Linux Candy: Boxes – command line ASCII boxes

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

Boxes is a command line program that draws a wide variety of boxes around input text. In essence, it’s a text filter, and works together with a text editor. Most major text editors support filters, including Vim, Emacs, and Jed. It can also be run from the command line as a standalone tool.

Filters are software that read input text from standard input, modify that text, and write the new text to standard output.

Boxes can draw shapes ranging from simple boxes to complex ASCII art.


You may find a packages for Boxes in your distribution’s repositories. For example, there’s a package for Boxes in the Arch User Repository. But if you need to compile the source code, the steps are very straightforward.

$ git clone
$ cd boxes
$ make
$ sudo cp doc/boxes.1 /usr/share/man/man1/boxes.1
$ sudo cp boxes-config /etc/boxes-config
$ sudo cp src/boxes /usr/bin/boxes

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Linux Candy
WallGenGenerate HQ poly wallpapers with a few arguments.
ASCIIQuariumEmbrace marine life from the terminal with beautiful ASCII art
ponysaycowsay reimplemention for ponies
cacafireColor ASCII fire
TernimalAnimated lifeform in the terminal
lolcatRainbows and unicorns
CMatrixncurses program that simulates the display from “The Matrix”
nyancatTerminal-based Pop Tart Cat Animation
xcowsayDisplays a cow on your desktop with message
tetrisTile-matching puzzle video game in your terminal
Steam LocomotiveC program written in 295 lines. It's harmless fun
gtiTypo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive
onekoAnimal chasing fun
BoxesCommand line ASCII boxes
BuohOnline strips comics reader
pipes.shAnimated pipes terminal screensaver
VarietyWallpaper manager supporting many desktops and wallpaper sources
eDEX-UISci-fi computer terminal emulator and system monitor
XDecorationsAdd some festive cheer to your desktop
EvolvotronInteractive generative art
HollywoodFill your console with Hollywood melodrama technobabble
PywalGenerate color schemes on the fly
XScreenSaverFramework and collection of screensavers
chucknorrisChuck Norris jokes in your terminal
BobRossQuotesCollection of quotes from Bob Ross
WallpaperDownloaderDownload, change, and manage wallpapers
cornyjokesCorny jokes for the terminal
FondoFind beautiful wallpapers from Unsplash
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.