View Some Logs In The Terminal

Today we’ll have a relatively simple set of commands that will show you how to view some system logs in the terminal. We’re only going to cover a few of them that are similar in operation. There are far more things that get logged.

You generate logs as you use your computer. These will vary and there are quite a few logs kept. Logs aren’t just kept by the system. Some third-party applications create logs. We’ll only be covering a few system logs. I just want to keep things simple.

The tool we’re using for this exercise is the cat command. The cat application is one tool that lets you read text files in the terminal. It’s a frequently used tool at my house. Hopefully, you too will get comfortable using this command at your house.

It seems like that should be enough of an intro. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment. Those get seen and addressed more quickly than when you try to contact me elsewhere. (Comments almost instantly send a notification to whatever computer I’m using. They’ll even ping my phone if I turn the notification sound on.)

Anyhow… Ask away, should you have any questions…

View Some System Logs In The Terminal:

We’ll be viewing a few different types of logs. As mentioned above and in the heading, this is something we do in the terminal. You can usually open a terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T. If that doesn’t work, you’ll almost certainly find a terminal in your application menu.

First, we’ll view the kernel log.

The kernel is the actual “Linux” in your Linux. The kernel deals with task scheduling, and running processes as needed. It’s an abstraction between you and the hardware.

If you want to view the current kernel log, use this command:

If you want to view the previous session’s kernel logs, use this command:

Both of those commands will flood your terminal. That’s okay, you can use the pipe operator and the less command like so:

Next, we’ll view the boot log.

When you boot your computer, the computer keeps track of what happens during that process. This is known as the boot log. It can be exceptionally handy when you have a problem booting. 

If you want to check the current boot log, use this command:

If you want to check the previous boot log, check it with this command:

Again, you can use a pipe and the less command to manage the flow of data.

Next, we’ll view the system log.

The system logs all sorts of additional information. If you’re not finding the information you want in the previous two logs, checking the system log is prudent. The system logs all sorts of things that are useful for resolving problems.

If you want to check the current system log, use this command:

If you want to check the previous system log, run this command:

Don’t forget that you can use a pipe and less in this command. This will give you a slower output you can manage with your arrow keys.

And that will show you your system log.

That’s all it takes to view the major system logs. There are other logs and we’ll have to cover them at some point.

Closure:

Well, this didn’t take too many words or too much time… That’s nice. If you want to start troubleshooting your own problems, learn to read the system logs. If you don’t want to ask for help, learn to read the system logs. Well, that and learn to read the man pages, but that last bit is outside the scope of this article.

I do hope you enjoyed this article. They’re fun to write but it does sometimes feel like work. I never wanted this to feel like it was work, but here we are. It probably would have been wiser to not set such a schedule and to allow some vacation time in there. This whole project started when I had far more time due to the pandemic.

We do have a special day coming up… You’ll see!

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Short: Move A File To Multiple Directories

Today’s article should be a fairly short article, where I take the chance to show you how to move a file to multiple directories – at the same time. It’s a pretty simple process, albeit a bit weird. If you want to move files to multiple directories, this is the article for you!

I’ve done a lot of articles about file management. This is another one. We usually manage files in the terminal here on Linux Tips. We’ll be doing that again this time around. We’ll be managing files in the terminal!

The tool we’ll be using is the tee command. I covered that recently.

The task we’ll be doing is showing you how to move a file to multiple directories – at the same time and in the Linux terminal. It’s a pretty handy skill to have, though there’s some tee weirdness along the way.

Move A File To Multiple Directories:

You’ll need an open terminal for this, as the intro suggested. You can find a terminal application in your GUI file manager. You can often open your default terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T on your keyboard.

With your terminal open, let’s just run through some exercises to ensure we’re all on the same page and ready to move a file. 

First, let’s make a directory:

Next, let’s move to that directory:

Next, let’s make that file that we’ll copy to multiple directories:

I suppose we’ll need a few folders next, so let’s create them:

Now, let’s move the file foo to multiple directories:

The syntax is:

We throw the & in so that the tee command doesn’t hang, awaiting further input. You’ll get an extra message or two, but that’s fine and can be ignored.

Now, we can verify them:

The following command will show you that the file exists:

That should show the file, like so:

Now, you can check the other folders. 

And, of course:

Each of those should show you that the foo file exists in each directory.

