Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit

One can now run "make static" to get a binary that is statically linked
to libunistring and pcre2. Both libraries are downloaded first,
so they don't need to be available on the machine.

Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Build Status Coverage Latest Version


Command line ASCII boxes unlimited!

Boxes is a command line filter program which draws ASCII art boxes around your input text (examples).

example boxes

For more information, please visit the website.


The recommended way is to install boxes via your package manager. But many ways exist to get boxes onto your machine, details here.

Running it

Try if boxes works by typing echo foo | boxes on the command line. It should give you something like that:

/* foo */

Type boxes -l to get a long list of box designs to use. Detailed usage information is in the manual page and on the website. Consider tying boxes to your editor, so that it can be invoked by a simple keypress.


Boxes is stable.

It has been around since 1999, and is still available and kept current in many package managers (apt, rpm, choco, brew, just to name a few). Its source code is quite portable, and so, boxes has been made to run on a wide range of platforms, from Windows PCs to Netgear routers.

Boxes has matured, and is thusly no longer being actively developed. But contributors can be sure that their pull requests are promptly reviewed and merged into the main code base.

Update 2021: In 2021, the original author has turned to boxes again in order to implement all open issues, including full multi-byte character set support. This is still ongoing, but there have already been two new releases with significant new functionality.


The website has information on building from source, testing, and contributing to the source code.
Boxes has received support from many contributors over the years, and continues to benefit greatly from contributions. Many thanks for that!

Custom box designs

You can define your own box designs!

We appreciate the creative new box designs that you craft for boxes. If you think that others should have your box designs, please feel free to submit them in the form of pull requests on boxes-config, and they may make it into the next release!


Boxes is free software under the GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPLv3).

/\                        \
\_|    Thank you for      |
  |    using Boxes!       |
  |  _____________________|_