Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 22nd May 2007 03:43 UTC
General Unix Would you be able to survive one full day without using the X server? Linux offers us a wide assortment of CLI based tools which use curses and/or framebuffer for functional user interfaces. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able look up stuff online, read your email, look at pictures, watch movies and listen to music as you are trying to configure X.
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Darn
by ValiantSoul on Tue 22nd May 2007 03:50 UTC
ValiantSoul
Member since:
2005-07-20

Darn, the only 2 I didn't know about were framebuffer picture viewing and framebuffer video viewing, and there are no screenshots for only those 2...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Darn
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 22nd May 2007 06:46 UTC in reply to "Darn"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

I lived over a decade without X on Windows.

I could live without X on *nix as I've deal with it regularly but if faced with it permanently, my system would quickly become far less interesting.

Looking at a black screen with white text 24/7 only generates so much excitement. Your also guaranteed a migraine headache to top it off.

For others, one has to imagine how much power a blinking white cursor draws from their $2000+ gaming system and how great of an investment that might have been for the owner.

Edited 2007-05-22 06:48

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Darn
by rcsteiner on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Darn"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

White text? Wow -- I've been using colorized tools even on the Solaris development servers here. I color code my PuTTY screens depending on the server I'm logged into, I use color ls, Midnight Commander, syntax highlighting in vim, etc.

There's no reason at all to force yourself into a monochrome world, even at the command line. :-)

Edited 2007-05-22 15:31

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Darn
by stestagg on Tue 22nd May 2007 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Darn"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Yes. There should be more text-mode color around. Make, for example would be far more intelligable with some color.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Darn
by rcsteiner on Thu 24th May 2007 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Darn"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

When I edit a Makefile in Midnight Commander's built-in editor, leading tabs are shown as BIG RED BLOCKS.

Very hard to miss. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Darn
by stestagg on Thu 24th May 2007 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Darn"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Heh. Was talking about the Make output.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Darn
by rcsteiner on Thu 24th May 2007 19:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Darn"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

True, that would be nice. :-)

On the mainframe side I ended up writing a compiler results parsing program that would spin through the rather lengthy results output of our FORTRAN compiler and highlight key information (white is normal, grey is caution/warning, red is Bad Stuff).

http://www.visi.com/~rsteiner/errchk.gif

I may do the same thing under Solaris here. The gcc compiler spits out a ton of crap. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Darn
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Darn"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"There's no reason at all to force yourself into a monochrome world, even at the command line. :-) "

It's even possible to have coloured applications via SSH as long as the terminal emulation can use colours and attributes. A DEC vt100 can't. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Darn
by butters on Wed 23rd May 2007 04:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Darn"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I could live without X on *nix as I've deal with it regularly but if faced with it permanently, my system would quickly become far less interesting.

As we say, use the right tool for the job. GUI applications are the best tools for a lot of tasks. Personally, I use mostly GUI apps at home, but I reach for the terminal for almost all system administration and some file management tasks simply because it's easier--for me. At work, I spend most of my time in about a dozen terminals ssh'ed into a remote box. I have a script that checks my open terminals and starts a new one with a unique foreground color in order of my personal color preferences. This way I can quickly find the orange terminal I was using for cscope, for example. It's all about what works for me, which might seem weird or even frightening to other people.

Looking at a black screen with white text 24/7 only generates so much excitement. Your also guaranteed a migraine headache to top it off.

In my experience, looking at predominantly white screens common in GUI environments by default is more likely to cause headaches and eye strain than looking at mostly black screens. I always use black backgrounds wherever practical, because shining all that unnecessary light at my eyes all day is sure the accelerate the deterioration of my vision as I get older.

For others, one has to imagine how much power a blinking white cursor draws from their $2000+ gaming system and how great of an investment that might have been for the owner.

Actually, that blinking cursor sucks more power than you might think, particularly due to the way that modern CPUs manage their power states. A completely idle machine with a blinking cursor has to wake up every half second or so to make the cursor blink, which can even prevent the machine from ever entering the deeper sleep states. This is usually irrelevant on full-blown desktop, since there are all sorts of applications and daemons waking up left and right to poll stuff and pat themselves on the back. When the blinking cursor in the terminal becomes the limiting factor on idle power consumption, we know the PowerTOP project has been successful.

Reply Score: 2

Short answer...
by Mukunda on Tue 22nd May 2007 03:56 UTC
Mukunda
Member since:
2006-11-05

Yes... Slightly less shorter answer, I used ratpoison for many months (yes this uses X I know) and was probably happier then using just commandline apps than I am using a full blown DE.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Short answer...
by jessta on Tue 22nd May 2007 07:55 UTC in reply to "Short answer..."
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

I used just CLI apps for a year on my old pentium I 233Mhz 64MB toshiba laptop in 2005.
I used:
elinks(web browser with tab support)
irssi+bitlbee(irc and IM)
zgv (for graphics viewing)
vim (text editing)
mutt (email)

Pretty much everything is doable, except interactive graphics editing and accessing broken websites.

