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How do I start a session that will give me he very basic graphics or even just terminal view? I would like to start applications just by typing their name.

I would like to avoid the gui stuff as much as possible and use application only by need.

Is that possible at all?

Thanks, Akis

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 24 '11 at 20:16

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

5 Answers

There are light-weight minimalistic window managers such as xmonad, ratpoison, awesome, wmii, dwm, Ion, etc. Fluxbox and Openbox are heavier than the above mentioned but still very light.

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Create a new desktop session file in /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/

[GNOME Session]
Name=Terminal
RequiredComponents=gnome-terminal
RequiredProviders=windowmanager;
DefaultProvider-windowmanager=metacity
DefaultProvider-notifications=notify-osd
DesktopName=GNOME

In the login manager, change session to 'Terminal'. manpage

Create a new .desktop file in /usr/share/xsessions/

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Terminal
Comment=icanhazterminal
Exec=gnome-terminal
TryExec=gnome-terminal
Icon=
Type=Application
X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=gnome-session-3.0

Note that you can pass gnome-terminal the --maximize or --full-screen parameters. You can also use xterm or uxterm or some other terminal emulator instead of gnome-terminal.

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When the computer is booting, hold down the Shift button. GRUB (the bootloader) will now appear. Chose to boot into recovery mode. http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword

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Ctrl+Alt+F1 will bring you to a pure terminal environment. Depending on your configuration, F2 up to F6 will also do it. Note: You will not be able to run any programs that require a GUI in these modes.

To come back into the graphical environment, press Ctrl+Alt+F7. This is also implementation dependant.

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Note that you can press the dash key (the windows key) and immediately begin to type the name of your application. This is to satisfy your petition "to start applications just by typing their name". Also, Alt-F2 allow you to do the same, but the intention is to write a command.

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