Software I use


The world of software is quickly changing, so chances are this article will be irrelevant in a couple of years. I guess this means I’ll have to write another one, but it doesn’t matter. If you’re from the present, feel free to judge me for my poor choices, and if you’re from the future, enjoy this little time capsule full of prehistoric technology.

Base system

Operating system: Fedora

As you can tell by one of the rules I live by, I’m really into cutting edge technology. This is why I use Arch Lin… Okay I actually don’t. And there are a few reasons for that:

Honorable mentions

Desktop environment: GNOME

Yes, I use GNOME. It goes without saying that GNOME is a weird kid on the block. It’s extremely aesthetically minimalist, and the developers are defending this minimalism as much as possible, which makes a lot of people angry. In other words, this DE is as far away from Windows as possible, and people are not used to it.

I, however, really like this minimalism, and this is why I not only use it but also use it without any extensions. The default GNOME workflow fits my needs pretty well and requires minimal customization compared to other desktop environments. The main thing I like about GNOME is how distraction-free it is. It shows you only so many elements at once, which works well with my brain that can’t handle too many things at a time. If you’re like me in this regard, you’ll like GNOME.

Honorable mentions

Command line applications

Terminal emulator: khansoul

Well, I wrote it myself as an exercise in writing software without knowing how it works. I guess that says something.

Honorable mentions

Unix shell: fish

Truth be told, I fucking hate shell as a language. It looks like complete shit, makes it extremely easy to shoot yourself in the foot (even easier than C does), and makes you produce unreadable code if you’re trying to do something complex. fish sort of fixes those issues at the cost of not being POSIX-compatible. Luckily though, I don’t give a single damn about POSIX compatibility, so I’m perfectly fine writing my scripts in it.

Yeah, and it also works out of the box. I still customize it a bit, but at least it doesn’t require me to install 12000 packages to get basic functionality.

Honorable mentions

Text editor: Neovim

When it comes to text editing, I have very specific requirements that no text editor can achieve out of the box while not being bloated. Therefore, I have to put myself through the torture of using Neovim, which is highly customizable but a pain in the ass to get used to. Luckily, I’m a masochist, so it’s absolutely not an issue for me.

Honorable mentions

Version control: git

Let’s be honest. I have no idea how it works nor do I know how to use it properly. Still, it somehow manages to be extremely helpful to me. For me as a programmer wannabe, version control is critical since it allows me to effectively introduce changes into the code base without breaking everything. It’s a complete miracle that git works so well despite being so complex and that it managed to become so popular despite being decentralized and open source. Let’s hope it doesn’t go away.

Honorable mentions

File sync: rclone

rclone is a Swiss army knife utility that allows you to sync from any cloud storage and to any cloud storage. The fact that such a utility exists and it’s completely open source is a miracle, and I’m so glad that it does. Now that I know about it, I no longer have to use any crappy proprietary client for my cloud storage provider and can just use one little tool for everything, and it just works. Which means that I get better user experience than even Windows users. Isn’t that wonderful?

Honorable mentions

Website engine: Hugo

As you have probably noticed, my website is quite complex. And to handle such complexity, I have to use a static site generator. Hugo is the one I randomly chose to be the one I use. So far, it’s been quite a pleasant experience. The template language it uses, while being slightly weird, allows me to pull off quite a few interesting tricks like a breadcrumb navigation and anchored headings. Another nice thing about it is that it’s statically linked and written in Go, which means it’s just one binary file with no dependencies.

Honorable mentions

Graphical applications

Web browser: Firefox

Yes, Mozilla is not doing well as a company, but Firefox still remains the one browser that’s reasonably private, has enough features, and supports Linux well enough. If it dies someday, I’ll jump to the second best option, but while it’s alive, I’ll keep using it. Giving up and allowing Google to have a monopoly to decide what the Web is going to be is a bad idea.

Honorable mentions

Password manager: Bitwarden

Bitwarden combines the best of the 2 password manager worlds. On one hand, it’s open source, which means you can actually trust it. On the other hand, it’s cloud-based, which allows you to sync your passwords between devices in a comfortable way without any magic. On top of that, it also offers a generous free plan that barely has any limitations and allows you to self-host your own server. For these reasons, Bitwarden is what I recommend to an average person.

Honorable mentions

Productivity app: Microsoft To-Do

Oh, what’s this? A proprietary app? By Microsoft? Yes, it is. I’d gladly use something else but this app satisfies my note taking needs perfectly despite being proprietary:

If you know any other app that is open source and satisfies all of the 3 requirements, feel free to contact me.

Honorable mentions

Graphical editor: GIMP

GIMP is by far not the best graphical editor in the world, but there isn’t much choice. It’s a bit technologically outdated and not the most powerful, but hey it’s open source and actually somewhat works. In addition to that, it’s the only editor I’m good at, so abandoning it would be not the smartest idea.

Honorable mentions

Office suite: LibreOffice

I hate WYSIWYG editors but still have to use this one for my college stuff. Someday, the good times will come, and I’ll no longer have to use it.

Honorable mentions

Video capture/streaming: OBS

Just like git, OBS is a good example of a software miracle. It’s open source, and everyone uses it. The latter is especially weird, considering it’s targeted for gamers, and 99.9% of the video games are proprietary. Once again, I’m so glad that it exists because otherwise I’d have to rely on something less professional like CLI-based hacks.

Honorable mentions

Video game emulator: RetroArch

As you probably know, I’m a law-abiding citizen, and I never pirate any video games, especially ones by Nintendo┬«. Thus, in order to abide the law and not pirate the games, I need software that would allow me to play the legally obtained video games by emulating the console those game would be legally played on. Luckily, RetroArch does exactly that for a wide range of consoles. It does sacrifice a bit of overall quality and is prone to bugs, but eh, it’s good enough for me.

Honorable mentions