Use AI to generate shell input

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© Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash

© Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash

Article from Issue 280/2024

Shell Genie uses artificial intelligence to convert your questions into commands in the terminal.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has dominated the IT world and the media for months. The tone of the reporting has ranged from "benefactor of mankind" to "threat to humanity." To keep the ball rolling, this article covers the MIT-licensed Shell Genie [1] Python tool, which uses AI to try to make life with the shell easier for users.

The Shell Genie command-line tool answers your questions in the shell with commands that can be executed immediately. You can use two different AI models with Shell Genie: GPT-3.5 or Free Genie. GPT-3.5 by OpenAI is the basis for the current version of ChatGPT. You will need an API key (which costs around $20 and includes ChatGPT) to use it as a back end. As an alternative, you can use Free Genie, a free model maintained by Dylan Castillo, the developer of Shell Genie. Shell Genie can be trained by user input with your permission.


The easiest way to install Shell Genie is to use pipx, an installer for the Python Package Index that evolved from pip. First you use your distribution's package manager to install the pipx package. Then you can set up Shell Genie with:


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