How to Use Wiki from Linux Terminal

Install Wikit on Linux

In this post, I show you how to use Wiki from Linux Terminal. It is well-known that dedicated Linux users live and die by the command line. You can perform almost everything from within a terminal, thus many people don’t bother installing a desktop environment. Wikit is a free and open-source command line tool that uses Nodejs to display Wikipedia summaries of search queries. The verb Wikit (derived from “Wikipedia it”) implies to search something on, the Internet’s most popular and impressive open-source encyclopedia. See how to Associate SSH Public key with Azure Linux VM. Learn more about Linux by reading the following posts; How to Switch between Users in Linux, Set Two-Factor Authentication for SSH in Linux, and How to use Systemd Timers on Linux. Linux lovers who prefer not to leave their Terminal can quickly assess Wiki from Linux Terminal.

Installing Wikit

To install Wikit on Linux systems, you must have nodejs and npm installed, if not run the below commands depending on your Ubuntu Distro to install it using your default package manager as shown.

$ sudo apt install nodejs	#Debian/Ubuntu
$ sudo yum install nodejs npm	#RHEL/CentOS
$ sudo dnf install nodejs npm	#Fedora 22+
Installing Wikit Command

After installing the necessary dependencies, run the following command to install wikit in Linux. Note, the -g flag instructs npm to install wikit globally.

$ sudo npm install wikit -g
Installing Wikit

After Wikit is installed on your machine, run the command below to get started and learn about Ubuntu.

$ wikit ubuntu

The above command generates what Ubuntu is all about. Please see How to uninstall Git from MacOS, How to uninstall AWS CLI in Windows, how to create a Password Policy via GPO, and How to run apps as an administrator on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

You can open Wikipedia on your browser by running:

 wikit linux -b

To define the line wrap length to number, use the -l option as shown in the below screenshot.

Defining the Line Wrap Length

Reading and using text from Wikipedia

Get ready for Wikit to deliver one very long line of text if you search for a complex topic. For instance, even though the file would include roughly 2,000 characters, if I asked Wikipedia for information about the AWS Cloud and wrote the text to a text file, I would get something as below:

$wikit AWS > Cloud
$cat Cloud
Writing Result to a Text File

Here are some related articles: How to install Gradle on Ubuntu, how to install Node.js on Ubuntu, how to set up a self-hosted speed test server on Ubuntu Linux, how to Create an App Service Plan with Continuous Deployment to deploy a .NET Application from GitHub, and How to use SysInternals Live Tools.

You can use the below command to divide all those characters into lines that may be 50 characters long, but only on word boundaries:

$ fold -s -w50 AWS > Cloud2
$ wc -l Cloud2
54 Cloud2
Dividing Characters into Lines

In summary, wikit offers a simple method for downloading text from Wikipedia via the command line so that you can see or save it on your Linux system.

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