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#1 2009-08-15 17:38:14

tcoffeep
Member
From: Timmins, Ontario
Registered: 2008-11-26
Posts: 99

Terminal-Only Challenge

Hi, all! I'm currently trying to challenge myself by refusing to use any Desktop Environment, or graphical programs of any kind. This is sort of an endurance test, but I am way behind in the ways of terminal kung-fu. Any tips, program suggestions, and whatnot, for me to actually succeed without giving up?

Current programs to use :

Vim : Text Editing
Ruby : Coding
Finch : IM
Lynx/Links/W3M : Browsing ((( I'm not sure which one to use )))

Thanks.
BDKL

Last edited by tcoffeep (2009-08-15 17:43:03)


=============== Read An Essay ===============
   Distro : Funtoo Linux || Kernel : ckernel-2.6.30-gentoo-r5
Processor : Athlon 64 X2 4400+ || RAM : 2GB || HD : 300GB
========================================

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#2 2009-08-15 17:50:12

Wintervenom
Member
Registered: 2008-08-20
Posts: 1,011

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Viper, an NCURSES window manager.

Last edited by Wintervenom (2009-08-15 17:52:39)

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#3 2009-08-15 17:52:13

Hrod beraht
Member
Registered: 2008-09-30
Posts: 186

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

tcoffeep wrote:

Any tips, program suggestions, and whatnot, for me to actually succeed without giving up?

Going completely window-manager free might not be the best solution, because starting/running a command-line or curses program from within a terminal isn't really any different from starting a GUI program from within a terminal and won't go too far at making you a terminal expert.
If you want to get better at using the terminal, I'd start off by uninstalling your file manager. Do all of that stuff in a terminal and you're skills will increase pretty quickly, even while your running a minimal wm like Ratpoison, Evilwm, dwm.

Bob

Last edited by Hrod beraht (2009-08-15 18:03:43)

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#4 2009-08-15 18:03:25

tcoffeep
Member
From: Timmins, Ontario
Registered: 2008-11-26
Posts: 99

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Oh, I just cleaned out my Windows XP partition, and am doing this challenge w/ a fresh distro. I'm doing this because, no matter how much time I spent in the terminal via gentoo or arch, I always ended up relying on a quick gui when I got tired of it. I learnt a lot of tricks in the short time, though, so I figure, if I'm going "whole-hog" as you put it, I should learn a lot more.
Hell, I felt more comfortable in windows, managing everything through the command prompt then by using its file manager, lol. I just figure this is the next step.


=============== Read An Essay ===============
   Distro : Funtoo Linux || Kernel : ckernel-2.6.30-gentoo-r5
Processor : Athlon 64 X2 4400+ || RAM : 2GB || HD : 300GB
========================================

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#5 2009-08-15 18:24:29

SpeedVin
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2009-04-29
Posts: 955

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

tcoffeep wrote:

Hi, all! I'm currently trying to challenge myself by refusing to use any Desktop Environment, or graphical programs of any kind. This is sort of an endurance test, but I am way behind in the ways of terminal kung-fu. Any tips, program suggestions, and whatnot, for me to actually succeed without giving up?

Current programs to use :

Vim : Text Editing
Ruby : Coding
Finch : IM
Lynx/Links/W3M : Browsing ((( I'm not sure which one to use )))

Thanks.
BDKL

I think you can use Uzbl as browser and DmemFM as your File Manager.
Why UZBL becouse can use js and none of them cannot smile


Shell Scripter | C/C++/Python/Java Coder | ZSH

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#6 2009-08-15 18:24:52

Ranguvar
Member
Registered: 2008-08-12
Posts: 2,541

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

eLinks is great as a web browser. links-g is framebuffer, guess that wouldn't work?

You'll also be needing GNU Screen, or an alternative.

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#7 2009-08-15 19:15:56

evol
Member
From: Ireland
Registered: 2007-06-27
Posts: 53
Website

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

GNU Screen is a must
ELinks with FBV is great for viewing individual images on websites (get used to Ctrl+L)
With mplayer you can watch video & with Clive you can retrieve youtubes
I like mocp for listening to music
Alpine is good for checking emails
asciiquarium/cmatrix for eye candy smile


-//------------------/------>

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#8 2009-08-15 19:28:43

Profjim
Member
From: NYC
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 658

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

I second elinks. It also does handle (some) javascript in webpages, and the UI is highly configurable. UI can be scripted with lua or javascript, also some other languages (python yes, perl? ruby? in any case the lua support is most complete).

