How to Use Maybe to Test Linux Commands


There are times when you know a command must be run, but you’d really like to test the action before execution. This could be on a production server, where running a command could have results that might negatively impact the server’s ability to perform. When any systems administrator comes across such an instance, the impulse would be to turn to a test server, set up to mirror the production server.

But what if you don’t have the luxury of such a test server? What do you do? You could turn to the likes of the maybe command. maybe is a piece of software (one that should be considered very much in the alpha stages—so tread carefully) that allows an administrator (or user, for that matter) to run a command and see what that command would do to the file system on the machine. When you issue a command with maybe, it will output the results of what running the actual command would do. Once you’ve looked at the possible outcome, you can then decide if you want to execute the command or not.

Let me walk you through the process of installing and using maybe. 

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