The problem is that there are many broken websites with broken layouts and stupid uses of javascript or flash. With AJAX becoming more popular less and less sites are usable in elinks.

- Jesse McNelis

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Short answer...
by Morin on Tue 22nd May 2007 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Short answer..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Pretty much everything is doable, except interactive graphics editing
> and accessing broken websites.

Add websites with Flash *content* like Youtube (certainly not broken).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Short answer...
by jessta on Tue 22nd May 2007 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

Playing video in flash is certainly broken.
We already have perfectly fine media players to play videos on. eg. mplayer

There is no reason to force a user to use a media player that the site owner decides.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Short answer...
by Morin on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Short answer..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Playing video in flash is certainly broken.

If playing video in flash doesn't work for you, then it's likely a problem with your distro, not with the website. I can watch Youtube videos on both OSX and Windows, and for what I know Linux should do it too, so it's probably not the website that is broken.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Short answer...
by jessta on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Short answer..."
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

>> Playing video in flash is certainly broken.

>If playing video in flash doesn't work for you, then >it's likely a problem with your distro, not with the >website. I can watch Youtube videos on both OSX and >Windows, and for what I know Linux should do it too, so >it's probably not the website that is broken.

You misunderstand. Playing video in flash is a broken concept not a broken implementation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Short answer...
by Morin on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Short answer..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> You misunderstand. Playing video in flash is a broken concept not a
> broken implementation.

Why? It works. It works even better than most other kind of video playback I have experienced. What is so broken about it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Short answer...
by mmu_man on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Short answer..."
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

It's not standard.
It doesn't work if you don't have a flash plugin.
It uses a generic plugin to load a code (that can be potentially malicious) to ask the plugin to display the video, which is utterly complicated for something that should be as simple as <embed src="..."/>.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Short answer...
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Short answer..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Playing video in flash is certainly broken."

"Broken" is not the word I would have used. I'd say (ab)using "Flash" as a replacement for HTML, images and video streaming is sick.

Most video portals today use "Flash". I would not complain if "Flash" would be an open standard, implemented as a standard feature in every major browser, such as the Javascript interpreter or the HTML and image renderer. But it's not that easy today. I think the company manufacturing "Flash" is to be blamed here, as well as the content providers pushing "Flash" onto users' desktops.

"We already have perfectly fine media players to play videos on. eg. mplayer"

We had them years ago, but nobody uses them. Open standards? Pah! Interoperability? Hah! Worst solution always wins. :-)

"There is no reason to force a user to use a media player that the site owner decides."

But that's the way it is. You want this? You need that. Some web sites even require outdated and strange browsers to work, and why is this? Because some Skriptkiddie is not smart enough to use Javascript properly.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Short answer...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Short answer..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
"Broken" is not the word I would have used. I'd say (ab)using "Flash" as a replacement for HTML, images and video streaming is sick.
"""

Broken, abused, or sick, I must say that when I run into a site with embedded Flash video, I know it is going to work on a Flash-capable Linux box.

Even with the various mplayer, vlc, and Real plugins installed, I usually read "Click Here To View a Mother Fighting Off a Shark To Save Her Kids" as "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here". Typically, I get a popup embedded "player" that just sits there dead on the screen asking if I'm high or low bandwidth, and whether I want Windows Media or Real Video.

I hate flash. But I will give it credit for actually working across platforms.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Short answer...
by Dima on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Short answer..."
Dima Member since:
2006-04-06

I'm not sure if mplayer is a "perfectly fine media player"... As much as I hate flash, it "just works".

Mplayer and Xine are just not as friendly. Can I fast-forward and rewind to any place in the file? Can I wait until the video is buffered completely? Sometimes... but usually it doesn't work.

And it's not just mpeg, flv, wmv, etc. files - ogg files don't play any better.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Short answer...
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Short answer..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Mplayer and Xine are just not as friendly. Can I fast-forward and rewind to any place in the file?"

Yes, you just press the cursor keys to navigate in a file, or you click on the buttons provided by kmplayer or gmplayer.

If you have a file that does not support navigation, such as malformed and strangely encoded WMV or AVI streams, you use the proper options, such as -ni, -nobps, -idx and -forceidx (last one always works).

"Can I wait until the video is buffered completely?"

I think you can, just make the setting in mplayer.conf fit your needs.

"Sometimes... but usually it doesn't work."

But it should. Always. Personally, I did not encounter any of the problems you began to describe. But maybe it's because I'm using an older version of mplayer on the box I just tested (mplayer-gtk-esound-0.92.1_1 there). I think other circumstances apply there.

"And it's not just mpeg, flv, wmv, etc. files - ogg files don't play any better."

