Programming Puzzles & Code Golf Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for programming puzzle enthusiasts and code golfers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Please read the rules, and the bold areas as well.

Write a program in any language, so long as it has GUI support for a window system (cannot be text-consoles, etc., and must be a GUI/toolkit/window).

The program must say hello world in any manner (splash image, menu bar, status bar, title, video, message box, other widget stuff, etc.), so long as a GUI-compliant window appears and shows this text for three seconds. The person who can code this in the least amount of code used, counted in bytes, will take the cake.

share|improve this question
The comments here have degraded into a pointless argument. Please refrain from extended discussion in the comments; if necessary, you may use chat instead. All comments have been purged. – Doorknob May 21 '14 at 20:53
It doesn't matter where the argument came from - all users should avoid participating in disputes that are clearly noise or going nowhere. – Doorknob May 21 '14 at 20:56
Does it have to be "Hello world" or can it be "Hello_world"? – slebetman May 23 '14 at 7:56
Also, must it exit gracefully? – slebetman May 23 '14 at 8:04
you don't specify how the program has to be run? for instance does it have to be started up by itself or can it be something loaded up in a already running environment? – Jordon Biondo May 25 '14 at 17:02

44 Answers 44

Unix shell, 31 characters

xmessage -timeout 3 hello world

message "hello world" with button "okay"

This program requires the xmessage(1) utility from X.Org. It uses the traditional black-and-white X Athena Widgets (Xaw).

share|improve this answer
Grrr...I was going to post one using timeout and zenity but it was longer... – BenjiWiebe May 23 '14 at 15:21
@BenjiWiebe There is a zenity answer by n.1 at – kernigh May 23 '14 at 18:58
You can save 1 byte: timeout 3 xmessage hello world – Glenn Randers-Pehrson May 24 '14 at 14:41
@GlennRanders-Pehrson I can't do that, because my machine has no timeout command. Maybe someone else can post a new answer that uses it? – kernigh May 24 '14 at 19:09

Shell and gedit - 27 characters

timeout 3 gedit Hello World

If Hello World needs to be displayed as a single string, then its 28 characters:

timeout 3 gedit Hello\ World

timeout utility runs a command for the duration specified. It ensures that gedit runs for 3 seconds, assuming minimal startup time.

Any editor can be used in place of gedit. If a shorter named editor is used like gvim, the length can be reduced by 1 or more characters.

Using an editor initially thought of by user80551.

share|improve this answer
Escape the space, use Hello\ World – user80551 May 23 '14 at 5:58
@user80551 The question requires "Hello World" to be displayed in any manner, so that shouldn't be necessary. – AsheeshR May 23 '14 at 6:01
Technically, that would make this Hello <space> <close icon> <Document icon> World – user80551 May 23 '14 at 6:03
Can you confirm if kate would work instead of gedit? – user80551 May 23 '14 at 6:04
@user80551 Dont have KDE installed, but going by Kate's man page, there doesnt seem to be any reason why it shouldn't work. – AsheeshR May 23 '14 at 6:07

Applescript, 45 bytes:

Not often Applescript is one of the shorter answers:

display alert "hello world" giving up after 3

Paste into the Applescript Editor and run, or run using osascript at the command line:

osascript -e 'display alert "hello world" giving up after 3'

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

HTML+Javascript, 73 60 characters

<script>setTimeout("open('','_self','');close()",3e3)</script>Hello world

This works in Chrome, but may not be portable to other browsers.

Suggestions from the comments take this further:

<body onload=open('',name=setTimeout(close,3e3))>Hello world
share|improve this answer
That's a lot of golfing I saw. I saw this go from 108 chars down to 73. Suddenly, the whole code is visible. – Justin May 21 '14 at 21:11
@Quincunx: You missed the first few iterations then. :) – Greg Hewgill May 21 '14 at 21:11
That's because I was busy posting my own code. :-) – Justin May 21 '14 at 21:12
<body onload=open('','_self'),setTimeout(close,3e3)>Hello world seems to save a few more characters. – Ventero May 21 '14 at 22:40
You have an edit suggestion from user3082537: save two chars by <body onload=open('',name=setTimeout(close,3e3))>Hello world – Justin May 23 '14 at 6:48

shell script, 31

Not sure whether it qualifies. Requires notify-send. Works at least on Ubuntu 12.04.

