Enhance and secure your Bash shells

Bash Tricks

© Lead Image © Ksenia Raykova, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Ksenia Raykova, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 167/2014
Author(s):

The Bash shell is powerful and infinitely expressive. This article describes some tricky techniques you can use to enhance and customize your Bash environment.

Ever stopped and thought about what you're typing several times a day at the command prompt? Many experts prefer the Bash command prompt for its versatility, speed, and convenience. However, users often stick with a small collection of commands without realizing the full range of possibilities available through the very expressive Bash shell. In this article, I will describe a few of my favorite tricks. You might already be using some of these techniques, and some might be new to you; in either case, I hope this article encourages you to explore the advanced capabilities available through Bash.

Tailoring ls

At the end of a long day's work, I recently found myself staring at the command line and wondering where a certain command originated, namely the ls command. I wouldn't want to hazard a guess at how many times I run the ls command everyday.

With those bleary eyes, I realized that I'd been typing this command for more than 20 years with little knowledge about it, other than it essentially meant list. For something so succinct, the all pervasive ls command is not only greatly understated but also commonly taken for granted.

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