Buku: Command-line Bookmark Manager for Linux

Buku: Command line bookmark manager for Linux

In this era of internet, managing bookmarks is one of the tasks that we all need. Today, we’re going to introduce a new command-line utility for managing bookmarks – Buku.


Buku is a flexible command-line bookmark management utility developed by Arun Prakash Jana. He is the same guy who gave us Googler: a tool to use Google in Linux terminal.

He developed it because he couldn’t find any suitable command-line solution for his bookmark management needs. And as it turns out he managed to create a nice bookmark manager indeed.

Buku Interface
Buku Interface

Installation on Ubuntu

Buku need python version 3.3 or later for running. The command for checking the python version is:

python3 --version

Then we have to install a couple of dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python3-cryptography python3-bs4

Now, for installing Buku, run the following commands:

cd /tmp
git clone https://github.com/jarun/Buku.git
cd Buku
sudo make install
cd auto-completion/bash/
sudo cp buku-completion.bash /etc/bash_completion.d/

And, it’s done!

Features & Basic Usage

Buku supports all the basic bookmarking tasks, like – add, delete, tag, comment, search, update etc. And also adds some extra features on top of that. You can check the Buku manual page for various examples:

man buku

Here are some of the cherry-on-top features of Buku:

Bookmarks Title Fetching: Buku can automatically fetches bookmark title from the web. And you can refresh all the of them with a single command from terminal:

buku --update

Encryption: One of Buku’s interesting features is its built-in encryption mechanism. You can encrypt you bookmark database using this command:

buku --lock

Enter a password to encrypt the database with and it’ll be encrypted using AES 256 bit encryption algorithm. If you don’t want anyone else to peek through your bookmarks, Buku will be of great help. And for decrypting your database simply run:

buku --unlock

Import/Export: Buku can import bookmarks from exported Firefox/Chrome/IE HTML file and also export bookmarks in the same format.

Merge-able Database: Buku’s databases are completely marge-able and portable. So, if you have multiple devices and use Buku on them for bookmark managing, you can grab the database file from one device, merge it with the database on another device and transfer it back and forth!

Thoughts on Buku?

Most of us just use the built-in bookmark manager on our web browsers. But there might be some scenarios where one might prefer to use Buku instead:

  • If you are an avid terminal lover and want to do things from terminal as much as possible.
  • If you take you bookmark security seriously. And want to manage them yourself.
  • If you use a browser with no bookmark sync capability (such as: Vivaldi) but also don’t want to use third-party browser extensions. A Buku-Dropbox combo will work just fine.

Nevertheless, it offers us with an alternative and we appreciate that. What do you think about Buku? Do you want to see any new features added to Buku?

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  • Linkman is the best bookmark manager there is.

    I had a huge database I had been stockpiling for years without even organizing them by topic/date/tags etc.

    Linkman helped a lot with telling me what urls were dead, had been changed, etc.

    The only con is that it’s made for Windows! :/

  • I’d like to see buku check bookmarks to make sure they work, i.e., if they cannot pull down the title from the web, mark as potentially bad. Over time, many of my bookmarks become invalid due to servers shutting down or pages getting moved. After a bunch of bookmarks are marked potentially bad, another buku option could be used to purge them, with confirmation or without.

  • While trying to install python3-cryptography, I get the message:
    E: Unable to locate package python3-cryptography
    (I am using Ubuntu 14.4) Any ideas?
    It does install python3-bs4, though.

  • Hi,

    This is Arun, the maintainer of Buku. Just wanted to leave a note that Buku integrates well with the web browser.

    Buku can open any bookmark directly in the default browser.
    Using a keyboard shortcut clipboard text can be directly added as bookmark to Buku database using xsel on Linux or pbpaste on OS X (without touching the terminal). Please refer to the project page for more details.