Without a GUI--How to Live Entirely in a Terminal
Sure, it may be hard, but it *is possible to give up graphical interfacesentirely—even in 2019.*
About three years back, I attempted to live entirely on the command line for 30days—no graphical interface, no X Server, just a big-old terminal and me,for a month.
I lasted all of ten days.
Why did I attempt this? What on Earth would compel a man to give up all thetrappings and features of modern graphical desktops and, instead,artificially restrict himself to using nothing but text-based, command-linesoftware, as if he were stuck in the early 1980s?
Who knows. Clearly, I make questionable decisions.
But you know, if I'm being honest, the experience was not entirelyunpleasant. Sure, I missed certain niceties from the graphical side of things,but there were some distinct benefits to living in a shell. My computers, eventhe low-powered ones, felt faster (command-line software tends to be a wholelot lighter and leaner than those with a graphical user interface). Plus, Iwas able to focus and get more work done without all the distractions of agraphical desktop, which wasn't bad.
What follows are the applications I found myself relying upon the most duringthose fateful ten days, separated into categories. In some cases, these areapplications I currently use over (or in addition to) their graphicalequivalents.
Quite honestly, it is entirely possible to live completely without a GUI (moreor less)—even today, in 2019. And, these applications make itpossible—challenging, but possible.
But for me, personally, I recommend w3m.
Figure 1. Browsing Wikipedia with Inline Images Using w3m
w3m supports inline images (via installing the
w3m-imgpackage)—seriously, a web browser with image support, inside the terminal. The future is now.
It also makes filling out web forms easy—well, maybe not easy, but at leastdoable—by opening a configured text editor (such as nano or vim) forentering form text. It feels a little weird the first time you do it, butit's surprisingly intuitive.