My Favorite Command Line Tools

Over the course of years using the command line, I've found some handy tools. This list is to remember everything I've collected thus far.

  • 2021-05-26 - Added bat, hyperfine, mtr, and ncdu
# I trust you just let me install everything

brew install \                                                           
	bat \
	hyperfine \
	mtr \


A cat(1) clone with wings. Contribute to sharkdp/bat development by creating an account on GitHub.
A cat(1) clone with syntax highlighting and Git integration.

cat is one of the most useful tools of the command line and bat just brings it into the modern era with syntax higlighting and some other neat tidbits. Just alias cat to bat and don't look back. My only recommendation would be to make line numbers not present by default!


A command-line benchmarking tool. Contribute to sharkdp/hyperfine development by creating an account on GitHub.
A command-line benchmarking tool.

I think time is a pretty good tool that most people are familiar with but I came across hyperfine while looking for ways to compare API requests to Stripe's API and couldn't be happier. It's written in Rust and has some very convenient output formats.


Official repository for mtr, a network diagnostic tool - traviscross/mtr
mtr combines the functionality of the 'traceroute' and 'ping' programs in a single network diagnostic tool.

An amazing tool to do some network diagnostics and see where things might be going wrong. Has been effective in the past for identifying where exactly in the chain of nodes things might be going wrong.


NCurses Disk Usage
ncdu is a disk usage analyzer with an ncurses interface. It is designed to find space hogs on a remote server where you don't have an entire graphical setup available, but it is a useful tool even on regular desktop systems. Ncdu aims to be fast, simple and easy to use, and should be able to run in any minimal POSIX-like environment with ncurses installed.

Very useful tool for drilling into what is taking up space. I used DaisyDisk for an annoyingly long time longing for the same experience as WinDirStat on Mac. ncdu has become my main tool for figuring out space issues or unexpected directory growth on any of my machines.