Shell commands as a link

Trigger Terminal Command As a Link

What I usually do is I keep a list of commands I frequently execute (e.g. mvn build, git update) in a text file accompanying whatever I work on at the moment, along with notes and references.

Each time I would want to run a command, I had to copy + switch to Terminal + paste. It is not exactly intellectually challenging process but it gets a bit tedious after while. Therefore I decided to automate it by creating custom terminal: URL protocol scheme which enables me to execute any script with click of a mouse.

1. define terminal scheme


2. create handler


This is very simple AppleScript handler. All it does it tells Terminal to activate and then runs a command which is passed in the URL. …and don’t forget to return 1 upon success.

3. activate the new URL scheme

Click the Save and Activate button and hide LinCastor application, leaving it running in the background.

Using the new ‘terminal:’ scheme

For this demonstration I regular TextEdit. However, most applications supporting embedded links should work with this.

Create link (Edit -> Edit Link…)


Enter shell command a link’s destination, with prefix terminal: You can split the lines using pressing <atl + enter> key. Although links can be few K in size, this method is not intended to do more then to trigger a few commands. If you need something more complex, think about putting it into a proper shell script file and trigger it from the link instead.

The resulting link should look something like this:


When you click it, command ‘ls -lrt’ (which lists a directory) should execute in your Terminal.

A word of caution!

Executing arbitrary command by clicking on a link is powerful thing to do. Since a link can be embedded in any HTML (web site, email, chat), be careful where it comes from and who is sending it to you before you click it.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: