This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.
The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.
The part of the operating system responsible for managing files and directories is called the file system. It organizes our data into files, which hold information, and directories (also called ‘folders’), which hold files or other directories.
One of the commands that help visualize your file system is tree, a command that list contents of directories in a tree-like format. One of the issues with tree is that the output is unwieldy with large directories. Step forward broot, a utility that gives an overview of a directory, and much much more.
There’s lots of ways of installing broot.
Unless you’re a Rust developer, we recommend that you don’t install the Rust development environment. Instead, we recommend installing a precompiled binary.
We downloaded the precompiled binary for Linux. Move the binary to /usr/local/bin and make it executable with the commands:
$ wget https://dystroy.org/broot/download/x86_64-linux/broot
$ mv broot /usr/local/bin
$ chmod u+x broot
We also tested broot using a vanilla Ubuntu 21.04 installation. cargo and build-essential packages aren’t installed by default. Rectify that with the command:
$ sudo apt install cargo build-essential
Next we install broot using cargo.
$ cargo install broot
One further step is that you’ll need to ensure ~/.cargo/bin is in your PATH. The variable $PATH is set by your shell every time it launches, but you can set it so that it always includes your new path with every new shell you open. The exact way to do this depends on which shell you’re running.
For the bash shell we follow these steps:
- Open the .bashrc file in our home directory (
~/.bashrc) in a text editor.
export PATH=”~/.cargo/bin:$PATH”to the last line of the file.
- Save the .bashrc file.
- Restart the terminal (or run the command
Complete list of articles in this series:
|Abricotine||Markdown editor with inline preview functionality|
|AES Crypt||Encrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard|
|Ananicy||Shell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities|
|broot||Next gen tree explorer and customizable launcher|
|cheat.sh||Community driven unified cheat sheet|
|CopyQ||Advanced clipboard manager|
|croc||Securely transfer files and folders from the command-line|
|Deskreen||Live streaming your desktop to a web browser|
|duf||Disk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df|
|exa||A turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command|
|Extension Manager||Browse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions|
|fd||Wonderful alternative to the venerable find|
|fkill||Kill processes quick and easy|
|fontpreview||Quickly search and preview fonts|
|horcrux||File splitter with encryption and redundancy|
|Kooha||Simple screen recorder|
|Imagine||A simple yet effective image optimization tool|
|LanguageTool||Style and grammar checker for 30+ languages|
|Liquid Prompt||Adaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh|
|lnav||Advanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting|
|lsd||Like exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls|
|McFly||Navigate through your bash shell history|
|mdless||Formatted and highlighted view of Markdown files|
|OCRmyPDF||Add OCR text layer to scanned PDFs|
|Paperwork||Designed to simplify the management of your paperwork|
|PDF Mix Tool||Perform common editing operations on PDF files|
|peco||Simple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful|
|ripgrep||Recursively search directories for a regex pattern|
|scrcpy||Display and control Android devices|
|Sticky||Simulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop|
|tldr||Simplified and community-driven man pages|
|tmux||A terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow|
|Tusk||An unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential|
|Ulauncher||Sublime application launcher|
|Watson||Track the time spent on projects|
|Whoogle Search||Self-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine|