Many of us are surely accustomed to using semicolons on the command line to separate and run multiple commands at the same time. Or even using the old nohup and & stanza to fork new tasks into the background, quite apart from the task management offered by the average terminal environment. What's missing is a user interface for all this task management frippery, and that's what mprocs is. mprocs provides the same multiple command launching functionality but with a far more manageable interface. Run mprocs, followed by the list of commands you want to run simultaneously, and you'll be presented with a Tux-like interface with the list of commands as tabs on the left and a pane containing the selected command's output on the right. The words UP and DOWN are used to show whether a command is still running, and you can switch between the output for any of the commands with the cursor or Vim navigation keys. It's perfect for small client and server setups.

A variety of shortcuts can be used to focus on the output panes for your commands, letting you interact with an editor or change the order of htop, but also perform more drastic operations such as kill and add new processes entirely. As shown in the bottom of the main panel, there are also keys to help you start, stop, and restart a process, and it's a lot easier to manage these commands from mprocs than try to remember the secret key commands for your terminal manager. If you have a common setup you need to recreate, all of this can be put into a YAML-formatted configuration file to describe the commands you want to install and the environments they'll run in. An even more advanced feature is controlling mprocs remotely, via a TCP connection. With this enabled, you can remotely manage whatever is running on an mprocs "server" with a local version of the same command sending control commands. It works brilliantly and is a genuine alternative to the more complex and over-engineered Tux.

Project Website

mprocs is like Tux for specific repeatable sets of commands you might want to control remotely.

Emulator configuration


One of the best things to come from Valve's Steam Deck is the extra scrutiny our community and software is coming under from a wave of Linux newcomers. Thanks to the Steam Deck running its own variation on Arch, along with a touch-enabled KDE Plasma desktop, more people than ever are configuring KDE or using its Discover software center to install new applications. And when they run into problems, these new users are organized enough around a common platform that when someone finds a solution, it can be shared with a reasonable degree of confidence. It was the same popularity that helped Ubuntu via the many forum posts and Stack Exchange questions, and it sustains Ubuntu to this day.

EmuDeck is one such project born from Steam Deck's new popularity. It helps new users navigate the horrendously complex world of multiformat emulator configuration, and it does this by asking a few simple questions. At its heart, EmuDeck is a complex Bash script that bootstraps the installation of RetroArch by detecting which emulator back ends you wish to install, configuring them for your library, and building a working configuration to add individual games to Steam with appropriate controller bindings. It will even add shaders, autosave states, fixed aspect ratios, and game bezels, helping your emulated games fit side-by-side with your native Steam games. If you need more control over how these elements are configured, its expert mode will ask you more questions and also let you run each stage independently. It's useful for changing something specific about your already-working configuration, or for only updating the emulator executables, especially as only the latest versions of everything are installed. But the whole project comes together brilliantly and now has dozens of contributors helping with configuration files and more esoteric configurations, making EmuDeck probably the best emulation platform ever created.

Project Website

While EmuDeck was created to solve a specific Steam Deck issue, the developers plan to port the project to Android and various other devices, too.

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