Twitter CLI Build Status Dependency Status

A command-line power tool for Twitter.

The CLI attempts to mimic the Twitter SMS commands wherever possible, however it offers many more commands than are available via SMS.


gem install t


Because Twitter requires OAuth for most of its functionality, you'll need to register a new application at Once you create your application make sure to set the "Application Type" to "Read, Write and Access direct messages", otherwise you won't be able to post status updates or send direct messages via the CLI.

Once you have registered your application, you'll be given a consumer key and secret, which you can use to authorize your Twitter account.


This will open a new browser window where you can authenticate to Twitter and then enter the returned PIN back into the terminal. Assuming that works, you'll be authorized to use the CLI.

You can see a list of all the accounts you've authorized.

t accounts

  thG9EfWoADtIr6NjbL9ON (default)

Notice that one account is marked as the default. To change the default use the set subcommand, passing either just the username, if it's unambiguous, or the username and consumer key pair, like so:

t set default sferik UDfNTpOz5ZDG4a6w7dIWj

Account information is stored in the YAML-formatted file ~/.trc.

Usage Examples

Typing t help will give you a list of all the available commands. You can type t help TASK to get help for a specific command.

t help

Update your status

t update "I'm tweeting from the command line. Isn't that special?"

Note: If your tweet includes special characters (e.g. !), make sure to wrap it in single quotes instead of double quotes, so those characters are not interpreted by your shell.

Retrieve stats about users

t users -l @sferik @gem

Follow users

t follow @sferik @gem

List your friends (ordered by number of followers)

t friends -lf

List your leaders (people you follow who don't follow you back)

t leaders -lf

Unfollow everyone you follow who doesn't follow you back

t leaders | xargs t unfollow

Follow back everyone who follows you

t disciples | xargs t follow

Follow roulette: randomly follow someone who follows you

t disciples | gshuf | head -1 | xargs t follow

Create a list

t list create presidents

Add users to a list

t list add presidents @BarackObama @Jasonfinn

Create a list that contains today's date in the name

t list create following-`date "+%Y-%m-%d"`

Add everyone you're following to a list

t followings | xargs t list add following-`date "+%Y-%m-%d"`

Display members of a list

t list members following-`date "+%Y-%m-%d"`

Count the number of Twitter employees

t list members twitter team | wc -l

Search Twitter for the 20 most recent Tweets that match a specified query

t search all "query"

Search Tweets you've favorited that match a specified query

t search favorites "query"

Search Tweets mentioning you that match a specified query

t search mentions "query"

Search Tweets you've retweeted that match a specified query

t search retweets "query"

Search Tweets in your timeline that match a specified query

t search timeline "query"

Search Tweets in a user's timeline that match a specified query

t search user @sferik "query"


  • Multithreaded: Whenever possible, Twitter API requests are made in parallel, resulting in faster performance for bulk operations.
  • Designed for Unix: All output is designed to be piped to other Unix utilities, like grep, cut, awk, bc, wc, and xargs for advanced processing.
  • 99% C0 Code Coverage: Extremely well tested, with a 3:1 test-to-code ratio.

Relationship Terminology

There is some ambiguity in the terminology used to describe relationships on Twitter. For example, some people use the term "friends" to mean the set of everyone you follow, while we use it to mean just the subset of people who follow you back (i.e., friendship is bidirectional). Here is the full table of terminology used throughout t:

                          |                         |                         |
                          |     YOU FOLLOW THEM     |  YOU DON'T FOLLOW THEM  |
|                         |                         |                         |                         |
|     THEY FOLLOW YOU     |         friends         |        disciples        |        followers        |
|                         |                         |
|  THEY DON'T FOLLOW YOU  |         leaders         |
                          |                         |
                          |       followings        |



The twitter gem previously contained a command-line interface, up until version 0.5.0, when it was removed. This project is offered as a sucessor to that effort, however it is a clean room implementation that contains none of John Nunemaker's original code.


In the spirit of free software, everyone is encouraged to help improve this project.

Here are some ways you can contribute:

  • by using alpha, beta, and prerelease versions
  • by reporting bugs
  • by suggesting new features
  • by writing or editing documentation
  • by writing specifications
  • by writing code (**no patch is too small**: fix typos, add comments, clean up inconsistent whitespace)
  • by refactoring code
  • by closing issues
  • by reviewing patches

Submitting an Issue

We use the GitHub issue tracker to track bugs and features. Before submitting a bug report or feature request, check to make sure it hasn't already been submitted. You can indicate support for an existing issue by voting it up. When submitting a bug report, please include a Gist that includes a stack trace and any details that may be necessary to reproduce the bug, including your gem version, Ruby version, and operating system. Ideally, a bug report should include a pull request with failing specs.

Submitting a Pull Request

  1. Fork the project.
  2. Create a topic branch.
  3. Implement your feature or bug fix.
  4. Add specs for your feature or bug fix.
  5. Run bundle exec rake spec. If your changes are not 100% covered, go back to step 4.
  6. Commit and push your changes.
  7. Submit a pull request. Please do not include changes to the gemspec, version, or history file. (If you want to create your own version for some reason, please do so in a separate commit.)

Supported Ruby Versions

This library aims to support and is tested against the following Ruby implementations:

  • Ruby 1.8.7
  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Ruby 1.9.3
  • Rubinius

If something doesn't work on one of these interpreters, it should be considered a bug.

This library may inadvertently work (or seem to work) on other Ruby implementations, however support will only be provided for the versions listed above.

If you would like this library to support another Ruby version, you may volunteer to be a maintainer. Being a maintainer entails making sure all tests run and pass on that implementation. When something breaks on your implementation, you will be personally responsible for providing patches in a timely fashion. If critical issues for a particular implementation exist at the time of a major release, support for that Ruby version may be dropped.


Copyright (c) 2011 Erik Michaels-Ober. See LICENSE for details.