Some people actually prefer to use Linux as a desktop strictly in text mode, without running X Windows at all. If you're among those users, this chapter is definitely for you.
Graphical desktop users have no reason to scoff at this approach. Plenty of text-mode versions of productivity applications are equivalent to the applications most people use on a graphical desktop. For example, the text-mode email client called Mutt is actually more powerful and flexible in handling email than any graphical email program that I've tried. It might not have as many features as a combination email/organizer such as Evolution has, but graphical email programs often force you through several menus and submenus to accomplish a task that takes only one keystroke in Mutt.
If you're under the mistaken impression that you need to run a graphical desktop to use those special multimedia and Internet keys on your keyboard, this chapter will set you straight. You can redefine your keyboard so that your multimedia keys control your CD player, the Internet keys open your email program or web browser, and so on. If you use your imagination, you can automate just about any action.
This chapter focuses primarily on what you do at the virtual console. You can use some of the hacks in the chapter (such as how to colorize files in your pager) in graphics terminals on X Windows desktops. But you must avoid using the first two hacks with terminal emulators in X Windows; [Hack #10] and [Hack #11] are designed specifically for the text console. Because X generally redefines the keys the way it wants them, these console definitions will be overwritten, which means you lose the customizations. But at least it won't hurt anything you do in X.