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Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux

It’s nice Linux because of the great applications that exist for it. And even more so when these applications have a terminal interface that makes them incredibly fast and efficient. So, today I’m going to press you on Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux. So let’s take a look.

According to the project website

calcurse is a calendar and scheduling application for the command line. It helps keep track of events, appointments and everyday tasks

The application is made for the terminal should not deceive us, is very good, and has a configurable notification system that reminds the user of upcoming deadlines. And since it is made in ncurses you can customize the interface to your liking. The command handling makes it very flexible to be used in scripts or other situations.

Some of the main features of Calcurse are the following:

  • Support for various types of appointments and TODO items, including all-day events and recurring appointments
  • Fast and customizable curses-based interface
  • A powerful non-interactive command-line interface that can be used by scripts
  • User-definable key bindings
  • Fully user-configurable notification system (ability to send emails or anything else that could remind you of your upcoming appointments)
  • Import capabilities with support for iCalendar format
  • Export capabilities with support for iCalendar and pcal formats
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And many others, but let’s try it.

Install Calcurse on Linux

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to install Calcurse is using the Homebrew package manager.

So, installing Homebrew is quite simple and for that please read our post:

How to install Homebrew on Ubuntu 20.04 / Debian 10?

And once you have it installed and working, just run the following command:

:~$ brew install calcurse
1.- Installing Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux
1.- Installing Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux

And that’s how easy it is to start the whole process of installing the application. As you can see, the process is very simple thanks to Homebrew.

Using this text-based calendar for Linux

Once the application is installed, just run the command:

:~$ calcurse

And you will see the following screen which is the main screen of the application:

3.- Calcurse main screen
2.- Calcurse main screen

This initial screen is divided into three blocks. The first and main one called Appointments where the tasks we will load will be. In the second one a Calendar with the current month and finally, the To-Do list section. To navigate between them, just press the Tab key.

In any case, at the bottom, you will have the available commands.

3.- Calcurse commands
3.- Calcurse commands

However, they are not the only ones and by pressing the O key, you can find other commands.

4.- More Calcurse commands
4.- More Calcurse commands

To add a new event, just go to the calendar in section 2 with the Tab key and choose the day with the keyboard arrows. Then press the ^A (Shift A) key and you will see the following:

5.- Creating a new event with Calcurse
5.- Creating a new event with Calcurse

Now, we have to define the duration of the event. If you leave it blank, it will be an all-day event. Also, you can press the ? key to consult the available commands to define this time. In my case I have set it to last 2 hours.

6.- Adding a new event
6.- Adding a new event

Finally, write a description for the event.

7.- Entering a description for the new event
7.- Entering a description for the new event

Then, you will see the main screen with the event already loaded. All very easy to do.

8.- Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux
8.- Calcurse: a text-based calendar for Linux

So, enjoy it.


Having an application that allows us to organize our calendar and therefore tasks from the terminal is a great advantage if we have an old equipment. It is the fantastic thing about Linux that the terminal is still alive and giving excellent results.

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