Useful command-line tools

To start off a brand new year, I wanted to share a few productivity tools that I started using lately: tmux, ack, htop. Hopefully this makes this year faster and better than 2012!

  • tmux is a drop-in replacement for GNU screen, that most-importantly allows vertical splitting — good for large monitors. Additionally, the documentation is easier to find, it is easy to configure and is actively developed. Sadly its not pre-installed on the many machines, but I can help you save time with configuring it. tmux does much more but I haven’t had the time to explore.

  • ack is an intelligent grep for source code searches — highlights the search term, groups occurrences within a file, ignores .svn/.hg junk, etc. (Thanks to Alex Rasmussen for suggesting this)

  • htop is a more colourful and informative top. For starters, it displays CPU and memory usages as bars making it much easier to interpret (I spend lots of time interpreting system memory usage, cache, etc.). It also displays full process names, and has an easy-to-configure interface.

  • synergy is a tool to share the mouse and keyboard across computers (not really a console tool). Use this to share these devices across Linux, MacOSX and Windows, without having to move your hands across from desktops to laptops and back. Please refer to my G+ post for details on the ways I use it.

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