April 5, 2011, 5:05 a.m.
posted by lambda
Linux distributors are anxious to shed the idea that Linux is too complex and to prove you can do anything in Linux from a graphical desktop without having to resort to entering a single command at a command line. Fedora Core doesn't even include a terminal icon on its launcher panel, as if to communicate the message that only outdated geeks and power users need to resort to command-line tools.
Linux users "in the know" recognize that an easy-to-use graphical interface is ideal only for some users and some tasks. Other tasks, however, demand the power of the command line and/or text command scripts.
In addition, some of us simply like some text-based applications. I, for one, still often use the text-based Mutt email client simply because Mutt supports macro commands that help you plow through the stacks of new mail more quickly than with any graphical email client.
So, whether you're an outdated geek and proud of it, a power user, or someone who simply likes using text-based programs, this chapter is for you. Indeed, this chapter assumes you not only like to use X-based terminals, but you prefer to use the lightweight terminals instead of the GNOME and KDE terminals, which consume far more resources.
The last three hacks, [Hack #53], [Hack #52], and [Hack #54], are not only useful in an X terminal, but are ideal if you don't use X and work strictly from a virtual text console (preferably a frame buffer-based console). Indeed, I struggled with the decision as to whether to include these hacks in Chapter 2, which is dedicated to consoles, or here, where we discuss X terminals. It was just as difficult to decide to put the three hacks [Hack #13], [Hack #14], and [Hack #15] in Chapter 2, because those hacks work perfectly well in X terminals, too. I encourage you to try out all these dual-personality hacks in both virtual consoles, and X terminals and see for yourself how well they work in both cases.