A few helpful command line tools

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Recently, I’ve started to use the command line for most of my development. I used to be a huge fan of a GUI/UI to help me through the process, but after quickly realizing that all I was doing was adding another layer of complexity I decided to give the command line a go. It was a learned skill but i’ve now adopted the idea of using the command line for as much as I can. Along the way, I picked up a few tools that have helped me immensely and so I wanted to share them with you, so they may be able to help you too.

mdfind – a tool that comes with your mac/linux machine (sorry-not sorry windows users). It allows you to search for specific file names on your machine, making it easier to locate them that using spotlight. How many times has spotlight given you the rainbow wheel of pain when searching. Woof.

To use mdfind, just open a terminal window and type “mdfind -help”. This should list for you all of the available commands you can use. To search by file name: mdfind -name [filename].

grin – for all you python fans. grin is a must have. I use it on our ubuntu servers all of the time when I am looking for a specific piece of code within multiple files and I am unsure where it is. You can also use it on your local machine as well. You can find install instructions here. To use it after install, just log into your machine or server and type “grin “[text you want to search for].” Super easy. Super helpful.

s3cmd – I use a lot of python scripts to deploy code to our servers which are amazon servers. In addition to our EC2 servers, we also have some storage areas where we host static pages/code. These are in our S3 buckets. Deploying code to those can be a little trickier, but then came this tool. The s3cmd extension allows you to enter your secret amazon keys (sounds so formal) into the configuration settings and deploy changes to the S3 storage clouds via your local machine without having to access the dashboard at all. This makes code deployment to the cloud as easy as it is for the EC2 servers. Woo! Click here to download it.

boto – Another python interface for amazon. Allows you to do a lot of cool things to your servers from the comfort of your local machine. I use boto to power up and down my amazon servers on my local. There are loads more options for this too! Click here to view it!

siege – ever do load testing or benchmarking? Siege is a pretty powerful , yet lightweight tool. You can use it through the command line and it has several settings to choose from.

pip – If you want to install anything python, make your life easier by installing pip. You can easily with a command install python extensions.

Hope these help you. I’m sure there are a few more I am missing, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head right now.

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