Common Tools and Apps I use on my Linux Machines
Here is a collection of common tools and applications I regularly use on almost all of my Linux pcs.
I have a pretty beefy desktop for Gaming. That runs Windows 10 and that system is exclusively for the few games I play occasionally.
But I can not work with Windows and need a Linux system for being productive. Since my old Elementary OS install was borked I reinstalled the SSD for Linux with Ubuntu 20.04.
Here is a list of tools and applications which I almost install everywhere in no particular order:
Shell: Oh My Zsh
My shell of choice is Oh My Zsh based on the
My current favorite theme is the Powerlevel10k theme. I just love it! Additionally, I will use
fzf to have an awesome auto-completion.
Editor: VS Code
Hands down one of the best editors for me. Especially when you set up the sync feature and all your devices have the same config, plugins, etc.
Version control: Git
Git is obviously a big part of my work and therefore not really surprising in this list. I just always install the upstream version since I want to be able to use the latest git features.
Managing App Images: AppImageLauncher
Software is often distributed via AppImages. These are self-contained application packages without having any system dependencies if I remember correctly. But adding them to your path, making them executable, and adding a desktop icon is tedious.
Integrate AppImages to your application launcher with one click, and manage, update and remove them from there. Double-click AppImages to open them, without having to make them executable first.
Password Manager: Bitwarden
For me the only password manager I can recommend. Open Source, useable in the free plan, syncs across all devices, standalone browser extension. You can even self-host if you want.
I also pay the 10$/year plan because I want to support the devs. I do not even need the features.
Yeah, I am a Chrome guy. Nothing much to say about that.
And I do not have too many tabs. I have a search extension for people with my system. Just download it and thank me later.
Seriously, just do it!
Music: YouTube Music Desktop App
I like listening to music while working. It can help me get into the zone. Since I hate ads on YouTube, I pay for YouTube Premium and therefore own the YouTube Music subscription as well.
And what do we see here? A descent YouTube Music Desktop App called just like that.
Screenshot tool: Shutter
Shutter is an awesome screenshot and minimal screenshot editor tool. When you install the
gnome-web-photo package you also can take screenshots from complete websites. Without the hassle of scrolling down, taking another one, etc.
The editor has basic editing onboard like blurring, etc. Just a nice tool!
Light photo editing: gthumb
The basic photo viewer and light editor on Gnome desktop environments. It covers my little needs when I have to crop, rotate, scale or change effects on a picture for one of my blog posts.
Docker with docker-compose is an absolute must-have for me on all machines I set up. It is just so easy to test something without bloating your system with a ton of packages.
Taking Notes: Obsidian
I take all my notes in the markdown format like many folks out there. The benefit? I just could jump on the hype train that Obsidian is developing the last year or two.
Pretty sick markdown editor which can do so much more!
Syncing Files: Syncthing
I need to sync some files across different devices. Especially my folder of mardown notes for Obsidian or pictures for my blog.
I use Syncthing for years and it is just rock solid!
System Backup: Timeshift
This is just a lifesaver! Depening on your system this will do
rsync magic or
btrfs snapshots which you can go back to if a system upgrade did go wrong.
Already had to use it when I messed up my system somehow. Have written down the process of restoring: Restore snapshot with timeshift from a live medium with LUKS and LVM
Backup for files: Déjà Dup Backups
This is called just Backups in Ubuntu. I am using this to backup my
/home to another location. Easy to set up, easy to browse files that you have deleted. Saved me a couple of times as well.
The devs are currently working on a
restic implementation. Hope that does not take too long. Might be way faster than the current process of backing up.
Android App Development
I am learning a bit of Flutter.
Other tools include the AndroidStudio IDE and the local firebase emulators.
Clipboard Manager: gpaste
I always need to copy and paste multiple values like URLs, UUIDs, etc. Instead of going back and forth, I can just press
ALT+SHIFT+G and I get a window with my recent copied entries from my clipboard.
You can not go back to no clipboard manager when you had a clipboard manager in your life.
Adding apps: FLATPAK with Flathub
In my opinion the future of Linux app distribution. Here you get all the latest versions of your favorite apps like VS Code, Libre Office, Spotify, Discord, etc.
Some random stuff I use sometimes.
Adjust a few settings here and there for the desktop environment. Especially important for changing mouse focus over windows behavior and for
ALT+TAB with multiple monitors/workspaces.
Managing issues. Did not use it much yet.
That is it for now. I hope you have found something useful here. If you have some tips for me please leave them in the comments below!