Need help with howdoi?
Click the “chat” button below for chat support from the developer who created it, or find similar developers for support.

About the developer

9.1K Stars 827 Forks MIT License 899 Commits 14 Opened issues


instant coding answers via the command line

Services available


Need anything else?

Contributors list

Sherlock, your neighborhood command-line sloth sleuth


Instant coding answers via the command line

⚡ Never open your browser to look for help again ⚡

build status downloads Python versions

Introduction to howdoi

Are you a hack programmer? Do you find yourself constantly Googling for how to do basic programming tasks?

Suppose you want to know how to format a date in bash. Why open your browser and read through blogs (risking major distraction) when you can simply stay in the console and ask howdoi:

$ howdoi format date bash
> DATE=`date +%Y-%m-%d`

howdoi will answer all sorts of queries:

$ howdoi print stack trace python
> import traceback
> try:
>     1/0
> except:
>     print '>>> traceback <<     traceback.print_exc()
>     print '>>> end of traceback << traceback.print_exc()

$ howdoi convert mp4 to animated gif > video=/path/to/video.avi > outdir=/path/to/output.gif > mplayer "$video"
> -ao null
> -ss "00:01:00" \ # starting point > -endpos 10 \ # duration in second > -vo gif89a:fps=13:output=$outdir
> -vf scale=240:180

$ howdoi create tar archive > tar -cf backup.tar --exclude "www/subf3" www



pip install howdoi


New to howdoi?

howdoi howdoi



usage: howdoi [-h] [-p POS] [-n NUM] [-a] [-l] [-c] [-x] [-C] [-j] [-v] [-e [ENGINE]]
[--save] [--view] [--remove] [--empty] [QUERY ...]

instant coding answers via the command line

positional arguments: QUERY the question to answer

optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -p POS, --pos POS select answer in specified position (default: 1) -n NUM, --num NUM number of answers to return (default: 1) -a, --all display the full text of the answer -l, --link display only the answer link -c, --color enable colorized output -x, --explain explain how answer was chosen -C, --clear-cache clear the cache -j, --json return answers in raw json format -v, --version display the current version of howdoi -e [ENGINE], --engine [ENGINE] search engine for this query (google, bing, duckduckgo) --save, --stash stash a howdoi answer --view view your stash --remove remove an entry in your stash --empty empty your stash


Using the howdoi stashing feature (for more advanced features view the keep documentation).

stashing: howdoi --save QUERY
viewing:  howdoi --view
removing: howdoi --remove (will be prompted which answer to delete)
emptying: howdoi --empty (empties entire stash, will be prompted to confirm)

As a shortcut, if you commonly use the same parameters each time and don\'t want to type them, add something similar to your .bash_profile (or otherwise). This example gives you 5 colored results each time.

alias h='function hdi(){ howdoi $* -c -n 5; }; hdi'

And then to run it from the command line simply type:

$ h format date bash

You can also search other StackExchange properties for answers: howdoi make pesto

or as an alias:

alias hcook='function hcook(){ howdoi $* ; }; hcook'
hcook make pesto

Other useful aliases:

alias hless='function hdi(){ howdoi $* -c | less --raw-control-chars --quit-if-one-screen --no-init; }; hdi'


How to contribute

We welcome contributions that make howdoi better and improve the existing functionalities of the project. We have created a separate guide to contributing to howdoi that explains how to get up and running with your first pull request.


Visual Studio Code Extension Installation

Head over to the MarketPlace to install the extension.

We use cookies. If you continue to browse the site, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information on our use of cookies please see our Privacy Policy.