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Archive for the ‘bash’ Category

llamasoft/polyshell: A Bash/Batch/PowerShell polyglot!

Posted by jpluimers on 2023/03/16

PolyShell is a script that’s simultaneously valid in Bash, Windows Batch, and PowerShell (i.e. a polyglot).

[Wayback/Archive] llamasoft/polyshell: A Bash/Batch/PowerShell polyglot!

Need to check this out, as often I have scripts that have to go from one language to the other or vice versa.

Maybe it enables one language to bootstrap functionality in the other?

The quest

The above polyglot started with a quest to see if I can could include some PowerShell statements in a batch file with two goals:

  1. if the batch file started from the PowerShell command prompt, then execute the PowerShell code
  2. if the batch file started from the cmd.exe command prompt, then have it start PowerShell with the same command-line arguments

The reasoning is simple:

  1. PowerShell scripts will start from the PATH only when PowerShell is already running
  2. Batch files start from the path when either cmd.exe or PowerShell are running

Lots of users still live in the cmd.exe world, but PowerShell scripts are way more powerful, and since PowerShell is integrated in Windows since version 7, so having a batch file bootstrap PowerShell still makes sense.

Since my guess was about quoting parameters the right way, my initial search for the link below was [Wayback/Archive] powershell execute statement from batch file quoting – Google Search.

I have dug not yet into this, so there are still…

Many links to read

These should give me a good idea how to implement a polyglot batch file/PowerShell script.


Posted in *nix, *nix-tools, bash, bash, Batch-Files, Development, JavaScript/ECMAScript, Perl, Polyglot, Power User, PowerShell, Scripting, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

linux – Newline-separated xargs – Server Fault

Posted by jpluimers on 2023/03/07

A long time ago, on just one system, I forgot which one, I needed explicit [Wayback/Archive] linux – Newline-separated xargs – Server Fault.

The simple solution was to replace the newline with null before running xargs:

tr '\n' '\0'

The clean solution was to install gnu xargs:

GNU xargs (default on Linux; install findutils from MacPorts on OS X to get it) supports -d which lets you specify a custom delimiter for input, so you can do

ls *foo | xargs -d '\n' -P4 foo 


Posted in *nix, *nix-tools, bash, Development, Power User, Scripting, Software Development, xargs | Leave a Comment »

On my list of *n*x things to play with: script and ttyrec

Posted by jpluimers on 2023/01/26

Because of [Archive] PragmaticProgrammers on Twitter: “Helpful Unix trick: use script to log your session. …” / Twitter:


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in *nix, *nix-tools, ash/dash, bash, bash, Batch-Files, Development, Power User, Scripting, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Getting your public IP address from the command-line when http and https are blocked: use DNS

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/12/28

Years ago, I wrote Getting your public IP address from the command-line. All methods were http based, so were very easy to execute using cURL.

But then in autumn 2021, Chris Bensen wrote this cool little blog-post [Wayback/Archive] Chris Bensen: How do I find my router’s public IP Address from the command line?:

dig -4 TXT +short

At first sight, I thought it was uncool, as the command was quite long and there was no explanation of the dig command trick.

But then, knowing that dig is a DNS client, it occurred to me: this perfectly works when http and https are disabled by your firewall, but the DNS protocol works and gives the correct result:

# dig -4 TXT +short

This added the below commands and aliases to my tool chest for *nix based environments like Linux and MacOS (not sure yet about Windows yet :), but that still doesn’t explain why it worked. So I did some digging…


  • command:
    dig -4 TXT +short
  • command removing outer double quotes:
    dig -4 TXT +short | xargs
  • alias:
    alias "whatismyipv4_dns=dig -4 TXT +short | xargs"


  • command:
    dig -6 TXT +short
  • command removing outer double quotes:
    dig -6 TXT +short | xargs
  • alias:
    alias "whatismyipv6_dns=dig -6 TXT +short | xargs"

How it works

Let’s stick to dig and IPv4 as that not having IPv6 (regrettably still) is the most common situation today:

# dig -4 TXT +short

What it does is request the DNS TXT record of from the Google DNS server and returns the WAN IPv4 address used in the DNS request, which is for instance explained in [Wayback/Archive] What is the mechanics behind “dig TXT” : linuxadmin.

Since these are TXT records, dig will automatically double quote them, which xargs can remove (see below how and why):

# dig -4 TXT +short | xargs

The DNS query will fail when requesting the Google Public DNS servers or

# dig -4 TXT +short @

Or, with quotes removed (the -L 1 ensures that xargs performs the quote-pair removal action on each line):

# dig -4 TXT +short @ | xargs -L 1

This request is both slower than requesting the server and wrong.

The reason is that only understands the special hostname which instructs it to return the IP address of the requesting dig DNS client.

That returns a different IP address and an additional edns0-client-subnet with less accurate information is explained in an answer to [Wayback/Archive] linux – Getting the WAN IP: difference between HTTP and DNS – Stack Overflow by [Wayback/Archive] argaz referring to this cool post: [Wayback/Archive] Which CDNs support edns-client-subnet? – CDN Planet.

Not just any DNS server serving the domain

Since is part of the domain, the above works for any DNS server serving the domain (more on that domain: [Wayback/Archive] General DNS overview  |  Google Cloud).

