC is not running
fi
done
The pgrep command is more predictable because we know we're going to get only the process id and that we won't be matching on other strings that just happen to appear in the ps output (e.g., if someone were editing the httpd.conf file).

The pgrep, pkill and related commands are not only easier to use. The code is easier to read and understand. One of the reasons for using sequences of commands such as this:

ps -ef | grep $PROC | grep -v grep | wc -l
was to ensure that we knew what our answer would have to look like. If we left off the final "wc -l", we might get one or a number of pieces of output and have to deal with this fact when we went to check it. In addition, we could use similar logic when the number of processes, rather than just some or none, was important. We would just check the number against what we expected to see.

Even so, anyone reading this script a year later would have to stop and think through this command. This is not true for pgrep. The command "pgrep httpd" is easy and quick to interpret as "if httpd is running".

The "if [ `pgrep $PROC` ]" is especially efficient as well. This statement tests whether there is output from the command and is compact and readable. Much as I love Unix for the way it allows me to pipe output from one command to the other, I love it even more when I don't have to.
	sh -x
By S. Lee Henry

Whenever you enter a command in a Unix shell, whether interactively or through a script, the shell expands your commands and passes them on to the Unix kernel for execution. Normally, the shell does its work invisibly. In fact, it so unobtrusively processes your commands that you can easily forget that it's actually doing something for you. As we saw last week, presenting the shell with a command like "rm *" can, on rare occasion, results in a complaint. When the shell balks, producing an error indicating that the argument list is too long, it suddenly reminds us of its presence and that it is subject to resource limitations just like everything else.

Invoking the shell with an option to display commands as it processes them is another way to become acquainted with the shell's method of intercepting and interpreting your commands. The Bourne family shells use the option -x. If you enter the shell using a -x, then commands will be displayed for you before execution. For example:
    boson% /bin/ksh -x
    $ date
    + date
    Mon Jun  4 07:11:01 EDT 2001
You can also see file expansion as the shell provides it for you:
    $ ls oops*
    + ls oops1 oops2 oop3 oops4 oops5 oopsies
    oops1 oops2 oop3 oops4 oops5 oopsies
This is all very exciting, of course, but of limited utility once you get a solid appreciation of how hard the shell is working for you command line after command line. The sh -x "trick" can be very useful when you are debugging a script though. Instead of inserting lines of code like "echo at end of loop" to help determine your code is failing, you can change your "shebang" line to include the -x option:
    #!/bin/sh -x
Afterwards, when you run the script, each line of code will display as it is processed so you can easily see which of the commands are working and where your breakdown is occurring. This is far more useful than looking at no output or little output and wondering where processing is hanging up -- especially true for a complex script where execution follows numerous paths. Being able to watch the executed commands and the order in which they are executed while the script is running can be an invaluable debugging aid -- particularly for complex scripts that don't write much output to the screen while running.

How Many is Too Many? By Sandra Henry-Stocker

I surprised myself recently when I issued a command to remove all the files in an old, and clearly unimportant, directory and received this response:
    bin/rm: arg list too long
I seldom encounter this response when cleaning up server directories that I manage, so seeing it surprised me. When I began listing the directory's contents, I wasn't surprised that my command had failed. The directory contained more than 200,000 small, old, and meaningless files, which would take a long time to list, consumes quite a bit of directory file space, and would comprise a very long command line if the shell were about to manage it. Even if every file name had only eight characters, then a line containing all of their names (with blank characters separating the names) would be nearly 1.8 million bytes long. Not surprisingly, my shell balked at the task.

Situations like this remind us that, even though Unix is flexible, powerful, and fun, each of the commands has built in limits. My shell could not allocate adequate space to "expand" the asterisk that I presented in my "rm *" command to a list of all 200,000+ files.

Of course, Unix offers several ways to solve every problem and running out of space to expand a command merely invites one to solve the problem differently. In my case, the easiest solution was to remove the directory along with its contents. The rm -r command, since it doesn't require any argument expansion, is "happy" to comply with such a request. Had I not wanted to remove every file in the directory, I would have gone through a little more trouble. I could have removed subsets of the files, using commands like "rm a*" or "rm *5" until I had removed all of the unwanted files.

A third approach would have been the appropriate for preserving only a small number of the directory's files ? especially files that are easily described by substring or date. I would have tarred up the interesting files using tar and a wild card or a find command to create an include file.

You will not often encounter situations where the shell will be unable to expand your file names into a workable command. Few directories house as many files as the one that I was cleaning up, and the Unix shells allocate enough buffer space for most commands that you might enter. Even so, limits exist and you might happen to bump into one of them every few years.

Moving Around the Console.

So you're new to Linux and wondering how this virtual terminal stuff works. Well you can work in six different terminals at a time. To move around from one to another:

To change to Terminal 1 - Alt + F1
To change to Terminal 2 - Alt + F2
...
To change to Terminal 6 - Alt + F6
That's cool. But I just did locate on something and a lot of stuff scrolled up. How do I scroll up to see what flew by?
Shift +  PgUp - Scroll Up
Shift +  PgDn - Scroll Down

Note: If you switch away from a console and switch back to it,
you will lose what has already scrolled by.

If you had X running and wanted to change from X to text based and vice versa

To change to text based from X - Ctrl + Alt + F(n) where n = 1..6

To change to X from text based - Alt + F7

Something unexpected happened and I want to shut down my X server.
Just press:

Ctrl + Alt + Backspace

What do you do when you need to see what a program is doing, but it's not one that you'd normally run from the command line?

LinuxMonth

What do you do when you need to see what a program is doing, but it's not one that you'd normally run from the command line? Perhaps it's one that is called as a network daemon from inetd, is called from inside another shell script or application, or is even called from cron. Is it actually being called? What command line parameters is it being handed? Why is it dying?

