Tag: Linux

Thursday Quote: Mike Solomon

May 24, 2012 » Geek

“Linux is good in terms of manholes, there’s always a way to get in and see how your system is behaving.”

– Mike Solomon
Scalability at YouTube

Sneaker-netting Huge Files with split and cat

February 27, 2012 » Geek

Big files happen, and sometimes they need to be moved.

I’ve found that moving big files between local computers is often fastest with a USB drive and my shoes, especially since I don’t really have access to a wired network usually.

But sometimes, files are just too big for your thumb drive. Some of us don’t carry huge drives around, I usually only have a spare 2GB on me.

Suppose you have a 4.4GB ZIP file (don’t ask, just suppose). I’ve only got a 2GB (1.9GB usable) thumb drive on me, but I need to move it over to another machine and I don’t have all day.

In the past I’ve use dd tricks, but I knew there had to be a better way.

Enter split and cat. cat concatenates files, and it’s cousin split, well, splits them.

Perfect! Just what I needed! I’ll split my file into chunks with split, sneaker it over the other machine and cat it all back together.


computer-one $ split -b 1500M big.zip
computer-one $ ls -l
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:44 xaa
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:45 xab
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:46 xac
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs    7637844 2012-02-27 14:46 xad
computer-one $




computer-two $ cat xaa xab xac xad > big.zip
computer-two $


computer-two $ ls -l
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 4726229844 2012-02-27 15:02 big.zip

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On Linux? Do yourself a favor and try Hotot.

May 29, 2011 » Consume, Geek, Life

I’ve used a lot of twitter clients over the years, I even wrote one back in ’08. TweetDeck is pretty good, but Air is shoddy on 64-bit Linux, and so it didn’t integrate well and would crash.

I rejected Gwibber and Choqok, just not my style. My old web standby Brizzly seems pretty lame these days too. Then I found Hotot. It’s awesome. It’s like a Linux native TweetDeck, but with a friendlier, more welcoming feel.

If you are looking for a Linux twitter client, you have got to give Hotot a try.


Tail In PHP

December 3, 2010 » Geek

So I’m working on a little admin interface and I decided to tail some logs. It’s in PHP and Google came up with some stuff, but they were all a bit finickey and not well documented. So I wrote my own!

Here’s the basic concept:

  1. Open File
  2. Seek To End
  3. Loop:
    1. Seek Back By Chunk Size
    2. Read Chunk
    3. Count Newlines
    4. Stash In Buffer
    5. Break If Enough Newlines Total
  4. Trim Extra Line & Cruft
  5. Done!

Here’s the code:

function tail ( $file, $lines, $max_chunk_size = 4096 ) {

  // We actually want to look for +1 newline so we can get the whole first line
  $rows = $lines + 1;

  // Open up the file
  $fh = fopen( $file, 'r' );

  // Go to the end
  fseek( $fh, 0, SEEK_END );
  $position = ftell( $fh );

  $buffer = '';
  $found_newlines = 0;

  $break = false;
  while( ! $break ) {
    // If we are at the start then we are done.
    if( $position <= 0 ) { break; }

    // We can't seek past the 0 position obviously, so figure out a good chunk size
    $chunk_size = ( $max_chunk_size > $position ) ? $position : $max_chunk_size;

    // Okay, now seek there and read the chunk
    $position -= $chunk_size;
    fseek( $fh, $position );
    $chunk = fread( $fh, $chunk_size );

    // See if there are any newlines in this chunk, count them if there are
    if( false != strpos( $chunk, "\n" ) ) {
      if( substr( $chunk, -1 ) == "\n" ) { ++$found_newlines; }
      $found_newlines += count( explode( "\n", $chunk ) );

    // Have we exceeded our desired rows?
    if( $found_newlines > $rows ) { $break = true; }

    // Prepend
    $buffer = $chunk . $buffer;

  // Now extract only the lines we requested
  $buffer = explode( "\n", $buffer );
  return implode( "\n", array_slice( $buffer, count( $buffer ) - $lines ) );

You can give it a try on some junk data here: http://static.velvetcache.org/pages/2010/12/03/tail-in-php/

Exim Cheat Sheet

September 3, 2010 » Geek

I did some tinkering with an Exim server today, and it’s been probably a year at least since I las touched one. Found an invaluable cheat sheet at http://bradthemad.org/tech/notes/exim_cheatsheet.php but it’s not terribly printer friendly.

I knocked up a more printable one for myself with Abiword, hope it can help you too.

Exim Cheat Sheet