Command Line Tools

Over the years I’ve developed and polished a number of command line tools, most of which I use on a regular basis. Rather than leave them scattered about, this page lists my most important tools. Each supports all the major operating systems (Linux, Windows, BSD, macOS, etc.) and compiler toolchains (GCC, Clang, MSVC), include complete documentation (man page, etc.), and is readily installed and/or packaged with make install or similar.

On Windows, w64devkit is an ideal development and build environment for these tools.


Derives OpenPGP and SSH keys from a master passphrase, effectively allowing such keys to be memorized. No need to backup your keys, nor store them at rest. Instead, generate keys on the fly as needed.

$ passphrase2pgp -u "Real Name <>" | gpg --import
$ passphrase2pgp -u -f ssh | ssh-add -

Source: passphrase2pgp-1.3.0.tar.xz (sig)


micro-config” is a small, highly portable pkg-config / pkgconf clone with first-class Windows support. Integrated into the w64devkit toolchain, and a drop-in replacement on other platforms. It is the most robust, most performant, most tested pkg-config available.

$ eval cc game.c $(pkg-config --cflags --libs sdl2)

Source: u-config-0.33.1.tar.gz (sig)


Encrypts personal archives for long-term storage and backup. Zero build- nor run-time dependencies, trivially compiled, highly portable. Keys are asymmetric, which is scripting-friendly — a password is never needed to encrypt an archive — and allows less-trusted machines to encrypt files without the ability to decrypt them. Keys are optionally derived from a master passphrase, so they never require backing up.

$ enchive keygen --derive
$ enchive archive --delete backup.tar.gz
$ enchive extract <backup.tar.gz.enchive | gunzip | tar x

Source: enchive-3.5.tar.xz (sig)


Blazing fast hex dumper with color output. Highly portable.

$ hastyhex data.bin | less -R

Source: hastyhex-1.0.0.tar.xz (sig)


Wraps input into columns, automatically adjusting the column width as needed. Fast, resource-efficient and highly portable. On some platforms does not even require a C runtime.

$ seq 60 | cols -CW60
1  4  7  10 13 16 19 22 25 28 31 34 37 40 43 46 49 52 55 58
2  5  8  11 14 17 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 44 47 50 53 56 59
3  6  9  12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57 60


Converts CSV to/from a pipeline-friendly format processable by typical unix command line tools. It’s not my original idea, but this is the fastest, leanest, strictest, and most portable implementation.

$ csvquote <data.csv |
      awk -F, '{print $1 "," $2+$3}' |
      csvquote -u >sum.csv


Attaches source scripts to PNG images so that they do not become separated. Behaves similar to archival programs like tar. Highly portable, with optional zlib dependency.

$ dot -Tpng | pngattach >graph.png


Prints ranges of IPv4 addresses like seq. Also supports CIDR notation inputs and outputs. Not my idea, but a much-improved, feature-complete, drop-in clone of the original. This implementation is highly portable, and on some platforms does not even require a C runtime.

$ prips -e ...255 |
      xargs -n1 -P16 host |
      grep -v NXDOMAIN


High performance base64 encoder and decoder. Compatible with and behaves like a subset of the GNU base64 tool, but faster and far more portable.

$ gzip <data | race64 >data.gz.b64
$ base64 -d data.gz.b64 | gunzip >data

Source: race64-1.0.0.tar.xz (sig)

null program

Chris Wellons (PGP)
~skeeto/ (view)