Hmmm... cannot confirm. Allthough I'm using ogg123 and xmms for ogg file playback, mplayer plays it just fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Short answer...
by pandronic on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Short answer..."
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

The problem is that there are many broken websites with broken layouts and stupid uses of javascript or flash. With AJAX becoming more popular less and less sites are usable in elinks.

It's called progress you know ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Short answer...
by w-ber on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
w-ber Member since:
2005-08-21

Not all progress is good.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Short answer...
by stestagg on Tue 22nd May 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Short answer..."
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

There are always people who will call progress bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Short answer...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd May 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Short answer..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It's a matter of choosing the best tool for a particular job... and deciding, in an informed way, what the best tool is.

I switch from GUI to command line all the time, depending upon which is most capable, and what I am most comfortable with, in a particular situation.

And it is important to note that personal experience plays a large part in that decision. Someone who always uses GUIs will be most comfortable with one. Armed with their hammer, every problem will always look like a nail. It's easy to dance the "One Note Samba"... just keep doing things the way you have always done them!

Sounds like I'm championing the command line doesn't it? But I'm not, really.

Times change. If lynx, links, elinks, or elinks2 fail to be useful as web "pages" and web "sites" start to be overshadowed by ajaxified web "applications", then so be it. Acknowledge it.

If you cling to a tool that is no longer useful, even though it used to be, then you will become an anachronism, stuck in the past.

You really do have to do three things:

1. Sample what you can of what tools are out there, both old and new.

2. Be ready to change the way you do things *when it makes sense to*.

3. Stick to your guns *when it makes sense to*.

I use GUIs more than I used to. I can't imagine using elinks to browse the web when Epiphany is easily available on the machine that I am using. But wget might sometimes trump Firefox when I just want a file.

And I tend to file people who insist upon using Mutt, and then complain about how people send them incompatible emails, to be a bit weird.

But I am using mutt at a couple of client sites, where I need an easily scriptable way to send mail as an smtp client rather than server, since the IP address of the machines in question would be filtered by many mail servers on the Internet at large. (Because they are dynamic IPs, not because my clients are spammers!)


Edit: Add disclaimer about my clients not being spammers. ;-)

Edited 2007-05-22 20:59

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Short answer...
by stestagg on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Short answer..."
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Yeah. I agree with you. My comment was aimed at those who were complaining about ajax sites being evil.

I ended up using mailx rather than mutt, but I guess that either would do ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Short answer...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Short answer..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I ended up using mailx rather than mutt, but I guess that either would do ;) .
"""

I didn't know mailx would do that. I'm sure I looked over the mailx man page, and it looked like it would only send the mail itself, directly.

I'd prefer to use mailx, as it sounds the simpler solution. How did you do it?

Edited 2007-05-22 21:19

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Short answer...
by Soulbender on Wed 23rd May 2007 05:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Short answer..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"But I am using mutt at a couple of client sites, where I need an easily scriptable way to send mail as an smtp client rather than server, since the IP address of the machines in question would be filtered by many mail servers on the Internet at large. "

WHat exactly does "as a client" mean here? If it means "using the ISP's mail relay" you could just use any mta (sendmail, postfix , whatever), have it always use the ISP relay and just use mail/mailx.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Short answer...
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Short answer..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"There are always people who will call progress bad."

Maybe because it's true sometimes?

Car manufacturers are not tired inventing cars that do need more and more gas and emit more and more CO2, just to get you from A to B. There are better alternatives. But some people think they need a bulldozer in city traffic.

Good progress?

The SS had "great" progress in murdering people. They did not shoot them because this way got to expensive. They used "modern methods" like Zyklon-B gas insted and raised their "successes".

Good progress?

Not every progress is good, especially if it leads into the wrong direction. "Wrong" can be universal (measured at ethic and moral considerations) or very individual (measured at personal skills, needs, or preference). You are the one to decide which solution fits your requirements best.

Offering choice is progress.

Taking choice is progress.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Short answer...
by Laurence on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Short answer..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"

Pretty much everything is doable, except interactive graphics editing and accessing broken websites.
"

I've edited pictures in a command line hex editor before. Not really practical, but doable none-the-less.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Short answer...
by mmu_man on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

(X)Emacs' XPM mode can edit xpm pictures in place...
Just convert (ImageMagick) them to xpm, edit and convert back again. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Short answer...
by holywood on Tue 22nd May 2007 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Short answer..."
holywood Member since:
2006-09-25

«Pretty much everything is doable, except interactive graphics editing and accessing broken websites. »

What about word processing and PDF ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Short answer...
by devurandom on Tue 22nd May 2007 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

Use LaTeX.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Short answer...
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"What about word processing and PDF ?"

