How To Save Commands And Use Them On Demand

Save Commands In Terminal And Use Them On Demand

Let us say you’re searching for a particular command that solves a specific issue on your Linux system. After a bit of Google search, you find it on a website or a blog, and you execute the command. Voila! The problem is solved. You’re happy now and continue your work with great satisfaction. After a few weeks or months, you encountered with the same issue on another Linux system. You remember solving the same issue few week ago, but you completely forgot the full command. Oops! You do reverse search on your Terminal by running ‘CTRL+R’ from the Terminal, and you search through your browser history. But your mind has gone completely blank and you couldn’t recall the exact command. I have faced this issue numerous times. Every time, I spend a lot of time on the web to search for commands. Not any more! Meet ‘Keep’, a personal shell command keeper.

The ‘Keep’ utility allows you to keep the most frequently used and most important commands and you can use them later without having to search on websites or man pages. Also, you don’t need to memorize the lengthy and complex commands. Keep utility will save your important and frequently used commands in Terminal itself. You can retrieve and execute them at any time. More importantly, you can sync the saved commands across multiple systems and also save all commands on a remote system. Seems useful, isn’t it?

To put this simply, ‘Keep’ utility

  • Can keep all your commands with brief description.
  • Allows you to search the saved commands using powerful patterns.
  • Allows you to sync saved commands on multiple systems on the network.
  • Allows you to save commands on any remote server on the network.

In this brief guide, I will show you how to install and use ‘Keep’ in Unix-like systems.

Install ‘Keep’ On Linux

The easiest and official way to install ‘Keep’ is by using PIP. Pip is a package manager that allows you to install applications written using Python programming language.

Pip can be installed on Arch Linux and its derivatives as shown below:

$ sudo pacman -S python-pip

On Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip

On RHEL, Fedora, CentOS:

Enable EPEL repository first.

$ sudo yum install epel-release


$ sudo dnf install epel-release

Then, install pip using command:

$ sudo yum install python-pip


$ sudo dnf install python-pip


$ sudo zypper install python-pip

Once pip installed, run the following command to install ‘Keep’. The following command is same for all Linux distributions!

$ sudo pip install keep

Save Commands In Terminal And Use Them On Demand Using ‘Keep’ Utility

‘Keep’ usage is very simple. The typical syntax of ‘keep’ utility is:


It’s time to see some practical examples. Look at the following command.

find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \;

This command will find and copy all files that ends with extension .txt. and save them in /home/sk/Downloads/ directory. I have very poor memory. After a few  weeks or months, I couldn’t remember this command. I bet some of you can’t remember this kind of lengthy commands after some time.

So, what I am going to do is just save this command in my Terminal using ‘keep’ utility.

First, we need to initialize the ‘keep’ environment.

To do so, run:

$ keep init

The above command will ask you to enter your Email. It is the unique username to you.  You can input anything unique to you. You can choose to not register this time and later start the process by using keep register command. You can use Keep CLI without registering if you do not intend to use the server for storing or fetching your commands. It generates a 255 bit password for you. It is then stored inside your ~/.keep/.credentials file.

Sample output would be:

Initializing environment in ~/.keep directory
Proceed to register? [Y/n]: y
Your credentials will be saved in the ~/.keep directory.
Email: [email protected]
Repeat for confirmation: [email protected]
Verifying with existing users...
Generated password for [email protected]
Registering new user ...
User successfully registered !
Credentials file saved at ~/.keep/.credentials.json

Save a new command

To save a new command, just run:

$ keep new

Enter the full command you’d like to save and hit ENTER. Then, provide the description of the command and press ENTER key.

Sample output:

Command: find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \;
Description : find and copy all files that ends with extension .txt

Now, the command has been saved. Similarly, you can save any number of commands using ‘keep new’ command.

View the saved commands

To view all saved commands, just run:

$ keep list

This command will display the list of saved commands with description.

Sample output:

Command Description
-------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------
$ find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \; find and copy all files that ends with extension .txt

Search for the saved commands

You can search any saved commands with its description. You don’t have to specify the complete description. Look at the following example.

$ keep grep "find and copy"

You will see saved commands matching to the search term. I got the following command for the above command.

$ find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \; :: find and copy all files that ends with extension .txt

Execute the saved commands

To execute the saved commands at any time, simply run with saved command’s description as shown below:

$ keep run "find and copy"

You will be asked whether to execute or not the command. Just press ‘Y’ to run the command:


find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \;

? [Y/n]: y

Sync Saved commands with another system

If you have got another system, install ‘keep’ on it as I described in the “Install Keep” section. Then, run “keep init” (without quotes, of course) command and skip registration. Copy your ~/.keep/.credentials file over to the target computer in the same location. Finally, run the following command to retrieve all the saved commands.

$ keep pull

To store the commands on the remote server, use ‘keep push’ command.

Delete saved commands

To delete a saved command, simply run:

$ keep rm

Enter the command to remove and hit ENTER. The specified command will deleted from the Keep cache.

Command to remove: find -iname '*.txt' -exec cp {} /home/sk/Downloads/ \;
Command successfully removed!

For more details, run:

$ keep --help

Also Read: Bookmark The Linux Commands For Easier Repeated Invocation


‘Keep’ utility is really useful when it comes to dealing with numerous commands everyday. It is quite difficult to remember all commands. In such cases, Keep utility might be useful.

And, that’s all. Hope this helps. If you find this guide useful, please share it on your social, professional networks and support OSTechNix.



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4 Responses

  1. Mahmoud F.Elshazly says:

    Great, Thanks.

  2. EDA says:

    Great article. Nicely done. Thanks!

  3. Mr. Mxyzptlk says:

    Sorry, what’s wrong with ‘alias’ again? It’s not multi-server, but how exactly does server 2 grab directly from server 1, or is there an intermediary to hold all of your accidentally stored passwords? And heck: does it take args?

    Basically I’ll do alias for simple commands, a local bin/ for more complex scripts, and I’ll sync them all together myself with tar/cp/rsync. Thanks anyway though; you reinvented the wheel nicely.

    • SK says:

      There is nothing wrong with ‘alias’. This is just another way to save the commands. If you have any ideas to improve it, just ping the developer via GitHub. Thanks for the comment.

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