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Corebird, An Alternative GTK+3 Twitter Client

By Andrew Powell, published 04/07/2014 in Reviews

If you're like me, you may not have heard much about Corebird, a native GTK+3 Twitter client. Which is a bit surprising really, as Corebird is a very nice and stable application that holds it's own with any of the other clients out there and deserves more love.

There's a few Linux Twitter clients getting around, but for some reason it seems they come and go. One such very nice looking modern Twitter client, Birdie (which I have written about previously, here and here), hasn't seen a new release or news in some time.

Corebird was created by Timm Bäder, AKA "baedert". As of writing, the application sits at version 0.7. The author describes it as "a modern, easy and fun Twitter client".

Corebird running in a GNOME environment

One of the great things about Corebird is the clean and responsive design that works equally well in a compact small window or in maximised mode. The application also takes full advantage of the latest GTK+3 features, such as Client Side Decorations (GNOME Header Bars) and smooth animated transitions between view changes.

In terms of actual Twitter features, Corebird seems to carry the whole lot of essentials. Streaming of Tweets, Mentions/Notifications, Favourites, Direct Messaging, Lists, Filters and an integrated search are all included.

Naturally, such an application wouldn't be complete without Tweet Composing features such as (@)Mention completion and image uploading.

If you're a GNOME user, Corebird also supports the GNOME Shell Application Menu, for a nice bit of added integration.

Corebird has nice GNOME integration

As far as preferences go, like a lot of "modern" GNOME/GTK3 apps go, it has the bare essentials. You can also set Corebird to use the Adwaita "Dark" theme, which is nice if you prefer that.

Otherwise, you can add/remove accounts and configure notifications.

Overall I've found Corebird to be a nice, simple and lightweight application that does exactly what you would expect a Twitter client to do. It does it all with a clean and smooth presentation and while it's version 0.7 (currently) and not yet 1.0, it seems to be surprisingly feature-complete and stable and to be perfectly honest, it hasn't put a foot wrong, so to speak.

How to get it?

Perhaps one reason why Corebird isn't as well known as it probably ought to be is that getting the application isn't quite so easy for everyone. Particularly, oddly, one of the most popular Linux distributions (see further down). Although it is worth mentioning the author of Corebird is an Arch Linux user and likely leaves it up to specific distros to package the program, which is fair enough.

The first thing to do is check your distribution's repositories, as it may well be there. For example, on Fedora 20, Corebird is available right from the package manager.

It's also available in the Arch User Repository for Arch Linux users.

As far as Ubuntu goes, there's currently no package in the repositories or a PPA available (yet) so unfortunately until someone (**hint hint** for anyone out there with the ability to do so) makes a PPA for it you'll have to compile Corebird from source. On the plus side, as long as the dependencies are satisfied this is meant to be fast and easy.

Current dependencies are as follows, according to the Corebird GitHub page:

gtk+-3.0 >= 3.12
glib-2.0 >= 2.40
rest-0.7 (>= 0.7.91 for image uploads)
intltool >= 0.40
vala >= 0.24 (makedep)
automake >= 1.14 (makedep)
gstreamer (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)
gst-plugins-bad (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)
gst-plugins-good (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)
gst-libav (disable via --disable-video, default enabled)

The GTK+3.12 dependency does rule out Ubuntu 14.04 LTS unfortunately unless you use the relevant PPAs to update the included GNOME 3.10 to 3.12. Other than that though, you should be fine.

UPDATE: the above is only for the 0.7dev version, as pointed out to me by "daedert" himself in the comments section, which is the very latest git version. The stable 0.7 branch, which is the version I am actually running from the Fedora 20 repos, doesn't have such bleeding edge dependencies. So you Ubuntu users may well be in luck!

Dependencies for 0.7 stable, which can be found here:

gtk+-3.0 >= 3.9
glib-2.0 >= 2.38
rest-0.7 (>= 0.7.91 for image uploads)
libsoup >= 2.42
vala >= 0.22 (makedep)
cmake >= 2.6 (makedep)

For more information, please see the Corebird website and the Corebird GitHub page.

Have you tried Corebird? What did you think of it? Or perhaps you know of other interesting Twitter clients for Linux! Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Andrew Powell is the editor and owner of The Linux Rain who loves all things Linux, gaming and everything in between.

Tags: gnome desktops twitter-client gtk3
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