viu – Terminal Image Viewer with Kitty Graphics Protocol support

In Operation

Here’s a stunning image of the picturesque city of Budapest displayed in the terminal using viu. It’s displayed in high resolution.

Click image for full size

If you view the image full size, you’ll see we ran viu without any options. Here’s an image showing the available options:

viu options

You can see that viu supports viewing animated GIFs although playback isn’t perfect.

The software also supports transparency and custom dimensions (the -w and -h flags let you alter the aspect ratio of the image). There’s also native iTerm support if you use macOS.


viu lets you view high resolution images direct from your terminal. There are quite a few use cases where this is handy. For example, if you want to view images over SSH, or don’t want to leave your terminal.

We’d love to see a few more features added such as the ability to display a directory of images in a grid view although if you want to preview lots of images, we recommend using Ranger. This is a file manager which offers previews supporting the Kitty Graphics Protocol.

If you view images using viu in a terminal emulator which doesn’t support the Kitty Graphics Protocol you’ll miss out on the high resolution graphics.

Note, it’s not only the Kitty terminal emulator that supports the Kitty Graphics Protocol. Other terminal emulators that support this protocol include WezTerm, Konsole (animation and transfer modes other than direct are not supported) and wayst.

Developer: Atanas Yankov
License: MIT License

viu is written in Rust. Learn Rust 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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