The package extra/fbida lets you view images and pdfs in the framebuffer. So you can't display images in-page with elinks, like you can with links-g or w3m, but you can configure those helpers so that hitting enter on an image/pdf tag pops up the image/pdf.

And yes, learn how to use screen. Though I got by for a while with just ~10 VTs, and no screen.

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#9 2009-08-16 00:32:00

alterecco
Member
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 152

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

As an alternative to screen, you could look at tmux. Either way, a multiplexer is a must.

Elinks for browsing, mpd + ncmpcpp for music. Weechat is awesome if you need irc.

Other than that, just keep at it. When faced with a repetitive task, take the extra time to learn how to automate it through your shell bash and piping. Then write a script or a oneliner and stow it away for reference the next time. Bit by bit you will find stuff that would have required installation of extra software on Windows, to be easily achievable on the shell (and more flexible).

.]

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#10 2009-08-16 00:40:07

scj
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 158

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Personally, I don't really see the point in this kind of asceticism, or at least the arbitrary nature of the rules. You can practise shell scripting in a graphical environment just as well.

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#11 2009-08-16 04:29:27

skottish
Forum Fellow
From: Here
Registered: 2006-06-16
Posts: 7,942

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Almost no one ever brings up sdcv. That I'll never understand. It is so much nicer to use than it's GUI counterpart. And, if one launches it with rlwrap, they get history too.

*** For those of you too lazy to search, it's StarDict the command-line version. ***

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#12 2009-08-16 11:54:03

tomd123
Developer
Registered: 2008-08-12
Posts: 565

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

tcoffeep wrote:

Hi, all! I'm currently trying to challenge myself by refusing to use any Desktop Environment, or graphical programs of any kind. This is sort of an endurance test, but I am way behind in the ways of terminal kung-fu. Any tips, program suggestions, and whatnot, for me to actually succeed without giving up?

Current programs to use :

Vim : Text Editing
Ruby : Coding
Finch : IM
Lynx/Links/W3M : Browsing ((( I'm not sure which one to use )))

Thanks.
BDKL

Here's a tip: just because you're in the terminal all the time doesn't make you an expert in 'terminal kung-fu'. How about sticking to X but instead writing a program in complete bash or ruby that you have never done before. That will teach you more about the terminal than finch and links will ever teach you.

Last edited by tomd123 (2009-08-16 11:54:42)

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#13 2009-08-16 14:19:46

tcoffeep
Member
From: Timmins, Ontario
Registered: 2008-11-26
Posts: 99

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

It's not solely about the terminal knowledge, though. I am easily distracted, and I figure with no windows, no pictures, no graphics, I will be able to focus on my studies better. I mean, I haven't played a game that was released after year 2002, although my secondary comp can handle them. I just need to ween my reliance on GUI's. With no X, I have no choice but to use terminal commands. With no X, I'm less tempted to copy-paste code from projects when I'm coding ( and when I come across problems like I am right now, it's really tempting D: ).
It's a challenge, as well, and I enjoy challenges. X-free will be hard, and it will be frustrating at times, but I feel like I will only benefit from this. smile

Thanks for all your help guys. I'm currently playing with screen. Getting a feel for it.

@Profjim :

Lua, Perl, and Ruby for Elinks. I didn't see Python, but I could be wrong.


=============== Read An Essay ===============
   Distro : Funtoo Linux || Kernel : ckernel-2.6.30-gentoo-r5
Processor : Athlon 64 X2 4400+ || RAM : 2GB || HD : 300GB
========================================

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#14 2009-08-16 16:51:29

Sakurina
Member
From: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-09
Posts: 90
Website

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

I do most of my stuff in the terminal; I like not needing to use the mouse to do anything, and it ends up being really handy when X suddenly decides to pretend my keyboard doesn't exist like it decided to do yesterday. tongue

I use tmux with 7 windows open:
- term: zsh
- mail: alpine
- aim: pork
- irc: irssi
- dev: zsh + vim
- music: mocp
- torrents: unworkable

When I have to do web browsing, I crank out links.

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#15 2009-08-16 17:38:40

Profjim
Member
From: NYC
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 658

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

tcoffeep wrote:

@Profjim :
Lua, Perl, and Ruby for Elinks. I didn't see Python, but I could be wrong.

