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Terminally Friendly? Friendly Terminals


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#1 wizardfromoz

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:52 AM

I might have added "Friendly to The Wizard" to the title, but I am hoping to elicit input from many.

 

To my mind, if you want to encourage people to use Terminal, you need to provide them with an experience that is not daunting, not boring, but rather something which if not exactly stimulating, is at least functional, and maybe even a little entertaining (customisable).

 

Otherwise, they (the elusive "they") are just going to go away thinking "I may as well GUI Point and Click".

 

Possibilities on your Wish List for a likeable Terminal might include, but are not restricted to:

 

  • Whether you can go fullscreen with it

  • Whether you can grab handles and resize

  • Whether when opened it hogs screen space, overlapping an open window, or whether it "shares" by snapping into position alongside an open window

  • Whether its scroll bar is easy to use

  • Whether its buffer of commands input, and data output, is adequate

 

You get the picture?

 

:wizardball: Wizard



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#2 wizardfromoz

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:56 AM

My first Terminal under the microscope is Konsole, from the KDE Desktop Environment.

 

I am already running KDE with Mageia 5 and Sabayon 1604, but this was my most recent encounter with it. And it was under Kubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit.

 

Konsole by default is long and skinny (and its fonts too small), a bit like a gawky teenage boy whose bones are growing at different rates, but I can tweak that.

 

What I like about it straight away is that it

 

  1. Allows you to grab the scroll bar and successfully drag it back to much earlier in the process

  2. Allows you to revisit the commands and output from the start of the Terminal session

 

Let me expand on that

 

  1. Some of the Terminals in the 20 or so Distros I run will, when you grab the scroll bar, only allow you to go back for a second or two and a number of lines or 10 – 20, before wresting control out of your grasp as it heads inexorably and relentlessly to the bottom of its downwards journey.

 

What is it doing? Running for a bus?

  1. Why am I grabbing the scrollbar in the first place? I perform 90% or more of my updates from Terminal, only occasionally using the GUI. If I use the GUI, I always click "Details" because I like to see what is going onto my computer.

    Anyone whom performs updates regularly from Terminal will have seen that sometimes there are notices that

 

  1. Packages are being held back and/or

  2. Packages previously required are no longer needed – use apt-get autoremove

    (the latter under Debian-based Distros)

 

By revisiting the part of the output that has scrolled which lists these items, I can then address what to do about them, instead of forgetting.

 

In the case listed below, packages libntdb1 and python-ntdb met the criterion under B) above, and so I invoke apt-get autoremove.

 

With a number of those Terminals that I use, if I have a lengthy list of updates, removables, and held backs, I am returned to the prompt on completion and can't even go halfway back.

 

That is why I like Konsole. And yes, I expect I could tweak a config file to change entries or lines kept in the visible buffer ... but I like lazy.

 

Below is a screnshot of Konsole doing its voodoo.

 

Also included, in the Spoiler, is the textual output I captured, and if anyone can tell me what three processes I was engaged in, you may win a steak dinner for two at The High Street Motor Inn in Stanthorpe, Southeast Queensland with The Wizard and Elaine.

 

jcuDstE.png

 

 

 

And the Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

 

So if Members have a favourite Terminal-style (CLI – command line interface) applet they enjoy features from, let us know about it here. You may actually help influence someone in their choice of their next Linux Distro!

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#3 mremski

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:15 AM

Ahh, Terminals/CLI/Consoles.  "But you don't need them" I hear Madman saying right about now ;)

 

A lot of your requirements are functions of the "preferences", typically found under the "Edit" menu for the running terminal (Scrollback buffer), others such as full screen, resize handles, positioning on the desktop are functions of the Window Manager.

 

Pretty much all of them default to not storing enough lines (I always set this to at least 10,000), so that is the first thing you should do (and save as the default).

Scrolling on output is another thing that can typically be turned off (usually on by default):   that's what causes the screen to jump back down when there is new output.

 

You left out:

"scrollbar on the left or on the right":  most things default to on the right (look at your browser), but sometimes left side is better.

Tabs:  multiple tabs open for single terminal session.

 

Now as to which one, the "Grand Dame" of them all is good old xterm (still available).  You have to understand XResources to configure defaults, but it will work.

gnome-terminal and KDE Konsole are pretty much the same thing, the difference is the interaction with the desktop environment.

xfce4-terminal, a bit of a lighter weight than gnome-terminal & Konsole.

