Howdoi advanced usage

  • Howdoi stashing feature - We agree that sometimes you need to need search results for later and running the same query again and again won’t be that feasible. Hence, Howdoi has a stashing feature which allows you to save your query, view the query, delete the saved results and even empty the entire stash ! (see keep documentation for more information on stashing). Here is how you can do this:

  • stashing: howdoi --save QUERY viewing: howdoi --view

  • removing: howdoi --remove (will be prompted which answer to delete)
  • emptying: howdoi --empty (empties entire stash, will be prompted to confirm)

  • Shortcuts for your parameters - You might run the same parameters many times and again, typing them isn’t always the best option. You can use shortcuts for your parameters by using something like:

$ alias h='function hdi(){ howdoi $* -c -n 5; }; hdi'

And the in your command line, replace your parameters with your alias i.e. h:

$ h format date bash
  • Other uses and aliases - You can also search other StackExchange properties for answers.


$ howdoi make pesto

Or use an alias for the same :

$ alias hcook='function hcook(){ howdoi $* ; }; hcook'
$ hcook make pesto
  • Setting up environment variables - Howdoi uses some environment variables which can be configured by the user as per his/her choice. The following are the environment variables and their usage :

  • HOWDOI_COLORIZE=1 - Colorizes the output produced.

  • HOWDOI_DISABLE_CACHE=1 - Disables the Caching functionality. Howdoi uses a cache for faster access to previous questions. The cache is stored in ~/.cache/howdoi.
  • HOWDOI_DISABLE_SSL=1 - Disables the SSL certificate.
  • HOWDOI_SEARCH_ENGINE=google - Changes the search engine to your preference (default: google, also supported: bing, duckduckgo). The -e flag will switch the underlying engine for a single query.
  • - Changes the source url for answers (default:, also supported:,, full list).