Buku  4.2.2
About: Buku is a command line bookmark management utility (written in Python3 and SQLite3).
  Fossies Dox: Buku-4.2.2.tar.gz  ("inofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

Some Fossies usage hints in advance:

  1. To see the Doxygen generated documentation please click on one of the items in the "quick index" bar above or use the side panel at the left which displays a hierarchical tree-like index structure and is adjustable in width.
  2. If you want to search for something by keyword rather than browse for it you can use the client side search facility (using Javascript and DHTML) that provides live searching, i.e. the search results are presented and adapted as you type in the Search input field at the top right.
  3. Doxygen doesn't incorporate all member files but just a definable subset (basically the main project source code files that are written in a supported language). So to search and browse all member files you may visit the Fossies Buku-4.2.2.tar.gz contents page and use the Fossies standard member browsing features (also with source code highlighting and additionally with optional code folding).
Buku Documentation


Latest release AUR Homebrew PyPI Debian Stretch+ Fedora 27+ openSUSE Leap 15.0+ Ubuntu Zesty+

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Buku in action!

Buku in action!

buku is a powerful bookmark manager written in Python3 and SQLite3. When I started writing it, I couldn't find a flexible command-line solution with a private, portable, merge-able database along with seamless GUI integration. Hence, Buku (after my son's nickname, meaning close to the heart in my language).

bukuserver exposes a browsable front-end on a local web host server.

buku can auto-import bookmarks from your browser(s) or fetch the title and description of a bookmarked url from the web. You can use your favourite editor to compose and update bookmarks. With multiple search options, including regex and a deep scan mode (particularly for URLs), it can find any bookmark instantly. buku can look up the latest snapshot of a broken link on the Wayback Machine. There's an Easter egg to revisit random forgotten bookmarks too! Buku is too busy to track you: no hidden history, obsolete records, usage analytics or homing.

To get started right away, jump to the Quickstart section. We have one of the best documentation around. You'll find handy examples in the man page too. For more details, please refer to the wiki page on operational notes.

There are several projects based on buku, including a browser plug-in.

Love smart and efficient utilities? Explore my repositories. Buy me a cup of coffee if they help you.

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  • Store bookmarks with auto-fetched title, tags and description
  • Auto-import from Firefox, Google Chrome and Chromium
  • Open bookmarks and search results in browser
  • Shorten, expand URLs, browse cached page from Wayback Machine
  • Text editor integration
  • Lightweight, clean interface, custom colors
  • Powerful search options (regex, substring...)
  • Continuous search with on the fly mode switch
  • Portable, merge-able database to sync between systems
  • Import/export bookmarks from/to HTML, Markdown or Orgfile
  • Smart tag management using redirection (>>, >, <<)
  • Multithreaded full DB refresh, manual encryption support
  • Shell completion scripts, man page with handy examples
Feature Dependency
Scripting language Python 3.5+
HTTPS certifi, urllib3
Encryption cryptography
HTML beautifulsoup4, html5lib

To install package dependencies using pip3, run:

# pip3 install certifi urllib3 cryptography beautifulsoup4

or on Ubuntu:

# apt-get install ca-certificates python3-urllib3 python3-cryptography python3-bs4

To copy url to clipboard at the prompt Buku uses xsel (or xclip) on Linux, pbcopy (default installed) on OS X, clip (default installed) on Windows, termux-clipboard on Termux (terminal emulation for Android). If X11 is missing, GNU Screen or tmux copy-paste buffers are recognized.

Packages for Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE Leap and Ubuntu are available with the latest stable release.

NOTE: CentOS may not have the python3-beautifulsoup4 package in the repos. Install it using pip3.

If you have git installed, clone this repository. Otherwise download the latest stable release or development version (risky).

Install to default location (/usr/local):

$ sudo make install

To remove, run:

$ sudo make uninstall

PREFIX is supported, in case you want to install to a different location.

buku is a standalone utility. From the containing directory, run:

$ chmod +x buku
$ ./buku

Shell completion scripts for Bash, Fish and Zsh can be found in respective subdirectories of auto-completion/. Please refer to your shell's manual for installation instructions.

usage: buku [OPTIONS] [KEYWORD [KEYWORD ...]]
Bookmark manager like a text-based mini-web.
KEYWORD search keywords
-a, --add URL [tag, ...]
bookmark URL with comma-separated tags
-u, --update [...] update fields of an existing bookmark
accepts indices and ranges
refresh title and desc if no edit options
if no arguments:
- update results when used with search
- otherwise refresh all titles and desc
-w, --write [editor|index]
open editor to edit a fresh bookmark
edit last bookmark, if index=-1
to specify index, EDITOR must be set
-d, --delete [...] remove bookmarks from DB
accepts indices or a single range
if no arguments:
- delete results when used with search
- otherwise delete all bookmarks
-h, --help show this information and exit
-v, --version show the program version and exit
--url keyword bookmark link
--tag [+|-] [...] comma-separated tags
clear bookmark tagset, if no arguments
'+' appends to, '-' removes from tagset
--title [...] bookmark title; if no arguments:
-a: do not set title, -u: clear title
-c, --comment [...] notes or description of the bookmark
clears description, if no arguments
--immutable N disable web-fetch during auto-refresh
N=0: mutable (default), N=1: immutable
-s, --sany [...] find records with ANY matching keyword
this is the default search option
-S, --sall [...] find records matching ALL the keywords
special keywords -
"blank": entries with empty title/tag
"immutable": entries with locked title
--deep match substrings ('pen' matches 'opens')
-r, --sreg expr run a regex search
-t, --stag [tag [,|+] ...] [- tag, ...]
search bookmarks by tags
use ',' to find entries matching ANY tag
use '+' to find entries matching ALL tags
excludes entries with tags after ' - '
list all tags, if no search keywords
-x, --exclude [...] omit records matching specified keywords
-l, --lock [N] encrypt DB in N (default 8) # iterations
-k, --unlock [N] decrypt DB in N (default 8) # iterations
--ai auto-import from Firefox/Chrome/Chromium
-e, --export file export bookmarks to Firefox format HTML
export Markdown, if file ends with '.md'
format: [title](url), 1 entry per line
export Orgfile, if file ends with '.org'
format: *[[url][title]], 1 entry per line
export buku DB, if file ends with '.db'
combines with search results, if opted
-i, --import file import bookmarks based on file extension
supports 'html', 'json', 'md', 'org', 'db'
-p, --print [...] show record details by indices, ranges
print all bookmarks, if no arguments
-n shows the last n results (like tail)
-f, --format N limit fields in -p or JSON search output
N=1: URL; N=2: URL, tag; N=3: title;
N=4: URL, title, tag; N=5: title, tag;
N0 (10, 20, 30, 40, 50) omits DB index
-j, --json JSON formatted output for -p and search
--colors COLORS set output colors in five-letter string
--nc disable color output
-n, --count N show N results per page (default 10)
--np do not show the prompt, run and exit
-o, --open [...] browse bookmarks by indices and ranges
open a random bookmark, if no arguments
--oa browse all search results immediately
--replace old new replace old tag with new tag everywhere
delete old tag, if new tag not specified
--shorten index|URL fetch shortened url from tny.im service
--expand index|URL expand a tny.im shortened url
--cached index|URL browse a cached page from Wayback Machine
--suggest show similar tags when adding bookmarks
--tacit reduce verbosity
--threads N max network connections in full refresh
default N=4, min N=1, max N=10
-V check latest upstream version available
-z, --debug show debug information and verbose logs
> url
+ comment
# tags
1-N browse search result indices and/or ranges
O [id|range [...]] open search results/indices in GUI browser
toggle try GUI browser if no arguments
a open all results in browser
s keyword [...] search for records with ANY keyword
S keyword [...] search for records with ALL keywords
d match substrings ('pen' matches 'opened')
r expression run a regex search
t [tag, ...] search by tags; show taglist, if no args
g taglist id|range [...] [>>|>|<<] [record id|range ...]
append, set, remove (all or specific) tags
search by taglist id(s) if records are omitted
n show next page of search results
o id|range [...] browse bookmarks by indices and/or ranges
p id|range [...] print bookmarks by indices and/or ranges
w [editor|id] edit and add or update a bookmark
c id copy url at search result index to clipboard
? show this help
q, ^D, double Enter exit buku

buku supports custom colors. Visit the wiki page on how to customize colors for more details.

