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Terminal Emulators Reviewed

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the learning-the-lines dept.

Unix 328

An anonymous reader writes "Linux Weekly News has a now free review of terminal emulators. It might be old but still remains an important tool to many of the regulars here." If you're checking that out, it's also worth checking out Joe Barr's CLI series on Linux.com (also owned by OSDN)

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emulate this! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455029)

fp that is

Terminal emulators? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455033)

Terminal emulators? You mean they crap out after three uses?

Join the GNAA (-1, Troll)

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Re:Join the GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455335)

Not only are you a sad excuse for a human being, and obviously painfully stupid but you apparently even have such a pathetic life that you have the time to pollute a technical board with your tripe.

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I win! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455039)

I win!

Re:I win! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455079)

No no, you fail it!

I Love Terminal Emulators (-1, Offtopic)

Dozix007 (690662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455041)

I can't count the number of times a Terminal Emulator has either saved me from boredom, or prevented me from booting into Windows. Nothing like playing Crusader or Warcraft II in Linux.

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (5, Informative)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455080)

Huh? I think you mean DOS emulator. Terminal emulators are for things like DEC VT220 emulation.

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (0, Offtopic)

Dozix007 (690662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455131)

Not quite, I have to use a Terminal Emulator to emulate old hardware (VESA drivers mainly).

Thanks! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455304)

Now we can all laugh at you for being so clueless. You've sure put a bright spot on my day, Mr. Uberhacker!

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455153)

Crotch. I was hoping to hear about 3270 emulators. Now those are da bomb.

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (1)

linuxelf (123067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455267)

Oh no. I used to run Warcraft on my old VT220. It was all amber, and rendered in ASCII. And those sound effects, man, those were cool...

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455141)

I usually use Terminal Emulators for playing old Nintendo and arcade games, for which I downloaded the ROM files.

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Emulator Enthusiast

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (2, Funny)

sparkywonderchicken (759502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455220)

I only use mine for side scrollers and ascii based games. I've always wanted to play Hunt the Wumpus 3d.

LOL dudes!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455225)

I have a VT100 butt I cant get windows 211 bouting?? n e help?

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (4, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455310)

I REALLY miss the old /. where people knew what the hell they where talking about.

Re:I Love Terminal Emulators (0, Offtopic)

jarkko (40871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455431)

Slashdot used to be a lot better. Five or six years ago you had your annoying trolls but also some bright sparks of insight.

These days slashdot is worse than a pack of mediocre newbies.

Hell, back then even newbies were smarter than the current newbies. It's like slashdot has become an eternal amateur hour with ignorant fools getting moderated to +5 insightful by honest-to-God-reaaaallly-stupid-moderators.

I give up.

Universal Constant (4, Insightful)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455487)

The grass is always greener yesterday. There are simply more people now who post on Slashdot...so there are more Funny moderations than Insightful/Interesting. However I'd be willing to bet that there are a far greater number of individuals who are better informed and make better decisions by reading Slashdot.

Re:Universal Constant (-1, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455558)

No, a large portion of the people posting are just making shit up. They have NO idea what they are talking about and neither do the mods who mod them up.

It used to be you could have a somewhat decent tech discussion on /., not anymore.

MOD PARENT DOWN!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455468)

Kurt is a Kunt!

WOW!!! (-1, Flamebait)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455049)

Now that is an exciting news story!

Pasted article (4, Informative)

LincolnQ (648660) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455054)

The Grumpy Editor's guide to terminal emulators

This article is part of the LWN Grumpy Editor series.
The conventional wisdom is that, once Linux reaches a true, user-friendly paradise state, there will be no need for any command line work at all. Your editor, however, is a heavy command line user, and has been since, well, since he was able to get away from punch cards. Some sorts of tasks are best done in a graphical, pointer-oriented mode. But others are, truly, best done with the command line. The pure expressive power of a command-oriented interface has yet to be matched in the graphical world - at least, for a wide variety of tasks.

Once upon a time, an ADM-3A terminal looked like a very nice interface. Those days have passed, however; [xterm] for many of the years since, the definitive terminal emulator has been xterm, which was packaged with the original X11R1 release. xterm was, for its time, a marvel of configurability, with a nice set of menus for controlling its behavior, setting fonts, and providing that all-important access to the "reset" function for when it gets stuck in the VT100 graphics mode.