% pdflatex bratwurst.tex
% pdftotext bratwurst.pdf - | less
% lpr bratwurst.pdf

No problems. But remember: While the term word processing refers to things usually done with OpenOffice, LaTeX is for typesetting, which is the more professional "big brother" of word processing. It requires few time to learn, but is very powerful. It can even do presentations (foiltex + xpdf -fullscreen)! :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Short answer...
by rcsteiner on Thu 24th May 2007 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short answer..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Under DOS, WordPerfect 6.1 and StarWriter 6 were both quite capable, and each had a WYSIWYG editing mode in addition to the text mode UI.

A text-mode PDF viewer which worked for PDF files like Links works for HTML files would be cool. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Short answer...
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Short answer..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"The problem is that there are many broken websites with broken layouts and stupid uses of javascript or flash. With AJAX becoming more popular less and less sites are usable in elinks. "

Let me be more precise: With the improper use of "Flash" or AJAX, sites become inaccessible, especially for blind people who rely on having the valid HTML tags and attributes set (img alt, longdesc). Lynx et al. are good to test if your web site is barrier free. If it runs in a text mode browser, blind people can read it via a braille device. Actually, these devices transform characters (not images!) into "mechanical" sensory inputs a blind person can receive. Software that reads page content to the user works in a similar way. Actually, this is not done otherwise today.

Maybe, you could say: If a page is not receptable, it is not worth looking at... attention, provocant claim... :-)

Reply Score: 3

Sure...
by moronikos on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:08 UTC
moronikos
Member since:
2005-07-06

I use Microsoft products for the majority of the time. No use for X there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sure...
by gdanko on Thu 24th May 2007 18:58 UTC in reply to "Sure..."
gdanko Member since:
2005-07-15

I use Microsoft products for the majority of the time. No use for X there.

I'm sorry.

Reply Score: 1

Gee...
by DittoBox on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:10 UTC
DittoBox
Member since:
2005-07-08

I thought that while I'm trying to configure X, I'd be trying to configure X. Not watch a movie, look at pretty pictures or read Wikipedia.

Listen to music...maybe. Everything else can wait until I've got X installed and functioning properly. If you've got a decent X configuration file around it shouldn't take you long to hack into service. I've got a couple I've written from scratch that I've used on a few occasions. With the crap removed and structured much more sanely than most distributions can handle (or indeed as the default one that X spits out).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gee...
by ThanhLy on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:45 UTC in reply to "Gee..."
ThanhLy Member since:
2006-03-14

I thought that while I'm trying to configure X, I'd be trying to configure X.


Indeed. A more appropriate summary would say "while you compile X." This is true in the case of source-based distro users who compile everything. Although I never tried it, one method of installing Gentoo is to boot a live CD that has X Windows and a DE (Gnome/KDE, whatever you fancy) then go about extracting the stage tarball, chroot when you need to etc. You're already in a graphical desktop so you can surf or play games while you wait for packages to compile.

However the article is about CLI software, in which case I'd use one of the function keys to switch to another virtual terminal and use the CLI tools, if they were on the live cd.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Gee...
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd May 2007 10:31 UTC in reply to "Gee..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, watching movies and all such is handy when you're still compiling everything...since I use Gentoo, I usually emerge links and mplayer, and surf the web or watch some movie while X is still being compiled. It's really very handy, IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

probably not
by kurenai on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:13 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

I'm pretty tied to my gui development tools (geany/rapidsvn), and making websites is pretty difficult without firefox ;)

Reply Score: 1

meh
by mikesum32 on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:27 UTC
mikesum32
Member since:
2005-10-22

I used to use the Norton Commander too. Much easier than plain old DOS. I still prefer to use the Midnight Commander in Linux instead of just the command line. And everyone knows that if you use linux, you just have to use the command line at some point.

Back in the DOS days I used the SEA image viewer by photodex to look at any pictures.

Reply Score: 2

RE: meh
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:20 UTC in reply to "meh"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I used to use the Norton Commander too. Much easier than plain old DOS. I still prefer to use the Midnight Commander in Linux instead of just the command line."

The MC is a great innovation. Most operations done are "source target operations", such as copying, moving, or symlinking. Therefore, the standard MC layout is great. I do use it for most tasks. Even its editor, mcedit, is a powerful tool. It even supports syntax highlighting. Proper bindings (mc.ext) will enable power to connect file types to operations, such as playing OGG files (ogg123) or processing tex files (pdflatex).

"And everyone knows that if you use linux, you just have to use the command line at some point. "

This is correct for UNIX, too. If everything else fails, the CLI still works and lets you do most of the work, There are great applications for CLI use, some of them are much faster than their GUI brothers.

Last to mention, CLI allows you to use a system via SSH or console without any configuration. Having X redirected to another system needs some more configuration to run.

While the CLI seems obsoleted to most users today, it is fully programmable. You can connect inputs and outputs, redirect, remote control applications and other stuff, depending on the shell and applications used. Especially the GUI is not fully programmable, so it won't fit some very special needs or requirements.

