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City LinUX sample scripts - filofax


filofax - opens an old encrypted text file containing names, addresses, passwords and other miscellaneous data regarding accounts, systems, clients, friends and family.


filofax [ -c <config_file> ] [ -d ] [ -v ] [ -X ] [ <datafile> ]


filofax is a Bourne shell script which should work equally well on all versions of UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X.


filofax is a very personal tool that makes it quicker and easier to open an encrypted text file which contains data that has been collected over a period of 30 years and is probably my most important asset. Originally it was used to generate pages for my Filofax. Over the years I have tried many times to replace it with various off the shelf utilities and databases but have always ended up coming back to this simple irrational file. I can't imagine anyone else would use it in this form but the script does illustrate some useful basic techniques.

The id command is used to identify the correct record in the configuration file and the location of the data file.


-c < configuration_file > Use the specified configuration file in preference to the default "/usr/local/etc/" . If no configuration file is found filofax will soldier on using the defaults.

-d    Set debug mode on. The -x    option is set within the shell and each command in the script is echoed to the console.

-v    Set verbose mode on. Does absolutely nothing at the moment but I always include this option and may add something at a later stage.

-X    Don't use X windows just start an editor in the current shell. Useful if accessing over an ssh connection.

< data_file > Entering the name of the data file on the command line overrides the default data file "~/filofax/main" and any file name set in the configuration file.




Start a new terminal and open the data file. The file name and the foreground and background colours for the terminal are set in the configuration file. If the configuration file does not exist use the default settings.


The script is quite crude and has very little, if any, error checking. The consequences of unexpected input are untested.



Clifford W Fulford, City Linux. Contact or +44 (0)709 229 5385.

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