Gif sharing for expressing emotions has been so popular in the past few years that I am sure you must have also found yourself searching for them and sharing them. If you are a Terminal-savvy person, you wouldn’t want to leave the comfort of the command line and go somewhere else to do any of your daily technical activities. There is always a way to do almost all of our stuff right inside the Terminal. So, why should looking up for gifs from the Internet be any different! Using the Terminal makes certain tasks more efficient and even faster. The command-line tools do not use too many resources and thus form great alternatives to the widely used graphical applications, especially if you are stuck up with older hardware.

In this article, we will explain how you can use a command-line tool called gif-cli to search for gifs from the command line. This handy tool is available on the Snap Store and can be installed both through the Ubuntu Software Manager (UI) and the Terminal application(command line). However, we will be keeping all things command line today!

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Install gif-cli

You can install gif-cli via the Snap store through the Ubuntu command line. Open your Ubuntu Terminal either through the Application Launcher search or by using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the following command in order to refresh the list of available packages:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update packages

Since the Snap daemon comes by default in the latest versions of Ubuntu, we do not need to install it. If you are using an older version, you can use the following command to install the daemon:

$ sudo apt-get install snapd

Now type in the following command in order to install gif-cli to your Ubuntu:

$ sudo snap install gif-cli

Install gif-cli

The process might take some time depending on your Internet speed. The similar output as I got will indicate the completion of the installation and will also print the gif-cli version installed on your system.

If you ever want to remove the tool installed through this method, you can use the following command through the Terminal:

$ sudo snap remove gif-cli

How to Search for a gif

After you have installed the gif-cli tool, let us see how you can search for a gif using the gif-cli command.

Here is the command syntax you will be using:

$ gif-cli "search keywords"

For example, in order to look up for a gif related to my favorite Mr.bean, I would use the following command:

The output will be a link to a relevant gif from You can open this link in any of your favorite web browsers by right-clicking on the link and then selecting ‘open link” from the menu. This is the gif I got:

Gif file

The options are unlimited on GIPHY. Now you can look up for a gif easily through the Ubuntu command line using the simple CLI tool called gif-cli.

Search for gifs from the Ubuntu Command Line using gif-cli

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn