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5 Twitter clients for Linux

Himanshu Arora | May 12, 2014
Linux users who want to avoid browser-based Twitter apps can try out these five local clients -- including one that still uses a command-line interface.

TTYtter, which was developed by Cameron Kaiser, is a simple Perl script with all the functionality of a full-fledged Twitter client. The setup, in particular, is very easy for experienced Linux users: All you need to do is to download the script from the project's home page, make it executable and run it.

An important thing to remember while downloading the script is to make sure that the version of is 2.1.0 or later, as earlier versions are not compatible with Twitter API 1.1. In addition, the setup also requires Curl and Perl 5.8.6 or later to be installed on your system.

The client uses OAuth as the default authentication method, which means that once it is set up, it will never ask for authentication details to log in. The software is licensed under the Floodgap Free Software License (FFSL).

What's new

There's actually nothing new: The last release, 2.1.0, dates from December 2012; according to the developer, there won't be any more. But despite the lack of updates, this is still in circulation among command-line users; for example, a port called Texapp offers a version for a social networking service called App.net.

What's good about it

Although it's a command line-based client, TTYtter's functionality is in no way limited. The client supports almost anything you'd want in a Twitter client, including direct messaging, replying to tweets, threading, favorites, retweets, geolocation support, following and leaving users, tracking keywords and hashtags, list management and list timelines, command history and substitution, and multiple accounts.

Although it's a command line-based client, TTYtter's functionality is in no way limited.

Basic tweeting is very easy, once the client is up and running. All you need to do is to type in your tweet and press enter — that's pretty much it. The console window is automatically updated with the latest tweets; if you want, you can change the update time interval using the "-pause=[time-in-seconds]" command-line option. (All the command line options are listed here.)

TTYtter also provides its own built-in commands that you can use for various purposes. For example, if you want to avoid tweeting something accidently, you can use the "/set verify 1" command to turn on the verification functionality. Here, "set" is the built-in command, "verify" is the function and "1" is used to enable the functionality.

Any text that begins with a forward slash (/) is recognized as a built-in command. So if you want to tweet something beginning with /, you need to put another slash before it. For example, "/hi there" should be tweeted as "//hi there."

You can also customize TTYtter by using extensions. For example, you can write extensions for adding new commands, changing the way errors are reported, and more. The command line client is flexible enough to run in either interactive (default) or daemon mode.

 

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