The ptools (power tools) library provides several handy methods to Ruby's core File class, such as File.which for finding executables, File.null to return the null device on your platform, and so on.
gem install ptools -v 1.3.5
== Description The ptools (power tools) library is an additional set of commands for the File class based on Unix command line tools. == Prerequisites On MS Windows you will need the win32-file gem. == Installation gem install ptools == Synopsis require "ptools" File.which("ruby") # '/usr/local/bin/ruby' File.whereis("ruby") # ['/usr/local/bin/ruby','/opt/bin/ruby'] File.head("myfile") # Returns first 10 lines of 'myfile' File.tail("myfile",3) # Returns last 3 lines of 'myfile' File.wc("myfile",'words') # Returns the number of words in 'myfile' File.touch("newfile") # "newfile" now exists File.null # '/dev/null' on Unix, 'NUL' on Windows File.binary?('some_file') # true or false File.sparse?('some_file') # true or false # Creates a copy of 'myfile' called 'newfile', in DOS format File.nl_convert("myfile", "newfile", "dos") == Known Bugs The File.which and File.whereis methods may fail when using JRuby on Windows. See https://github.com/jruby/jruby/issues/2291 for details. Please report any other issues on the github project page. http://www.github.com/djberg96/ptools == Acknowledgements The File.which method was originally adopted from the FileWhich code posted by Michael Granger on the now defunct rubygarden.org website. That code was later replaced by a version based on the ruby-which library. The File.nl_convert method is based on the nlcvt program found at http://www.perl.com/language/ppt/src/nlcvt/nlcvt, written by Tom Christiansen. The binary?() method was based almost entirely on a blog post by Ryan Davis (who, in turn, based his code on Perl's -B switch). Thanks go to Matt Hoyle for help with the File.tail method. == Future Plans Add whatever other tools people think might be useful. == License Artistic 2.0 == Copyright (C) 2003-2014 Daniel J. Berger All Rights Reserved. == Warranty This package is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. == Author Daniel J. Berger