Recently I received some RTF files via email. I wanted to read them on my phone, but I didn’t have any apps installed which understood RTF. I thought it would be nice to have a tool in Termux which would dump nicely formatted RTF to the terminal. At first I thought I might write something to do this myself, but then I discovered unrtf.
unrtf will read an RTF file and can output plaintext or html, among other formats.
This sounded like exactly what I was looking for.
However, it was not available in the Termux repositories.
Never fear! I’ll build it from source I thought.
However, I couldn’t install
clang on in Termux because my phone didn’t have enough storage space.
This brought me to cross-compiling, which I haven’t done much (any?) of before.
I started to look into cross compiling with clang, which might have worked,
but then I remembered reading an article about how
could be used for cross-compiling.
I also learnt that
zig has a built-in musl libc, and supports multiple target architectures out of the box.
It took me a bit of time to figure out the correct invocation to run the build, but it ended up quite simple:
tar -xf unrtf-0.21.10.tar.gz
./configure CC="zig cc -target arm-linux-musleabi -D_GNU_SOURCE" --host=arm-linux-musleabi
After this, I had a 32 bit arm
unrtf binary on my computer at
I created an archive containing this and the
outputs/ directory and copied it to my phone.
(The outputs directory is required, and must be specified when running
unrtf if it is not installed
to the standard location.)
I then ran the executable as follows, which by default outputs HTML to stdout:
unrtf -P outputs file.rtf
Finally, I piped the output to the lynx CLI browser:
unrtf -P outputs file.rtf | lynx -stdin
This produced very readable output!