For projects that are BSD or Apache 2 licensed, Linenoise (by Salvatore Sanfilippo) is a pretty small, portable GNU readline (GPL) replacement. Based on the work of Salvatore and 10gen Inc. this Linenoise NG implementation adds UTF8 and Windows support, uses a BSD license and can be used in any kind of program.


  • single-line and multi-line editing mode with the usual key bindings implemented
  • history handling
  • completion
  • BSD license source code
  • Only uses a subset of VT100 escapes (ANSI.SYS compatible)
  • UTF8 aware
  • support for Linux, MacOS and Windows

Linenoise NG deviates from Salvatore’s original goal to have a minimal readline replacement for the sake of supporting UTF8 and Windows. It deviates from 10gen Inc.’s goal to create a C++ interface to linenoise. This library uses C++ internally, but to the user it provides a pure C interface that is compatible with the original linenoise API.

Contributions welcome! See the repository on Github for details.