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Jul '09

Command-line Twitter with Bash

posted by delano

$ tweet "The sun is out and I am going to make a sandwich. #montreal #food"

Some minutes ago from web

I found a gist the other day by defunkt with a bash function for posting to Twitter from the command-line. It's a cute hack but it was insecure so I updated it to work securely over HTTPS.

Step 1: Update ~/.bashrc

# $ tweet "your message"
# See:
# Contributors
# * @defunkt for the initial version
# * @anildigital and @grundprinzip for curl-fu
# * @solutious for the SSL sexytime


# SHA1 digest for file: Thu Mar 26 21:23:06 2009 UTC # NOTE: This needs to be updated when cacert.pem is updated CERTS_DIGEST=331b7e928bd758146ef4a17fee59a63e6ad6b10a

# Path to local copy of CA extract CERTS_FILE=~/.cacerts.pem

function tweet { verifycerts || return 1 if [ ! "$" ]; then echo 'Nothing to tweet!' return 1 fi curl --cacert $CERTS_FILE -n -d status="$" > /dev/null 2>&1 echo "tweet'd '$*'" }

# Download extract of CA certs from function updatecerts { curl $CERTS_URI > $CERTS_FILE 2> /dev/null verifycerts echo "Saved to $CERTS_FILE" }

# Make sure the CA certs match the sha1 digest function verifycerts { if [ ! -f $CERTS_FILE ]; then echo "$CERTS_FILE does not exist." echo "Try running: updatecerts" return 1 fi

openssl sha1 $CERTS_FILE | grep $CERTS_DIGEST > /dev/null if [ $? != 0 ]; then echo "Digest mismatch for $CERTS_FILE (maybe it was updated?)" return 1 fi return 0 }

Step 2: Update ~/.netrc

Put your twitter credentials into ~/.netrc. This file is read by curl.

# put this in ~/.netrc
password PASSWORD

Then update the file permissions so only you can read it:

$ chmod 600 ~/.netrc

Step 3: Update SSL certs

$ source ~/.bashrc
$ updatecerts

This downloads a copy of the Mozilla SSL certificate authority bundle to ~/.cacerts.pem. curl uses this file to verify the SSL certificate for

Step 4: Tweet!

$ tweet "Anything at all"


Digest mismatch for $CERTS_FILE (maybe it was updated?)

This probably means that the Mozilla SSL certificate authority bundle has been updated. First check that the date in the bundle is later than "Thu Mar 26 2009". If it is, then you need to do the following:

  • Download the latest copy of the bundle by running updatecerts (ignore the error)
  • Update CERTS_DIGEST in ~/.bashrc with the output from: openssl sha1 $CERTS_FILE

If the date has not changed, the ~/.cacerts.pem file has been modified. It may have been tampered with or corrupted. Delete it an run updatecerts again.


If I missed anyone, please let me know!

I'm Delano Mandelbaum, the founder of Solutious Inc. I've worked for companies large and small and now I'm putting everything I've learned into building great tools. I recently launched a monitoring service called Stella.

You can also find me on:

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Solutious is a software company based in Montréal. We build testing and development tools that are both powerful and pleasant to use. All of our software is on GitHub.

This is our blog about performance, development, and getting stuff done.

-       Solutious