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stackit is a Stack Overflow query CLI built at SB Hacks 2015.


  • Written entirely in Python
  • Automatically pipes error messages into Stack Overflow queries
  • Parses and displays relevant questions and answers directly on the command line in reader-friendly markdown format


There are two ways to install stackit. Both should have roughly the same outcome, but have their advantages/disadvantages.

1. PyPI/pip

This method will always produce some stable build, but may not be the most up to date version. New functionality will come slower than building from this repo.

$ pip install stackit

Note, depending on your computer's settings, you may need to sudo pip install stackit.

2. Build from this repo

This method will always include the latest features, but sometimes will not work at all. Oops!

Clone the repo, then use to install the package. Note, this process will differ only slightly in a non-bash shell.

$ git clone
$ cd stackit
$ python install

Note, depending on your computer's settings, you may need to sudo python install.


The install process establishes an alias, stackit, for's functionality. Instead of using python, you will always simply use stackit at the command prompt.

Command line arguments

  • -h, --help: version splash page // usage
  • -s: --search: search by user term (string)
  • --version: simple version report
  • --verbose: full text of top result and accepted answer
  • -e: --stderr: runs your program and searches by stderr output
  • -t: --tags: searches by tags in particular (multiple arguments)

Interface flow commands

  • m: more: shows the next 5 questions
  • #: select: shows full question//top answer text in focus -- be careful that it's clearly not the SO question ID, but the list index
  • --b: opens focused question in browser
  • --x: exit: go back to the list focus


To search Stack Overflow for "How do I create a bash alias" with the tags, "shell";

$ stackit -s "How do I create a bash alias?" -t "shell"


stackit uses several pre-existing projects:

  • Py-StackExchange: a Python wrapper for the StackExchange API
  • Requests: "HTTP for Humans"
  • Beautiful Soup 4: pretty data parsing for HTML/XML files, so you can read stuff
  • Pyfancy makes your print statements colorful // legible. This project doesn't incorporate verbatim, but this project demonstrates the method.
  • Karan Goel's work with joe was a tremendous help in designing a command line tool in Python, and his Medium article on putting together a good readme is an inspiration to us all. Thank you based joe.
  • Peter Downs has a great article on how to submit a package to PyPI.


If you want to write code:

  1. Fork the repository
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'add some feature')
  4. Push to your branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request

SB Hacks 2015 team


StackOverflow queries from the command line




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