My life in the terminal

This is where I start to speak about my development environment, while it may be useless for most of you, when I start reinstalling everything the Vlad from the future will thank me for sure. Most of the post will be about stuff in the terminal but at some point I cheat and talk about some desktop applications that I find useful. Developing in the terminal is not everyones cup of tea, but even if you are a IDE wizard you will find something that could help you make things faster, easier, more pleasant to work with.

My development configuration is a living, growing, unstable beast, beast that helps me getting my work done. I try to lay down my primary tools but as humans always do, I will forget stuff. Take it as it is and I hope you get something from this rambling.


Mostly I worked with the Debian family, but more and more ArchLinux throws me seductive stares. Current setup involves Elementary OS with Numix theme(looks quite good) but lately I have some performance problems and I said "Fuck it, I will install Archlinux with Awesome window manager". (Edit: for my home computer I did and I dig it so far)


Just any modern terminal will suffice, just make sure it supports 256 colors. I personally use Gnome terminal but that is because I found it has sane defaults and easy to configure.

Just any modern terminal will suffice, just make sure it supports 256 colors. I personally use Gnome terminal for no other reason than having sane defaults to start with.


I just love zsh, for me it's hard to explain why, maybe because of it's multiple themes, awesome auto complete engine that always pops out a suggestion for stuff that I never expected(git branches, tmux sessions, virtual environments), or simply that I got used to it, either way, try zsh.

Still on the shell, I use prezto configuration, but fell free to try oh-my-zsh as well. Bonus stuff: vim bindings, super useful aliases for git, tmux, etc.


This is the reason that I stick to developing in the terminal, provides tabs, sessions, ability to switch between tabs/projects with ease, splitting views, views traversing. I really recommend going on youtube and watching what crazy stuff people can come up with tmux is regards to usage and configuration. And by the way tmux is ridiculously configurable.


Neat little project. I use it to save my tmux project configurations so I can jump right in projects using mux start the_project. Tmuxinator makes tmux fun and comfortable.


Another big player in my dev configuration. It's vim but with maintainable source code, active development, async functionality built-in, lua plugins, and (my favorite) embeddable in other editors(not there yet), just imagine the power of vim in a IDE like Pycharm. If you like vim you will love Neovim. Don't be fooled by the 'alpha' version, it's completely usable and bugs only show up rarely.

VirtualEnv Wrapper

If you develop in python you know what VirtualEnv wrapper does if not than you don't need it.


TUI python debugger, I love it because it offers everything you expect from a modern debugger but at the same time lightweight and quick to invoke, just insert: import pudb; pu.db and you are ready to go. Of course there are dozens of ways you can start the thing but this is what I mostly use. Bonus points: When selecting the default theme, it has that nostalgic Turbo Pascal editor feel that burned my retinas in high school.


Just because the python shell sucks. It has ipython under the hood, jedi for auto completion, multi-line code edit support, vim bindings wink wink and much more. I you use python shell allot, scratch that, if you use the python shell at all, make yourself a favor and install ptpython. If we are still on the subject, bpython is also cool, sometimes I switch between them because I don't know which one I like more. If you happen to use ./ shell_plus it will know that you have one or the either installed and switch to that instead of the default python shell, huge productivity boost.

Midnight Commander

If you ever used Norton Commander then this TUI application is for you. I like to do as much as I can in the terminal so when I have some complicated stuff dealing with files I fire this baby up and get right to it, works like a breeze and if you are still uninterested let me finish with this: It has vim bindings (you must enable them)

The Silver Searcher or 'ag' for short

A code searching tools similar to ack or grep but much much faster. What can I say more, if something uses ack or grep just make a alias and everything works, just faster.

Happyfinder or 'hf' for the lazy ones

hf is a command line utility to quickly find files and execute a command - something like Helm/Anything/CtrlP for the terminal. It tries to find the best match, like other fuzzy finders (Sublime, ido, Helm).

This is what the README will tell you, I mostly use it for git add, quickly rm a file or simply quick open it for editing. I see a lot of potential here but I always fall back to old habits(shame shame).


feh is an X11 image viewer aimed mostly at console users. Without an GUI to distract you, feh is most useful when you quickly want to check an image and move on. Controllable via command line arguments and configurable key/mouse actions. Quick and dirty way to open out some images without leaving the comfort of the terminal.


Tree is a recursive directory listing program that produces a depth indented listing of files. I mostly use it to see a new project file structure or maybe I want to show the file structure in a README, sound simple but comes very handy very quickly.


Create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments. A pain in the ass, but that is because I never took the time to really understand the configuration. The selling point is that you have all your project dependencies isolated, the bad thing is that it takes a lot of space and if you manage several projects, size can get out of hand very quickly, but at the same time if you want to work on a project just vagrant up and get to work.


Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.

Mosh is a replacement for SSH. It's more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.

I use mosh on low quality connections, either huge lag or connections that keep dropping, the bad part is that it requires mosh to be installed also on the server and that is not always possible(most of the time). Works great when it works but I have fewer chances to use it.


Meld is a visual diff and merge tool targeted at developers. Meld helps you compare files, directories, and version controlled projects. By now you think I am a terminal fanatic, but when it comes to merge conflicts, diff between files, I much rather do it in meld. In my case it's the best tool for the job, not to mention that it's free.


gitg is the GNOME GUI client to view git repositories. Again, when dealing with git I like to GUI stuff up. Everybody has some guilty pleasures(Taylor Swift :D).

In future posts I might start to talk about my nvim/vim configuration, but that might change because I really want to give spacemacs a try.

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