Use npx to execute code from a GitHub gist

Elijah Manor
InstructorElijah Manor

Share this video with your friends

Send Tweet
Published 3 years ago
Updated 2 years ago

Not only does npx support GitHub repositories, but it also supports pulling and executing code from a GitHub gist. However, as with any code on the internet, you should look and verify the code before running it in your terminal.

Instructor: [00:02] Npx can actually run code that is stored in a Github gist. Let's get started and make one.

[00:08] We'll call our gist "Run JavaScript in the terminal from a gist with npx." We'll create an index.js file with a shebang pointing to node. Then we'll console.log, "Look, Ma. I'm executing JavaScript from a gist inside the terminal with npx."

[00:26] Then we'll create a package.json file and include a name for our project, "JS from terminal with npx." We'll give it a version of 1.00and point to the index.js file from above. Now we'll save our new gist and grab the URL from the address bar.

[00:49] If we go over to our terminal and type npx followed by the gist URL that we just copied, then wham, the code from the gist will execute. Your gist could be much more complex than just a console.log.

[01:01] Here, I have a gist, that I created previously, that exports all the VS Code extensions you have installed into a Markdown list. The following JavaScript code uses the exec function from the required child process module to execute a shell command and return the results as a string.

[01:17] At that point, the returned string is split into an array. Empty lines are filtered out. The remaining items are mapped into Markdown. Then the array is joined back together. Finally, the results are console.logged at the end.

[01:31] As before, if we grab the URL and come over to our terminal, we can npx and paste our URL. Voila, here is a list of our installed VS Code extensions. I could come back in and pipe the results to pbcopy to store that in my copy/paste buffer and open up a Markdown editor.

[01:51] Here, I'm using Macdown to verify that sure enough the content is valid Markdown. Here on the right, you could see the list of extensions I have installed.

[02:02] Keep in mind, if you're using a gist URL to run via npx, you need to trust the source you're about to run in case there is any malicious code. Other than that, it's pretty cool.

Ojo Oluwasetemi
Ojo Oluwasetemi
~ 3 years ago

Great work!!!! I enjoyed it