Reply Score: 2

Slackware Heps Much
by Excessive on Tue 22nd May 2007 05:09 UTC
Excessive
Member since:
2006-10-19

For people coming from a Slackware background it is not that hard. Links provides framebuffer browser, there is a console based mp3 player (Orpheus or mpg321, you name it and it is there), IRC client (BX), Instant Messenger (LICQ or others), everything has a corresponding console tool, even MPlayer has framebuffer output support for video.

Reply Score: 4

The XP Laptop
by Cloudy on Tue 22nd May 2007 05:12 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

is the terminal emulator and media server.

Putty is my friend.

What is this "X" you speak of?

Reply Score: 3

RE: The XP Laptop
by DoctorPepper on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:39 UTC in reply to "The XP Laptop"
DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

Pretty much the same thing here. At work, I use a notebook (Thinkpad Z61t) running XP Pro. My job is writing/modifying shell scripts (Korn shell) and Perl scripts in a Unix environment (Solaris 8 & 10). To do this, I use SecureCRT (I also use PuTTY, but I generally have around a half-dozen open sessions or more, so SecureCRT comes in handy!).

I do have a Linux box behind me, that I use to develop the scripts with (our instances of Solaris are quite lacking), but I usually just use PuTTY or SecureCRT in there too. As an added bonus, SecureCRT gives me cut & paste capabilities between the session windows.

Reply Score: 1

How prosaic
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd May 2007 05:15 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Wow. Email. Web browsing, Listening to music.

So boring.

But how about playing your favorite First Person Shooter or watching movies on a text console?

aalib, a drop in replacement for SVGALib, which renders to ascii art rather than a graphical screen, does just that.

You haven't lived until you have played Quake on a Wyse60! Or over telnet!

Screenshots of TTYQuake here:

http://tinyurl.com/2nc6nw

And the home page:

http://tinyurl.com/3by8ya

Edited 2007-05-22 05:23

Reply Score: 5

RE: How prosaic
by IceCubed on Tue 22nd May 2007 06:37 UTC in reply to "How prosaic"
IceCubed Member since:
2005-07-01

using aalib is like watching b/w movies, use cacalib instead :]

ps: there is aaut too http://icculus.org/~chunky/ut/aaut/
pss: aaQ2 anyone? http://www.jfedor.org/aaquake2/

Edited 2007-05-22 06:49

Reply Score: 2

RE: How prosaic
by Mellin on Tue 22nd May 2007 09:42 UTC in reply to "How prosaic"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

star wars in achii ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: How prosaic
by oxleyn on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE: How prosaic"
oxleyn Member since:
2005-10-04

Dude that version of Star Wars rocks! :-)

Nik

Reply Score: 1

Well
by Duffman on Tue 22nd May 2007 06:38 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

The question is not if it's possible not to use a GUI, the real question is if I want NOT to use GUI.

And the answer is no. We are in 2007 dude, I don't see any good reasons to use my computer like 20 years ago.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Well
by ssa2204 on Tue 22nd May 2007 06:45 UTC in reply to "Well"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Good point, I was thinking the same thing exactly. If I need to browse the web, look at pictures, etc.. I just go to a desktop OS. The only people who would even bother with this are still living at home watching re-runs of Magnum P.I. and listening to Billy Ocean

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well
by devurandom on Tue 22nd May 2007 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

<p>But knowing there are CLI apps that don't need X to run can revive very old boxes for some new use.</p>

<p>Think of http://geexbox.org/en/index.html">GeeXboX

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Well
by Spellcheck on Tue 22nd May 2007 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

I'll have you know I enjoy a rousing episode of Magnum (and it appears regularly on at least three channels I subscribe to!), but this DOS dinosaur will roar again.

Erm... I may have to rethink that. Does Billy Joel count?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Well
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Erm... I may have to rethink that. Does Billy Joel count?
"""

This is probably not the best time to confess to being a Barbra Streisand fan, so I won't. ;-)

Reply Score: 4

Why the question?
by Lousewort on Tue 22nd May 2007 07:02 UTC
Lousewort
Member since:
2006-09-12

Why limit yourself? Every day, I use Linux command line, X, Microsoft Windows, PalmOS and a hoard of other electrical and electronic devices.

The usage of the command line is essential, as is the usage of a graphical interface. They are just used for different things, is all. Ever try to write an X script? When last did you use lynx for browsing?

