Frequently asked questions

    What is this site? is a simple repository for storing and sharing great shell commands. Influenced by Digg, Reddit and Stack Overflow, each command can be discussed and voted upon to allow the best to float to the top and the community to have its say.
    How do I use the site?
    There's a few ways:
    • You can simply use the site to store your own collection of commands for future reference. All your commands will be accessible from your user pages (with URL /commands/by/<username>). This was the original motivation for the site.
    • You can subscribe to one of the various feeds to stay in touch with the latest commands (see the next question for more details). From there, you can quickly jump back the commands you are interested in, to comment and vote if you are so inclined.
    • There is an API for retrieving commands in various formats - you can use this to build your own widgets that interact with the site.
    • Built on top of the API is a simple javascript widget which lets you embed your commands on your blog/homepage.
    What feeds are available?

    Loads. Here's a breakdown: has three Twitter accounts where commands and news are Tweeted: one for all commands good or bad, and two which only feature commands with a minimum number of up-votes:

    Following the twitter stream is a great way of staying in touch with what's going on. For the curious, here's a breakdown of the interests of the current followers:

    If you enjoy using RSS, there are many feeds available:

    • There's the main feed for the whole site which contains the latest commands, listed in the order they are submitted.
    • There are feeds for each user, each tag, each function - essentially, any filtered set of commands can be retrieved as an RSS feed. Links to these feeds are found in the "Stay in the loop..." panel on the right-hand side of each page.
    • There are two RSS feeds that mirror the Twitter accounts:
    I use the <insert-shell-name-here> - are my commands welcome here?
    Yes, most certainly. While there is undoubtedly a *nix bias to most commands on the site, that's simply a reflection of the greater prominence of the command-line in such operating systems. Don't worry though: all shell types and operating systems are welcome here - the sole criterion is that the command is 140 characters or less.
    I'm an advertiser - can I have one of my banners on your site?
    Sure - there are several possible places where banners can be displayed - get in touch at for more information. A couple of rules though: no flash, and no blinking or scrolling content within the ads themselves.
    Who maintains commandlinefu?
    Some guy named Jon Hendren and a couple friends. Inquiries of all types can be sent to
    Who originally created the site?
    David Winterbottom, a LAMP developer working in London - He blogs at and has a Twitter account at
    What is commandlinefu written in?
    PHP mainly. The underlying framework is CodeIgniter, although I don't really use it in the documented way (ie, I actually have a domain model rather than just supplying database rows to the controllers). Several components of the Zend Framework are also employed to provide additional functionality. I'd quite like to convert over to Django, but that's probably not going to happen any time soon.