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twtxt in Docker (
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twtxt is a decentralised, minimalist microblogging service for hackers.

So you want to get some thoughts out on the internet in a convenient and slick way while also following the gibberish of others? Instead of signing up at a closed and/or regulated microblogging platform, getting your status updates out with twtxt is as easy as putting them in a publicly accessible text file. The URL pointing to this file is your identity, your account. twtxt then tracks these text files, like a feedreader, and builds your unique timeline out of them, depending on which files you track. The format is simple, human readable, and integrates well with UNIX command line utilities.


tl;dr: twtxt is a CLI tool, as well as a format specification for self-hosted flat file based microblogging.

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  • A beautiful command-line interface thanks to click.
  • Asynchronous HTTP requests thanks to asyncio/aiohttp and Python 3.
  • Integrates well with existing tools (scp, cut, echo, date, etc.) and your shell.
  • Don’t like the official client? Tweet using echo -e "`date -Im`\tHello world!" >> twtxt.txt!


Release version:

1) Make sure that you have at least Python 3.4.1 installed.

2) Install this package using pip:

.. code::

$ pip3 install twtxt

Tip: Instead of installing the package globally (as root), you may want to install this package locally by passing --user to pip, make sure that you include ~/.local/bin/ in your $PATH. Using pyvenv and running twtxt from within a virtualenv is also an option!

3) Run twtxt quickstart. :)

Development version:

1) Clone the git repository:

.. code::

$ git clone

2) Install the package via pip in developer mode:

.. code::

$ pip3 install -e twtxt/

3) Running tests:

Run the tests against all supported python versions:

.. code::

$ make test

Run the tests against a specific python version:

.. code::

$ tox -e py34


twtxt features an excellent command-line interface thanks to click <>_. Don’t hesitate to append --help or call commands without arguments to get information about all available commands, options and arguments.

Here are a few of the most common operations you may encounter when using twtxt:

Follow a source:

.. code::

$ twtxt follow bob
✓ You’re now following bob.

List all sources you’re following:

.. code::

$ twtxt following
➤ alice @
➤ bob @

Unfollow a source:

.. code::

$ twtxt unfollow bob
✓ You’ve unfollowed bob.

Post a status update:

.. code::

$ twtxt tweet "Hello, this is twtxt!"

View your timeline:

.. code::

$ twtxt timeline

➤ bob (5 minutes ago):
This is my first "tweet". :)

➤ alice (2 hours ago):
I wonder if this is a thing?

View feed of specific source:

.. code::

$ twtxt view twtxt

➤ twtxt (a day ago):
Fiat Lux!

.. code::

$ twtxt view

➤ (a day ago):
Fiat Lux!


twtxt uses a simple INI-like configuration file. It’s recommended to use twtxt quickstart to create it. On Linux twtxt checks ~/.config/twtxt/config for its configuration. OSX uses ~/Library/Application Support/twtxt/config. Consult get_app_dir <>_ to find out the config directory for other operating systems.

Here’s an example conf file, showing every currently supported option:

.. code::

nick = buckket
twtfile = ~/twtxt.txt
twturl =
check_following = True
use_pager = False
porcelain = False
limit_timeline = 20
timeout = 5.0
sorting = descending
post_tweet_hook = "scp {twtfile}"
# post_tweet_hook = "aws s3 {twtfile} s3:// --acl public-read --storage-class REDUCED_REDUNDANCY --cache-control 'max-age=60,public'"

bob =
alice =

[twtxt] section:

| Option: | Type: | Default: | Help: |
| nick | TEXT | | your nick, will be displayed in your timeline |
| twtfile | PATH | | path to your local twtxt file |
| twturl | TEXT | | URL to your public twtxt file |
| check_following | BOOL | True | try to resolve URLs when listing followings |
| use_pager | BOOL | False | use a pager (less) to display your timeline |
| porcelain | BOOL | False | style output in an easy-to-parse format |
| limit_timeline | INT | 20 | limit amount of tweets shown in your timeline |
| timeout | FLOAT | 5.0 | maximal time a http request is allowed to take |
| sorting | TEXT | descending | sort timeline either descending or ascending |
| post_tweet_hook | TEXT | | command to be executed after tweeting |

post_tweet_hook is very useful if you want to push your twtxt file to a remote (web) server. Check the example above tho see how it’s used with scp.

[followings] section:

This section holds all your followings as nick, URL pairs. You can edit this section manually or use the follow/unfollow commands of twtxt for greater comfort.

Format specification

The central component of sharing information, i.e. status updates, with twtxt is a simple text file containing all the status updates of a single user. One status per line, each of which is equipped with an ISO 8601 date/time string followed by a TAB character (\t) to separate it from the actual text. A specific ordering of the statuses is not mandatory.

The file must be encoded with UTF-8 and must use LF (\n) as line separators.

A status should consist of up to 140 characters, longer status updates are technically possible but discouraged. twtxt will warn the user if a newly composed status update exceeds this limit, and it will also shorten incoming status updates by default. Also note that a status may not contain any control characters.

Take a look at this example file:

.. code::

2016-02-04T13:30+01    You can really go crazy here! ┐(゚∀゚)┌
2016-02-01T11:00+01    This is just another example.
2015-12-12T12:00+01    Fiat lux!


twtxt is released under the MIT License. See the bundled LICENSE file for details.

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:alt: Latest version released on PyPi

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:alt: Build status of the master branch

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:alt: Test coverage

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:alt: Chat on gitter

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:alt: Package license

.. |demo| image::
:alt: Demo

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:alt: Documentation Status

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