Decentralised, minimalist microblogging service for hackers
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txtnix - Client for twtxt, the minimalist microblogging service for hackers


$ txtnix --help

  tweet       Append a new tweet to your twtxt file.
  timeline    Retrieve your personal timeline.
  view        Show feed of given source.
  follow      Add a new source to your followings.
  unfollow    Remove an existing source from your followings.
  following   Return the list of sources you're following.
  config      Get or set config item.
  query       Query your registry.
  register    Register at your registry.
  search      Search twtxt.

    --help      Print a help message and exit.
    --config    Specify a custom config file location.

 $ txtnix follow bob
 $ txtnix tweet 'Hello twtxt world'
 $ txtnix timeline


txtnix is a client for the decentralised, minimalist microblogging service for hackers

Instead of signing up at a closed and/or regulated microblogging platform, getting your status updates out with twtxt is as easy as putting them in a publicly accessible text file. The URL pointing to this file is your identity, your account. twtxt then tracks these text files, like a feedreader, and builds your unique timeline out of them, depending on which files you track. The format is simple, human readable, and integrates well with UNIX command line utilities.

All subcommand of txtnix provides extensive help, so don't hesitate to call them with the --help option.


You can check INSTALL to see all different ways to install txtnix but if want to use the fast and easy way, the following commands will install txtnix and all dependencies to ~/perl5 and add lines to your bashrc to adjust some environment variables.

$ curl -L | perl - -l ~/perl5 App::cpanminus local::lib
$ eval $(perl -I ~/perl5/lib/perl5 -Mlocal::lib=~/perl5)
$ echo 'eval $(perl -I$HOME/perl5/lib/perl5 -Mlocal::lib)' >> ~/.bashrc
$ cpanm


twtxt uses a simple INI-like configuration file. It checks ~/.config/txtnix/config for its configuration, but you can overwrite it with the command line switch --config.

Here's an example conf file, showing every currently supported option:

nick = bob
twtfile = ~/twtxt.txt
twturl =
use_pager = 0
use_cache = 1
disclose_identity = 0
limit_timeline = 20
timeout = 5
sorting = descending
pre_tweet_hook  = "scp {twtfile}"
post_tweet_hook = "scp {twtfile}"

alice =
charlie =



Your nick, will be displayed in your timeline, expanded in your tweets and send in your user agent string if you set disclose_identity to true. Defaults to your local username.


Path to your local twtxt file. Defaults to ~/twtxt.txt.


URL to your public twtxt file. This is only needed in case you decide to disclose your identity.


Use a pager (less) to display your timeline. Defaults to false. txtnix first tries to use the PAGER environment variable and then checks a list of posible pagers until it finds one.


Set pager program to use. It has no default value. This enables use_pager if set.


Cache remote twtxt files locally. This defaults to true as their usually is no reason not to do this. Every URL is checked with a If-Modified-Since header, so you still get always the most up-to-date timeline.


Path to TLS certificate authority file used to verify the peer certificate. Also activates hostname verification. Defaults to /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt. The file does not have to exist to activate hostname verification. Setting this to an empty value disables hostname verification on a global basis which is definitely not recommended.


Path to TLS key file.


Path to TLS cert file.


Use this proxy for http connections.


Use this proxy for https connections.


Include nick and twturl in twtxt's user-agent. To respect your privacy this feature is disabled by default. But you may enable it to let other users discover that you follow them.


Limit amount of tweets shown in your timeline. Defaults to 20.


Time a http request is allowed to take. Defaults to 5 seconds.


Rewrite urls you are following depending on their http response code. Addresses that return 301 (moved permanently) are rewritten to their new url. Return code 410 (gone) results in unfollowing that address. Defaults to true. You get a warning if a url is rewritten.


Comma sperated list of http return codes. txtnix unfollows every url that return one of these return codes. Defaults to 410.


txtnix expands the local names in your tweets to their urls. So @bob becomes @<>. With embed names you can also share your local nickname with your followers. If this is set to true mentions will be rewritten to @<bob>. Defaults to true.