Let's assume the app in question is /the/path/to/myapp . Here's what you do. Make sure you have the "strace" program installed. Download "apptrace" from ftp://ftp.stearns.org/pub/apptrace/ and place it in your path, mode 755. Then type:

apptrace /the/path/to/myapp

When that program is called in the future, apptrace will record the last time myapp ran (see the timestamp on myapp-last-run), the command line parameters used (see myapp-parameters), and the strace output from running myapp (see myapp.pid.trace) in either $HOME/apptrace or /tmp/apptrace if $HOME is not set.

Note that if the original application is setuid-root, strace will not honor that flag and it will run with the permissions of the user running it like any other non-setuid-root app. See the man page for strace for more information on why.

When you've found out what you need to know and wish to stop monitoring the application, type:

mv -f /the/path/to/myapp.orig /the/path/to/myapp


Many thanks to David S. Miller , kernel hacker extraordinaire, for the right to publish his idea. His original version was:

It's actually pretty easy once if you can get a shell on the machine
before the event, once you know the program in question:

mv /path/to/${PROGRAM} /path/to/${PROGRAM}.ORIG
edit /path/to/${PROGRAM}
#!/bin/sh
strace -f -o /tmp/${PROGRAM}.trace /path/to/${PROGRAM}.ORIG $*

I do it all the time to debug network services started from
inetd for example.

Ever wonder what ports are open on your Linux machine ?

Did you ever want to know who was connecting to your machine and what services were they connecting to ? Netstat does just that.

To take a look at all TCP ports that are open on you system.
The use of the '-n' option will give you numerical addresses instead of determining the host. This speeds up the response of the output. The '-l' option only shows connections which are in "LISTEN" mode. And '-t' only shows the TCP connections.

netstat -nlt

[user@mymachine /home/user]# netstat -ntl
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:3306            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN

The above output show that I have 3 open ports (80, 3306, 22) on my sytem and are waiting for connections on all of the interfaces. The three ports are 80 => apache , 3306 => mysql, 22 => ssh.

Let's take a look at the active connections to this machine. For this you don't use the '-l' option but instead use the '-a' option. The '-a' stand for, yup, you guessed it, show all.

netstat -nat

[user@mymachine /user]# netstat -nat
Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State     
tcp        0      0 206.112.62.102:80       204.210.35.27:3467      ESTABLISHED  
tcp        0      0 206.112.62.102:80       208.229.189.4:2582      FIN_WAIT2  
tcp        0   7605 206.112.62.102:80       208.243.30.195:36957    CLOSING    
tcp        0      0 206.112.62.102:22       10.60.1.18:3150         ESTABLISHED
tcp        0      0 206.112.62.102:22       10.60.1.18:3149         ESTABLISHED
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:3306            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     

The above output shows I have 3 web request that are currently being made or are about to finish up. It also show I have 2 SSH connections established. Now I know which IP address are making web requests or have SSH connections open. For more info on the different states, ie "FIN_WAIT2" and "CLOSING" please consult your local man pages.

Well that was a quick tip on how to use netstat to see what TCP ports are open on your machine and who is connecting to them. Hope it was helpful. Share the knowledge !

how virtual terminal stuff works

So you're new to Linux and wondering how this virtual terminal stuff works. Well you can work in six different terminals at a time. To move around from one to another:

To change to Terminal 1 - Alt + F1
To change to Terminal 2 - Alt + F2
...
To change to Terminal 6 - Alt + F6

That's cool. But I just did locate on something and a lot of stuff scrolled up. How do I scroll up to see what flew by?

Shift +  PgUp - Scroll Up
Shift +  PgDn - Scroll Down

Note: If you switch away from a console and switch back to it,
you will lose what has already scrolled by.

If you had X running and wanted to change from X to text based and vice versa

To change to text based from X - Ctrl + Alt + F(n) where n = 1..6

To change to X from text based - Alt + F7

Something unexpected happened and I want to shut down my X server. Just press:

Ctrl + Alt + Backspace

apptrace /the/path/to/myapp

When that program is called in the future, apptrace will record the last time myapp ran (see the timestamp on myapp-last-run), the command line parameters used (see myapp-parameters), and the strace output from running myapp (see myapp.pid.trace) in either $HOME/apptrace or /tmp/apptrace if $HOME is not set.

Note that if the original application is setuid-root, strace will not honor that flag and it will run with the permissions of the user running it like any other non-setuid-root app. See the man page for strace for more information on why.

When you've found out what you need to know and wish to stop monitoring the application, type:

mv -f /the/path/to/myapp.orig /the/path/to/myapp

RPM - Installing, Querying, Deleting your packages.

RPM (Redhat Package Manager) is an excellent package manager. RPM, created by Red Hat, can be used for building, installing, querying, updating, verifying, and removing software packages. This brief article will show you some of the usage of the rpm tool.

So you have an rpm package that you wish to install. But you want to find out more information about the package, like who built it, and when was it built. Or you want to find out a short description about the package. The following command will show you such information.

	rpm -qpi packagename.rpm

Now that you know more about the package, you're ready to install it. But before you install it you want to get a list of files and find out where will these files be installed. The following command will show you exactly that.

	rpm -qpl packagename.rpm

To actually install the package, use:

	rpm -i packagename.rpm

But what if I have an older version of the rpm already installed ? Then you want to upgrade the package. The following command will remove any older version of the package and install the newer version.

	rpm -Uvh packagename.rpm

How do I check all the packages installed on my system ? The following will list their names and version numbers.

	rpm -qa

and to see all the packages installed with the latest ones on top.

	rpm -qa --last

And if you want to see what package a file belongs to, if any, you can do the following. This command will show the rpm name or tell you that the file does not belong to any packages.

	rpm -qf file

And if you wanted to uninstall the package, you can do the following.

	rpm -e packagename

and to unistall even if it other packages depend on it. Note: This is dangerous; this should only be done if you are absolutely sure the dependency does not apply in your case.

	rpm -e packagename --nodeps

There are a lot more comands to help you manage your packages better. But this will cover the thirst of most users. If you want to learn more about rpms type man rpm at your prompt or visit www.rpm.org. In particular, see the RPM-HOWTO at www.rpm.org.

