Quicksilver and the Command Line


Got a quick tip for Quicksilver users who also may dabble in the Terminal. If you go to the Plugins portion of the Quicksilver Preferences, there’s a plugin you can install called “Command Line Tool”. Install that, and relaunch Quicksilver if it asks you to.

Now that the Command Line Tool plugin is available, you’ll need to install an additional piece to interface with the Terminal itself. Look for it in the General Preferences window. You should see the Command Line Tool in the left pane. When you click on it, it’ll give you the option to install it – if it self installed it’ll say as much. You may need to relaunch Quicksilver again, but it’ll tell you this.

Ok, so what’s it do? Basically it allows you to be tooling around in the terminal and pass whatever you’re working with in the command line, to Quicksilver with a simple ‘qs [filename]’ command. This probably isn’t a big deal for real CLI jockeys, as they’ll do most of their work within Unix anyway. But if you’re dangerous enough in the Terminal to browse around and find things, you can now push those items straight to Quicksilver to do the brunt of your tasks on those files.

For the more apprehensive folks, consider a scenario where you’d currently use tools like TinkerTool and whatnot that will allow you to unhide invisible files. This means that all the OS level files that are preceded with a dot (.profile or .htaccess for instance) that are normally out of sight from the Finder are now visible. While I have need for these files or folders from time to time, I hate how cluttered the GUI looks when they’re visible. So how do you easily access them with regular applications when they’re hidden?

In the Terminal, do a ‘ls -al‘ to view all files – hidden as well. When you see the file you may be looking for, type ‘qs [filename]‘. Your Quicksilver window appears with the file you were looking at in Terminal, populated in the first pane. Now you can do whatever you want to it within Quicksilver.



Doing a search to figure out how to batch rename a bunch of files with quicksilver and stumbled upon your page. The question is here but there’s not an answer as of yet, at least as far as I could find. I’m not very good with these things so forgive if this is an ignorant question.
Have you found a way to batch rename files with quicksilver yet?


@Jackson The command plugin doesn’t catalog your command line binaries. You type your command after hitting “.” and then tab over to “Run as a text command in Terminal” or “Run as a command in shell.”


UGH! I installed Command Line Tool, and I’m very proficient with Quicksilver (and the concept of tabbing within it, to the next area in the pane, to start an action. I have many actions configured, but I can’t seem to get kill to work at all. Kill doesn’t even show up when I type it in the action field. (After Selecting an Application in the first QS field).

Any thoughts on this? I’ve verified that Command Line Tool is installed, but the description I’ve read makes it sound like this plug-in is made for Accessing QS from the command line, NOT the other way around. Hopefully someone can shed some more light on this topic.



Huh, I hadn’t even thought of that.
I never or rarely use the second pane. Thanks for the tip!

Nick Santilli

you can even do Kill processes from Quicksilver. you load the app name in the main window, and then Kill in the second pane.

Let me look at renaming with Quicksilver. I’ll get back to you.


It was on TAB I saw the why to get quicksilver first time. But the only thing I use it for is to start apps.
Everytime I need to do terminal stuff, I go into terminal. So this could be a great way for me to want to learn quicksilver more.

Could you please tell me what to do in quicksilver to rename many files at the same time? Like I had a few hundred .cbr and .cbz files which I wanted to rename to .rar and .zip.
I had to use the mv command in terminal.. which became this for cbz to zip:
for f in *.cbz; do mv ./”$f” “${f%cbz}zip”; done

How could I do this using quicksilver? Going into terminal everytime I need such things done like kill -9 would also be nice to do from quicksilver after checking the pid with ps x :)

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