When I was using my laptop by itself, I loved to boot into Arch Linux and then use
tmux to split the terminal into multiple windows and start a bunch of different programs to make it look all 1337ed out. But when I started using the dual-monitor setup, I started to have problems doing this. The biggest one being that Arch Linux doesn’t recognize multiple monitors in text mode, so I was stuck using only one monitor and having the other one blank at all times. The second problem being the text-mode scaling, which never matched the actual resolution of the monitors. Well, through some bending of the rules, I have managed to achieve the look that I want. I’m writing this as much as a note to myself as to anyone else.
Here’s how I accomplished this:
Arch Linux: I cheated a little bit because I’m actually running two Arch Linux VMs in VirtualBox. It was the only way I could think of to get Arch Linux to utilize both monitors in text mode. A neat side effect of this is that the aspect ratio is now 4:3, which is the aspect ratio Arch assumes when it’s running in a VM (I’ve never been able to figure out why). Thus it’s closer to what I need for these two monitors, which are 4:3 (right) and 5:4 (left).
Font: The font I’m using is Lat2-Terminus16.psfu. To change to this font I ran the command
setfont Lat2-Terminus16.psfu. This font does a good job of interpreting the extended characters as they should be interpreted (some of the fonts don’t do this, seeming to default to the IBM Extended ASCII encoding rather than the UTF-8 encoding). It also just looks more Linuxy, in contrast to some of the more DOS-style fonts.
lynx. Also running are Vim and Midnight Commander.
tmux: To split the terminal window horizontally, type
Ctrl+B ". To split vertically, type
Ctrl+B %. To resize the windows, type
Ctrl+B and then hold down
Esc and press the arrow keys.
screenfetch: The full
screenfetch output won’t fit in any of these windows, since it needs at least 2/3 of the screen both horizontally and vertically when using this font in this resolution. So to fix this and prevent it from getting messed up by character-wrapping, I’ve used the
-L option, which tells
screenfetch to only display the logo and not the system stats.
Miscellaneous aesthetic concerns: Midnight Commander is using the “gotar” skin, which I think looks best with everything else. Vim is using a modification of the Peachpuff colorscheme, where I’ve changed it to display statements in yellow rather than brown.
cmatrix is set to display bold characters using the
b keystroke and is set to the slowest scrolling setting (you control scrolling speed using the number keys). In real life this makes it look more like the the actual Matrix code in the movie.