I've recently found some awesome replacements for common command line tools and wanted to share them and learn about others.

The three of these have made my recent troubleshooting much more efficient:

  • ack - ack is a tool like grep, designed for programmers with large trees of heterogeneous source code
  • dstat - replacement for vmstat, iostat, netstat, nfsstat and ifstat
  • mtr - mtr combines the functionality of the 'traceroute' and 'ping' programs in a single network diagnostic tool

What tools do you install because they're better than the defaults?

closed as primarily opinion-based by masegaloeh, Ward, kasperd, Jenny D, sysadmin1138 Apr 20 '15 at 15:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Who says those aren't the defaults? – womble Nov 18 '09 at 17:32
  • Good point. I have this view because most of these tools describe themselves as replacements or combinations of other tools. They're also not installed by default with most linux distributions. – Garret Heaton Nov 18 '09 at 17:41
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    No, not again. We had similar question about good command line tools. – TiFFolk Nov 18 '09 at 19:11
  • cygwin to replace to replace the windows ______ commands ;-) – Kyle Brandt Nov 18 '09 at 20:39
  • htop - "It is similar to top, but allows to scroll the list vertically and horizontally to see all processes and their full command lines."
  • links or elinks - replacements for lynx
  • gt5 - du browser

sup - gmail like command-line mail client (replacement for mutt).

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