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plotting in the terminal

what is it?

bashplotlib is a python package and command line tool for making basic plots in the terminal. It's a quick way to visualize data when you don't have a GUI. It's written in pure python and can quickly be installed anywhere using pip.


install with pip

$ pip install bashplotlib

install from source

$ git clone
$ cd bashplotlib
$ python install

Either method will install the bashplotlib python package and will also add hist and scatter to your python scripts folder. This folder should be on your path (add it if it's not).


  • quick plotting from the command line
  • customize the color, size, title, and shape of plots
  • pipe data into plots with stdin


command line

hist takes input from either stdin or specified using the -f parameter. Input should be a single column of numbers. scatter takes x and y coordinates as input form either a comma delimited file using -f or from 2 different files using -x and -y.

in python

If you want to use bashplotlib from python, just import histogram and scatterplot.

from bashplotlib.scatterplot import plot_scatter

from bashplotlib.histogram import plot_hist


$ scatter --file data/texas.txt --pch .

$ hist --file data/exp.txt

$ scatter -x data/x_test.txt -y data/y_test.txt


  • sideways numbers for x-axis of histograms
  • colors for individual points
  • line charts
  • trendlines