This review looks at a third terminal-based image viewer that supports the Kitty Graphics Protocol. It’s named Chafa, shorthand for Character Art Facsimile. This is an image-to-text converter. It’s free and open source software written in the C programming language.
Chafa lets you view images as well as animated GIFs. Its core functionality is provided with a C library.
We first installed the Ubuntu package. At the time of writing this review, the package in Ubuntu’s repositories (Ubuntu 22.04) gives version 1.8.0 of Chafa. That isn’t the latest release of Chafa. And if you’re running an older version of Ubuntu, you get an even older version of Chafa. More importantly, basic support for the Kitty graphics protocol was not added until version 1.8.0.
Unless you’re running Ubuntu 22.04, we therefore don’t recommend installing the Ubuntu package. Instead, given that the project is releasing new versions on a very frequent basis, we prefer cloning the project’s GitHub repository and compiling the source code. It’s an easy process to follow.
If you’re installing Chafa on a vanilla Ubuntu system, you’ll need various packages installed first including libglib2.0-dev, libfreetype6-dev, autoconf, automake, libtool, pkg-config, git, make, and gcc
Next, clone the GitHub repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/hpjansson/chafa.git
Now change into the project’s directory and run the autogen.sh script to generate the configure script:
$ cd chafa
We can then compile the software. We are using the flag -j6 to speed up the compilation process.
$ make -j6
Install the software with the command:
$ sudo make install