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Nicolas Russo
Nicolas Russo

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

Photo by [Christian Perner]( on [Unsplash](

1. StarCLI

Screenshot taken from [](

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 [](

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 [](

GIF by Peco creator at [](

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 [](

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.


  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.


Function: Interactive theme selection for the terminal.

GIF by creator at [](

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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(‘.wav’, 9)

(‘.py’, 4)

(‘.mp3’, 1)

(‘.zip’, 1)


All the choices above in a glance:

  1. StarCLI

  2. Deep daze

  3. Rebound

  4. Exa

  5. Peco

  6. icdiff

  7. ack


  9. Pyp

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