Archive for the ‘ Miscellaneous ’ Category

Make http request with telnet

How to make an HTTP request with telnet

One of the most frequent interview question for tech professionals, especially system administrators and developers is – “tell us what happens when you type a URL in a browser?”. Skipping the DNS resolution part, we can understand the client to server HTTP communication with telnet. The simplest case is a GET request to a path with a HOST header.As an example, let us make an http request to an AWS service which responds back with our public IP address –

$ telnet 80
GET / HTTP/1.1

Here is the full transaction –

daniel@hidmo:~$ telnet 80
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2019 12:51:55 GMT
Server: lighttpd/1.4.41
Content-Length: 14
Connection: keep-alive
Connection closed by foreign host.

Notice how the server closes the connection after waiting for a few seconds, that is because the keep-alive is enabled on the server side as shown from the server response – “Connection: keep-alive“. With keep-alive we can make additional http calls with out going through the whole 3-way TCP handshake.

Disable keep-alive on client side

If for some reason, we want to close the connection on the client side immediately we can pass “Connection: Close” as part of the http header in the request.

References –

Telnet manpage

In Linux, the find command is most commonly used to search files using different criteria such as file name, size and modified time. Did you know that you can search files using inode number as well? Here is how to do it?

With “ls” we can find the inode number –

$ ls -li /etc/hosts
1576843 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 311 Jan 21  2017 /etc/hosts

Using “-inum” option of find command, we can locate the filename and its path by its inode number.

$ find /etc -type f -inum 1576843 2>/dev/null 

$ cat $(find /etc -type f -inum 1576843 2>/dev/null)	localhost	ubuntu


How to print the file system type of a mount

Linux supports several file systems, including VFAT, ext2, ext3, ext4 and Reiser. The ext* family of file systems are probably the most popular ones.

The quickest way to view the file system on which each FILE resides, or all file systems is the “df” command.

$ df -Th
Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev           devtmpfs  481M  4.0K  481M   1% /dev
tmpfs          tmpfs      99M  1.2M   98M   2% /run
/dev/sda1      ext4       46G   32G   12G  73% /
none           tmpfs     4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
none           tmpfs     5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none           tmpfs     494M   12K  494M   1% /run/shm
none           tmpfs     100M   36K  100M   1% /run/user
In the above example, with "df -Th", we can see the file system type
("-T" option) in a human readable ("-h") size format.


There are several tools for compressing and decompressing files in Linux, you can get a summary of these tools in this link. Zip is one of the utilities used for packaging, compressing (archive) and decompressing files.


  • Ubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zip unzip
  • RedHat or CentOS
sudo yum install unzip

Compress files

Compress files in a directory named tutorial –

$ zip -r tutorial/
   adding: tutorial/ (stored 0%)
   adding: tutorial/host.conf (deflated 13%)
   adding: tutorial/hostname (stored 0%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts.deny (deflated 44%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts (deflated 35%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts.allow (deflated 42%)
   adding: tutorial/ (deflated 52%)

View contents of zip files, without uncompressing –

$ zip -sf tutorial
 Archive contains:
 Total 7 entries (2487 bytes)

Unzip or decompress

To decompress a zipped file, use the unzip command –

 $ unzip
   creating: tutorial/
  inflating: tutorial/host.conf
 extracting: tutorial/hostname
  inflating: tutorial/hosts.deny
  inflating: tutorial/hosts
  inflating: tutorial/hosts.allow
  inflating: tutorial/

Search and compress

You can also combine find and zip command to search for certain types of files and compress those files in one command –

 $ find . -type f -name '*.conf' -print | zip confi-files -@
  adding: host.conf (deflated 13%)
  adding: colord.conf (deflated 50%)
  adding: ntp.conf (deflated 56%)

$ zip -sf confi-files
Archive contains:
Total 3 entries (1858 bytes)
References -

Contents of most text files change during the life of the file , and it is common to find yourself trying to search and replace certain text across multiple files. In Linux, this is a fairly easy task. Let us go through some of the commands you will need to perform this task and then finally construct a single liner to do the job.

