cone and tmux: Waiting out the learning curve

My efforts to adopt tmux as a replacement for screen are coming along satisfactorily, but there seem to be a few sticking points for me, and so I don’t know that it will be a full-blown revolution.

Not that I was looking for one, but I do like to try variations on software that do the same, or similar, things. I consider it a necessary step in a Linux user’s evolution. Stagnation is evil.

At the same time, I’m trying to get used to cone as a replacement for alpine — again, not because of any dissatisfaction with alpine, but just in the name of science.

There too I seem to be coming up just short of perfect, where cone seems to almost, just almost, take the place of alpine, except for one or two small, important things.

For example, I managed to compile it (amazingly, at 120Mhz) using only aspell, libxml2, and openssl as dependencies, and it runs fine. I can open and read e-mails, and it has a much lighter, much quicker interface than alpine.

On the other hand, I can’t seem to reply or send e-mails through any of the four GMail accounts I use. While the setup to read and open e-mail accounts is terrifically easy in cone, my best efforts to send are stymied by authentication issues — as in, I never get asked for a password for sending mail.

I see the options for security on reading e-mail, but sending seems to be only through the overarching setup menu, and of course, without giving the smtp server my password, I can’t reply to anything.

Perhaps more dangerously, cone tends to hang if the GMail server doesn’t respond, whereas alpine has a timeout before it kicks back an error. This is unfortunately something that happens on a daily basis, and so it’s a bit of an issue.

I’ll keep looking though, because honestly I like cone very much and I think it might serve better than alpine, which is in my case is rather like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer. Alpine does do a lot, I will give it that.

In the case of tmux, it’s an issue of getting a better grip on the difference between panes and windows, and trying to cobble together a tmux.conf file that will open programs and arrange them as I like when it starts. And perhaps most importantly, trying to find the analog for screen’s idle and blanker options, so I have something akin to a screensaver.

Those should be fairly easy to overcome, but they’re things that I am used to doing quite quickly with screen, and I have to relearn tmux’s style. Now I remember how a new Linux user feels, trying to patiently wait out the learning curve, until things return to “normal.” ๐Ÿ™„


5 thoughts on “cone and tmux: Waiting out the learning curve

  1. Raymii

    With cone I can send from only one mail account.
    Main menu (m) –> Setup (s) –> Outgoing SMTP = “”/””. Userid = “”. set Use SMTP tunneled over SSL.
    I use a different ca-cetrificates because my work has some special certificates, but you might need to download the 2 gmail/google certificates.

  2. Joe

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention or post a screenshot with tmux’s “clock-mode”–seems right up your alley.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I wanted to, but my keypresses don’t seem to have any effect. I can’t use any of the window adjustment keys either, so perhaps I miscompiled something, or my version is defective. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Pingback: Five distros for “fast” machines « Motho ke motho ka botho

  4. cthulhu

    It would be interesting to hear what happened here for you, regarding tmux? Did you give up on tmux in favor for screen?

    As I don’t use screen or tmux, but I’d like to learn one of them, what do you recommend? Reading on the tmux-website they consider themselves to be an improvement over screen.


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