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5 awesome Linux console based tools

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If you're looking for no fluff, all work kinda tools - look no further than the console. Most of these tools take up minimal resources and still give you a chockful of functionality, plus they're not that hard to use (okay maybe a little). All you need to be is a keyboard ninja. :^: (Of course it helps if you're not shy of black and white screens)

So behold, in no particular order, 5 awesome Linux console based tools:

1. Text Editor - Vim
Come on, this had to be the first in my list, or anyone's list for that matter. The legendary Vi's capable son - Vim with so many features that its pointless to discuss it in a blog. If you haven't tried this already, you should. Note that this also runs on a number of platforms including windows.
Vim's website

2. Web Browser - Elinks
Possibly the most full featured text mode browser known to man, or me. Has some amazing features like tabbed browsing and background downloads. Pretty functional for most sites, most sites that matter anyhow. No fluff, just enjoyable browsing.
Elinks website

3. Mail Client - Alpine
If you're looking for a IMAP capable mail client, look no further than Alpine (the successor of Pine). Pretty flexible and powerful and most people consider it easier to setup than mutt. Also works beautifully on Windows. Has the pico editor inbuilt for composing emails and is pretty easy to navigate.
Alpine's website

4. IRC Client - irssi
An IRC client with punch. This one has all the bells and whistles you'd expect a self-respecting IRC client to have including Autologging and Perl scripting support. Best of all, if you run it through xterm you get pretty colors too.
irssi's website

File Manager - Midnight Commander
The absolute king of console based file managers, also known as mc. Has an interface similar to the legendary Norton Commander, and a bundle of features like cool colors, FTP support, internal editor with syntax highlighting, tar file browsing and what not. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
Midnight Commander's website

P.S. - I've heard all this can be done through emacs ;)

5 Comments On This Entry

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MorphiusFaydal Icon

25 May 2008 - 04:48 AM
I personally am very fond GNU Screen. :)
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rahulbatra Icon

25 May 2008 - 06:37 AM
Yup, I've heard that combined with irssi makes a great remote IRC client :^:

Thanks for the tip, I'll look more carefully into that package.
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MorphiusFaydal Icon

28 May 2008 - 11:02 PM

rahulbatra, on 25 May, 2008 - 08:37 AM, said:

Yup, I've heard that combined with irssi makes a great remote IRC client :^:

Thanks for the tip, I'll look more carefully into that package.

Yeah, I keep irssi running in screen on my server... So I can just SSH in from wherever (I keep PuTTY on a pen drive for use at school and other places).

I find I use screen most when I'm on a box that doesn't have X, and I'm doing a lot of stuff. I run Gentoo near exclusively, so I need one terminal just for installing/updating software. If I run portage in screen, I can go into a new screen, pop up irssi, links, naim, whatever I need/want. It's great. :)

Just make sure you read the man page, and memorize how to detach the screen session, open a new sub-terminal (I dunno what it's called...), and switch between sub-terminals.
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jonty Icon

30 May 2008 - 04:44 PM
Here is my list of console tools

less - For browsing plain text files, program output. Press ? for help. You will find a whole world in there.

pinfo - For man pages and info files. Easy to use as a navigator.

calc - A nice calculator that you can script and use for advanced math

oleo - A handy spreadsheet

ledger - Accounts for hardcore financial professionals

abook, lbdb - Addressbook and contacts database

hnb - General purpose notebook

calcurse - Diary

cmus - Music player

alsamixer - Volume, balance, audio controls

rtorrent - BitTorrent client

giftcurs - Gnutella network client

elinks - Text only web browser

snownews - Rss reader

irssi - Chat client

bitlbee - Gather all your instant messaging into irssi

slrn - NNTP news reader

mutt - The mail client. The only one

zsh - The shell. The only one

vim - The editor. The only one. Oh alright, you can use ne the nice editor if you like.

aspell - Spelling checker. Because I make mistakes.

subversion - You should store all your work in version control: documents, configuration settings, accounts, notebook

screen - Wraps it all up
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rahulbatra Icon

31 May 2008 - 03:22 AM
Sweet list, thanks jonty. Your comment became a bookmark by itself in my browser. :^:
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