Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanion

clicompanion icon   Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanionConsider yourself a bit of a Linux geek, but don’t know how to use the command line? You’re missing out on a lot. Believe it or not, many things are actually easier to do using the command line than with GUI tools, and you can even use Google Apps from the command line if you want.

But getting started in the realm of the command line can be difficult if you’ve been raised on a steady diet of graphical interfaces. Enter CLIcompanion, a program designed to help make learning the command line a little easier. Recently pointed out by OMG! Ubuntu!, this program aims to simplify learning to use the Ubuntu command line.


Just launch this program instead of the standard command line, and you’ll have an index on-hand to help you get started. Best of all, as you learn new command line tricks (using, let’s say, one of the top 3 sites to help you become a Linux command line master) you can add them to the database.

Sound useful? Let’s get started. The program is currently designed with Ubuntu users in mind, so keep that in mind!

Default Programs

Launch the program and, by default, you’ll see a list of potential commands. Scroll through the list to see some basic things you can do with the command line:

clicompanion main   Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanion

Below this handy interface, of course, you’ll find a built-in command line ready for your input. You can type the commands in yourself, using the list above as a guide. Or if you prefer, you can use the GUI to launch a command. Just right-click the command in question and away you go:

clicompanion apply   Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanion

You might be asked for more information, but once you provide it the command will launch. You can then watch what happens in the built-in command line.

The default programs give you a lot to work with, not to mention learn, and will be really useful for you as a beginner. As you learn more however, you might want to add the programs you discover along the way. No problem.

Adding Your Own

Adding custom software is easy, if you think you’re ready. Just click “File” followed by “Add Command“. You’ll see a window like this:

clicompanion custom   Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanion

Fill in the necessary information, including the command you’d like to run and a human-readable description of what it does. If your command requires some input, such as in my example, include a human-readable description of what this input is.

Once you create your command it’s ready for your reference, or for you to run. Here’s what it looks like when I launch my custom command:

clicompanion custom running1   Learn To Use The Ubuntu Command Line With CLIcompanion

Now all I need to do is type the names of the packages I want to install and watch the magic happen. Amazing, right?

If this custom stuff doesn’t make sense to you yet, don’t worry: you’ll get it. Just work at figuring out how to use the default commands until you get a handle on how everything works!

Download CliCompanion

Want to get started with CLIcompanion? I thought you might. Head over to CLIcompanion’s LaunchPad page to find an easy-to-install DEB file. Note that the program is designed for use in Ubuntu, and as such does not offer easy Fedora or SUSE packages (yet!)

Do you think this is a good way to learn to use the CLI, or can no GUI do that job? Are you using it yourself to try to learn? Let us know your experiences. Or, if you want, flame me for not offering non-Ubuntu downloads. I like everything.

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20 Comments -

0 votes

Jwycliffe227

What versions of Ubuntu does this work on? I installed it on 8.04 LTS and it didn’t seem to do anything. Is there some way to invoke it? I clicked on it in the menu, and nothing happened.

0 votes

jhpot

I tested it on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. If you want to use new programs like this, you should probably switch to it, as there’s no guarantee they’ll work on a distro that’s two and a half years old.

0 votes

Jwycliffe227

Are you serious? Two and a half years old? Are you a former Microsoft employee? I need the latest version of the OS to use this application? Come on now. Ubuntu 8.04 has more active installs than 10.04, it is STILL actively supported until April of NEXT year, and this is a simple python based application. It should absolutely work under 8.04.

0 votes

jhpot

Being supported by Canonical doesn’t mean it’s supported by every random developer who writes a program, even if it is a simple Python one. The fact is that 4 different versions of Ubuntu came out between today and 8.04, so programmers aren’t necessarily going to ensure that new software works on it. Go ahead and try running “clicompanion” from your Terminal, though, and you might find some hint as to why it’s not working

I hope I didn’t offend you.

0 votes

Paul Neaveill

Cannot speak for others, but this is what it gave me:

Paul@paul:~$ clicompanion
/usr/bin/clicompanion:171: Warning: ‘with’ will become a reserved keyword in Python 2.6
File “/usr/bin/clicompanion”, line 171
with open(CHEATSHEET, “a”) as cheatfile:
^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

0 votes

jhpot

Seems like a compatibility error to me. There might be a way to hack 8.04 to work with it, probably updating Python, but I couldn’t tell you what it is. Sorry about that!

0 votes

jhpot

Being supported by Canonical doesn’t mean it’s supported by every random developer who writes a program, even if it is a simple Python one. The fact is that 4 different versions of Ubuntu came out between today and 8.04, so programmers aren’t necessarily going to ensure that new software works on it. Go ahead and try running “clicompanion” from your Terminal, though, and you might find some hint as to why it’s not working

I hope I didn’t offend you.

0 votes

Paul Neaveill

I agree with jwycliffe227 there. The thing did not run on my wife’s machine, so is about worthless to me.

0 votes

Paul Neaveill

Cannot speak for others, but this is what it gave me:

Paul@paul:~$ clicompanion
/usr/bin/clicompanion:171: Warning: ‘with’ will become a reserved keyword in Python 2.6
File “/usr/bin/clicompanion”, line 171
with open(CHEATSHEET, “a”) as cheatfile:
^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

0 votes

Luckyadrin

ps -ef to explore task manager but donot work on ubuntu 10.0.1 ???is it ps -aux ??

0 votes

jhpot

10.0.1? Do you mean the new Ubuntu 10.10? What kind of error message do you see?

0 votes

Fennec

use this to install Cli Companion
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clicompanion-devs/clicompanion-nightlies
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clicompanion
Enjoy

0 votes

Fennec

use this to install Cli Companion
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clicompanion-devs/clicompanion-nightlies
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clicompanion
Enjoy