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A readline and libedit replacement that supports UTF-8, syntax highlighting, hints and Windows and is BSD licensed.
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Read Evaluate Print Loop ++


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A small, portable GNU readline replacement for Linux, Windows and MacOS which is capable of handling UTF-8 characters. Unlike GNU readline, which is GPL, this library uses a BSD license and can be used in any kind of program.


This replxx implementation is based on the work by ArangoDB Team and Salvatore Sanfilippo and 10gen Inc. The goal is to create a zero-config, BSD licensed, readline replacement usable in Apache2 or BSD licensed programs.


  • single-line and multi-line editing mode with the usual key bindings implemented
  • history handling
  • completion
  • syntax highlighting
  • hints
  • BSD license source code
  • Only uses a subset of VT100 escapes (ANSI.SYS compatible)
  • UTF8 aware
  • support for Linux, MacOS and Windows

It deviates from Salvatore's original goal to have a minimal readline replacement for the sake of supporting UTF8 and Windows. It deviates from 10gen Inc.'s goal to create a C++ interface to linenoise. This library uses C++ internally, but to the user it provides a pure C interface that is compatible with the original linenoise API. C interface.


To build this library, you will need a C++11-enabled compiler and some recent version of CMake.

Build instructions


  1. Create a build directory
mkdir -p build && cd build
  1. Build the library
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release .. && make
  1. Install the library at the default target location
sudo make install

The default installation location can be adjusted by setting the DESTDIR variable when invoking make install:

make DESTDIR=/tmp install


  1. Create a build directory in MS-DOS command prompt
md build
cd build
  1. Generate Visual Studio solution file with cmake
  • 32 bit:
cmake -G "Visual Studio 12 2013" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..`
  • 64 bit:
`cmake -G "Visual Studio 12 2013 Win64" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..`
  1. Open the generated file replxx.sln in the build subdirectory with Visual Studio.

Tested with...

  • Linux text only console ($TERM = linux)
  • Linux KDE terminal application ($TERM = xterm)
  • Linux xterm ($TERM = xterm)
  • Linux Buildroot ($TERM = vt100)
  • Mac OS X iTerm ($TERM = xterm)
  • Mac OS X default ($TERM = xterm)
  • OpenBSD 4.5 through an OSX ($TERM = screen)
  • IBM AIX 6.1
  • FreeBSD xterm ($TERM = xterm)
  • Emacs comint mode ($TERM = dumb)
  • Windows

Please test it everywhere you can and report back!

Let's push this forward!

Patches should be provided in the respect of linenoise sensibility for small and easy to understand code that and the license restrictions. Extensions must be submitted under a BSD license-style. A contributor license is required for contributions.

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