List of useful CLI programs for console-only desktops

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Mar 13, 2014.

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  1. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    [NB: Mods: would it be alright if someone made this sticky?]

    In the interest of keeping ancient computers alive and useful, I'm trying to compile a list of useful applications for CLI only systems; particularly Pentium III and earlier machines. I will update this as necessary as people post additional suggestions.

    Apps that use framebuffer graphics

    Browsers
    Links2

    Image viewers
    fbi
    fim

    PDF/PostScript viewers
    fbgs (usually included with fbi)

    Movie players
    mplayer (can also be used for audio, without any video output)

    Apps that only need a text console

    Audio players
    cmus
    moc

    Word processors
    nano
    emacs
    joe (has lots of different modes)
    jed (ditto)
    zile
    (... pretty much any emacs clone, really)

    Document viewers/extractors
    antiword (for older MS Word files)
    wv (for newer MS Word files)
    poppler-utils (can extract text from PDF files)

    Browsers
    links2
    elinks
    lynx
    w3m

    Chat clients
    centerim
    weechat
    irssi

    Terminal multiplexers ("console window managers")
    tmux
    screen
    byobu

    Printing systems
    CUPS
    lpd (annoying to set up, rarely used on Linux)

    Wireless management
    wicd (has pure CLI and ncurses versions, may not work for all wifi networks)
    wpa_supplicant (old school, but works very reliably)
    networkmanager (recent versions finally have a working CLI)

    Screen lockers
    vlock
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  2. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    htop - useful system stats, process monitoring and killing.
    wget - to download files
    tail - to look at logs files
    fdisk - to partition disks
    ssh - to connect to ssh servers, remote machines.
    telnet - mostly to connect to network gear like firewalls and routers.
    grep - for searching in files.
    locate - for searching for files.

    dd - for creating and writing disk images.
    rsync - for making backups

    Package managers (yum, apt-get)

    File system tools (fsck.* mkfs.*)

    Standard file manipulation tools (sed, awk, cp, mkdir, rm chmod etc)
     
  3. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    htop is good, but a bit of a CPU hog compared to ordinary top and ps. The others are more like CLI essentials IMO, not so much "good to have" as "can't get by without them."

    Also of note: if you have KMS supporting graphics (Intel, AMD, maybe nVidia if you're lucky) then you can very easily "cheat" and use xinit to launch a single graphical application. Without KMS it takes a little more configuration, you have to use vesafb and the fbdev Xorg driver.

    Unfortunately there is no easy way to cut/copy/paste text between VTs and X11. I'm still looking into that.
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Is there a htop-like live display of network activity?

    Something like pftop in BSDs, but with more netstat-type process information?

    Or maybe just a way to make something clean and live from netstat?
     
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