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9 Command-Line Tools to Make Life Easier and More Fun

nicolasxrusso profile image Nicolas Russo ・3 min read

Photo by [Christian Perner](https://unsplash.com/photos/UKLIuV8rAks) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/)

1. StarCLI

Screenshot taken from [https://github.com/hedythedev/starcli](https://github.com/hedythedev/starcli)

This head honcho is a wonderful source for finding new cool things people are building every day.

Function: Discover trending Github projects, filter by language, time (day, week, month), topic, and more.

2. Deep Daze

This command-line tool zooms you into the future

Function: Generate images from text.

It uses OpenAI’s CLIP image re-ranking model and Siren.

While it is not as impressive as OpenAI’s DALL-E, it can be fun to play with.

Often times you get the impression or essence of what you want rather than a precise version of it.

For example, here’s the 37th iteration I got when I tried: “command line text art of a Japanese bread character”

command line text art of a Japanese bread character

After you install it with:

pip install deep-daze
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All you have to do is:

imagine “a potato dreaming on the beach”
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And you can get even better results with:

imagine “a potato being on the beach” --deeper
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If you’ve got more power, you can increase layers for better results:

imagine "stranger in strange lands" --num-layers 32
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Limitations: This one can be slow depending on how powerful your computer is.

Currently there are several projects trying to replicate DALL-E, here’s another one.

3. Rebound

Function: Fetch Stack Overflow results whenever an exception is thrown.

Limitations: Python only

4. Exa

Function: A modern alternative to ls. List files in a beautiful way:

Photo by Exa creator at [https://github.com/ogham/exa](https://github.com/ogham/exa)

5. Peco

Function: Simple interactive filtration/search tool for the command line.

If like me you’ve ever been frustrated that the command line does not have some sort of auto-complete or fuzzy match, Peco is the answer.

GIF by Peco creator at [https://github.com/peco/peco](https://github.com/peco/peco)

GIF by Peco creator at [https://github.com/peco/peco](https://github.com/peco/peco)

6. icdiff

Function: Highlight differences in code

As the creator Jeff points out, your terminal can display color but a lot of diff tools don’t use it. icdiff highlights those differences.

Photo by icdiff creator at [https://www.jefftk.com/icdiff](https://www.jefftk.com/icdiff)

Limitations: only available on Mac/Linux.

7. ack

Function: With ack, you can search a directory of source code files for text inside the code, from inside the terminal, and get pretty formatted code segments in your terminal.

It’s:

  1. Conveniently easy

  2. Fast

Instead of typing:

$ grep pattern $(find . -type f | grep -v '.git')

You can type:

$ ack pattern

Here’s a lightning talk from Cameron Pope on why you should use it.

You can install it here.

8. Theme.sh

Function: Interactive theme selection for the terminal.

GIF by Theme.sh creator at [https://github.com/lemnos/theme.sh](https://github.com/lemnos/theme.sh)

9. Pyp

Function: Run Python commands in the shell.

This can be handy if you want to do something quick in the terminal that integrates Python.

For example, here’s a line that gets the file formats in a directory and sorts them by most common:

ls | pyp ‘Path(x).suffix’ | pyp ‘Counter([line for line in lines if line != “”]).most_common()’
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Result:

(‘.wav’, 9)

(‘.py’, 4)

(‘.mp3’, 1)

(‘.zip’, 1)

Resources

All the choices above in a glance:

  1. StarCLI

  2. Deep daze

  3. Rebound

  4. Exa

  5. Peco

  6. icdiff

  7. ack

  8. Theme.sh

  9. Pyp

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