10 Cool Command Line Tools For Your Linux Terminal

In this article, we will share a number of cool command-line programs that you can use in a Linux terminal. By the end of this article, you will learn about some free, open source, and exciting, text-based tools to help you do more with boredom on the Command line.

1. Wikit

Wikit is a command line utility to search Wikipedia in Linux. It basically displays Wikipedia summaries. Once you have it installed, simply provide the search term as an argument (for example wikit linux).

Wikipedia Command Line View

Wikipedia Command Line View

2. Googler

Googler is a full-featured Python-based command line tool for accessing Google (Web & News) and Google Site Search within the Linux terminal. It is fast and clean with custom colors and no ads, stray URLs or clutter included. It supports navigation of search result pages from omniprompt.

In addition, it supports fetching of number of results in a go, users can start at the nth result, and supports limiting of search by attributes such as duration, country/domain specific search (default: .com), language preference.

Google Search from Linux Terminal

Google Search from Linux Terminal

3. Browsh

Browsh is a small, modern text based browser that play videos and render anything that a modern browser can, in TTY terminal environments.

It supports HTML5, CSS3, JS, video as well as WebGL. It is a bandwidth-saver, designed to run on a remote server and accessed via SSH/Mosh or the in-browser HTML service so as to notably reduce bandwidth.

It is practically useful when you don’t have good Internet connection.

Browsh Web Browsing

Browsh Web Browsing

4. Lolcat

Lolcat is a command-line program to output rainbow of colors in the Linux terminal. It concatenates the output of a command in a similar way as cat command and adds rainbow coloring to the final output.

To use lolcat, simply pipe the output of any command to lolcat.

Cowsay with Lolcat

Cowsay with Lolcat

5. Boxes

Boxes is a configurable program and text filter which can draw ASCII art boxes around its input text in a Linux terminal. It comes with a number of pre-configured box designs in example config file. It comes with several command-line options and supports regular expression substitutions on input text.

You can use it to: draws ASCII art boxes and shapes, generate regional comments in source code and more.

Boxes - Draw ASCII Art in Terminal

Boxes – Draw ASCII Art in Terminal

6. Figlet and Toilet

FIGlet is a useful command-line utility for creating ASCII text banners or large letters out of ordinary text. Toilet is a sub-command under figlet for creating colorful large characters from ordinary text.

Figlet - Create ASCII Text Banners in Terminal

Figlet – Create ASCII Text Banners in Terminal

7. Trash-cli

Trash-cli is a program that trashes files recording the original path, deletion date, and permissions. It is an interface to the freedesktop.org trashcan.

Manage ‘Trash’ from Linux Command Line

Manage ‘Trash’ from Linux Command Line

Trash-cli – A Trashcan Tool

Trash-cli – A Trashcan Tool

8. No More Secrets

No More Secrets is a text-based program recreates the famous data decryption effect seen in the 1992 movie Sneakers. It provides a command-line utility called nms, that you can use in a similar way as lolcat – simply pipe the out of another command to nms, and see the magic.

No More Secrets - Recreates Data Decryption Effect

No More Secrets – Recreates Data Decryption Effect

9. Chafa

Chafa is a another cool, fast and highly configurable terminal program that provides terminal graphics for the 21st century.

It works with most modern and classic terminals and terminal emulators. It converts all types of images (including animated GIFs), into ANSI/Unicode character output that can be displayed in a terminal.

Chafa supports for alpha transparency and multiple color modes (including Truecolor, 256-color, 16-color and simple FG/BG.) and color spaces, combining selectable ranges of Unicode characters to produce the desired output.

It is suitable for terminal graphics, ANSI art composition as well as even black and white print.

Chafa - Converts to ANSI Unicode Character

Chafa – Converts to ANSI Unicode Character

10. CMatrix

CMatrix is a simple command-line utility that shows a scrolling ‘Matrix‘ like screen in a Linux terminal.

It displays random text flying in and out in a terminal, in a similar way as seen in popular Sci-fi movie “The Matrix“. It can scroll lines all at the same rate or asynchronously and at a user-defined speed. One downside of Cmatrix is that it is very CPU intensive.

The Matrix in Linux Terminal

The Matrix in Linux Terminal

Here you have seen few cool command-line tools, but there is plenty more to explore. If you want to know more about such cool or funny Linux command-line tools, you can checkout our guides here:

  1. 20 Funny Commands for Your Linux Terminal
  2. 6 Interesting Funny Commands for Your Linux Terminal
  3. 10 Mysterious Commands for Your Linux Terminal
  4. 51 Useful Lesser Known Linux Commands

That’s all! Do you spend a lot of time on the command line? What are some of the cool command-line tools or utilities you use on the terminal? Let us know via the feedback form below.

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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3 Responses

  1. Marty says:

    Great stuff here keep it going.

  2. Daniel Tripp says:

    Given up trying to install on Bionic, not in repos and the deb files are for Debian or Cosmic – nothing for bionic, not desperate enough to compile from source.

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