1 minute read

Today I’ve noticed that Oh My Zsh provides one really useful command (implemented as a shell function) - take. I guess with a name like this it’s not immediately obvious what the command does, but we’ll get the general idea really quickly. The function has a super simple definition:

function take() {
  if [[ $1 =~ ^(https?|ftp).*\.tar\.(gz|bz2|xz)$ ]]; then
    takeurl "$1"
  elif [[ $1 =~ ^([A-Za-z0-9]\+@|https?|git|ssh|ftps?|rsync).*\.git/?$ ]]; then
    takegit "$1"
    takedir "$@"

Basically, depending on its argument take does one of 3 things:

  • if it’s a folder it creates the folder and takes you there:
$ take this/is/a/new/folder

Essentially it’s a combination of mkdir -p and cd, as you can see from the implementation:

# mkcd is equivalent to takedir
function mkcd takedir() {
  mkdir -p $@ && cd ${@:$#}

As you can see mkcd is an alias for takedir, which is what take internally ends up calling.

  • if it’s Git repo URL it clones the repo and cds into it:
$ take https://github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh.git

The underlying function takegit looks like this:

function takegit() {
  git clone "$1"
  cd "$(basename ${1%%.git})"
  • if it’s a link to some archive take will fetch it and extract it:
$ take https://git.kernel.org/torvalds/t/linux-6.0-rc5.tar.gz
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100   162  100   162    0     0    920      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--   925
100  208M    0  208M    0     0  3607k      0 --:--:--  0:00:59 --:--:-- 3866k

The underlying function takeurl looks like this:

function takeurl() {
  local data thedir
  curl -L "$1" > "$data"
  tar xf "$data"
  thedir="$(tar tf "$data" | head -n 1)"
  rm "$data"
  cd "$thedir"

Notice that the original archive will be deleted after being extracted.

At the end of the day we can say that take takes you where you want to be. I hope you’ll agree that take is one very useful command to know. I’ll certainly be using it a lot going forward! Keep hacking!

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