Useless Linux Terminal Commands

Posted by jun auza On 10/21/2009
Not long ago, I have listed here some useful Linux terminal commands and those that I described as deadly. This time, I decided to gather some commands that I think have no practical use. I know it sounds interesting but you may disagree with me on some of the commands that I'll list here as you may find a few of them useful. We can however agree to disagree as long as you explain to us why or how you find them handy.

So without any more delay, here are several useless Linux terminal commands:


clear command

The clear command simply clears the terminal screen. I don't find it useful since hitting CTRL-L is the quickest way of clearing the terminal screen.


rev command

The rev command as described on its man page is a utility that copies the specified files to the standard output, reversing the order of characters in every line. If no files are specified, the standard input is read.

As an example, I typed the sentence “Linux is fun” after the rev command, and here's the result:

$ rev
Linux is fun
nuf si xuniL

I've heard that rev has been used a long time ago in translating from or to languages that can be read from right to left. But now that the modern terminals can be set to display different languages correctly, I think rev has no practical use.


vdir command

The vdir command has the same output as the commonly used ls -lb. It lists the directory contents in alphabetical order along with information about the files. See the following examples:

$ vdir
total 60424
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 111295 2009-07-20 22:46 img_0001.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 384081 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0011.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 451303 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0013.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 468926 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0017.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 443045 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0019.jpg

$ ls -lb
total 60424
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 111295 2009-07-20 22:46 img_0001.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 384081 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0011.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 451303 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0013.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 468926 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0017.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jun jun 443045 2009-07-20 22:45 img_0019.jpg


ul command

Description from the man page: The ul utility reads the named files (or standard input if none are given) and translates occurrences of underscores to the sequence that indicates underlining for the terminal in use, as specified by the environment variable TERM.


$ cat hello.txt
hello_world

$ ul hello.txt
hello_world

The output is the same as using the cat command. "ul" was utilized back then on making underlined text readable, but at present I think it has become useless.


If you have other useless commands to add, please share them with us via comment.

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