As a long-time Linux user, there are some software tools and packages I simply can not live without and use on a daily basis.
Today, I’m going to show you a few of those essential console-based tools that I rely on. Additionally, I will show you how to install them on your very own system. For my installation examples, I will be showing you methods for both Ubuntu and OpenSUSE.
First, I will start with the console itself. Terminal junkies such as myself often stick to a specific terminal emulator for a specific reason, whatever that reason may be.
I like to use Terminator. To install Terminator, run the following command in your standard terminal console. If you’re running with Ubuntu, you’ll probably be using GNOME Terminal. If you’re using OpenSUSE, then you’ll most likely be using Konsole. Also, be sure to use the relevant command example to your Linux distribution:
$ sudo apt-get install terminator
$ sudo zypper in terminator
Terminator should now be installed on your system.
Working for Freedom Publishers Union obviously requires a lot of attention to detail when writing articles. Most articles we publish here, require screenshots to be attached to them. In fact, this very article also has screenshots attached.
So next, I will show you the tool I use for nabbing screenshots from the console. I use scrot. And you can install it by running the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install scrot
Unfortunately, OpenSUSE does not have the package in the default repositories enabled out-of-the-box. Thankfully, it’s very easy to find the installation package for your version of OpenSUSE. Just head over to http://software.opensuse.org/find and search for the string “scrot”.
Once you have the correct package details on-screen, then the quickest way is to copy the link to the package to your clipboard and then dump it in the command as follows:
$ sudo zypper in http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Utilities/openSUSE_12.3/x86_64/scrot-0.8-3.1.x86_64.rpm
scrot should now be installed on your system.
You might be asking yourself, “Now that I have taken these screenshots, how do I view them from the console?” It’s a legitimate question. Viewing images from the console is simple.
I prefer to use feh. It’s a small package to install, simple to use and super-fast at loading any image you throw at it.
To install feh, use the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install feh
For installation on OpenSUSE, we’ll use the same process as the installation of scrot, shown above. Search for the package and paste the link in to the command:
$ sudo zypper in http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Utilities/openSUSE_12.3/x86_64/feh-2.9.3-1.1.x86_64.rpm
feh should now be installed on your system.
While we’re talking about image viewing, we might as well extend our multimedia capabilities and install Mplayer.
The mplayer package allows for playback of almost any kind of audio/video file you throw at it. You know the drill by now:
$ sudo apt-get install mplayer
I’m going to do this one a little bit different. Due to the fact that the mplayer package pulls in a few dependencies for it to install.
The required packages are held in the KDE: Extras repository and also the PackMan repositories. So we just need to add the repositories. To keep things simple, I just recommend you use YAST and add the repositories via their direct URL. As you will notice, if you look at the URL’s I am providing, I have version 12.3 of OpenSUSE. If you’re running the latest 13.1 version, be sure to change it to make it relevant to your own version.
For the KDE: Extras repository, add the following URL:
PackMan Essentials repository, add the following URL:
PackMan Multimedia repository, add the following URL:
Now, before we install mplayer, refresh the repository list:
$ sudo zypper refresh
Now we can simply install mplayer using the following command:
$ sudo zypper in mplayer
All dependencies should now be fulfilled and mplayer should now be installed on your system.
Now that we have our multimedia needs all sorted, we need something to organize all your files and data.
I use Midnight Commander. Also known as simply mc. This is a nice easy one to install. OpenSUSE users will have it installed out-of-the-box. So you do not need to do anything more. Ubuntu users can easily install it via the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install mc
Midnight Commander should now be installed on your system.
The last package I want to show you is a web browser that runs completely inside your console. dwb is a console-based web browser. It is intended for use with keyboard shortcuts similar to that of the programmers editor, vim. You can also use your mouse as you would any other web browser if that’s what you prefer or feel more comfortable doing.
To install dwb, use the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install dwb
Unfortunately for OpenSUSE users, it’s another package we have to go hunting for. Thankfully, it’s another easy one to find via the OpenSUSE Package Search website that we used for scrot and feh.
Once you have the link for the dwb package, install it as we have done with previous packages:
$ sudo zypper in http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/wengo/openSUSE_12.3/x86_64/dwb-2013.03.30-19.1.x86_64.rpm
dwb should now be installed on your system.
There are many useful tools available for use in a terminal console. I have simply brought to your attention a few essentials that I use on a daily basis, on almost all of the Linux systems I run.
You may have noticed I have only shown you how to install the packages outlined above. If you are unfamiliar with how to use them, I highly recommend you check out the man pages for all of them as there is simply too many commands for all of the packages to put in to this article.
To see the man pages for X package, simply type it in to your console:
$ man packagename