Stupid UNIX Tricks: Find Videos You Posted To Twitter

I’ve seen complaints pop up on Twitter that people are getting their accounts suspended over years old tweets that happen to contain copyrighted music. So let’s say that, like me, you have a Twitter account over 10 years old and you want to go through your old tweets so you can pull any such video before Twitter does — how do you go about doing that?

Well here’s the thing: the UNIX command line is incredibly powerful if you know how to use it. In this post, I’ll show you how to use the bash shell in Linux or Mac OS/X to find those videos so that you can remove them.

“UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.” — Dennis Ritchie

The first thing you gotta do is download your entire Twitter archive. There are instructions on how to do that here. Once you put in the request, you’ll hear back from Twitter within a day when the download is ready. Expect the file to be rather large — in my case it was over 2 Gigs. Download that file and unzip it.

At the time of this writing, all of your media will be found in the folder data/tweet_media/, so cd into that directory and see how many files there are:

ls -l |wc -l
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Removing Dependent Child Images of a Docker Container

As much as I love using Docker, one of the frustrations I have is when I try to remove an an image which other images are based on, only to get this error:

$ docker rmi b171179240df
Error response from daemon: conflict: unable to delete b171179240df (cannot be forced) - image has dependent child images
Docker Logo

I did some searches on Google, and most of the advice centered around the heavy-handed approach of removing all Docker images and basically starting over with a clean slate. That approach didn’t sit well with me because it doesn’t strike me as all that efficient, and also causes me to have to spend more time waiting for unrelated containers to rebuild.

That prompted me to write a script which, when provided with the ID of a container to remove, will recurse through all child containers and delete them first.

Quick and Dirty Usage

bash <(curl -s IMAGE_ID

That will delete the image IMAGE_ID, and all child images.

No muss, no fuss, no awkward explanations to senior engineers.

When run successfully, the output will look something like this:

The source and testing scripts can be found over on GitHub at

Does this script save you some time? Let me know in the comments!

How to Undelete Files in Amazon S3

While S3 is a great storage platform, what happens if you accidentally delete some important files? Well, S3 has a mechanism to recover deleted files, and I’d like to go into that in this post.

First, make sure you have versioning enabled on your bucket. This can be done via the API, or via the UI in the “properties” tab for your bucket. Versioning saves every change to a file (including deletions) as a separate version of said object, with the most recent version taking precedence. In fact, a deletion is also a version! It is a zero-byte version which has a “DELETE” flag set. And the essence of recovering undeleted files simply involves removing the latest version with the “DELETE” flag.

This is what that would look like in the UI:

To undelete these files, we’ll use a script I created called, which can be found over on GitHub:

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