Software I Use and Recommend (July 2022)
I notice a lot of people who make their little websites often put a list of the software (and hardware) they use and recommend. I genuinely enjoy looking through these lists so I’d like to share mine as well.
Debian: My second distro after Lubuntu and I love it. After a while I switched to a rolling release distro because PipeWire is just way too good. I still use Debian on my servers and on devices that I do not frequently access.
Arch Linux: It has PipeWire and AUR which are the only two things I like about Arch Linux. If I were to distro-hop, I’ll try Artix (and find a reason to dislike systemd) or Gentoo.
I could probably recommend Fedora as well. My sister uses it and it seems okay. Definitely easier to use than the other two I mentioned.
Firefox: This is the least worst browser that I am aware of. It doesn’t come with sane defaults but it’s easy to speedrun through the settings to turn off telemetry and whatnot. I recommend using firefox-minima and uBlock Origin.
I really like qutebrowser as well but I gave up on it as it doesn’t have very good extension support. With my recommendations above and a vim extension like vim-vixen, you can get a qutebrowser-like experience.
For my search engine, I am currently using ononoki’s SearXNG instance as it seems reliable.
Video editing programs
DaVinci Resolve: This has been my main video editing program since version 12.5. It’s free and complete with features (and they keep adding more!). Unfortunately, it’s hard to recommend the free version on Linux because it doesn’t support H.264 videos because of licensing issues. In fact, it doesn’t support AAC audio on both the free and studio versions. I also hate the fact that it doesn’t support FREE codecs like Opus, VP8/9, and AV1 on either versions.
My other recommendation would be Kdenlive. It’s a solid video editing program, and it’s perfect for basic editing. I normally use it when I don’t need the features of Resolve and I plan to continue using it for my future projects.
As a side note, I find it mildy infuriating that people recommend Wondershare Filmora (a paid, proprietary trashware) instead of Kdenlive. This also applies to people who choose to pirate Adobe products without even learning the software. Just use Kdenlive, and if its features aren’t enough, try Resolve.
Image editing program
GIMP: I’ve been using this for a decade now. It has just about every feature I need (cutting, layers, drawing, coloring, some effects, etc). I never felt the need to use something more “professional” like Affinity or Photoshop. I think this is a good example of using FOSS until you outgrow the capabilities and start to use more professional programs. I have not outgrown GIMP yet so I’ll be using it until I do.
Krita: I don’t actually use this (I don’t draw) but I heard it’s very good. It will be my first choice for digital painting if I ever need to do so.
Audio editing and recording
Audacity: I use this for recording and some editing (cutting and noise reduction) if I want it prepped for video editing. Normally though, I edit the audio on the video editing program itself.
I’m interested in learning Ardour, but this seems to be more than what I need.
Vim: The only text editor I need.
Pandoc: Obviously you can’t make pdf files with just vim, so you need something to process markdown files to pdf. I recommend this video which discusses how it works. This site was generated with pandoc and ssg.
I’ve written most of my college papers with vim and pandoc, and it’s so much better than writing with Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Everything is structured and styled correctly.
- i3wm: window manager
- alacritty, rxvt-unicode: terminal emulator
- lf, thunar: filemanager
- cmus: music player
- mpv: video player. I used to use VLC until I realized the color reproduction was absolutely horrible (at least on Windows) because of some default setting. I’ve switched to mpv since but I can still recommend VLC if you just turn that setting off.
- feh, sxiv: image viewer
- zathura: pdf viewer. Honestly, the lack of text highlighting or annotation sucks so I’m looking for alternatives.
- xournal++: pdf editing program
- neomutt: email client
- transmission-gtk: torrent client. I’d switch to a CLI one but most of them use a daemon and connect to that.
- Bitwarden: password manager. Currently making a wrapper script for the CLI client.
Dotfiles? Coming soon. For fonts, I use DejaVu Mono Sans Nerd Font for the terminal and Noto Sans for everything else.