Reply Score: 2

Well...
by brewin on Tue 22nd May 2007 07:04 UTC
brewin
Member since:
2005-06-30

OSNews works well in text-based browsers, but other sites just don't at all. Elinks is great, but I'll stick with Firefox. ;)

Browser: ELinks/0.11.1-1.2ubuntu2.1-debian (textmode; Linux 2.6.20-15-generic i686; 80x24-2)

Reply Score: 1

Live ASCII television
by jarlea on Tue 22nd May 2007 07:29 UTC
jarlea
Member since:
2006-05-09

Do you remember last summer when you could watch the World Cup live in ASCII, using telnet? The site is still up, you can still replay the games that were broadcast.

http://ascii-wm.net/

I love it! ;)

Reply Score: 2

Interesting way of promoting windows
by roger64 on Tue 22nd May 2007 07:50 UTC
roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

or maybe probably it's a kind of game. But if 1% of computer users use Linux, I am sure not the tenth part of 1% of Linux users (one thousanth yes) will try this.

But anybody who reads this will instinctively think: yes, Linux for crazy geeks. This article is totally counterproductive and basically useless.

Reply Score: 0

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
This article is totally counterproductive and basically useless.
"""

When people post this kind of response to articles like this one, I can't help wondering what they are doing on this site in the first place.

The fare on Slashdot may suit you better. But I find the company more colorful and interesting here.

Edited 2007-05-22 14:03

Reply Score: 3

Wouldn't stand a chance
by bogomipz on Tue 22nd May 2007 08:24 UTC
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

Most of what I do happen inside screen. I use vim as my editor, mutt for email, irssi for IRC, mpd + ncmpc for music, rtorrent for... well, torrents, and no matter how hard I try forcing myself to use a civilized GTK file manager, I usually end up handling files from the command line.

There was a time when I played back video and displayed images on the console through svgalib. This differs next to nothing from how I use mplayer and qiv under X today, so I know the console would work for this as well.

My most important application by FAR, however, is the web browser. For this, there is no console alternative that is good enough, and no, elinks does NOT cut it. The interwebs were never meant to be text only in the first place. On the good side, though, this means that I'm not locked in to any desktop in particular. Switching to any other OS will be no problem as long as it has a decent web browser.

Reply Score: 2

re
by Oliver on Tue 22nd May 2007 08:29 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Yes, ask an administrator for example. Imo the console in Unix is more powerful than every X application. I'm really productive without bloatware like KDE/Gnome.

Reply Score: 4

RE: re
by h3rman on Tue 22nd May 2007 09:07 UTC in reply to "re"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

> I'm really productive without bloatware like KDE/Gnome.

KDE/Gnome are not bloatware.
They can run quite smoothly on relatively modest hardware. And they can provide just a nice basic DE if you strip 'em down a bit (window manager, file manager, a few config tools).
They're just not for you, apparently.

There is a huge inflation of the word "bloatware" in software land.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: re
by bogomipz on Tue 22nd May 2007 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE: re"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

If you strip a DE down to just the WM and FM, then what exactly do you get that you don't have with standalone components, like WindowMaker or OpenBox + ROX or Thunar?

I guess KDE/GNOME are not for me either.

There is a huge inflation of the word "bloatware"

Agreed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: re
by orestes on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: re"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a huge inflation of the word "bloatware" in software land.

Understatement of the century

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: re
by phi-lyrae on Tue 22nd May 2007 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: re"
phi-lyrae Member since:
2006-06-17

> KDE/Gnome are not bloatware.

emerge -pv gnome
Total: 218 packages (218 new)

emerge -pv kde
Total: 57 packages

And I have almost all my use flags turned off. I'm not saying it can't be stripped down, but on most distros, thats what you're going to get when you install gnome or kde.

ion3 is enough for me. Besides a web browser and rxvt-unicode, I don't need (or use for that matter) any other x apps. And I prefer to surf in full screen in another workspace anyway. I'm not saying this is better than using gnome or kde; different solutions for different needs. If anything I wish I was less dependent on the keyboard. My wrists can't take many more years of this.

Those looking for a good text based browser should checkout w3m. It's the best of the bunch imho.

Reply Score: 1

RE: re
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:32 UTC in reply to "re"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Yes, ask an administrator for example. Imo the console in Unix is more powerful than every X application."

As I mentioned before, the command line is fully programmable, a feature that no X application provides. This is its strength. Maybe today's administrators see no need for a CLI access, but in case of trouble, you're happy with it. Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned, but I would not be happy with a system that does not provide the most direct and easiest access to its power.

"I'm really productive without bloatware like KDE/Gnome."

Na na, I don't think KDE or Gnome are bloatware. Use the right tool for every task. Both KDE and Gnome, as well as other desktop environments or window managers have their right to exist, their purpose, their fans, and are able to help doing a lot of things.

Reply Score: 2

certainly
by l3v1 on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:55 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Good old days, lynx later links for web, pine and mutt for e-mail, telnet for mud games (oh hell, there are dozens of windows games I forgot the storyline of, but I always remember every detail of my favourite mud to this day), coding and programming really no issue with vi and joe, mpg123 abd mp3blaster for music, ripping writing really no issue, screen resolution no issue, movie playing on framebuffer with mplayer also no issue (hell, that's how I used to play divx-encoded movies on an old cyrix 200mhz back in the days and it worked fantastically), licq/micq for icq-ing, p2p clients by the dozen, and I could go on until the Sun goes down and forward.

survive one full day without using the X server

One day ? Joke.

