What is CLI Companion?

CLI Companion is an application that is used as a compliment to the Terminal. People unfamiliar with the Terminal will find CLI Companion a useful way to become acquainted with the Terminal and its many uses. Using the built-in commands new users can unlock the potential of the Terminal.

Experienced users can use CLI Companion’s add command feature to build a command dictionary. Store commands as you come across them and no more do you have to search for them. This has quickly become one of the most powerful uses of the program. We have users trading commands, building extensive command dictionaries, etc.

How it works

CLI Companion is a Terminal, just like your gnome-terminal, with a command list attached to it. In every respect the Terminal in CLI Companion functions just like a normal Terminal. The command list is the main feature that makes CLI Companion different from a basic Terminal. Using a database of commands CLI Companion displays a command list that the user can select and run commands from. CLI Companioin comes with a default selection of commands. However this is just the start The user can add/delete commands from this list. Building an extensive library of commands.

The CLI Companions Main Window has three columns. The first column is the command. The second column shows you if the command needs information from the user. Some commands need a path to a file. Others might need a package name. The third column is the command description. Select the command you would like to execute, then press Run. Prompts should guide you through the necessary info.

Adding Commands

The 'Add Command' feature allows for three pieces of information to be stored for each command. These pieces were covered briefly earlier. Please be mindful that not all the commands will need the 'User Variable' field. In the Main Window click 'Add' to get the 'Add Command' dialog.

Command Field

If a command requires user input at runtime, such as a package or directory, use a question mark(?) as a place holder when entering the command into the 'Command' field while adding the command to the dictionary. So for example the command:

ls /any/directory

In the 'Add Command' dialog you would enter the command as:

ls ?

Some commands will not require any input at runtime. Those you will enter just as you would in the Terminal. So for example top. many times you run this without any flags, just as is, and would enter it into the 'Command' field as:


others require directories, file names, etc. This is where the '?' place holder comes into play.

User Input Field

Then in the 'User Input' field, which is a reminder of what information goes in place of the ?, you would put something like 'package'.

Description Field

In the third and final field, 'Description', you will put a short description of what the command does.

Help With Commands

CLI Companion has a 'Help' button in the Main Window. This button can be clicked to get more information on a command. Simply highlight a command in the command list and select 'Help'. The commands manual page will appear in the Terminal.


You can install CLI Companion in two ways. You can go to the projects Launchpad page and download the deb, or you can add the PPA to receive the latest updates automatically.

Download the deb

Go to the CLI Companion Launchpad Page https://launchpad.net/clicompanion On the right hand side you will see Downloads and a green box. Click that box and a dialog will come up asking you to Open With or Save. You can choose open with and Ubuntu will open the deb with the appropriate application and begin installation. If you choose to Save you will then need to navigate to your downloads directory and double-click on the deb file to begin installation.

Adding the PPA

This is what we preffer. This will keep yo up to date on the latest changes. NOTE: No Ubuntu-Q PPA yet. Since Ubuntu Karmic Koala adding PPA's has gotten a lot easier. To add the CLI Companion PPA just run the following commands in a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories --> Terminal).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clicompanion-devs/clicompanion-nightlies

Then once the PPA is added run this command to install CLI Companion.

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install clicompanion

NOTE: There are currently more feature's being added into CLI Companion for shell integration, more commands on default and a many other options!

A new feature we are proud of is integration with command-line fu. You can search the site for commands to try out for yourself. This is a bit more advanced. Novice users may want to avoid this for awhile.


You can download CLI Companion's development branch by issuing the following command in the terminal:

bzr branch lp:clicompanion

Bugs and Questions

Any user is encouraged to file a bug here.
If you have any questions you can file a Launchpad Answer here.



clicompanion (last edited 2012-11-20 05:09:22 by duanedesign)