dvtm rocks my fscks

dvtm is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, but didn’t, mostly because I hadn’t built framebuffer support into my kernels in Crux. What a lousy reason. …

Anyway, I put Arch Linux on my Inspiron this evening, so I could tamper with a few new things without waiting for them to compile. (Yes, call me lazy, I know.) Point being, the first one I tried was dvtm with the smattering of console programs that I use on the Thinkpad.

What can I say? I’d show a screenshot, but everything is on the framebuffer. It looks a lot like a tiling window manager with a bunch of console programs running. πŸ˜†

But that’s also the best part: It’s kind of like a tiling window manager with a bunch of console programs running. Except X is not, which means it’s faster, cleaner and doesn’t need a barrel full of doo-dads just to get the job done.

Memorywise it’s doing quite well: A default installation of Arch with dvtm shows a meager 20Mb of use with htop and elinks running, and the usual array of Arch stuff (like six virtual terminals). No doubt that could be trimmed if necessary.

I’d love to use this on one of my older machines, but they’re mostly 800×600 with framebuffer dimensions that are not much better. This works well on the Inspiron because the screen resolution is 1600×1200 native, so I can push Arch to run at 1280×1024, and get lots of space for junk.

I might give it a go on the K6-2, since it has a huge 1024×768 screen at its disposal. Yes, that and proc’s i586 Arch project should go nicely together. … 😈

P.S.: If you give it a shot, check the key bindings in the config.h source file so you know what you’re doing when you start it. And yes, the magic happens with CTRL+g and then C. It took me a while to figure that out. 😐


15 thoughts on “dvtm rocks my fscks

  1. Sakurina

    The link to the dvtm webpage isn’t working.

    I remembered seeing dvtm before but forgot what it was called; thanks for helping me remember it. πŸ™‚

  2. K.Mandla Post author

    dawn: 😯 Why hasn’t anyone told me about that before now?!

    Sakurina: I fixed those; thanks. It’s a WordPress.com quirk that sends a link without an ‘http://’ back to the same page. πŸ™„

  3. dawn


    Because you said you hadn’t compiled framebuffer support on that old laptop.

    Oh and that’s not all. The fbida package contains fbi and fbgs — respectively an image and a pdf viewer for the framebuffer.

    By the way, the development version of screen can split the window vertically, but I guess dvtm does a better job.

  4. damaged justice

    I’ve been meaning to try dvtm for a long time. You just pushed me into it, and I’m already loving it!

  5. K.Mandla Post author

    dawn: I knew about fbi and fbgs, but somehow fbgrab escaped me. Thanks!

    damaged justice: Me too. I cranked my screen resolution to 1600×1200 (native) and I’m really starting to enjoy it. I have to break myself of some old habits (like Shift-PgUp and Shift-PgDn 😐 ) but aside from that, I’m liking an X-less environment more and more all the time. This thing is great!

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  7. George Thomas

    If you really want to crank it up to eye twitching madness – run “setfont” with a 7×13 font.

    I’m running an Inspiron 8200 with the same display and a thin font at that size. If you have good eyesight it can buy you a couple of dozen more columns of text on the screen at 1600×1200. I guess it would either way, but if you can’t see it then it isn’t very useful…

    There aren’t any less than 8px wide in the Arch “kbd” package, but I googled and found a page (at work – don’t have the link handy) where a guy has a font convert tool from Adobe and X to console bitmaps. Might be worth a look.


  8. George Thomas

    Found the site. http://home.comcast.net/~fbui/bdf2psf.html

    I can’t vouch for the font convert tool, but setting the font in the rc.conf to the X11_7x13 that is linked on that page fits a _lot_ of squiggly lines (I unscientifically counted 227×92, 20k+) on a 1600×1200 panel. If you use “setfont” you may need to set the default unicode mapping.

    If that font doesn’t do it for you (pretty sure it’s just ASCII characters), maybe you can try the conversion tool on one of your favorites…

    Hope this works for you or helps you figure out something better!

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  10. jazz

    Guys, dvtm has found a home on freshmeat.net, last updated July of 2009 πŸ™‚ Incidentally, if you were able to place the date and time on the statusbar, please shoot the mod out to me at shedied AT gmail DOT com. THanks!

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