Modern Alternatives to Classic Linux Commands

old vs new: commands

Here you can see some modern alternatives to classic Linux commands. This does not mean that they are better or worse, or that you should use one or the other. Use the one that seems most comfortable to you as I always say. However, some users may not be aware of these alternatives and may find them to be better options.

The most outstanding programs that you can use in your GNU/Linux distro, and that can be great tools for administrators of the system are:

neovim vs vim

The popular text editor vim, much discussed among fans of emacs, nano, etc., also has a newer alternative. Is about neovim, which is based on the idea of ​​extending the capabilities of vim and turning it into an IDE. Thanks to this project, more modern functions, cursor style, etc. are added.

tldr vs man

Another tool that everyone uses is man, the command to display the manual. Well, it also has another more modern alternative such as tldr. And it is that the pages that man throws can be somewhat overwhelming, and complicated to understand for some users. Its format is also not the best for understanding. Therefore, with tldr help can be greatly simplified and practical examples of use can be shown.

duf vs df

The df command is also very popular in Linux to check the disk space that is free, occupied, etc. As well, dumb is a simpler alternative written in the Go programming language and with some improvements. It will show you easy-to-understand information about all mounted devices, allows you to sort the output, save the output in JSON format, etc.

exa vs ls

Among the most used commands when using the terminal is ls, a command that lists the contents of directories. The command exa does the same, but has improvements, uses more intuitive colors, display metadata, extended attributes, inode, number of blocks occupied, various dates, hierarchical tree view, built-in Git support to see files that have changed, etc.

fd vs find

To find something sure you have used the locate or find commands. Well, this second one has a more modern alternative for the search. His name is fd, is written in Rust, and aims to simplify searches and speed up the return of results.

top vs top

Be sure you know it, because it is also widely used as a top alternative. Is about htop, a version to display information on processes, resource consumption, etc., in a more intuitive way, in real time, and with the possibility of interacting.

ncdu vs du

I talked about the df command before, but surely you have also used du to check the size of a file directory. Well, the alternative is called ncdu, and provides the same result, but with more attractive information on a visual level, with graphics, ordered, and interactive use. Its name comes from nc (ncurses) and du, that is, it is a du written in Go and makes use of the famous graphic library.

bat vs cat

The concatenator, or cat, is very useful for displaying the content of text files, or for other functions combined with other commands using pipes, etc. A more modern alternative is Beat. This one adds syntax highlighting, Git integration, paging, etc.

httpie vs wget and curl

Other widely used commands to download or view web content in the terminal are wget and curl. Both tools are very used and common, installed by default in almost all popular distros. The modern alternative to both is called httpie, with improvements for a friendlier use, with output colored and formatted to improve its understanding.


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  1.   Alejandro said

    Excellent article !!! Thanks

  2.   Oscar Fernandez-Sierra said

    I would also include "ripgrep" (https://github.com/BurntSushi/ripgrep) as an alternative to "grep". And "fzf" (https://github.com/junegunn/fzf) could be a "pseudo-substitute" for "less" or "more" when you want to be able to select from the results, but it does more

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