There is one other xterm feature which has never been matched anywhere: no other terminal emulator comes with its own Tektronix 4014 storage tube emulator mode built in. Your editor who, along with many co-workers, had sunburned his face working with real storage-tube terminals appreciated this mode at the time. It has been a while, however, since your editor (or just about anybody else) has had to run software which expects to talk to such a terminal; even so, every xterm still has a Tektronix terminal lurking within it.

In general, little has happened with xterm over the years, with the exception of the addition of color support. For the most part, development in terminal emulators has happened elsewhere. Your editor has finally decided that it is time to take a look around, and, perhaps, move beyond the venerable xterm.

But first: a word on color in terminal emulators; this is a subject on which your editor can get truly grumpy. Many developers have jumped into adding color support to terminal-oriented applications with little regard for basic human factors and usability. A usable terminal should not look like the Las Vegas strip at night. Color usage, to be effective, must be subtle and carefully thought out. In particular:

* Users must be given obvious and easy control over color usage. Different people have very different combinations of monitors, background colors, limitations in color perception, and general preferences. There is no single choice of colors that will work for any substantial portion of the user community.

* The basic nature of the human visual system is that it separates objects based on intensity differences, not color differences. If you are designing colors for a white-background display, every color you use must be, with few exceptions, a low-intensity color. Hot pink on white may look snazzy, but people will have to work hard to read it.

* Dark blue should never be used for anything somebody is expected to read. Short wavelength colors tend to focus just in front of the retina, and will thus always be a little bit blurry.

Color xterm thus fails on all counts. The colors can be configured via the X resource database, but it is not straightforward. The default colors are on the garish side, and they are too bright.

[rxvt screenshot] For years, the default replacement for xterm was rxvt. This terminal emulator is, for all practical purposes, a version of xterm with a lot of the extra stuff (such as the Tektronix mode) stripped out. It does live up to its promise of being smaller, taking just over half the virtual memory required by xterm. rxvt, however, suffers from a lack of maintenance (last release was November, 2001, with a development version showing a release in March, 2003), poor default colors, and no menus for run-time configuration. This terminal emulator has been dropped from a number of modern distributions.

(As an aside, rxvt, like most other terminal emulators, dropped the xterm/Xaw scrollbar. This is a big loss; no other scrollbar is as useful as the old Xaw implementation, which gives very precise control over just how much the window is scrolled. Wheel mice have made good scrollbars less important, but your editor wishes that developers interested in usability wouldn't so casually drop interaction modes which are clearly better).

If you want to know the current state of the art in terminal emulation, of course, you have to look at what the desktop projects are doing. Your editor is happy to report that neither GNOME nor KDE has neglected the lowly terminal emulator.

[gnome-terminal] GNOME's entry is gnome-terminal. This terminal emulator does all of the stuff that one would expect of an xterm replacement, with a number of useful new goodies:

* Tabs. A tabbed terminal emulator turns out to be just as useful as a tabbed web browser. If you tend to have a lot of things going on at once and limited desk space, tabs make life much easier.

* Nice configurability. It is easy to eliminate gnome-terminal's most obnoxious features (blinking cursor, space-wasting menu bar), tweak fonts and colors, etc. The default colors are also relatively good, at least for people who work in a white-background mode.

* Multiple profiles. Each tabbed session can have its own fonts, colors, titles, etc. If you tend to keep tabs around for specific purposes (one could, for example, keep a root shell in one tab), you can tweak the presentation to make the current task immediately obvious.

gnome-terminal also has a nice feature in that it makes the pointer fade away as soon as the user starts typing. No more moving the mouse around to get the pointer out of your way. An invisible pointer might seem like a human factors problem in its own right, but the simple fact is that you generally have to move the pointer to find it anyway.

Your editor's biggest complaint about gnome-terminal might be that scrolling with the mouse wheel is a relatively coarse operation; xterm scrolls in smaller steps unless the shift key is held. The number of lines to scroll on a mouse wheel event would be a nice addition to the configuration screen.

[Konsole] Konsole, KDE's terminal emulator, has most of the features described above. In addition, Konsole offers:

* Bookmarks. In the Konsole world, a bookmark is just a saved directory path; selecting a bookmark causes Konsole to feed a cd command to the underlying shell.

