View images as ASCII in the terminal on a Raspberry Pi

I run my Raspberry Pi headless and I don’t like to access X windows.
Sometimes I need to look at an image, mostly PNG. I use my Pi to produce graphs and I want to see if the change took.

cacaview allows me to view the images as ASCII in the terminal. Which allows me to have a quick look at the image, and it also looks kinda cool and retro.

Cacaview Raspberry Pi

Install and using cacaview

Installing cacaview:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $sudo apt-get install caca-utils

To view an image:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $cacaview gp.png

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d Change differ
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6 thoughts on “View images as ASCII in the terminal on a Raspberry Pi”

      1. Official Raspbian Wheezy (Debian) HardFloat, latest december release downloaded from, It keeps saying not in repo. So i did a search.

        pi@raspberrypi ~ $ apt-cache search caca
        caca-utils – text mode graphics utilities
        libcaca-dev – development files for libcaca
        libcaca0 – colour ASCII art library

        cacaview is actually part of this package package,

        Trial & Error 1
        To install you want to use this
        sudo apt-get install caca-utils libcaca0 libcaca-dev
        So i got it installed but when i run it, or send a pic to it, or even try –help all i get is… cacaview: unable to initialise libcaca

        Trial & Error 2
        I used wget to pull all the armhf .deb’s from
        Then i followed up each one with a manual installl using sudo dpkg -i (filename)
        and now when i run it all i get is… Illegal Instruction

        Trial & Error 3
        apt-get the cacalib0 and dpkg manual install the latest app binary…
        Segmentation Fault

        Trial & Error 4
        apt-get the binary manual install the lib
        Illegal Instruction

        I’d love to add this app to my system, but i guess that’s not happening anytime soon. Bookmarking the page for now.. Thanks to the author for the info on the app, and hope this helps the other guy asking about the repo. Hopefully someone figures out how to use this =\. Either the author is using armel instead of armhf, has different repos, or just got lucky installing it before the repo got borked by some bug in an update to the app.

      2. I just downloaded the latest release “2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img”. Booted it up and I was able to get it working.
        Something has changed, as i had to use a different name for the package.

        1. downloaded new image and booted.
        2. sudo apt-get update
        3. sudo apt-get install caca-utils
        4. tested with .png under /home/pi/phython_games directory
        5. success.

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