Command Line Power Tools

Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Remote Learning
PICSciE/Research Computing

This workshop will introduce regular expressions and Linux command line tools, with an emphasis on the GNU flavored inflections of such common utilities as grep, find, sed, awk, and other stand-bys of BASH pipelines and scripts. In a mixture of lecture, demos, and hands-on activities, participants will see various ways to expedite many day-to-day computing tasks, particularly tasks that involve handling structured text files (including data files and parameter files).

Learning objectives: Participants will learn ways to improve their command-line workflow, how to read and compose regular expressions, how to use command-line tools that leverage regular expressions, and how to chain those tools together to create powerful file-processing pipelines. They will also leave with enough know-how to parse and understand the plethora of online resources that offer tips and tricks for these tools. 

Knowledge prerequisites: Basic Linux and the Bash command-line (at the level covered in our “Intro to the Linux Command Line” workshop).  In particular, participants should understand what the standard file streams are (stdin, stdout, stderr) and should know what bash pipes are and how they work.

Hardware/software prerequisites:  (1) Bring a laptop which can connect to the eduroam wireless network and should be able to Duo authenticate to use campus resources.  (2) Register for an account on Adroit and make sure you can connect to it via SSH  (as outlined in this guide).  (3) Participants must have access to a Linux/Unix command line (that can be on Adroit or a local shell on your laptop). Mac users should note that some of the material covered will not work quite the same way if you use the versions of command-line utilities that come by default with macOS. Mac users are strongly encouraged to install the GNU version of those utilities using a package manager, such as homebrew.

Please register online at If you are having trouble registering, please contact


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