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#1 2018-03-30 16:57:36

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 307

What would a command-line centric distro look like?

Hey guys,

I had a bit of trouble coming up with a title, but I'm happy to change it if someone has something better. Here's my vision:

What if we had a linux distro with a very lightweight desktop experience...oh wait, we already have one, it's called BunsenLabs. So, let's start from there!

Now, let's replace everything we can with a command-line variant. Let's build a cohesive desktop experience with consistent theming and usability, but let's hunker down in a terminal and ignore using the mouse as much as possible.

First <WIP> I'll list out all the components that we are using now that I think we can replace with a CLI alternative.

  1. Web Browser

  2. Email Client

  3. File System Management

  4. Monitoring Tools

  5. Music listening/browsing

  6. Calendar

  7. Notes (I.e., evernote/google docs)

  8. Calculator

  9. Text editor

  10. Word processor/Office Tools

  11. Video player

  12. Image viewer

  13. PDF viewer


Second <WIP> I'll enumerate through replacement options.

  1. links2, lynx, uzbl, w3m

  2. mutt, notmuch, alpine

  3. ranger, mc, certain shell enhancements (should discuss shell as well)

  4. htop, ncdu, iotop, iftop

  5. mpd/mpc/ncmpcpp, cmus, moc

  6. calcurse, gcacli, cal

  7. https://lifehacker.com/5592047/turn-you … aking-tool

  8. bc, or https://lifehacker.com/5396183/create-a … calculator

  9. vim, emacs, nano, ed

  10. vim+texlive, wordgrinder (word), http://www.ngolde.de/tpp.html (presentations), scim or oleo (spreadsheets)

  11. mpv

  12. imagemagick, sxiv

  13. mupdf, zathura


Third <todo> I'll hopefully write a simple and cogent way to swap to the _best_ replacement option (which we can discuss) and, in an ideal world, provide resources for consistent theming and such. I'll probably host much of this on github, but we'll see.

Let me know if you think this is a worthy endeavor. An example would be replacing the default bl text editor with vim, replacing thunar with ranger, things like that. I'd also include some basic tmux functionality, vim bindings, stylistic consistencies, and things of that nature.

Thanks!

Last edited by cloverskull (2018-03-30 23:47:33)

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#2 2018-03-30 17:18:50

mrneilypops
The BL Scrot.Moe Guy
From: luxembourg
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 561
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

@cloverskull
You could use dwm wink on a Debian base.

You could take a look at one of my dwmXS ISOS for ideas;
https://sourceforge.net/projects/dwmxs/

PLEASE NOTE: dwmXS project is on hold for the moment...I might reactivate development end of 2018???

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#3 2018-03-30 18:41:50

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

I wonder: Does it mean everything command line based? Or will there be exceptions? I guess so... I mean there are tasks like Video Editing (not basic) or Image Manipulation (not basic), etc. - these tools cannot be replaced by a cli program. What about the browser? I'd like to have a properly configured cli browser like Uzbl.

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#4 2018-03-30 18:59:43

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 307

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

@mrneilypops - not a bad idea. I was actually thinking about bspwm or dwm, but wanted initially to focus on replacing GUI tools with non-GUI tools.

@martix - I don't think it's really possible to do everything in a CLI. But, there are a handful of things that we could do more efficiently without needing a GUI (traversing a file system, for example). I'd like to focus on that stuff.

I'm a firm believer that the mouse is bad and it ruins my productivity. That said, I don't produce anything creative. I can see the need for a mouse for the creative types smile

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#5 2018-03-30 19:09:54

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 8,347
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

For Debian-sid-based desktops using minimalist window managers and cli applications, head over to the Linux BBQ...
https://linuxbbq.org/

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#6 2018-03-30 20:02:41

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

My $0.02:

  • Web Browser: links2

  • Email Client: mutt

  • File System Management: ranger

  • Monitoring Tools: htop, iotop, iftop

  • Music listening/browsing: mpd + mpc & ncmpc

  • Calendar: cal

  • Notes (I.e., evernote/google docs): vim

  • Calculator: xcalc bc

  • Text editor: ed

  • Word processor/Office Tools: vim + texlive

  • Video player: mpv (does this category even make sense?)