 

What do I wind up with on my desktop 99% of the time?  "mrxvt", an offshoot of rxvt, which was an offshoot of xterm.  Gives me multiple tabs, doesn't take up much system resources.

 

Oh, colour schemes.  Folks, keep in mind your eyes.  Easier to see simple schemes (no need for translucent backgrounds), less strain on your eyes.


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#4 NickAu

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:20 AM

Like I always say, Make terminal your friend and there is virtually nothing you cant do. You quite often see new members asking for help with Kali Linux, Yet they do not know basic terminal stuff and shock horror not everything is point and click.

 

Heres a secret, If you get to know Terminal you don't need Kali Linux.

 

I just use the default terminal in Ubuntu and Puppy,  Why? Because I don't like change,  and the fact that I am too  lazy to change, Why fix it if it aint broken.

 

Its what I have all ways used.  ( Puppy Linux users  understand what I mean ) Mike will understand.

 

Great post Wiz.


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#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:28 AM

Ahh, Terminals/CLI/Consoles.  "But you don't need them" I hear Madman saying right about now ;)

 

A lot of your requirements are functions of the "preferences", typically found under the "Edit" menu for the running terminal (Scrollback buffer), others such as full screen, resize handles, positioning on the desktop are functions of the Window Manager.

 

Pretty much all of them default to not storing enough lines (I always set this to at least 10,000), so that is the first thing you should do (and save as the default).

Scrolling on output is another thing that can typically be turned off (usually on by default):   that's what causes the screen to jump back down when there is new output.

 

You left out:

"scrollbar on the left or on the right":  most things default to on the right (look at your browser), but sometimes left side is better.

Tabs:  multiple tabs open for single terminal session.

 

Now as to which one, the "Grand Dame" of them all is good old xterm (still available).  You have to understand XResources to configure defaults, but it will work.

gnome-terminal and KDE Konsole are pretty much the same thing, the difference is the interaction with the desktop environment.

xfce4-terminal, a bit of a lighter weight than gnome-terminal & Konsole.

 

What do I wind up with on my desktop 99% of the time?  "mrxvt", an offshoot of rxvt, which was an offshoot of xterm.  Gives me multiple tabs, doesn't take up much system resources.

 

Oh, colour schemes.  Folks, keep in mind your eyes.  Easier to see simple schemes (no need for translucent backgrounds), less strain on your eyes.

 

 

Indeed, you really dont need the terminal.

However if there is one terminal I like its yakuake, it has a handy UI that takes only a small amount of space and is easy to work with.

Sure its primarily made for KDE but it does have a nice alternative in the form of guake


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#6 DeimosChaos

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 08:58 AM

Indeed, you really dont need the terminal.

 

Tell that to my last job. You couldn't do anything if you didn't use the terminal. Its how you logged into systems, trouble shooted why the software wasn't working right. Pretty much everything.

 

Terminals are a great source, and frankly, you do need a terminal quite a bit. How many times is there a terminal command for a help topic out there? I'd say at least 90% of the time. Sure you could get by at not using one, but if you really want to get to know Linux, use the terminal. Its also just fun :)


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#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:33 AM

Well if using a server than yes terminal is a great tool


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#8 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 01:16 PM

chris@toshi:~$ update

Is this using your "update" shell script you wrote a while back?

Nice review of Konsole. My personal preference has always been Gnome Terminal, because it allows scrolling back unlimted lines, has tabs, and supports transparency. Many terminal-emulators have those features, but since I run Ubuntu alot which ships with Gnome Terminal, I end up using gnome terminal alot. Unfortunately, Gnome Terminal doesn't install well on some distros.

#9 66Batmobile

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 08:36 PM

I like the default Mint/Ubuntu ones...easy to use, can set unlimited scrolling and customizable appearance wise.

 

I'm still trying to figure out the one in Puppy...keep forgetting about not having to "sudo" everything.

 

Haven't gotten to try anything else :unsure:


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#10 wizardfromoz

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:00 PM

 

chris@toshi:~$ update

Is this using your "update" shell script you wrote a while back?

Nice review of Konsole. My personal preference has always been Gnome Terminal, because it allows scrolling back unlimted lines, has tabs, and supports transparency. Many terminal-emulators have those features, but since I run Ubuntu alot which ships with Gnome Terminal, I end up using gnome terminal alot. Unfortunately, Gnome Terminal doesn't install well on some distros.

 

 

You might be headed towards a steak dinner, owlish one. See if you can determine the first one. Hint is that I had only minutes before finished installing Kubuntu 14.04, and knew I would have a lot of updates to perform.

