Sum of the Values of Column Using AWK.

For example, I have a file called apples.txt with the following content and I want to total them up.

Apples in Box 1 = 100
Apples in Box 2 = 564
Apples in Box 3 = 214
Apples in Box 4 = 124
Apples in Box 5 = 785
Apples in Box 6 = 398
Apples in Box 7 = 125
Apples in Box 8 = 753
Apples in Box 9 = 357
Apples in Box 10 = 951

So just cat the file and use AWK command awk ‘{SUM+=$6}END{print SUM}’ to total them up

make sure to use the right column in awk command, like in our example I want to SUM the column 6 so I used ‘{SUM+=$6}

[root@server ~]# cat  example.txt | awk '{SUM+=$6}END{print SUM}'

Eval Command in Linux

Eval is built in unix command – it’s used to execute arguments as shell commands. It’s useful when you have command stored in variable and you want to execute it.

[root@server Files]# mycommand="ls -ltr"

[root@server Files]# echo $mycommand
ls -ltr

[root@server Files]# eval $mycommand
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov  5 07:40 file1.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov  5 07:40 file3.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov  5 07:40 file2.txt
[root@server Files]#

Look at the example above, I have stored the command ls – ltr in the variable mycommand so when I do echo it’s just prints what in the variable. But when I do eval followed with the variable – it will actually execute the command.

Eval is powerful command but it’s Evil – it has security issues as well.
You can find the details here

Exit Status in Linux.

What is exit status in the linux?

Whenever you fire a shell command it returns a status to check if that command was successful or not – exit status can be very useful in scripts to make you scripts stable.


In the example below, I ran uptime command and it was successful – so when I checked the exit status using echo $? it showed 0.

[root@server ~]# uptime
 05:15:27 up 50 days, 16:53,  1 user,  load average: 0.08, 0.03, 0.08

[root@server ~]# echo $?
[root@server ~]#

Now let’s see what happens when command is not successful.

So in the example below, I typed incorrect command and exit status was other than 0 – which indicates error.

[root@server ~]# uptimee
-bash: uptimee: command not found

[root@server ~]# echo $?
[root@server ~]#

Practical usage in shell scripting.

cd $1 > /dev/null 2>&1

if [ $? != 0 ]
        echo "Directory Not Found" ; exit

echo "Great!"

So, above script terminates if cd command is not successful.
If it’s successful it will execute further code.

[root@server ~]# ./ /tmp

[root@server ~]# ./ /tmpp
Directory Not Found
[root@server ~]#

Avoid Confirmation while Copying Files

While copying files, using cp command you would have noticed that it always asks for the confirmation overwriting files like below.

[root@server ~]# cp -v test.txt example.txt
cp: overwrite ‘example.txt’?

Will see how you can avoid that – but before that let’s see why it happens.

This happens because of alias set in the .bashrc file.

[root@server ~]# cat .bashrc
# .bashrc

# User specific aliases and functions

alias rm='rm -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias mv='mv -i'

you can remove alias in .bashrc file – and you won’t be asked for confirmation ever again.

but if you want to skip confirmation for time being then you can call the cp command directly from bin – Example.

[root@server ~]# /bin/cp -v test.txt example.txt
‘test.txt’ -> ‘example.txt’
[root@server ~]#