Software Recommendations

April 6, 2021

A lot of people know me for my “Just use” software series. But while I try to make as many videos as possible to cover all the “free software” replacements for software many people use daily, I couldn’t make a video on every piece of software.

This article simply contains the software I use and recommend; Most of it requires little to no elite® knowledge of GNU/Linux or software in general; which doesn’t mean learning is bad.

Operating Systems

I prefer to run UNIX-like operating systems.

Of course for the most part I run GNU/Linux systems; Operating systems based off the GNU core utilities and the Linux kernel that some people call “Linux distros” for brevity. My Linux distro of choice is Arch Linux, mostly because it offers a fast package manager with a large-enough pool of updated software, all the configuration and software is kept as simple as possible making maintenance a breeze, and the Arch User Repository offers an excellent way to installs packages outside of the relatively small vanilla repos. The AUR makes Arch (probably) the single distro with most software available for it.

However this doesn’t mean Arch Linux is flawless…

(Other) Operating Systems

I think many more advanced Linux users wish to compile more software, for example their kernel, from source. Compiling your software from source offers a lot of performance advantages, and for this a distribution like Gentoo or Carbs Linux is what I’d recommend.

There is also the issue of systemd, the init system of choice for Arch Linux. Systemd does not follow the UNIX philosophy of being a small, simple, one-purpose program that’s easy to understand; Just like the Linux kernel, it is large and ever-growing, and mostly monolithic. I choose to use systemd and Arch Linux merely out of necessity and convenience; A distribution such as Artix, Arch Linux without systemd, may ship more broken or incomplete packages. There are also some packages I use that rely on systemd. If you are willing to live with these slight flaws, then Artix or Devuan is for you.


I use zsh with very basic options in my .zshrc. Nothing particularly fancy, no autocomplete. I might as well just use bash.

Text Editing

My choice of text editor is often vim; it offers a lot of complex and powerful functionality while also being usable by anyone who can open and type in a terminal. However, while I mostly use vim to write I understand why people may wish to use a more “user friendly” option such as a graphical text editor. For this I recommend gedit.

Window Management/“DE”

I use Suckless’ dwm for all my window management means.

Web Browser

My web browser of choice is Ungoogled Chromium. This is a fork of Google’s Chromium, but with all Google spyware and bloat removed. You get the performance and wide support of Google Chrome, without any of the privacy concerns. I chose to use this web browser simply because it’s the most “minimalist” of them all, not counting independent web browsers like Suckless’ Surf.

A similar web browser is LibreWolf; essentially Firefox, but with all telemetry and Mozilla bloat removed. It also includes uBlock Origin by default, which is a plus. Then there’s also the Brave Browser, which blocks ads and shows you more “privacy respecting” ads to pay you in their crypto, BAT. I find it to be a bit bloated and not exactly my sorta thing, but I don’t hate it or oppose people using it.

Written by Alex [→ Reply-To]