How To Setup And Use ChatGPT In Linux Terminal

Introduction to ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a powerful language model developed by OpenAI, designed to generate human-like responses to prompts. If you are a Linux user interested in utilizing ChatGPT's capabilities, you can easily set it up within your terminal. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up and use ChatGPT in a Linux terminal. Let's begin!

Understanding Linux

Linux is a free and open-source operating system based on the Unix operating system. It was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a computer science student from Finland. Since then, Linux has become one of the most widely used operating systems globally. Known for its stability, security, and flexibility, Linux serves as a reliable and efficient computing platform for numerous individuals, businesses, and organizations. Additionally, Linux offers a high level of customization through various distributions tailored to different preferences and use cases.

For more information about ChatGPT's coding capabilities, see our article "How To Use ChatGPT For Coding In 2023".

Using ChatGPT in a Linux Terminal

Yes, you can conveniently utilize ChatGPT in a Linux terminal by following the steps outlined below. Once you have set up the OpenAI API client and obtained your API key, you can interact with ChatGPT using Python to generate text based on your prompts.

Step 1: Python 3 Installation

Begin by confirming the presence of Python 3 on your Linux system. To check if Python 3 is installed, open your terminal and execute the following command:

python3 --version

If Python 3 is not installed, use the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install python3

Step 2: Installing Required Packages

Next, you need to install the essential Python packages required for ChatGPT to function. One such crucial package is the OpenAI API package. You can install it by executing the following command:

pip3 install openai

Step 3: Setting Up OpenAI API Credentials

To utilize ChatGPT, you will need an OpenAI API key. If you haven't yet created an OpenAI account, visit and follow the instructions to create an account and generate your API key. Once you have your API key, set it up as an environment variable in your terminal using the following command:


Alternatively, you can store your API key in a configuration file within the ChatGPT directory, as explained in the following step.

Step 4: Cloning the ChatGPT Repository

Proceed by downloading the ChatGPT code. You can achieve this by cloning the ChatGPT repository from GitHub. Open your terminal and run the following command:

git clone

This will download the ChatGPT code to your local machine.

Step 5: Configuring the Environment File

Within the ChatGPT directory, create a file named ".env" (without the quotes). This file will contain your OpenAI API key, which ChatGPT will automatically read during execution. Use the following terminal command to create the file:

touch .env

Open the file in a text editor and add your API key as follows:


Save the file and close the text editor.

Step 6: Running ChatGPT

To launch the ChatGPT program, execute the command "python3" within the ChatGPT directory. You can then input prompts to initiate a conversation with ChatGPT.

That's it! You should now be able to utilize ChatGPT in your Linux terminal.

To begin a Python REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop), execute the python3 command within your terminal.

Within the Python REPL, import the openai module and utilize the openai.Completion class to generate text through ChatGPT. Here's an example:

import openai

# Set up the OpenAI API client
openai.api_key = os.environ["OPENAI_API_KEY"]

# Define the prompt
prompt = "Hello, my name is ChatGPT. What can I assist you with today?"

# Generate text using ChatGPT
response = openai.Completion.create(

# Print the generated text

Executing this code will generate text using the Davinci engine and display it in the terminal. You can customize the generated text by modifying parameters such as prompt, engine, max_tokens, and temperature as needed.

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