Newt (programming library)

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Partimage tool that uses Newt to create its user interface
Original author(s) Erik Troan, Red Hat engineer
Stable release 0.52.10 / July 30, 2008; 377464509 ago
Written in C
Operating system Linux, Cross-platform (Live CD)
Size about 850 Kb when installed on i686 platform.
Development status old fashioned, but in use
Type Widget toolkit
License GNU Lesser General Public License
Website Newt page on Fedora

Newt (programming library) is a programming library for color text mode, widget-based user interfaces. Newt can be used to add stacked windows, entry widgets, checkboxes, radio buttons, labels, plain text fields, scrollbars, etc., to text mode user interfaces. This package also contains the shared library needed by programs built with newt, as well as an application whiptail, which provides the most commonly-used features of dialog. Newt is based on the slang library. It abbreviates from Not Erik's Windowing Toolkit.



Newt was originally designed for use in the install code of the Red Hat Linux and is written mostly focusing in very clear interface, simplicity and small footprint[1]. Because of that, unlike the most of recent GUI engines, it does not use the event - driven architecture. The windows must be created and destroyed as a stack (the order of discarding is exactly opposite order to the order of creation). The top level window is always modal. Many behaviours, such as widget traversal order, are difficult or impossible to change.

These restrictions simplify the design of the library as well as the code of programs using it, though they impose limitations on user interface design.


The capabilities are fully adequate for the installation process, and Newt was used for the user friendly OS installers. It is also used in some system tools (like Partimage) that focus more on functionality than on looking attractive to the end user.


Newt is written in C (not C++). However there are bindings to other languages.


gNewt project (no longer active) provides an alternative implementation that uses GTK instead of the text based interface. It is fully compatible with the official Newt implementation and can be replaced at run time, without recompilation. Like any other GTK components, gNewt controls can also use mouse input when the original Newt only supports the keyboard.


  1. Newt tutorial

See also

External links

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