Text Mode Linux Applications

During the first year of blogging for Lightweight Linux, I have written about many useful text mode applications. Some of them might be considered obsolete by modern standards, but they might well be enough to satisfy the needs of a command line junkie.

Here is a short overview of the applications I have written about.


  1. Twyt is a command line Twitter client. It is a lot more sophisticated than my own simple three-line Twitter script that can only update the status.
  2. e3 is a very lightweight text mode editor that can emulate the keyboard shortcuts of several better known editors like Emacs and vi.
  3. wtf deciphers acronyms.
  4. Adventure is an old text mode adventure game - a classic early example of interactive fiction.
  5. Nethack is another golden oldie. It is even installed on some of the proprietary Unix systems at the University where I used to study.
  6. Alpine is a simple and easy to use email client. The article shows also how to configure it to for gmail.
  7. If you are looking for a text mode contact manager, take a look at abook.
  8. Midnight commander, a.k.a. mc is a text mode file manager.
  9. Burn your CDs and DVDs with cdw.
  10. Create postscript calendars on the command line with pcal.
  11. Text mode reminders can be handled by remind .
  12. Catdoc and antiword are useful for reading Microsoft office formats.
  13. What about reading pdf files in text mode? No problem!
  14. Htop is better than top.
  15. I use wget for downloads.
  16. One can even browse the net with some of the text mode web browsers.
  17. And finally, bc is a command line calculator.

Any suggestions for future articles? What are your favourite text mode Linux applications?

11 comments:

Patrick said...

Just wanted to say thank you for the blog -- there are probably quite a few lurkers like myself who find it useful :-)

CorkyAgain said...

mutt
elinks
curl
calcurse
dvtm
vifm
ncdu
rawdog
podracer
mpg123
cplay
nc (aka netcat)
socat
rsync

I could go on and on, but these are good for starters.

Mikko said...

CorkyAgain: Nice list - some old friends there, and some for me new tools like socat. Unfortunately I don't have a clue about how I could use it :-)

seenxu said...

good list!

rtorrent, amuled/amulecmd, lftp, cmus,

urukrama said...

Have you seen this list of cli applications: http://www.jaredandcoralee.com/CLIapps.html

I'm sure you'll find some apps in there you hadn't heard of before!

Mikko said...

Urukrama: Nice link, thank you!

chanux said...

Cmus - music palyer
newsbeuter - great RSS reader
irssi - IRC client
centerIM - IMclient

I actually added few from your list to mine. Thanx.

fermilevel said...

I suggest

mutt
fetchmail
procmail

Anonymous said...

As a sysadmin I use these tools quite a bit.

iptraf - network monitoring
hwinfo - hardware listing
lshw - hardware listing
atop - system processes resources
dstat - vmstat, iostat, ifstat in one
ui - display user information

Anonymous said...

There's a console version of pidgin called finch. It has text-based windows with keystrokes to resize them and move them around and stuff.

ramblingsofafreak said...

moc is the best (in my mind) music player on the console. also, with the aa (ascii art) plugin, vlc can play videos in text