Terminal based "The Matrix" like implementation

pushedAt 15 hours ago



CMatrix is based on the screensaver from The Matrix website. It shows text flying in and out in a terminal like as seen in "The Matrix" movie. It can scroll lines all at the same rate or asynchronously and at a user-defined speed.

CMatrix by default operates in eye candy mode. It must be aborted with control-c (Ctrl+C) or by pressing q. If you wish for more of a screen saver effect, you must specify -s on the command line. For usage info, use cmatrix -h.

Build Status


You'll probably need a decent ncurses library to get this to work. On Windows, using mingw-w64-ncurses is recommended (PDCurses will also work, but it does not support colors or bold text).

Building and installing cmatrix

To install cmatrix, use either of the following methods from within the cmatrix directory.

Using configure (recommended for most linux/mingw users)

autoreconf -i  # skip if using released tarball
make install

Using CMake

Here we also show an out-of-source build in the sub directory "build". (Doesn't work on Windows, for now).

mkdir -p build
cd build
# to install to "/usr/local"
cmake ..
# or to install to "/usr"
make install

Running cmatrix

After you have installed cmatrix just run cmatrix to run cmatrix :)

To get the program to look most like the movie, use cmatrix -lba To get the program to look most like the Win/Mac screensaver, use cmatrix -ol

Valuable information

If you have any suggestions/flames/patches to send, please feel free to open issues and if possible solve them in PRs via Github.

Note: cmatrix is probably not particularly portable or efficient, but it wont hog too much CPU time



Special Font & bold


Movie-Like Cast


Thanks to:

  • Chris Allegretta [email protected] for writing cmatrix up in a fortnight and giving us the responsibility to further improve it.
  • Krisjon Hanson and Bjoern Ganslandt for helping with bold support and Bjoern again for the cursor removal code, helping with the -u and -l modes/flags, and Makefile improvements.
  • Adam Gurno for multi-color support.
  • Garrick West for debian consolefont dir support.
  • Nemo for design thoughts and continuous help and support.
  • John Donahue for helping with transparent term support
  • Ben Esacove for Redhat 6 compatibility w/matrix.psf.gz
  • jwz for the xmatrix module to xscreensaver at http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver.
  • Chris Allegretta's girlfriend Amy for not killing him when he stayed up till 3 AM writing code.
  • The makers of the Matrix for one kickass movie!
  • Everyone who has sent (and who will send) us and Chris mails regarding bugs, comments, patches or just a hello.
  • Everyone who has opened issues and PRs on the github repository.


This software is provided under the GNU GPL v3.


We are in no way affiliated in any way with the movie "The Matrix", "Warner Bros" nor any of its affiliates in any way, just fans.

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