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Low-vision configuration for terminal applications
I usually find that Unix terminal applications work reasonably well
in large print as long as the terminal itself can. However,
increasting the print size usually means that fewer rows and columns are
available, and some applications don't work very well on terminals with
fewer than normal rows and columns. This can sometimes be fixed by
configuring the application. Here are some of my dot-files for this
and related fixes:
- .muttrc is used to configure the terminal-based email client
mutt. This dot file works better if you add .message-formatter
(requires Python), and check the comments at the start of the
.muttrc for what to do if messages are not displayed on your system.
- If you use Alpine (e.g. for IMAP over a slow connection if the system's version of Mutt doesn't handle it efficiently), see alpine.txt.
- .jedrc and .nanorc
are used to configure the jed and nano editors
(you might also want my emacs configuration); jmacs is also useful but I do not have configuration files for it
are used to configure the terminal-based Web browser lynx.
This works only if you put export LYNX_CFG=$HOME/.lynx.cfg in your .bash_profile/.bashrc.
(See also TermLayout)
- .tmux.conf configures the terminal multiplexer tmux (which is like screen but might handle UTF-8 better)
- For curl, put -sS into .curlrc to stop problems with the progress bar on small terminals (also helps with programs that use curl, such as HomeBrew)
For Linux top
, try pressing f
and turn off
columns you don't really need (try h
, and perhaps turn off e
turn on d
on single-user systems), press c
toggle extended commandline and press W
to write to
. Mac/BSD top
is less flexible.
On modern Linux distributions the console font size is quite small. You
might be able to go some way toward enlarging it by using this
and putting setupcon
in your .bash_profile
or if you don't have setupcon
For fonts larger than 32px
(and for CJK
you might be able to install fbterm
- here's an
If the machine has sufficient resources, you could just use X11 with a terminal program set for large fonts.
All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.