Original author(s)Savio Lam
Developer(s)Thomas Dickey
Initial release1994
Stable release
1.3-20210117 / January 17, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-01-17)[1]
Operating systemUnix, Linux, POSIX
TypeShell scripts
Websiteinvisible-island.net/dialog/ Edit this at Wikidata

Dialog is an application used in shell scripts which displays text user interface widgets. It uses the curses or ncurses library. The latter provides users with the ability to use a mouse, e.g., in an xterm.

Dialog was created by Savio Lam (first reported version 0.3 was in 1994).[2][3][4] It was further modified by several people. Since 1999 it has been maintained (and rewritten) by Thomas Dickey.[5]

At least one fork exists, a FreeBSD-only split into application and library in late 1994.[6][7] One might also consider lxdialog (part of menuconfig), except that it has been reduced to fragments that can no longer run dialog scripts.

There are several programs inspired by dialog; not all read the same scripts. The most well-known are Xdialog and whiptail.

See also


  1. ^ https://invisible-mirror.net/archives/dialog/ - accessed on 2021/02/28
  2. ^ Phil Hughes (April 1994). "Interview with Patrick Volkerding". Linux Journal.
  3. ^ Jeff Tranter (September 1994). "Dialog: An Introductory Tutorial". Linux Journal.
  4. ^ "Dialog 0.3 manual page". 1994-01-10. Archived from the original on 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  5. ^ "Dialog Change Log".
  6. ^ "FreeBSD CVS src/gnu/usr.bin/dialog/".
  7. ^ "FreeBSD library manual for dialog".