unix the web
Pigshell is free software, released under the GNU GPLv3.
Pigshell is inspired by Unix philosophy: Everything is a file. Programs should do one thing well. Create tools by stringing together a combination of simpler tools. Like human language, CLIs give us freedom of expression - we can generate infinite meaningful combinations from a limited number of words to effectively deal with the combinatorial explosion of variety thrown up by the modern web environment.
cp -rv /gdrive/<username> /home
Simply visit http://pigshell.com and type away. Modern (~early 2014) versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari should work fine on all desktop platforms. Mobile browsers, Internet Explorer and others are not supported at the moment.
Running the psty server on your desktop is strongly recommended.
It exposes a local directory for pigshell to use as a
/home, serves as a
proxy HTTP server, and lets pigshell pipe web data through desktop Unix
utilities. Psty works only on Unix currently.
Click on the first example in the sidebar, or type the following at the prompt:
cat http://pigshell.com/sample/life-expectancy.html | hgrep table.wikitable | table2js foo country data | iframe -g /usr/template/d3-worldmap1
A pigshell pipeline lazily processes streams of objects. Commands should be
considered as generator functions yielding objects, composed using the pipe
operator. The pipeline starts when the last member (an implicit
the upstream command for an object, which in turn asks its upstream command and
so on, until the command at the head reluctantly yields an object. It is
processed and "returned" downstream, until it hits
Stdout which displays it
on the terminal.
Stdout has an insatiable appetite for objects, so it asks
for one more, and the process continues until a
null object, signifying the
end of the pipeline, makes its way down. Unlike Unix commands, pigshell
commands are not independently executing processes.
The terminal should be familiar to Unix/bash users, featuring tab completion, history, and Emacs-style CLI editing shortcuts.
The primary prompt is
pig<basename_of_cwd>$. When a command is running,
a secondary prompt of
> is displayed, which can be used to typeahead
Ctrl-C and Ctrl-Z kill and pause the current foreground command
respectively, while Ctrl-B "backgrounds" it (roughly like an Ctrl-Z +
bg in bash).
A command sequence (e.g.
ls|sum; sleep 10; echo done) issued on the CLI will
fill its output area as and when objects are emitted. The prompt associated
with a command sequence glows green or amber while it is running or stopped,
and on its completion settles to red or black depending on its exit status.
cat work similarly enough to their Unix namesakes to
help you explore the system.
ps command displays a list of running pipelines. To kill a long-running
ps to find its PID and
kill. You can also
Many commands support a
-f option to use a given object field, and
ls /email@example.com | grep -f mime spreadsheet | grep -e 'x.mtime > Date.parse("Dec 31, 2013")' | cp .
The above command finds all files in the given user's GDrive containing the
string "spreadsheet" in their
mime property, selects those files which
those files modified since Dec 31, 2013 and copies them to the current
To attach Google Drive, Picasa, Dropbox, Facebook, click on the corresponding
icon under Data Source in the sidebar. Attaching an account automatically
mounts associated filesystems under
mount command without arguments displays the list of currently
NOTE (May 2015): The Facebook API no longer supplies the entire friends list, only those who have used and approved the pigshell app. This breaks a lot of the functionality described in the Facebook section and will be modified in later revisions of this document.
Everything is a file. Friends are files too. After attaching your Facebook account,
cd /facebook/friends; ls
will give you a list of your friends.
Where in the world are my friends?
map is a command which plots files with location attributes on a map.
Another way of doing this would be
ls /facebook/friends/ | map
Pigshell passes objects over pipes. In this case,
ls emits a stream of
file objects, which are consumed by map.
Let's refine the above query: Where are all my male friends?
ls /facebook/friends | grep -f gender "^male" | map
grep is a generic filter command, which may filter either by an object's text representation, or a specific field - in this case, gender.
How many friends do I have?
ls /facebook/friends | sum
Pie chart of relationship status of all female friends
ls /facebook/friends | grep -f gender "female" | chart -t pie -o field=relationship_status
/home. Download Psty, run it on your desktop:
python psty.py -a -d /some/dir # Run in DESKTOP SHELL (bash), not pigshell
and on pigshell,
mount http://localhost:50937/ /home # Run in PIGSHELL, not desktop
The psty server runs only on Linux and Mac OS at present. It has been reported to work on Windows using Cygwin.
Now you can read and write to
/home it will be backed by
cat images and PDFs stored on your desktop inside
This mount command needs to be typed every time you start or reload the page. To do it automatically,
echo "HOME=/home; mount http://localhost:50937/ $HOME" >/local/rc.sh
/local/rc.sh is a script stored in the browser's LocalStorage and will be invoked every time http://pigshell.com is (re)loaded. You need to create a /local/rc.sh on every browser on which you use pigshell.
Assuming you're running psty, backing up Google Drive to your desktop is as simple as
cp -rv -X /Trash /firstname.lastname@example.org /home/drivebackup
More details on using Google Drive with pigshell.
Backing up a Picasa album:
mkdir /home/foo; cp /picasa/foo/* /home/foo
Similarly, creating an album and uploading a bunch of pictures to Picasa:
mkdir /picasa/bar; cp /home/barpics/*JPG /picasa/bar
(note that album creation and uploads to Picasa require psty's proxy services)
Copying random URLs to your desktop also works:
cp -c http://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ISO-IMAGES-amd64/10.0/FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-bootonly.iso /home
-c option continues where it left off, so you can resume interrupted
If you don't have psty:
You can copy the files to
/downloads, and it will
get to your browser's default download folder. Note that you cannot see
anything inside the
/downloads directory, it's just a pseudo-target to
trigger a browser download. For example,
cp /picasa/foo/DSC_1290.JPG /downloads
Click on Upload Files and select a file or files from your desktop.
These files are now visible under the directory
to verify that they're there. Now use
cp to copy them to the
cp /uploads/cat.jpg /gdrive
cp /uploads/cat.jpg /facebook/me/albums/MyCat/
read() operations generate blobs. It is up to the consuming
command to convert incoming data into the type it likes. In the command
cat returns a blob. The terminal figures out that the blob contains PNG data,
and displays it as a canvas. Similarly,
is detected as a PDF and displayed using pdf.js. In case it could not figure out the contents, it attempts to convert it to text and displays it as the usual weird-character porridge (though it is mercifully silent, unlike Unix terminals)
In some cases, you have to manually convert data between stages in the pipeline. For example,
cat http://pigshell.com/sample/README.md | to text | jf 'x.split("\\n")' | sum
implements a poor man's
cat returns a blob,
to converts it to text,
jf splits it into lines,
sum counts the number of objects it gets. A
... | sum would have returned 1, since only one object (a blob) was presented
Absolute URLs can be used in most places where a file path is expected. Mounting an HTTP URL exposes all links within that page as directories. To mount arbitrary, non-CORS-enabled URLs, you need to run psty.
mount http://pigshell.com/sample/ /mnt; cd /mnt; ls
cat . | to text
Psty runs a websocket service, effectively converting any Unix utility which uses stdin/stdout into a potential member of the pigshell pipeline. For instance, if you have ImageMagick installed,
cat http://pigshell.com/sample/oslogos.png | wsh /usr/local/bin/convert -implode 1 - - | to -g blob
will grab a png file from the web, pipe it through ImageMagick on the desktop, and display the result in pigshell.
To visualize disk usage in a zoomable treemap,
wsh du /Users/foo | to -g text | iframe -g /usr/template/d3-du-treemap
du of a deep tree may take a while, try with a shallow directory
Pigshell is under active development. No commands, APIs or interfaces are frozen at this point. Tests and documentation are very sparse at the moment.
The user guide has more detailed coverage of pigshell concepts and the scripting language.