The Command Line Murders: No, it’s not an application

Whatever algorithm drives the shuf command is apparently biased toward the letter C. Only a week or so out of a full block of programs starting with letter C, and today I have two more.

First up today is The Command Line Murders, which appears on Github as clmystery.


Ordinarily I would chide an application that wanders so far between its title and its executable, but I am stymied by the fact that clmystery is not an application.

In fact, there are rules to solving the mystery, and they make it clear that you may not use specific applications in your investigation. That should ruffle some feathers.

Work your way through the mystery with the tools you prefer, and see if you can come up with the solution. Like I said, there’s no application per se, so it might seem a little awkward at first.

There’s a cheatsheet which will help you learn the basic tools involved in solving the mystery, but beyond that, your investigation is very free-form. This is not a “choose your own adventure” book, so much as a chance to learn fundamental console skills with a particular purpose in mind.

It’s a good exercise on terminal behavior and tools, and probably a good exercise for high-functioning beginners at the CLI, or even perhaps low-intermediate users. Beyond a certain level of expertise, clmystery will probably not enthuse though.

I should mention that the AUR version installs to /opt, which is a little unusual, but probably acceptable since … it’s not an application. If your distro hasn’t adopted clmystery yet, you can download it as a zip file and extract it just about anywhere, and it should work fine.

There is a solution file too, if you reach a point where the suspense is making you writhe, or if you are one of those people who always reads the end of a book first. You know who you are. 😉

2 thoughts on “The Command Line Murders: No, it’s not an application

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