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If you’ve ever wanted a super-slim, super-lightweight way to use Twitter, you’ve probably thought about using the command line (Windows) or Terminal (Mac). I love using command line applications. Part of it may be my retro-technical (techno-hipster?) love of things as they used to be, but part of it is efficiency. Command line applications aren’t bloated applications that take forever to launch.

Installing Oysttyer

The Twitter command line application of choice these days is Oysttyer, an open-source fork of the popular but now dead TTYtter. Oysttyer is a Perl application. For Windows users, you’ll need to have Perl installed on your machines; for Mac users, it’s built-in.

Download a copy of Oysttyer from its Github repository here. Once you’ve downloaded it, follow the instructions and get your Twitter developer API key here. After you’ve obtained your API key, simply embed it in the launch command for your script according to the directions.


Oysttyer will walk you through a simple setup process.

So What Does It Do?

My preferred use of Oysttyer is for super-lightweight monitoring of my Twitter stream for mentions/replies:

oysttyer replies

I can read and respond very quickly from a command line, without running a browser or a mobile app:


Wouldn’t a Mobile App/Web App Be Easier?

Yes. This is a specific use-case for people who live in and love the command line, or for people who have a machine that doesn’t support a browser well. For example, if you’ve got a Raspberry Pi or other low power computer, this is a super-efficient way to use Twitter that doesn’t require a lot of computing power.

Oysttyer is not convenient for the average user who loves the point-and-click/tap friendly user interface.

Enjoy Oysttyer for what it is; if you have a use-case for it, make the most of it. If you don’t, then try it out just to see how it works and then move to the Twitter environment you prefer best.

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