This question was closed due to being too broad, so I'll be more specific with regard to ASCII animations here =)

Are there any ASCII animations that can be used as screensavers - either in the TUI or in the command-line?

  • What in the world is a TUI? – guntbert Dec 1 '15 at 19:39
  • 2
    @guntbert Text User Interface =) – TellMeWhy Dec 1 '15 at 19:40
  • For example the command-line... – TellMeWhy Dec 1 '15 at 19:41
  • Why not call it CLI, as everybody else does? – guntbert Dec 1 '15 at 20:28
  • 1
    Well, thats just a CLI - but I found out since that interfaces like ncurses are called TUI, which makes sense as we have no command line there but they are text based (see nm-tui for instance). – guntbert Dec 2 '15 at 19:56


The classic screensaver in ASCII.

enter image description here

Usage :

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pipeseroni/pipes.sh/master/pipes.sh 
chmod +x pipes.sh

Installation :

git clone https://github.com/pipeseroni/pipes.sh.git
cd pipes.sh
sudo make install

Options :

 -t #

Type of pipes. Refer to the documentation to see them all.

-f [20-100]


-s [5-15]

Probability of a straight fitting.


Reset after x characters, 0 if no limit.


Random starting point.


No bold effect.


No color.

Refer to the documentation for more information.

  • 1
    The best one =) – TellMeWhy Nov 18 '15 at 15:45

cmatrix is another great one! Install it with:

sudo apt-get install cmatrix

The manpage description on it:

CMatrix(1)                                                    General Commands Manual                                                   CMatrix(1)

       CMatrix - simulates the display from "The Matrix"

       cmatrix [-abBflohnsVx] [-u update] [-C color]

       Shows a scrolling 'Matrix' like screen in Linux

       -a     Asynchronous scroll

       -b     Bold characters on

       -B     All bold characters (overrides -b)

       -f     Force the linux $TERM type to be on

       -l     Linux mode (sets "matrix.fnt" font in console)

       -o     Use old-style scrolling

       -h, -? Print usage and exit

       -n     No bold characters (overrides -b and -B)

       -s     "Screensaver" mode, exits on first keystroke

       -x     X window mode, use if your xterm is using mtx.pcf

       -V     Print version information and exit

       -u delay
              Screen update delay 0 - 9, default 4

       -C color
              Use this color for matrix (default green).  Valid colors are green, red, blue, white, yellow, cyan, magenta and black.

       The following keystrokes are available during execution (unavailable in -s mode)

       a      Toggle asynchronous scroll

       b      Random bold characters

       B      All bold characters

       n      Turn off bold characters

       0-9    Adjust update speed

       ! @ # $ % ^ & )
              Change  the  color  of  the  matrix to the corresponding color: ! - red, @ - green, # - yellow, $ - blue, % - magenta, ^ - cyan, & -
              white, ) - black.

       q      Quit the program

       This program is very CPU intensive.  Don't be surprised if it eats up over 40% of your CPU at times.

       The CMatrix homepage is currently at http://www.asty.org/cmatrix.

       Chris Allegretta (chrisa@asty.org), with a lot of help from many other people. See README file for details.

                                                                  Mon May 3 1999                                                        CMatrix(1)


Normal Terminal running:

cmatrix -s -b

enter image description here


cmatrix -s -b -l

enter image description here

Note: Although I do not show it in the images here, it is animated.

And if you want it to work like a proper screensaver (though the -l option won't work) then check out this answer.


This ASCII animation can be used a screensaver:

Live aquarium

enter image description here

You can find out how to install it here.



Termsaver is a text-based screensaver embedding various animation :

 urlfetcher     displays url contents with typing animation
 starwars       runs the asciimation Star Wars movie
 matrix         displays a matrix movie alike screensaver
 jokes4all      displays recent jokes from jokes4all.net (NSFW)
 clock          displays a digital clock on screen
 programmer     displays source code in typing animation
 quotes4all     displays recent quotes from quotes4all.net
 rssfeed        displays rss feed information
 rfc            randomly displays RFC contents
 sysmon         displays a graphical system monitor
 randtxt        displays word in random places on screen
 asciiartfarts  displays ascii images from asciiartfarts.com (NSFW)

(From man termsaver)

Installation :

 sudo apt-get install termsaver

Or install using Ubuntu Software center :

Install via the software center

Usage :

 termsaver matrix

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here



sudo apt-get install bsdgames
worms -d 190 -n 4

enter image description here

rain -d 180

enter image description here


ASCII Saver – Screensaver for terminals. This is my attempt to run some animation while there is no I/O on a terminal.enter image description here


zone-mode in emacs can be used as a screensaver. If you care about the mode line burned onto your screen then you are not an emacs user!

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