Many Unix users are familiar with terminal commands. They allow you to instantly perform file operations, monitor the system, and configure it without the need to use software with a graphical interface. Modern Unix is a collection of third-party programs that replace the standard and most common commands. These alternatives are more convenient, more functional, and sometimes faster.
bat instead of cat
bat is analogous to the commonly used cat command to display the contents of files. Unlike the original, bat can highlight syntax and does not output all data to the terminal window, but opens the file separately, as in the nano or vim text editor. With the help of separate keys, you can scroll through the content line by line or several at once.
exa instead of ls
The ls command is used to display a list of files in the current directory. exa does this even better by providing more features – there are much more display options (tree, inverted grid, list, table). This alternative colorizes individual file types by standard and is fast, lightweight, and user-friendly. The contents of the folders can be displayed in a tree structure.
lsd instead of ls
Another alternative to the ls command. Utility lsd or LSDeluxe can display a list of folder contents in color with icons. It is also written in Rust, which makes it faster than similar solutions. To display the icons correctly, you will have to additionally install a special font.
delta instead of diff
delta is a tool for comparing the contents of files. Unlike regular diff, it has syntax highlighting, git styling, side-by-side comparison, line numbering, and many other features. Can also be used for git commands: git show or git diff.
dust instead of du
A more convenient and user-friendly analogue of the du command, which allows you to find out how much disk space directories are using. Unlike the standard utility, dust can display information in the form of a tree, highlighting the most “heavy” files in the final folders. According to the standard, it displays the volume not in blocks, but in the usual units of measurement. The most “tasty” is the display of the percentage of directories, which allows you to immediately identify the largest directories. The utility is written in Rust, hence its name.
duf instead of df
Among the utilities that facilitate the management of free space on drives, duf, an analogue of df, can also be referred to. The standard program displays usage statistics for all connected drives. duf does this better – it displays data in a table, coloring some elements with colors and clearly structuring them. This presentation is much better perceived by the user. Another output is available – in JSON format.
broot instead of navigation commands
broot is a great way to get rid of commands for navigating the file system. The utility shows a list of directories in the form of an interactive tree, allowing you to navigate with arrows, enter folders with the Enter key, return Esc and open files. The latter can be searched, copied and moved using commands in a special line.
fd instead of find
A simple analog of the find command for finding files throughout the system fd is fast, has a wide range of functionality, which, according to the author, may not be the most powerful, but easy to use for most cases.
ripgrep instead of grep
The ripgrep file search tool is faster and more readable than standard grep. The utility follows the rules given in gitignore and by default ignores ignored and hidden files. Provides powerful functionality with support for multiple encodings and search for compressed formats.
ag instead of grep (and ack)
Behind the ag team is an application called The Silver Searcher, which aims to search through code files. The creator claims that this is an analogue of another third-party utility ack, but with an emphasis on speed. Like the previous program, The Silver Searcher ignores the files specified in .gitignore and .hgignore.
fzf instead of normal search
Fast program for searching through any lists, whether it is a file or all files in a directory. Allows you to interactively search by name, has a plugin for the vim editor, there are hotkeys and auto-completion.
mcfly instead of the standard story
Replaces the normal command history search launched by pressing Ctrl + R. McFly is an intelligent search engine with a small built-in neural network that provides contextual clues in real time.
choose instead of awk
A fast and convenient analogue of awk, a powerful built-in command for manipulating text and filtering the data you need. choose uses a more understandable Rust syntax for regular expressions, fast selection of a part of a file is similar to the syntax of slices in Python, beats the competition on large amounts of data.
jq instead of sed
Similar to sed, but designed to work with JSON format. Performs operations with structured data in the form of a stream and outputs the appropriate result. It is written in C, has no dependencies – you only need to download the binary file. The disadvantages of jq are the lack of proper documentation and support that was discontinued several years ago.
sd instead of sed
Intuitive utility for finding and replacing files. sd is nice because it uses a simpler regex syntax than regular sed. The program is not only easier to use, but also faster than the standard command.
cheat instead of man
A useful thing for those who spend a lot of time in the terminal. Keeping all the necessary commands in mind is sometimes difficult, and googling them every time is slow. cheat makes it possible to create cheat sheets for specific commands and instantly refer to them as needed. Allows you to search for hints by tags and using regular expressions.
tldr instead of man
Like the previous utility, tldr helps you navigate a ton of commands and arguments. It is a simplified and easy-to-understand man, supplemented by a community, has dozens of plugins and displays text in a color and structured format.
bottom instead of top
Cross-platform system monitor with customizable interface and tons of features. It displays the hardware status, load, and running processes right in the terminal in real time.
glances instead of top
Another tool for monitoring the state of the system in the terminal. Cross-platform, shows a large amount of information, optimizes the display of data depending on the size of the window. It knows how to work in the client-server mode: the server part is launched on one PC, and on the other device you can open the web interface in the browser.
gtop instead of top
The third program in the collection is for viewing statistics about the car. Inspired by htop, provides structured data with real-time charts.
hyperfine instead of complex speed measurements
A benchmark that measures the execution time of a specific command and is able to compare the speed of several programs. Can be used to determine the fastest utility in a class, or to test your own applications.
gping instead of ping
The same ping to check the connection with another host, but with a nice and informative graph.
procs instead of ps
A modern replacement for the ps command, which lists the processes on the system. Shows data in a user-friendly format, with colors and an automatic theme based on terminal colors. There is a search, added information that is not in the usual ps, more memory data, tree-like display. procs is written in Rust and is actively maintained by the developer.
httpie instead of curl
HTTPie is a terminal HTTP client. The goal of the project is to provide an opportunity to interact with web services in the simplest possible format. HTTPie comes in handy for testing and debugging HTTP servers. The utility allows you to create and receive HTTP requests using lightweight syntax.
curlie instead of curl
The same HTTPie, but with some features of the curl utility for working with data via protocols like FTP, HTTP or HTTPS. curlie is inspired by HTTPie and is user-friendly: simple commands, rich color output, fast work.
xh instead of HTTPie
xh is another handy utility for sending HTTP requests, borrows a lot from HTTPie, but has improved performance.
zoxide instead of cd
zoxide is a lightning-fast and intelligent replacement for the familiar cd command. Keeps track of the most used directories and therefore offers hints.
dog instead of dig
A DNS client in Rust that allows you to find out the address of a node by its domain name. It has a large number of options for queries, color output, and display of data in JSON format.