notify-send -t 3000 Hello world


share|improve this answer
Probably not since it isn't a GUI compliant window. Unfortunately, using zenity is much longer. – user80551 May 22 '14 at 11:10
Its 34 chars with gedit - – user80551 May 22 '14 at 11:13
I believe that a window with no window decorations is still a window. Here in Enlightenment, the notification also has an X button to close it (but no other window decorations). – kernigh May 23 '14 at 19:07

shell + gedit / geany, 34

gedit Hello\ World&sleep 3;kill $!

Hello World in gedit

This assumes that gedit pops up instantly since the 3 seconds are counted from the start of issuing the command. Could be smaller if there's a GUI text editor shorter than gedit.

geany works too for the same number of chars, just s/gedit/geany/g

Hello World in geany

EDIT: Using timeout is shorter.

EDIT2: Can anyone confirm if this works with kate ?

meld , 32

If exactly Hello World is not required, then meld can be used.

meld Hello World&sleep 3;kill $!

Hello : World - Meld

share|improve this answer
Nice idea, gedit tries to open a file with this name even if there's no file. – A.L May 22 '14 at 18:04
If you use gvim it will need only 33 chars – avall May 22 '14 at 18:17
@Daniel halt would be shorter but I don't know if being destructive is allowed. Also, it requires root permissions so we either need to assume that we are root or use sudo which costs more (and needs the user to type the password). – user80551 May 23 '14 at 12:34
Sorry, I was trying to be humorous. I was assuming the user has root permissions. – Daniel May 23 '14 at 12:48
@Daniel No need to be sorry, this site is based on the most evil devious twisting of the rules to make your code shorter. – user80551 May 23 '14 at 13:02

VBScript, 58

WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Popup"Hello world",3


share|improve this answer

Python (pygame), 87

import pygame.display as d,time
d.set_caption('Hello world')


share|improve this answer
Not working on OSX, doesn't show window... – Harry Beadle May 22 '14 at 11:21
@BritishColour it should, perhaps it's too small? Try changing the size to [999,999] – ace May 22 '14 at 11:23
Still not working, the window isn't even appearing... – Harry Beadle May 22 '14 at 11:26
@BritishColour Well it definitely works for me. See here. Perhaps it was showing up at the background or something? – ace May 22 '14 at 11:40
It's interesting how our code is basically identical, but uses a different module. tkinter turns out to be shorter. – Justin May 22 '14 at 16:06

Tcl - 32 bytes

I noticed that some of these submissions, like the shell or javascript ones, allow you to type the code into the console. If that's the case I can shorten it to:

wm ti . hello\ world;af 3000 exi

Must be typed into the console after running wish. Meaning, run wish without arguments which will give you a REPL console and then type the code above. This makes use of the fact that tcl can be lenient and autocomplete command/function names but only in interactive mode. So that af actually exectues the after command and exi executes exit. I wanted to use ex but my system has the ex editor installed.

Original submission - 36 bytes

wm ti . hello\ world;after 3000 exit

Run using wish instead of tclsh.

share|improve this answer

52 51 chars with Mathematica

(Hope it counts as a GUI-compliant.)

NotebookClose/@{CreateDialog@"Hello world",Pause@3}

Mathematica GUI Golf code

share|improve this answer

Java, 136 bytes

class F{public static void main(String[]a)throws Exception{new java.awt.Frame("Hello World").show();Thread.sleep(3000);System.exit(0);}}

Displays the message Hello World as the title of a frame. After 3 seconds, the program closes.

