navi - An interactive cheatsheet tool for the command-line

August 9, 2022

navi allows you to browse through cheatsheets (that you may write yourself or download from maintainers) and execute commands. Suggested values for arguments are dynamically displayed in a list.


  • it will spare you from knowing CLIs by heart
  • it will spare you from copy-pasting output from intermediate commands
  • it will make you type less
  • it will teach you new one-liners

It uses fzf, skim, or Alfred under the hood and it can be either used as a command or as a shell widget (à la Ctrl-R).


Installing the main binary

Using Homebrew

brew install navi

Using Gentoo

Be sure to enable the GURU overlay.

emerge -a app-misc/navi

Using nix

nix-env -iA nixpkgs.navi

Using cargo

cargo install --locked navi

Using choco

For Windows users, using PowerShell

  1. Install the package via choco

    choco install navi
  2. Create $env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Roaming\navi\config.yaml and override shell.command as per config_file_example.yaml

        color: cyan
        color: grey
        color: white
      command: powershell

    Remark: Above example also adds custom colors for better readability in case you use standard blue for your Powershell

Using install script

bash <(curl -sL

# (optional) to set directories:
# BIN_DIR=/usr/local/bin bash <(curl -sL

Downloading pre-compiled binaries

  • download the correct binary here
  • extract the content to your $PATH

Building from source

git clone ~/.navi
cd ~/.navi
make install 

# (optional) to set the install directory:
# make BIN_DIR=/usr/local/bin install

Compile time environment variables

navi supports environment variables at compile time that modify the behavior of the binary at runtime:

  • NAVI_PATH (directory path value): If the cheats directory in the user's directory does not exist, navi uses this path (if it exists), as a fallback location to look for cheat files. Use case: system-wide installed, shared used cheatsheets folder.
  • NAVI_CONFIG (file path value): If the config.yaml file in the user's directory does not exist, navi uses this path (if it exists), as a fallback location to look for a configuration file. Use case: system-wide installed, shared used configuration file.

Other package managers

You can find navi for more package managers by clicking on the image below:

Packaging status

Feel free to be the maintainer of navi for any package manager you'd like!

Installing the shell widget

If you want to install it, add this line to your .bashrc-like file:

# bash
eval "$(navi widget bash)"

# zsh
eval "$(navi widget zsh)"

# fish
navi widget fish | source

# elvish
eval (navi widget elvish | slurp)

By default, Ctrl+G is assigned to launching navi.

There's currently no way to customize the widget behavior out-of-the-box. If you want to change the keybinding or the navi flags used by the widget, please:

  1. run, e.g., navi widget bash in your terminal
  2. copy the output
  3. paste the output in your .bashrc-like file
  4. edit the contents accordingly


There are multiple ways to use navi:

  • by typing navi in the terminal
    • pros: you have access to all possible subcommands and flags
  • as a shell widget for the terminal
    • pros: the shell history is correctly populated (i.e. with the actual command you ran instead of navi) and you can edit the command as you wish before executing it
  • as aliases
  • as a shell scripting tool
  • as an Alfred workflow

In particular, check these instructions if you want to replicate what's shown in the demo above.

Cheatsheet repositories

Running navi for the first time will help you download and manage cheatsheets.

You can also:

Cheatsheet syntax

Cheatsheets are described in .cheat files that look like this:

% git, code

# Change branch
git checkout <branch>

$ branch: git branch | awk '{print $NF}'

The full syntax and examples can be found here.


You can:

More info

Please run the following command to read more about all possible options:

navi --help

In addition, please check the /docs folder.

Trying out online

If you don't have access to a Unix shell at the moment and you want to live preview navi, head to this playground. It'll start a docker container with instructions for you to install and use the tool. Note: login required.

Similar tools

There are many similar projects out there (beavr, bro, cheat,, cmdmenu, eg, how2, howdoi and tldr, to name a few).

They are excellent projects, but navi remains unique in the following ways:

  • it's natural to write cheatsheets tailored to your needs
  • arguments are neither hardcoded nor a simple template


Navi is a character from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time that provides Link with a variety of clues to help him solve puzzles and make progress in his quest.

Support the project and author:

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