How will you spend your lunch hour?
Sshhh, somebody might hear you!
Recovering Deleted Files with "mc"
SSH Techniques
The Open Source Tech Support Partnership
Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Log in as Root

Linux-etc Quickies

"Some snippets of helpful advice were lying around my hard drive, so I thought it a good time to unload it. There's no theme to any of it, really, but I think that themes are sometimes overrated, don't you?"

"My favorite mail reader, pine 4.21, does not lag behind when it comes to modern features. For example, it supports rule-based filtering just like those graphical clients that get all the press these days. Just head to Main menu -> Setup -> Rules -> Filters -> Add. Voila!"

"Red Hat 6.2 ships with the ability to display TrueType fonts with the XFree86 X server. Oddly, the freetype package doesn't include any TrueType fonts, nor does it provide clear instructions on how to add them to your system."

Linux Today - O'Reilly Network Top 10 Tips for Linux Users

Troubleshooting Tips

From the SGI Admin Guide - last I checked the CPU spends most of its time waiting for something to do

Table 5-3 : Indications of an I/O-Bound System

Field Value sar Option

%busy (% time disk is busy) >85 sar -d

%rcache (reads in buffer cache) low, <85 sar -b

%wcache (writes in buffer cache) low, <60% sar -b

%wio (idle CPU waiting for disk I/O) dev. system >30 sar -u
fileserver >80


Table 5-5 Indications of Excessive Swapping/Paging


bswot/s (ransfers from memory to disk swap area)	>200	sar -w

bswin/s (transfers to memory)				>200	sar -w

%swpocc (time swap queue is occupied)			>10	sar -q

rflt/s (page reference fault)				>0	sar -t

freemem (average pages for user processes)		<100	sar -r

Indications of a CPU bound systems

%idle (% of time CPU has no work to do)			<5	sar -u

runq-sz (processes in memory waiting for CPU)		>2	sar -q

%runocc (% run queue occupied and processes not executing)	>90	sar -q

hypermail /usr/local/src/src/hypermail - mailing list to web page converter; grep hypermail /etc/aliases shows which lists use hypermail

pwck, grpck should be run weekly to make sure ok; grpck produces a ton of errors

can use local man pages - text only - see Ch3 User Services
put in /usr/local/manl (try /usr/man/local/manl) suffix .l
long ones pack -> pack program.1;mv program.1.z /usr/man/local/mannl/program.z

Linux Gazette Index

More 2-Cent Tips

Wed, 17 May 2000 08:38:09 +0200
From: Sebastian Schleussner Sebastian.Schleussner@gmx.de

I have been trying to set command line editing (vi mode) as part of
my bash shell environment and have been unsuccessful so far. You might
think this is trivial - well so did I.
I am using Red Hat Linux 6.1 and wanted to use "set -o vi" in my
start up scripts. I have tried all possible combinations but it JUST DOES
NOT WORK. I inserted the line in /etc/profile , in my .bash_profile, in
my .bashrc etc but I cannot get it to work. How can I get this done? This
used to be a breeze in the korn shell. Where am I going wrong?

Hi!
I recently learned from the SuSE help that you have to put the line
set keymap vi
into your /etc/inputrc or ~/.inputrc file, in addition to what you did
('set -o vi' in ~/.bashrc or /etc/profile)!
I hope that will do the trick for you.

Cheers,
Sebastian Schleussner


More 2-Cent Tips

It detects filesystem types of all accessible partitions and checks/mounts them in folders named after device (hda7,hdb1,hdb3,sd1,...).

So you will never have to write sequences of fdisk,fsck,mount,df...

allfilesys

You maybe interested in checking the site "Tracerote Lists by States. Backbone Maps List" http://cities.lk.net/trlist.html

You can find there many links to the traceroute resources sorted by the next items:

Other thing is the List of Backbone Maps, sorted by Geographical Location, also some other info about backbones.



LG52 2-Cent Tips

LG51 2-Cent Tips

Copy Your Linux Install to a Different Partition or Drive

Jul 9, 2009

If you need to move your Linux installation to a different hard drive or partition (and keep it working) and your distro uses grub this tech tip is what you need.

To start, get a live CD and boot into it. I prefer Ubuntu for things like this. It has Gparted. Now follow the steps outlined below.

Copying

Configuration

Install Grub

That's it! You should now have a bootable working copy of your source drive on your destination drive! You can use this to move to a different drive, partition, or filesystem.

Related Stories:
Linux - Compare two directories(Feb 18, 2009)
Cloning Linux Systems With CloneZilla Server Edition (CloneZilla SE)(Jan 22, 2009)
Copying a Filesystem between Computers(Oct 28, 2008)
rsnapshot: rsync-Based Filesystem Snapshot(Aug 26, 2008)
K9Copy Helps Make DVD Backups Easy(Aug 23, 2008)

UNIX tips Productivity tips by Michael Stutz

Useful command-line secrets for increasing productivity in the office

Level: Intermediate

Michael Stutz (stutz@dsl.org), Author, Consultant

19 Sep 2006
Updated 21 Sep 2006

Using UNIX in a day-to-day office setting doesn't have to be clumsy. Learn some of the many ways, both simple and complex, to use the power of the UNIX shell and available system tools to greatly increase your productivity in the office.
More dW content related to:

Introduction

The language of the UNIX® command line is notoriously versatile: With a panorama of small tools and utilities and a shell to combine and execute them, you can specify many precise and complex tasks.

