HOWTO: Make Terminator Terminal Act Like Guake Terminal in Fedora 20/Ubuntu 14.10 8

We tried to toggle the visibility of the terminator window using the configuration in the ‘Terminator Preferences’ under Keybindings.

But, we could not get the hide_window keybinding to work and so we could not toggle the window visibility with a single key.

After trying other versions of the terminator source which also failed we switched to an alternative solution.

This solution requires two additional packages: xdotool and wmctrl.

In Fedora you can install them using sudo yum install xdotool wmctrl and in Ubuntu using sudo apt-get install xdotool wmctrl

After the installation is complete,  you need to paste the following code in a file and make it an executable.

e.g From a terminal issue nano ~/, then paste the code and hit CTRL+X to exit. When prompted if you want to save press ‘Y’ and enter.


#The purpose of this script is to allow the user to toggle the visibility of (almost) any window.
#Please note it will work on the first match, so if there are multiple instances of an application it would be a random window of them the one to be affected.

#Checking that all dependencies are met, since we cannot proceed without them.
declare -a DEPENDENCIES=("xdotool" "wmctrl");
declare -a MANAGERS=("yum" "apt-get");

    echo -n "Checking if $DEPENDENCY is available";
    if hash $DEPENDENCY 2>/dev/null;
        echo "- OK, Found";
        echo "- ERROR, Not Found in $PATH";
        for MANAGER in ${MANAGERS[@]};
            if hash $MANAGER 2>/dev/null;
                echo -n "$DEPENDENCY is missing, would you like to try and install it via $MANAGER now? [Y/N] (default is Y): ";
                read ANSWER;
                if [[ "$ANSWER" == "Y" || "$ANSWER" == "y" || "$ANSWER" == "" ]];
                    sudo "$MANAGER" install "$DEPENDENCY";
                    echo "Terminating";
                    exit -1;


#Checking if the application name provided by the user exists
if ! hash $APPLICATION 2>/dev/null;
    echo -e "$APPLICATION does not seem to be a valid executable\nTerminating";
    exit -2;

#Checking if the application is running. We are using pgrep as various application are python scripts and we will not be able to find them using pidof. pgrep will look through the currently running processes and list the process IDs of all the processes that are called $APPLICATION.
PID=$(pgrep $APPLICATION | head -n 1);

#If the application is not running, we will try to launch it.
if [ -z $PID ];
  echo "$APPLICATION not running, launching it..";
    #Since the application has a live instance, we can proceed with the rest of the code.
    #We will get the PID of the application that is currently focused, if it is not the application we passed as parameter we will change the focus to that. In the other case, we will minimize the application.
  echo -n "$APPLICATION instance found - ";
    FOCUSED=$(xdotool getactivewindow getwindowpid);
    if [[ $PID == $FOCUSED ]];
    echo "It was focused so we are minimizing it";
        #We minimize the active window which we know in this case that it is the application we passed as parameter.
        xdotool getactivewindow windowminimize;
    echo "We are setting the focus on it";
        #We set the focus to the application we passed as parameter. If it is minimized it will be raised as well.
        wmctrl -x -R $APPLICATION;

exit 0

Afterwards, you need to make the script an executable so you should issue chmod +x ~/ to do that.

Then, execute ~/ in your terminal once. We need to do that in order to install any missing dependencies for the tool.

Finally, you need to create a custom shortcut that will call the script using the key combination you like at any point.

For Fedora,

  1. Issue the following in a terminal gnome-control-panel to start the gnome control panel.
  2. In the newly appeared window, click on the ‘keyboard’ icon that is in the category ‘Hardware’.
  3. After that, click on the tab ‘Shortcuts’
  4. and on the left list, click on custom shortcuts.
  5. You will see a button with the + sign, click that.
  6. In the dialog box that will appear enter the following:
    – In the name field enter anything you like. e.g ‘Toggle Terminator Visibility’
    – In the command field enter ‘/home/<USER>/ terminator’ where user enter your own username.
    – Click apply.
  7. You will see a new row with two columns with the name you just set in the first column. Click on the second column, where it should say ‘Disabled’ and the press the key combination you want for toggling terminator e.g F12

For Ubuntu, go to System Settings and follow the same procedure after step 2.

You are ready to go 🙂

Just try the key combination you just provided and terminator will appear in front of you. Pressing it once more it will hide it.


Bash: How to execute from root account a script as another user

There are times that you need to execute a script as another user, usually to make sure you do not mess up the access rights of the files that will be produced after the execution of the script.

An easy way to do it is using the command su (su allows to run commands with a substitute user and group ID).

An example would be to use it as su - <USER> -c "<COMMAND>
The –  <USER> will start the shell as a login shell with an environment similar to a real login.
The -c “<COMMAND>” will pass the command after -c to the newly created shell, you should wrap it in quotes if you want to pass parameters to your command.