  • grep is your best friend when it comes to finding a string in a file. In this case we are looking for the string “REPLACEME” in current directory and across multiple files –
$ grep -r REPLACEME *
host.conf:# The "REPLACEME" line is only used by old versions of the C library.
host.conf:order hosts,REPLACEME,bind
hosts.deny:ALL: REPLACEME

If we are interested only in the files which contains this particular text –

$ grep -lr REPLACEME *
  • sed is a tool of choice for inline editing of files –
$ cat data 
This text will be replaced - REPLACEME
$ sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' data 
$ cat data 
This text will be replaced - NEWTEXT

From here, there are multiple ways to skin the cat – we can loop through the files and do the replacement or we can let the commands do the replacement with a wildcard.

For loop style update -

$ for f in $(grep -lr REPLACEME *); do echo "*** File: ${f} ***" ; sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' $f; done
*** File: host.conf ***
*** File: hostname ***
*** File: hosts.deny ***

$ grep -lr REPLACEME *

$ grep -lr NEWTEXT *

Actually the above for loop is redundant, sed can make changes across multiple files –

 sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' *

What type of storage engine a MySQL table uses?

MySQL supports several storage engines such as InnoDB, MyISAM, BLACKHOLE, CSV. Depending on your use case, you might configure your MySQL table to use certain storage engine. To see the list of storage engines MySQL supports, simply run “SHOW ENGINES\G” under a mysql prompt.

To find out the particular storage engine used by a table, run the ‘show table status’ command for the named table as below. The first example is the mysql user table, which uses InnoDB –

mysql> use mysql;

mysql> show table status like 'user' \G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
Name: user
Engine: InnoDB
Version: 10
Row_format: Compact
Rows: 1
Avg_row_length: 16384
Data_length: 16384
Max_data_length: 0
Index_length: 49152
Data_free: 10485760
Auto_increment: 2
Create_time: 2013-08-26 22:52:09
Update_time: NULL
Check_time: NULL
Collation: binary
Checksum: NULL
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

A sample table which uses MyISAM storage engine –

mysql> show table status like 'servers' \G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
Name: servers
Engine: MyISAM
Version: 10
Row_format: Fixed
Rows: 0
Avg_row_length: 0
Data_length: 0
Max_data_length: 433752939111120895
Index_length: 1024
Data_free: 0
Auto_increment: NULL
Create_time: 2013-08-24 01:42:15
Update_time: 2013-08-24 01:42:15
Check_time: NULL
Collation: utf8_general_ci
Checksum: NULL
Comment: MySQL Foreign Servers table
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

A table for logging slow queries is stored in a CSV storage engine –

mysql> show table status like 'slow_log' \G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
Name: slow_log
Engine: CSV
Version: 10
Row_format: Dynamic
Rows: 2
Avg_row_length: 0
Data_length: 0
Max_data_length: 0
Index_length: 0
Data_free: 0
Auto_increment: NULL
Create_time: NULL
Update_time: NULL
Check_time: NULL
Collation: utf8_general_ci
Checksum: NULL
Comment: Slow log
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


Features of some of the storage engines –

  • InnoDB: is a transaction-safe (ACID compliant) storage engine for MySQL that has commit, rollback, and crash-recovery capabilities to protect user data. 
  • MyISAM: These tables have a small footprint. Table-level locking limits the performance in read/write workloads, so it is often used in read-only or read-mostly workloads in Web and data warehousing configurations.
  • Memory: Stores all data in RAM, for fast access in environments that require quick lookups of non-critical data.
  • CSV: Its tables are really text files with comma-separated values. CSV tables let you import or dump data in CSV format, to exchange data with scripts and applications that read and write that same format.
  • Archive: These compact, unindexed tables are intended for storing and retrieving large amounts of seldom-referenced historical, archived, or security audit information.
  • Blackhole: The Blackhole storage engine accepts but does not store data, similar to the Unix /dev/null device. Queries always return an empty set.


References –