On the old original Star Trek series, they bought some futuristic salt and pepper shakers to use on an episode. The problem is they didn’t look like salt and pepper shakers, so they used normal ones instead and turned the strange-looking ones into Dr. McCoy’s medical instruments. This demonstrates the value of looking like what you claim to be. So sure, you are a super skillful hacker, but if you are sitting in front of a normal looking computer desktop, how can anyone tell? After all, in the movies, hackers use exotic flashy user interfaces, right? Now thanks to eDEX-UI, you can look like a movie hacker if you use Windows, Linux, or the Mac.
As you might expect, the program isn’t very efficient or practical, but it does actually do something. In addition to a load of system information about the CPU and network, there’s a shell, a file manager, and an onscreen keyboard, too. The app uses Electron and — on Linux — AppImage, but for a toy program like this, that may not be a problem.
The program is based on an older program called DEX. As you might expect there are a lot of customization options, including multiple themes that you can load from the interface itself.
To add extra complex goodness, we tried running byobu, to make it look that much more alien. However, that interfered with the file manager integrating with the shell — depending on how you set it up, you may or may not have that problem. The onscreen keyboard shows what you are typing, so you probably shouldn’t type passwords while using this program.
Practical? No. But it might be just the thing to park on an unused computer to impress the boss when she visits. If you want practical system information on a screen, you might try something like cockpit. If you want our picks for the best hacking scenes in movies, you have to go back a few years.