Projects / twin


Twin is a text-mode window environment. It turns a text terminal into a X11-style display with window manager, terminal windows, and can also serve as display for remote applications. Each terminal window provides the functions of a text-mode Linux console. Twin runs on X11, libggi, itself, the Linux console, and any termcap/ncurses-compatible tty. It supports multiple simultaneous displays, and can attach/detach each display on the fly.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  25 Feb 2012 03:17

    Release Notes: This release fixes several bugs specific to 64-bit platforms, a bug in Linux console RAW keyboard support, and a numerical overflow in 'twsysmon'. It also adds an explicit copyright to all source files.

    •  02 Dec 2007 08:27

      Release Notes: This release fixeds build errors using gcc 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2. It also fixes a problem related to VT-switch in the raw keyboard driver for the Linux console. Several 64-bit achitecture issues were fixed, including a bug causing twin server to hang in a busy loop for several seconds. Dead keys and compose key are now supported by --hw=X11 and --hw=gfx drivers. twsysmon was updated to show the improved CPU and disk usage statistics found in Linux kernel 2.6.

      •  18 Jun 2003 21:18

        Release Notes: The raw keyboard is now supported by the Linux console driver.

        •  27 Mar 2003 09:41

          Release Notes: Several bugs were fixed, including a buffer overrun in twdisplay, a memory leak in 'Reload RC', a missing stdarg.h includ in the libTw headers, compilation errors in hw_tty.c, and a problem with cut and paste pasting when clicking on the window border. getpt() support was added along with better error reporting in the pty code, 'make uninstall', a new shinyMetal_6x13.xpm theme. The twdisplay now autoprobes module HW drivers, support for utf8 on the Linux console was added, and more libTutf character sets were included. 'make install DEBUG=y' no longer strips binaries.

          •  25 Oct 2002 17:47

            Release Notes: This release fixes several bugs, including missing libtool support, an AVL trees remove bug, partially broken keypad on -hw=X11, broken mouse options on -hw=tty and broken {bg|root}-as-root options on -hw=gfx, and a server side bug in libTw widget repaint. Also, new features were added: all programs now accept options as either -<option> or --<option>, the twin server also autoprobes hw driver modules, there are new -hw=gfx themes "kde2", "goldenblue", and "mac", a new "9x19u" X11 unicode font, a greatly enhanced libTT library, and libTw autofocus subwidgets.

            Recent comments

            31 Mar 2011 10:31 paperinik

            Thanks for the appreciation, tallship!
            I guess one of the reasons is that I am not actively working on twin anymore... just some sporadic bugfixes.
            And let's not forget that twin is very " retro' ": using text windows when also your mobile has a graphical interface is, at best, a small niche.

            08 Feb 2011 21:57 tallship

            I don't understand why this project has fallen off the map, so to speak.

            There is no corollary to this product, as it runs nicely on my machines, full screen on a pager screen under KDE or XFCE (nice).

            Within Twin itself, I have several windows running, typically w/SSH sessions to other machines I'm managing, where I'll run screen or tmux sessions.

            Twin is a remarkable product, the latest release and tutorials/docs for which can be found at the author's website:

            The current release at the time of this writing is 0.6.2

            I am so surprised that there aren't several products based upon this software, which had its humble beginnings on <cough, cough> DOS, of all things.


            21 Jan 2003 06:53 ravenmorris

            Re: Ah, Sweet Relief

            > Glad to see this new release gets rid of
            > the blinking. I'm in heaven now! I spend
            > most of my time in the console, and a
            > "window manager" for text mode is
            > wonderful. Great work -- btw, where can
            > I find info on increasing the size of my
            > console (i.e. much more than the
            > 80xwhatever default)?

            Check out the Framebuffer HOWTO, or look at /usr/src/linux/Documentation/Framebuffer.txt or whatever it is called. I suggest setting your console to 1024x768x8bit ... that provides good size and speed (unless you can get it hardware accellerated, then use 24-bit).

            18 Jul 2000 05:57 paperinik

            The connection to is having big problems recently :-(
            You will surely have more luck using one of the mirrors:


            25 May 2000 18:25 paperinik

            Multiple simultaneous displays
            I was expecting much more feedback then what I got about running twin with multiple simultaneous displays...
            Come on, let me know your opinions on the new features I added!


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