Boxes is a command line program that draws a box around its input text. It can remove and repair those boxes, too. You can easily make your own box designs if you wish, but many designs are already provided.

Hello World!  ==>

/*                */
/*  Hello World!  */
/*                */
        / _  _ \
      (| (.)(.) |)
|                      |
|     Hello World!     |
|                      |
     (   )   Oooo.
      \ (    (   )
       \_)    ) /

Sep 24, 2014 - The boxes sources moved to GitHub!

The boxes sources moved to GitHub!

This will hopefully make maintaining boxes much more efficient. Issues, feature requests, and contributions are now handled via GitHub. Also, development-related documentation will eventually be moved to GitHub. Everything else on this website stays the same for now.

Apr 16, 2014 - The Windows port of boxes v1.1.1 is available

Ron Aaron provided a Windows port of the current boxes version 1.1.1! Get it from the download page. Many thanks Ron Aaron! Thanks also go to boxes user Jared Cooperband, who tracked down Ron’s current contact details and convinced him to work on boxes again.

Oct 19, 2012 - New release: boxes v1.1.1

Version 1.1.1 is out. Version 1.1.1 is essentially a maintenance release which incorporated patches to the documentation by Salvatore Bonaccorso. There are no substantial changes to the code. See what’s new in the change log.

Jun 11, 2012 - Introductory video on boxes

Boxes in the press: boxes was covered by nixCraft in an article with video. Here is the video:

Dec 14, 2009 - Samuel Huckins on boxes

Boxes in the press: boxes got an honorable mention on

Samuel Huckins says:

“boxes provides boundless entertainment.”

That’s exaggerated, but very nice.

Jul 23, 2006 - New release: boxes v1.1

Version 1.1 is out. Version 1.1 is essentially a maintenance release, which solves all compilation and compatibility issues reported to the author. This mainly affected modern Linuxes. I took the opportunity to also apply all patches that had been submitted, and added tab handling options for leading tabs (see what’s new). Get it from the download page.

Now, I am looking for help with the binary distributions, which should be brought up to level 1.1. Any contributions are greatly appreciated!

Jul 12, 2006 - New snapshot version which solves flex problems

A new code snapshot is available on the download page. Most notably, it includes Andreas Heiduk’s (@asheiduk) patch for compilation with present-day flexes.

Jun 16, 2006 - reports on boxes

Boxes in the press: Shashank Sharma wrote an article on boxes for Here’s the direct link to the article.

Feb 26, 2006 - New designs, new option, improved Emacs mode

I finally put some new box designs submitted by users of boxes up on the download page. Also, there is a new patch by Elmar Loos, who added a “repair” option -m to boxes. Using -m, you can remove a damaged box and redraw it in one go. And last but not least, Jason Shiffer updated his emacs mode for boxes.

Dec 9, 2003 - Linux Magazine reports on boxes

Boxes in the press: Andreas Kneib’s article was translated into English and now appears in issue 38 (January 2004) of Linux Magazine! Here’s the direct link to the article.