favorite linux packages

posted: Wed, Jun 28, 2023 | tagged: | | tech
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There are simply some packages, you just can't live without. And when it comes to my preferred Linux setup, I have a handful of go-to packages that really make a big difference for me in terms of a good experience or a mediocre experience. Some of these are just creature comforts, while others I can't really live without. Not everything below is CLI-based. These are various packages and utilities I rely on regularly.

This list is in no particular order. And if I decide to start posting these sort of things on YouTube, this list below will get chunked into groups of either 5 or 7. I believe those are the obligatory list sizes for YouTube reviews.

  • python3: included by default, my programming language du jur
  • pip3: A Python package manager. I code in Python so can't live without pip nearby.
  • npm: Node Package Manager. Now that this site is statically generated, NPM is a must.
  • n (via npm): n manages my npm version, handy.
  • 11ty (via npm): my static site generator for this site
  • starship: a terminal beautifier
  • keepassxc: a secure password manager
  • ctop: A very nicely put together CLI process monitor.
  • net-tools: I use these regularly with work and troubleshooting home networking
  • tio (via homebrew): This one is new, and it is handy to aid in connecting to microcontrollers while coding
  • tldr: Also a newbie, but provides some easier-on-the-brain manpages
  • VS Code: my code editor of choice
  • lt browser: a browser that can render across various mobile devices for testing code
  • postman: a fantastic tool for working with and testing web-based APIs
  • git: I would hope this one requires little to no explanation.
  • iotop: another handy troubleshooting tool
  • powertop: handy to review power draw and the power states of CPU cores
  • rsync: powerful file mover / replicator
  • rclone: rsync for cloud storage, invaluable
  • aws-cli: a CLI interface for working with AWS via API
  • tmux / screen: handy terminal emulation tools
  • wget: a must for downloading packages via CLI
  • whois: handy for querying domain registrations via CLI
  • wavemon: a nifty wireless utility that can help troubleshoot connections
  • ansible (via pip): a great configuration management tool for Linux
  • gparted: useful tool for managing disk partitions
  • gimp: A great open source image and photo manipulation tool
  • obs studio: useful for screen recordings and other clever video use cases
  • simplescreenrecorder: great for lighter-weight screen recording and screenshots
  • terraform: infrastructure as code, something I'm working on learning
  • docker: containers, yes please! runs so much better on Linux than Mac/Win
  • docker-compose: a meta manager for docker and assembling containers / groups thereof
  • cmatrix: what is life without whimsy? enter the matrix from the CLI
  • homebrew: makes my work Mac act a bit more Linux-ey
  • neofetch: nice presentation of core components of the running system
  • dig: something I use all the time, helpful in DNS troubleshooting
  • grep: filtering down searches? yes please
  • history: a way to look back through your CLI command execution
  • brave: a really nice, privacy focused browser
  • nomachine: a high fidelity remote desktop management tool
  • obsidian: a powerful and feature-rich markdown-based notes / PKM system
  • fritzing: a great circuit mapping tool (learning this one)
  • handbrake: an easy to use video conversion utility
  • ffmpeg: someething I need to use and learn more, a CLI-based video tranformation tool
  • nano: I really should learn VIM, but until then this is a simple CLI text editor

Some of the other built-in go-to packages include several obvious choices. Things like lsblk, lspci, dh, fdisk, etc.

Have a suggestion that isn't on this list? Please reach out and let me know!

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