Tag Archives: upload

surl: No, not “surly.” Just surl

So far I’ve seen about a half-dozen pastebin-interface-type tools for the console, but I do believe surl is the first URL-shortener.

kmandla@6m47421: ~$ surl -c http://www.google.com -s tinyurl.com

You can check that and see if it works. I don’t know what the expiration is for tinyurl.com, but you can trust me. I’m from the Internet. 🙄

surl definitely falls into that category of “Oh, of course, that’s so obvious” tools. Before I came across it I never thought once about a tool to send URLs through shortening services, and reply with the link.

Now I have to wonder why there aren’t more. 😦

There probably are, and I just don’t know about them. Every day, something new. … 🙂

You can jam URLs straight into surl if you like, or pipe them in backwards if that’s your thing. surl is also, apparently, capable of parsing strings of text and pulling out URLs, and replacing them with shortlinks in its output. That’s pretty clever.

surl’s repertoire is likewise impressive, and since some of its clientele requires passwords or API keys, the fact that surl can handle those minor details is even more impressive. I won’t bore you with a list of what surl knows; install it and the --help flag will list them.

Bad news for Debian fans: This one doesn’t appear in your repos. If it’s any consolation though, I am fairly certain it wouldn’t take much effort to get it installed.

I might keep surl around for a little while longer; it’s not often that I need a shortened URL, but I want it on hand when I finally do. 😉

pastebinit: As in “pastebin it!”

I keep reading pastebinit as pasteb-init, as if it was some sort of newfangled startup script spawned by systemd or something.

That, of course, is way off the mark, since pastebinit — as in “pastebin it!” is another cli-driven pastebin uploader.


pastebinit is not the only such tool available, since we’ve seen haste, curlpaste, elmer and quite a few others in the past year.

The usefulness of pastebinit or any of the others is more or less dependent on the pastebin you want to use. If pastebinit doesn’t mesh with your bin of choice … well, I guess that makes pastebin clients a little bit like instant messengers.

pastebinit handles quite a few different target sites though, not the least of which is the one you see above.

Double-check which ones your version handles; there are quite a few in the current Arch version:

- cxg.de
- fpaste.org
- lpaste.net
- p.defau.lt
- paste.debian.net
- paste.drizzle.org
- paste.kde.org
- paste.openstack.org
- paste.pound-python.org
- paste.ubuntu.com
- paste.ubuntu.org.cn
- paste2.org
- pastebin.com
- pastebin.mate-desktop.org
- pb.daviey.com
- slexy.org
- sprunge.us

I like pastebinit, but I don’t find it particularly easier or more convenient to use than any of the others. And given that I only rarely use pastebins, this might not be the killer app for me. 😕

ncftp: As the alphabet goes, so go FTP clients

It seems as we make our way further and further through the alphabet, fellow traveler, that FTP clients boast of more and more features.

ftp started us out as the baseline application. cmdftp was there already, as a cohort. lftp added a few thingamajigs, like torrent handling.

Midnight Commander — if you can accept the idea of a file manager interloping into the world of FTP access — adds a visual arrangement that appeals to others (like me). And, technically speaking, file management. 😕

And now we have ncftp, whose home page insists it has even more bells and whistles.


I have to admit some ambivalence over the features available to a command-line FTP client. Although, I do look for things like progress meters, resuming downloads, directory tree downloading and site bookmarking, as features of other programs.

So out of fairness in reporting, I’m content to acknowledge ncftp has those features, and yes, they are (more than likely; I haven’t tested them all) advantages over the classic ftp application.

I’ll also admit that the addition of ncftpput and ncftpget means you can hot-wire shell scripts to do FTP uploads and downloads too. Plus ncftpbatch and ncftpspooler, which I hardly got a chance to touch, but add two flavors of bulk FTP handling.

Now you can see why I feel FTP tools get better and better the further into the alphabet we go. I expect “zzzftp” will handle transfers, balance your checkbook, make a pot of tea and teach your child to program in C, all at the command line. 🙄

ix: Great name, good tool

I am severely limited on time today, but I have a short break here to write quickly about ix.


ix is another command-line pastebin-style tool, and will pump text or code or files of a legible sort to a great repository in the sky, returning you an address you can keep or disseminate.

ix is not the first tool like this, and without a doubt there will be more. ix struck me as useful though, if only because it gives you terse and short addresses to manage, and because you can straightaway overwrite a remote snippet, without too much hassle.

In other words, it’s less time to type out a wordy location, and you don’t have to keep track of addresses if you update one. Stake your claim and return to it at will.

I think that’s about it; ix has a few other options you can check in the help flags.

Unfortunately I’m very tight on time today, so I leave it to you to explore more. More tomorrow, I promise. 😉

haste: Pipe and paste with haste

I’ve mentioned pastebin-type tools more than once in recent history, and they all have strong points depending on the site they target.

I like haste partly because hastebin.com is open to public use (see fb-client :roll:), but also because it seems to work smoothly.

2013-11-19-lv-r1fz6-haste-01 2013-11-19-lv-r1fz6-haste-02

Left, the action. Right, the result.

Ideally, you could just pipe all three together, but hastebin.com in elinks doesn’t show much. 😉

That’s about all there is to it. haste is a bit delicate though; there’s no man page that I could find, and it doesn’t seem to accept flags. If I threw a curve ball at it, it would freak and spatter errors on the screen.

The stable version seemed more or less … stable for me though. The git version wasn’t cooperating. But of course, that could change in days, so. … 😐

ftp: The classic, in action

I’m going to give out one more bonus today, because fsniper may or may not be working, and because I’m getting close to the end of the F section.

Here’s ftp, which you may know from experience, may know by reputation, or may not know. Any of the above are possible.


On my Arch system, ftp is part of inetutils, and shares company with some fine tools — like rcp, telnet and a few others. Debian keeps it in inetutils-ftp, so it’s apparently been broken out of the original set. That’s cool.

ftp runs much like you might expect, if you were to type in all the commands that otherwise are handled by graphical clients like gFTP or FileZilla. It’s not exactly a full-scale console application, like Midnight Commander is when it accesses FTP sites.

But ftp is not much different than any other trapped terminal command-line application. It has a man page if you don’t know the protocol, and is fairly forgiving if you make a mistake.

Yes, it’s a classic, but … no color, no fullscreen application … I know, I am easily disappointed. I try to be open-minded, I really do.

But I’ll be sticking with Midnight Commander as a text-based FTP tool. It’s just got what I look for. 😐

elmer: Pasting into the world beyond

This will be quick, mostly because elmer is quick and quiet on its own.


elmer is another in the same vein as curlpaste, a command-line tool to upload text or code snippets to codepad.org. But perhaps a little less feature-replete, and a little less saucy. 😉

For what I’ve seen of elmer, it seems slightly incomplete, or perhaps it’s just a personal project and not really intended for the outside world. No man page to speak of, and only a short list of flags without much prompting.

By default it sends everything to codepad.org, like I mentioned, but uses environment variables to adjust that or to list alternatives.

And I suppose it’s worth mentioning that elmer uses a very nonstandard license. So you probably won’t see this in Debian any time soon (elmer in Debian is something unrelated).

On the other hand, it strikes me as very light, very focused, and perhaps most importantly … functional. I can’t find fault with that. 😐