pixter is a program for display small images directly in a terminal emulator
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by Erik Osheim


Pixter is a little toy program for display small images directly in your terminal using xterm color code sequences and spaces. It uses two space characters per "pixel" (since most fixed-width fonts are around twice as tall as wide), and supports 216 (6x6x6 color cube) colors.

Images that are too large for the screen will be resampled to fit.

Possible uses include visual status output from scripts, exciting graphical error messages, etc.


Pixter requires Python and the Python Imaging Library (PIL).

Your terminal emulator must support xterm colors. Many terminals do (e.g. xterm, Gnome Terminal, iTerm) but some don't. Sorry.

I have no idea if it's possible to use this on Windows, but I doubt it.


This code is in the public domain.

Future Work

Only color images are currently supported, and some color modes may not work (I'm just using PIL's getpixel method). True alpha blending isn't supported (all non-zero alpha values are treated as 255), and it'd be nice to have an option to set a background color (right now your terminal's default background color is used).