Home Command line utilities How To Get Instant Coding Answers Via Commandline In Linux

How To Get Instant Coding Answers Via Commandline In Linux

By sk
Published: Updated: 546 views

Are you a programmer? I've got a good news for you. You can now get instant coding answers via commandline using 'howdoi' utility in Unix-like operating systems. You don't have to google or refer any other online resources to know about some basic programming queries. Howdoi will display the instant answers for codes and command queries right from your Terminal. This tool could be useful where you don't have access to the web browser. It should work on any operating systems that supports python 2 and python 3, including GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems.

This brief tutorial describes how to install and use howdoi utility in Linux.

Get Instant Coding Answers Via Commandline using 'Howdoi'

Howdoi can be easily installed using pip utility. To install pip in your Linux distribution, do the following steps.

To install PIP on Arch Linux and its derivatives, run:

$ sudo pacman -S python-pip

On RHEL, Fedora, CentOS:

$ sudo yum install epel-release
$ sudo yum install python-pip


$ sudo dnf install epel-release
$ sudo dnf install python-pip

On Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip

Once PIP installed, run the following command to install 'Howdoi'.

$ sudo pip install howdoi

'Howdoi' Usage

The typical syntax of Howdoi is:

howdoi [-h] [-p POS] [-a] [-l] [-c] [-n NUM_ANSWERS] [-C] [-v] QUERY [QUERY ...]


  • -h - Displays the help section
  • -p POS - Select answer in specified position (default: 1)
  • -a - Displays the full text of the answer
  • -l  - Displays only the answer link
  • -c - Enables colorized output
  • -n NUM_ANSWERS - Number of answers to return
  • -C - Clears the cache
  • -v - Displays the current version of howdoi

Let us see some examples.

To know how to use print function in python or java, use following commands:

$ howdoi print python

Sample output:

print("Total score for %s is %s " % (name, score))
$ howdoi print java



To know how to create an archive, just run the following command:

$ howdoi create tar archive

Sample output would be:

$ tar czf file.tar.gz file.txt

You could use this command to create a tar archive of file.txt. Similarly, you can search any commands. Here is how to know the command format to create a file or directory.

$ howdoi create file touch

Sample output:

touch ../my_directory/file

Similarly, you can view how to create a directory as shown below.

$ howdoi create directory mkdir

Sample output:

$ mkdir -p foo

To know how to format a date in bash, just run:

$ howdoi format date bash

Sample output:

DATE=`date +%Y-%m-%d`

Please note that this utility may not find answers to all queries, but it will help you to find answers to some basic codes and command queries.


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