The problem

Very often, I know which command line tool would come in handy for a given task at hand, but I can’t recall the exact syntax I should use or the options that are available to me.

Looking into the documentation is definitely an option, but they sometimes lack practical examples. Also, usually, I’m already familiar with this tool, but I just need a quick refresher.

The solution

Meet An open-source tool that gives you access to community-driven cheatsheets for programming languages, DBMSes, and command line tools through a simple interface.

Want a quick overview of the tar utility? Just type this in your terminal, no installation required:


You’ll get answers from multiple cheatsheets repositories at the same time. The screenshot below shows the part of the response that comes from the website:

It also works for programming languages. For example, to learn about list comprehension in Python, you could use this:


To get a list of topics available for a given language, execute curl Additionally, most languages have a special :learn page that describes the basics to get you started quickly.

Command line client

If you don’t want to constantly type the curl command to access the cheatsheets, you can install the command line client according to the instructions on the GitHub page. There is also an option to activate tab completion support.

I did all of the above and created a custom bash function called c that executes the script and also pipes the result to the less program for convenience (the "$@" part refers to arguments passed to the function).

function c() {
    $HOME/.dotfiles/shell/scripts/ "$@" | less

After doing that, I can start typing c ff and instantly get suggestions matching the query:

If you’re interested, here’s a commit in my dotfiles repository where I added this tool (notice the #compdef c line at the top of the _cth file that was necessary to get tab completion for my custom function).