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Terminal based bitwise calculator in curses

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Bitwise is multi base interactive calculator supporting dynamic base conversion and bit manipulation. It's a handy tool for low level hackers, kernel developers and device drivers developers.

Some of the features include:

  • Interactive ncurses interface
  • Command line calculator supporting all bitwise operations.
  • Individual bit manipulator.
  • Bitwise operations such as NOT, OR, AND, XOR, and shifts.



bitwise can be used both Interactively and in command line mode.

Command line calculator mode

In command line mode, bitwise will calculate the given expression and will output the result in all bases including binary representation.

bitwise detects the base by the preface of the input (0x/0X for hexadecimal, leading 0 for octal, b for binary, and the rest is decimal).


Simple base conversion


C style syntax Calculator


Interactive mode

bitwise starts in interactive mode if no command line parameters are passed or if the -i | --interactive flag is passed. In this mode, you can input a number and manipulate it and see the other bases change dynamically. It also allows changing individual bits in the binary. You can show the help screen by pressing F1 .

Navigation in interactive mode

To move around use the arrow keys, or use vi key bindings : h j k l . Leave the program by pressing q .

Binary specific movement

You can toggle a bit bit using the space key. You can jump a byte forward using w and backwards one byte using b .

Bitwise operation in interactive mode

Setting the bit width:

Reducing or extending the bit width interactively is also very easy, just use: ! for 8bit, @ for 16Bit, $ for 32Bit and * for 64Bit. When changing the bit width, the number is masked with the new width, so you might lost precision, use with care.


Press ~ to perform the NOT operator.


Press < and > to perform the left or right shift.

expression calculator in interactive mode

You can enter expression calculator mode by typing : (Just like in vim).

To exit the mode, just press ESC .

In this mode, you can type any expression you like to be evaluated. The result will be printed in the history window and also printed in the binary and various bases on top.

operators and functions
  • All C operators are supported, additionally, you can use the "$" symbol to refer to the last result.
  • Refer to a specific bit by using the function BIT(x).
  • help - Show the help screen.
  • clear - Clear the history window.
  • width [8 | 16 | 32 | 64] - Set the required width mask
  • output [decimal | hex | octal | binary | all] - Set the default output for results.
  • q - Exit

Integration with other software





From 20.04 you can just type

sudo apt-get install bitwise

For earlier versions:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ramon-fried/bitwise
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bitwise


If your distribution supports Snap just type: sudo snap install bitwise


zypper install bitwise


You can use the AUR repository:


bitwise is in the default repository, so just type: sudo xbps-install -S bitwise

Buildroot / Yocto

Bitwise is available both in Buildroot and in Yocto, please refer to the documentation on how to add those to your target image.



sudo port install bitwise


brew install bitwise


NCurses doesn't support windows. You can use the windows subsystem for Linux as a workaround.

Building from source


  • libreadline
  • libncurses (with forms)
  • libcunit (only needed for testing)

On Ubuntu/Debian system you can just paste:

sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev
sudo apt-get install libreadline-dev
sudo apt-get install libcunit1-dev

On Mac systems:

brew install automake
brew install autoconf
brew install readline
export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/readline/lib"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/readline/include"
sudo make install

Running unit tests by typing make check


  • Instal prerequisites
  • Fork the repo
  • Run ./
  • Follow the building from source section.
  • commit and send pull request

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