Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

CLI Magic: Command-line contact management

Filed under

There's an ancient Unix practice of keeping a system-wide phone directory in /usr/share/ with one-line entries containing name, location, and number, and a shell script named something like phone or tel that calls grep to output lines that match whatever arguments you give. You can improve on that method to create a personal contact manager with surprising speed and power.

My requirements for an address book and contact manager are simple. I just want to be able to search and view records whenever I need them, from the command line and a text editor. I don't want to have to start up one of the many standalone applications for this purpose, which all have their own sets of dependencies, file formats, and editing commands. And since I work on a single system and share the data with no one, rigging up a home LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) setup is overkill.

Furthermore, this contact manager should be usable whether I happen to be in X or at a console, and perfectly accessible over a slow text-only network line. It should let me cut and paste addresses and contact information from the Web, email, and any other application I might run. There should be no forms to have to complete for each record, and no concept of "required fields" -- each record should be able to contain as much, or as little, information as I happen to have.

With a plain-text file and a few handy tools like awk, you can easily accomplish all of the above.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

The Linux Kernel Is Still Rectifying The Year 2038 Problem

The Linux kernel is still working to rectify the Year 2038 problem whereby the time values stored as signed 32-bit integers will wrap around. If you somehow are not familiar with the Year 2038 "Y2038" problem, you can learn more via Wikipedia. The Linux kernel has been receiving fixes and workarounds for years now through many Y2038 commits to work through the many different areas of the kernel that are relying upon 32-bit signed ints for storing time values. With Linux 4.15, this work has continued. Read more

Linux 4.15 Is A Huge Update For Both AMD CPU & Radeon GPU Owners

Linux 4.15 is shaping up to be a massive kernel release and we are just half-way through its merge window period. But for AMD Linux users especially, the 4.15 kernel release is going to be rocking. Whether you are using AMD processors and/or AMD Radeon graphics cards, Linux 4.15 is a terrific way to end of the year. There are a number of improvements to make this release great for AMD customers. Read more

Announcing Season of KDE 2018

KDE Student Programs is pleased to announce the 2018 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects that enhance KDE in some way. Every year since 2013, KDE Student Programs has been running Season of KDE as a program similar to, but not quite the same as Google Summer of Code, offering an opportunity to everyone (not just students) to participate in both code and non-code projects that benefits the KDE ecosystem. In the past few years, SoK participants have not only contributed new application features but have also developed the KDE Continuous Integration System, statistical reports for developers, a web framework, ported KDE Applications, created documentation and lots and lots of other work. For this year’s Season of KDE, we are shaking things up a bit and making a host of changes to the program. Read more

How To Get Started With The Ubuntu Linux Distro

The Linux operating system has evolved from a niche audience to widespread popularity since its creation in the mid 1990s, and with good reason. Once upon a time, that installation process was a challenge, even for those who had plenty of experience with such tasks. The modern day Linux, however, has come a very long way. To that end, the installation of most Linux distributions is about as easy as installing an application. If you can install Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, you can install Linux. Here, we'll walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu Linux 17.04, which is widely considered one of the most user-friendly distributions. (A distribution is a variation of Linux, and there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from.) Read more