But when used in an office setting, these same tools can become a powerful ally toward increasing your productivity. Many techniques unique to UNIX can be applied to the issue of workplace efficiency.

This article gives several suggestions and techniques for bolstering office productivity at the command-line level: how to review your current system habits, how to time your work, secrets for manipulating dates, a quick and simple method of sending yourself a reminder, and a way to automate repetitive interactions.

Review your daily habits

The first step toward increasing your office productivity using the UNIX command line is to take a close look at your current day-to-day habits. The tools and applications you regularly use and the files you access and modify can give you an idea of what routines are taking up a lot of your time -- and what you might be avoiding.

Review the tools you use

You'll want to see what tools and applications you're using regularly. You can easily ascertain your daily work habits on the system with the shell's history built-in, which outputs an enumerated listing of the input lines you've sent to the shell in the current and past sessions. See Listing 1 for a typical example.


Listing 1. Sample output of the shell history built-in
$ history
1 who
2 ls
3 cd /usr/local/proj
4 ls
5 cd websphere
6 ls
7 ls -l
$

The actual history is usually kept in a file so that it can be kept through future sessions; for example, the Korn shell keeps its command history hidden in the .sh_history file in the user's home directory, and the Bash shell uses .bash_history. These files are usually overwritten when they reach a certain length, but many shells have variables to set the maximum length of the history; the Korn and Bash shells have the HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE variables, which you can set in your shell startup file.

It can be useful to run history through sort to get a list of the most popular commands. Then, use awk to strip out the command name minus options and arguments, and pass the sorted list to uniq to give an enumerated list. Finally, call sort again to resort the list in reverse order (highest first) by the first column, which is the enumeration itself. Listing 2 shows an example of this in action.


Listing 2. Listing the commands in the shell history by popularity
$ history|awk '{print $2}'|awk 'BEGIN {FS="|"} {print $1}'|sort|uniq -c|sort -r

      4 ls
      2 cd
      1 who
$

If your history file is large, you can run periodic checks by piping to tail first -- for example, to check the last 1,000 commands, try:
$ history|tail -1000|awk '{print $2}'|awk 'BEGIN {FS="|"} {print $1}'|sort|uniq -c|sort -r

Review the files you access or modify

Use the same principle to review the files that you've modified or accessed. To do this, use the find utility to locate and review all files you've accessed or changed during a certain time period -- today, yesterday, or at any date or segment of time in the past.

You generally can't find out who last accessed or modified a file, because this information isn't easily available under UNIX, but you can review your personal files by limiting the search to only files contained in your home directory tree. You can also limit the search to only files in the directory of a particular project that you're monitoring or otherwise working on.

The find utility has several flags that aid in locating files by time, as listed in Table 1. Directories aren't regular files but are accessed every time you list them or make them the current working directory, so exclude them in the search using a negation and the -type flag.


Table 1. Selected flags of the find utility
FlagDescription
-daystartThis flag starts at the beginning of the day.
-atimeThe time the file was last accessed -- in number of days.
-ctimeThe time the file's status last changed -- in number of days.
-mtimeThe time the file was last modified -- in number of days.
-aminThe time the file was last accessed -- in number of minutes. (It is not available on all implementations.)
-cminThe time the file's status last changed -- in number of minutes. (It is not available on all implementations.)
-mminThe time the file was last modified -- in number of minutes. (It is not available on all implementations.)
-typeThis flag describes the type of file, such as d for directories.
-user XFiles belonging to user X.
-group XFiles belonging to group X.
-newer XFiles that are newer than file X.

Here's how to list all the files in your home directory tree that were modified exactly one hour ago:

$ find ~ -mmin 60 \! -type d

Giving a negative value for a flag means to match that number or sooner. For example, here's how to list all the files in your home directory tree that were modified exactly one hour ago or any time since:
$ find ~ -mmin -60 \! -type d

Not all implementations of find support the min flags. If yours doesn't, you can make a workaround by using touch to create a dummy file whose timestamp is older than what you're looking for, and then search for files newer than it with the -newer flag:
$ date
Mon Oct 23 09:42:42 EDT 2006
$ touch -t 10230842 temp
$ ls -l temp
-rw-r--r--    1 joe        joe               0 Oct 23 08:42 temp
$ find ~ -newer temp \! -type d

The special -daystart flag, when used in conjunction with any of the day options, measures days from the beginning of the current day instead of from 24 hours previous to when the command is executed. Try listing all of your files, existing anywhere on the system, that have been accessed any time from the beginning of the day today up until right now:
$ find / -user `whoami` -daystart -atime -1 \! -type d

Similarly, you can list all the files in your home directory tree that were modified at any time today:
$ find ~ -daystart -mtime -1 \! -type d

Give different values for the various time flags to change the search times. You can also combine flags. For instance, you can list all the files in your home directory tree that were both accessed and modified between now and seven days ago:
$ find ~ -daystart -atime -7 -mtime -7  \! -type d

You can also find files based on a specific date or a range of time, measured in either days or minutes. The general way to do this is to use touch to make a dummy file or files, as described earlier.

When you want to find files that match a certain range, make two dummy files whose timestamps delineate the range. Then, use the -newer flag with the older file, and use "\! -newer" on the second file.

For example, to find all the files in the /usr/share directory tree that were accessed in August, 2006, try the following:

$ touch -d "Aug 1 2006" file.start
$ touch -d "Sep 1 2006" file.end
$ find /usr/share -daystart -newer file.start \! -daystart -newer file.end

Finally, it's sometimes helpful when listing the contents of a directory to view the files sorted by their time of last modification. Some versions of the ls tool have the -c option, which sorts by the time of file modification, showing the most recently modified files first. In conjunction with the -l (long-listing) and -t (sort by modification time) options, you can peruse a directory listing by the most recently modified files first; the long listing shows the file modification time instead of the default creation time:
$ ls -ltc /usr/local/proj/websphere | less

Time your work

Another useful means of increasing office productivity using UNIX is to time commands that you regularly execute. Then, you can evaluate the results and determine whether you're spending too much time waiting for a particular process to finish.