* History browsing. Konsole can search for a string in the past history, making it easy to go back and see what happened earlier.

* Notifications. When asked, Konsole will monitor a session for activity (or, optionally, the lack thereof) and notify the user when it happens. If you want to know right away when that long make finishes, Konsole can tell you. It also can notify you when something rings a bell in one of your sessions; such sessions are also annotated with a little bell icon in the tab bar.

Konsole, too, will hide the pointer. Unlike gnome-terminal, however, it does not wait until you start typing, but hides it regardless after a few seconds. Konsole comes with a reasonable set of default colors, and provides user control as well. The color editor works by way of "schemas," and is rather awkward to work with. The gnome-terminal profile-based mechanism seems more straightforward.

Both gnome-terminal and Konsole will let you do crazy things, like putting a background image into the terminal window. Such features make for nice screenshot eye candy, but they are not good for usability. Fortunately, nobody seems to set up either emulator with background images by default.

Both Konsole and gnome-terminal make it easy to change fonts - if you like the options provided. Your editor, who long since found a monospace X font which optimizes both readability and screen space, very much misses the ability to chose an arbitrary X font. It is probably possible by digging under the hood somewhere, but the configuration screens are not helpful in this regard. One should also note that both terminal emulators are memory hogs, requiring vastly more virtual and physical memory than xterm to run.

That notwithstanding, it is clear that both desktop projects have managed to improve the state of the art in terminal emulation. Even better, they have both managed to (1) avoid the temptation to ruin usability with flashy eye candy, and (2) retain a full set of configuration options so that this crucial tool can be tweaked to each user's needs. Congratulations would seem to be in order.

[For completeness: other terminal emulators out there include [Eterm] 9term, the Plan 9 entry; aterm, an rxvt-derived emulator with background image support; and Eterm, an emulator which prioritizes fancy backgrounds well above readability or usability (see image at left). There are also several emulators designed around non-western character sets, which your editor is in no position to review usefully.]

Re:Pasted article (2, Interesting)

shic (309152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455231)

Once upon a time, an ADM-3A terminal looked like a very nice interface.

And just what, may I ask, is wrong with a 80x25 basic text only serial dumb term with clacky keyboard and green mono CRT?. I, like many people I know, have used ADMs (3E in my case) in preference to graphics terminals because the simple interface is pleasant when it is sufficient for the task at hand.

Re:Pasted article (4, Interesting)

isaac (2852) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455603)

And just what, may I ask, is wrong with a 80x25 basic text only serial dumb term with clacky keyboard and green mono CRT?

Poor support for decent baud rates coupled with the high latency (from a human-factors standpoint) of a serial connection.

I used ADM3A's extensively in the '80s (without the optional lower case ROMs) and only last year got rid of the custom-painted VT330 and VT340 I'd been dragging around for years. They're fine for some uses, but man, I sure don't miss paging through long files at 9600 bps.

-Isaac

Re:Pasted article (1)

perdu (549634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455562)

Dark blue should never be used for anything somebody is expected to read. Short wavelength colors tend to focus just in front of the retina, and will thus always be a little bit blurry.
Holy cow! I've been using xterm for 10 years with dark blue font on white. Is this why I'm helpless, at work or anywhere, without my reading glasses? Maybe I can use red for 10 years and compensate...

Linux Weakly? (-1, Offtopic)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455064)

/. emulators reviewed...yep we got another

Already?? (-1, Offtopic)

Random Web Developer (776291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455065)

Damn i wanted to read this too....
Now i'll just say i'll read it later but probably never will

Re:Already?? (1, Funny)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455221)

in soviet russia, servers slashdot YOU!

hahah i was kinda interested myself.

then again, i'm also at work, trying to get my productivity down to an all new low...

linux is fucking gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455067)

terminals suck ass you fucking stupid kikes.

the only one? (5, Funny)

Jareeedo (217038) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455074)

One day, dual-booting will be considered "old-school." I, and my 12 partitions, live for that day.

"Still an important tool" (3, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455077)

....right on.

VIM and the VIM/Ruby [rubyforge.org] syntax/indent files... that's all you need for some mad Ruby programming.

Re:"Still an important tool" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455243)

VIM and the Funge Specification [quadium.net] ... that's all you need for some made Befunge programming. Can my plug get modded up too?

Re:"Still an important tool" (3, Interesting)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455415)

One of the most amusing thing is to see a newbie fireup a vi or VIM on a really obscure terminal emulator, which don't set $TERM right, or set it to something else.

VIM come's up with, "I don't know what terminal you are using" error. about as useful as "PC Load Letter".

And then when you very quitely type in "export TERM=vt100" , and ask them to repeat, watch the awe on their faces. priceless...

Also another tip for VIM newbies, when opening VIM on a remote machine using telnet/ssh on a terminal emulator, always use the -X command-line option, It tell VIM not to connect with the local X server and saves a lot of time.

Wow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455085)

Only a couple posts and slashdotted. Keep up the good work. ;)

TeraTerm (4, Informative)

pjwhite (18503) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455096)

I use TeraTerm Pro [vector.co.jp] and TTSSH regularly for accessing remote systems from my Windows machine. Very nice tools, with plenty of options.

Re:TeraTerm (4, Informative)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455234)

I used to use TeraTermPro / TTSSH as well. It was very nice, but alas, TTSSH only has SSH 1.5 and most likely won't be updated to SSH protocol v. 2.0. AFAIK, That means that you won't get the most recent security fixes, as well as other nice features of SSH v. 2.0 (like compression).

A good alternative is PuTTY [greenend.org.uk] . Works like a charm in all flavors of Win32.

Re:TeraTerm (2)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455471)

Both don't support public key authentication, only password based authentication.

And I would be damned if I sshed to my box, over public internet using my login password.
Sorry but if you want to use public key authentication for ssh, then install openssh via cygwin.

Re:TeraTerm (3, Informative)

archen (447353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455561)

Putty supports public key authentication using their key managment program, although in all honesty I haven't gotten it to work with openssl stuff.

Re:TeraTerm (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455597)

Yes that was my point rather.

Re:TeraTerm (3, Interesting)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455252)


I use TeraTerm Pro [vector.co.jp] and TTSSH regularly for accessing remote systems from my Windows machine. Very nice tools, with plenty of options.

I used to use TeraTerm, but a couple of years ago I switched to PuTTY [greenend.org.uk] and haven't looked back. Great application (and just as free as TeraTerm!).

-- Pete.

Re:TeraTerm c.f. PuTTY (1)

nick_urbanik (534101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455289)

Many people ask me whether or not TTSSH will support SSH protocol version 2. It does not and (unless someone else decides to try) it will not. Sorry, I don't have time to do it. Please don't ask me about it.
--from the TTSSH [zip.com.au] web site.

Is there anything TeraTerm Pro and TTSSH do that PuTTY [greenend.org.uk] doesn't do better?

Re:TeraTerm c.f. PuTTY (1)

technothrasher (689062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455555)

Is there anything TeraTerm Pro and TTSSH do that PuTTY doesn't do better?


Serial port connections...

yeha (2, Informative)

2057 (600541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455102)

for those who haven't read the article he review, rxvt, gnome terminal, and konsole, and links to aterm, 9term, and some other thing, really not to awesome...but it is a dying aspect of linux..using the command line.

Re:yeha (0, Redundant)

2057 (600541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455249)

...this wasn't meant to be a flamebait.... I meant what i said, eventually computers will evolve to not need a commandline.... it happens...people don't read books anymore, because there are movies....

Re:yeha (0, Redundant)

2057 (600541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455379)

nice...I will keep replying til i get a positive out of this...I;m crazy! Ile goto rikers to prove my point...............

Re:yeha (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455443)

*looks up from Dan Simmons' "Ilium"*

What do you mean people don't read anymore? /You/ may not, but generally the more educated/intelligent folk tend to like reading.

Re:yeha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455493)

How is it? I haven't read Hyperion or any of his other stuff but somebody else had recommended it.

Re:yeha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455457)

Book sales may be down (about 1% last year) but that doesn't mean people don't read. It is just a lot easier to buy used books nowadays.

rxvt is still the best... (0)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455103)

at least IMHO, minimalistic, no menu bar, nice 3d scrollbar on the left, shift+pgup/down scrolling, what more do you need? I wish the article wasn't slashdotted so I could figure out if the reviewer agrees with me or not ;)

BTW, I'm talking about 'standalone' terminals, I spend 90% of my time within emacs and its eterm works nearly as well as rxvt (a bit slower and sometimes screws up when you have long lines in your history and you want to edit them, but still good enough IMHO).

Re:rxvt is still the best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455281)

Hold the control key, then left-click an xterm.

Keep control held, and then middle-click.

Now try it with the right mouse button.

See all those menus? That's what rxvt lacks. That's what the editor was talking about, and I tend to agree. If your terminal screws up, or you want to change a setting at runtime, xterm is quite happy to help you out.

what the hell (0)

Trepidity (597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455327)

I can't believe I've been using xterm for years and never knew it had menus...

Re:what the hell (1)

jarkko (40871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455482)

You should try the Tek4014 emulation in xterm.

It's so cool. I think gnuplot still supports old Tektronix terminals.

Re:rxvt is still the best... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455404)

I love rxvt, but I've had trouble with it not breaking my command lines properly, especially if I backspace over the linebreak rxvt gets all confused. It's a strange problem, it doesn't always happen. Some programs mess it up worse than others, gnuplot is among the worst offenders. xterm has the same problem too. I've settled on aterm, it always breaks my command lines properly, and does pretty much everything else I need.

Love CLI (4, Interesting)

hazy_fakie (781520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455105)

Finally an article on something different from GNOME/KDE/any other GUI. The only way to learn truly about an operating system is by doing things manually and this is done through CLIs. It seems that as more and more people turn to Linux and the GUIs become better and better, people tend to forget how to use the console, henceforth, the incresing number of totally lame questions that could easily be answered with rtfm. "man" was meant to be started from a console :)

Re:Love CLI (1)

i_r_sensitive (697893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455349)

Finally an article on something different from GNOME/KDE/any other GUI.
Not really, all he talks about are gnome-terminal and konsole...

Given, most of the rest are rxvt spiced up, with eye candy thrown in.

But if the grumpy editor wants to hold forth on memory usage, I would suggest he consider the overhead the gnome and kde libraries impose in order to use their terminal emulator...

Re:Love CLI (5, Interesting)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455474)

You know, this reminded me of something that's been tickling the back of my mind for some time now.

At the beginning of my tech career, just about everything was done through the commend line, and of course, I liked it and got somewhat good at it. However, once GUIs arrived, I dutifully switched over like a happy wage slave and gradually learned to forget about some of the more obscure CLI commands as they mostly had a GUI counterpart that at least handled the basic functions.

In the past few years, though, I've since switched a number of servers from NT to either BSD or Linux, and, as there was no need for X-Windows on any of them, I left the GUI off and managed solely from the CLI. The funny thing is, now that I've more or less drifted back into strictly CLI mode, GUI based software drives me absolutely nuts! Now whenever I need to crank out short documents or mail messages, I'm twice as likely to fire up "vi" or even Windows notepad as opposed to something like Word or WordPerfect. It's almost as if my mind has gotten so tired of the extra features found in GUI based software that its beginning to revolt, favoring the old ways over the new.

Re:Love CLI (3, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455600)

The only way to learn truly about an operating system is by doing things manually and this is done through CLIs.

Iff your OS has CLI parallel options.

It seems that as more and more people turn to Linux and the GUIs become better and better, people tend to forget how to use the console, henceforth, the incresing number of totally lame questions that could easily be answered with rtfm.

Honestly, with how broken, half implemented, and mutually redundant between the 'g' apps and the 'k' apps, I see the Linux GUI turning people away from Linux. (Disclamer, I do everything with vim and commandline tools).

Regarding terminal apps, they are like everything else, they all pretty much suck. However, I think the Apple Terminal.app app is about the best. Why? It does auto rewraping of lines when I resize the window. Now if it only could get the copy/paste thing right and allow me to configure what "cutchars" or something so that when I double click on somehing I get all of what I want. Speaking of the "cutchars", what is even worse with the Terminal.app is that the characters for word delimination are variable. Yes, in the terminal window if you double click on 127.0.0.1 it will highlight the whole thing, if you double click on the localhost.localdomain it will highlight "localhost", "localdomain", or the "." depending on where you click.

Support LWN! (4, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455112)

This is slightly tangental, but I want to take the unsolicited opportunity to encourage people to subscribe to LWN. This is by far the best source of Linux journalism in existance. Slashdot, as we all know and love, ain't journalism. And Linux Journal and Linux Magazine are nice and all, but by the time they go to press, everything is already obsolete.

LWN, though, provides timely and actually insightful articles, including an invaluable roundup of current security issues and very good articles on the current state of the kernel. Subscriptions aren't that much, and as I can see by the way the site is hard to reach minutes after beeing Slashdotted, they could definitely use the money.

Not only do subscribers get to see the articles a couple weeks earlier than everyone else, you're also supporting an important community resource.

Re:Support LWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455305)

I second this. And mod parent up!

Also the "Grumpy Editors" reviews are truly excellent and gives good overviews and comparisons of a lot of software out there. Do also read the followups for even more leads.

I recommend LWN to my freinds and colleagues, it is hig density news without fluff. Uh, at this point I guess I will have to point out that I am not affiliated with LWN in any way.

Re:Support LWN! (0)

Howard Roark (13208) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455531)

I absolutely agree.

LWN is well worth supporting. I have a subscription and you should too!

After 13 comments... A new record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455115)

Do they have a web server emulator to go with that?

Do the bossed at OSDN get upset (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455126)

When Slashdot slashdots one of their other sites?

They forgot one (4, Insightful)

ttfkam (37064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455128)

Mindterm [appgate.com] .

Instead of fixating on "this one's integrated with KDE" and "this one allows profiles so you can keep your color choices", Mindterm allows SSH access from any computer with a Java-enabled browser. In many ways, that's more useful to me than the differences between the reviewed terminal emulators.

When I'm at the console, a terminal is a terminal. My choice of shell makes a bigger difference to me. When I'm not at the console, it's easier to find a Java enabled browser than someone willing to let you install Putty (if it's a Windows box).

Instead of deciding which jewel-studded hammer you'd prefer to use, I'm much more interested in the hammer that does the job but is easier to carry around or fits on my belt.

Re:They forgot one (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455425)

Tried it. Stupid Netzis at work won't let me ssh out. Bastards.

Goodwin? (1)

ttfkam (37064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455573)

I think using the term "Netzis" qualifies for Goodwin's Law [astrian.net] .

Can't emulate the site (-1, Offtopic)

BubbaTheBarbarian (316027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455136)

Another unsuspecting site brought to knees by /. Maybe they should have emulated the page somewhere other then their servers...

Slashdotted. (-1, Offtopic)

Alexis de Torquemada (785848) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455139)

Sad but true. Maybe they could set up a mirror next time before linking to lwn?

Where's PuTTY? (5, Informative)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455206)

I have been picky as hell over the years when it comes to terminal emulators. As far as windows-based emulators, PuTTY [greenend.org.uk] is by far the best in my my opinion. Supports telnet, SSH, Rlogin and all kinds of other things linux Linux arrow key support.

For when you have to connect to Linux from a Windows box, it's the way to go. (Although the default font [Courier New] option is horrible for a console emulator, I always change it to Terminal.)

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

Shant3030 (414048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455301)

PuTTY is my favorite also. Three cheers for PuTTY!

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

linuxelf (123067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455326)

Mod parent up. PuTTY rocks. I set my dad up with it so he can create a tunnel through my firewall and access his MySQL table graphically. He can also bring up a full X session through a PuTTY tunnel thanks to Cygwin's excellent Windows X server.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (0, Flamebait)

jtosburn (63943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455328)

Given that their site & publication is called The Linux Weekly News, I doubt they give a flying fuck about terminal emulators for Windows.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455436)

Given that their site & publication is called The Linux Weekly News, I doubt they give a flying fuck about terminal emulators for Windows.
You reckon? PuTTY's what I always use to access my Linux box at home (and every other unix flavour at work) from Windows. It is the gold standard for terminal emulators, and is the standard the others should be aiming for. If the guys designing terminal emulators under Linux don't know about it, they should. It's all about working with Linux after all, and PuTTY helps you do that.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

edsarkiss (755418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455377)

I find "Lucida Console" to be the best terminal font available on Windows. it's a monospaced TrueType font, so you get infinitely variable sizing and antialiasing (cleartype with XP), whereas bitmapped fonts like "Terminal" don't.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

mnewton32 (613590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455554)

Have you used the Bitstream Vera [gnome.org] fonts? They are truly brilliant. I use the monospace for all my terminal windows.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455417)

There's also another one I use that is simple and has an SSH extension. It's called TeraTermPro [vector.co.jp]

It's older but seems to work like gangbusters.

