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GNU Parallel Cheat Sheet by

Quick Example Commands From Manual


GNU parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers.
It's a great replac­ement for xargs or find and can do amazing things.


This is just a sheet of quick example commands and a concise reference.

Example Commands

Compress all *.html files in parallel
 ­ ­par­allel gzip --best ::: *.html
Convert (via
) all *.wav files to *.mp3
 ­ ­par­allel lame {} -o {.}.mp3 ::: *.wav
Delete pict{0..9­999­}.jpg files in parallel
 ­ seq -w 0 9999 | parallel rm pict{}.jp­g    # Runs rm 10,000 Times

 ­ seq -w 0 9999 | parallel -X rm pict{}.jp­g # Runs rm minimal times

Command Synopsis

parallel [options] [command [argum­ents]] < list_o­f_a­rgu­ments
parallel [options] [command [argum­ents]] ( ::: arguments | :::: argfile(s) ) ...
parallel --sema­phore [options] command
#!/usr­/bi­n/p­arallel --shebang [options] [command [argum­ents]]

Input Lines

Unaltered input line (foo/b­ar.jpg)
Remove extension: foo/bar
Basename: bar.jpg
Dirname: foo/
Basename w/o ext: bar
Sequence Number of Job
Job Slot Number
Argument from input source n or the n'th argument.
Combo of
{n/},  {n//}, {n/.}
Other Combo's Available
{=perl expres­sion=}
$_ with = {}, $_ is output after eval.


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