Great find! bcat is a small utility to pipe console’s output to browser. Do you have a script which outputs HTML? bcat! Do you need to preview a README file with Markdown formatting? bcat! Is your script fetching web pages and you want to see the result? bcat! Do you just simply want to say «hello world» in your browser? You know the answer, right?
Utility is compatible with Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. Theoretically, it should work fine on any Unix-based platform integrated with freedesktop.org.
You can use gem to install bcat:
gem install bcat
A new tab should open in your default browser with the calendar if everything is working properly.
Preview log files
tail -n 1000 -f /var/log/messages | bcat
Now your browser works pretty much like tail.
Here is how the remote log file can be opened:
ssh mywebsite.com 'sudo tail -f /var/log/nginx/access.log' | bcat
Use it as a pager
bcat can be used as a pager for various programs.
export MANPAGER='sh -c "col -b | bcat"'
Now, when you run «man grep» or «git log», the browser’s window will be focused and the output will be printed in a new tab. By the way, if you have Git colors enabled, then the colors will also be shown in a browser.
Viewing the clipboard
xclip -o -selection c | bcat
For Mac OS X:
pbpaste | bcat
View the Markdown file with formatting:
markdown README.md | bcat
Of course, you can mix different commands. For example, here is how to view the clipboard with Markdown formatting enabled (for Linux):
xclip -o -selection c | markdown | bcat
For Mac OS X:
pbpaste | markdown | bcat
These are just simple examples. I’m sure you can find much more use cases for this handy utility.