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Displaying Images In The Teminal

18.04.2021 11:27:01 steeph@fatty:~ 0 $ viu /mnt/happy/B/pony/pinkie.gif -h 37
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I had a look around recently for a way to display images on a linux command line, e.g. to check image files over ssh quickly. Turns out there are several prominent projects. I shouldn't be surprised by that. But now I feel a bit stupid that that's apparently a pretty common idea that I could have had a lot sooner.

Anyway. I went with viu because it's easy to install and to use and doesn't require a graphics card or anything other than a terminal connection. It plays animated GIFs, supports more than 256 colours if the terminal does and is written in rust (for those who care, I guess). The image resolution isn't high (because it's actually text characters). But that's a trade-off I'm willing to take for the advantage that it works in a text-only terminal.

Simply install it with

cargo install viu

and use it like this:

viu image.jpg

or

viu /path/to/image/diretory/

(You may have to add your cargo bin directory to PATH first.)

Github: https://github.com/atanunq/viu

18.04.2021 11:38:59 steeph@fatty:~ 0 $ find /mnt/happy/B/dinge -iname *6*finger*hand*.jpg -exec viu -h 20 -t {} +
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There are other similar tools that use the framebuffer or aalib (ASCII art) to display images. But those aren't my first choice because I don't always have a framebuffer to write to and ASCII art in low resolution is a bit too little image quality sometimes.

But they have their advantages as well, so let me mention them at least.

img2sexel - Using sixels to accomplish higher resolution with text only. Sadly I don't always hava a terminal emulator that supports sixels.

fbvs (FrameBuffer Viewer Simple) - Also probably a very fine tool but not for my main use case. Maybe I would have used it if it had simply worked after installation.

FIM (fbi improved) - Supports framebuffer device method and several other graphical libraries as well as ASCII art.

lsix (Like "ls", but for images.) - I like that one a lot, too because it can display image thumbnails in a grid out of the box. But again, sixtel is not an option for me at the moment.

There are more, but those are the main ones I saw mentioned and recommended all over. fbi is an older one. There are implementations for some applications (w3m, mutt, VIM, ...) but I didn't look into those because I don't need them.