ibm logoas usual provides us with excellent article about good habits which would help Unix administrators to improve their command line usage efficiency and break away from bad usage patterns in the process. I was impressed by this article and realized my everyday CLI usage is full of “bad patterns”. Nice point to give up them and pick up good style.

unix platWhen you use a system often, you tend to fall into set usage patterns. Sometimes, you do not start the habit of doing things in the best possible way. Sometimes, you even pick up bad practices that lead to clutter and clumsiness. One of the best ways to correct such inadequacies is to conscientiously pick up good habits that counteract them. This article suggests 10 UNIX command-line habits worth picking up — good habits that help you break many common usage foibles and make you more productive at the command line in the process. Each habit is described in more detail following the list of good habits.

Those 10 good habits to adopt are:

  1. Make directory trees in a single swipe.
  2. Change the path; do not move the archive.
  3. Combine your commands with control operators.
  4. Quote variables with caution.
  5. Use escape sequences to manage long input.
  6. Group your commands together in a list.
  7. Use xargs outside of find.
  8. Know when grep should do the counting — and when it should step aside.
  9. Match certain fields in output, not just lines.
  10. Stop piping cats.

Full article is here.




  1. January 28, 2008  3:11 am by danny Reply

    Awesome tips. Seme I do and some I don's. Time to clean up...

  2. Pingback : Another 10 good Unix habits to pickup | Linux Screw

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