Despite the large number of Twitter clients available for Linux, none of them are perfect. Our favourite would have to be the powerful, customisable Choqok.
- View your Twitter and Idendi.ca feeds, at replies, direct messages, and more from a compact window
- Supports multiple accounts
- Find and follow other users
- View user profile information
- Retweet, reply, and favourite with one click
- Support for Twitter lists
- Shorten URLs with more than 10 different services
- Upload images to Flickr, ImageShack, Twitpic, Twitgoo, Mobypicture and Posterous
- Support for KDE notifications
- Post text translations using Google Translate
- Filter unwanted posts out of your feed
- Preview images and videos from popular sharing services, right in your feed
- Much more
Choqok has nearly everything we could want in a Twitter client. It's compact, supports multiple accounts and has loads of different URL shorteners and image uploaders for a more personalised experience. Couple that with a plug-in system containing advanced features like tweet filtering, image and video previews, Google Translate support and even the ability to show long URLs when you hover over the shortened version. It has many different preferences for tweaking its behaviour, so you can view and use Twitter however you want. There's very little we wish it did.
That said, if we had one complaint it's we wish you could turn off the "new tweet counting". That is, it highlights all new tweets, and puts an unread number badge on each tab of the app, which you can only clear by hitting a "mark all as read" button. It should work like other clients, where once you click on a tab, it clears the unread number. This is probably the smallest annoyance we could think of, though, so it's worth enduring for such a great app. Its only other downside is that it's a KDE app, meaning it'll probably look a little out of place in a GNOME-based system, not to mention it doesn't support libnotify. Still, even on a GNOME system, it destroys all the other clients out there with its feature set.
Hotot is our choice for GNOME users, and while it isn't quite as feature-filled as Choqok, it provides some of the most important Twitter features without the out-of-place KDE problems. It has hotkeys, themes, quite a few behavior-related preferences and notification support -- not to mention it looks damn good (though it isn't exactly compact -- you can't resize it smaller than a certain point).
Gwibber is Ubuntu's default Twitter client, but we aren't big fans. It's very basic and while it isn't missing any essential Twitter features, it offers very little in the way of behaviour or appearance preferences. Still, if you don't like Hotot, it's certainly a stable alternative for GNOME.
Lastly, DestroyTwitter is a fantastic client, but runs on Adobe AIR -- which is a problem for a lot of Linux users these days. Not only has Adobe stopped supporting AIR for Linux, but installing AIR on 64-bit systems is quite a drawn-out process. As such, it's hard to recommend it as highly as we otherwise would have, despite its powerful feature set, including filters, lots of preferences and some great looking themes. But, if you already have AIR installed (or are willing to spend a half-hour installing it), it could be a good alternative to Choqok.
These are far from the only Twitter clients on Linux, but they're the ones most worth looking at. Got a favourite we didn't mention? Let us know about it in the comments.
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