/dev/null Blogs

  • Eradicate Spam from Unix Service Accounts!

    Posted October 13, 2009 - 3:25 pm

    There are numerous ways to reduce the amount of spam that you receive. Good email filters can keep you from ever having to deal with the onslaught of stupid offers you never wanted to see, never mind the outright attempts to steal personal information or rope you into some type of scam. I've found that the spammers have become so desperate to increase their spam traffic deliveries that they are sending spam to system accounts such as bin and listen. Instead of trying to bounce this mail back to the senders -- which in less perverted times might have actually worked, I find it's speedier and less consuming of system resources to just pitch the mail into the bit bucket. Here's how this works.
  • Unix Wizdumb: Clean up empty "in use" files with "cat /dev/null"

    Posted July 8, 2009 - 6:54 pm

    Ever run into the problem of a 100% full /var file system? Who hasn't? It's so tempting to whip out the old rm command and start cleaning out files. But what if you remove a file that's eating a huge chunk of space only to find that none of the space is freed up? Oops!
  • Redirecting errors with exec

    Posted June 3, 2009 - 7:27 pm

    When you're preparing scripts for people less wizardly in the art of Unix than yourself, you might want to temper minor problems by sending system errors on their way. Let's take a look at how easily the exec command squelches system output.
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