Looks like this:

enter image description here

Drag it bigger:

enter image description here

Expanded code (ie readable):

class F {

    public static void main(String[] a) throws Exception {
        new java.awt.Frame("Hello World").show();

share|improve this answer
You can use enum instead of class to save another character. – Riking May 21 '14 at 22:34
@Riking it doesn't work. – Justin May 21 '14 at 22:35
Really? I could've sworn I actually used that once... Dang. – Riking May 21 '14 at 22:36
@Riking… – Justin May 21 '14 at 22:36

R, 44

x11(ti="Hello World");Sys.sleep(3);

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

C, 151 characters

main(){textout_ex(screen,font,"Hello World",0,0,7,set_gfx_mode('SAFE',8,8,install_timer(),

Not the smallest answer. I like it though.

share|improve this answer
Good job. &#32&#32&#32&#32 – Sut Dip May 21 '14 at 20:54
How does that even compile? 'SAFE' isn't a single char. – heinrich5991 May 23 '14 at 19:40
@heinrich5991 SAFE is likely defined in allegro.h as a single character. – Adam Davis May 23 '14 at 21:28
@AdamDavis C evaluates macros in character constants? – heinrich5991 May 24 '14 at 13:34
No macro, it's really just a 32-bit integer written as four bytes in what's called multi-character constant notation, a too-clever-for-its-own-good way to write four-byte tag strings. Apple used it for file type magic numbers once. Compilers nowadays support it but emit a warning. Example for nonbelievers – Wander Nauta May 25 '14 at 15:38

PowerShell - 63 52

(new-object -c'Hello World',3)
share|improve this answer

C# 101 151

This will for sure not be the shortest answer (since there are already other good answers being way shorter) but codegolf.SE needs a lot more C# contributions in my opinion!

using t=System.Threading;class P{static void Main(){using(t.Tasks.Task.Run(()=>System.Windows.MessageBox.Show("hello world"))){t.Thread.Sleep(3000);}}}

C# 121

An alternative based on Bob's answer, but with WPF instead of WinForms:

class P{static void Main(){new System.Windows.Window(){Title="hello world"}.Show();System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(3000);}}

Saves 3 characters thanks to the shorter namespace ...

share|improve this answer
You need to include the using declarations in the character count. Alternatively, you could leave them out but then you'd have to do things like System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show (slightly fewer characters if it's only a single use). As your code currently is, it won't compile or run. – Bob May 23 '14 at 5:02
Well, I just assumed it was not neccesary because I see a lot of answers in C, C++, C#, Java etc without any using/imports/whatever. I will edit it, though. BTW, is there some explicit rule on this? Sure it would compile and run with the right compile settings and/or compiler. (e. g. resolving using directives on compile time, as long as they can be resolved distinct) – Num Lock May 23 '14 at 6:48
It is a little grey - for example, I had to add a reference to System.Windows.Forms.dll, which is part of the msbuild config/the compile command line. However, the general consensus seems to be that when a full program is requested, using/import/#include/etc. where necessary for the code to compile and run are required, and attempting to use compiler command line tricks to dodge that is bad. – Bob May 23 '14 at 7:42
I will keep that in mind. Thank you for the references. – Num Lock May 23 '14 at 7:54

Visual FoxPro - 23 characters

WAIT"hello world"TIME 3

Hello world in VFP

This abuses the fact that VFP allows to not to put a space between the string to be printed (which I just discovered) and that it allows to shorten every keyword to up to its first 4 characters.

Ungolfed version:

WAIT "hello world" TIMEOUT 3
share|improve this answer

GTK+, 47 45

zenity --info --text=Hello\ World --timeout=3

Hello World

Old version (score 47):

zenity --info --title="Hello World" --timeout=3

Hello World

For some reason, zenity display a text which can be translated as All update are done.

share|improve this answer
Just to add some extra info, All updates are complete. is what I get in English. – ace May 22 '14 at 18:50
You can reduce one character by changing --title to --text – AsheeshR May 23 '14 at 3:59
You can change "Hello World" to Hello\ World – kernigh May 23 '14 at 19:00
Thanks AsheeshR and kernigh, I have 2 less characters with your help. – A.L May 23 '14 at 19:47

Batch (24)

msg/time:3 * hello world

Tested on Windows 7, but should work on any NT-based version of Windows, assuming you have MSG.EXE in your System32 folder.

EDIT: Apparently MSG.EXE is not available by default on home versions of Windows. On Windows 7, for example, this is only available in the Ultimate or Business editions. However, you can copy the file over to your System32 folder and get it to work. (You must also copy over the appropriate MSG.EXE.MUI file to get proper error messages, but my "script" works without them.)

