For those in the know, the command line is already the path to an easier life. For work that requires more complex interactions than a few clicks, scripting and issuing commands via a terminal is more efficient than a GUI, and that goes double if you’re managing several servers.
But things can always be easier and some the nicest labor-saving or productivity improving tools aren’t part of a standard Linux installation. In this article we’d like to take a quick look at six command line tools that have improved our daily work-life in some way.
Rtail is a Node.js utility that will send the output of a terminal to a browser. That doesn’t seem super useful, but if you want to avoid SSHing into several servers to monitor logs, it can be a great timesaver.
GoTTY is somewhat similar to RTail, in that it puts terminal content into your browser, but with GoTTY, it’s the whole thing rather than just a stream. GoTTY will turn your command line session into a web app, which is great if you want to send the output of a tool like htop to a colleague.
Although it’s possible to configure GoTTY clients to accept input to run on the server, most of the time it’s not a very good idea.
Tmate lets you share terminal sessions. It’s based on tmux and works in a similar way. Users simply launch Tmate and send the ‘ssh’ command it provides to their “mates”, which will allow them to log into and share the session.
In keeping with the general sharing theme, Termbin is another way to get content from of your terminal to a place it can be accessed by other people. I frequently find that I need to share text files or snippets of output from commands with my colleagues. Termbin is a handy little app that takes a stream on standard input and shares it to a Pastebin-like service.
Termbin is a specific implementation of the Fichte command line pastebin server, which you can use if you want to build your own.
If you use a Git workflow like GitFlow or its siblings, the chances are high that you’ll end up confused about which branch you’re working on at some point. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, if you find yourself typing “git status” more times than you’d like, this simple tool will modify your command prompt to display the current branch.
This one’s for OS X users. Termtile is a window manager for terminals that you control from within the terminal. Essentially, it’s a set of Apple Scripts with aliases that let users set the position and size of terminal windows with short, simple commands.
That’s it from us for the moment, but if you have any command line tools that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below.