  • Image viewer: sxiv

  • PDF: mupdf or maybe zathura

  • Shell: mksh scnr!

And hey, let's not mess about — why not drop the crappy X server entirely and switch to pure console + tmux instead?

#nox

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2018-03-30 20:35:36)


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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#7 2018-03-30 20:11:34

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,287
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

Neil, what is your login for your live session?

Worked it out,
live
live

Last edited by Dobbie03 (2018-03-30 20:19:39)


I like my Metal like my coffee.......Black!
Resident Metalhead Poser

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#8 2018-03-30 21:49:15

mrneilypops
The BL Scrot.Moe Guy
From: luxembourg
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 561
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

@Dobbie03
Greetings from Luxembourg!
You are correct [live/live]
ISO's are getting a bit old now...but...they should (hopefully) demo the power of dwm... I might return to the project after a busy summer.
Daughter #1 getting married wink keeping the old chap occupied angel

Last edited by mrneilypops (2018-03-30 21:49:45)

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#9 2018-03-30 22:22:30

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 8,347
Website

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
  • Video player: mpv (does this category even make sense?)

Lol! big_smile

mpv is creating its own window, isn't it? So how about...

mplayer file.foo

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#10 2018-03-30 23:00:57

PackRat
jgmenu user Numero Uno
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 1,089

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

Video player: mpv (does this category even make sense?)

You can watch the video in the framebuffer and set the video option on the command line; something like (I think, see the man page):

mpv -vo fbdev file.mp4

so the framebuffer driver/device needs to be installed.

and tmux is a must if you're going console only.

Last edited by PackRat (2018-03-30 23:01:51)


You must unlearn what you have learned.
    -- yoda

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#11 2018-03-30 23:05:15

PackRat
jgmenu user Numero Uno
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 1,089

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

cloverskull wrote:

@mrneilypops - not a bad idea. I was actually thinking about bspwm or dwm, but wanted initially to focus on replacing GUI tools with non-GUI tools

If you want console only, check out dvtm - functions similar to dwm (may be a suckless product originally) but runs in the console.

Last edited by PackRat (2018-03-30 23:06:40)


You must unlearn what you have learned.
    -- yoda

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#12 2018-03-31 08:05:57

Snap
Member
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 465

Re: What would a command-line centric distro look like?

IMHO, Going TTY only really depends on your goals and what you want to do. If you plan to deal with editing video, image or audio heavily, you'll need some GUI tools. Web browsing is another thing that's heavily visual. Using CLI browsers exclusively is way less than ideal. It can be done, of course. I personally use w3m quite a lot for certain things, but not the best experience. Aside of these tasks, Yes. The CLI is ideal for most purposes.

An approach can be using the console in a TTY running tmux or a framebuffer session with fbterm, and firing up another TTY with X  for the GUI needs. But something as simple and common as copying and pasting is rather cumbersome and annoying in the TTY. I have this setup as a kind of emergency setup. If the X server fails for some reason (unlikely in Debian stable but not that strange in rolling distros like Sid) you'll have an alternative.

In my own experience it's a much rewarding approach running terminal emulators over X and using mostly CLI programs there along with a few GUI ones.

My choices (mixed cli and gui)

Terminal emulator: urxvt
Multiplexer: tmux

Web Browser: Palemoon/qutebrowser + w3m
Email Client: None for the moment. mutt some day
File System Management: ranger
Monitoring Tools: htop mostly, there are an awful lot of them. Try and get your poison
Music listening/browsing: moc + mpv (well. ffplay, Sox?s play, etc...)
Calendar; cal
Notes (I.e., evernote/google docs): neovim (all documents in markdown)
Calculator: qalc/qalculate
Text editor: neovim
Word processor/Office Tools: That's complex - neovim, pandoc, mdp, mdcat, sc-im, csvkit, tabview, odt2txt, pdf2txt, antiword, docx2txt, catdoc, etc...
Video player: mpv
Image viewer: sxiv
PDF viewer: mupdf (maybe I'll get llpp again)

Plus Gimp, Blender, ImageMagick, ffmpeg, etc...

I highly recommend well configured ranger. It's incredibly powerful and configurable. It has a quite steep learning curve, but once you get used to it you won't look back.

Just my 2 cents (of €) wink

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