10 Essential CLI Tools for Web Developers

Looking to supercharge your CLI?

Here are 10 CLI tools, each offering unique functionalities to enhance your development process.

Hacker's computer terminal with green text on black background, featuring code, IP addresses, and network diagrams.

These are all tools I've found great for different tasks and general efficiency or productivity when using the CLI day-to-day.

1. Asciinema: Capturing and Sharing Terminal Sessions

🔗 Asciinema

Often, you'll need to show your workflow, especially while working remotely, so hopefully, this helps you share knowledge more efficiently.

Asciinema is more than just a screen recording tool for the terminal. It lets you effortlessly record command-line sessions and share them as lightweight, replayable web videos.

This tool is invaluable for creating educational content, showcasing code, or collaborating with other developers.

2. SVGO: Optimizing SVG Files


SVGO stands out as a tool specifically designed for dealing with SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files.

It helps optimize SVG files, reducing their size without compromising on quality.

This is gtrea for web developers who use SVG images, as optimized images lead to faster loading times and better performance of web applications.

3. TheFuck: Intelligent Command Correction

🔗 TheFuck

TheFuck is a quirky yet incredibly useful tool that corrects errors in your previous console command.

Imagine typing a lengthy command only to find a typo – TheFuck intelligently suggests the correct version, saving time and reducing frustration.

It's not just a convenience tool; it's a great way to learn from your command-line mistakes.

This is one of my most used tools! And it's fun to type "fuck" to fix problems...

4. Diff-so-fancy: Enhanced 'git diff'

🔗 Diff-so-fancy

Diff-so-fancy transforms the output of 'git diff' into a more readable and structured format.

It's a boon for developers who frequently compare code, making the differences between file versions clearer and more visually appealing.

This improved readability is essential during code reviews or when tracking changes in version control.

5. Oh My Zsh: A Powerful Shell Experience

🔗 Oh My Zsh

Oh My Zsh is an extremely popular open-source, community-driven framework for managing your Zsh (Z shell) configuration.

Packed with helpful functions, plugins, and themes, it turns your shell into a powerful and personalized tool.

Whether auto-suggestions, syntax highlighting, or the vast array of themes, Oh My Zsh makes your terminal functional and fun.

6. Pockyt: Pocket Integration for the CLI

🔗 Pockyt

Pocket is one of my favorite apps.

Pockyt is a CLI tool that integrates with the Pocket reading service.

It allows developers to save, manage, and retrieve articles directly from the command line.

This is especially useful for those who like to keep their reading lists organized without switching contexts away from the terminal.

The bonus is I feel like a hacker bookmarking from my terminal.

7. Autojump: Quick Filesystem Navigation

🔗 Autojump

Autojump is a tool that learns your habits and helps you navigate faster to your most frequently used directories.

Instead of typing long paths, you can jump to a directory with just a part of its name. This adaptive navigation saves time, especially in complex projects with deep directory structures.

8. Pbcopy & Pbaste: Clipboard Management in macOS

🔗 Pbcopy & Pbaste

Pbcopy and Pbaste are simple yet powerful tools for macOS users.

They allow you to copy text to the clipboard from the command line and paste from the clipboard back into the command line, seamlessly integrating these actions into your CLI workflow.

It's a little more sophisticated than right-clicking and copying, but it's very useful for copying file contents.

9. TLDR: Simplified and Practical Command References


TLDR is a community-driven project that simplifies man pages to their most practical essence. It offers clear, concise examples for a wide range of commands, making it easier for developers to understand and apply them without wading through verbose documentation.

10. Ngrok: Secure, Intuitive Localhost Tunneling

🔗 Ngrok

If you have VS Code, you can expose your ports over the internet with the "Ports" tab when your terminal is open.

But if you don't use it, this is a fantastic tool.

It creates secure tunnels to localhost, which is invaluable for testing, demonstrations, and remote debugging.

Ngrok makes local development stages accessible from anywhere without complicated network configurations.

I use this for testing apps on my mobile device where I might have a frontend living elsewhere from my backend.

It is a very useful one to have for when you need it.

Are there some tools you think I should install that I didn't mention?

Let me know in the comments! 👇💬

Avatar for Niall Maher

Written by Niall Maher

Founder of Codú - The web developer community! I've worked in nearly every corner of technology businesses; Lead Developer, Software Architect, Product Manager, CTO and now happily a Founder.


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