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chafa /ˈtʃafa/ (adj): cheap, low quality; lame


Chafa packages are available for many Linux distributions, including Arch, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu. Thanks to Brew, it is also available for MacOS X. Check your software distribution's repositories, or look for it on


Most Linux distributions ship packages for Chafa, although these may not always be up to date. Below are the command lines for installation on some of them. Note that you must do this as root, typically by prefixing each command with sudo.

The Ubuntu PPA (see below) is updated from the latest development version daily.

Arch Linuxpacman -S chafa
Brewbrew install chafa
Debianapt install chafa
Fedoradnf install chafa
Gentooemerge media-gfx/chafa
Guixguix install chafa
Kali Linuxapt install chafa
OpenBSDpkg_add chafa
openSUSEzypper ar -f obs://graphics graphics
zypper in chafa
Ubuntuadd-apt-repository ppa:hpjansson/chafa
apt install chafa
Packaging status

Statically linked binary

If Chafa is not available from your package manager and you don't want the hassle of building it yourself, you can get a statically linked binary. These should work on any GNU/Linux distribution released since 2013 or so (glibc version 2.17 or later). Simply unpack chafa from its archive and move it into your path.

Find the binary archives here.


Chafa can be compiled from source in a Unix-like environment, either from a tarball release or directly from the Git repository.

You need the GLib and ImageMagick development files in order to perform the build. These are usually available from your package manager.

The latest release is version 1.6.1 (2021-06-03).

  1. Download the latest release (signature).
  2. ./configure && make && sudo make install

Git repository

In order to build from Git, you will need Automake, Libtool and optionally the Docbook tools if you want to generate the documentation.

  1. git clone
  2. ./ && make && sudo make install

You may also browse the git repository.