Tweet from the Command Line with TTYtter

If you don’t want to access Twitter from the Web, there are a whole bunch of flashy Twitter apps on a variety of platforms, but if you want a decidedly retro way to tweet, you’ll want to check out TTYtter.

TTYtter, on the other hand, doesn’t have all the flashy graphics of apps like TweetDeck. It actually doesn’t have any graphics at all. TTYtter runs solely from the command line.  This is for people who love the simplicity and minimalism of text-based apps and have the technical skills to use them.


TTYtter is developed by Cameron Kaiser, a medical doctor by day and a retro computer archivist and programmer by night. He even tweets using his creation as “Doctorlinguist”, or as they say in the industry, “eating his own dog food.”

Getting set up is pretty simple. It’s one fairly hefty Perl program, and most systems have Perl installed already, or at least Unix systems do. Just save the file somewhere convenient and then run it from the command line. If you’re on a Linux or Unix system, you should give it execute permissions, but if you’re on a Unix or Linux system, you probably already know that.

So that it can accessyour Twitter account, you’ll have to give it OAuth authentication. There are instructions on the Web site for doing that.

Once that’s out of the way, you’ll be able to see your tweets in all the nongraphical glory on the terminal screen. You can do just about anything on TTYtter you can do on any other client, including viewing all your tweets, direct message people, @-reply them, retweet, and everything else.  The experience is a lot like using IRC. The commands are even prefaced with a “/” in TTYtter, the way they are in most IRC clients.

If you’re a die-hard command line junkie, youll love TTYtter. For more command line fun, check out our look at iTerm 2, an alternative Terminal for Mac OS X, An Introduction to SSH, and 6 Best Text-Only Apps.