GitHub CLI 2.0 introduces extensions

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GitHub has launched GitHub CLI 2.0, a new version of its command line tool that allows developers to create extensions, or custom commands that build on CLI functionality.

The open source tool, which brings GitHub to a terminal, can be installed from cli.github.com.

With GitHub CLI 2.0, unveiled August 24, extensions are just repositories prefixed with gh- that contain an executable file such as a Bash script. GitHub has built tools into GitHub CLI such as gh extension create, which provides a scaffolded repository with pre-written Bash.

To help developers get started, the GitHub team built a few extensions ranging from GitHub-focused utilities like gh contribute, for working on an open source project, to terminal-focused tools like gh screensaver. Other GitHub CLI extensions include:

  • gh user-status, to quickly set GitHub user status from the terminal to let others know of availability or if the user is in focus mode.
  • gh branch, a fuzzy finder branch switcher that orders branches by recency and displays information about associated pull requests.
  • gh triage, which takes GitHub’s process to triage issues in its open source repo and makes it more broadly usable.

Developers can discuss the extensions they build via a GitHub discussion thread. GitHub CLI 1.0 was released last September. The tool is intended to provide a seamless developer experience, leveraging features such as GitHub Actions to automate workflows.

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