The sys admin's daily grind

Charly's Column – googler

Article from Issue 250/2021
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If you are a genuine admin, you will want to be able to google things at the command line. Charly uses googler for this; it has pretty useful capabilities despite the unimaginative name.

What if you need to google something but only have access to a command line? You could just grab your smartphone, but if you want to copy and paste something from the search results, that's not really a good solution. A text-mode browser like Lynx is more suitable.

But there is another option that is more powerful and fits seamlessly into the workflow on the console: googler [1]. Many distributions have the tool in their package repositories, but it can also be installed manually with a few commands (Listing 1). The current version (at press time in July 2021) is googler 4.3.2.

In the simplest case, you can start a keyword search on Google by calling googler TERM. The result for the keyword "Linux" is shown in Figure 1. You can see that googler numbers the search results. If you type the number for a search result, googler passes the address to the default web browser to open. If this does not work for you, that means that googler cannot determine the appropriate browser. You then need to pass in the name of the program with the --url-handler parameters, for example, as --url-handler lynx (or whatever you use).

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