Reply Score: 4

Could be useful...
by Sigfrodi on Tue 22nd May 2007 11:59 UTC
Sigfrodi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I own a Toshiba Libretto 50CT (a small laptop the size of a VHS tape) which has modest hardware : Pentium 90, 16MB RAM, 850 MB HD. Actually I run MS DOS/Win3.1 'cause I use it mainly for old games (rediscovering goold old SSI's Dark Sun ;) ).

But I would like to install Linux when I will get a 16 bit network PCMCIA card and surf with it. I know there are light distros for this kind of computer - like Deli Linux - but why wasting its precious ressources with X apps? I'd most probably get much better perfs with CLI apps.

So yes, this can be useful for some people and I found the article rather interisting as I didn't know of all these apps (Raggle and Twin)...

Reply Score: 2

links2 -g
by ozonehole on Tue 22nd May 2007 12:08 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

OK, the following isn't quite the same what the author had in mind, but it's useful. Install "links2" (apt-get install links2 if using Debian/Ubuntu). Open and xterm and type:

links2 -g

You get a really fast browser that's kind of a cross between text-mode and graphical. Works really well and I use it quite a lot, especially on slow web sites. It does not have all the bells and whistles of Firefox or even Konqueror, but it does a respectable job and is lightening fast.

Edited 2007-05-22 12:10

Reply Score: 2

No X? Sure
by w-ber on Tue 22nd May 2007 12:10 UTC
w-ber
Member since:
2005-08-21

I'm already using almost exclusively console applications: mutt, lynx, ViM, {ogg,mpg}123, mplayer, and the like. I have a Matrox G450, so matroxfb and the framebuffer console work very nicely: good for watching movies and viewing images. I don't edit photographs, and for text documents, I use LaTeX exclusively. One can even view PDF documents in framebuffer console with fbgs.

Do I still use X? Yes. The reasons are twofold:
- It's more convenient to have several or dozens of console sessions open. I could use GNU screen, and I sometimes do, but dwm is a comfortable solution.
- Some websites I use daily simply do not work with lynx, links, or elinks. This is sad, and I have to resort to Firefox.

Lynx is actually more convenient to use than Firefox, believe it or not. Having said this, people will no doubt point me to all Firefox plugins that allow me to navigate pages with ViM keys, add numbers next to each link and textfield (and one can then follow the link by typing in the number), and allow me to edit textfields with ViM, not the built-in editor. Lynx has one more advantage: it's superfast in rendering pages. Of course, this has to do with lack of image, CSS, and Javascript support...

Could yes live without X? Sure. Does it make sense? Not really, unless you are running on ancient hardware (such as a 486).

Reply Score: 2

RE: No X? Sure
by Almafeta on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:38 UTC in reply to "No X? Sure"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Sure. Does it make sense? Not really, unless you are running on ancient hardware (such as a 486).

Then again, there would probably be a use for a text-only OS that could bring old Goodwill machines back to life. There was an article here just the other day about the TRS m100.

(My next-door neighbor still uses his 286, and wonders why nobody is making software for it anymore...)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No X? Sure
by w-ber on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:58 UTC in reply to "No X? Sure"
w-ber Member since:
2005-08-21

FreeDOS is not a shabby alternative. Linux or OpenBSD are not either, but as time goes on, they both accumulate more and more features and use more and more disk space. It's still possible to install both on less than a first-generation Pentium, but it may not be trivial.

I have used Slackware 10 on a 486 laptop with 8 MB of RAM comfortably -- but installing it took a couple of days, some null modem cable magic, and a special boot floppy, not to mention a custom kernel image. If you can live with old software, you can certainly use something from the same age as the hardware. In my case, that would be Slackware 3.4.

The problem with old software is that it may be full of security holes. This is not always true, as many security holes are created by adding features, but I think it is a concern, especially if you decide to put into use dozens of old machines as, say, network terminals. Personally, I don't mind old software at all, because it's usually sleeker and even faster than more feature rich one, and it still gets the job done marvellously.

If it were not for my DVD movies and FLAC collection, I could downgrade to a 486 any day. Sure, it might take longer to compile a program, but I'm not in a hurry.