 

But back to the Topic once I change over to Uberstudent.

 

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#11 wizardfromoz

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 03:09 AM

Guake (rhymes with Quake, on which it is based) was mentioned, and it can be worth a look as an alternative to your inbuilt Terminal.

 

NickAu first put me onto it nearly two years ago, when he was using it.

 

I have put together a video (about 7 mins) showing some of the features of Guake. In this instance, it is from my Uberstudent 4.3 Heraclitus with the Xfce Desktop.

 

Guake ships as pre-installed with Uberstudent, along with an Xfce standard Terminal, which is also quite good.

 

As Nick may recall, Guake by default uses F12 as a toggle key between visible and invisible when running. In my case with the Toshiba Satellite F12 is my toggle for the wireless connection, but Guake's Preferences allow for the changing of hotkeys.

 

Of course, a number of the features I show (changing of background to customised, transparency &c) come with other Terminal emulators, but one of the things I like about Guake is its ability for you to open multiple Tabs whilst multitasking.

 

 

 

Keep the input coming folks, and I'll have more as well.

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#12 Al1000

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 03:34 AM

I'm still trying to figure out the one in Puppy


There's quite a lot of software for the terminal that doesn't come with Puppy but which "full" Linux distros have. For example there is no Coreutils manual in Puppy, and it doesn't come with Nano either.

I prefer the Rox terminal that comes with Lucid Puppy and the LX terminal that comes with LXpup to the rxvt terminal that comes with Precise, Tahr and other pups. The rxvt terminal doesn't have tabs, and doesn't support the copy/paste clipboard by default.

#13 DeimosChaos

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:37 AM

 

chris@toshi:~$ update

Is this using your "update" shell script you wrote a while back?

Nice review of Konsole. My personal preference has always been Gnome Terminal, because it allows scrolling back unlimted lines, has tabs, and supports transparency. Many terminal-emulators have those features, but since I run Ubuntu alot which ships with Gnome Terminal, I end up using gnome terminal alot. Unfortunately, Gnome Terminal doesn't install well on some distros.

 

I'm with you there HF. Love Gnome Terminal. Had to get used to xterm for my last job and I was not too happy about that. Then I discovered they had gnome terminal installed on various machines. But xterm still worked the best for most things. While xterm is a bit of a boring looking terminal window, it can do a lot! I used it in scripts that I wrote if I had to open a terminal up and run something. Was very useful for that.


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#14 DodoIso

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 03:52 PM

Not listed in the original post, but mentioned briefly by Al, the Copy/Paste feature.  It can be done with the keyboard, but isn't it easier, faster and more fun with the mouse?  And if so, aren't we then half way to a full GUI system?  :wink:

 

What I hate about any terminal is having to memorize command syntax.  So, another (closely related) tool that is very important to me are the shell features: aliases, command history recall and filename completion.  Oh! And the arrow keys are very useful too.  To the developers out there, never flush that feature out like Apple did on the iPhone/iPod... Finger pointing is never precise, and can be rude too.

 

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#15 wizardfromoz

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 06:29 PM

:welcome: to this thread, DodoIso. And thanks for the input, my comments between yours.

 

 

Not listed in the original post, but mentioned briefly by Al, the Copy/Paste feature.  It can be done with the keyboard, but isn't it easier, faster and more fun with the mouse?  And if so, aren't we then half way to a full GUI system?  :wink:

 

Food for thought, a valid point. Although the "Copy, then click and Paste" feature does not work with all Distros' terminal emulators.

 

What I hate about any terminal is having to memorize command syntax.  So, another (closely related) tool that is very important to me are the shell features: aliases, command history recall and filename completion.  Oh! And the arrow keys are very useful too.  To the developers out there, never flush that feature out like Apple did on the iPhone/iPod... Finger pointing is never precise, and can be rude too.

 

Likewise well said, and don't forget bash scripting. That is why I came up with "Update", and it is evolving all the time. I have an Alias for it as well "Updateme".

 

 

 

 

Revisiting my #2 Post http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/617275/terminally-friendly-friendly-terminals/?p=4021165

 

... where I was using Konsole under Kubuntu 14.04LTS -

 

I've just installed the 16.04LTS of same on my external HDD. Had 191 updates to run and install, and at the end of the process, was only able to scroll less than halfway back.

 

Now I know how to tweak that for the future, but it makes me wonder why they would take a backwards step by setting the default lower with the new release?

 

:wizardball: Wiz






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