How to use Twitter from the command line

Aug 23, 2010 - 5 Comments

Twitter-iconOften overlooked, the terminal can be used to accomplish all sorts of fun stuff. Something that you may find handy, is the ability to Tweet using built in Mac OS X command line utilities. Now of course this is not a full featured Twitter client by any means, but if you are looking for potential geek “cred” this is a fun trick to demonstrate.

Copy and paste the entire text in the grey boxes. When you paste it in your, it will show up as one single line.

To display a list of tweets (replace osxdaily with a twitter username of your choice):
curl -s | grep '' | cut -d">" -f2 | cut -d"<" -f1

To update your twitter status:
curl -u your_user:your_password -d status='This is My update'

That's it! Imagine all of the fun automation possibilities !

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Posted by: chrisk in Command Line, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Murphy says:

    I used something similar to “schedule” a tweet.

    That tip on listing the tweets would be great with geektool.

  2. Russell says:

    Nice tip,
    But perhaps a little late. This relies on twitter’s basic auth (plain text username + password), which is being switched off on August 31st.

    Their preferred authorisation method is oAuth, which will be a lot more tricky to use from the command line :)

  3. Mike says:

    To overcome the oAuth issue and to keep continuing twitter from the command line, have a look at ttytter (perl script).
    This runs on any platform that supports Perl ;-)

  4. Den says:

    The first one is not working. Whats the shame

  5. Wasim says:

    I also had problems after Twitter switched over to oAuth. I found this to be a good solution:

    This is like curl, but made specifically for twitter, plus it uses oAuth!

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