Another building block of my environment:
I am unreasonably fond of running X programs remotely; it's always
struck me as one of the niftier bits of X, and I like to use it as
much as possible. But even I have to admit that it's not always the
right answer, and thus sometimes my
isn't what I want. For those times I have another script, which I
Sshterm is the direct inverse of
rxterm; instead of using ssh to run
xterm, it uses a local
xterm to run
ssh to the remote
machine, with some trimmings. Because this is a lot simpler a job than
rxterm has, the script is a lot shorter, but it does have a few
important features that complicate it a bit. First, it puts the remote
machine's name in the
xterm title so that I can tell my
(although many shell environments immediately overwrite the window title
anyways, the behavior is not yet universal). Next, it turns the
red if I am
ssh'ing to something with 'root@' in the hostname, just
like how I have '
rxterm -r' set up. Finally it has an option to run
gnome-terminal instead of
xterm (and makes everything work just the
same with it).
(It turns out that there are a certain number of things that just
work better in a UTF-8
gnome-terminal environment than in my plain
xterm one. Usually these are programs that try drawing elaborate text
graphics, such as certain Debian and Ubuntu package installation tools.)
sshterm accepts a
-r argument, just like
practice I never use it and instead just tell
sshterm to connect to
'root@wherever' when I want to be root somewhere.
In a sense
sshterm is a silly command; it's not very difficult to
start a terminal window and then type
ssh into it. But in practice
it's been one of those little lubricants that make things enough easier
that I use it all the time, because it handles all of the little fiddly
details for me.
Sidebar: on marking 'root (terminal) windows'
I have a personal twitch where I want all windows where I am root to
be clearly visually distinct, so that they instantly stand out when
I look at them (even if I'm vaguely distracted). Some people use the
shell prompt for this (and I do to a certain extent), but I find that
this doesn't stand out quite enough for my tastes, so many years ago
I arranged to make the foreground text be a pretty strong red in such
windows, instead of my usual black.
In theory one could probably do this with
xterm escape sequences.
In practice I do it with
xterm command line options, which has the
drawback that it doesn't work in windows where I started out normal
su'd to root later. Fortunately I don't do that very much,
especially with tools like my
rxterm script around.
gnome-terminal has no command line options to control the foreground
text colour. Instead you have to create a new profile with a different
text colour and then use a command line option to set the initial