Monday, 2 March 2009

Twittering With Ubuntu

Over the past 6 months, the popularity of Twitter has sky rocketed, with the worlds most biggest celebrities using it - With @Obama being one of the top users with the highest amount of followers.

So what is Twitter? Twitter is known as a 'micro-blogging' website that allows the user to send a short message (know as a 'Tweet') to their friends (known as 'Followers'). The idea is to update what it is you are doing, thinking, working etc. at that moment in time. Your status update can contain a maximum of 140 characters, and once sent, anyone that is following you will receive your update. If one of your followers updates their status, you will then receive their updates. It is a really quick, and simple way of staying in touch with your friends, family and co-workers.

Twitter Clients

Rather then going to every time you want to update your status, or view your friends updates, you can download a Twitter Client. This is a small application that will let you update, view updates, send Direct Messages etc. A few of them have more features then the others, and below are the most popular ones available for Ubuntu.



gTwitter is a simple GTK based application for the GNOME environment. gTwitter is inspired upon the Mac twitter client Twitterrific
At the moment, gTwitter is still in its Beta stages, so there are only the basic features that are available, which include reading both your friends, and the public timeline (with users avatars) and updating your status.
To install gTwitter:
sudo apt-get install gtwitter

You will now be able to run gTwitter from Applications -> Internet -> gTwitter


Twitux for the GNOME desktop environment, is very similar in design and looks of gTwitter. When you recive a new tweet, you will be notified by a notification bubble.
To install Twitux:
sudo apt-get install twitux

You will now be able to run gTwitter from Applications -> Internet -> Twitux

Adobe Air Clients

There are many Clients that run using Adobe Air. View the following post for instructions on installing and using Adobe Air on Ubuntu.


Twhirl being one of the more popular clients to run on Adobe Air, has many features that other clients do not have. You have the ability to choose from many different themes, and to change how the application behaves. Twhirl gives you the ability to login not only to Twitter, but to, FriendFeed and Seesmic. With Direct Messaging, Tweets, favorite tweets, search, archive and many more features, I think this is the best Twitter Client out for Adobe air.

To download Twhirl, you need Adobe Air installed. Once installed: Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Twhirl 0.9


Tweet Deck

Tweet Deck is a unique way of interacting with Twitter. This client will enable you to categorize your tweets into different columns. You could have your Tweets in one column, your replies in another, and your direct messages in a third column. If you are a Twitter-Whore, then this is the client for you! Within TweetDeck, you can customize to which columns you want, and where you want them. Once an update is available (eg, you get a new Direct Message) the columns will automatically update.

TweetDeck TweetDeck TweetDeck

After installing Adobe Air, Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Tweet Deck



Spaz is a simple to use Twitter client. Included with Spaz are a number of different themes to get the look and feel that you want. This client comes with built in short URL creation (,, etc.) - The shorter your URL, the more characters you have to tweet! To find out what the Spaz dev-team are up to, follow them on twitter here: @Spaz

To download, Rick Click, Save As the following link: Download Spaz

Alert Thingy

Alert Thingy brings all of your latest updates from all the most popular social networking sites (Digg, Facebook, & many more).

Alert Thingy

To download, Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Alert Thingy

FireFox Plugin Clients

Don't want more applications running then you really need? Well there are a few plugins available for FireFox that will allow you to update your status


Twitter Fox For UbuntuTwitterFoxis a plugin for Firefox that adds a small icon on to the status bar, which will notify you when any of your followers posts a new tweet. This client comes with the ability to send and delete, and re-tweet your tweets.

Twitter Bar

Twitter Bar turns your address bar into a Twitter Bar! This is a very simple methord of posting to twitter. Simply write your tweet in the address bar, and click the twitter icon, or end the message with --post
Twitter Bar

Command Line Clients / Methods

Yes, you can even update your twitter account from the command line! This is great news for if you are running a server, or you just prefer life without the graphical user interface.


The most popular way of doing this is by using cURL. If you haven't already got cURL installed, then you really should download and install it right away! It can be a very useful and powerful program.
sudo apt-get install curl

Now you are ready to update your Twitter account. Using cURL, you are able to update pretty much everything using Twitter's API. To update your Twitter stats, you can use the following command:
curl --basic --user "USERNAME:PASSWORD" -d status="TWEET MESSAGE"

I recommend using HTTPS as you are sending your password over the net...


Using wget to update your status is very similar to that of cURL:
wget --keep-session-cookies --http-user=USERNAME --http-password=PASSWORD --post-data="status=MESSAGE"


Unlike the previous two in this section, TTYtter is a command line based Client, with the functionality to send and relive tweets, direct messages, follow / un-follow a user, and re-tweeting. For more in-depth information and instructions on how to install this client, please visit their website at:

I hope that this post has made things a little easier for you when it comes to picking what Twitter Client you want to work with. If you have any questions about the above clients, or you would like to tell me about any other clients that you use, then please use the comment section below.

If you would like to receive updates from JamsUbuntu, then you can follow us on @JamsubuntuBlog
And if you would like to see what I am up to, you can follow my personal account @HomeMadeJam


  1. Honestly a blog about twitter clients for Linux and you don't have gwibber?

  2. I will surely use some of this twitter tools to promote my twitter account. I am now participating in an SEO contest. Thanks for following me.

  3. Gwibber 0.9.2 is one of the best

  4. I am having Lots of interest over the computer and the
    technology. It makes me a freak. Always trying something new around the
    computer & highly addict to learn new things. I have learned lot of things from your article. Thanks