Re:Where's PuTTY? (2, Informative)

gyratedotorg (545872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455504)

i agree that putty is probably the best *free* terinal emulator for windows, but there's a lot to be said for some of the commercial emulators; specifically vandyke's securecrt [vandyke.com] .

Re:Where's PuTTY? (1)

edbarrett (150317) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455524)

PuTTY itself is a very nice app. PSCP, the SCP client that comes along with it, doesn't work as well in my experience. Using PSCP, I get transfer rates of ~200Kb/sec on my 100Mb switched network, where using scp under cygwin (tranfsering the same file, between the same machines) regularly transfers around 1000Kb/sec. No, I haven't reported it.

Whee. (0, Flamebait)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455210)

Wow, look at all the different ways you can access a command line interface! My question is, where's the article on how to start fires with two sticks? Where's the article on different shapes for the wheel? And how about Domesticating the Dog in a Nutshell?

Seriously, I think it's really quite sad that the CLI is still around twenty years after the Macintosh showed it wasn't necessary. I think it's even more sad that MY Macintosh HAS a CLI. There is no reason why visual scripting has to be apocryphal, hard to write, and less powerful than piping text into other text using text switches on text files.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455544)

Something being unnecessary is not the same thing as something being useless. I could turn around and say "seriously, I think it's really quite sad that Apple is still around twenty years after the PC showed it wasn't necessary". Different people like different things. Mellow out and let people make their own choices.

All of which are in violation of recent patents (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455232)

Patent 6,611,862: User station software that controls transport and presentation of content from a remote source

See Yesterday's Slashdot Story [slashdot.org] for more information.

gnome-terminal (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455245)

although I use Openbox fulltime now, I still use gnome-terminal for all of my CLI needs. It has all of the tweaking options that I use, plus it just looks the best (font-wise) out of all of the ones I've used. I do use rvxt when I'm on a low powered box though, but that's out of respect for the resources. so although I've been hacking in Linux since '95, I've used the same term for most of that time, and continue to this day.

CB

Blue on black... (3, Insightful)

mratitude (782540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455262)

Can I take this as an opportunity to take shots at the folks who insist on using that erie blue color on a black field in terminal windows? The characters blur and I suspect only 13 year old boys can focus them clearly.

Re:Blue on black... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455484)

It may have been my TI-Writer influence (the first word processor I ever owned) but I still prefer white text on dark blue background for editors.

Secure CRT (4, Informative)

stryck9 (670369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455280)

Though not mentioned, for those of us in the networking / windows world, one of the best, if not the best terminal emulator is SecureCRT from VanDyke software.

Re:Secure CRT c.f. PuTTY (1)

nick_urbanik (534101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455373)

Compared with PuTTY: downside: Not free, so I have no experience with it. But I'm interested: what are the upsides?

MS Windows Terminal Emulators? (1)

ecliptik (160746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455334)

How about terminal emulators for MS Windows?

I know of puTTY, and use it all the time while at work on my Windows machine, but that's about all I've found.

Are there any other quality win32 terminal emulators?

term v. shell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455363)

i've been using linux for a little bit and i haven't been able to figure out the difference between a shell and a terminal.

can anyone help me out?

Re:term v. shell (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455496)

A terminal is a piece of hardware that translates (usually) signals on a serial cable into pretty letters on a screen. It also takes keyboard strokes and translates them back to signals on the serial cable. A terminal emulator is a piece of software that translates "signals" into pretty letters on your screen. e.g., an old piece of hardware called the VT100 may have interpreted ^[[01m to mean "switch to the bold font" (I'm doing this from memory). Thus, a VT100 emulator, when it reads those 5 characters, will switch to using a bold font, and so on.

A shell (well, an interactive shell) needs a terminal to work. The shell's job is to read in commands and execute. e.g., user presses ^A, the terminal emulator emulates sending out some signals along its virtual "serial cable" saying "dude, he pressed ^A". Shell thinks for a while and says "okay terminal, move the cursor to the beginning of the line" and so on.

