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Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:58 pm    Post subject: terminal lines Reply with quote

Hi all,

This is probably a bit of a silly question to ask, but I am

a) Overwhelmed
b) Confused
c) Learning

I have Lini, my gentoo box, happily doing her thing, except she is much like an old granny, driving a car, embedding her dentures into the dash board, to peer over the bumper, at the overtaking truck, while doing 60 on a highway.

Why does Lini do this well, she's only able to show me about 24 lines on the screen at about 85 characters width. While working with the liveCD she had a few more lines on her and while I'm tempted to boot her with the live CD and chroot to my system this is probably not the best alternative and leads me to ask :

How can I squeeze in more ASCII goodness ?

Back ground

The idea is not to install a full blown GUI experience, Lini is after all meant to be a server, I just want to work on a nicer prompt/teminal/screen.

Home Work

I understand Xorg to provide a window environment. On top of this could ride GNOME, XfCE and related full windowed experiences with pop ups and tree widgets for the directories and more bars then there are in Fort Nox. I also understand that there are ways to scale down XOrg to simpler views and items such as just a console with may be a background and a few extra lines of ascii. I think I understand that a similar effect can be achieved by using a frame buffer. What I have tried is the following

1) console-fonts

I have installed 'console-fonts' which was much like giving Lini glasses, the road is more pretty but your still only seeing 24x85 characters on the screen. The handy dandy reference for adding this was here

2) I have tried XOrg, well I tried some thing on an ARCH system on a raspberry PI.

It seems installing Xorg provides you with a server upon which you run an interface that chats to this server. So everything from GNOME to Qtile uses this and what you can do with your interface is dependant upon what the interface provides. If i understand this correctly it seems to be overkill for what I need.

3) I have read up a bit upon framebuffers

Quite frankly I don't understand these. It seems this would be the solution i need but it also seems this fell out of 1980 and I can't shake the notion that Frame buffers are what Mario ran on !

4) Aterm, Eterm, Xterm and XRVT

If I understand this correctly, this gives a terminal emulator. That is you fire up XOrg, run a GUI kit on top of it, then emulate a terminal. This seems a bit over the top as all I want are a few exrta lines and may be a background.


Given the information above what would you recommend I look into first as there is quite a lot of choice for a system with next to nothing on it. Should I install a frame buffer, would this allow me to have a back ground image ? Or is it best to load up XOrg and fire away something minimal but with enough oomph so as to allow more lines and a back ground image on my primary screen ?

Any help is appreciated, ridicule is welcome as I think there is something obvious I have missed.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2004
Posts: 22
Location: My computer.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok first off ...

The term programs you mention all ride on an Xserver like xorg-server and some kind of WM (Window Manager) like KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment So yes you are correct they are a GUI way to have a command line console.

Usually if you're going to connect to a server to manage it you're not going to do it from the console you'll use something like SSH or a custom browser interface.

If you're building a server and you want to manage it from the console I highly suggest putting a GUI on it. If you're not going to manage the server from the console don't worry about the console fonts, the system you connect from can handle that.

IMHO the optimal solution would be to have a term program Aterm, Terminology (the replacement for Eterm), Xterm running on the system you're going to use every day then use SSH to connect to uh... Lini

:lol: Why do I suddenly want to... “TOUCH GREP UNZIP MOUNT FSCK FSCK FSCK UMOUNT.” :lol:

If you're going to manage Lini from a windows system look into Cygwin.
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Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 2125
Location: Here and Away Again

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teegrins, Carel!

I would like to add a bit to what was already said regarding the high-resolution console, whether or not the searches yielded them answers.

Carel wrote:
How can I squeeze in more ASCII goodness ?

The answer depends a little with what drivers one wants to use for driving their GPU.

Considering the use-case, I might wager a guess that part of the answer is non-proprietary.

For example, with nvidia-drivers, the resolution is oft limited to whatever the card's BIOS 'shows out', or something along those lines. That is often something around 1280x720 from what I've seen. With the open-source drivers, nouveau (which the SystemRescueCd for example uses), will usually have more options.

So, the rest of the answer is mostly dependent on which make the GPU is, and modesetting. The required kernel options should be mentioned in the wikki, within pages such as this.

As for the background and such, uvesafb can do a bunch of tricks, but I forget if it can go as far as background images. I would probably suggest xorg-server with a lightweight window manager instead.

I hope this helps to clear at least a little bit of something. ^^
Kind regards,

You might remember me from Gentoo projects such as Forums, LXQt, Qt, and Wine.
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Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Xorg it seems to be is it Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies :)

As I am on a winbox i usually cygwin in to Lini (Character from Wheel of Time) via ssh. It's just the times that I have to work on here directly myself that the limitation on characters gets a bit grumpy.

I'll give Aterm a kick and I think I need to revisit my graphic driver config in kernel. I'll try to tackle that one this weekend. If I don't like Aterm I'll switch to some or other tiler, QTile or Awesome (Which I hear is Awesome).

Thank you for the clarity Sansavarous and Chiitoo, I didn't realize they all ran upon XOrg.
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Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 1409
Location: Adelaide/Australia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I interpret your rather long winded question as you wanting more than 80x24 on a console.

Check out

Vast improvement.

However, if you are simply going to ssh into the server, everything comes back to the computer you are ssh'ing from. If it's windows, putty does the job just fine. If it's linux, then you could do the same as above and not need X, or go the whole 9 yards and setup X.

If, however, I have misunderstood the question, feel free to ignore this post. :)
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