Why Would You Use A Terminal Manager/Multiplexer?
I’ve been forced to look beyond the conventional bread-and-butter IDE’s since my “good” computer just popped a few caps on its motherboard. I’m currently running an old Pentium 4 beige box who as it is, already has a lot of trouble running Ubuntu at reasonable speed. Eclipse and other software tools only slow matters down to a painful and unbearable speed which is the reason why I opted for vim/Emacs and custom makefiles for everything I ended up building. Yup, I gave up the easy click-and-have-it-done way just to avoid the slow GUI’s that crippled by box. Making this trade-off, however; meant that I would spend more time on the keyboard then on my mouse, in fact… I only use the mouse when I have to find my way through browsers. Spending more time in terminals would mean unnecessary clutter if I would have to start a new terminal instance in an individual window [Ctr-Alt-T] each time I needed to get going… but the good news is that you don’t have to.
The Byobu/GNU Screen Solution
Byobu is somewhat of a sugar-coating on top of GNU Screen… I don’t need to rant on about this as many others have already written excellent posts about GNU Screen/Byobu and its capabilities. I’m just raising awareness. Check it out. Once you’ve checked out GNU Screen, Byobu would be a nice coating of bliss. I’ve been using Byobu for half a year and I find it simply amazing. This tool allows me to lock terminal session, ration the real estate available on my monitor among the different terminal session I’ve loaded in the screen in whatever arrangement I find pleasant, detach terminal sessions for later use and most importantly… it keeps my taskbar/panel clutter free.
I currently have no need for looking any further… GNU Screen/Byobu does what I need at this moment, if it changes I’ll set out on a quest for the best solution. Changes are that GNU Screen sucks for you, in that case (if you’re still looking for something of a terminal multiplexer)… keep looking. 😉
Terminal Manager/Multiplexer Links
- A useful resource with several must-know keybindings for GNU Screen: http://www.pixelbeat.org/lkdb/screen.html
- The GNU Screen manual: http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/manual/screen.html#Default-Key-Bindings
- GNU Screen wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Screen
- iTerm page: http://www.iterm2.com/#/section/home
- xmonad: http://xmonad.org/