Java library for creating text-based GUIs (by mabe02)

Lanterna Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to Lanterna

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better Lanterna alternative or higher similarity.

Lanterna reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of Lanterna. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-09-07.
  • Textual Web: TUIs for the Web
    9 projects | | 7 Sep 2023
    I wrote a TUI before for work, entirely of my own volition and for my own near-exclusive consumption (it was theoretically for anyone, but I'm the only person who would've had a reason to look at it - we were a fairly silo'd dev shop).

    This is what made me pick TUI over a web UI:

    * no web stack, period. no client/server. no js or html. this simplified the problem dramatically. also, no additional services to babysit.

    * no browser - no certificates, security, auth, etc. It's just unix permissions and ssh.

    * there's something comforting about the constraints of just ASCII/ANSI and curses. No bikeshedding over border widths or radii when it's just you picking among a few characters for the shape. just having less decisions to make speeds things up and helps you focus on what you actually want the UI to be able to do.

    Obviously if your app is just calling APIs anyway, that might be negate some of these bullets about no additional services to babysit etc. In this case, it was running an internal infra app that directly connected to a pg db.

    And what made me pick it over just having a CLI:

    * discoverability - it was a complicated app and while it was all technically exposed via cli flags, having a GUI made it a lot easier to figure out what the right incantation is.

    * richer communication medium that's back-and-forth instead of unidirectional. The TUI is able to fetch a list of e.g. valid IDs and let you pick them with a check-list, instead of you having to go query the db yourself and type them in.

    I consider it one of my greatest victories that my boss was able to use the TUI to recover from an incident without needing to page me while I was on holiday, and he said he barely had to read the docs and felt confident he was getting it right the first time. "I did it while sipping my coffee."

    I used - would recommend. They even have a Swing-based emulation mode for easy development iteration running it from intelliJ.

  • Textual: Rapid Application Development Framework for Python
    7 projects | | 18 Aug 2023
    This looks really cool.

    In the past I used lanterna ( to develop a text UI for a critical process at the trading firm I worked at. It was essentially a process that would take updated market data and handle things that changed between the last trading session and today - like symbol renames (PCLN to BKNG), changes to market cap that make it change what "category" it fell into (they were based on market cap and volatility measures etc). Things of that nature, that the realtime system didn't handle but happened too often or were too hairy for us to just handle manually.

    The system had a desktop UI component that was oriented towards use by our trading staff. We didn't really have notion of a "server UI" and the server was headless.

    Nobody at our firm was a frontend developer, just backend, systems and data programmers who occasionally dabbled in frontend. So web UIs were very simplistic or highly specific to their use-case, we had no shared tooling.

    In 2023 with things like create-react-app and whatever next.js does, I probably would've opted for one of those. I could've made another desktop app but I wanted to be able to easily get to this from a shitty ssh connection over tethered 4g when I was on-call. So X11 forwarding and RDP were out. So i looked around for a TUI-builder in the project's language, Java.

    What i really liked about Lanterna was that it had a Swing-based implementation which meant I could easily run it from IntelliJ, and that would let me iterate rapidly, and then in production I could run it in a terminal via SSH directly on the machine the server was on (which had certain advantages).

    I'll keep an eye on this to see if I can think of anything neat to build on it. I still generally don't like web apps because they feel like they take a lot of effort to get something compared to a functionally-equivalent product built in something non-browser-based like a TUI or desktop GUI.

  • What options are there for making GUIs and other visual programs using java?
    2 projects | /r/java | 4 May 2023
    Just to differ what others already mentioned: Lanterna. Pretty retro GUIs just for fun.
  • Library like Python Rich
    2 projects | /r/javahelp | 27 Sep 2022
    Lanterna Has examples for most of the things you're looking for (see links in
  • Terminal Design Through Java.
    1 project | /r/java | 14 Sep 2022
  • Nimwave – build TUIs for the terminal, web, and desktop
    2 projects | /r/commandline | 18 Jun 2022
  • How to modify lines in console (Java 8)
    1 project | /r/javahelp | 21 May 2022
    You can use a library such as to do fancy console printing. You could even do full console UIs, but just printing lines and moving the cursor and so on is also possible I think.
  • Aquifer: GUI generator for command line apps
    2 projects | /r/java | 6 May 2022
    There is lanterna for that.
  • Textual in Clojure?
    9 projects | /r/Clojure | 28 Apr 2022
    You can use
  • What are some features necessary in an ASCII-graphics library?
    1 project | /r/roguelikedev | 9 Feb 2022
    Is this just a personal excercise? Because is pretty much what you're talking about and pretty good.
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