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4.2.5. The console and package management

To open the command line, type C-t c. There is no automatic package management in the Ratpoison edition, so you will need to make regular manual checks for updates:

  sudo spi --update  #update the package list
  sudo spi --upgrade #upgrade to reflect any changes

(the parts including the # symbol and after them are comments and you don't need to type them).

Apart from the Vimprobable2 browser, the default applications include Alpine as the mail client and Gnome Commander as the file manager. Music On Console and Whaaw Media Player are the audio and video players, with GVim as text/code editor. apvlv can be used to view pdf files. As we have just seen, package management is console-based, using slapt-get and slapt-src . Further options are available in the repository. Firefox may be installed adding the pentadactyl or vimperator addon for mouse-free browsing, or alternatively Jumanji, XXXTerm or w3m, a browser for the command line. Thunderbird can be used with the Muttator addon while Claws-mail works almost entirely from the keyboard; mcabber and irssi are Jabber and IRC clients for the console.

Note: To see how to edit Alpine's configuration file to access mail from one popular provider via SMTP, see the page in the Salix wiki.

Wordgrinder and sc are word processing and spreadsheet applications. Flash is not included but is available from the repositories. Screen for managing multiple consoles works well with Ratpoison. Users are encouraged to tailor and expand the application selection according to taste; when it comes to text processing, for instance, PyRoom is an elegant choice for full-screen, distraction-free writing, and it might be complemented by Antiword to convert proprietary file formats into plain text.

Note that the Gslapt and Sourcery graphical package management tools (equivalent to slapt-get and slapt-src) may also be used with out mouse, though this is perhaps more awkward than working on the command line. In either case, regular manual upgrading will still be necessary.

As an example, we will install mplayer2, the classic console media player.

  sudo spi -u
  sudo spi -i mplayer2

Note: To see how to edit Alpine's configuration file to access mail from one popular provider via SMTP, see the page in the Salix wiki.