Access StackOverflow from the Command Line with how2

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Mar 09, 2016 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Whatever coding-related question you might have, chances are it has already been answered on StackOverflow. But switching to the browser and wading through StackOverflow in search of a solution to your particular problem is not the most efficient way to use the service -- especially if you spend most of your productive time in the terminal. Enter how2, a command-line tool for searching StackOverflow using natural language queries. Installing how2 on Ubuntu-based distributions is a matter of running the following commands:

sudo apt-get install nodejs npm
sudo ln -s "$(which nodejs)" /usr/bin/node
npm install -g how2

With how2 installed, you can search StackOverflow using the how2 command followed by the desired query, for example: how2 untar .tar.gz. The utility then displays the most relevant answer first. If that doesn't answer your question, you can browse the list of all search results to find the answer you are looking for.

By default, how2 returns results relevant for the Bash shell scripting language. However, you can use the -l switch to explicitly specify the desired language: how2 -l php sort array.

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