I have been working extensively in Linux recently and decided to write a post about my useful shell functions, which have significantly enhanced my workflow productivity. In this post, I will share my go-to shell functions that have improved the efficiency of my tasks. As a regular Linux user, I frequently use the command line for various daily operations, such as file creation, directory navigation, file movement, and text editing using vim.

Viewing CSV Files in a Better Format

function view_csv_pretty {
    if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo "Usage: view_csv_pretty <file.csv>"
        cat "$1" | column -s, -t | less -F -S -X -K

This bash function comes in pretty handy when viewing csv files directly on the terminal. Here’s the explanation for this one liner.

  1. cat "$1": Reads the content of the specified CSV file.
  2. column -s, -t: Uses the column command to format the content into a table
    1. -s,: Specifies that columns are separated by commas in the CSV file.
    2. -t: Tells column to create the table output.
  3. less -F -S -X -K:
    1. less: Displays the formatted table output in the terminal.
    2. -F: Quits if the entire file fits on one screen.
    3. -S: Chops long lines to fit within the screen width.
    4. -X: Leaves the screen’s contents intact upon exiting less
    5. -K: Exits less on Ctrl+C.

Checking Recently Modified Files

This Bash function, recently_modified, proves to be quite handy for my team when keeping track of the latest modifications made to various files on the server.

function recently_modified() {
    recent_file=$(ls -t | head -n1)
    echo "Most recently modified file: $recent_file"

Compressing Multiple Files

function compress_files() {
    if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo "Usage: compress_files <archive_name.zip> <file1> <file2> ..."
        zip -r "$1" "${@:2}"

Searching text in files

function search_text_in_files() {
    if [ -z "$1" ] || [ -z "$2" ]; then
        echo "Usage: search_text_in_files <directory> <search_term>"
        grep -rnw "$1" -e "$2"

Checking high usage memory processes

function process_with_most_memory() {
    ps -eo pid,ppid,cmd,%mem,%cpu --sort=-%mem | head

Listing Open Ports

function list_open_ports() {
    netstat -tuln

Listening Ports for specific process

function  find_listening_ports() {
    if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo "Usage: find_listening_ports <pid>"
        ss -tulnp | grep "$1"

Finally, I hope you enjoyed reading this and had the opportunity to learn something new from this post. If you have any favorite shell functions that you use in your everyday workflow, I would love to see those in the comments. If you prefer not to comment, you can always send me an email.

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