Julia Evans

A list of new(ish) command line tools

Hello! Today I asked on twitter about newer command line tools, like ripgrep and fd and fzf and exa and bat.

I got a bunch of replies with tools I hadn’t heard of, so I thought I’d make a list here. A lot of people also pointed at the modern-unix list.

replacements for standard tools

new inventions

Here are some tools that are not exactly replacements for standard tools:

  • z, fasd, autojump, zoxide (tools to make it easier to find files / change directories)
  • broot, nnn, ranger (file manager)
  • direnv (load environment variables depending on the current directory)
  • fzf, peco (“fuzzy finder”)
  • croc and magic-wormhole (send files from one computer to another)
  • hyperfine (benchmarking)
  • httpie, curlie, xh (for making HTTP requests)
  • entr (run arbitrary commands when files change)
  • asdf (version manager for multiple languages)
  • tig, lazygit (interactive interfaces for git)
  • lazydocker (interactive interface for docker)
  • choose (the basics of awk/cut)
  • ctop (top for containers)
  • fuck (autocorrect command line errors)
  • tmate (share your terminal with a friend)
  • lnav, angle-grinder (tools for managing logs)
  • mdp, glow (ways to display markdown in the terminal)
  • pbcopy/pbpaste (for clipboard <> stdin/stdout) maybe aren’t “new” but were mentioned a lot. You can use xclip to do the same thing on Linux.
  • atuin (extremely fancy shell history)


  • jq (a great JSON-wrangling tool)
  • jc (convert various tools’ output into JSON)
  • jo (create JSON objects)
  • yq (like jq, but for YAML). there’s also another yq
  • fq (like jq, but for binary)
  • htmlq (like jq, but for HTML)
  • fx (interactive json tool)
  • jless (json pager)
  • xsv (a command line tool for csv files, from burntsushi)
  • visidata (“an interactive multitool for tabular data”)
  • miller (“like awk/sed/cut/join/sort for CSV/TSV/JSON/JSON lines”)

grep things:

less-new tools

Here are a few of not-so-new tools folks mentioned aren’t that well known:

  • pv (“pipe viewer”, gives you a progress bar for a pipe)
  • vidir (from moreutils, lets you batch rename/delete files in vim)
  • sponge, ts, parallel (also from moreutils)

some of my favourites

My favourites of these that I use already are entr, ripgrep, git-delta, httpie, plocate, and jq.

I’m interested in trying out direnv, btm, z, xsv, and duf, but I think the most exciting tool I learned about is vidir.

Implementing a toy version of TLS 1.3 New zine: How DNS Works!