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command line client for tldr

Project description


PyPI Release Build

Python command-line client for tldr pages.

tldr pages example


from PyPI

pip install tldr

from Arch Linux repository

sudo pacman -S tldr

from Fedora packages repository

sudo dnf install tldr


usage: tldr [-u] [-p PLATFORM] [-s SOURCE] [-c] [-r] [-L LANGUAGE] command

Python command line client for tldr

positional arguments:
  command               command to lookup

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         show program's version number and exit
  -u, --update_cache    Update the local cache of pages and exit
  -p PLATFORM, --platform PLATFORM
                        Override the operating system [linux, osx, sunos,
                        windows, common]
  -s SOURCE, --source SOURCE
                        Override the default page source
  -c, --color           Override color stripping
  -r, --render          Render local markdown files
  -l, --list            List all available commands for operating system    
  -L LANGUAGE, --language LANGUAGE
                        Override the default language


You can configure the behavior and output of the tldr client by setting environment variables. For example, in the .bashrc file:

export TLDR_COLOR_NAME="cyan"
export TLDR_COLOR_EXAMPLE="green"
export TLDR_LANGUAGE="es"


Cache is downloaded from TLDR_DOWNLOAD_CACHE_LOCATION (defaults to the one described in the client specification), unzipped and extracted into the local cache directory. Pages are loaded directly from TLDR_PAGES_SOURCE_LOCATION if tldr <command> is used.

  • TLDR_CACHE_ENABLED (default is 1):
    • If set to 1, the client will first try to load from cache, and fall back to fetching from the internet if the cache doesn't exist or is too old.
    • If set to 0, the client will fetch from the internet, and fall back to the cache if the page cannot be fetched from the internet.
  • TLDR_CACHE_MAX_AGE (default is 168 hours, which is equivalent to a week): maximum age of the cache in hours to be considered as valid when TLDR_CACHE_ENABLED is set to 1.

Cache location

In order of precedence:

  • $XDG_CACHE_HOME/tldr
  • $HOME/.cache/tldr
  • ~/.cache/tldr

If you are experiencing issues with tldr, consider deleting the cache files before trying other measures.


shtab is required for autocompletion using the --print-completion argument.

# bash
tldr --print-completion bash | sudo tee "$BASH_COMPLETION_COMPAT_DIR"/tldr
# zsh (it is recommended to check where zsh/site-functions directory is located)
## for macOS:
tldr --print-completion zsh | sudo tee /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_tldr
## for Linux:
tldr --print-completion zsh | sudo tee /usr/share/zsh/site-functions/_tldr

See the shtab docs for other installation methods and supported shells.

For autocomplete in fish, while it is not supported in shtab yet, please see #183 for manually adding an autocomplete for tldr for fish.

SSL Inspection

For networks that sit behind a proxy, it may be necessary to disable SSL verification for the client to function. Setting the following:


will disable SSL certificate inspection. This should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.


Values of the TLDR_COLOR_x variables may consist of three parts:

  • Font color: blue, green, yellow, cyan, magenta, white, grey, red
  • Background color: on_blue, on_cyan, on_magenta, on_white, on_grey, on_yellow, on_red, on_green
  • Additional effects, which depends on platform: reverse, blink, dark, concealed, underline, bold

You may specify as many additional effects as you want, while only one of font and background color.

Any of the values of above may be omitted. For example, you can do similar things as the following:

  • TLDR_COLOR_NAME="" use default system font color with default background color without any effects
  • TLDR_COLOR_DESCRIPTION="white" for white text on default system background color without any effects
  • TLDR_COLOR_NAME="cyan dark" for dark cyan text on default system background color
  • TLDR_COLOR_NAME="on_red" for default system font color on red background color
  • TLDR_COLOR_PARAMETER="red on_yellow underline" for underlined red text on yellow background
  • TLDR_COLOR_NAME="bold underline" for default system font and background colors with underline and bolded effects


The language that tldr will use is dependent on a number of factors. If you specify a language via the --language flag, tldr will attempt to use that language and only that language. Otherwise, it will try to use the language specified by TLDR_LANGUAGE. If it is not set, or the page does not exist in that language, then tldr will use the language set using LANGUAGE and LANG (ignoring the values C and POSIX). If neither are set, then tldr will always attempt to get the en page. Finally, if LANG is set, it uses LANGUAGE, if set, first as the priority list to try languages in, followed by LANG if not included in LANGUAGE and en as fallback (assuming it does not already appear somewhere in LANGUAGE or LANG). All language values should be set to a value that follows RFC 1766, with the special exceptions of C and POSIX which are ignored.

Remote source

If you wish to use your own instance of the tldr pages instead of the default repository, you can either use the --source flag when using tldr or by specifying the following environment variables:

  • TLDR_PAGES_SOURCE_LOCATION to control where to get individual pages from
    • defaults to
    • it can also point to local directory using file:///path/to/directory
  • TLDR_DOWNLOAD_CACHE_LOCATION to control where to pull a zip of all pages from
    • defaults to

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