Show HN: Whiz – A copilot for your terminal


95 points | by searchableguy 279 days ago


  • brentm 279 days ago
    I'd consider using something besides 'list all files' as first example in the gif. I'd think anyone who opens a terminal knows how to do that so listing files in a directory and hitting a spinner isn't very inspiring.

    The second curl example is better since plenty of people won't know that off the top of their head.

    • jstummbillig 279 days ago
      Meh. I am fairly certain the number of people who would both use this and also fail to consider possible use cases half a second into the ls demo is zero.
    • kitd 279 days ago
      Can it create regexes? That would be the thing that would sell it to me via a demo.
    • rcthompson 279 days ago
      I think the point of the demo is to start with something dead simple that "everyone" knows and get more complex with each example.
  • mellosouls 279 days ago
    A reminder to users of Github CoPilot who may be unaware, there is also a terminal version you can install included in your subscription. It's ok. (Edit) There is a waitlist.

    • hiatus 279 days ago
      This seems to require joining a waitlist to gain access.
      • samanator 279 days ago
        Yup, I've been on the waitlist since May
      • mellosouls 279 days ago
        Yes, I've updated my comment.
    • fortyseven 277 days ago
      Highly recommend it, too. I've found it invaluable. Especially for some of the more arcane ffmpeg incantations.
  • mike986 279 days ago
    All of the alternatives commented so far have the same downside, you got a LLM response and you can either run it or abort.

    ^ This is much nicer as it hook into zsh completion so you got a response that drop right into the shell input (enter to execute or edit away)

    Also you can write shell script directly in prompt and use it to auto complete the rest

  • binary_wizard01 279 days ago
    I've built a similar shell script a while ago and still use it quite frequently:
  • danielvaughn 279 days ago
    There's also

    I've been using it for the past few weeks and it's really sleek. I actually don't use the AI features very often because I'm fluent in the terminal, but it's nice to know it's there if I need it.

    Some people get weirded out by the fact that it's VC funded and they collect telemetry, but I think you can turn that off.

    • red_hare 279 days ago
      I loved Warp for it's speed, but the keybindings and lack of configuration didn't work for me. For example, it doesn't support "ctrl+x ctrl+e" which I use daily for editing long prompts in vim.

      I recently switched to Kitty ( and I don't think I'm ever going back. It's not flashy and doesn't have any AI features. It's just a donation-funded, wickedly fast, highly configurable, dotfiles-friendly, modern terminal emulator.

      • sgarland 279 days ago
        The only thing holding me back from loving Kitty was its behavior when ssh’ing, even if ssh was aliased to kitty +kitten ssh. Namely, that if you sudo’d to another user, the TERM settings were lost and so backspace became space (among other things).

        Today, I finally figured out to export XTERM before sudo, which fixes it. Hallelujah.

      • danielvaughn 279 days ago
        I tried kitty and it had a noticeable lag on startup. It bothered me at a gut level so I stopped using it, but I should probably give it another look.
    • bitwize 279 days ago
      Again, business model: Juicero for bash.

      Collecting telemetry, and being able to tie it with people's GitHub profiles, is why Warp was able to secure millions of VC dollars to build a fucking mOdErN terminal emulator.

  • mouzogu 279 days ago
    nice idea but anything written in node/deno/whatever will definitely stop working < 6 months unless its heavily maintained.
  • programmarchy 279 days ago
    I was surprised that Whiz could use tools like ffmpeg even though it tells ChatGPT to only use available shell commands. I asked it to "convert to an mp4" and "cut the first five seconds of demo.mp4" and it came back with the correct commands. I guess that was enough to allow it to assume ffmpeg is probably installed. Pretty cool!
    • danenania 279 days ago
      Looking at the code, the system prompt says "You MUST NOT use functions that are not available." but apart from the OS info, it's not giving GPT any info on what commands are/aren't available, so I'd imagine it's a bit of a crapshoot.
  • ramesh31 279 days ago
    Seems like a perfect use case for local models. Not sure I want to be sending my .bash_profile or .bash_history (or local env vars...) to OpenAI. And I can't imagine doing anything in the terminal that llama2-code-7b couldn't make sense of. That can trivially run on an M1 with 8GB.
  • wendyshu 279 days ago
    • swah 279 days ago
      And I love just typing a key combination to get the suggestion, almost like I can change my mind during the command...
    • programmarchy 279 days ago
      I was able to understand the Whiz source (~200 lines) in about sixty seconds, which is a big win in my opinion. The shell_gpt code is more convoluted. Would be interesting to compare how they perform.
  • isuckatcoding 279 days ago
    What are the security implications of this?

    If you ask it something like “pipe the output of <CLI> using <MY_SECRET_TOKEN> to grep to find XYZ”

    • livrem 278 days ago
      We need good locally installed LLMs (and cheap hardware to run it). I hope there can be some kind of breakthrough for this similar to what Stable Diffusion made for image-generators. I tried to generate some simple code using a few of the llama-models small enough to run on my computer and it did surprisingly well, but still far from good enough to be useful.
  • pplonski86 279 days ago
    It is quite similar to

    Such terminal tools are quite like AI agents, it should think about steps and then execute one by one.

    • searchableguy 279 days ago
      That's a cool project.

      I built this after copy pasting the same git command to list all the recently committed branches from

      I have a couple more functions that I want to add to the CLI like [0] translating novels, web scraping or LLM powered grep.


    • programmarchy 279 days ago
      I was wondering if Whiz was using agent-style planning prompts, but it's much simpler and passes a single `function` parameter named `shell` to the OpenAI API.

      I thought that was clever, because shell commands are highly composable, so it's likely that something can be done in "one shot".

      It will also be way more efficient with token usage.

  • syntaxing 279 days ago
    For people who use terminal a lot, I find shell gpt a good mixture [1]. Flexible enough to pipe commands, generic enough to ask questions.


  • vinni2 279 days ago
    How does it compare to gorilla cli?
  • imsurajkadam 279 days ago
    I tried this but when I am running commands like wz can you install beautifulsoup and such things then it is giving me the syntex error: JSON

    command is: "wz can you install bs4"

    • searchableguy 279 days ago
      I can reproduce this.

      The issue is ChatGPT hallucinating a function that doesn't exist. I'm figuring out how to rail guard against this. Thanks for trying it out and reporting with an example.

      If I switch to ChatGPT 4, it works fine.

      • imsurajkadam 279 days ago
        I too am using the ChatGPT4 and yet this is the issue. Do i need to make any changes?
  • bitwize 279 days ago
    This kind of reminds me of the database Q&A, which used SRI's NLP tech to allow you to query databases with "plain English".
  • ctenb 279 days ago
    Nice. It would be cool if something like this existed for nushell. Chatgpt4 struggles with that language unfortunately
  • rd 279 days ago
    How is this different than
    • lusus_naturae 278 days ago
      It appears whiz is foss, while fig is not.
  • gorenb 279 days ago
    GitHub copilot has created something (still in beta) that does this.
  • daniel_sushil 279 days ago
    Pretty neat use case. I like it
  • o_1 279 days ago
    this should be called terminator
  • jingles_dev 279 days ago
    This is cool
  • dventimi 279 days ago
    What does it do