Yes, you read it right.
timg is a text mode image viewer and can also play videos. But, but, how is that possible?
timg uses suitable Unicode characters and also the colour support that is available in many terminal emulators.
timg is developed by Henner Zeller, and in 2017 I wrote a blog post about creating a snap package for
timg. A snap package was created and published on the Snap Store. I even registered the name
timg although some time later it became much stricter to register a package name if you are not the maintainer. In addition, it was so early days for snap packages that I think you could not setup the license of the software in the package, and it always came up as Proprietary.
Fast forward from 2017 to a couple of weeks ago, a user posted an issue that the snap package of
timg does not have the proper license. I was pinged through that Github issue and decided to update the
snapcraft.yaml to whatever is now supported in snap packages. Apparently, you can now set the license in snap packages. Moreover,
timg has been updated and can play many more image and video formats. I figured out the latter because
timg now has a lot more dependencies than before.
What use would you have of a text mode image viewer and video player?
- Security. The snap package at least does not have access to the X11 server, nor the network, neither the audio server.
- Convenience. You are on a remote server (like a VPS) and do not want to
ssh -Xafter you install an X11 application with all the dependencies.
- Workflow. The image you view, is part of your text session. No popup windows that open and dissappear.
Very cool! I wish there was sound, too, but I guess that’s too much to ask from a terminal.