Boxes command is a text filter and a little known tool that can draw any kind of ASCII art box around its input text or code for fun and profit. You can quickly create email signatures, or create regional comments in any programming language. This command was intended to be used with the vim text editor, but can be tied to any text editor which supports filters, as well as from the command line as a standalone tool.
Task: Install boxes
Use the apt-get command to install boxes under Debian / Ubuntu Linux:
$ sudo apt-get install boxes
Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following NEW packages will be installed: boxes 0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 6 not upgraded. Need to get 0 B/59.8 kB of archives. After this operation, 205 kB of additional disk space will be used. Selecting previously deselected package boxes. (Reading database ... 224284 files and directories currently installed.) Unpacking boxes (from .../boxes_1.0.1a-2.3_amd64.deb) ... Processing triggers for man-db ... Setting up boxes (1.0.1a-2.3) ...
Loaded plugins: rhnplugin Setting up Install Process Resolving Dependencies There are unfinished transactions remaining. You might consider running yum-complete-transaction first to finish them. --> Running transaction check ---> Package boxes.x86_64 0:1.1-8.el6 will be installed --> Finished Dependency Resolution Dependencies Resolved ========================================================================== Package Arch Version Repository Size ========================================================================== Installing: boxes x86_64 1.1-8.el6 epel 64 k Transaction Summary ========================================================================== Install 1 Package(s) Total download size: 64 k Installed size: 151 k Is this ok [y/N]: y Downloading Packages: boxes-1.1-8.el6.x86_64.rpm | 64 kB 00:00 Running rpm_check_debug Running Transaction Test Transaction Test Succeeded Running Transaction Installing : boxes-1.1-8.el6.x86_64 1/1 Installed: boxes.x86_64 0:1.1-8.el6 Complete!
FreeBSD user can use the port as follows:
cd /usr/ports/misc/boxes/ && make install clean
Or, add the package using the pkg_add command:
# pkg_add -r boxes
Draw any kind of box around some given text
Type the following command:
echo "This is a test" | boxes
Or specify the name of the design to use:
echo -e "\n\tVivek Gite\n\firstname.lastname@example.org\n\twww.cyberciti.biz" | boxes -d dog
How do I list all designs?
The syntax is:
boxes option pipe | boxes options echo "text" | boxes -d foo boxes -l
The -d design option sets the name of the design to use. The syntax is:
echo "Text" | boxes -d design pipe | boxes -d desig
The -l option list designs. It produces a listing of all available box designs in the config file, along with a sample box and information about it's creator:
boxes -l boxes -l | more boxes -l | less
43 Available Styles in "/etc/boxes/boxes-config": ------------------------------------------------- ada-box (Neil Bird ): --------------- -- -- -- -- --------------- ada-cmt (Neil Bird ): -- -- regular Ada -- comments -- boy (Joan G. Stark ): .-"""-. / .===. \ \/ 6 6 \/ ( \___/ ) _________ooo__\_____/______________ / \ | joan stark email@example.com | | VISIT MY ASCII ART GALLERY: | | http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/ | \_______________________ooo_________/ jgs | | | |_ | _| | | | |__|__| /-'Y'-\ (__/ \__) .... ... output truncated ..
How do I filter text via boxes while using vi/vim text editor?
You can use any external command with vi or vim. In this example, insert current date and time, enter:
You need to type above command in Vim to read the output from the date command. This will insert the date and time after the current line:
Tue Jun 12 00:05:38 IST 2012
You can do the same with boxes command. Create a sample shell script or a c program as follows:
#!/bin/bash Purpose: Backup mysql database to remote server. Author: Vivek Gite Last updated on: Tue Jun, 12 2012
Now type the following (move cursor to the second line i.e. line which starts with "Purpose: ...")
And voila you will get the output as follows:
#!/bin/bash /****************************************************/ /* Purpose: Backup mysql database to remote server. */ /* Author: Vivek Gite */ /* Last updated on: Tue Jun, 12 2012 */ /****************************************************/
This video will give you an introduction to boxes command:
(Video:01: boxes command in action. BTW, this is my first video so go easy on me and let me know what you think.)
- boxes man page
This blog post is 5 of 5 in the "Linux / Unix Desktop Fun" series. Keep reading the rest of the series: