Skip to main content

Linux: Twin


Twin is a text-mode window environment. It turns a text terminal into a X11-style display with window manager, terminal windows, and can also serve as display for remote applications. Each terminal window provides the functions of a text-mode Linux console. Twin runs on X11, libggi, itself, the Linux console, and any termcap/ncurses-compatible tty. It supports multiple simultaneous displays, and can attach/detach each display on the fly. [from freshmeat.net]


I do most of my development on a remote server. Since I'm a bash + vim type guy, that suits me just fine. I usually use screen. This allows me to create multiple virtual terminals as well as detach from the session and reattach later, perhaps from a different computer. Twin can do all this and more, but in a user friendly way! I'm just getting started, but it sure does look neat!

Comments

jjinux said…
Very, very strange. I'm still trying to adjust to having a windowing environment within my existing windowing environment.
Anonymous said…
Wow, that really is a double-take. I'm a rabid screen user myself, and I don't mind very minimal windowing environments like ratpoison, but having a mix of text and graphics as in that screenshot really throws me.
Anonymous said…
Wow, really cool.

Any chance you can do a write up about your configuration and usage of twin?

Just starting out in Linux and love doing things thru the console. Would love to get this working and try it out.

Tried to get it started and configured on my own. But keep on running into issues left and right. Did a search on Google for any other docs and configuration tips but did not get much information that was informative.

Thanks.
jjinux said…
Sorry, I only ran Twin for about a week. Normally, I log into the remote server with X11 forwarding turned on. Then I start screen so I can have multiple terminals without pain. If I need an X application (like gvim), I start it from that terminal, and it shows up on my desktop (which has an X server, of course).
Anonymous said…
Hello! I installed twin on my ubuntu intrepid 32... i can run it on terminals in my desktop but cannot run in the tty. It says all display drivers failed... Maybe you know why?

Thanks for the information :)


Dàrent
jjinux said…
> i can run it on terminals in my desktop but cannot run in the tty.

Can you send me (jjinux@gmail.com) a screenshot of what it looks like running in a terminal? I haven't run Twin in years, but I remember that when you run it under X, it actually makes use of X. There might be some options to give to Twin to tell it to "stick to the basics".
Anonymous said…
Hi JJ, i readed your answer today. I'm sorry but after searching all around the web for months, i unninstalled twin and now i can send you an screenshot.

I remember it said something like "twin has tried all drivers and nothing works"

Now im using screen on my tty's. It's not so usefull as twin, but its ok for the most programs i use in tty (htop, vim, mp3blaster and rtorrent, basically)

Anyway, thanks for your interest! ;)

P.D. As you can note, i dont speak a lot of english xD sorry :P
Anonymous said…
I can send you, not. I CAN'T send you xD sorry!
jjinux said…
Don't worry, I use screen too. I think it's more reliable than Twin.
tallship said…
Well Twin is still relevant even in todays world.

Yes, it may seem odd at first to have a window manager inside of a window manager, but not any weirder than running Krdc with multiple tabs for multiple remote sessions via VNC or RDP.

I published an article on the viability of Twin not too long ago here: http://northtech.us/content/20110311/adding-convenient-layers-persistent-abstraction-simplify-remote-administration

Basically, one way that Twin really shines is by using your pager, and dedicating a full page screen for Twin.

Then, you can open several twterms, remote into other boxes, and run tmux (instead of screen).

That way, you have a birds eye view of several machines inside of terminal windows, each running tmux (or screen), so you can manage those hosts effectively.

If the paged window that you maximized Twin inside of is in fact a remote Twin session itself, you can detach, attach, and even simultaneously attach to that twin session from multiple points at the same time from work, home, and school, for example.

If you couple that with the power of running tmux on each of the remote ssh sessions in many twterms, you have something really, really kewl.

Twin is very stable too. The current version is 0.6.2 and this window manager has come a long long way since it's introduction to the UNIX world years ago.

I hope that helps :)

Kindest regards,

Bradley D. Thornton
Manager Network Services
http://NorthTech.US

.
jjinux said…
Thanks, tallship!

Popular posts from this blog

Drawing Sierpinski's Triangle in Minecraft Using Python

In his keynote at PyCon, Eben Upton, the Executive Director of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, mentioned that not only has Minecraft been ported to the Rasberry Pi, but you can even control it with Python. Since four of my kids are avid Minecraft fans, I figured this might be a good time to teach them to program using Python. So I started yesterday with the goal of programming something cool for Minecraft and then showing it off at the San Francisco Python Meetup in the evening.

The first problem that I faced was that I didn't have a Rasberry Pi. You can't hack Minecraft by just installing the Minecraft client. Speaking of which, I didn't have the Minecraft client installed either ;) My kids always play it on their Nexus 7s. I found an open source Minecraft server called Bukkit that "provides the means to extend the popular Minecraft multiplayer server." Then I found a plugin called RaspberryJuice that implements a subset of the Minecraft Pi modding API for Bukkit s…

Apple: iPad and Emacs

Someone asked my boss's buddy Art Medlar if he was going to buy an iPad. He said, "I figure as soon as it runs Emacs, that will be the sign to buy." I think he was just trying to be funny, but his statement is actually fairly profound.

It's well known that submitting iPhone and iPad applications for sale on Apple's store is a huge pain--even if they're free and open source. Apple is acting as a gatekeeper for what is and isn't allowed on your device. I heard that Apple would never allow a scripting language to be installed on your iPad because it would allow end users to run code that they hadn't verified. (I don't have a reference for this, but if you do, please post it below.) Emacs is mostly written in Emacs Lisp. Per Apple's policy, I don't think it'll ever be possible to run Emacs on the iPad.

Emacs was written by Richard Stallman, and it practically defines the Free Software movement (in a manner of speaking at least). Stal…

Creating Windows 10 Boot Media for a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 Using Only a Mac and a Linux Machine

TL;DR: Giovanni and I struggled trying to get Windows 10 installed on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410. We struggled a lot trying to create the installation media because we only had a Mac and a Linux machine to work with. Everytime we tried to boot the USB thumb drive, it just showed us a blinking cursor. At the end, we finally realized that Windows 10 wasn't supported on this laptop :-/I've heard that it took Thomas Edison 100 tries to figure out the right material to use as a lightbulb filament. Well, I'm no Thomas Edison, but I thought it might be noteworthy to document our attempts at getting it to boot off a USB thumb drive:Download the ISO. Attempt 1: Use Etcher. Etcher says it doesn't work for Windows. Attempt 2: Use Boot Camp Assistant. It doesn't have that feature anymore. Attempt 3: Use Disk Utility on a Mac. Erase a USB thumb drive: Format: ExFAT Scheme: GUID Partition Map Mount the ISO. Copy everything from the I…