Last Updated on June 4, 2023
One of the many strengths of Linux is that there are lots of choices.
This series looks at alternatives to popular CLI tools. Many of them are classic commands that have been modernised in some way, such as written in a funky programming language with additional functionality added. The alternatives are not necessarily drop-in replacements. The vast majority of alternatives offer a CLI, but we don’t automatically exclude GUI tools.
This is a new series, so bear with us while we ramp up the compilation.
All the software featured here is free and open source.
|Alternatives to CLI tools|
|age // awk // bc // cal // cat // cd // cksum // cloc // cmp // compress // cp // cron // curl // cut // date // dd // df // diff // dig // du // find // ftp // grep // gzip // hexdump // history // jq // kill // less // locate // ls // lsof // make // man // more // mv / ping // ps // psql // rename // rm // sed // split // ssh // strings // sudo // sysctl // talk // tar // telnet // time // top // touch // traceroute // tree // uname // uniq // vi // watch // Wget // who // whois // xargs|
CLI applications are light on system resources (very useful on low specified machines), are often faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X is restarted, and are perfect for scripting purposes. When designed well, CLI applications offer a surprisingly improvement in productivity. The applications are leaner, faster, easier to maintain, and remove the need to have installed a whole raft of libraries.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In our view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications.