Conditionally setting DISPLAY variables in bash

A tiny snippet of useful bash shell code today, to help with setting your DISPLAY variable if integrating Cygwin/X into your Windows environment, add it to a .bashrc for effect.

Launching X apps from the ‘Cygwin Terminal’ is smoothed as a result.

#RT Check for XWin and set DISPLAY if present.

ps -a | grep -v grep | grep /usr/bin/XWin > /dev/null


if [ “${result}” -eq “0” ] ; then

 export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0


echo “No server running, DISPLAY not set.”



Using the Unix Epoch timestamp for file naming

Another aide-mémoire today, illustrated via a small script.

I was musing on file version numbering (yes I know about SVN et al, but sometimes they are overkill) and considered using the time represented as the number of seconds elapsed since the Unix Epoch, seems like a simple approach wrapped into the file and filename, what am I missing?

Oh yes, a handy way to remember CASE syntax in bash as well..

Continue reading “Using the Unix Epoch timestamp for file naming”

Using .forward files and retaining a local copy

If your read your email on a platform able to utilise dot forward files (.forward), it’s useful to know that aside from adding a forward address to bounce mail onwards seamlessly, you can retain a copy at the original receiving host by constructing your .forward as below, where I show an excerpt from my system.

#cat .forward