Posted in Linux commands

Make temporary Files or directories

Sometimes I need a temporary file or a temporary directory with a unique name in my scripts. Of course I can create a file in /tmp with the actual time in its name. But what if some other user has the same idea, and the scripts run at the same time? Here comes mktemp.

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Posted in Linux commands

systemd, Part I

For my sensor network I run a server process, which collects the data from several sensors. This is a sort of a daemon. In a first version it was started in a crontab with the time “@reboot”. But during the development I had to restart it every now and then: search the PID, kill it, start it in the background.

Isn’t there a better way? systemd to the rescue. In this first systemd post I will install a service file, so that the process can be started and stopped from the root account.

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Posted in Linux commands

“find” with Style, Part 3: Displaying File Attributes

If you search files with the find command, you get a list of filenames:

$ find . -name '*.py'

If you need the file attributes (like size, file permissions, …) you can do some tricks to let ls do the job. Or do you?

find has the parameter -ls which does this:

$ find . -name '*.py' -ls

Posted in Linux commands

Following log files

tail is a well known command to show the last lines of a file:

$ tail bmp280.log
2017-04-02T11:32:03 1491125523 20.62 1014.21
2017-04-02T11:33:02 1491125582 20.63 1014.23
2017-04-02T11:34:03 1491125643 20.62 1014.23
2017-04-02T11:35:03 1491125703 20.62 1014.23
2017-04-02T11:36:02 1491125762 20.63 1014.19
2017-04-02T11:37:03 1491125823 20.63 1014.23
2017-04-02T11:38:02 1491125882 20.63 1014.24
2017-04-02T11:39:04 1491125944 20.63 1014.25
2017-04-02T11:40:03 1491126003 20.63 1014.26
2017-04-02T11:41:02 1491126062 20.64 1014.27

If the default of ten lines is too few or too much you can adjust this with the parameter -n:

$ tail -n 25 bmp280.log

But the real power of tail are the parameters -f und -F. These parameters follow the end of the file while the file grows:

$ tail -f *.log
==> bmp280.log <==
2017-04-02T11:39:04 1491125944 20.63 1014.25
==> temp_humi.log <==
2017-04-02T11:39:05 1473343255 26.36 63.13 1 3.06
==> bmp280.log <==
2017-04-02T11:40:04 1491126004 20.63 1014.25
==> temp_humi.log <==
2017-04-02T11:40:05 1491126005 26.36 63.13 1 3.06

If the file does not exist yet, the parameter -F tells tail to wait until the file exists:

$ tail -F sensor_01.log
tail: cannot open ‘sensor_01.log’ for reading: No such file or directory

The message is just a warning. As soon as the log file is written, the lines appear.

Sometimes the lines with the filenames are difficult to find. But here grep is your friend:

$ tail -f *.log | grep -E --color '|==>.*<=='

Now the lines with the file names are coloured.