tldr bash client

Display tldr pages: community driven man-by-example

A fully-functional bash client for the tldr project, providing poignant examples of terminal commands.

  • Version: 0.3


Download the tldr bash script to the install location:

location=/usr/local/bin/tldr  # elevated privileges needed for some locations
sudo wget -qO $location
sudo chmod +x $location

If the location is not in $PATH, you need to specify the path to run it. Alternately, you can do sudo bpkg-install pepa65/tldr if you have bpkg installed.


coreutils, less, grep, unzip, curl / wget


 USAGE: tldr [option] [platform/]command

 [platform/]command:          Show page for command (from platform)

 platform is optionally one of: common, linux, osx, sunos

 option is optionally one of:
  -l, --list [platform]:      Show all available pages (from platform)
  -r, --render file:          Render a local file as tldr markdown
  -m, --markdown command:     Show the markdown source for command
  -c, --cache:                Cache all pages by downloading archive from repo
  -u, --update:               Re-download index file from repo
  -v, --version:              Version number and repo location
  [-h, -?, --help]:           This help overview

 All pages and the index are cached locally under $HOME/.local/share/tldr
 By default, the cached copies will be freshly downloaded after 60 days.


The 5 elements in TLDR markup that can be styled with these colors and backgrounds (last one specified will be used) and modes (more can apply):

  • Colors: Black, Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Magenta, Cyan, White
  • BG: BlackBG, RedBG, GreenBG, YellowBG, BlueBG, MagentaBG, CyanBG, WhiteBG
  • Modes: Bold, Underline, Italic, Inverse

Newline can be added to the style list to add a newline before the element and Space to add a space at the start of the line (style items are separated by space, lower/uppercase mixed allowed)

  • TLDR_TITLE_STYLE (defaults to: Newline Space Bold Yellow)
  • TLDR_DESCRIPTION_STYLE (defaults to: Space Yellow)
  • TLDR_EXAMPLE_STYLE (defaults to: Newline Space Bold Green)
  • TLDR_CODE_STYLE (defaults to: Space Bold Blue)
  • TLDR_VALUE_ISTYLE (defaults to: Space Bold Cyan)

The Value style (above) is an Inline style: doesn’t take Newline or Space

Inline styles for help text: default, URL, option, platform, command, header

  • TLDR_DEFAULT_ISTYLE (defaults to: White)
  • TLDR_URL_ISTYLE (defaults to: Yellow)
  • TLDR_HEADER_ISTYLE (defaults to: Bold)
  • TLDR_OPTION_ISTYLE (defaults to: Bold Yellow)
  • TLDR_PLATFORM_ISTYLE (defaults to: Bold Blue)
  • TLDR_COMMAND_ISTYLE (defaults to: Bold Cyan)
  • TLDR_FILE_ISTYLE (defaults to: Bold Magenta)

Color/BG (Newline and Space also allowed) for error and info messages

  • TLDR_ERROR_COLOR (defaults to: Newline Space Red)
  • TLDR_INFO_COLOR (defaults to: Newline Space Green)

How many days before freshly downloading a potentially stale page

  • TLDR_EXPIRY (defaults to: 60)

Alternative location of pages cache

  • TLDR_CACHE (not set by default)


Please file an issue for a question, a bug or a feature request. Or even better, send a pull request!


Original client by Ray Lee (MIT license)

Relicensed under GPLv3+

Published: February 06 2017

blog comments powered by Disqus