obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:16 am

I'm trying to find out how good a computing experience we can get without using x11. That would save a lot of RAM and CPU for actual, productive work, and maybe let our Pi servers do a bit of double duty.

I haven't found any way to filter only text-mode apps in aptitude, nor really, a list of all (or good) text apps.

I found an old text-only distro called INX, with a list of its packages there: http://inx.maincontent.net/1.0.....ckage-list. Very sparse.

I'm surprised the subject is not more popular. Have I missed anything ? Especially, is there no suite of basic apps (file manager, editor, email, system config; maybe RSS, MP3...) with some sort of standard UI, like IBM's CUA before graphical shells became the rage ?

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ukscone
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:27 am

apart from the vm's for scratchbox2/qemu i don't ever use X11, Qt, gtk..... nearly everything i do is ncurses or framebuffer SDL/DirectFB and even in the vm i do everything in an xterm window.

i do remember recently hearing about a newish distro that was only text & framebuffer but at the moment the name escapes me but apparently it has a large package repository

obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:32 am

best I found:
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=61403
http://www.terminally-incohere.....without-x/
More terminal programs you should be using ... like a pro
Running rtorrent as a daemon
Best Lightweight Applications for Linux .
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Li ... e_Managers

tnelsond
Posts: 120
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:42 am

I find http://kmandla.wordpress.org interesting when dealing with text only Linux. You can get a pretty good user experience without x11, and if you get your framebuffer working right, you can watch movies and view pictures even.

Blars
Posts: 88
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:33 am

If you just want to avoid installing X and things that depend on it, you could create a package that conficts with selected other packages. Note that emacs requires a tiny peice of xorg even in its text version.

hsalonen
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:44 am

AFAIK Ubuntu Server is running without a GUI.

You can just remove X from your startup scripts anyway, shouldn't be a huge problem..

obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:56 am

It's not so much the "installing" part, as the "running" part of X I'd like to avoid ^^ It seems there is not that much non-X software with a relatively complete feature set, and friendly UI... I'll try out some of the stuff in the lists above.

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:12 am

http://kmandla.wordpress.com/ has been mentioned several times, and rightfully so. He lists some good CLI applications and also has great tutorials for some of them.

Chris Tyler
Posts: 70
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:21 pm

Most packaging systems let you blacklist packages. If you blacklist the X server and some of the core graphics libs you won't inadvertently install GUI apps.

In Fedora-ARM, for example, you can use a yum configuration line such as:

exclude *qt* *gtk* Xorg*

kingneutron
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:40 pm

--GRML is a pretty good text-based distro:

http://distrowatch.com/table.p.....ution=grml

kingneutron
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:42 pm

--And BTW, Midnight Commander ( ' mc ' ) is the best text-filemanager evar

kme
Posts: 448
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:37 am

Re: text mode Linux ?

Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:37 pm

It isn't that hard to avoid X and its libs. E.g. in Debian if you choose "expert install" (not much expert knowledge needed - just more questions) you can easily make a text-only install. Apt-get/aptitude will warn you before pulling X if you try to add a X dependent package. You should wonder why a slim little text editor takes 100+ MB in dependencies

SergeantFTC
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 pm
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: text mode Linux ?

Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:39 pm

I highly recommend Arch Linux as a text only distro. I know that you can install X, but it doesn't come by default. It will also be supported on the Pi right out of the box.

Benedict White
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:24 am

Re: text mode Linux ?

Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:09 pm

I would like to second SergeantFTC.

I use Arch extensively. on many many machines, and only 3 have X installed at all.

Those that do, do so because I want a mouse driven desktop OS and have RAM to spare. Mostly I use Arch as a server precisely because it does not install tons of rubbish by default, in fact, it's base install is still of the order of 100MB ish, and that's only because I can't be bothered to trim it.

Marlon
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: text mode Linux ?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:00 pm

Debian in text-only Mode is very lightweight (htop shows me 10 MB Ram used with Lenny )

acrux
Posts: 2
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Re: text mode Linux ?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:28 pm

CRUX is antoher good candidate (i.e CRUX ARM project)

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