A boring list of tools for Linux Desktops

A boring list of tools for Linux Desktops

Another draft I had almost forgotten about, updated some things and now publishing it before I forget about it again.

Both linux laptops I use most frequently are configured in a similar way. One (my laptop) runs Debian stable (wheezy), the other (work laptop) runs Debian testing (jessie) since May 2014, wheezy before that. Both run xmonad, xmobar and trayer (and xdm) with the same config. I have 9 virtual desktops, aptly? named:

  • sh for shells
  • code for my IDE
  • www for my main browser
  • im for irc and jabber
  • @ for email
  • ☹ for nothing specific, usually shells
  • ♨ you guessed it, shells
  • ♫ for music and more shells
  • ♥ for my second and third browser

on startup a few commands are run:

so on to the programs that are usually running at any time:

  • parcellite (to keep my clipboard history)
  • xscreensaver (to lock the laptop)
  • xfce4-power-manager (to avoid unnoticed instant shutdown)
  • BitTorrent Sync
  • sh: terminator with zsh, sometimes tmux
  • code: IntelliJ Ultimate 11.1 (why upgrade?) or vim/gedit/LightTable or all of them
  • www: chromium
  • im: quasselclient and gajim
  • @: thunderbird, actually earlybird
  • ☹: a root shell with openvpn, boo me
  • ♨: shells
  • ♫: rhythmbox or banshee
  • ♥: firefox nightly
    • one with default profile for private stuff
    • one with extra profile, just for facebook

then the stuff that gets used occasionally:

  • wpa_gui (despite a semi-automated setup of dhcpcd + wpa_supplicant)
  • pinta for image editing - damn, I forget this name all the time
  • evince for PDFs is good enough for me
  • vagrant + VirtualBox (would prefer lxc, but as I am the only Linux user, it's not worth duplicating all of the work when ~8 others use Mac+VirtualBox)
  • xbacklight
  • audacity and vlc because we sometimes do audio stuff at work

programming language runtimes used most often (roughly in order):

  • python (no ipython yet, might try)
  • lua (I use lua.org, need to find a repl)
  • bash :(
  • ruby (irb is fine for me)
  • clojure (lein repl is fine)
  • php (php -r is sufficient)

some history grepping and sorting shows nothing unusual:

1119 git
 693 ag [1]
 671 vi
 496 ls
 443 cd
 398 ssh
 376 mv
 350 curl
 322 rm
 283 scp


The work laptop was originally fully puppetized with masterless local puppet, until they broke someeverything and I had no time to fix all my stuff.

Meanwhile I migrated the automatic setup of one box from puppet to ansible because it seems a lot easier for casual use, we'll see if there's less breakage as well.

And I should probably mention that I am pretty happy with this. Very rarely I wish I had a Mac available, but that usually lasts for a single task of 15m to 2h, for example when I must connect to a VPN with PPTP or want to play a game in my lunch break.