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Friendly English-like interface for your command line. Don't remember a command? Ask Betty.
Branch: master

Betty (version 0.1.7)

circle ci build

Betty is a friendly English-like interface for your command line.

She translates English-like phrases into commands in case you ever run into situations like this.

This means you don't have to leave your command line to look up an obscure but useful command. Just ask Betty!

By Analogy

iPhone users: it's like Siri for the command line.

Android users: it's like Google Voice Search for the command line. (What's Google Voice Search? It's that thing you talk to that does stuff.)

Set Up


  1. First, git clone this repo with git clone
  2. Add the following alias to your ~/.bashrc alias betty="~/path/to/betty/main.rb"
  3. Use it! For instance, you can run commands: "betty how many words are in this directory" or "betty uncompress something.tar.gz"


  1. First, git clone this repo with git clone
  2. Run ruby install.rb in betty/.
  3. Use it! For instance, you can run commands: betty how many words are in this directory or betty uncompress something.tar.gz


Give Betty natural language input, for instance betty whats my username, and she'll respond in the most appropriate way.

> betty whats my username
Betty: Running whoami

> betty whats my real name
Betty: Running finger `whoami` | sed 's/.*: *//;q'
Jeff Pickhardt

If there's more than one way Betty could respond, she'll ask you to select the one you want.

> betty whats my name
Betty: Okay, I have multiple ways to respond.
Betty: Enter the number of the command you want me to run one, or N (no) if you don't want me to run any.
[1] whoami
    Gets your system username.
[2] finger `whoami` | sed 's/.*: *//;q'
    Gets your full name.
> 2
Betty: Running finger `whoami` | sed 's/.*: *//;q'
Jeff Pickhardt


The mission of Betty is to provide a way to use computers through natural language input.

Specifically, the benefit is being able to do things on your computer without leaving the command line or screwing around on the internet trying to find the right command. Betty just works.


The following is a non-exhaustive list of things you can do:

betty how many words are in this directory
betty how many characters are in
betty count lines in this folder
(Note that there's many ways to say more or less the same thing.)

betty change your name to Joe
betty speak to me
betty stop speaking to me

betty what time is it
betty what is todays date
betty what month is it
betty whats today

betty find me all files that contain california

betty download to something.tar.gz
betty uncompress something.tar.gz
betty unarchive something.tar.gz to somedir
(You can use unzip, unarchive, untar, uncompress, and expand interchangeably.)
betty compress /path/to/dir

betty mute itunes
betty unmute itunes
betty pause the music
betty resume itunes
betty stop my music
betty next song
betty prev track
betty what song is playing
(Note that the words song, track, music, etc. are interchangeable)

betty go crazy
betty whats the meaning of life
...and more that are left for you to discover!

betty show me a map of mountain view

betty what version are you (or just betty version)
betty whats your github again

betty give me permission to this directory
betty give anotheruser ownership of myfile.txt

betty show me all processes by root containing grep
betty show me all my processes containing netbio

betty show size for myfile.txt

betty play spotify
betty pause spotify
betty next spotify
betty previous spotify

betty whats my username
betty whats my real name
betty whats my ip address
betty who else is logged in
betty whats my version of ruby

Web queries
betty turn web on
betty please tell me what is the weather like in London


Contributions are welcome! If you would like to contribute, please issue a pull request against the dev branch, not the master branch.

Please ensure that you use soft tabs, converting tabs to spaces. Do not use actual tab characters because it will make the spacing look weird in others' text editors.

Please make sure that the tests pass and try to write tests for your contributions. To check the tests, first run bundle install followed by bundle exec rspec spec


Releases will follow a semantic versioning format:


For more information on SemVer, visit


Released under the Apache License 2.0. Related link:

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