Now, we can clean up after ourselves with this command:

Tada! Now there shouldn’t be any remains left behind and we’ve covered how to move a file to multiple directories at the same time and in the Linux terminal.

Pretty easy and pretty short!

Closure:

You never know when you’ll want to move a file to multiple directories but now you know how to do so. It isn’t a very difficult exercise, warranting only a short article. This seemed like good fodder for a short article and a handy tip to share with my readers.

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Hide The Output From wget

This won’t be a very complicated article and will only apply to those who want to hide the output from wget. It’s just a matter of a simple flag so that it won’t be a very long article.

You can download from the terminal. You can transfer files from the terminal. One of the tools for this is wget. There’s also curl, but this article won’t be complicated and will only apply to those who want to hide the output from wget.

This could probably be called a short, but it’s something I wanted to cover.

wget:

You probably won’t need to install wget. It’s one of those tools that you’ll find installed by default. It’s a pretty handy tool. You can verify that wget is an available application with this command:

The output should match this:

If you want to see why I’d cover such a small piece of wget, check the man page with the following command:

First, you’ll see the description of wget, which is this:

Wget – The non-interactive network downloader.

Now scroll down…

Keep scrolling…

And keep going…

There’s a whole lot to the wget command. It’s a very complicated command. If you’re a new Linux user, you will be overwhelmed by this man page. 

This is the sort of command that you can learn to use bit by bit. You don’t need to learn everything. You almost certainly don’t need everything. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it for useful tasks.

I often use the wget command. I use it not only with my Lubuntu testing but also with my regular activities. I’ll often find the URL for a file and then use wget to download the file. When I do that, it’s because I want to monitor the output.

Other times, I don’t want to monitor the output. So, for that, I use wget in quiet mode. That’s what this article is about.

Hide The Output From wget:

The wget application is an application used in the terminal. I believe there are download managers that are GUIs that use wget in the background. We’ll ignore those and use the terminal. So, press CTRL + ALT + T and let’s learn how to hide the output from wget.

The command you’re after is just the wget command with the -q flag. It would look something like this:

The thing is, this now means that you no longer see the progress. You can tell wget to keep trying until it performs as expected. That’s the ‘complete’ flag ( -c) and looks like this:

You can try this on your own with this command:

That’s a pretty small file, so it won’t take a lot of time. 

You won’t see any messages in your terminal, it will just download the file.

You can test this by running ls in your terminal after the fact. You’ll happily see that you’ve downloaded a file called ‘sort.txt’ and that it kept trying until it was completed.

So, now you know how to hide the output from wget…

Closure:

So, yeah, this probably could have been labeled a ‘short’ article, but I didn’t do so. I try to use that title for things that aren’t as involved, just a simple command in other words. This is pretty simple, but it’s also something you might use regularly.

The wget command is this hulking command with a bunch of options. Not even I fully understand all of the options and I’ve been using the application for years. There’s just a lot to it and that’s far more than we’ll ever cover and far more than most of you will ever use. Still, it can be a pretty handy command and you’ll see more of it in the future.

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Mastering the Linux Terminal Pipe Command

Well, if it’s not obvious by the title, it soon will be obvious that I’ve once again leaned on AI to write an article, this time about the pipe command. I decided to stick (mostly) to the title AI gave this article, but it was longer than it should be.

AI tried to title this:

“Mastering the Linux Terminal Pipe Command: A Comprehensive Guide”

Anyhow, this is one of those articles that I just can’t write. No matter what I write, it will not be adequate – even though the pipe is a simple enough concept. Much like a recent grep article, this is just one of those articles I won’t write well.

Also, I’m not sure that I should call it a command. It’s more an operator than a command, but the references I see refer to it as a command more frequently than as an operator. Perhaps the word would be ‘operand’? But, for convenience and convention’s sake, I will call it the pipe command.

No, this isn’t something you install. This is a command that you use with other commands. It’s a lot like the operators I’ve already written about. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, read this article:

How To: Write Text To A File From The Terminal with “>” and “>>”

The short of it is that the pipe takes the output from one command and inserts it into another command. This lets you take the output from one command and parse it with another command. That’s all there is to it – which is why I’m unable to write this article.

