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Screen Utility and Rat Poison

Screen is exactly what I was looking for. Something that works like VNC, but for text apps.

“Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells. Each virtual terminal provides the functions of the DEC VT100 terminal and, in addition, several control functions from the ANSI X3.64 (ISO 6429) and ISO 2022 standards (e.g., insert/delete line and support for multiple character sets).”

Bilal mentioned it when I was having trouble with starting an application without a shell, but I didn’t get to see what it really did. Recent discussions about command line apps got me interested and now I realise how useful it really is.

Here is an article that talks about Screen and the author’s simplistic window manager:

http://freshmeat.net/articles/view/581/

I find IceWM to be really lean, fast and stable as a windowing environment. Unlike the more popular Gnome and KDE behemoths, it never gets in the way when doing heavy tasks and ends up making me quite productive. But as with everything else in my life, I’m never satisfied and am always looking for better, faster or more efficient alternatives.

Rat poison is one window manager that I’m testing and may shift to in the near future. According to the home page, “Ratpoison is a simple Window Manager with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence. It is largely modelled after GNU Screen…”. Not for the faint of heart.

One thought on “Screen Utility and Rat Poison

  1. I find it really hard to stick to the lighter window managers for any length of time. I’m really addicted to the features provided by GNOME and KDE, so the light WMs seem too bare to me. Also, I use a lot of GNOME (MonoDevelop, Mozilla,xchat) and KDE (Konqueror, etc.) apps, so the overall memory use comes very close to that of GNOME or KDE.

    Screen is the first app I run when I log into a box. I’ve added an alias

    alias sa=’screen -x -L -R’

    to my .bashrc. That allows me to connect to the screen session I have running on that machine. The “lock” facility is great too.

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