Snippets for yer computer needs


force filesystem check on next boot

touch /forcefsck

Socket programming with /dev/tcp

exec 3<>/dev/tcp/
echo -e "GET / HTTP/1.1\n\n" >&3
cat <&3

See what services are using a particular port

Run as root:

lsof -w -n -i (tcp|udp):<port>


netstat -luntp

See if hard drive is on its last legs

# Get all health info
smartctl -a /dev/sda
# Run tests that take ~10m
smartctl -t short /dev/sda

Get reboot/shutdown history

last -x

Date utility

# Get the date from a timestamp
date -d @$TIMESTAMP
# Get the current time as a timestamp
date +%s

Find all files with a setuid/setgid bit set

find / -perm +6000 -type f -exec ls -ld {} \; > setuid.txt &

Burn an ISO from the command prompt

cdrecord -v -data image.iso

Fixing missing shared library

Find files changed in the past day

find . -ctime -1 -type f

Disable caps lock

setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps

Set time on machine that doesn’t have NTP

date --set="$(ssh user@server date)"

Inter-user communication

# Get list of logged in users
# Send message to all users
wall [message]
# Send message to another user's terminal
write user [ttyname]
# Enable/disable terminal message
mesg [n|y]


System call table located at /usr/include/asm/unistd.h

Red Hat syscall man pages installed with man-pages RPM. man 2 syscalls for a list, man 2 <syscall> for the syscall.

Put syscall (32-bit int) in EAX, put arguments in other ExX registers, int 0x80, result usually in EAX

ip command

ifconfig is deprecated, ip was added in Linux 2.2

# Get IP address
ip addr
# Get network interface stats
ip link
# Get network interface packet stats
ip -s link

# Enable interface
ip link set eth0 up
# Set IP address
ip address add dev eth0

# Show routing table
ip route show

Sneaking around the open file limit

Open a pair of domain sockets (with socketpair) that connect to the same process. Throw the FD in one end, close the FD, then read it out of the other end. Recursively add the ring buffers…

PipeFS, SockFS, DebugFS, SecurityFS

setuid/setgid on executables

The kernel doesn’t execute setuid scripts, only binaries. See the UNIX FAQ for reasons why.

Change the ulimits of a running process

prlimit --pid $PID --nofile=8192

Kernel resources


Creating a timezone

echo "Zone MEST -6:00 - MEST" >
zic -d ~/.zoneinfo
export TZDIR=~/.zoneinfo TZ=MEST

Setting timezone (systemd)

sudo timedatectl set-timezone TIMEZONE


There’s a lot of crazy behaviour in Linux, that for whatever reason will not be fixed.

# Get a program's headers
readelf -l ./program


# show partition table from CLI
fdisk -l <disk>
description command
show menu m
show partition table p
create a new partition n
change filesystem type t
list filesystem types l
write partition table w

Use sfdisk to script disk formatting

User Management


# change user info

# Delete user, their home directory, and their mailbox
userdel -r [user]

# Add user, home directory
useradd -m [user]

# Create system user
useradd -r [user]

# See password policies for user
chage -l [user]

Only superusers can change ownership of a file

Executable scripts require read and execute bits


Octal mask to deny permissions by default

Files can’t have execution at creation, but directories do. Set your octal mask to deal with the executable

# Get umask

# Set a umask that denies any other-user access
umask 077


Sticky bit - t or T in the mode line

Disk quotas

Add usrquota/grpquota to the mount options of the drive

# Create quota database
quotacheck -cugm /

# Turn quota on for all disks
quotaon -a

# Get quota usage for a user
quota USER

# Create a report of user quota usage
repquota /

# Change a quota for a user
edquota USER
# Copy a quota setting to another user
edquota -p USER1 USER2
# Change grace period
edquota -t
# Set disk quotas
setquota USER block-soft block-hard inode-soft inode-hard mount-point


Rule of thumb is usually twice physical RAM, but not strictly necessary. You do get a benefit of the kernel putting crash dumps into it.

