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Thread: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

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    Lightbulb HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    Contents

    PART A. CLI versions of Ubuntu
    Do you know that there are four different versions of cli-only ubuntu?

    PART B. CLI Resources
    Pages every cli fan should know about.

    PART C. Framebuffer Programs
    Watch videos without running X at all!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CLI = Command Line Interface

    Note that I have only tried the things I write below with Hardy. They may be different for other ubuntu versions, they may not work at all.

    Additions, corrections, and questions are welcomed.
    Last edited by Vivaldi Gloria; September 4th, 2008 at 02:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    PART A. CLI versions of Ubuntu

    Different command line versions of ubuntu:

    (1) The alternate desktop cd (with the F4 option) available from download

    (2) Minimal CD available from MinimalCD

    (3) Server CD available from download

    (4) Ubuntu Jeos available from jeos


    Comments

    (1) and (2)
    As far as I can tell (1) and (2) install the same basic ubuntu CLI version. I really like this version. It has no server stuff. Useful as a base system for a custom system build. For example install openbox or another gui (see LowMemSystems). Or just use it as is. Good for old boxes. I use one in an old computer to practice command line and listen to music using MOC. The minimal CD (2) is only ~10MB. The install of (2) takes longer than (1) because it downloads everything from the net. So use (2) if you have a decent connection.

    This cli system has all the drivers in the ubuntu desktop cd and they have the same hardware support.

    To install a cli system using (1) press F4 at the boot menu and choose "Install a command line system". (The xubuntu alt CD also has this feature. I didn't check the kubuntu alt cd). To install a cli system using (2) write "cli" at the boot options.

    I tried to install (1) in 96MB systems but they all failed. There seems to be a bug in the Hardy installer which makes it impossible to install on systems with less than 128MB RAM.

    On a side note, I've seen a couple of computers in which all regular ubuntu CDs failed for some reason but the minimal cd (2) worked. So it may be helpful in installation problems.

    (3) contains server programs. Don't install this unless you are making a server. Having non-used server programs on a destop computer is bad on at least three accounts:

    a) Takes space
    b) Updates take more time & bandwidth
    c) Security: no point in programs which may listen to ports.

    The desktop and server versions have different kernels. See this page for a list of differences.

    Ubuntu specs page says that server edition requires a minimum of 128MB of RAM. To learn more about the server edition go to serveredition.

    (4) This version is a very light version which has hardly any drivers or apps on it. Do NOT install it in a computer because it won't recognize your hardware. This version is supposed to be run in a virtual sytem like vmware, virtualbox, KVM etc. "This combination of reduced size and optimised performance ensures that Ubuntu JeOS Edition delivers a highly efficient use of server resources in large virtual deployments." See this and that for more info.


    Ubuntu Installation Guides: Installation

    Ubuntu Installation on Low Memory Systems: LowMemSystems


    .
    Last edited by Vivaldi Gloria; September 20th, 2008 at 02:57 PM.

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    Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    PART B. Resources

    1. Comprehensive guides at TLDP. Start with "Bash Guide for Beginners" and "GNU/Linux Command-Line Tools Summary".

    2. Linux commands and shell basics: help.ubuntu - linuxdevcenter - linuxcommand.org - pixelbeat - ubuntuforums - 101

    See also Malicious Commands and System Info

    3. Cheat Sheets - Quick Reference Cards:

    ubuntuforums - fosswire - fosswire - debian - tuxfiles - digilife - scottklarr

    4. What can you use a low spec system for? Some ideas: old - kmandla1 - kmandla2

    5. OS for old computers: ubuntuforums - floppy

    6. About installing Ubuntu on low mem systems: LowMemSystems - psychocats - miniRAM

    7. Urukrama's openbox guide.

    8. Server apps at ubuntu community docs: servers

    9. To change bootup and console resolution (framebuffer) see ubuntuforums. To change font, encoding etc. use the command

    Code:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
    10. Unicode in bash shell: ubuntuforums

    11. Lists of command line programs: ubuntuforums - ubuntuforums - without-X

    12. Every cli user should know about screen: wikipedia - tutorial - reference - manual

    13. Linux Filesystem Hierarchy

    A very good video
    Filesystem Hierarchy Standard: Wikipedia and Official
    TLDP Howto: html and pdf
    Other FH Resources: 1 2 3 4

    14. Security. bodhi.zazen - bodhi.zazen2 - debian - tldp - sectools - Iptables

    15. Some general references:

    help.ubuntu.com/
    ubuntuguide.org/
    doc.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/serverguide/C/
    www.debian-administration.org/
    www.debian.org/doc/
    www.debian.org/doc/user-manuals
    tldp.org
    www.howtoforge.com/
    bash.cyberciti.biz/
    www.debianhelp.co.uk/
    rute
    aboutdebian
    ubuntu-server-guide-part-1
    ubuntu-server-guide-part-2
    ubuntu-server-guide-part-3
    Last edited by Vivaldi Gloria; September 20th, 2008 at 02:58 PM.

