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A fork of the Corebird GTK Twitter client that continues to work with Twitter
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Cawbird 1.0.3

Cawbird is a fork of the Corebird Twitter client from Baedert, which became unsupported after Twitter disabled the streaming API.

Cawbird works with the new APIs and includes a few fixes and modifications that have historically been patched in to IBBoard's custom Corebird build on his personal Open Build Service account1.

Packaging and installation

Cawbird packages are built in the Cawbird Open Build Service project. They can be installed from the Cawbird download page.

Install Cawbird

These packages are currently available for:

  • openSUSE
    • openSUSE Tumbleweed
    • openSUSE Leap 15
    • openSUSE Leap 15.1
  • Fedora
    • Fedora 29
    • Fedora 30
    • Fedora Rawhide
  • CentOS
    • CentOS 7
  • Ubuntu
    • Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)
    • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)
    • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine)
  • Debian
    • Testing
    • Unstable

The following distros will be supported in future:

  • Fedora 31

Official distro repositories

The following distros currently have their own official packages:

  • Fedora (30+)
    • sudo dnf install cawbird
  • NixOS (19.09+)
    • nix-shell -p cawbird for testing, nix-env -iA cawbird for permanent installation
  • Solus
    • sudo eopkg it cawbird

Community builds


Twitter uses specific codecs for videos. These are provided by libav and are not included in the core repositories of many distros. The following additional repositories are known to include the required libraries:


Key Description
Ctrl + t Compose Tweet
Back Go one page back (this can be triggered via the back button on the keyboard, the back thumb button on the mouse or Alt + Left)
Forward Go one page forward (this can be triggered via the forward button on the keyboard, the forward thumb button on the mouse or Alt + Right)
Alt + num Go to page num (between 1 and 7 at the moment)
Ctrl + Shift + s Show/Hide topbar
Ctrl + p Show account settings
Ctrl + k Show account list
Ctrl + Shift + p Show application settings

When a tweet is focused (via keynav):

  • r - reply
  • tt - retweet
  • f - favorite
  • q - quote
  • dd - delete
  • Return - Show tweet details
  • k - Print tweet details to stdout (debug builds)


Due to changes in the Twitter API, Cawbird has the following limitations:

  • Cawbird will update every two minutes
  • Cawbird does not get notified of the following actions when performed outside Cawbird, which will be refreshed on restart:
    • Unfavourite
    • Follow/Unfollow
    • Block/Unblock
    • Mute/Unmute
    • DM deletion
    • Some list changes

All limitations are limitations imposed by Twitter and are not the fault of the Cawbird client. They have affected all third-party client applications.

Known issues

Due to a bug in GnuTLS, Cawbird is currently suffering from occasional TLS errors. These are being handled under Cawbird bug 9 to handle them when they do. A future version of GnuTLS should resolve the underlying problem.


Since February 2014, there has been a Corebird project on Transifex. Cawbird is currently still using those translations.


All contributions are welcome (artwork, design, code, just ideas, etc.) but if you're planning to actively change something bigger, talk to me first.

Compiling Cawbird


Cawbird uses the Meson build system rather than the more archaic autoconf/make combination. Building is as simple as:

meson build
ninja -C build

Cawbird installs its application icon into /usr/share/icons/hicolor/, so an appropriate call to gtk-update-icon-cache might be needed.

Build Dependencies

  • gtk+-3.0 >= 3.20
  • glib-2.0 >= 2.44
  • json-glib-1.0
  • sqlite3
  • libsoup-2.4
  • gettext >= 0.19.7
  • vala >= 0.28 (makedep)
  • meson (makedep)
  • gst-plugins-base-1.0 (for playbin, disable via --disable-video)
  • gst-plugins-bad-1.0 >= 1.6 or gst-plugins-good-1.0 (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)
    • Requires the element-gtksink feature, provided by gstreamer1.0-gtk on Ubuntu-based systems, gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-gtk on older RPM-based systems and gstreamer1-plugins-good-gtk on newer RPM-based systems
  • gst-libav-1.0 (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)
  • gspell-1 >= 1.2 (for spellchecking, disable via --disable-spellcheck, default enabled)

Note that the above packages are just rough estimations, the actual package names on your distribution may vary and may require additional repositories (e.g. RPMFusion in Fedora, or Packman in openSUSE)

If you pass --disable-video to the configure script, you don't need any gstreamer dependency but won't be able to view any videos.


1: home:IBBoard:desktop

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