orion twitch client
Orion playing a video stream

It feels a little bit mean to write about an app that I know most of you won’t get to try anytime soon.

But when I saw Orion, a Qt-based Twitch desktop app, surface on Reddit this evening I…I felt like I had to mention it here.

Firstly, it’s always nice to see well-designed apps of any shade, and any toolkit. Secondly, I’m big into Twitch right now (hey, those classic Sonic the Hedgehog speed runs won’t watch themselves!).

But I’m also writing about an app that isn’t built using Electron — which will please a vocal contingent among you!

Orion Twitch Client

As desktop Twitch clients go Orion is pretty spot on in what it offers.

Will it persuade fans of CLI apps and/or livestreamer?

Probably not.

Will it interest people who want a ready-wrapped alternative to the main Twitch.tv website?

I think it just might.

orion search interface
Orion’s search interface

Orion is open source, written in Qt/Qml and C++ and offers an attractive front-end to the ghastly Flash-based mess that is the official Twitch website.

Using Orion you can search for games or channels, watch streams, chat, follow, unfollow and view profiles, and get a desktop notification when a channel you follow goes live.

Better yet, the app is cross-platform. Pre-compiled binaries for Windows and macOS — but alas not Linux — are available to download from the project’s GitHub presence. 

Orion Features

  • Login with your Twitch.tv account
  • Desktop notifications
  • Integrated player (mpv-based on Linux)
  • Built-in chat support
  • Support for live streams and VOD

Installing Orion on Ubuntu Is A Galaxy of Pain

Installing it on Ubuntu is far from straightforward. You’ll need qmake installed, a bunch of KDE libs (including libqt4-dev, libqt4-dev-bin, mpv, etc.), you’ll also need to manually compile and install libcommuni from GitHub, Qt5, and QtWebEngine.

So yeah. A pinch of knowledge on how to compile software is required.

If after all that you can get the thing up and running — and don’t have to immediately sweep up the hair you pulled out getting there — do stop by to let the rest of us know how it’s going.

Oh, and if you stuff this beauty into a PPA, be sure to give a bell too!

Apps qt twitch