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two hackers one keyboard two ways

There’s an amazing and famous scene of two hackers sharing a keyboard on NCIS, but it gets a lot of derision on the internet. What people don’t realize is that their mockery only reveals their own lack of skill. As everyone knows, a true hacker has mastered the art of dual wielding, and a keyboard that can be dual wielded by one might also be used by two hackers in tandem.

Presented here are two programs which would be of use to two operators in repelling a network intrusion, or which might be used solo by a highly skilled operator, a true hacker. Take your larping beyond just playing dress up.


duelmon is a split screen dual process and network monitor custom made for high intensity network intrusions. Can’t decide between running ps or netstat to catch the baddies? Run both!

Along the left is a process tree which can be navigated with WASD. On the right are network connections, navigable with HJKL. One can quickly scan both lists moving back and forth with minimal distractions. Or work with a friend. “Lots of movement on port 80! ... I see it, I see it; apache is pre-forking!”

And of course, problematic entries can be marked for the watchlist using X or M. And then cancelled or nuked using C or N. It’s all there, at the tips of your fingers on both hands.

/sbin/init                             conns
├──/sbin/dhcpleased                    ├──
├──/sbin/resolvd                       ├──
├──syslogd:  (syslogd)                 ├──
├──sshd: /usr/sbin/sshd  0 of 10-100 st├──
├──sndiod: helper (sndiod)             ├──*.22 *.*
├──/usr/bin/sndiod                     ├──
├──/usr/sbin/cron                      ├── *.*
├──/usr/X11R6/bin/xenodm               ├──*.* *.*
│  ├──/usr/X11R6/bin/X :0 vt05 -auth /e├──*.* *.*
│  │  └──X:  (Xorg)                    └──*.22 *.*
│  └──xenodm: :0 (xenodm)
│     └──/bin/sh /etc/X11/xenodm/Xsessi
│        └──dwm
proc:   12703   sh dwmupdate.sh

As a final touch, if you’re starting to feel the heat, you can press space at any time to run mpg123 rob_zombie-dragula.mp3 and really slam.


mirrorkeys is a more sophisticated keyboard splitter which is more flexible, but also requires more skill to use. True hackers only.

The keyboard is split approximately down the middle, between YGB and UHN. Keystrokes from the left are sent to one window; keystrokes from the right are sent to a second window. Now you’re free to run commands in two terminals at once, without wasting time refocusing input. They’re both focused, subject to your mental limits.

To type letters on the other side of the keyboard, the win and menu keys are used as input modifiers. The keyboard is mirrored around the center line, using caps lock as enter on the left. (setxkbmap -option caps:none helps a lot.)

The left operator can run ls by typing win-S, s, capslock. The right operator can run ls by typing l, menu-L, enter.

quad mastery

Legend foretells the coming of a hacker who can use both mirrorkeys and duelmon at once. Trick and treat.

Posted 31 Oct 2023 04:13 by tedu Updated: 31 Oct 2023 04:13
Tagged: programming software x11