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Is there a command line switch or configuration option so that MC starts in terminal mode (same as if I would press ctrl-o after running mc).

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The mc(1) manpage mentions no such option.

Looking around in the source shows that this action can be bound to a different key sequence, using Shell = ... in the keymap file, but that doesn't help invoke it at startup. It may also be invokable through a callback using the MSG_ACTION event, but I couldn't see a way to reach that from outside the process.

One possibility is to have the Ctrl-o sequence sent automatically when you start mc. If you are running mc in a terminal emulator on X11, you could do this using an X automation tool such as xdotool. Put

xdotool key ctrl+o

in your ~/.local/share/mc/bashrc (or equivalent if you are using a different shell).

If you want to enable this only some of the time, set up an alternative config directory and point to it with the environment variable MC_HOME. You would need to put that same xdotool line in ~/alt_mc/.local/share/mc/bashrc, and start mc with

MC_HOME=$HOME/alt_mc mc

This will require duplicating/symlinking any other mc config settings and files that you have in the usual place.

  • Thanks for xdotool but I wanted this behavior only when requested i.e. I want to assign something like "gnome-terminal -e 'mc --run-shell; exit'" to keyboard shortcut. In other cases I want mc to behave normally. – Trismegistos Sep 16 '16 at 15:29
  • You could do that with an alternative mc config dir. Edited to demonstrate. – JigglyNaga Sep 16 '16 at 15:55

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