living in the console.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Fri May 26 10:19:29 UTC 2017

Edbrowse may help for web browsing alonggg with surfraw-heavy.

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On May 25, 2017 at 7:18 PM, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at> wrote:

Tim here 

Mark Peveto wrote 
Over the last couple days or so, I've considered becoming a totally 
command line linux user. 

I'm mostly there. Web browsing is the big hurdle for much of my 
day-to-day use. Lynx/links/elinks work for many things, but some 
sites just need a fully modern-standards-supporting browser. 

How would I print to my printer for example, 

It depends on what you want to print, but it usually involves piping 
things to the "lp" ("line printer") program. It can be configured to 
use CUPS on the back end (and may already be configured out of the 
box for you). 

Getting fancier output would involve rendering some sort of markup. 
There are tools to render HTML, LaTeX, PDFs, and even Word/LibreOffice 
docs from the command-line to the printer. 

I don't know what you want to print, but I suspect it can be done in 
most cases. 

play an entire album from my music collection. 

It depends on your tastes, but there are literally dozens of music 
players. Some, such as mpg123/mpg312/aplay/ogg123 allow you to 
specify just the files you want on the command line and it will play 
them. Others, like mplayer are similar but give you a little more 
control over playback. 

There's also mpd/mpc which is the Music Player Daemon/Client that 
runs in the background and doesn't really have a GUI. The mpd 
program runs in the background and the mpc program acts like a 
remote-control, letting you create/edit playlists, control playback, 
etc. I like the remote-control aspect as I can map them to 
particular keys on my keyboard or aliases in the shell and have quick 
access to common commands with my media-keys. 

Personally, I use "cmus" which has a text-mode GUI but also has a 
remote-control interface like mpd/mpc. I start up tmux and have a 
pane for my alsamixer and cmus which lets me flip between them pretty 
readily. It allows me to make play-lists, search my collection, 
shuffle, etc, much like you'd be familiar with in a graphical player. 

How, also, would I create documents in something beyond text 

usually it's done with a markup that suits your tastes. I personally 
have been writing HTML by hand since college in the mid 90s so that's 
what I reach for. But other people like TeX/LaTeX (it does produce 
some beautiful output and also has external library support for things 
like music markup letting you write scores) while other people like 
some of the more light-weight markup languages like Markdown or RST 
or the like. 

I'd kick the tires on a few and see what feels natural to you. 
Fortunately, there's a tool called "pandoc" that lets you convert 
between a large number of input/output formats so you can write in 
Markdown and convert to PDF, or write in HTML and convert to MS-Word 
format, or write in LaTeX and convert to ePub with minimal loss. And 
it outputs any of them in plain-text (though you may lose some 
information in the process since plain-text doesn't support many 
features as you've acknowledged) 

How does one ditch the guy, and still enjoy all linux has to offer 
in the console? 

One program at a time (grins). So much like each of the items above, 
it's a matter of asking "I currently do XYZ in the GUI but would like 
to do XYZ in the console" for whatever XYZ is your next adventure. 

I maintain a page listing a number of common command-line tools: 

that can point you in the direction of various applications to try 
out. Some might drive you crazy while others might fit your brain 
just right. They should all be free and are likely in most software 
repos, so it doesn't cost you anything except a little time to try 
each one out. 

I'm willing to learn how to do this, but who ever decides to help 
me is gonna hafta be patient. 

The folks on this list are a pretty friendly & patient bunch, so 
we'll be glad to help where we can. 


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