screen-message: use your screen to communicate

July 18th, 2007 edited by Tincho

Article submitted by Joachim Breitner (with a special contribution of the editors ;) ). We are running out of articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!

Have you ever used a text processor write just to display some text full-screen and found it too tedious? Were you sitting in some audience and tried to make a comment to those behind your? Needed to take mugshots?

Then you might want to install sm, short for screen-message. Once you start sm, you can type your text and it will be displayed as large as possible. The text can also be specified on the command line, when starting sm or piped from another program. For real convenient and fast usage, it is recommended to bind a key combination to starting sm.


Alternatives are any web browser and word processors with a full screen mode.

The package is available in Debian unstable and it’ll be soon in testing and merged in Ubuntu.

Finally, with the goal of enlighten our readers of how cool screen-message is and do some aggressive marketing:

We need your article!
Ana Guerrero and Martín Ferrari (aka Tincho), debaday editors.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

11 Responses

  1. Gary Says:

    Great article. I had no idea such a neat little app even existed!

  2. Matthias Says:

    Yeah, this tool might come in handy once in a while. Thx!

  3. Lenny Says:

    This photograph is really great ;D

  4. Dan Says:

    This package seems not to be in ubuntu. Anyone know the story there? Is it hiding under a different name, or have the Powers That Be decided to banish it?

  5. ana Says:

    The package has just entered in Debian, so people in Ubuntu still has not merged it.

  6. Azar Bk Says:

    great stories, however I want to let you know that crashes my firefox browser.

    In order to be able to view your site, I have to use one of your story links.

    Can’t hold the source to view and see what is going on.

  7. Tincho Says:

    Azar Bk:

    I use firefox and never had a problem with debaday, I think that there should be some problem in your installation.

  8. AzarBk Says:


    Found the problem, the main page of Debday does not pass the W3C compliance (something related to xhtml). Click on the right column where you see the W3C link…
    also read: the W3C HTML validation is broken:

  9. koni Says:

    Anyone successfully installed on feisty?


  10. koni Says:


    figured out myself:

    Installed the following packages:
    libcairo2-dev (1.4.2-0ubuntu1)
    libglib2.0-dev (2.12.11-0ubuntu1)
    libpango1.0-dev (1.16.2-0ubuntu1)

    Then ./configure worked w/o problems.

  11. Tincho Says:


    You can always try adding a debian source repository and issuing:

    $ sudo apt-get build-dep screen-message
    $ apt-get source screen-message
    $ cd screen-message*
    $ debian/rules binary