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    Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    PART C. Framebuffer Programs

    This list consists (mostly) of terminal programs which use framebuffer to show images, web pages, videos etc. You can do all these without using X at all!

    1. To enable mouse support in the terminal install gpm:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gpm
    Then edit
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules
    and add the following line to the end:

    Code:
    KERNEL=="mice",           MODE="0666"
    and restart.

    You can select text to copy and middle-click to paste. This also works between different terminals. For example select a text in tty1, then press (ctrl+)alt+F3 and middle-click to paste in tty3.

    To enable mouse support in nano edit the /etc/nanorc file and comment out the line "set mouse". "When enabled, mouse clicks can be used to place the cursor, set the mark (with a double click), and execute shortcuts."


    2. links2 is a webbrowser which can use framebuffer:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install links2
    Now start with

    Code:
    links2 -g
    to get the graphical version.

    On a side note, see also surfraw which is a frontend to various web search pages including wikipedia & google.

    http://surfraw.alioth.debian.org/


    3. To see images install fbi:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install fbi
    Then use for example
    Code:
    fbi *.jpg
    in a directory with images.


    4. To read pdf also use fbi which needs imagemagick to show pdf files:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install fbi imagemagick
    Now

    Code:
    fbi file.pdf
    will do the job.

    Another program is fbgs - "poor man's PostScript/pdf viewer for the linux framebuffer console" which also works quite good.

    Note that there is a good command line pdf maniplation program: pdftk.


    5. You can use mplayer (or mplayer-nogui) to watch videos:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install mplayer
    Now I can watch videos with

    Code:
    mplayer -vo fbdev -fs -vf scale=1280:-3 FileName
    mplayer -vo fbdev -fs -vf scale=-3:1024 FileName
    Use the first one if the width of the video is larger than the height. Otherwise, use second. I have an alias in .bashrc so I don't have to remember them.

    My framebuffer resolution is 1280x1024. Change the commands above for your resolution accordingly.


    6. I cannot get vlc and xine to work with framebuffer. In theory they should work. When I try to use vlc with one of

    Code:
    vlc video_file
    vlc --vout fb video_file
    something weird happens. It plays the video as ascii animation. It uses only the text console! It's really fun. You've got to see it to believe it.

    But there is a problem. I don't know how to stop the video! To stop I goto ALT+F2 console and kill vlc from there. This leaves the original terminal (ALT+F1) in a weird state so to get it back use the command
    Code:
    reset

    7. There are good music players around. I prefer MOC (Music On Console). It plays everything and you can change the config file to your liking. It even uses themes. (Note that you install the package named "moc" but you start it with "mocp").

    I don't know any music player which uses framebuffer.


    8. For terminal programs in general see the links given in Part B-11 of this howto.
    Last edited by Vivaldi Gloria; September 7th, 2008 at 03:18 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs - IN PROGRESS

    Well thanks for this, I never know you could use a mouse at the command prompt! I do now, and may enable it if I need it in the future...

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs - IN PROGRESS

    Moved to Tutorials & Tips

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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs - IN PROGRESS

    I'd add http://www.linuxcommand.org to the list

    And I also like the FOSSwire command line and ubuntu cheat sheets... very useful to get a short summary of the most used commands.

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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by chronographer View Post
    Well thanks for this, ...
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyper_ch View Post
    I'd add http://www.linuxcommand.org to the list

    And I also like the FOSSwire command line and ubuntu cheat sheets... very useful to get a short summary of the most used commands.
    Thanks hyper_ch. Added them.

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    the mplayer package comes with a GUI(at least in hardy).
    is sufficient to install mplayer-nogui

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Ubuntu CLI versions & Framebuffer Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by sisco311 View Post
    is sufficient to install mplayer-nogui
    Yes. I have mplayer-nogui from medibuntu repos in one of my computers and it works OK with the framebuffer.

    Edit: Added to Part C.
    Last edited by Vivaldi Gloria; August 8th, 2008 at 09:16 AM.

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