You have to install software for most of these other responses to work, too, so I don't think that should be a disqualifier.

share|improve this answer

APL (40)

X.Close⊣⎕DL 3⊣'X'⎕WC'Form' 'Hello World'
share|improve this answer
39: X.Close⊣⎕DL⍴⍕'X'⎕WC'Form' 'Hello World' – Adám 2 days ago

Lua + LÖVE, 67 bytes

l=love l.window.setTitle"hello world"l.timer.sleep(3)l.event.quit()

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Perl on Windows (56)

use Win32;fork?kill+sleep+3,$$:Win32'MsgBox"Hello World"
share|improve this answer

Perl 5, 47

Using Perl/Tk:

perl -MTk -e'alarm 3;tkinit-title,"Hello World!";MainLoop'
#     123    45678901234567890123456789012345678901234567
share|improve this answer
It seems that the Tk module is required. – A.L May 22 '14 at 18:03
Yes, of course you need some GUI toolkit. I choose Tk because of tkinit(). – Matthias May 23 '14 at 5:57
I count 44 bytes. Are you counting the -MTk flag as well? – slebetman May 23 '14 at 8:12
@slebetman Yes I count that as 3 chars, I added the count to the post. – Matthias May 23 '14 at 8:15
@n.1 I added it below the title with a link to the CPAN documentation of the Tk module. None of the perl core modules is a GUI module, therefore you always have to install external modules. Sorry, this was clear to me (as I am working with perl quite often), but you are right, it is surprising for those who work in other languages. – Matthias May 23 '14 at 13:35

Processing, 77

int x=millis();void draw(){text("Hello world",0,9);if(millis()>x+3e3)exit();}


enter image description here

Edit 1: Y position of the text can be 9 instead of 10, like noted by @ace.

Edit 2: 3000 can be represented as 3e3 to shave one character off, also noted by @ace

share|improve this answer
Using 9 for Y position instead of 10 works for me. – ace May 23 '14 at 10:16
Just edited the code. Thanks! – segfaultd May 23 '14 at 14:48
Just noticed you can use 3e3 instead of 3000 to save one more char – ace May 23 '14 at 17:11

bash + ImageMagick (36 bytes)

timeout 3 display label:Hello\ world

Tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and on Fedora 20.

Nicer-looking, but 10 bytes larger:

timeout 3 display -size 800 label:Hello\ world
share|improve this answer

Python 3, 83 72 bytes

from tkinter import*
f.wm_title("Hello World")

Save bytes by using tkinter.

The old method added a Label to the frame. This method sets the title of the frame to Hello World. f.after(3000,exit) runs exit() after 3000 milliseconds have passed.

share|improve this answer
Same idea, different module: turtle has less bytes. =D – daviewales May 24 '14 at 13:12

Cobra - 180

use System.Windows.Forms
use System.Threading
class M
    def main
        Thread(ref .w).start
    def w"hello world")
share|improve this answer

C# 124

Far from the shortest :(

class P{static void Main(){new System.Windows.Forms.Form(){Text="Hello World"}.Show();System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(3000);}}
share|improve this answer

Rebol View (r3gui), 49

view/no-wait[title"hello world"]wait 3 unview/all

"hello world" from Rebol 3 View


view/no-wait [title "hello world"]
wait 3
share|improve this answer

Bash with xterm, 34

Uses the title of an xterm window to display "Hello World". Does close after 3 seconds.

xterm -T Hello\ World -e sleep\ 3

If displaying Hello_World (without a space) is allowed, you can save one char (xterm -T Hello_World -e sleep\ 3).

share|improve this answer

Python with turtle module (69 66 bytes)

import turtle as t,time
t.title("Hello World")

Note that if you run this in an interactive console, you don't need the t.fd(9) line. However, for some reason when running this non-interactively, the title doesn't change unless you run the extra line.

Edit (66 bytes)

import turtle as t
t.title("Hello World")
share|improve this answer

protected by ace May 25 '14 at 8:39

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.