Enhancing productivity in Linux with 5 tools

There are a few programs that I couldn’t live without. Even though these programs are essential to me I do not think that they receive the publicity they deserve, so in this small article I will present these programs that makes my life so much easier in the hope that other will be inspired. 😀

All the programs runs on Ubuntu Gutsy and easy to install with programs like aptitude or synatic but they will work on any other flavor of Linux as well.

It is easy to clutter a desktop with lots of terminal windows when working with Linux on different machines. To solve this problem I use yakuake which is a dropdown console like the one found in the game Quake. When ever I need a shell I press F12 and yakuake drops down from the top of the screen. Just as the normal konsole yakuakle supports tabs (Shift-Ctrl-n creates a new tab) so only one instance of yakuake is needed. For Gnome users Tilda is available which offers the same idea but is backed by Gnomes Terminal and not KDE’s konsole.
Link: http://yakuake.uv.ro/

From time to time I need to manipulate files on a distance server but transferring these files through scp forth and back would be tiresome. The solution has been to use sshfs, which is a FUSE filesystem which makes the filesystem on some remote server totally transparent to the the local Linux installation through the security of ssh. This now means that I seldom have any files on my laptop but store all my sensitive data on a server and just mount my servers filesystem when ever I need to work on my files.
Link: http://fuse.sourceforge.net/sshfs.html

I like to monitor a couple of linux servers and I really enjoy the gkrellm as it gives me a visual presentation of the cpu, disk and net load on the different servers. It is a bit James Bond sixties like but it really makes sense – with a glance I can see if there is any problems on any of the machines. Life feels empty without this program.
Link: http://members.dslextreme.com/users/billw/gkrellm/gkrellm.html

Before trying something out on real machines it is always nice to play around first where it doesn’t matter if anything breaks. For this purpose I use virtualbox in which I can run anything as Solaris, Linux, Windows or some BSD’s.
Link: http://www.virtualbox.org/

I have to have access to a lot of passwords both when sitting in front of Linux and Windows computers, so I needed a program to store my passwords which existed on several OS. Mypasswordsafe is a Qt implementation of Password safe which is a open source password manager that is availble for Linux, OS X, BSD*, Solaris and Windows.
Link: http://www.semanticgap.com/myps/

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  1. Even though I have not tried Mypasswordsafe, I can not resist to mention my favorite, Clipperz. Its accessible from anywhere with a browser and internet access, or, if you prefer, locally on your box or your usb stick. /Göran

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