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Gistfinder provides local terminal-based access to all your github gists. You can fuzzy-search your gists and have them immediately available to you for cut and paste into the terminal.

If you are familiar with the vim keybindings (j-k for down-up and / for search) you should feel right at home in gistfinder.

Here is a gif demo* (see below for how this gif was created)

Demo Gif

bash> gistfinder --help
Usage: gistfinder [OPTIONS]

  A CLI tool for searching your gists

  -u, --user TEXT   Set up github user
  -t, --token TEXT  Set up github token
  -s, --sync        Sync updated gists
  -r, --reset       Delete and resync all gists
  --help            Show this message and exit.


pip install gistfinder


You must first configure github to allow it access to your github account. Doing so will store your github username and access token locally to ~/.config/gistfinder/github_auth.json. (See below for details)

Sync your gists locally

To sync all your gists locally, simply run

gistfinder --sync

or use the shortcut alias

gf --sync

To blow away all local gists and resync

gf --reset

Browse and search your gists

To start gistfinder, simply type




This will open an interactive application in your terminal that looks like this

Example The yellow text at the upper left is the description of the gist currently selected in the grey area. You can navigate this selection using vim-like j-k keys.

At any point you can press the space bar to move over to the code window and navigate your code using vim keybindings.

To exit gistfinder at any time, you can use either ctrl-c or ctrl-q, whatever alignes better with your muscle memory.

Much like vim, pressing the / key will drop you into a fuzzy search across all your gists. File names, descriptions and code contents are all indexed in the search. As you search the file name list on the left will reorder itself to show the most relevant file names at the top. Pressing enter will get you out of search mode and back into list navigation mode, but will continue to show search term that resulted in the current list ordering. When you have selected the filename of the gist you are interested in, simply pressing enter will exit gistfinder with the contents of that gist written to stdout.

Note: Currently gistfinder is hard-coded to ignore anything with a .ipynb extension. Jupyter notebooks don't play well with gistfinder, so I made sure they are not accessible.


Gistfinder will need permission from Github to access your gists. The best way to set this up is to create a personal access token that gistfinder can use to download your gists to your computer.

Here are the steps:

  1. Choose "Settings" from your profile at the upper right corner of your Github home page.
  2. Go to "Developer Settings"
  3. Choose "Personal access tokens"
  4. Generate a new token
  5. Name the token something descriptive. Perhaps "gistfinder"
  6. Limit the permissions to only have access to gist
  7. Copy the created token to your terminal into the command
    gistfinder -u github_username -t your_personal_access_token

The diagram below illustrates with screen-grabs the steps you need to take on the github site.


And that's it! You should now be ready to sync and search your gists

A peak under the hood

All files related to gistfinder are stored on your local machine in the directory ~/.config/gistfinder. Your github username and access token are in ls ~/.config/gistfinder/github_auth.json and your gists are locally synced to the sqlite file ls ~/.config/gistfinder/database.sqlite.

Should you want to poke around in the database to see what it contains, I highly recommend the visidata tool by Saul Pwanson. Visidata is probably the best tool I know of for quickly exploring tabular data contained in databases, csv-files, web-links, and more.

Additional Info

*Just for my future reference, I made this recording by using the native OSX screen recording feature to make a .mov file. I then used Gif Brewary 3 to convert it to a .gif file by manually setting the speed to 150% and frames-per-sec to 6. I let the software figure it out from there.

Projects by robdmc.