Sometimes we do things because “that’s the way we’ve always done them.” Screws, for example, had slotted heads in the 1500s and slotted heads are notoriously bad, but despite Robertson in 1907 and Phillips in the 1930s, it took decades for slotted screw heads to become uncommon and they still lurk in a few areas. Many Linux tools we use every day are direct descendants from Unix tools that have been around for almost half a century. We’ve looked at a few more modern alternatives before, and [ibraheemdev] has a GitHub collection of many such tools that’s worth checking out.
Of course, modern doesn’t always mean better. However, the tools in the list do have great features including things that were uncommon in the old days such as the use of color, text-based graphics, and things like git integration.
Some of the commands replace very common commands. For example,
bat is like
cat with syntax coloring and git integration. The
lsd commands are like
lsd is even compatible with
delta for replacing
dust to replace
du. Instead of
cd, you can use
zoxide to get some advanced capabilities that are native so some shells.
Many of the commands offer less power to make common tasks easier. For example, you can use
sed to search and replace text, but
sd is easier. You can use
cut to pull parts of a file or stream out, but
choose makes it easier. Sometimes the
man command gives you too much detailed information. The
tealdeer commands give you just the common options for commands and
cheat offers interactive cheat sheets.
Rounding out the list are commands that offer dedicated network help where you might use
curl. Programs like
httpie, for example, offer easier ways to do various network requests.
You might not use every command on this list, and finger memory is very powerful (although you can always create an alias if you are brave enough). However, you’ll probably find one or two interesting commands that become part of your workflow if they aren’t already.
We’ve talked about some of these tools in previous Linux Fu posts, but having these in one collection is handy and — we presume — the list will update from time to time, so it is worth watching the project on GitHub.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a list like this, although each seems to have some things the other ones don’t. If you find yourself often composing difficult command lines, check out
Marker, which can help.