Open Source Musings

cli

Here's the latest in an irregular series of short posts that introduce a few Linux terminal tricks.

Besides sticking your head out the window, what do you do when you want to find out what the day's weather is going to be like? Chances are you jump over to a weather service website or fire up an app on your phone.

Why not crack open a terminal window instead? All you need is a command line utility called cURL. cURL is standard kit with most Linux distributions. If it isn't installed on your computer, you can get cURL using your package manager.

How do you use cURL to check a weather forecast? At the command line, type this:

curl wttr.in

Then, press Enter. Something like this displays after a few moments:

Using cURL to grab a weather forecast

The wttr.in in the command, in case you're wondering, is a console-oriented weather forecast service. cURL goes to the internet and grabs weather information from wttr.in. In turn, wttr.in determines the forecast for your location using your IP address.

If you're masking your IP address, you can get the forecast for where you are by adding the name of your city to the command. Let's say you're in Osaka, Japan. Get your weather forecast by typing:

curl wttr.in/Osaka

Do that to get the forecast of another city as well. You can also use three-letter airport codes or the name of an attraction (like the CN Tower) view the forecast for a locale. You can learn more by reading the documentation.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli

I don't know how many Linux utilities exist for viewing graphics. Most distributions come with one, and usually that app is more than enough for you to flip through the images on your computer.

One image viewer I've been partial to for a while is feh. It a small, light image viewing tool that's simple to use. While you can run feh from a window manager, you can also run it from the command line.

To do the latter, open a open a terminal window and navigate to the folder containing the image or images that you want to view. Then, type:

feh [name-of-image]

A new window opens, displaying the image.

Viewing an image with feh

feh opens the image at or near its full size. You can scale the image by pressing the down arrow key on your keyboard.

To view multiple files, include a wildcard with the command — for example:

feh *.jpg

feh displays all the files with that extension. Click the window or press the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to move between the images. feh also displays the number of images in the folder in its title bar.

feh displaying the number of images in a folder

While feh can't edit or save files to different formats, it's a great tool for quickly viewing graphics or photos and for creating impromptu slide shows.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli #utility

Here's the latest in an irregular series of short posts that teach some Linux command line basics that you might not know or may have forgotten.

While I keep saying that you don't need to use the command line in order to use Linux, knowing a few basic commands can be a useful.

Take, for example, times when you have a folder on your hard drive packed with files. Hands up if you don't have at least one. Yeah, I thought so. Me, too.

How do you effectively and efficiently view the files in a directory? And how do you pinpoint the files that you want to see? By using the ls command, of course.

Let's take a look at some of the ways in which you can use ls.

Read more...

This is the first in an irregular series of short posts that teach some Linux command line basics that you might not know or may have forgotten.

Let's kick off this series with a quick look how to move around the command line using the cd command.

The cd command enables you to move between directories. So let's image you're at the top level of your /home directory — for example, /home/scott — and you want to move to a directory named Photos. To do that, type:

cd photos

You can also use cd to move into and around subfolders. Say you're in your home directory, and you want to go to the folder Documents/Letters. To do that, type:

cd Documents/Letters

If, on the other hand, you want to move to a directory that's outside of /home, type cd and the full path to the directory. For example, to jump to a common directory for executable files on your system, type:

cd /usr/local/bin

You can also use the cd command to up and down inside a folder and its subfolders. If you're in the directory Photos/Family, but decide that you want to move one level up to the directory Photos/Taupo2021, type:

cd ../Taupo2021

The ../ tells the cd command to move up one level and then change to the directory that you specify.

You can use ../ as many times as you need. So, if you want to move from Photos/Taupo2021 to the folder Documents/Letters, type:

cd ../../Documents/Letters

The ../../ moves you up two levels in the directory structure and the cd command puts you in the directory in which you want to go.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli

(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at Opensource.com and appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Good spelling is a skill. A skill that takes time to learn and to master. That said, there are people who never quite pick that skill up—I know a couple or three outstanding writers who can't spell to save their lives.

Even if you spell well, the occasional typo creeps in. That's especially true if you're quickly banging on your keyboard to meet a deadline. Regardless of your spelling chops, it's always a good idea to run what you've written through a spelling checker.

I do most of my writing in plain text and often use a command line spelling checker called Aspell to do the deed. Aspell isn't the only game in town. You might also want to check out the venerable Ispell.

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(Note: This post was first published, in a slightly different form, at Opensource.com and appears here via a CC BY-SA 4.0 license).

One perception that Linux can't seem to shake off is that you can't do anything without using the command line. A number of people in my circle have been using Linux effectively for years, and they've yet to crack open a terminal window.

Having said that, working at the command line can make certain tasks faster and more efficient. If you’re using older hardware, command line tools are an excellent alternative to graphical applications since they don't use too many resources.

One of those tasks playing music. You can do that in a terminal. How? Here’s a look at three command line music players.

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