Fri is a program for writing without distractions.


What can I use it for?

You can use Fri for writing documentation, job applications, letters, novels, anything where you don't want your creativity to be kept back by distracting technicalities.

Write now, edit later

The main feature of Fri is its lack of features. Fri doesn't have any support for text formatting nor any support for text editing beyond using backspace. This frees you from worrying about structure and formatting, making you much more productive. The idea is to produce content in Fri, then to open the resulting text file in a different program and refine it.

Fri is best used with the terminal emulator in full screen mode in order to shield you from distractions such as email or instant messaging.

Why not just do cat > out.txt?

You can indeed use cat, but cat does not auto-save your data. It shows all previous lines of text and does not perform automatic line breaking. Also, it is all to easy to overwrite your data by typing cat > my_bestselling_novel.txt, when you really meant cat >> my_bestselling_novel.txt.


See the man page.

Installing Fri

Fri can be built for most Unix-like operating systems, including Linux, Free­BSD and Open­BSD.

  1. Clone the git repo with git clone
  2. Make sure the ncurses library has been installed, including header files.
  3. cd fri
  4. make
  5. Copy the fri executable to somewhere in your $PATH.

Release history

v1.1.0 (2022-03-24)

Added Hemingway mode.

v1.0.0 (2022-03-23)

Initial release.


Please send comments and bug reports to Fredrik Arnerup