FBCMD Installation and Set-up

by Burt Henry

I have picked what I believe is the easiest way to install "fbcmd", a fast and user friendly way to use facebook from the command line. You'll need to know your friends' names for some features but the commands themselves are pretty easy to remember after having used them a couple or three times. Ive written everything so that if you like you can copy and paste commands directly in to a terminal or console except for your auth code which you get from your web-browser and may of course paste it from there.

Dependencies and Installation

We will be working in the terminal. To open the terminal press "Ctrl+Alt+t".

As "fbcmd" is not in any of our repositories, we will have to get it from the Internet and install it ourselves.

  1. install php:
        sudo apt-get update
        sudo apt-get install php5-cli
  2. Here are two different ways to download and install "fbcmd":

Using curl

  1. Type:
    curl -O https://raw.github.com/dtompkins/fbcmd/master/fbcmd_update.php
  2. Now type, pressing "enter" after each line:
    sudo php fbcmd_update.php
    sudo php fbcmd_update.php install

Using wget and zip

  1. Obtain the zip file containing the "fbcmd" files. Type:
             wget https://github.com/dtompkins/fbcmd/zipball/master
  2. Unzip the file by typing:
    unzip master
  3. Execute the following two commands to install "fbcmd". Hint The path to access these files is long. Type the first few characters of the folder name. Press "Tab". The command line will fill as much of the file name as it can. Type more characters and press "Tab" again. Repeat as needed until the entire file name is present. Type:
    sudo php ~/dtompkins-fbcmd-5fc0332/fbcmd_update.php 
    sudo php ~/dtompkins-fbcmd-5fc0332/fbcmd_update.php install

Test Your Installation

Try the "fbcmd" command. Type:


If all is well with your installation you will see a little bit of help which will describe what happens next.

Basic Access and Authorization

You'll need to authorize this program to use your Facebook data.

  1. Type:
    fbcmd go access
  2. you will have your default browser open to a standard Facebook "allow access" page. if you want to allow this app to bare your soul to your virtual friends type:
    fbcmd go auth
  3. You will be given a six-character symbol code. mine was four uppercase letters and two numbers. Type the following, substituting your code for "XXX34":
    fbcmd auth XXXX34
  4. Now you will be prompted to give access permission for lots of individual features all at once by typing a general default set-up command. Type:
    fbcmd addperm

Now you will be given a totally insane list of things you can access from the command-line with "fbcmd". Congrats, you've made it. Just type fbcmd in your terminal and you will receive a list of your basic "fbcmd" commands. The help is good so you can use Facebook without waiting for painfully slow webpages to load and refresh. >


Your interaction with Facebook will be handled by commands issued from the command line. The output will be on your terminal screen. Rill likes to redirect this output to a file. You can do this by adding the following to your commands. Note: You will need a space before the ">" and "gedit" is a handy editor to use to read the file.


Your output is in three columns:

  1. A number followed by your friend's name.
  2. The type of post.
  3. the post. Status updates will be presented as a few words per line because of the columns.

Some of the commands require the use of the number. It is a reference point. Once you execute another command which generates a new set of numbers your previous numbers do not apply.


You can find out more information about fbcmd at http://fbcmd.dtompkins.com Check the "commands" section.

Rill and Storm Dragon contributed to this article.