Command Line Love

September 7, 2010

Lately i’ve been learning a lot about using the command line on GNU/Linux and Mac OSX based systems. I wanted to go further in this, and try to do some daily internet things from an all command line GNU/Linux distribution. For this purpose i used ArchLinux.

After a little research i found ‘lynx‘. It’s a great text-based web-browser. It takes little time to learn how it works, and it’s really quite usable as a browser. It uses colors to show links, italic, bold and other fonts. You can find a screenshot of my blog displayed by lynx here.

To download a file, you can use the lynx built-in Save To Disk option, or you can use a cli download manager like wget.

After the webbrowsing, it was time to find a suitable chat client. CenterIM seemed perfect. It’s easy to set up and use. It can handle multiple protocols, like MSN, Yim, ICQ, IRC, Google Talk,… The client works fine. So far, so good.

When looking for a suitable (and working) e-mail client, things got a lot more complicated. It seems that there is no easy way to do this, so i did it the hard way. I used a combination of 4 programs and 1 cronjob to do this. ‘Fetchmail‘ gets the mail off the server through POP3, sends it to ‘Procmail‘. Procmail filters the incoming mail and puts it in one or more text files. I automated this process with a cronjob, so my mail is downloaded every half hour. To read those mails, i used ‘Mutt‘, an easy to use mail program, from which you can also compose new mails. Then they are sent to ‘mSMTP‘, a program that relays your outgoing mail back to the mailserver, to send it to the recipient.
Setting up all these programs to work together to send and receive mails involves a lot of fiddling with configuration files (not for the faint hearted), but when it works, it’s really cool 🙂

So! i succeeded in doing these things from the command line… mission completed



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