Creating an MD5 hash of a string in bash

Make sure that you are not including the new line character (\n) as well in your string, there are cases where it might be included without you explicitly writing it.
For example if you use the output of an echo command in bash, it will automatically add a new line character to the end and will cause your hash to be not the one you would like to have.
For example, the MD5 hash of ‘’ (without the quotes) should be 16c00d9cfaef1688d4f2ddfb11b60f46 but if you execute the following you will see you will get a different result.
echo '' | md5sum
01c46835dcb79be359e0b464ae6c6156 -

To avoid this error, use the -n option for echo that will direct the command not to output a trailing new line character.
echo -n '' | md5sum
16c00d9cfaef1688d4f2ddfb11b60f46 -

How to list all available repositories on a Git server via ssh 9

ssh [email protected] info

The above ssh call will connect to a Git hosting server that has gitolite installed and will return the list of repositories that are available to your account along with the access rights of each.

Note: This command should work even if remote login via ssh is blocked on the server.

The command should return a list similar to this:

hello bytefreaks, this is [email protected] running gitolite3 v3.5.3.1-1-gf8776f5 on git 1.7.1

 R W	Repo1
 R W	Repo2
 R W	Repo3
 R  	Repo4

The first column in the results is the read flag, the second the write flag and the third column is the name of the repository.

In order to clone (get a local copy) a repository from the above list (for the example lets use Repo1) you have to issue the following command

git clone ssh://[email protected]/Repo1

To clone all of the repositories in the current directory with one command, as it is shown in this guide, issue the following command:

ssh [email protected] info | cut -f 2 | tail -n +3 | xargs -I {} -n 1 git clone ssh://[email protected]/{}

Bash script: How to check if it run by a user in terminal or not 2

We will use ‘tty’ which normally prints the file name of the connected terminal on standard input.

To make our life easier we will add the parameter -s (silent), ‘tty -s’  will print nothing and return an exit status.

tty has the following possible values for exit status:

  •  0: if standard input is a terminal
  • 1: if standard input is not a terminal
  • 2: if given incorrect arguments
  • 3: if a write error occurs

So in order to check if this script is attached to a terminal we have to do something similar to this:
tty -s;
if [ "0" == "$?" ]; then
echo "Terminal attached, you can print data as there might be a user viewing it.";
echo "No terminal attached, there might not be a reason to print everything.";

Note: In the above script we use ‘$?’, that variable contains the return value of the last executed command, so If you are planning on using it like this, make sure you do not place any other command in between the tty -s and the if statement.

How to: remove prefix and suffix from a variable in bash 2

string=${string#$prefix}; #Remove prefix
string=${string%$suffix}; #Remove suffix
echo $string; #Prints "hello_kitty"

In the above example we have as input the variable string that contains following /scripts/log/mount_hello_kitty.log.

We want to remove from that variable the prefix, which is /scripts/log/mount_ and the suffix, which is .log.

The above code will replace in place the input that is contained in the variable string and remove the prefix and suffix we defined in the respective variables.

string=${string#$prefix} returns a copy of string after the prefix was removed from the beginning of the variable.

string=${string%$suffix} returns a copy of string after the suffix was removed from the end of the variable.

How to: Extract all usernames that are logged in from who

who | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | sort -u

who: will show who is logged on

cut  -d ‘ ‘ -f 1: will remove all sections from each line except for column 1. It will use the space character as the delimiter for the columns

sort -u: it will sort the usernames and remove duplicate lines. So if a user is logged in multiple times you will get that username only once.
In case you want to filter out root user from this list you can do it as follows:

who | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | sort -u | grep -v 'root'

Generate Random Password

date +%s | sha256sum | base64 | head -c 32 ; echo
date +%s : will print the system date and time in seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC

sha256sum :  will compute  the SHA256 message digest of the time in seconds we produced before

base64 : will encode the previous data and print them to standard output

head -c 32 : will print the first 32 characters of the previous data

; echo : is used to create a new line at the end of the results

Bash: Get Filename, File Extension and Path from Full Path

The following commands will allow you extract various information from the full path of a file.

Part of the information is the filename, the file extension, the file base and the directory it is located in.

# Truncate the longest match of */ from the beginning of the string
# Get the sub-string from the start (position 0) to the position where the filename starts
directory="${fullpath:0:${#fullpath} - ${#filename}}";
# Strip shortest match of . plus at least one non-dot char from end of the filename
# Get the sub-string from length of base to end of filename
extension="${filename:${#base} + 1}";
# If we have an extension and no base, it means we do not really have an extension but only a base
if [[ -z "$base" && -n "$extension" ]]; then
echo -e "Original:\t'$fullpath':\n\tdirectory:\t'$directory'\n\tfilename:\t'$filename'\n\tbase name:\t'$base'\n\textension:\t'$extension'"