No Stinking GUI


Since converting a Samsung Chromebook to ArchLinuxARM running from an SD card, I came to really love this laptop: it is super lightweight, it takes little time to boot, has good battery life, and ran the tools that I liked to use.

However, the April 2020 kernel broke this little laptop. I did not realize that was the cause of the non-booting problem that developed after I updated it, but after rebuilding it and suffering the same problem I found a comment that explained the problem. So now I had an as up-to-date ArchLinuxARM install that I could not seem to get a GUI running on without breaking it. Fine, I thought, let's see what a command-line laptop could offer me.

Unsurprisingly, I have come to really like this laptop again. First, it takes like three seconds to boot. I modified my .bashrc file to give me a cowfortune. I installed the acpi utility using pacman and pipe that through a cowsay to give me the battery level on login. Then I launch wifi menu.

Though I have mainly been using this laptop to write in nano, I did install a couple of web browsers. The w3m browser works well.

Additionally, I really like the elinks browser.

Of course, the ASCIIquarium is totally awesome. And Robot Finds Kitten.

I really like this Googler command line utility, where you can run Google searches from the command line and display the results.

For distraction-less writing and to-the-point web browsing, this machine really cannot be beat. I have been using it for a week on its charge. I am able to write in nano then move the file to a USB stick to a different machine, or I could scp it if I were really motivated. I was bummed at first that I couldn't get the GUI going, but I think I like this machine without one.