Scary Linux commands for Halloween

By Sandra Henry-Stocker

With Halloween so fast approaching, it’s time for a little focus on the spookier side of Linux. What commands might bring up images of ghosts, witches and zombies? Which might encourage the spirit of trick or treat?


Well, we’ve always got crypt. Despite its name, crypt is not an underground vault or a burial pit for trashed files, but a command that encrypts file content. These days “crypt” is generally implemented as a script that emulates the older crypt command by calling a binary called mcrypt to do its work. Using the mycrypt command directly is an even better option.

$ mcrypt x
Enter the passphrase (maximum of 512 characters)
Please use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers.
Enter passphrase:
Enter passphrase:

File x was encrypted.

Note that the mcrypt command creates a second file with an added “.nc” extension. It doesn’t overwrite the file you are encrypting.

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From: Network World