Small Data


A combination of potential blog posts, links, stackoverflow answers and experience. Ctrl+F is your friend.


Delete history

Use the following script / commands. $1 refers to the commit hash of the commit from which you would like to keep history.

git checkout --orphan temp $1 # create a new branch without parent history
git commit -m "Truncated history" # create a first commit on this branch, note that this might result in a lot of new untracked files (can also delete unwanted items here)
git rebase --onto temp $1 master # now rebase the part of master branch that we want to keep onto this branch
git branch -D temp # delete the temp branch

# The following 2 commands are optional - they keep your git repo in good shape.
git prune --progress # delete all the objects w/o references
git gc --aggressive # aggressively collect garbage; may take a lot of time on large repos

Don't forget to git push -f to force push changes to master at the end.

Clean up a git repository

First clean up all branches and stashes that you don't require. git branch -D and git push -d

git fetch --prune # prune remote branches

git stash clear
git reflog expire --expire-unreachable=now --all 
git gc --prune=now
Remove untracked files
  • files: git clean -n
  • files: git clean -f
  • directories: git clean -fd
  • ignored files: git clean -fX
  • ignored and non-ignored files: git clean -fx
Disable local change tracking for certain files

git update-index --assume-unchanged <path> to disable change tracking

git update-index --no-assume-unchanged <path> to enable change tracking

Reset local branch after a force push

Note that this may require a git clean in the local repo

git fetch
git reset --hard origin/remote-branch-name
Checkout branch from tag
git checkout tags/v1.0.0 -b bugfix-v1
Cherry pick a commit in staging mode
git cherry-pick <commit-hash> -n
Pretty format git log when tig is not available
git log --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit
Find pending commits between two branches excluding already cherry-pick/merged changes
git cherry -v branch-name master

It lists all the commits that are on master but not on branch-name with a leading + mark each line. If the line starts with a - mark, the following commit (of master) has an equivalent commit on branch-name (via merge or cherry-pick), which can be ignored (Reference).

Another option:

git log --no-merges --cherry-pick branch-name..master

The above lists out commits that are on master but not on the branch. However note that since the commit id of a cherry picked commit changes, the relevant patch will still show up as missing in the git log result if it has already been cherry picked.

Finally, after cherry picking missing patches and resolving conflicts, make sure to merge the relevant branches to not have to follow the white rabbit again :)



  • Build image: docker build -t [image-name] .
  • Run image in detached mode and expose docker port 25 as 3035 on localhost: docker run -d -p 3025:25 [image-name]
  • List running docker images: docker ps
  • Jump into a shell on running docker image: docker exec -it [container-id] bash, (change bash to any other command to execute a command on the running instance)
  • Stop all images: docker stop $(docker ps -a -q)
  • Stop all images: docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)


cli (psql)
connect to an existing db with username and password
psql <dbname> -h <hostname> -U <username> -W, make sure to use localhost when necessary
create db and user via root
sudo -u postgres psql postgres

CREATE DATABASE mydatabase WITH OWNER = myuser;
SHOW port

psql -h localhost -d mydatabase -U myuser -p <port> 
create db and user programmatically
sudo -u postgres createuser -s $USER
createdb mydatabase
psql -d mydatabase 
show all users
show tables
\dt, SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables WHERE table_schema = 'public';
show databases
\l, SELECT datname FROM pg_database;
show columns
\d table, SELECT column_name FROM information_schema.columns WHERE table_name ='table';
describe table
\d+ table, SELECT column_name FROM information_schema.columns WHERE table_name ='table';
Extract `bytea` data into a file, an image for example
Use `COPY` command with encode to hex format and then apply `xxd` shell command (with `-p` continuous hexdump style switch): \copy (SELECT encode(file, 'hex') FROM samples LIMIT 1) TO '~/image.hex' xxd -p -r ~/image.hex > ~/image.jpg


Check expiration date

echo | openssl s_client -showcerts -connect 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -inform pem -noout -dates



echo 'hello snoop' | mail -s "Test subject"


sudo update-java-alternatives

Disable terminal bell

a) Click on Applications > Accessories > Terminal
b) Now click on Edit Menu > Current Profile
c) Click on General Tab > General > Remove check box (Terminal bell)

You can also remove the driver: sudo modprobe -r pcspkr. Append the following line to your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist so that beep remains off after the system reboot: blacklist pcspkr

Disable touchscreen
xinput --list
xinput disable [touchscreen XID]
Edit nautilus bookmarks

There is a really weird bug with my current nautilus setup that does not allow me to simply click on a nautilus bookmark - the item always ends up being dragged. Therefore, editing bookmarks is pretty much impossible via the GUI. They can be manually edited here: ~/config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks

Count lines of code

find . -name '*.js' | xargs wc -l

PDF & Image manipulation
convert -density 300 taxi.pdf -quality 90 taxi.jpg
convert taxi.jpg taxi.pdf
convert *.jpg wedding-party-invite.pdf
Downscaling scanned pdfs

convert -density 300x300 -quality 80 -compress jpeg fat.pdf skinny.pdf

Check dpi of images

identify -format "%w x %h %x x %y" card.png where PixelsPerInch = PixelsPerCentimeter * 2.54

making a gif with resize

convert -resize 50% -delay 20 -loop 0 *.JPG myimage.gif

resize images

for file in *.JPG; do convert $file -resize 50% lo-$file; done

extract pages from pdf

pdftk full-pdf.pdf cat 12-15 output pages.pdf

Convert from epub to pdf using calibre
ebook-convert src.epub out.pdf --extra-css "body { font-family: Lato, Georgia; line-height: 1.5; }"  --base-font-size 10 --embed-all-fonts --margin-left 20 --margin-right 20 --margin-top 20 --margin-bottom 20 --unsmarten-punctuation