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Old 06-22-2011, 09:47 AM   #1
Sean Moran
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Registered: Jun 2011
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GUI Dialog Box w/embedded terminal window. eg. Zenity? ...

Hello All.

First post here. The forum seemed to point me in this direction without having had a search around yet, so please excuse me if this question has been answered before. I'm here now, and may as well ask first and search threads later ...

I've been doing some work with BASH over the past few months, building scripts and config files, and quite happy with BASH for the purpose of building and installing distros and packages.

Now though, I'd like to go a little further than gTerm, and have a terminal window within a dialog box so I can click on buttons and set config parameters with a mouse, and watch the progress and send status messages from the script running in BASH in the terminal window back to the dialog box.

Quite a few GUI packages seem to offer the choice to open a terminal window to watch the progress. I am probably working in reverse, in wanting a terminal window to open a containing dialog box, but I'm sure it can be done if I want to go back and adapt my old MS-DOS 286 C skills to Linux.

What I'd prefer is a quick and easy way: to just find a tool like whiptail or zenity or dialog, setup a couple of buttons and a message / progress bar, and dump my BASH script terminal output into a window inside the dialog box.

Can anybody suggest offhand which of these mentioned dialog packages (ie. whiptail dialog zenity) or any others, provide an option to open a terminal window inside a dialog box? Then pass fairly simple variables between the two?

I'll go back and search the forums now, and please feel free to move this thread to a more suitable category (like the bin) if it would be more at home, moderators.

Thanks for reading, and please reply if I've been confusing.
Old 06-22-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
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An interesting question, as I myself have had a project in mind that is very similar. Basically, I want to create a GUI launcher for an existing CLI application of mine, and what you are proposing sounds exactly like what I need.

I'll be interested to hear responses in this case; though I wonder if this topic might do better in the Programming forum.
Old 06-23-2011, 03:16 AM   #3
Sean Moran
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Registered: Jun 2011
Posts: 2

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Thanks for your reply, mate.

I'll keep working on this one for the rest of the week and hopefully find a solution with Perl or Glade or Python or something new. Perl is a contender because I once knew how to write CGI scripts for web pages in Perl, so revising Perl might kill two birds with one stone if I can use it on the desktop and on the website. PHP5 on the linux desktop would be preferable, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

I realise now that the possible options I mentioned yesterday have one major flaw: they open dialog boxes INSIDE a terminal. That's not going to work at all. I want to open a dialog box OUTSIDE a terminal, so the only way I see now to accomplish that is to learn how to write a program that works on the desktop, and THEN opens a terminal within.

These scripts I'm working with right now are based on Linux-From-Scratch and beyond, and so I have plenty of free time between test-runs (around 9 hours for each run if it works to the Boot-Scripts and Kernel stage) to look around on the web for tutorials on Perl for forgetful old folk, unless someone might know of a more simple way to just build on a skeleton framework in some alternative language.

I'll write back when I've build a basic skeleton to fulfil our similar objectives. Hopefully before Monday morning, but no way to know how complex this will be for a first-time GUI programmer.


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