No Gui Isn’t Really The Arch Way

Hello readers,

Chances are if you can read this sentence you are using a graphical web browser, and haven’t tried to visit a website any other way. Not that people don’t do that, in fact in recent years the “non graphical” web browsing experience has received a few surprising boosts which have increased it’s popularity somewhat.

A non graphical web browser can fit into a few different categories:

  • Command line interface only
  • Command line launched with non X rendered graphics
  • Command line launched with X rendered limited graphics
  • Graphical launched with minimal graphics


Some of these include: elinks, lynx, links, w3m, Zen, mutt, and for email or instant messaging through services like twitter, pine, and freetalk. (Curl and wget have retrieval of text options as well) 

A minimal browser launched from a graphics environment might be – dillo, or if we’re being very liberal… Opera. 

Running any operating system in strictly command line mode turns off the graphical systems in a way that requires a prompt to re-initialize them. In Linux for example: Holding control, alt, F3 can disable the graphics environment and generally control, alt F8 can reinitialize it. In other cases typing “startx” is adequate to restart the entire desktop if it relies on the X server.  (Control alt backspace in some cases as well.)

So what would be the point of turning off the graphics and then running a browser?

Not spending disk space or system resources. This isn’t an everyday concern, but in rare instances it can be crucial to whatever task the computer might be doing.

Not surprisingly many distributions of Linux, BSD, and similar OS – are used for servers, and have no need for a desktop environment at all. So the question might be just as valid in the reverse on some machines. In any case people still need to access the internet from such machines or machines in those states of configuration – Like they do on Arch Linux.

On installation of Arch Linux you are several steps away from having a graphical environment at all – full stop.

In many cases the users are running on low powered machines and even post installation they don’t necessarily want a full graphics environment. But that doesn’t mean it’s common, or even preferable to do this.

A graphical user interface is something that some Linux and BSD users scoff at needing once they are familiar enough with the command line, some going as far as to quietly shun it’s necessity altogether. Many users of specialized distributions consider Arch Linux an environment that doesn’t need a GUI and consider that better somehow.

So is having no GUI the “Arch” way?

In every experience the end user will ultimately decide individually but ultimately well over 80% of every distribution ends up with a GUI including most of the servers so absolutely no – it isn’t.

It’s a nice way to tinker in a basement when you have nothing better to do on a Friday night possibly, but it doesn’t actually require any special skill aside from downloading a few non graphical browsers – and that doesn’t qualify anyone to do anything.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t cool though.

Spread the love

418 thoughts on “No Gui Isn’t Really The Arch Way

  1. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.

  2. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  3. Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!

  4. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  5. Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Hello outstanding blog! Does running a blog like this require a great deal of work? I’ve very little knowledge of computer programming but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I just needed to ask. Many thanks!

  7. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good blog!

  8. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thanks!

  9. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.

  10. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later on. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

  11. At this time it appears like WordPress is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  12. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Thank you!

  13. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  14. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  15. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thank you!

  16. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  17. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *