Navigating the Blink Shell

Introduction to Blink permalink

Blink is a shell that allows you to connect to remote machines, use Mosh and has full SSH support. You can use it to connect to other servers, interface with your Raspberry Pi or even write code! The shell is ready to go, blinking with anticipation as you discover its potential.

Using Blink Shell permalink

Using Blink Shell is similar to most other terminals - you simply type commands and hit the RETURN key. Just like in Bash or similar UNIX shells you can press the up arrow to access the history of previous commands. You can type the help command to access Blink’s online help, mosh to access the mosh mobile shell, ssh to connect via SSH or ssh-copy-id to copy SSH keys.

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For example, you can type:

mosh carlos@192.168.1.5

To connect to your desktop computer or Raspberry Pi (assuming 192.168.1.5 is the IP address of the device and carlos is your username).

Blink Shell Gestures permalink

Gestures are very important inside Blink. Thanks to them we can enjoy a full screen terminal, while being fast and convenient to control. You can use a variety of finger gestures:

  • To create a new shell, you can tap the window with two fingers.
  • Swiping with one finger from side to side will move between active shells.
  • You can control the size of your terminal by pinching the screen.
  • Tapping with three fingers will open a contextual menu where you can close a shell or configure display modes.
  • Tapping and scrolling with a single finger will move the focus to that window and scroll it. If the application supports mouse control, then you will be able to control the pointer that way.
  • Long presses will start selection mode, just as you are used to everywhere else.
  • Don't be afraid to drag your selection to another app, or to drop content inside Blink, we will paste it right where your cursor is placed.

Blink Shell Keyboard Shortcuts permalink

Blink Shell can also be easily used with keyboard shortcuts along with the finger gestures mentioned before. If you have an external keyboard attached or connected via Bluetooth press and hold the CMD ⌘ key to see the available shortcuts.

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Blink Shell SmartKeys permalink

SmartKeys provide special keys to use in your terminal session. They are hidden when an external keyboard is connected and they show up when you use the software keyboard.

  • Modifiers (i.e. CTRL ^, ALT ⌥, and ESC ⎋) for key combinations like CTRL+C.
  • Directional arrows
  • Scrollable area in the center with more keys
  • Alternate keys after taping CMD ⌘ (function keys on central area plus cursor keys like Home, End, Page Down and Page Up)
  • Holding a modifier instead of tapping allows you to chain multiple combinations, which is specially useful in applications like Emacs where you use chains like C-x, C-c.

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Configuration permalink

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To open the configuration section, type config within Blink Shell or press ⌘-,. In the configuration section, you can configure the following:

  • Hosts: Create hosts in your ~/.ssh/config and access them just with the hostname. More info.
  • Keys: Create SSH key pairs for enhanced security and password-less convenience when accessing your servers. More info.
  • Appearance: Personalize the terminal to your taste. You can change themes, fonts, or even upload your own.

Support and Community permalink

We sincerely appreciate your support and use of Blink. You can contact us via email but ideally it is best to file issues on our GitHub so that all of the community is aware of the issue. Not only does it help make Blink better but another user may help you solve your issue. When reporting a problem, please give as much detailed information as possible describing what you were doing when the application crashed or acted unexpectedly. Screenshots usually help when there is a problem with the interface.

VERY IMPORTANT: Reporting a problem in your review in the App Store will not help us solve issues that you might be experiencing. Please make sure to contact us too!

When a crash occurs in the application we receive a crash report. When this happens, please email us or open an issue on GitHub.

If you have an idea for a feature? Join our community on GitHub to send us your suggestions! We want to make Blink the most awesome terminal ever!