MacAsciiquarium is an easy to use Mac OS X version of Kirk Baucom's delightful Asciiquarium Perl script, which animates the ASCII art sea life created by Joan Stark and others. MacAsciiquarium is developed by Chuck Houpt. Please send bug reports and comments to

Nothing is more relaxing or anachronistic then to watch your multi-gigahertz, multi-megapixel Mac simulate a 1970 video terminal version of a digital aquarium.


MacAsciiquarium_1.1.0.dmg (PowerPC Only)

Beta Version for Intel

System Requirements

MacAsciiquarium requires Mac OS X 10.3+

Using MacAsciiquarium

To start an asciiquarium, just double-click on the MacAsciiquarium application. MacAsciiqurium launches the asciiquarium using Mac OS X's build-in Terminal application. Once started you control the asciiquarium using Terminal. To stop the asciiquarium, you can close the window or quit Terminal. The asciiquarium also responds to the following keyboard commands:

Key commands

Customizing the MacAsciiquarium Terminal Window

By default the MacAsciiquarium window opens full screen using default fonts and colors. You can customize your asciiquarium by adjusting the window size and window settings.

The window size can be changed in the usual way (dragging on the resize box in the lower right corner). After changing the window size, remember to press the R key to restart asciiquarium.

Other settings can be customized using the Terminal Inspector window, which is opened by selecting the menu item Terminal>Window Settings. The font can be customized from the Display panel - try different fonts and sizes. Its also fun to play with the transparency setting in the Display panel.

To make customizations permanent, select File>Save and push the save button to replace MacAcsiiquarium's default settings.


MacAsciiquarium is SmileWare. If it makes you smile, please pass the smile along.

Technical Details

MacAsciiquarium is a Termlet - an easy to use application which packages everything needed to run a terminal-based command-line program.