Time command execution

Is the system slowing you down? How long are you waiting at the shell, doing nothing, while a particular command is being executed? How long does it take you to run through your usual morning routine?

You can get concrete answers to these questions when you use the date, sleep, and echo commands to time your work.

To do this, type a long input line that first contains a date statement to output the time and date in the desired format (usually hours and minutes suffice). Then, run the command input line -- this can be several lines strung together with shell directives -- and finally, get the date again on the same input line. If the commands you're testing produce a lot of output, redirect it so that you can read both start and stop dates. Calculate the difference between the two dates:

$ date; system-backup > /dev/null; system-diag > /dev/null;\
> netstat > /dev/null; df > /dev/null; date

Test your typing speed

You can use these same principles to test your typing speed:

$ date;cat|wc -w;date

This command works best if you give a long typing sample that lasts at least a minute, but ideally three minutes or more. Take the difference in minutes between the two dates and divide by the number of words you typed (which is output by the middle command) to get the average number of words per minute you type.

You can automate this by setting variables for the start and stop dates and for the command that outputs the number of words. But to do this right, you must be careful to avoid a common error in calculation when subtracting times. A GNU extension to the date command, the %s format option, avoids such errors -- it outputs the number of seconds since the UNIX epoch, which is defined as midnight UTC on January 1, 1970. Then, you can calculate the time based on seconds alone.

Assign a variable, SPEED, as the output of an echo command to set up the right equation to pipe to a calculator tool, such as bc. Then, output a new echo statement that outputs a message with the speed:

$ START=`date +%s`;WORDS=`cat|wc -w`; STOP=`date +%s; SPEED=\
> `echo "$WORDS / ( ( $STOP - $START ) / 60 )"|bc`;echo \
> "You have a typing speed of $SPEED words per minute."

You can put this in a script and then change the permissions to make it executable by all users, so that others on the system can use it, too, as in Listing 3.


Listing 3. Example of running the typespeed script

$ typespeed
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown dog--
                              ...
--jumped over the lazy fox.
^D

You have a typing speed of 82.33333333 words per minute.
$

Know your dates

The date tool can do much more than just print the current system date. You can use it to get the day of the week on which a given date falls and to get dates relative to the current date.

Get the day of a date

Another GNU extension to the date command, the -d option, comes in handy when you don't have a desk calendar nearby -- and what UNIX person bothers with one? With this powerful option, you can quickly find out what day of the week a particular date falls on by giving the date as a quoted argument:

$ date -d "nov 22"
Wed Nov 22 00:00:00 EST 2006
$

In this example, you see that November 22 of this year is on a Wednesday.

So, when it's suggested that the big meeting be held on November 22, you'll know right away that it falls on a Wednesday -- which is the day you're out in the field office.

Get relative dates

The -d option can also tell you what the date will be relative to the current date -- either a number of days or weeks from now, or before now (ago). Do this by quoting this relative offset as an argument to the -d option.

Suppose, for example, that you need to know the date two weeks hence. If you're at a shell prompt, you can get the answer immediately:

$ date -d '2 weeks'

There are other important ways to use this command. With the next directive, you can get the day of the week for a coming day:
$ date -d 'next monday'

With the ago directive, you can get dates in the past:

$ date -d '30 days ago'

And you can use negative numbers to get dates in reverse:

$ date -d 'dec 14 -2 weeks'

This technique is useful to give yourself a reminder based on a coming date, perhaps in a script or shell startup file, like so:

DAY=`date -d '2 weeks' +"%b %d"`
if test "`echo $DAY`" = "Aug 16"; then echo 'Product launch is now two weeks away!'; fi

Give yourself reminders

Use the tools at your disposal to leave reminders for yourself on the system -- they take up less space than notes on paper, and you'll see them from anywhere you happen to be logged in.

Know when it's time to leave

When you're working on the system, it's easy to get distracted. The leave tool, common on the IBM AIX® operating system and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) systems (see Resources) can help.

Give leave the time when you have to leave, using a 24-hour format: HHMM. It runs in the background, and five minutes before that given time, it outputs on your terminal a reminder for you to leave. It does this again one minute before the given time if you're still logged in, and then at the time itself -- and from then on, it keeps sending reminders every minute until you log out (or kill the leave process). See Listing 4 for an example. When you log out, the leave process is killed.


Listing 4. Example of running the leave command
$ leave
When do you have to leave? 1830
Alarm set for Fri Aug  4 18:30. (pid 1735)
$ date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:20PM
$
<system bell rings>
You have to leave in 5 minutes.
$ date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:25PM
$
<system bell rings>
Just one more minute!
$ date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:29PM
$
Time to leave!
$ date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:30PM
$
<system bell rings>
Time to leave!
$ date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:31PM
$ kill 1735
$ sleep 120; date +"Time now: %l:%M%p"
Time now: 6:33PM
$

You can give relative times. If you want to leave a certain amount of time from now, precede the time argument with a +. So, to be reminded to leave in two hours, type the following:
$ leave +0200

To give a time amount in minutes, make the hours field 0. For example, if you know you have only 10 more minutes before you absolutely have to go, type:

$ leave +0010

You can also specify the time to leave as an argument, which makes leave a useful command to put in scripts -- particularly in shell startup files. For instance, if you're normally scheduled to work until 5 p.m., but on Fridays you have to be out of the building at 4 p.m., you can set a weekly reminder in your shell startup file:

if test "`date +%a`" = "Fri"; then leave 1600; fi

You can put a plain leave statement, with no arguments, in a startup script. Every time you start a login shell, you can enter a time to be reminded when to leave; if you press the Enter key, giving no value, then leave exits without setting a reminder.

