glitchcat is a cat-like program with glitch animation.

For example:

Hello, world!

It also works like magic in combination with lolcat:

This is Magick!

Try it

To install glitchcat, you will first need Rust compiler. Then just run

cargo install glitchcat

Or, to update, run

cargo install --force glitchcat


In the process of ricing my Linux desktop, I have added several programs like neofetch, lolcat and fortune to my ~/.zshrc to greet me every time I open a terminal. Now, with the glitchcat added to the mix, it looks like this:


To do same thing, you can put the following code in your ~/.zshrc (or ~/.bashrc, if you use bash):

# Dont show neofetch in VS Code integrated terminal
if [ "$TERM_PROGRAM" != "vscode" ]; then
    neofetch | lolcat
fortune | glitchcat

Actually, I lied, I dont use fortune. You know, you don’t need fortune when you use Rust, right? ;)

Why Rust?

Simply because I love the language. And I actually feel like I’m more productive in it than in other languages. Although, I feel like starting using it was a little harder than others, so one thing I would recommend to begginners is to read through the Book first, before writing any code, and then do it again.

Useful crates

Creating this program was actually pretty easy, with the help of the following crates:

- structopt

Almost every CLI app needs ability to be configured through command line arguments. structopt makes it very easy — just define a struct with everything you need, and #[derive(StructOpt)]:

#[structopt(about = "cat-like program with glitch animation")]
struct Opt {
        short = "d",
        long = "duration",
        default_value = "1000",
        help = "Duration of animation in millis (or \"infinite\"/\"inf\")"
    duration: Duration,
        short = "a",
        long = "amount",
        default_value = "90",
        help = "Percentage of symbols glitched each animation step"
    amount: Percent,
    // ...

This will also automatically generate --help command for your application:

glitchcat --help

- failure

Another thing that everyone should handle is errors. Using failure crate you can #[derive(Fail)] for your custom error types easily:

#[derive(Fail, Debug)]
pub enum ParsePercentError {
    #[fail(display = "Value should be between 0 and 100")]
    #[fail(display = "{}", _0)]
    ParseIntError(#[cause] <u8 as FromStr>::Err),

#[derive(Debug, Copy, Clone)]
pub struct Percent(u8);

impl FromStr for Percent {
    type Err = ParsePercentError;
    fn from_str(s: &str) -> Result<Self, ParsePercentError> {
        match s.parse() {
            Ok(value) if value <= 100 => Ok(Percent(value)),
            Ok(_) => Err(ParsePercentError::TooBig),
            Err(e) => Err(ParsePercentError::ParseIntError(e)),

glitchcat --amount 100500

- dialoguer & indicatif

Sometimes you need to interact with user, like give him options to choose from. Or maybe you want to draw progress bars? dialoguer can do first thing and indicatif second. I didn’t use them for glitchcat, but they can be useful for some other apps:

//! ```cargo
//! [dependencies]
//! dialoguer = "*"
//! indicatif = "*"
//! ```

extern crate dialoguer;
extern crate indicatif;

use dialoguer::Select;

fn main() {
    println!("To be or not to be?");
    let selections = &["Yes", "No"];

    let selection = Select::new()

    let bar = indicatif::ProgressBar::new(50);
                      .template("Processing... {bar:30}"));
    for i in 0..50 {;
    println!("What do you mean by {:?}?", selections[selection]);
        "You are supposed to answer either {:?} or {:?}",
        "to be", "not to be"

To be or not to be

- console

Both dialoguer and indicatif are built upon the console crate. It allows you to easily add color to your output, or change cursor position inside terminal. That’s basically all you need to implement a program like glitchcat:

//! ```cargo
//! [dependencies]
//! console = "*"
//! ```

extern crate console;

use console::{style, Term};

fn main() {
    let stdout = Term::buffered_stdout();
    stdout.write_line("Did you know?..");

    let rust_is = [
        style("easy").red(), // Red here, since you need to read the Book first!
    let mut index = 0;

    loop {
        stdout.write_line(&format!("Rust is {}!", rust_is[index]));
        index = (index + 1) % rust_is.len();

Rust is

The End

This is it. Hopefully you find it useful (I mean the article, glitchcat is pretty dumb).

Here’s glitchcat project on GitHub

Thanks for reading!