  1. Export VISUAL or EDITOR to point to your favourite editor. Note that VISUAL takes precedence over EDITOR.
  2. Create a sweeter shortcut with some convenience.
    alias b='buku --suggest'
  3. Auto-import bookmarks from your browser(s). Please quit the relevant browsers beforehand to ensure the databases are not locked.
    b --ai
  4. Manually add a bookmark (for hands-on).
    b -w
  5. List your bookmarks with DB index.
    b -p
  6. For GUI and browser integration (or to sync bookmarks with your favourite bookmark management service) refer to the wiki page on System integration.
  1. Edit and add a bookmark from editor:
    $ buku -w
    $ buku -w 'gedit -w'
    $ buku -w 'macvim -f' -a https://ddg.gg search engine, privacy
    The first command picks editor from the environment variable EDITOR. The second command opens gedit in blocking mode. The third command opens macvim with option -f and the URL and tags populated in template.
  2. Add a bookmark with tags search engine and privacy, comment Search engine with perks, fetch page title from the web:
    $ buku -a https://ddg.gg search engine, privacy -c Search engine with perks
    336. DuckDuckGo
    > https://ddg.gg
    + Alternative search engine with perks
    # privacy,search engine
    where, >: url, +: comment, #: tags
  3. Add a bookmark with tags search engine & privacy and immutable custom title DDG:
    $ buku -a https://ddg.gg search engine, privacy --title 'DDG' --immutable 1
    336. DDG (L)
    > https://ddg.gg
    # privacy,search engine
    Note that URL must precede tags.
  4. Add a bookmark without a title (works for update too):
    $ buku -a https://ddg.gg search engine, privacy --title
  5. Edit and update a bookmark from editor:
    $ buku -w 15012014
    This will open the existing bookmark's details in the editor for modifications. Environment variable EDITOR must be set.
  6. Update existing bookmark at index 15012014 with new URL, tags and comments, fetch title from the web:
    $ buku -u 15012014 --url http://ddg.gg/ --tag web search, utilities -c Private search engine
  7. Fetch and update only title for bookmark at 15012014:
    $ buku -u 15012014
  8. Update only comment for bookmark at 15012014:
    $ buku -u 15012014 -c this is a new comment
    Applies to –url, –title and –tag too.
  9. Export bookmarks tagged tag 1 or tag 2 to HTML, Markdown, Orgfile or a new database:
    $ buku -e bookmarks.html --stag tag 1, tag 2
    $ buku -e bookmarks.md --stag tag 1, tag 2
    $ buku -e bookmarks.org --stag tag 1, tag 2
    $ buku -e bookmarks.db --stag tag 1, tag 2
    All bookmarks are exported if search is not opted.
  10. Import bookmarks from HTML, Markdown or Orgfile:
    $ buku -i bookmarks.html
    $ buku -i bookmarks.md
    $ buku -i bookmarks.org
    $ buku -i bookmarks.db
  11. Delete only comment for bookmark at 15012014:
    $ buku -u 15012014 -c
    Applies to –title and –tag too. URL cannot be deleted without deleting the bookmark.
  12. Update or refresh full DB with page titles from the web:
    $ buku -u
    $ buku -u --tacit (show only failures and exceptions)
    This operation can update the title or description fields of non-immutable bookmarks by parsing the fetched page. Fields are updated only if the fetched fields are non-empty. Tags remain untouched.
  13. Delete bookmark at index 15012014:
    $ buku -d 15012014
    Index 15012020 moved to 15012014
    The last index is moved to the deleted index to keep the DB compact.
  14. Delete all bookmarks:
    $ buku -d
  15. Delete a range or list of bookmarks:
    $ buku -d 100-200
    $ buku -d 100 15 200
  16. Search bookmarks for ANY of the keywords kernel and debugging in URL, title or tags:
    $ buku kernel debugging
    $ buku -s kernel debugging
