ExplainShell Breaks Down Long, Confusing Linux Commands

ExplainShell Breaks Down Long, Confusing Linux Commands

Ever come across a tutorial online that tells you to run a long terminal command, but you want to know what each part of it actually means before you execute it? ExplainShell does exactly that: paste in the command, and it will tell you what each portion of the code does.

Obviously, you could do this yourself by searching through man pages — and we still recommend you read the man pages to learn more — but this is a really fast, helpful way to understand what you’re doing rather than just copying and pasting commands willy-nilly. For example, if a tutorial tells you to run:

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -s ip-to-block -j DROP

ExplainShell would explain that -i keyfile selects the file containing your key, -f runs it in the background, and so on. It doesn’t work with every command you’ll ever come across, but it’s a pretty handy tool to have in your arsenal. Hit the link below to check it out.

ExplainShell [via GHacks]

The Cheapest NBN50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.