Terminal Image Viewer

Terminal Image Viewer – display images in a terminal

In Operation

Here’s a couple of images displayed with Terminal Image Viewer in the terminal.

The images are using 24 bit colors, but there’s a command-line flag which lets you reduce the color palette down to 256. The program employs a good algorithm to optimize images.

tiv - milky way
Click for full size image
tiv - cute dog
Click for full size image

The third image shows the program displaying a directory of images. This mode is automatically chosen if you view more than 1 image. You can configure the number of thumbnails that are shown in a column. By default, it defaults to 3 images.

tiv - directory
Click for full size image

The program also has the option to use Unicode Teletext/legacy characters, the option to define the maximum height and width, and turn off image optimization. This project uses Unicode half-block characters.


Terminal Image Viewer might be useful if you need to view images in the terminal. Not all terminals are compatible though. For example, images are poorly reproduced with Hyper, but work well in GNOME Terminal.

If, instead, you’re looking to be able to view images from the command-line (but not displaying them in the terminal itself), we strongly recommend feh, a fantastic image viewer and cataloger aimed primarily at console users. It came top in our recent survey of the best image viewers.

Website: github.com/stefanhaustein/TerminalImageViewer
Developer: Stefan Haustein
License: Apache License 2.0

Terminal Image Viewer is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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

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