A point to point color terminal video chat.
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A point to point color terminal video chat.


and here's a still image


Arch users can install p2pvc-git from the AUR


  • OpenCV
  • PortAudio
  • ncurses


 sudo apt-get install libncurses-dev libopencv-dev portaudio19-dev

OS X (with Homebrew):

 brew tap homebrew/science
 brew install ncurses portaudio opencv

OS X (with MacPorts):

 sudo port install ncurses portaudio opencv


Make the binary.


Video chat with yourself to test the camera. (Be sure to mute your mic or speakers or you'll get feedback!)

./p2pvc -v


Audio only

./p2pvc [ip address]


-v enables video chat.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v

-d sets the dimension of the video in [width]x[height] format.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -d 200x50

-A and -V allow you to specify the port the audio and video run on respectively.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -A 1337 -V 1338

-b displays incoming bandwidth in the top-right of the video display.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -b

-e to print stderr (which is by default routed to /dev/null).

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -e

-B renders in Braille Unicode characters. Note that the dimensions must both be divisible by 4.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -B -d 200x152

-I sets the threshold for turning pixels on (when using the -B flag). Ranges from 1 - 99, defaults 25.

./p2pvc [ip address] -v -B -I 50

-E sets and edge filter with [lower]:[upper] bounds.

./p2pvc [ip address] -v -B -E 100:300

-c sets the color of the video. Used in the form [r]:[g]:[b]. Each color ranges from 0 - 100.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -c 0:100:0

-s sets the saturation of the colors in the video. 0.0 is greyscale, 2.0 is default.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -s 3.0

-a sets custom ASCII character maps. Repeat characters to weight their frequency.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -a " ......#####"

-r sets the refresh rate.

 ./p2pvc [ip address] -v -r 10


Known problems and resolutions

Black and white

This happens when p2pvc thinks the terminal doesn't have enough colors to display all 256. Try export TERM=xterm-256color or equivalent to get it working.

No connection made

p2pvc does not get around NAT, so you may need to port forward. It uses ports 55555 and 55556 for audio and video respectively.