Which is why I leaned on my good buddy AI for this article…

Mastering the Linux Terminal Pipe Command:

In the world of Linux, the terminal pipe command stands as a quintessential tool, offering a powerful and flexible means to manipulate data streams. Understanding and mastering the pipe command can significantly enhance your efficiency and productivity in the Linux environment. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of the pipe command, exploring its functionalities, use cases, and advanced techniques.

What is the Pipe Command?

At its core, the pipe command, represented by the symbol |, allows you to redirect the output of one command as input to another command. This seamless connection between commands enables the creation of complex data processing pipelines, facilitating the manipulation and transformation of data with remarkable ease.

Basic Usage:

The basic syntax of the pipe command is straightforward:

Here, the output generated by command1 is passed as input to command2. This chaining of commands enables the execution of multiple operations in a single line, streamlining workflows and reducing the need for intermediate files.

Practical Examples:

Let’s explore some practical examples to illustrate the utility of the pipe command:

Counting Words in a File:

This command displays the number of words in the file file.txt. The cat command outputs the contents of the file, which are then piped to wc -w, which counts the words.

Searching for a Pattern:

Here, grep is used to search for the specified pattern in the file file.txt. The output, which consists of lines containing the pattern, is then piped to wc -l, which counts the number of matching lines.

Sorting Data:

This command sorts the lines in the file file.txt alphabetically and removes duplicate lines using the uniq command.

Advanced Techniques:

While the basic usage of the pipe command is invaluable, mastering advanced techniques can unlock its full potential:

Chaining Multiple Commands:

You can chain multiple commands together to create sophisticated data processing pipelines. Each command in the pipeline operates on the output of the preceding command, enabling complex transformations with minimal effort.

Combining Filters:

Filters such as grep, sed, and awk can be combined to perform intricate text-processing tasks. By leveraging the unique capabilities of each filter, you can manipulate data in a myriad of ways, ranging from pattern matching to text substitution.

Redirecting Output:

In addition to chaining commands, you can redirect the output of a pipeline to a file using the > operator. This allows you to capture the results of your data processing pipeline for future reference or analysis.

Common Pitfalls:

While the pipe command offers immense flexibility, it’s essential to be mindful of potential pitfalls:

  1. Order of Operations:

    The order in which commands are chained together matters. Ensure that you sequence commands appropriately to achieve the desired outcome. A misplaced command in the pipeline can lead to unexpected results or errors.

  2. Input Compatibility:

    Ensure that the output of one command is compatible with the input requirements of the next command in the pipeline. Mismatched data formats or incompatible options can result in errors or unintended behavior.

  3. Performance Considerations:

    Complex pipelines involving multiple commands may incur performance overhead. Be mindful of resource utilization, especially when working with large datasets or computationally intensive operations.

Addendum:

The Linux terminal pipe command is a versatile tool that empowers users to streamline data processing tasks effectively. By mastering its usage and exploring advanced techniques, you can unlock the full potential of the Linux command-line environment. Whether you’re a novice user or a seasoned Linux enthusiast, the pipe command remains an indispensable asset in your toolkit, enabling you to easily conquer complex data manipulation challenges.

Closure:

So, that was AI doing my job for me. Like grep, I tried to write an article about pipe, which was a hot mess. I can usually salvage articles and publish something of my work, but I just didn’t do well with a couple of subjects. This is one of them.

The thing is, I refer to the pipe command with some regularity. I don’t have an article about pipes, so I can’t link to that. This leaves the reader with a search engine and I’d rather they have an excuse to open an additional link. It’s not just good SEO, it’s good hospitality. I’ll never explain everything, but I can explain some things and people won’t need to leave the site to learn those things.

Also, even AI had issues with this article. I told it to write 1200 words and it came up with maybe 600 words. I applaud those who can turn the pipe command into more than a blurb with a few examples that help people grasp the concept. Seriously, hats off to them. I don’t write nearly as well as my volume of articles would imply.

I don’t think I’ll need to use AI for any near-future articles. I’m doing two of them fairly close together because they’re things I feel need to be done. They are articles that need to be written. It is information that needs to be on the site. I did separate the two AI-written articles by some time, just to give folks a break between them. I know, they’re not preferred and they surely don’t match my writing style.

Thanks for indulging me, if nothing else. Amusingly, this isn’t much of a time-saver. The way ChatGPT formats stuff is not compatible with the editor used by my instance of WordPress. I spend a lot of time just formatting things.

Speaking of time invested…

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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