Python support is there, though it may only be in the git version. I can supply a PKGBUILD for elinks-git if you need it. But the python support is by the elinks team's own description "buggy and incomplete." To get the Javascript client-side scripting, you have to have SpiderMonkey installed (there's experimental support for another JS engine, but that's also claimed to be very iffy at this point). This too might only be available in the git version, I've lost track...

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#16 2009-08-18 02:58:36

anubis2591
Member
Registered: 2008-07-06
Posts: 52
Website

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

I actually did this exact thing last summer. It lasted for a good two months at least (I needed flash for music discovery and I missed pretty images). I used:

Terminal Manager: screen
Text Editor: vim
Music Player: mocp
Web Browser: w3m
IM: Finch
Torrents: rtorrent

And I used a few other programs but those were the important ones. Now I would switch mocp with mpd + ncmpc and w3m with elinks. I'd also like to suggest for you to check out K. Mandla's blog as it is invaluable for terminal applications and minimal linux computing in general. His software page should be a great resource for you.

Edit: Forgot to mention vitetris for games (nothing to do with vi but everything to do with tetris). It's in the AUR and I'd highly recommend it.

Last edited by anubis2591 (2009-08-18 03:08:33)

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#17 2009-08-20 07:55:13

LookTJ
Member
From: Clovis, California
Registered: 2009-08-20
Posts: 29
Website

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

I prefer Screen alongside dvtm. smile

Browser: eLinks
Torrents: rtorrent
IM: (if you prefer)finch
IRC: irssi
Media: mplayer

Hmm what else.

Last edited by LookTJ (2009-08-20 07:58:20)

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#18 2009-08-20 12:51:42

Profjim
Member
From: NYC
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 658

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

LookTJ wrote:

I prefer Screen alongside dvtm. smile
Hmm what else.

mail: mutt
newsfeeds: newsbeuter

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#19 2009-08-20 13:13:17

tomd123
Developer
Registered: 2008-08-12
Posts: 565

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Well here is my suggestions then:

Terminal Manager: screen
Mail: mutt
Editor: vim
Browser: eLinks
Torrents: rtorrent
IRC: irssi
Media: mocp
Font: profont size 11
also get youself some nice colors.

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#20 2009-08-20 14:17:09

Arm-the-Homeless
Member
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 273

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

I think it's harder for a GUI-only challenge.

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#21 2009-08-21 04:51:54

bruce
Member
Registered: 2008-11-27
Posts: 57

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

+1 for dvtm, looks like a good bit of kit for multitasking etc...

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#22 2009-08-21 11:54:06

dunc
Member
From: Glasgow, UK
Registered: 2007-06-18
Posts: 559

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

In case anyone's interested, the guys at the TuxRadar podcast (Linux Format magazine ; no, I don't know why they don't use the same name either) are doing a commandline only challenge over the next two weeks. Their conclusions - and presumably some hints and tips - will be in the 2nd September episode, assuming they can all stick it out for that long (my money's on Mike Saunders being the only one to go the distance; hell, he wrote his own OS, in assembler...).


0 Ok, 0:1

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#23 2009-08-22 00:49:27

cardinals_fan
Member
From: /dev/null
Registered: 2008-02-03
Posts: 248

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

The most powerful console web browser is elinks.  Period.

You should look at dvtm for "window" management, calcurse for scheduling, alpine for email, mpd + ncmpcpp for music, vifm for file management, and many more.


Segmentation fault (core dumped)

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#24 2009-08-22 20:06:09

madalu
Member
Registered: 2009-05-05
Posts: 217

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Perhaps it works for some people, but I have not found that artificial
console-only exercizes minimize distractions. If anything, trying to
do everything in the console only increases distractions, because
there are an endless number of config files to tinker with. The same
applies to Emacs tinkering --- to which I must plead guilty. In my
opinion, the folks who learn coding and shell commands fastest are the
ones who don't care about their environment and just sit down and do
their work. Of course, it's a huge amount of *fun* to take on this
type of project, but a time-saver it is not.

Last edited by madalu (2009-08-22 20:07:37)

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#25 2009-08-22 20:39:06

droog
Member
Registered: 2004-11-18
Posts: 877

Re: Terminal-Only Challenge

Like everyone else said, screen is a must, dvtm is really nice if your used to dwm and there are a couple lists of console programs in the forums here.

What makes a huge difference if you're going to use this for awhile is to not use a terminal file manager
and set up nice colors and font. I use the colors from phraktures blog here

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