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Neon Modem Overdrive

Chat on Matrix

Neon Modem Overdrive

Neon Modem Overdrive is a BBS-style command line client that supports Discourse, Lemmy, Lobsters and Hacker News as backends, and seamlessly integrates all of them into a streamlined TUI. And yes, you heard that right, I really did call it Neon Modem Overdrive.

Neon Modem is built in Go, using Charm's Bubble Tea TUI framework, but implements an own window manager (or compositor if you want) that allows it to use a third dimension, on top of the two dimensional rendering that Bubble Tea offers today. With that it is possible to display dialogs on top of one another, in order to offer a smoother UI experience.

More info here!


System Available List Forums List Posts List Replies Create Post Create Reply
Discourse ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Lemmy ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Lobsters ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Hacker News ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️


From Release

Download the latest release and unpack it:

$ tar -xzf ./neonmodem_*.tar.gz

The binary is called neonmodem. Feel free to move it to e.g. /usr/local/bin.

From Sauce

Clone this repository

  • from GitHub
    $ git clone git@github.com:mrusme/neonmodem.git
  • from Radicle
    $ rad clone rad:z4GExf1wpsyn6WDc2dNAxVc6LPS9G

Then cd into the cloned directory and run:


The binary is called neonmodem. Feel free to move it to e.g. /usr/local/bin.

For Arch Linux an AUR package is available here: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/neonmodem

Install with your favorite AUR helper.

On NetBSD, a package is available from the official repositories. To install it, simply run pkgin install neonmodem.


Before launching Neon Modem Overdrive it requires initial setup of the services (a.k.a. systems). Run neonmodem connect --help to find out more.

Connecting a service will add it to the configuration TOML.




$HOME/Library/Application\ Support/neonmodem.toml



For connecting to a Discourse instance you'll need to have an active account on that instance. Neon Modem will store the instance URL, username and a user key, but no password.

neonmodem connect --type discourse --url https://www.keebtalk.com


For connecting to a Lemmy instance you'll need to have an active account on that instance. Neon Modem will store the instance URL, username and password.

neonmodem connect --type lemmy --url https://lemmy.ml


For connecting to a Lobsters instance you won't need an account, as the integration is read-only. Neon Modem will store the instance URL.

neonmodem connect --type lobsters --url https://lobste.rs

Hacker News

For connecting to Hacker News you won't need an account, as the integration is read-only.

neonmodem connect --type hackernews


The UI can be fully customized via the Theme section in the configuration file. To reset settings, all theme related configurations can simply be deleted from the configuration.


After setup Neon Modem can be launched by calling neonmodem without any arguments. It will briefly display a splash screen, then switch to the posts list, which will aggregate the latest posts from all connected systems. A progress icon will be visible in the header while network requests are loading.


Neon Modem Overdrive


In the posts list:

  • j: Scroll down
  • k: Scroll up
  • r/enter: Open selected post
  • n: Write new post in on the system/forum of the current selected post
  • C-e: Open system selector
  • C-t: Open forum selector
  • q/esc: Quit

In the post view dialog:

  • r: Reply to post
  • #r: Reply to specific comment # in post, e.g. 3r to reply to the reply #3
  • z: Load older replies (if available)
  • esc: Close dialog

In the new post / new reply dialog:

  • tab: Switch between elements (only in new post dialog)
  • C-s: Submit post/reply
  • esc: Close dialog


  • Q: The post view is really slow when using a large terminal.
    A: Turning off image rendering will improve performance significantly on very large terminal windows and can be done by setting RenderImages = false in the configuration.
  • Q: Can I haz Reddit?
    A: I won't do the heavy lifting of integrating a proprietary platform with a $15 billion valuation that can't even be bothered to maintain a solid set of client API libraries. If you feel like, go ahead and PR!