File manager, media player and window managers

File management is one of those things we don’t speak or think about, but its so crucial to our day to day computing needs. Window managers, so often neglected and not thoughtfully considered, are so important. It’s one of the first things you notice when recklessly abandoning X is the distinct absence of a windows manager.

The picture above shows four awesome things!

Media player

mplayer works in a frambuffer!

mplayer -vo fbdev2 -zoom -xy <scaling> -geometry <x>:<y> (positioning) <video file>

Video files, audio and media streams work perfectly, just make sure you’re in the video group.

File manager

One of my old time favourites, and one of my oldest memories when starting with linux, Midnight commander. Do you remember Norton commander? Apparently it still works even in Windows 7.

In the bottom left, Midnight commander is the unix equivalent and boasts many features for every conceivable need.


Bottom right is htop. A very pretty and useful ncurses view of processes and your system. I have it on all the time, not that you need to watch the CPU when X isn’t running.

Window manager

Last but not least, you need a window manager. Something to let you stick more into a window. dvtm works exceptionally well. tmux is also apparently quite popular.

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