Reply Score: 1

I do this all the time
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd May 2007 12:50 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

when I am away from home I tend to ssh into my Debian(used to be kbuntu) box. I use pine for my email, vi or pico for my text editor, and elinks for my browser. I also burn DVDs from the CLI when I am in a hurry. I don't IM from there, as I have not found a MSN cli client. This article gave me a good image viewer, and I decided to try out Midnight Commander too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I do this all the time
by Wemgadge on Tue 22nd May 2007 13:00 UTC in reply to "I do this all the time"
Wemgadge Member since:
2005-07-02

MSN IM CLIENT= centerICQ

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I do this all the time
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd May 2007 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE: I do this all the time"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I took your advice, and CenterICQ was exactly what the doctor ordered, now I am fully CLI armed

Reply Score: 2

RE: I do this all the time
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:51 UTC in reply to "I do this all the time"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I also burn DVDs from the CLI when I am in a hurry.

Same here, too. Things like

% vobcopy

or

% copycd

are faster to be done than click'n'wait in a GUI. Especially for diagnostics the text mode is very useful, and if you have setup your mail subsystem well, you can do things like

% pciconf -lv | mail -s "blablubb.local's hardware" bigadmin@bigunixbox.foo

or do even strange things like

% cat ${LOGFILES} | grep "<" | grep ">" | grep -v "CTCP" | cut -d '<' -f 2 | cut -d '>' -f 1 | sort | uniq -d | xargs echo > nicklist.txt

where no GUI application is available for.
"This article gave me a good image viewer, and I decided to try out Midnight Commander too."

You'll obey to the mighty Commander, at least at Midnight. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Text Mode Life
by Wemgadge on Tue 22nd May 2007 12:54 UTC
Wemgadge
Member since:
2005-07-02

I run text mode every once in awhile usually during the building a new LFS build(and when procrastinating the building of a new X client under LFS). My favorite apps: CenterICQ for IM client and links built with framebuffer support for full graphical webpages outside of X. Or I would just restart into Mandriva.

Reply Score: 1

Taking a look at those screenshots...
by Almafeta on Tue 22nd May 2007 13:36 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

... it's as if MS-DOS were still alive and kicking. *sniff*

Oh, and for gaming, I might reccomend to said theoretical text-only-user a nice game of Nethack, and MUDs and MUCKs (the original MMORPGs)...

Edited 2007-05-22 13:39

Reply Score: 1

Hmm...
by PJBonoVox on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:00 UTC
PJBonoVox
Member since:
2006-08-14

Looks like the only thing you can't do without X is take screenshots ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm...
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:57 UTC in reply to "Hmm..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Looks like the only thing you can't do without X is take screenshots ;) "

Take a photo with a camera - no X needed. :-)

It's possible to store the pure text content of a screen with the copy & paste feature the middle mouse button and the virtual terminals provide. But this does not copy colors or attributes. Maybe there's a program to read the terminals screen buffer including them...

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Sure...
by aGNUstic on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:45 UTC
RE[2]: Sure...
by mmu_man on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Sure..."
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

Actually I don't use X either in BeOS ;)
http://revolf.free.fr/beos/shots/shot_xemacs_zeta_pretty_gonx.png
(just have the shortcut on the desktop)

Reply Score: 1

TWIN...
by mmu_man on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:46 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

TWIN is nice, tried that long ago.
(X)Emacs also can be used to multiplex apps... you can split the screen and run multiple shell buffers inside it.
Of course its terminal emulation is a bit lacking so not all apps will work (vi won't :p).

Reply Score: 1

What about screen?
by abraxas on Tue 22nd May 2007 14:56 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

With all this talk about console apps you would think that screen would get a mention. I think of it as a window manager for the console. I can't live without it even on my GNOME Desktop but it is invaluable on my servers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sure...
by aGNUstic on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:01 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

As a former BeOS user, way back in the dawn of time, I can say it's `Dead` Jim. It's not a server system but it was ahead of it's time before Be Inc. took a focus sh!t.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Sure...
by mmu_man on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sure..."
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

It's both off-topic and wrong.

Reply Score: 1

HowTo: Ubuntu Command Line Edition
by oma2la on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:41 UTC
oma2la
Member since:
2005-07-05

In the same vein as what we're talking about, I just found this article about running everyone's favourite Ubuntu without X. Nice lists of apps.



http://doc.gwos.org/index.php/CLIEdit

Reply Score: 1

DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

Awesome link! Thanks!

I have been meaning to try out Ubuntu server edition anyway, although you could do this with pretty much any other Linux distro. Slackware, perhaps?

Reply Score: 1

emacs
by soapdog on Tue 22nd May 2007 17:16 UTC
soapdog
Member since:
2005-07-25

we need anything besides emacs? :-)

Reply Score: 0

Why not:
by deb2006 on Wed 23rd May 2007 08:44 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

Life without X is lightening fast. Web content - uhm, good and decent web content - can easily be viewed with lynx or e/links. Writing a letter in nano - nay, I don't particularly need vi or emacs - is a sheer pleasure. Listening to music, burning CD's, do some calculating etc. It's all there - without the baggage excess of X.

Reply Score: 1