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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.

The command line client can also be configured to display very large alerts on the screen, and to send selected tweets and direct messages to your iPhone.

One of the striking advantages of TTYtter is that it can be used to fire tweets from within shell scripts, cron jobs and so on, which is next to impossible with a GUI-based Twitter client. Also, if Twitter is blocked in your office, you can connect to your home computer using SSH and start using the service through this command line client.

Other considerations

While TTYtter is feature rich and has lots of advantages, there are some shortcomings as well. Obviously, it doesn't support inline pictures and videos. And despite being a command-line client, it requires a browser to log into Twitter and get an OAuth key during its initial setup.

It does support multiple accounts but you have to maintain different keyfiles, each corresponding to an account, as only one account token can be stored per keyfile. To switch between accounts, you have to use the -keyf command line option with the corresponding keyfile name. Overall it's not a major drawback, but it's not as easy as selecting a different account from a drop down menu.

Bottom line

If you are a system admin or a seasoned Linux user who spends most of the time working on command line, TTYtter is an easy and quick way to access Twitter.


Turpial is a GUI-based, open-source client for Twitter and Named after the national bird of Venezuela, the software is written in Python and released under the terms of the GPL v3.

The client, which was developed by Wil Alvarez along with a group of other programmers, is built using graphics libraries GTK+ and PyGTK, and hence integrates seamlessly with GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. The project is divided into two parts, the front end (the Turpial UI) and the back end (the libturpial library).

You can download the client directly from its official website. While Fedora, Debain, Ubuntu and Arch users can follow the instructions given on the website, users of other Linux distros can download the source code and compile accordingly.

What's new

Release 3.0 contains many updates, fixes and new features. For example, an issue that occurred while closing the app from tray icon menu is now fixed, an issue with using apostrophes is also fixed, is now the default service to upload images, there is now support for list names with hyphens and more.

What's good about it

Turpial supports multi-column layouts, which means that you can divide its screen into multiple columns to monitor tweets in parallel. At present, it supports five columns: Timeline (the default), Replies, Directs, Sent and Favorites. In addition, it also supports multiple accounts, letting you log in and switch among accounts easily.


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