#cli #search #productivity #bookmarking

bin+lib roo_engine

Roo is a smart bookmarking and productivity tool that works as a custom search engine for your browser

1 unstable release

0.1.0 Dec 20, 2022

#189 in Database implementations

MIT license

245 lines

Roo - A smart bookmarking search engine for your browser

Dall-E 2 generated logo


Roo (short for "Kangaroo") is a smart bookmarking and productivity CLI tool that works as a custom search engine for your browser, allowing you to quickly issue commands in your browser's search bar. It's a simple server that accepts a search query and redirects to the appropriate URI based on a set of predefined (and customizable) rules.

Roo is useful for personal productivity, but many users run it on company servers to allow all employees to share a common way to quickly access internal and external tools, wikis, documentation and resources.

Roo is heavily inspired by bunny1, a bookmarking tool created at Facebook and open-sourced in 2012. It's written in Rust and released under the MIT license.

Built-in commands

Roo comes with a set of default commands that can be fully customized.

Tool Description Command Example
Google Search Google.com g <search query> g Rust language
Google Calendar Go to Google Calendar cal cal
Google Docs Create a new GDoc newdoc newdoc
Gmail Create a new mail in Gmail newmail newmail
Youtube Go to youtube y y
Youtube Search Search youtube.com y <search query> y Rust videos
Google Maps Go to Google Maps maps maps
Google Maps Search Search Google Maps maps <search query> maps rome colosseum
Google Drive Go to Google Drive drive drive
Google Drive Search Search Google Drive drive <search query> drive blog post
GitHub Go to Github gh gh
GitHub Search Search Github gh <search query> gh hello world!
GitHub Search code Search Github Code ghc <search query> ghc hello world!
GitHub Search issues Search Github Issues ghi <search query> ghi runtime exception
Pinterest Search Pinterest pin <search query> pin ideas
Reddit Search Reddit redd <search query> redd Rust language
Twitter Go to Twitter profile tw <handle> tw @marcocampana
Twitter Search tw <search query> tw rust lang
Amazon Search Amazon.com a <search query> a 4k tvs
AWS EC2 Go to ec2 instance page i-<instance_id> i-123
AWS VPC Go to VPC page vpc-<vpc_id> vpc-123


Install from Crates.io

If you are a Rust programmer you can install roo_engine with cargo

cargo install roo_engine

Install with Homebrew (Mac)

brew tap marcocampana/tap
brew install roo_engine

Check out the repository

If you are on MacOs, installing with homebrew is the recommended choice. However, you can also check out the repository on your machine and run with cargo.

  1. Install Rust and Cargo

  2. Check out the repository from GitHub

    git checkout git@github.com:marcocampana/roo_engine.git
  3. Run with Cargo

    cargo run

How to

Start the server

If you installed the binary, you can start the server by executing the roo_engine binary in your terminal:


or if you using cargo you can run:

cargo run

This will start roo_engine on

You can use the --help argument to print all the available arguments you can use to run roo.

roo --help

Add roo_engine as your default search engine in Chrome

  1. Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines
  2. Click on Add under Search engines and use this URL
  3. Optionally set this as your default search engine for maximum productivity™

Define your own commands

roo_engine takes your search query and tries to match it against the list of defined commands. Buil-in commands that ship with roo_engine are found in the parser.rs file. You can make your own rules file and tell roo where to find it at startup:

roo --path ~/my_file.toml

A roo_engine command looks like this:

 input = "g (.+)"
 output = "https://www.google.com/search?q={}"

the input string is a regex that is matched against the input of your browser's search bar. If a match is found the regex group captured in () is replaced in the {} found on the output string where the browser redirects. In the example above we are defining a command g that will match a string g <search query> that redirects to Google search to search for <search query>.

See rules.toml for sample commands.

Example: JIRA tasks

If you are a JIRA user you know that JIRA task ids have the format <PROJECT_PREFIX>-<TASK_NUMBER>. You could write a custom command that allows you to input the task id in your browser search bar and be redirected to the task details. For example, let's assume that your project prefix is MP you could define the following rule:

 input = "(MP-.+)"
 output = "https://marcocampana.atlassian.net/browse/{}"

Run in the background

On MacOs you can setup launchd to automatically run roo_engine in the background.

  1. create a plist file in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder (make sure to specify the absolute path to the code in your machine instead of/Users/myuser)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

  1. Load the configuration to start the server:
launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.marcocampana.roo_engine.plist

How to contribute

Fork this repo and send a pull request. Make sure to have unit tests for any new functionality

Run tests with:

cargo test


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