Send yourself an e-mail reminder

You can also send yourself a reminder using a text message. Sometimes it's useful to make a reminder that you'll see either later in your current login session or the next time you log in.

At one time, the old elm mail agent came bundled with a tool that enabled you to send memorandums using e-mail; it was basically a script that prompted for the sender, the subject, and the body text. This is easily replicated by the time-honored method of sending mail to yourself with the command-line mailx tool. (On some UNIX systems, mail is used instead of mailx.)

Give as an argument your e-mail address (or your username on the local system, if that's where you read mail); then, you can type the reminder on the Subject line when prompted, if it's short enough, as in Listing 5. If the reminder won't fit on the Subject line, type it in the body of the message. A ^D on a line by itself exits mailx and sends the mail.


Listing 5. Example of sending yourself a reminder with the mailx command
$ mailx joe
Subject: Call VP on Monday
^D
Cc:
Null message body; hope that's ok
$

Automate your repetitive interactions

The Expect language (an extension of Tcl/Tk, but other variations are also available) is used to write scripts that run sessions with interactive programs, as if the script were a user interacting directly with the program.

Expect scripts can save you a great deal of time, particularly when you find yourself engaging in repetitive tasks. Expect can interact with multiple programs including shells and text-based Web browsers, start remote sessions, and run over the network.

For example, if you frequently connect to a system on your local intranet to run particular program -- the test-servers command, for instance -- you can automate it with an Expect script named servmaint, whose contents appear in Listing 6.


Listing 6. Sample Expect script to automate remote system program execution
#!/usr/bin/expect -f
spawn telnet webserv4
expect "login:"
send "joe\r"
expect "Password:"
send "secret\r"
expect "webserv4>$"
send "test-servers\r"
expect "webserv4>$"
send "bye\r"
expect eof

Now, instead of going through the entire process of having to run telnet to connect to the remote system, log in with your username and password, run the command(s) on that system, and then log out. You just run the servmaint script as given in Listing 6; everything else is done for you. Of course, if you give a password or other proprietary information in such a script, there is a security consideration; at minimum, you should change the file's permissions so that you're the only user (besides the superuser) who can read it.

Any repetitive task involving system interaction can be programmed in Expect -- it's capable of branching, conditionals, and all other features of a high-level language so that the response and direction of the interaction with the program(s) can be completely automated.


Conclusion

In an office setting, UNIX systems can handle many of the tasks that are normally handled by standalone computers running other operating systems -- and with their rich supply of command-line tools, they're capable of productivity boosters that can't be found anywhere else.

This article introduced several techniques and concepts to increase your office productivity using UNIX command-line tools and applications. You should be able to apply these ideas to your own office situations and, with a little command-line ingenuity, come up with even more ways to save time and be more productive.

Resources

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Michael Stutz is author of The Linux Cookbook, which he also designed and typeset using only open source software. His research interests include digital publishing and the future of the book. He has used various UNIX operating systems for 20 years. You can reach him at stutz@dsl.org.
 

Moving Around the Console.

So you're new to Linux and wondering how this virtual terminal stuff works. Well you can work in six different terminals at a time. To move around from one to another:

To change to Terminal 1 - Alt + F1
To change to Terminal 2 - Alt + F2
...
To change to Terminal 6 - Alt + F6
That's cool. But I just did locate on something and a lot of stuff scrolled up. How do I scroll up to see what flew by?
Shift +  PgUp - Scroll Up
Shift +  PgDn - Scroll Down

Note: If you switch away from a console and switch back to it,
you will lose what has already scrolled by.

If you had X running and wanted to change from X to text based and vice versa

To change to text based from X - Ctrl + Alt + F(n) where n = 1..6

To change to X from text based - Alt + F7

Something unexpected happened and I want to shut down my X server.
Just press:

Ctrl + Alt + Backspace

LinuxMonth - An Online monthly Linux magazine. Linux articles for Linux Enthusiasts.

What do you do when you need to see what a program is doing, but it's not one that you'd normally run from the command line? Perhaps it's one that is called as a network daemon from inetd, is called from inside another shell script or application, or is even called from cron. Is it actually being called? What command line parameters is it being handed? Why is it dying?

Let's assume the app in question is /the/path/to/myapp . Here's what you do. Make sure you have the "strace" program installed. Download "apptrace" from ftp://ftp.stearns.org/pub/apptrace/ and place it in your path, mode 755. Then type:

apptrace /the/path/to/myapp

When that program is called in the future, apptrace will record the last time myapp ran (see the timestamp on myapp-last-run), the command line parameters used (see myapp-parameters), and the strace output from running myapp (see myapp.pid.trace) in either $HOME/apptrace or /tmp/apptrace if $HOME is not set.

Note that if the original application is setuid-root, strace will not honor that flag and it will run with the permissions of the user running it like any other non-setuid-root app. See the man page for strace for more information on why.

When you've found out what you need to know and wish to stop monitoring the application, type:

mv -f /the/path/to/myapp.orig /the/path/to/myapp


Many thanks to David S. Miller , kernel hacker extraordinaire, for the right to publish his idea. His original version was:

It's actually pretty easy once if you can get a shell on the machine
before the event, once you know the program in question:

mv /path/to/${PROGRAM} /path/to/${PROGRAM}.ORIG
edit /path/to/${PROGRAM}
#!/bin/sh
strace -f -o /tmp/${PROGRAM}.trace /path/to/${PROGRAM}.ORIG $*

I do it all the time to debug network services started from
inetd for example.

