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I would like to improve my efficiency. I recall seeing some tool to use gui applications on linux with the keyboard, but I do not recall much else about it! Please advise how I can go mouseless(for the most part at least)

I can't seem to find much on this, despite how useful it would be.


I will be using windows 10 for a while, as I am interested in checking out unity5 engine. But I am a linux fan and I enjoy it as my main environment.

My setup before I switched to my new machine recently was ubuntu 15.04 with unity, I liked to hide the dock and use 4 workspaces(though I would prefer more, 4 was the most I was comfortable with on the old machine) and I used keyboard to to navigate workspaces and use the dock(I liked that I could just hold the superkey and press a number) I also had guake terminal startup automatically so I can just press a single key to get my terminal and another to fullscreen it. I use a single tv as my monitor, and I like to sit or stand a few feet back. As a result I ahve to extend my arm quite a bit to access the mouse, so it is greatly inefficient. And as a vimlover I can't stand it!

I liked to keep my Desktop clear(though I would use conky with a toggle option, if I can get that working)

Thats generally how I would use it. I don't want to use a i3 or anything like that.

Applications I would be interested in using in particular under a linux environment are things like unreal engine 4, gimp, inkscape, blender etc

I will add more info as requested.

Thanks for the answer, I used tmux and I will continue to do so, but I don't want to use a window manager like i3. I have been using vimium, though it still frustrates me at times, as it is far from perfect.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Anthon, jasonwryan, Stephen Kitt, h3rrmiller, Ramesh Jul 30 '15 at 20:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    What does your current workflow look like? What do you use Linux for? Do you rely on GUI applications like IDEs? Please provide more context in your question. – jpalm Jul 30 '15 at 16:15
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For the desktop environment, I would advise a DWM-based tool like DWM, awesome, or i3.

Get used to a terminal multiplexer like screen or tmux.

For the text editor, obviously emacs or vim.

For your web browser, try vimperator, or use a plugin for firefox/chromium (VimFX or Vimium for a vim-like experience). There may be others using emacs style.

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tmux and xterm in Fullscreen mode

tmux on xterm in Fullscreen mode

with awesome-wm and vimperator browser add-on for vim-like keyboard shortcuts and many other extras. By the way, awesome-wm is very light-weight that comes with nine (9) "desktops" by default; an upgrade from your 4.

  • To get the terminal in awesome-wm, just hit "Super/Windows-key/Mod4"+Enter.
  • Switching desktops is done with Superkey+number
    Mod4 + Shift + q    Quit awesome. 
    Mod4 + r    Run prompt. 
    Mod4 + x    Run Lua code prompt. 
    Mod4 + w    Open main menu. 
    Mod4 + m    Toggle Maximize/Restore client
    Mod4 + n    Minimize client. 
    Mod4 + f    Set client fullscreen. 
    Mod4 + Shift + c    Kill focused client. 
    Mod4 + j    Focus next client. 
    Mod4 + k    Focus previous client. 
    Mod4 + u    Focus first urgent client. 
    Mod4 + Left    View previous tag. 
    Mod4 + Right    View next tag. 
    Mod4 + p         Open Desktop Menu
    Mod4 + Escape    Focus previously selected tag set.

Take a look at their keyboard bindings.


Also, checkout the zathura document-viewer!

zathura with command-prompt open

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