One of the most common tasks I have to do with Technology is SSHing to various devices. Granted, you could just use the Linux Command line ssh command, you have to remember all the details like the IP and user name ande password... While all good things to know and remember, it can become rather tedious when you have to do the same tasks again and again and again...

There are a variety of tools that can, and do, accomplish this, the one I have found and have been using for the past little while is called PAC Manager. Downloading it is a piece of cake, just go to the site, download it, and install it. This is only for Debian-based Linux distros; there is neither Windows installer nor version.

My Desktop (and Laptop it seems) Operating System of choice is a Debian-based version of Linux called CrunchBang. It's really slick, very minimal, very customizable, and very powerful. Now with all this bonus and awesomeness, comes a few (arguable) "drawbacks". This isn't for the uninitiated. Unlike Windows and Ubuntu, most application installs do NOT come with a nice desktop icon, or menu option, or anything like that. In fact, when you install PAC, there's nothing. You can manually run the command from a terminal session just by typing the command "pac", but his is a highly customizable Linux distro, I want to get some shortcuts going!

To add it to the right-click menu:

1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop. This is the equivalent to your "Start Menu" in Windows. Select:

Settings -> Openbox -> GUI Menu Editor

2. Select the location within the Menu where you want to put the PAC option.

3. Click on New Item.

4. Fill in the details:

Label: Pac Manager (or whatever else you wwant to call it)

Action: Execute

Execute: pac

5. Click the save button.

DONE!

 

This was the quick and easy part. Another bonus of CrunchBang, is some of the keyboard shortcuts. For example, the "Windows Key + w" combination opens up your web browser; "Windows Key + t" combo opens a terminal session. In CrunchBang, the Windows Key is referred to as the "Super Key". Oh yeah! Forget Windows, and we'll make this otherwise useless button, a SUPER button. So what about making a super combo for PAC?

Here's how to do it:

1. Open the menu (Right-click anywhere on the desktop). Select:

Settings -> Openbox -> Edit rc.xml

2. In this file, look for this line:

<!-- Keybindings for running applications -->

3. Paste the following right below it:

    <keybind key="W-p">
      <action name="Execute">
        <startupnotify>
          <enabled>true</enabled>
          <name>PAC Manager</name>
        </startupnotify>
        <command>pac</command>
      </action>
    </keybind>

4. Save file.

5. Open the menu again. Select:

Settings -> Openbox -> Reconfigure

DONE!

And finally, there's one last step. This one's purely optional, but since it's there, I'm going to go for it. Yet another feature of CrunchBang is a little persitent display on the right-hand side of the screen. I know it actually has a name of some kind, but I can't bring it to mind at this very moment. But it has a bunch of pre-defined Super Key shortcuts. We just added one, why not add our own little reminder? Here's how to do it:

1. From the menu, select:

Settings -> Conky -> Edit .conkyrc

2. Add the following at the very end of the file:

${hr}
Super+p$alignr PAC Manager

3. Save file and close.

DONE!