Linux Today - O'Reilly Network Top 10 Tips for Linux Users

Troubleshooting Tips

System performance

From the SGI Admin Guide - last I checked the CPU spends most of its time waiting for something to do


Table 5-3 : Indications of an I/O-Bound System

Field Value sar Option

%busy (% time disk is busy) >85 sar -d

%rcache (reads in buffer cache) low, <85 sar -b

%wcache (writes in buffer cache) low, <60% sar -b

%wio (idle CPU waiting for disk I/O) dev. system >30 sar -u
fileserver >80


Table 5-5 Indications of Excessive Swapping/Paging


bswot/s (ransfers from memory to disk swap area)	>200	sar -w

bswin/s (transfers to memory)				>200	sar -w

%swpocc (time swap queue is occupied)			>10	sar -q

rflt/s (page reference fault)				>0	sar -t

freemem (average pages for user processes)		<100	sar -r

Indications of a CPU bound systems

%idle (% of time CPU has no work to do)			<5	sar -u

runq-sz (processes in memory waiting for CPU)		>2	sar -q

%runocc (% run queue occupied and processes not executing)	>90	sar -q

hypermail /usr/local/src/src/hypermail - mailing list to web page converter; grep hypermail /etc/aliases shows which lists use hypermail

pwck, grpck should be run weekly to make sure ok; grpck produces a ton of errors

can use local man pages - text only - see Ch3 User Services
put in /usr/local/manl (try /usr/man/local/manl) suffix .l
long ones pack -> pack program.1;mv program.1.z /usr/man/local/mannl/program.z

Linux Gazette Index

More 2-Cent Tips

Wed, 17 May 2000 08:38:09 +0200
From: Sebastian Schleussner Sebastian.Schleussner@gmx.de

I have been trying to set command line editing (vi mode) as part of
my bash shell environment and have been unsuccessful so far. You might
think this is trivial - well so did I.
I am using Red Hat Linux 6.1 and wanted to use "set -o vi" in my
start up scripts. I have tried all possible combinations but it JUST DOES
NOT WORK. I inserted the line in /etc/profile , in my .bash_profile, in
my .bashrc etc but I cannot get it to work. How can I get this done? This
used to be a breeze in the korn shell. Where am I going wrong?

Hi!
I recently learned from the SuSE help that you have to put the line
set keymap vi
into your /etc/inputrc or ~/.inputrc file, in addition to what you did
('set -o vi' in ~/.bashrc or /etc/profile)!
I hope that will do the trick for you.

Cheers,
Sebastian Schleussner


More 2-Cent Tips

It detects filesystem types of all accessible partitions and checks/mounts them in folders named after device (hda7,hdb1,hdb3,sd1,...).

So you will never have to write sequences of fdisk,fsck,mount,df...

allfilesys

You maybe interested in checking the site "Tracerote Lists by States. Backbone Maps List" http://cities.lk.net/trlist.html

You can find there many links to the traceroute resources sorted by the next items:

Other thing is the List of Backbone Maps, sorted by Geographical Location, also some other info about backbones.


More 2-Cent Tips

faq_builder.pl script

Sat, 11 Mar 2000 07:08:15 +0100 (CET)
From: Hans Zoebelein <hzo@goldfish.cube.net>

Everybody who is running a software project needs a FAQ to clarify questions about the project and to enlighten newbies how to run the software. Writing FAQs can be a time consuming process without much fun.

Now here comes a little Perl script which transforms simple ASCII input into HTML output which is perfect for FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). I'm using this script on a daily basis and it is really nice and spares a lot of time. Check out http://leb.net/blinux/blinux-faq.html for results.

Attachment faq_builder.txt is the ASCII input to produce faq_builder.html using faq_builder.pl script.

'faq_builder.pl faq_builder.txt > faq_builder.html'

does the trick. Faq_builder.html is the the description how to use faq_builder.pl.

faq_builder.pl
faq_builder.html
faq_builder.txt

Fantastic book on linux - available for free both on/offline!

Sat, 18 Mar 2000 16:15:22 GMT
From: Esben Maaløe (Acebone) <acebone@f2s.com>

Hi!

When I browse through the 2 cent tips, I see a lot of general Sysadmin/bash questions that could be answered by a book called "An Introduction to Linux Systems Administration" - written by David Jones and Bruce Jamieson.

You can check it out at www.infocom.cqu.edu.au/Units/aut99/85321

It's available both on-line and as downloadable PostScript file. Perhaps it's also available in PDF.

It's a great book, and a great read!

Quick tip for mounting FDs, CDs, etc...

Fri, 25 Feb 2000 15:49:17 -0800
From: <fuzzybear@pocketmail.com>

If you can't or don't want to use auto-mounting, and are tired of typing out all those 'mount' and 'umount' commands, here's a script called 'fd' that will do "the right thing at the right time" - and is easily modified for other devices:

#!/bin/bash
d="/mnt/fd0"
if [ -n "$(mount $d 2>&1)" ]; then umount $d; fi

It's a fine example of "obfuscated Bash scripting" , but it works well - I use it and its relatives 'cdr', 'dvd', and 'fdl' (Linux-ext2 floppy) every day.

Ben Okopnik

2 Cent Tips

Wed, 08 Mar 2000 16:13:59 -0500
From: Bolen Coogler <bcoogler@dscga.com> How to set vi edit mode in bash for Mandrake 7.0

If, like me, you prefer vi-style command line editing in bash, here's how to get it working in Mandrake 7.0.

When I wiped out Redhat 5.2 on my PC and installed Mandrake 7.0, I found vi command line editing no longer worked, even after issuing the "set -o vi" command. After much hair pulling and gnashing of teeth, I finally found the problem is with the /etc/inputrc file. I still don't know which line in this file caused the problem. If you have this same problem in Mandrake or some other distribution, my suggestion for a fix is:

1. su to root. 2. Save a copy of the original /etc/inputrc file (you may want it back).

3. Replace the contents of /etc/inputrc with the following:

set convert-meta off
set input-meta on
set output-meta on
set keymap vi
set editing-mode vi

The next time you start a terminal session, vi editing will be functional.

--Bolen Coogler


LG52 2-Cent Tips

LG51 2-Cent Tips

Info-search tips for Midnight Commander users

Mon, 31 Jan 2000 14:57:13 -0800
From: Ben Okopnik <fuzzybear@pocketmail.com>

Funny thing; I was just about to post this tip when I read Matt Willis' "HOWTO searching script" in LG45. Still, this script is a good bit more flexible (allows diving into subdirectories, actually displays the HOWTO or the document whether .gz or .html or whatever format, etc.), uses the Bash shell instead of csh (well, _I_ see it as an advantage ...), and reads the entire /usr/doc hierarchy - perfect for those times when the man page isn't quite enough. I find myself using it about as often as I do the 'man' command.

You will need the Midnight Commander on your system to take advantage of this (in my opinion, one of the top three apps ever written for the Linux console). I also find that it is at its best when used under X-windows, as this allows the use of GhostView, xdvi, and all the other nifty tools that aren't available on the console.

Here's the script.

To use it, type (for example)

doc xl

and press Enter. The script will respond with a menu of all the /usr/doc subdirs beginning with 'xl' prefixed by menu numbers; simply select the number for the directory that you want, and the script will switch to that directory and present you with another menu. Whenever your selection is an actual file, MC will open it in the appropriate manner - and when you exit that view of it, you'll be presented with the menu again. To quit the script, press 'Ctrl-C'.

A couple of built-in minor features (read: 'bugs') - if given a nonsense number as a selection, 'doc' will drop you into your home directory. Simply 'Ctrl-C' to get out and try again. Also, for at least one directory in '/usr/doc' (the 'gimp-manual/html') there is simply not enough scroll-back buffer to see all the menu-items (526 of them!). I'm afraid that you'll simply have to switch there and look around; fortunately, MC makes that relatively easy!

Oh, one more MC tip. If you define the 'CDPATH' variable in your .bash_profile and make '/usr/doc' one of the entries in it, you'll be able to switch to any directory in that hierarchy by simply typing 'cd <first_few_letters_of_dir_name>' and pressing the Tab key for completion. Just like using 'doc', in some ways...

Hope this is of help.

dual booting NT and linux

Thu, 03 Feb 2000 22:30:06 +0000
From: Clive Wright <clive_wright@telinco.co.uk>

I am not familiar with Norton Ghost; however I have been successfully dual booting NT 4 and versions of linux (currently Redhat 6.0) for the past year.

First let me refer you to the excellent article on multibooting by Tom de Blende in issue 47 of LG. Note step 17. "The tricky part is configuring Lilo. You must keep Lilo OUT OF THE MBR! The mbr is reserved for NT. If you'd install Lilo in your mbr, NT won't boot anymore".

As your requirements are quite modest they can easily be accomplished without any third party software ie. "Bootpart".

If NT is on a Fat partition then install MSdos and use the NT loader floppy disks to repair the startup environment. If NT is on an NTFS partition then you will need a Fat partition to load MSdos. Either way you should get to a stage where you can use NT's boot manager to select between NT and MSdos.

Boot into dos and from the dos prompt: "copy bootsect.dos *.lux".

Use attrib to remove attributes from boot.ini "attrib -s -h -r boot.ini" and edit the boot.ini file; after a line similar to C:\bootsect.dos="MS-DOS v6.22" add the line C:\bootsect.lux="Redhat Linux".

Save the edited file and replace the attributes.

At the boot menu you should now have four options: two for NT (normal and vga mode) and one each for msdos and Linux. To get the linux option to work you will have to use redhat's boot disk to boot into Linux and configure Lilo. Log on as root and use your favorite text editor to edit /etc/lilo.conf. Here is a copy of mine:

boot=/c/bootsect.lux
map=/boot/map
install=/boot/boot.b
prompt
timeout=1
image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.2.14
	label=linux
	root=/dev/hda5
	read-only

It can be quite minimal as it only has one operating system to boot; there is no requirement for a prompt and the timeout is reduced to 1 so that it boots almost immediately without further user intervention. If your linux root partition is not /dev/hda5 then the root line will require amendment.

I mount my MSdos C: drive as /c/ under linux. I am sure this will make some unix purists cringe but I find C: to /c easy to type and easy to remember. If you are happy with that; then all that is required is to create the mount point, "mkdir /c" and mount the C: drive. "mount -t msdos /dev/hda1 /c" will do for now but you may want to include /dev/hda1 in /etc/fstab so that it will automatically mounted in the future; useful for exporting files to make them available to NT.

Check that /c/bootsect.lux is visible to Linux "ls /c/bootsect*"

/c/bootsect.dos  /c/bootsect.lux

Then run "lilo"

Added linux *

Following an orderly shutdown and reboot you can now select Redhat Linux at NT's boot prompt and boot into Linux. I hope you find the above useful.

Recommended Links

developerWorks Linux Technical library view

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Some great 2¢ Tips...

Linux Magazine: Tip Pack: KDE(Aug 03, 2000)
O'Reilly Network: 12 Tips on Building Firewalls(Jul 29, 2000)
Linux.com: LILO Security Tips(Apr 20, 2000)
About.com: Small Computer Tips(Aug 16, 1999)
Ext2.org: Misc Kernel Tips #2(Jul 06, 1999)
Ext2.org: Misc kernel tips(May 29, 1999)
Online book -- 100 Linux Tips and Tricks(May 12, 1999)
PC Week: Tips for those taking the Linux plunge(Apr 01, 1999)
ZDNet AnchorDesk: Tips and Tricks to Get You Started [with Linux](Jan 21, 1999)
Linux Tips and Tricks(Jan 02, 1999)

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Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

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Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

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