Bonus: slmenu in action

There are very few things re: “life at the console” that truly surprise me any more, and even fewer that completely reshuffle the way I work on a daily basis.

But that stunt with slmenu from a few weeks ago has proven not only useful, but utterly addictive. If you missed it, here it is, animated.


Later on you can inquire after how I made an animated gif of my X-less desktop. If you ask nicely, I might tell you. Bribes are also accepted. 😈

Right now, try to focus on quick switches between programs, two-key and three-key startups without aliases, tab completion and so forth.

A couple of things have stood out since then.

First, the order of the items in the list makes no difference to slmenu. So you can arrange the order in any fashion, alphabetical or not, and slmenu works just the same.

You can also include aliases, scripts or commands nested in directories.

Again, slmenu doesn’t seem to care, and since you’re pumping it all back through to bash, it’s no different than a command typed at the prompt.

But best of all, it means you can stack your favorite programs at the top, and execute with Super_L and Enter. It’s almost a two-key macro.

I put alpine at the top of my list there only because it’s alphabetically first. but I also can fire it up immediately, at two keypresses.

For some applications, it’s only a little more inconvenient though. For example, it’s just quicker to type mc, than go through slmenu.

But for others, like some long-name applications, this is perfect.

If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go. It might prove addictive to you too.

Now, about that gif … 😀

8 thoughts on “Bonus: slmenu in action

      1. K.Mandla Post author

        Ah, nothing so clever as those. 🙂 I used the manly man method, running this in one virtual terminal:

        for i in {1..60} ; do fbgrab screencast-${i}.png ; done

        then switching to the main tty for the action. Finish, switch back, break the loop and mash them together with a quick:

        convert -delay 75 -loop 0 screencast*.png screencast.gif

        Which is why it’s a little jerky; fbgrab takes a split second to write out the file, before it can snatch the next frame.

        By the way, I couldn’t get ttyrec to resize to the proper framebuffer size, and tty2gif spewed python errors. Any help with those? 😉

        P.S.: convert is part of imagemagick, if you didn’t know.

      2. Andy C.

        Actually, my bad… I looked at the tin, but tty2gif doesn’t do what’s written there. A look at the code reveals that it relies on X and ImageMagick’s import, and, I think, screenshots the current window for each step. 😦

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Thanks for the video! My only complaint about the ffmpeg method is that it drags in a lot of X, in the Arch version.

      I don’t know how much of that is truly required to use ffmpeg at the framebuffer, but if I find some extra time I’ll try to pare it down a little, and see if it works for me.

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