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fbwhiptail, whiptail for the framebuffer

September 26, 2018 — BarryK

I have posted recently about tools to create GUIs that run on the Linux framebuffer:

Today, I was reading the latest blog post at the Purism site (the guys who are developing the Librem 5 phone):

Where they mentioned "fbwhiptail", which is whiptail modified to run on the Linux framebuffer. Whiptail is like 'dialog', a tool to popup GUI windows from shell scripts. They both create "text mode" GUIs, dialog uses 'ncurses' and whiptail uses 'newt'.

Interesting, fbwhiptail compiles to 'fbwhiptail' and 'gtkwhiptail', so will also work with cairo and gtk. Here is the project page:

The same developer also has it on github:

I have tested it... there is a lot of functionality missing, compared with whiptail.  Most of the dialogs are not yet implemented. I tested a simple "--msgbox" and "--yesno". There does not seem to be any automatic text wrap, the <height> and <width> parameters seem to do nothing, text-input only, my mouse did not work. There seems to be a fixed theme.

Conclusion: in it's current state, it probably suits their simple need, however, for me LittlevGL is way ahead -- just need to solve the non-functional evdev keyboard input.

EDIT 20180927:
Oh wow! I posted an "issue" to the fbwhiptail github page, and the developer, Youness, posted a very detailed reply:

...yes, I see that fbwhiptail is tailored to their particular need. The extra info is good too, for anyone who might like to use it.

Tags: linux