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Useful but Unknown Unix Tools: Calculating with IPs //at 12:22 //by abe

from the juggling-with-netmasks dept.

There are two small CLI tools I need often when I’m handling larger networks or more than a few IP addresses at once:


netmask is very handy for calculating with netmasks (anyone expected something else? ;-) in all variants:

$ netmask
$ netmask -s  
$ netmask --range  (2048)
$ netmask
$ netmask
$ netmask --cisco

(The IP ranges in RFC5737 where too small for the examples I had in mind. :-)

There’s though one thing netmask can’t do out of the box and that’s where the second tool comes into play:


When I read the package name prips, I always think of something like “print postscript” or so, but it’s actually an abbreviation for “print IPs”.

And that’s all it does:

$ prips
$ prips
$ prips -i 2
$ prips -f hex

prips has proven to be very useful in combination with shell loops like these:

$ prips | xargs -n 1 host
$ for ip in `prips`; do host $ip; done

And since prips doesn’t support the netmask syntax, you can even easily combine those two tools:

$ prips `netmask`

(Hah! Now I was able to use RFC5737 IP ranges! ;-)

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Debian GNU/Linux is my favourite Linux distribution, being stable, flexible, consistent and having a great community. Although I'm not the biggest bug report writer, I try to contribute by staffing the Debian booth at events, carrying the necessary hardware there or even organising the whole booth.

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