  17. Search bookmarks with ALL the keywords kernel and debugging in URL, title or tags:
    $ buku -S kernel debugging
  18. Search bookmarks tagged general kernel concepts:
    $ buku --stag general kernel concepts
  19. Search for bookmarks matching ANY of the tags kernel, debugging, general kernel concepts:
    $ buku --stag kernel, debugging, general kernel concepts
  20. Search for bookmarks matching ALL of the tags kernel, debugging, general kernel concepts:
    $ buku --stag kernel + debugging + general kernel concepts
  21. Search for bookmarks matching any of the keywords hello or world, excluding the keywords real and life, matching both the tags kernel and debugging, but excluding the tags general kernel concepts and books:
    $ buku hello world --exclude real life --stag 'kernel + debugging - general kernel concepts, books'
  22. List all unique tags alphabetically:
    $ buku --stag
  23. Run a search and update the results:
    $ buku -s kernel debugging -u --tag + linux kernel
  24. Run a search and delete the results:
    $ buku -s kernel debugging -d
  25. Encrypt or decrypt DB with custom number of iterations (15) to generate key:
    $ buku -l 15
    $ buku -k 15
    The same number of iterations must be specified for one lock & unlock instance. Default is 8, if omitted.
  26. Show details of bookmarks at index 15012014 and ranges 20-30, 40-50:
    $ buku -p 20-30 15012014 40-50
  27. Show details of the last 10 bookmarks:
    $ buku -p -10
  28. Show all bookmarks with real index from database:
    $ buku -p
    $ buku -p | more
  29. Replace tag 'old tag' with 'new tag':
    $ buku --replace 'old tag' 'new tag'
  30. Delete tag 'old tag' from DB:
    $ buku --replace 'old tag'
  31. Append (or delete) tags 'tag 1', 'tag 2' to (or from) existing tags of bookmark at index 15012014:
    $ buku -u 15012014 --tag + tag 1, tag 2
    $ buku -u 15012014 --tag - tag 1, tag 2
  32. Open URL at index 15012014 in browser:
    $ buku -o 15012014
  33. List bookmarks with no title or tags for bookkeeping:
    $ buku -S blank
  34. List bookmarks with immutable title:
    $ buku -S immutable
  35. Shorten URL www.google.com and the URL at index 20:
    $ buku --shorten www.google.com
    $ buku --shorten 20
  36. Append, remove tags at prompt (taglist index to the left, bookmark index to the right):
    // append tags at taglist indices 4 and 6-9 to existing tags in bookmarks at indices 5 and 2-3
    buku (? for help) g 4 9-6 >> 5 3-2
    // set tags at taglist indices 4 and 6-9 as tags in bookmarks at indices 5 and 2-3
    buku (? for help) g 4 9-6 > 5 3-2
    // remove all tags from bookmarks at indices 5 and 2-3
    buku (? for help) g > 5 3-2
    // remove tags at taglist indices 4 and 6-9 from tags in bookmarks at indices 5 and 2-3
    buku (? for help) g 4 9-6 << 5 3-2
  37. List bookmarks with colored output:
    $ buku --colors oKlxm -p
  38. More help:
    $ buku -h
    $ man buku

Interactive workflows can be automated using expect. Issue #368 has a working example on automating auto-import.

You may encounter issues with GUI editors which maintain only one instance by default and return immediately from other instances. Use the appropriate editor option to block the caller when a new document is opened. See issue #210 for gedit.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Arun Prakash Jana

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Missing a feature? There's a rolling ToDo List with identified tasks. Contributions are welcome! Please follow the PR guidelines.

  • bukubrow, WebExtension for browser integration
  • oil, search-as-you-type cli front-end
  • buku_run, rofi front-end
  • pinku, a Pinboard-to-Buku import utility
  • buku-dmenu, a simple bash dmenu wrapper

Stable Docs