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Mono/.NET bindings to the Unix Curses as well as GUI framework for creating text applications with Curses

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This provides both a low-level API, as well as a simple console UI toolkit called


The goal of this library was to bind curses. There is a low-level binding in binding.cs and a few chunks in handles.cs that provide a basic abstraction.

The focus of this work though has been on a simple GUI toolkit for writing desktop applications, inspired on the 15 year old work that I did for the Midnight Commander (you can tell I like those colors).

The work in `gui' does not take advantage of curses "WINDOWS" or the Panel library as am not familiar with them, instead we create our own abstraction here.


I recently added a neutered version of an old UI I did for MonoTorrent that has the actual torrent code removed, but shows how to use the gui.cs toolkit.

To run, just type

make grun

sample guitest.cs in action


This is an ncurses binding licensed under the terms of the MIT X11 license.


Detects window changes, invokes event for widgets to relayout if the user wishes to.

Hotkeys (Alt-letter) are handled by buttons and a handful others.

Dialog boxes automatically get centered (even with window size change scenarios).

Entry widget has emacs keybindings.

ListView widget uses Model/View setup.

Color and black and white support (first parameter to Application.Init)

Setup and Building

To build, make sure that you run the configure script, where you can specify an installation prefix, and then run make. Like this:

$ configure 
$ make

The above defaults to installing in

, if you want to change that use the
flag, like this:
$ configure --prefix=/opt/mono-curses/my-install
$ make

Once you do a first build with the above, you can use the provided solution file to rebuild.


You can see how to use the curses API by running the

, which only shows some letters on the screen with curses, or the
which is a fake application using gui.cs

TODO for the tiny Gui.cs library

I started an alternative version for gui.cs here:
  • Rename x,y,w,h into something better, expose rects?
  • Merge Widget and Container?
  • Add scrollbar and thumb to listviews
  • Add text view widget
  • Add scrollable control
  • Checkbox/Radio button are missing
  • Date/Time widget
  • Process widget
  • Command line parsing to demo (to active B&W support).
  • Implement Layout managers, which?
  • Write a manual/tutorial

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