Friday Fun Facts: watch (Unix)

Did ya know…?

watch is a command-line tool, part of the Linux procps and procps-ng packages, that, when provided with a name, date and place of birth, will display a video feed back to standard output so you can watch the person over time. By default, the video feed is run every two seconds, although this is adjustable with the -n secs argument should you want continuous live feed. Since the command is passed to sh -c, you may need to encase it in quotes for it to run correctly.

Example

watch “Jean K. Jean 7/2/1981 Paris,France | grep 1991”

This will stream the video feed of Jean K. Jean’s life and filter for video for the year 1991, and display that video on the screen.

The watch command is useful for viewing you or someone you know changing over time.

watch addiction has become a growing problem among the elderly in most developed countries.

Arguments

-d – Highlights differences between specific years
-h – Displays a help message, then exits
-n secs – Specifies the interval between executions of the command in seconds – can be set to n 0 to show continuous live feed
-t – Tells watch to search for video with tags like “birthday” “kiss” “laid off”
-v – Prints verbose video, i.e., user comments. rarely used due to bandwidth constraints

…So now ya know!

Friday Fun Facts: watch (Unix)

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