banner: figlet on a diet

I have banner on my list of applications, although I’m not sure exactly how it got there. The home page for banner has a lot of other tools of a similar calibre, but they’re not included in my registry. Perhaps this warrants further investigation.

banner has a figlet-ish feel about it.


From that observation, there are two ways we can approach this: Either (a), that banner lacks a lot of the font and “graphical” flair that appears in figlet, or (b), that banner is simpler and lighter than figlet, does much the same thing, but does it without all the trappings that figlet brings in.

In both cases I’m saying much the same thing, but your perspective will determine your interpretation. banner has options for two fonts. figlet has dozens. banner has options to center the text across 80 columns, figlet has options for specific terminal width and alignment. banner’s changelog reaches 1996, figlet’s history stretches back to 1991. banner can draw letters using specific characters or the character it is drawing, figlet can “smush” or kern its output and draw right-to-left scripts.

The banner binary is 26K, figlet’s is 40K, plus its suite of fonts and supporting files.

(I always dislike comparing programs on the basis of binary size though, because were working with software that arguably differs by 14K — a dimension that hasn’t been critical since the early 1980s. If you’re going to make a decision to use figlet or banner based on binary size, then I suspect you have issues beyond just available space. You’re working with generational differences that are beyond the scope of this meager blog. …)

banner is worthy of note as a program that can do as much as figlet, with certain concessions. If you’re willing to skimp on features or if you’re fine-tuning your available space, banner might shave off a tiny bit from what figlet offers. This is another one of those times when you’ll be the best judge. 😐

And yes, if you like you can substitute the word “toilet” almost anywhere the word “figlet” appears in this post. 🙂

P.S., If you’re an Arch user, you’ll need to install shhopt and shhmsg before banner will compile.

2 thoughts on “banner: figlet on a diet

  1. Pingback: mancala: Ten days of games | Inconsolation

  2. Pingback: mancala: Ten days of games | Linux Admins

Comments are closed.