Raffaello command-line output colorizer

formatter, console, colorizer, command-line-tools, python
pip install raffaello==3.0.4


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Raffaello - output colorizer

Raffaello colorizes the output stream of any command-line tool (e.g. gcc/g++, cmake, dmesg, syslog and custom), making it easier to read.


The raffaello's command line interface let you use two call modes: pipes and command.

In pipe mode you call raffaello like:

<output stream source> | raffaello [options]

In command mode raffaello will call your stream source in your behalf

raffaello [options] -c <output stream source>

To highlight the output stream, Raffaello has 2 color modes and 2 styles modes:

Color modes:

  • 8 colors mode let you use the following names: black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, light_gray. NEW Starting from version 3.0.3 Raffaello introduces a blind color: lines matching the pattern with color "blind" will be REMOVED from the stream. This will improve readability of dense stream output.

  • 256 colors mode let you use other 248 colors and choose between foreground or background colors (you can mix 8 colors mode names with 256 color mode names):

Color styles:

  • Foreground color names are in the form colorNUM. E.g. foreground red is color001
  • Background color names are in the form bgcolorNUM. E.g. background red is bgcolor001

With the styles you can blend colors in bold and underlined

  • foreground red bold is color001_bold
  • foreground red underlined is color001_underlined

Call raffaello -l to see the complete list of available colors.

Full interface description

Usage: raffaello (-p PRESET | -r REQUEST | -f FILE | -l) [options]

    -p PRESET, --preset=PRESET              Prebuilt config files for coloring known output streams (gcc/g++, cmake, dmesg, gcc/g++, ModemManager, logcat...)
    -r REQUEST --request=REQUEST            The requested text/color mapping string. Multipe requests are separated by a space. Regular expression are supported. E.g. "error=>red [Ww]arning=>yellow_bold".
    -f FILE --file=FILE                     Path to the custom text=>color configuration file.
    -c COMMAND --command=COMMAND            Instead of using raffaello with pipes, set the command-line tool to be executed by raffaello directly. E.g. -c "dmesg -w".
    -m, --match-only                        Print only the lines that match against some defined pattern.
    -d DELIMITER --delimiter=DELIMITER      If you don't like "=>" as delimiter between text and color, use this flag to change it. E.g. -d & [default: =>]
    -l, --list                              List all the available colors and presets
    -v --verbose                            Enable debug logging


  • version 3.0.3 --match-only flag Print only the lines that match against any defined pattern.


The simpler usage is using the request flag. The request flag requires a string in the form "text=>color anothertext=>anothercolor", where text can be a constant string or a Regular expression, while color is the name of the color to use (see Usage section)

  • Simple constant text highlight

      $ ifconfig eno1 | raffaello --request="collisions=>blue"


  • Highlight of multiple texts. Here you can see that spaces in the "text part" are not allowed. Use \s instead.

      $ ifconfig eno1 | raffaello --request="RX\spackets=>green TX\spackets=>red"


  • Highlight with regular expressions

      $ ifconfig eno1 | raffaello --request="\d+\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+=>green_bold"


For more complex color mapping you can write a file with a line for each text=>color entry, like the following


save the file and provide it to raffaello using its fullpath

$ ifconfig eno1 | raffaello --file=$HOME/colorfile


Color files can be reused in other color files using the include directive followed by the fullpath to the file.

Using fullpath is annoying, tough, so Raffaello has a special path under $HOME/.raffaello. All the colorfiles inside this folder can be passed using simply their filename, without the path.

# include custom colorfile in $HOME/.raffaello
include some_custom_colorfile

# include custom color outside $HOME/.raffaello
include $HOME/path/to/some_other_custom_color


Raffaello provides some built-in colorfiles, called presets, for known tools like cmake, gcc/g++, dmesg, etc. The presets can be used alone using --preset flag or even included in custom colorfile in order to extend their colormaps.

# Include a preset colorfile
include errors

# include custom colorfile in $HOME/.raffaello
include some_custom_colorfile

# include custom color outside $HOME/.raffaello
include $HOME/path/to/some_other_custom_color


For a full list of presets, call raffaello --list.

Raffaello is a python module

Raffaello can be used as a python module inside other source codes

from raffaello import Raffaello, Commission

request = '''

c = Commission(request)
r = Raffaello(c.commission)

print(r.paint('Sample message with error, warning and a bluish text.'))


Install from source using setuptools. Just type the following command

# python setup.py install

Install from PyPI - the Python Package Index

# pip install raffaello


  • docopt language for description of command-line interfaces