Getting the list of DNS servers is similar to getting the list of MX servers which I explained in Getting the IP addresses of gmail MX servers, replacing MX record type (main exchange) with the NS record type (name server) and the domain with the domain:

# dig @ +short NS

The DNS server is a special one of the NS servers: it is the start of authority server, which you can query using the SOA record type that also gives slightly more details for this server:

# dig @ +short SOA 410477869 900 900 1800 60

The difference between using NS and SOA records with dig are explained in the [Wayback] dns – How do I find the authoritative name-server for a domain name? – Stack Overflow answer by [Wayback/Archive] bortzmeyer who also explains how to help figuring out SOA and NS discrepancies (note to self: check out the check_soa tool originally by Michael Fuhr (I could not find recent content of him, so he might have passed away) of which source code is now at [Wayback/Archive] Net-DNS/check_soa at master · NLnetLabs/Net-DNS).

So this works splendid as well using on my test system:

# dig -4 TXT +short | xargs

The xargs removes outer quotes removal trick

[Wayback/Archive] string – Shell script – remove first and last quote (“) from a variable – Stack Overflow (thanks quite anonymous [Wayback/Archive] user1587520):

> echo '"quoted"' | xargs

xargs uses echo as the default command if no command is provided and strips quotes from the input.

More on https versus DNS requests

Some notes are in [Wayback/Archive] How to get public IP address from Linux shell, but note the telnet trick now fails as is gone (latest live version was archived in the Wayback Machine in august 2019).



Posted in *nix, *nix-tools, Apple, bash, bash, Batch-Files, Communications Development, Development, DNS, Internet protocol suite, Linux, Mac, Mac OS X / OS X / MacOS, Power User, Scripting, Software Development, TCP | Leave a Comment »

Don’t fall for the golden hammer: avoid git empty commits, especially for kicking off parts of your CI/CD

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/08/16

A while back Kristian Köhntopp (isotopp) wrote a blog post after quite a Twitter argument where he poses against using git empty commits. I’m with Kris: don’t use them for anything, especially not for kicking off your CI/CD.

Basically his blog post is all about avoiding to think you have a golden hammer, and avoid falling for the Law of the instrument – Wikipedia.

Originally, Abraham Maslow said in 1966:

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

For me this has all to do with preventing technical debt: find the right tool to kick your CI/CD pipeline after part of that chain somehow malfunctioned is way better than polluting the commit history with empty commits.

His blog post: [Wayback/] Empty commits and other wrong tools for the job | Die wunderbare Welt von Isotopp

The most important bit in it:

And since we are talking about CI/CD pipelines: Don’t YAML them. Don’t JSON them. Don’t XML them.

Programming in any of these three is wrong use of tooling, and you should not do it.

  • YAML, JSON and XML are for declarative things.
  • Python, Go and Rust are for procedural things.
  • Bash is for interactive use only.

Use the proper tooling for the job. Be an engineer.

This very much reminds me of an Entwickler Konferenz keynote a long time ago, where Neal Ford made the point that most software engineers act very much unlike what is expected from traditional engineering way of operating where the engineer is both responsible and liable for his actions.

The start of the Twitter thread: [] Kristian Köhntopp on Twitter: “A lot of people right now that git is an API and triggering CI/CD pipelines with empty commits replaces the equivalent of a Kubernetes controller for their fragile pile of bash in git triggers. This is broken and begets more brokenness. Evidence:… “

The tweet that started the subtweet: [] Florian Haas on Twitter: “(For anyone wondering, what’s nice about this one is it works in any CI. So you don’t have to remember how to manually kick off a GitLab CI pipeline or GitHub Action or Zuul job, you just push an empty commit and off you go.)”

Other relevant tweets:

Yes, you want to avoid shell too (anything like for instance sh, ash, dash, bash or zsh), but you have to know it (and understand why to avoid it) as often it is the only interactive way to access systems from the console.

And of course Kris also wrote a big document on that too, which is available as full PDF (Wayback), full HTML (Wayback) and chaptered HTML Die UNIX Shell /bin/sh.

But more importantly, Kris wrote [Wayback/] Using Python to bash | Die wunderbare Welt von Isotopp which is about using Python to do things you might be tempted to do in the shell. It quotes

Shell is a thing you want to understand and then not use, because you learned to understand it.

which is from the German post in thread [Wayback/] Bashprogrammierung, wo gehts am besten los which quotes Kris’ 1998 message:

From kris Tue Sep 1 11:26:12 1998
From: kris
Newsgroups: de.comp.os.unix.misc
Subject: Re: Shell-Frage, find, xargs, kopieren von vielen Dateien
References: <6seh24$q9a$>
From: (Kristian Koehntopp)
Alignment: chaotic/neutral
X-Copyright: (C) Copyright 1987-1998 Kristian Koehntopp -- All rights
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit (Marc Haber) writes:
>mir ist das ganze Zeug mit der Shell, find, xargs und Konsorten noch
>reichlich verschlüsselt.

>xargs hin oder sollte ich besser ein Perlskript schreiben?

Verwende Perl. Shell will man koennen, dann aber nicht verwenden.



Posted in *nix, *nix-tools, ash/dash, ash/dash development, bash, bash, Conference Topics, Conferences, Continuous Integration, Development, DVCS - Distributed Version Control, Event, git, Power User, Scripting, sh, Sh Shell, Software Development, Source Code Management, Technical Debt | Leave a Comment »

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