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ASCII-art is so 2013
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-ASCII-art is so 2013.

Shellpic uses escape codes to display images in a terminal, IRC or NUTS client.


Lenna displayed with a color depth of 8 bits.

Running shellpic <image> in a terminal that supports 256-colors will get you something that looks like the image above.

If you happen to have a terminal that is capable of showing true colors, you can use the --shell24-switch to enable 24bit output. It will look something like this:

Lenna displayed with a color depth of 24 bits.

Shellpic can also be used with irc-clients. Run the script from your client and use the --irc-switch, the result will depend on the client used. This is how it looks in xchat:

Lenna displayed in 16 colors by xchat.

The --nuts-switch will do the same, but for NUTS talkers. This is how it looks in konsole:

Farnsworth and imp displayed in 16 colors in a NUTS talker

The --tinymux-switch will also do that, generating 256 color images for TinyMUX servers.

Use the --animate (show the animation once, then exit) or --loop (animate and loop forever) to animate gifs. There is a noticable difference between between terminals of how smooth the animation looks. KDE's konsole seems to handle it well.

An animated gif shown in a terminal.


You should have Pillow (>=2.6) and python development files installed. Shellpic works with Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.3 and 3.4. It will not work with Python 2.5 or 3.2.

If you have PIP installed:

sudo pip install Shellpic

If you do not have PIP or want the bleeding edge version of Shellpic:

# clone the repo
git clone
# optional - run tests
# install the package
cd shellpic
sudo python install



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