Delta Chat on the command line
Lars-Magnus Skog 374e4c6576
Merge pull request #55 from deltachat/greenkeeper/deltachat-node-0.16.0
1 year ago
scripts Enable Travis 1 year ago
.gitignore Initial commit :seedling: 1 year ago
.travis.yml Enable Travis 1 year ago Prepare changelog for 0.2.1 1 year ago
LICENSE Initial commit :seedling: 1 year ago Update (#43) 1 year ago
app.js Do not skip to next page, stay on first at startup 1 year ago
cli.js Use ready event so ui can be rendered before open is finished 1 year ago
commander.js /create-contact can accept one parameter (address only) 1 year ago
layout.js Show account and date in statusbar (and change date format in messages) 1 year ago
package.json fix(package): update deltachat-node to version 0.16.0 1 year ago
rc.js Mention styles and rc 1 year ago
state.js Show account and date in statusbar (and change date format in messages) 1 year ago
util.js Show account and date in statusbar (and change date format in messages) 1 year ago


Delta Chat on the command line.

npm Build Status Node version JavaScript Style Guide

Experimental application built on top of the deltachat-node native addon. Bringing E2EE chat over email to the commmand line.


npm i deltachat-cli -g


deltachat --email --mail_pw foo

By default deltachat will use the $HOME/.deltachat_cli folder for storing data. This can be overriden by using the --home argument.

Run deltachat using current folder to store data:

deltachat --email --mail_pw foo --home .

Platform Support

Currently deltachat-cli only works on Linux. This is completely dependent on the platform support of deltachat-node. If you're on a Debian based distro the following command should be enough to cover software and build dependencies.

sudo apt install libetpan-dev libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev libsasl2-dev \
libbz2-dev zlib1g-dev meson ninja-build



Shortcuts and Keys

  • ctrl-n Switch to next window.
  • ctrl-p Switch to previous window.
  • alt-n or pagedown Scroll down.
  • alt-p or pageup Scroll up.
  • alt-<n> Switch to window <n> where n is between 1 and 9.
  • enter Accept input from the user.
  • tab Auto completes commands (starting with /) and nicks.


Commands can be executed from anywhere, but the output of all commands show up in the status window.

  • /archive-chat [<id>] Archive a chat. If <id> is omitted, defaults to current chat.
  • /block-contact <id> Block a contact.
  • /clear Clear the debug or status window.
  • /create-chat <contactId> Create a normal chat with a single user.
  • /create-contact [<name>] <address> Create a contact.
  • /delete-chat [<id>] Delete a chat. If <id> is omitted, defaults to current chat.
  • /delete-contact <id> Delete a contact (might fail if you have an open chat with that particular user).
  • /delete-message <id> Delete a message.
  • /get-chats List all chats.
  • /get-contacts List all contacts.
  • /help [<command>] Show all commands and their short syntax or help about a specific command.
  • /star-message <id> Star a message (starred messages show up in a virtual stars chat).
  • /unarchive-chat <id> Unarchive a chat.
  • /unblock-contact <id> Unblock a contact.


You can use environment variables instead of command line arguments: deltachat_cli_mail_pw=foo deltachat

You can also write a custom configuration file in either .json or .ini format. Please see the rc documentation for more details.


It's possible to configure various styles in the application.

  • Text colors and background colors are taken from chalk.
  • Gradient types are taken from the gradient-string module.
  • Box styles (for chat messages) are taken from the boxen module.

Please consult rc.js for default values.


Why not just write a plugin for irssi or weechat and be done with it?

That's a great question. You should write one yourself!

The main goal is to implement something using deltachat-node to exercise the api, find stuff that doesn't work so well and make way for a coming desktop application. It's also an exploration into writing command line application based on the following node modules:

You should check them out. They're great!


Running deltachat with --debug will create a debug window where all events from deltachat-node can be seen.

Kudos and Inspiration

A lot of inspiration comes from irssi and the architecture has a lot in common with cabal.


Licensed under the GPLv3, see LICENSE file for details.

Copyright © 2018 Delta Chat contributors.