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Like FileUtils, but provides zip, unzip, bzip2, bunzip2, tar, untar, sed, du, md5sum, shasum, cut, head, tail, wc, unix2dos, dos2unix, iconv, curl, perl, etc.

README.markdown

unix_utils

Like FileUtils, but provides zip, unzip, bzip2, bunzip2, tar, untar, sed, du, md5sum, shasum, cut, head, tail, wc, unix2dos, dos2unix, iconv, curl, perl, etc.

You must have these binaries in your PATH. Not a pure-ruby implementation of all these UNIX greats!

Works in MRI 1.8.7+, MRI 1.9.2+, and JRuby 1.6.7+. No gem dependencies; uses stdlib

Real-world usage

Brighter Planet logo

We use unix_utils for data science at Brighter Planet and in production at

Originally extracted from remote_table

Philosophy

Use a subprocess to perform a big task and then get out of memory.

cover of the Unix Philosophy book Tenet 2: Make Each Program Do One Thing Well. The best programs, like Cousteau's lake fly, does but one task in its life and does it well. The program is loaded into memory, accomplishes its function, and then gets out ot the way to allow
the next single-minded program to begin. This sounds simple, yet it may surprise you how many software developers have difficulty sticking to this singular goal.

Rules (what you can expect)

For commands like zip, untar, sed, head, cut, dos2unix, etc.:

  1. Just returns a path to the output, randomly named, located in the system tmp dir (UnixUtils.unzip('kittens.zip)'/tmp/unix_utils-129392301-kittens')
  2. Never touches the input
  3. Sticks a useful file extension on the output, if applicable (UnixUtils.tar('puppies/')'/tmp/unix_utils-99293192-puppies.tar')

For commands like du, md5sum, shasum, etc.:

  1. Just returns the good stuff (the checksum, for example, not the filename that is listed after it in the standard command output)
  2. Never touches the input

But I can just spawn these myself

This lib was created to ease the pain of remembering command options for Gentoo, deciding which spawning method to use, possibly handling pipes...

require 'tmpdir'
destdir = File.join(Dir.tmpdir, "kittens_#{Kernel.rand(1e11)}")
require 'open3'
Open3.popen3('unzip', '-q', '-n', 'kittens.zip, '-d', destdir) do |stdin, stdout, stderr|
  stdin.close
  @error_message = stderr.read
end

is replaced safely with

destdir = UnixUtils.unzip 'kittens.zip'

But I can just use Digest::SHA256

(Note: Balazs Kutil pointed out this is a bad example... I will replace it soon)

This will load an entire file into memory before it can be processed...

require 'digest'
str = Digest::SHA256.hexdigest File.read('kittens.zip')

... so you're really replacing this ...

sha256 = Digest::SHA256.new
File.open('kittens.zip', 'r') do |f|
  while chunk = f.read(4_194_304)
    sha256 << chunk
  end
end
str = sha256.hexdigest

You get the same low memory footprint with

str = UnixUtils.shasum 'kittens.zip', 256

Compatibility

Uses open3 because it's in the Ruby stdlib and is consistent across MRI and JRuby.

Wishlist

  • cheat sheet based on GNU Coreutils cheat sheet
  • yarddocs
  • properly use Dir.tmpdir(name), etc.
  • smarter tmp file name generation - don't include url params for curl, etc.

Authors

Copyright

Copyright (c) 2012 Seamus Abshere

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