The terminal (and hence the terminal emulator) is a bridge between real-world I/O devices (keyboard, pretty letters on the screen) and whatever software happens to be running (often a shell, but not always). The shell is a bridge between the terminal and the operating system. Calling system calls by hand is quite inconvenient, so the shell allows you to type in commands (via the terminal) in some intuitive form and then translates them into system calls.

Of course you can probably guess that you don't even need a shell at all to use a terminal or terminal emulator. You could set it so that when your terminal emulator starts up it launches, say, lynx, instead of bash. Lynx communicates with the terminal (interpreting key strokes, sending back screen-update commands) in much the same way that a shell does.

number one feature for me: Xdefaults (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455371)

Is it built on Xt? If I can't change EVERYTHING about it with ~/.Xdefaults, it's more trouble than it's worth. Bonus points if it supports the editres protocol.

SecureCRT from vandyke.com is my fav. (5, Informative)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455374)

I prefer SecureCRT for my emulation.
http://www.vandyke.com/products/index. html

Excellent product with scripting, keymapping, tons of choice emulation and transfer protocols.

Otherwise, a Wyse60 was my weapon of choice in the good ol days.

Real nerds don't use terminal emulators (2, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455383)

Real nerds actually have these sorts of terminals lying around!

Who needs emulation when you can have the real thing?

(my wife has, on more than one occasion, insisted that I ditch my vt220, but I can't bring myself to just chuck the thing... too many memories)

Re:Real nerds don't use terminal emulators (5, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455445)

my wife has, on more than one occasion, insisted that I ditch my vt220, but I can't bring myself to just chuck the thing... too many memories

You really shouldn't talk about your wife that way. ;)

Free as in Beer? (1)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455397)

Linux Weekly News has a now free review...

Free as in beer? or free as in slashdotted?

Perhaps now's a good time to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455446)

What's the difference between a "linux console session" and a "shell session"? Konsole loudly advertises its ability to use these different types of terminals.

multi-gnome-terminal (1)

NetMasta10bt (468001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455451)

People you need to check out Multi-Gnome-Terminal [sourceforge.net] .

It supports everything that Gnome-Term does but has much better tab support (including moving tabs). Better shortcut key management. Allows splitting a terminal horizontally and or vertically within a tab. Has terminal "bonding" allowing typing the same thing in multiple windows. Supports background images with brightness contrast/tinting/gamma like Eterm, but configurable graphically.

Only thing is it hasn't been binary pkgs haven't been rereleased for current distros... but the old packages work pretty well!

Give it a try.. you'll like it!

mod uP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9455452)

siNce then. More As WideOpen,

should the terminal emulator be revisited? (4, Insightful)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455538)

I don't know much about terminal emulation, so this is a pretty uninformed opinion, but...

It seems like the world could benefit from seeing a new terminal emulation standard, based on the reality that terminal emulation is almost never dealing with hardware terminals any more.

Specifically, it would be nice to see:

- the ability to set colors arbitrarily based on RGB pairs
- the delete/backspace thing sorted out. It drives me crazy when I have a host/server/software combination where backspace doesn't work correctly, which unfortunately happens pretty often
- a single, standardized set of codes so that terminfo/termcap are no longer necessary
- the ability to receive mouse clicks

Again, I don't know much about this area, I just speak as a user who's wasted too much time with the current state of terminal emulation. And while I recognize that there's a lot of legacy hardware/software out there, I'm pretty sure that you could put compatability measures in place.

Re:should the terminal emulator be revisited? (1)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455564)

Another idea: scrollback control, so that the scrollbar/scrollback for 'screen' could work correctly (as if you weren't using screen).

Why not use the real thing? (1)

TheSource (53896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455582)

Why would you use an emulator when you can have the real thing [ebay.com] ?

Key Mapping (2, Interesting)

knarfling (735361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9455594)

One of the troubles with terminal emulators is the lack of ability to custom map function keys. We have an old HP Unix system and some software that looks for a specific escape sequence when a function key is pressed.

In Windows, NetTerm allows me to load a custom keymap file. I can connect to one system with one keymap, and connect to a completely different one with a different keyboard map. I have yet to find anything like that in Linux.

I have been able to edit the Xdefaults file to change the keymap for Xterm, but it is always the same keymap no matter who I connect to.
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