Order in which to sort the timeline. Can be either descending or ascending. Defaults to descending, so the newest tweets are on the top of the timeline.


How to format dates in your timeline. This should be a strftime-like format string. As special case you can set it to relative to get relative dates like 1 hour and 23 minutes ago. Defaults to %F %H:%M.


Command to be executed before tweeting.


Command to be executed after tweeting.


Write metadata about who you followed or unfollowed in your twtfile. The twtxt file format does not specify any way to add metadata to your feed, so the current implementation to use a text starting with // is a properiaty extension of txtnix. Use at your own risk. Defaults to false.


Hide txtnix style metadata. Defaults to true.


Use ANSI-colors for the pretty layout. Defaults to true.


In which format to display your timeline. txtnix defines two different layout: simple is a line oriented very basic layout. pretty looks less dense and supports ANSI colors and text wrapping. Defaults to pretty.


If to wrap text in pretty display. Defaults to true.


Number of characters a remote tweet can have. Setting it to zero will disable this security precaution. Defaults to 1024.


Expand /me at the start of a tweet's text to nickname. Defaults to false.


This section holds all your followings as nick, URL pairs. You can edit this section manually or use the follow/unfollow commands of twtxt for greater comfort.


In pretty mode mentions, hashtags, the nick and timestamp can be colorized with ANSI colors. You can set either mention, hashtag, time or nick:

nick = blue on_magenta
time = grey09
hashtag = rgb515
mention = clear

Setting a value to clear will disable coloring for that element.


Plugins can provide functions that are called when events happen in txtnix. See App::txtnix::Plugin for a complete documentation how to write plugins.

Plugins need to be enabled in the configuration file to handle events:

enabled = 1

txtnix comes with three pre-installed plugins:

  • ShellExec

    Works like the old hook system, but can run commands for all events:

    pre_follow = echo Another follower

    This plugin is always enabled as it implements the functionality of the configuration options pre_tweet_hook and post_tweet_hook.

  • GistStore

    Uploads your twtfile to Needs your username and a access token or your password (but really, please use a access token):

    enabled      = 1
    access_token = asdfasdfasdf
    user         = bob
  • FTP

    Uploads your twtfil to a ftp server. The only required parameter is the hostname of the ftp server. You can supply a username and a password, both defaults to values in ~/.netrc. If you do not give a remote file name, the basename of your twtfile is used.

    enabled     = 1
    user        = foo
    password    = bar
    remote_file = twtxt.txt
  • LinkBack

    Any time you mention somebody in your tweet and LinkBack is enabled, it checks the mentioned users feed for a linkback command and posts your twturl as url parameter to that address. As there is currently no standard way to declare metadata, it checks for a tweet with // linkback $url.

    enabled = 1


pre_tweet_hook and post_tweet_hook are very useful if you want to push your twtxt file to a remote server. The following examples are just some ideas, basically the sky is the limit.

Transmit the the latest tweet via curl to an http endpoint:

post_tweet_hook = "tail -1 {twtfile} | curl -s -d @- -d 'name=foo' -d 'password=bar'"

Publish your twtfile on aws s3:

post_tweet_hook = "aws s3 cp {twtfile} s3:// --cache-control 'max-age=60,public'"

Update your git hosted twtfile before tweeting and push it afterwards:

pre_tweet_hook = "cd ~/git/website && git pull --rebase --prune"
post_tweet_hook = "cd ~/git/website && git commit -m tweet twtxt.txt && git push"


If you're not happy with the included templates, txtnix will parse user-supplied templates. Simple copy a template under $config_dir/templates/ (for example ~/.config/templates/ on Linux) and call txtnix with --template myown. Templates are written with Mojo::Template, you can find an example in the source package at templates/


Copyright 2015 Mario Domgoergen <>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.