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Tag Archives: terminal

Irssi is a really simple command-line IRC client.  To install it, use apt-get or yum.  There is no configuration required.  Simply run irssi -c (server) -n (nickname) and once it connects to the server, type /channel and enter the channel you want to chat on.  When you want to disconnect, use /disconnect and when you want to quit, use /exit.

Why You Should Use It

There are many reasons for using irssi, but simplicity and the lack of a GUI are the two main ones.  The lack of GUI really helps if you are on an older machine or if want to use it remotely using SSH.  It also doesn’t get in your way because it doesn’t have all of the options that other IRC clients do.


Working in the command-line can be tough, because the application you are using takes up the entire window, making you have to open another in a tab or use the application screen just so you can do two things at once.  There is a very simple solution to this problem.  It is called Terminator.

Terminator is a terminal emulator, just like GNOME Terminal or Konsole.  The only difference is, Terminator allows you to have many terminals open in the same window.  So, you could have nano open in one area, irssi in another, and mplayer in yet another.  They are adjustable, so one area can be bigger than another.

Terminator With Three Terminals Open

While some users may not find this useful, if you mostly work in the command-line, it’s not a bad option.  Other applications do the same thing, but with Terminator, all it takes is one right-click to open a new terminal.  If you are a programmer, this will be extremely useful.  Also, if you just like having everything open and available to you in one window, Terminator is the right app for you.

As a Linux user who absolutely loves the command-line, I find myself usually preferring command-line tools. Instead of System Monitor I use top, instead of Pidgin I use irssi, and instead of 3D games I play Nethack. One application stands out though and this application—is MPlayer.

Most of you know that MPlayer can either be used on the command-line, or with a GUI front-end. As usual, the command-line seems more functional to me. Installing MPlayer without a GUI isn’t hard, but you have to remember to use sudo apt-get install mplayer-nogui. If you run sudo apt-get install mplayer, you might get a GUI.

After you have installed MPlayer, try it out using a video file.  Do this by running mplayer (insert file name here).  A window will pop up and your file will play.  You’re probably thinking right now that, great, it plays videos.  So do hundreds of other applications.  Well, if you check out the man pages for MPlayer, its plethora of options will be revealed.  To do this, issue the command man mplayer.  To leave the documentation, just press q.

MPlayer is stable.  It hasn’t crashed on me yet and I’ve been using for a long time.  So, if you want a versatile video and audio player with no GUI, you’ve found the right application.  If you don’t like using the command-line, then I recommend you pickup SMPlayer.  It is a GUI version of MPlayer.  VLC Media Player is good as well, but after using MPlayer for so long, switching would be pointless.  Besides, MPlayer is best video player on the Linux platform.

Like most Linux users, I use a multitude of applications, and many of them are terminal-based.  For example, I use vi for most of my text editing.  It is simple and it works.  Almost no resources are used by it and I can actually get work done in it.  Another great screenshot_of_terminalexample of a terminal application being better than a GUI application is irssi for chat.  It does one thing and it does it very well.  When I use Pidgin, which is a very nice GUI chat client, I feel like it is too much.  Simplicity is key in an application (for me anyway) and it seems as if GUI programs just keep getting too many features.  An application should serve a purpose.  A single purpose, not twelve.  I think this is the problem with many programs.  They just become too complicated.  That is why terminal applications are usually better than their GUI counterparts.  They do a single job and do it well.