Tool tests on the fast track
Tool review: Dialog 0.7, virtenv 0.8.6, collectd 5.4.0, convmv 1.15, Drukkar 1.11, and ngIRCd 20.3.
Function: User Interfaces to Shell Scripts
Alternatives: Zenity, Xdialog
Adding graphical dialogs to your own shell scripts is not rocket science. With a tool like Dialog, users can quickly put together an intuitive, straightforward window for user queries. The return values then determine the future course of the script. The C program uses ncurses and thus does not require an X server. Users can control the tool with command-line parameters, thus modifying the appearance and content.
More than 20 different types of dialogs are available, including simple notification boxes, file selection dialogs, and password requests. Since I last took a look at the tool six years ago, the developers have been busy fixing numerous bugs and implementing many new features. For example, the types known from Xdialog
treeview were added; the makers also adopted the
--output-separator options. A new feature,
--prgbox, shows output from external programs in the ncurses interface, and
--programbox offers an alternative: Pipes let users embed the output from shell commands.
More new features, such as
--extra-button, allow users to customize the controls in the interface to suit their own needs. The
--default-button parameter defines a standard choice for the respective window. An upgrade to the current version of Dialog is definitely worthwhile.
Dialog is ncurses-based, does not require an active X server, and is thus quite frugal. Ideal for use in scripts, such as with SSH for remote maintenance.
Buy this article as PDF
New tool will look like GParted but support a wider range of storage technologies.
New public key pinning feature will help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.
Carnegie Mellon researchers say 3 million pages could fall down the phishing hole in the next year.
The US government rolls new best-practice rules for protecting SSH.
Klaus Knopper announces the latest version of his iconic Live Linux system.
All websites that use these popular CMS tools could be vulnerable to denial of service attacks if users don't install the updates.
According to a report, many potential victims of the Heartbleed attack have patched their systems, but few have cleaned up the crime scene to protect themselves from the effects of a previous intrusion.
DARPA and NICTA release the code for the ultra-secure microkernel system used in aerial drones.
Should you trust an online service to store your online passwords?
New B+ board lets you build cool things without the complication of a powered USB hub.