# convert partition to swap space
mkswap /dev/sda2

# enable the partition swap
swapon /dev/sda2

# show current swap space
swapon -s


Set up default DROP rule for eth0

iptables -P INPUT DROP

Allow existing connections to continue

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

Accept everything from the 192.168.1.x network

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -s -j ACCEPT

Drop a single host

iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP

Allow connections from this host to

iptables -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -d -j ACCEPT

Flush table

iptables --flush

Allow incoming HTTP

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p tcp --sport 80 -m state --state ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Limit connections

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -m limit --limit 25/minute --limit-burst 100 -j ACCEPT

Simple IP masquerading

echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

Backup, reload iptables rules

iptables-save > ./file
iptables-restore < ./file

File location


# is firewalld running?
firewall-cmd --state
# permanently open HTTPS port
firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=https


The GNU linker

# Reload ld cache
# See which libraries are utilized
ldconfig -v

# See what an executable links to
ldd ./executablefile

# Specify an alternate library path
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/path/to/dir ...

# Link object file into an executable file
ld -o example example.o
# Strip all binary symbol information
ld -s ...
# Strip debug binary symbol information
ld -S ...
# Mark stack as non executable
ld -z noexecstack


Get list of services

lokkit --list-services

Open port

lokkit --selinux=disabled --update --enabled -p [port]:[tcp|udp]
# or to open a service
lokkit -s [service]



# Initialize a disk for LVM

# Create a volume group
vgcreate GROUP_NAME DISKS...

# List groups

# Create a logical volume with 100% free space
lvcreate -l 100%free -n VOLUME_NAME GROUP_NAME


genisoimage -o cd.iso $DIRECTORY


# Encrypt a partition
cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda2

# Mount partition
cryptsetup open /dev/sda2/ mapping_name
mount /dev/mapper/mapping_name /mount/dir


Get details of RAID setup

mdadm --detail /dev/md0
cat /proc/mdstat

Adjust the array

# Drop a disk from the array
/sbin/mdadm /dev/md0 --fail /dev/sda1 --remove /dev/sda1

# Add a disk to the array
/sbin/mdadm /dev/md0 --add /dev/sda1


/dev/sd* - Drives that start with sd are either SATA, SCSI, or USB drives.

/dev/hd* - Drives that start with hd are PATA, also known as IDE drives.


GUID Partition Table supports disks up to 9ZB, 128 partitions per-disk.


Get filesystems kernel can use

# Get filesystems kernel can use
cat /proc/filesystems
# Get mounted file systems
cat /proc/self/mounts
# Get arguments to kernel from bootloader
cat /proc/cmdline

Get kernel command line arguments

cat /proc/cmdline

# Mounting an ISO
mount -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/disk

# Remount a filesystem (change options without unmounting)
mount /home -o remount, noatime

# Create a RAM disk
mount -t tmpfs -o size=1g tmpfs /mnt

Lazy unmount of a partition

Linux 2.4.11+

umount -l <mount>


# See what processes are using /mnt
fuser -v /mnt

# Kill processes using /mnt
fuser -k -KILL /mnt


# find a filesystem
findfs UUID=...
# list filesystems



Command Notes
systemctl List services
start SERVICE Used to start a service (not reboot persistent)
stop SERVICE Used to stop a service (not reboot persistent)
restart SERVICE Used to stop and then start a service
reload SERVICE When supported, reloads the config file without interrupting pending operations
condrestart SERVICE Restarts if the service is already running
status SERVICE Tells whether a service is currently running
enable SERVICE Turn the service on, for start at next boot, or other trigger
disable SERVICE Turn the service off for the next reboot, or any other trigger
is-enabled SERVICE Used to check whether a service is configured to start or not in the current environment
list-unit-files –type=service Print a table of services that lists which runlevels each is configured on or off
daemon-reload Used when you create a new service file or modify any configuration
list-dependencies Show dependency tree of a target



To change the runlevel at boot, add the following to the kernel arguments, e.g.

To change the runlevel in a running system, systemctl isolate

target desc halt/shut off system single user mode normal startup of system graphical startup restart system


key value
Environment Space separated key-value pairs for environment variables

Running user-level services

Put unit into ~/.config/systemd/user/NAME.service

Run systemctl commands with --user flag


Analyze boot time


See also


# Set hostname
hostnamectl set-hostname HOSTNAME
# F32 and below to restart multicast DNS:
systemctl restart avahi-daemon.service