Bash random number generation

Historically I’ve used $RANDOM as a random number source in bash — a bit like :

RAND=$(( $RANDOM % 10 )) 

when I’ve needed a random number out of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9

one problem with this is that $RANDOM itself is populated between 0 and 32767 by the shell – so it’s not going to give totally even distribution.

Finally, I discovered ‘shuf’ — usage like :

shuf -i 1-100 -n 1

-i RangeFrom-RangeTo
-n how many

So –

RAND=$(( shuf -i 1-10 -n 1)) 

Sponge – Shell command

Today, my sed kung-foo seemed to be lacking, so I ended up having to split the sed command over a zillion lines…

Normally I’d do something like :

sed 's/foo/bar/g' tmp.txt > tmp2.txt
sed 's/fo2/blah/g' tmp2.txt > tmp3.txt

But this obviously gets painful after a time, a different approach would be to use sponge where we can do :

sed 's/foo/bar/g' tmp.txt | sponge tmp.txt
sed 's/fo2/blah/g' tmp.txt | sponge tmp.txt

Whereby ‘sponge’ soaks up standard input and when there’s no more, opens the output file. This gets around the obvious problem that :

sed 's/foo/bar/g' tmp.txt > tmp.txt

doesn’t work because the shell opens (and overwrites) tmp.txt  before sed’s had a chance to do anything.