Weather In The Terminal? We can do that!

Weather in the terminal? There are people who pretty much live in the terminal! They do everything there, including checking the weather! This article will show you how to get your local forecast in your terminal, because why not?

Where I live, they have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” The weather is constantly changing and is responsible for killing quite a few people every year. We have some pretty extreme weather. Because of this, I pay fairly close attention to it – but, really, I don’t tend to check it in the terminal. I use a more robust solution. This article is for those folks who want to. You’re welcome!

First, a little poem:

Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.  — anonymous

See? Who says we’re uncultured here?

Anyhow, this is just going to be a pretty brief article. It’s pretty simple to check and it requires just your terminal and a tool called ‘cURL‘ (which has been covered already, so click that link to save some time). If it turns out to be something you like, you can always alias it for regular use or just commit the short commands to memory.

Weather In The Terminal:

Seeing as this is ‘weather in the terminal’ we should probably start with opening the terminal! That’s easy enough, just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal will open.

Once you have it open, you’ll be using a website known as WTTR.IN. You can actually just click that link and get the weather in your browser. It should be your local-ish weather, unless you’re using a VPN. The site is using IP Address Geolocation to show your local weather and a VPN presents a different IP address, meaning it may not actually be your local weather. The same is obviously true in the terminal.

Start with just a basic example, try:

That should be ‘close enough’, depending on where you live and how accurate the geolocation is. If it’s not, you can add some information – such as town and state (or province, or whatever your country uses). It’d look something like:

The output from that command would look a little something like this:

weather forecast in the terminal
See? It even knows I’m in the USA, so it uses the correct units. Neat, huh?

You can even use some landmarks and it will try to figure it out. For instance, you can check the output from this command:

If you’re in the US, then it will show you the results in our goofy units – even if metric is used at the location. Well, it will try to – within the limitations of geolocation. If you want to change it up, you use a ‘u’ or an ‘m’. To force the above with metric units, you enter:

Anyhow, there’s so much more that you can do. Frankly, the above are all I really use it for – and I seldom bother with that. Living where I do, I get my weather in a browser and with a browser extension. So, be sure to use the following to learn more:

You can also just visit https://wttr.in/:help to get that same information in your browser. It’s up to you, but you’re already in the terminal so you might as well keep using it!

Additional info: GitHub repo is located here.

Closure:

And there you have it. Another article is in the books, this one showing you how to use your terminal to check the forecast and current conditions. There are a ton of options that I didn’t bother covering, but options that you may find useful. Be sure to check the help page and keep up with the project on GitHub.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Let’s Have a Limited Look at Linux’s cURL Application

This article is going to be a limited look at cURL, a Linux application used in the terminal to transfer data. cURL is a very extensive program and we’ll just be scratching the surface. You’ll see why we’re just scratching the surface soon enough. It’s a very comprehensive application.

So, what is cURL? It’s an application that you use in your terminal to transfer data. However, as said, it’s an insanely complicated program. We’re just barely going to scratch the surface. Let’s start with the definition.

First, ‘man curl’ defines itself nice and easily:

curl – transfer a URL

However, if you keep reading to find the description, you’ll find this gem:

curl is a tool to transfer data from or to a server, using one of the supported protocols (DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMB, SMBS, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET and TFTP). The command is designed to work without user interaction.

curl offers a busload of useful tricks like proxy support, user authentication, FTP upload, HTTP post, SSL connections, cookies, file transfer resume, Metalink, and more. As you will see below, the number of features will make your head spin!

Yeah… 

In fact, while we’re here, why don’t you have a look at the man page for cURL. Really, click that link! I think that may be one of the longest man pages out there. cURL was originally released in 1997 and appears to have picked up everything along the way.

We’ll just be going over installing it and a couple of ways you can get started using it. To learn more, read the man page!

Using cURL:

There’s some chance that it didn’t come installed with your distro’s basic installation, so let’s first cover some ways of installing it. It’s sure to be in your default repositories for any major distro, and will almost certainly be trivial to install.

Open your terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T and use the correct following command to install it:

Debian/Ubuntu/Derivatives:

OpenSUSE/Derivatives:

RHEL/Fedora/Derivatives:

Arch/Derivatives:

If your distro isn’t listed above, read the documentation for your distro’s package manager. If it’s not available, you can always build it from source. The project’s homepage can be found here.

With cURL now installed, and your terminal still open, you can test it easily enough. First, try this command:

That should give you a nice message. It’ll appear in your terminal and that’s it. When you close the terminal window, the message will be gone. So, what if you want to download it? For that, you use the -O switch. Let’s try something:

That will make ‘sample.txt’ download to that directory. It’s not entirely unlike wget in those regards. If you want to change the name of the fetched file, you use the -o switch and the new name. So, the above code would look like this:

That will save sample.txt as example.txt and both of those commands will show you the transfer’s progress. This specific file isn’t large enough for that to really matter, but it’s noteworthy that it does so for future transfers.

Those are just a couple of ways to use cURL, and that’s it. It’s seriously powerful and flexible. You can read the man page and learn more about it, as it is a tool we should all have in our toolboxes. It’s useful in many situations and is worth spending some time to learn more about it. 

Closure:

There’s another article in the books! As mentioned, it’s just a very limited look at cURL. To do a full tutorial would take days and days worth of articles and I’m much happier just exposing new users to the basic functionality. Even if you already have it installed and know how to use it, be sure to curl the sample.txt!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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