November 2, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Clients for Ubuntu / Linux

It is not always easy to find applications for Linux, so came across this review of 9 Twitter clients. With the effects of Hurricane Sandy hitting the U.S. east coast, many people have been keeping up to date with Twitter on their phones and PCs. Below is the review...


Polly is a multi-column Twitter app for which OMG! readers chose a new name for last year. Since then, Polly learned to update your tweets in real time and developer Conscious User is planning add polish to Polly with reduced memory usage, the move to GTK3, better integration into Unity and enhanced customisation options.

Meanwhile, Polly 0.93 pre-Alpha is still a very capable Twitter client. It offers support for multiple columns, multiple accounts and near-instant notifications for public tweets.
It’s definitely one of the best designed Twitter clients out there.
Polly can be installed from the developer’s personal PPA. The usual precautions about 3rd party software from potentially untested/untested sources apply.
Open up a terminal and execute:
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:conscioususer/polly-unstable
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install polly

  • website: to download

I rushed to the Synaptic Package Manager hoping to find some Twitter client applications (apps) right away but very unfortunately none were listed there. Then I did a little research and found some good Twitter clients for Linux that work on Ubuntu.

1. Twitux (download)
Twitux is a Twitter client for the Gnome desktop. The program features include view public, friends and mine timeline, send message, automatic login, add friend and system tray icon.

2. gTwitter (download)
gTwitter a simple GTK+ based application for Linux, designed to interact with Twitter web service. Its written using Mono/C# and some of GNOME dependant libraries. GUI is inspired by Mac client Twitterrific.

3. Spaz (download)
Spaz is a Twitter client for users who value free, open-source software, attractive design, and customizability. It is built entirely in XHTML and Javascript and can be styled using a custom CSS styling file. It is built on the Adobe AIR framework so to install it all you need to have is Adobe AIR on Ubuntu (See the end of the post for this tutorial)

4. Twhirl (download)
Twhirl is a desktop twitter client, based on the Adobe AIR platform. It is one of my favorite Twitter clients as it really very easy to use. Scroll down to see how to get this app working using Adobe AIR on Ubuntu.

5. TwitterFox (download)
TwitterFox is a Firefox Extension that displays updates from your friends and lets you update your status. This extension adds a tiny icon on the status bar that notifies you when your friends update their tweets. Also it has a small text input field to update your tweets. As Ubuntu already comes preinstalled with Firefox so installing this Twitter app is as easy as a pie.

6. Twitter Deskbar (download)
Twitter Deskbar is a Twitter app that integrates with the Gnome Deskbar and lets you post status updates right from your desktop. The installation requires you to have Deskbar widget for Gnome. For detailed instructions please use the download link provided.

7. Twitter Terminal
This is basically a hack for posting to Twitter using the Linux Terminal. You will need cURL ( a client for getting files from servers) to post to Twitter through the Terminal which can be installed using the following command:
sudo apt-get install curl
With cURL installed, you can post to Twitter from the terminal window by using the following syntax:
curl -u yourusername:yourpassword -d status="Your Message Here"
You will receive a response containing the XML coding for your post which acts as a confirmation that your post was submitted.

8. Alert Thingy (download)
Alert Thingy is basically an Adobe AIR app for FriendFeed but also works for Twitter as well. You can get status updates from your friends and can also post live status updates yourself.

9. Mitter ( Download)
Among mitter features are :

  • clean interface: simple and easy to use
  • supports docking on systray
  • nicely integrated with GNOME desktop
  • has console client
Bonus for Ubuntu users : mitter is also available from one-click-install portal

All of these apps work brilliantly on Ubuntu so you are good to go with any one of these.