I'd like to set up the following workflow on my (Gnome) Ubuntu 21.10 laptop.

  • Enter a shortcut to run a program (let's say a bash script)
  • A GUI text-input (preferably GTK) pops up and offers a text input
  • I type in some task
  • I call an API and send task information to my todolist via a REST api

I know how to implement each part, except which CLI to use to prompt for text from a GUI (rather than a CLI).


  • Which CLI can I use to perform to prompt for user input via a GUI textbox?
  • 2
    I think you're confusing your terminologies quite a bit. There's no real distinction between CLI and GUI programs. A "CLI" application that opens a GUI and doesn't interact with the user on the command line at all isn't a CLI. The manner in which a program was started, whether through the GUI application selector or through the shell bears no bearing on making an application CLI or GUI.
    – Lie Ryan
    Nov 6 '21 at 18:35
  • Apologies, the terminology was a little tricky. I was looking for a GUI with a useful CLI interface (like zenity), rather than a CLI that reads from a tty. But fair point, I'll keep this language clearer in future Nov 7 '21 at 13:28

Zenity is probably the easiest way to create simple GUI dialogs from shell scripts. The input dialog looks like this:


TASK=`zenity --entry --text="Enter task:"`

echo $TASK

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