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twitter clientTry a fast and feature-filled Twitter client for Linux. Polly is a native Linux app for Twitter that features multiple customizable columns, support for multiple accounts and desktop notifications.

Sure, I’ve shown you Twitter clients for Linux 5 Linux Twitter Clients You Probably Don't Know About 5 Linux Twitter Clients You Probably Don't Know About Read More before. Some are great, but not all of them survived the Oauthpocolypse. I still love Hotot, the fast iPhone-like Twitter client for Linux Hotot - A Fast, iPhone-Like Twitter Client For Linux Hotot - A Fast, iPhone-Like Twitter Client For Linux Read More , but it can feel a little out of place on a Linux desktop – it doesn’t do a lot to blend with your GTK or QT theme. And don’t get me started about Gwibber, the social client built into Ubuntu. All it ever seems to do for me is crash and slow down my computer.

If you’re looking for a fast, native Linux Twitter Polly is an excellent choice. It’s technically in pre-alpha, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I find Polly to be feature-filled and more stable than many Linux clients I’ve used. If you haven’t found the Linux Twitter client that’s right for you, try Polly. It might be what you’re looking for.

Using Polly

Start up Polly, add your account and you’ll see an interface not so different than what you’d expect:

twitter client

What sets Polly apart from other Linux Twitter clients, in my opinion, is how customizable it is. People use Linux for different things, so it’s important that any good Linux client acknowledge this and give people control over what they do and don’t see. Some people only want to see what their friends are saying; others want to keep up on global trends. Some people use a single account, while others have several and follow different lists for different reasons. Polly acknowledges this, and lets you set up a variety of different columns:


polly twitter client

Set up as many or as few as you want. You can even see desktop notifications for all or just a few of these tweets:

twitter client

The more time you spend settings things up, the more you’ll find yourself liking Polly. Twitter is about choice: there is a massive flood of information out there, and you only need to see what you want to see. Twitter on the web gives you some ability to look through that, but column-based Twitter clients give you a chance to instantly see only the things you care about.

Install Polly

You can find .deb files for Ubuntu and source code you can compile on other distros over at the Polly Launchpad page. Sorry, I can’t help you compile the software.

Pros & Cons

So, is this the Linux Twitter client you’ve been looking for? Maybe. Here’s a simple rundown to help you find out:


  • Fast, native interface.
  • Sublimely stable.
  • Custom columns.
  • Multiple accounts.


  • Technically pre-alpha.
  • Lacking keyboard control.
  • Some features in menu not yet implemented.
  • No support for Facebook or other social networks.

If the pros matter to you and the cons do not, you’re in luck. If this doesn’t work for you, stay tuned – the developers have a lot more in store for Polly.

Do you have any more pros and cons to add to the above list? Start a conversation about that below, along with any other great software you know of for using Twitter in Linux.

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  1. Chika
    September 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Just checked the site but it appears that the user is Ubuntu/Gnome friendly only and does not handle other Linux distros (there's one mention of Gentoo but that's handled at arm's length). If you want to install via RPM or via a good old configure/make package, forget it! Remember, folk, as I often say on The Register amongst other places: Linux is NOT Ubuntu.

  2. Joe
    May 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    "What sets Polly apart from other Linux Twitter clients, in my opinion, is how customizable it is."

    At this time (0.93.4), there are very few UI customization options. While it has a lot of flexibility in the number of accounts/streams you display, it has very little in the way of UI options - font sizes, image sizes, tabbed vs side-by-side streams, etc. I don't think it's correct to say Polly is highly "customizable" at this time.

    • Justin Pot
      May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      UI options, sure. But you can set custom columns to do pretty much everything, which is more than I've noticed for many of the Twitter clients out there for Linux.

  3. Rui de Brito Mendes
    May 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I use Turpial.. a good and fast venezuelan client :)