This is a series of cornerstone articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems.
You’ve moved over from Windows or Mac OS X to the wonderful world of Linux. You’ve selected a Linux distro (after a bit of fruitful distro hopping), chosen a desktop environment, and studied the basic Linux commands. Now you want some really useful free applications. Well this article picks the finest open source software to help you manage your system.
The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. There’s a wide range of software we’ve recommended. There’s genuinely useful utilities, productivity software, networking, backup, monitoring, system cleaning and much more. All to download for nothing.
Every application featured in the series is open source goodness at its finest.
The series is growing. We’re currently adding an essential system tool to the series every fortnight or so.
|Essential System Tools|
|Alacritty||Innovative, hardware-accelerated terminal emulator|
|BleachBit||System cleaning software. Quick and easy way to service your computer|
|bottom||Graphical process/system monitor for the terminal|
|btop++||Monitor usage and stats for CPU, memory, disks, network and processes|
|catfish||Versatile file searching software|
|Clonezilla||Partition and disk cloning software|
|CPU-X||System profiler with both a GUI and text-based|
|Czkawka||Find duplicate files, big files, empty files, similar images, and much more|
|ddrescue||Data recovery tool, retrieving data from failing drives as safely as possible|
|dust||More intuitive version of du written in Rust|
|f3||Detect and fix counterfeit flash storage|
|Fail2ban||Ban hosts that cause multiple authentication errors|
|fdupes||Find or delete duplicate files|
|Firejail||Restrict the running environment of untrusted applications|
|Glances||Cross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python|
|GParted||Resize, copy, and move partitions without data|
|GreenWithEnvy||NVIDIA graphics card utility|
|gtop||System monitoring dashboard|
|gWakeOnLAN||Turn machines on through Wake On LAN|
|hyperfine||Command-line benchmarking tool|
|inxi||Command-line system information tool that's a time-saver for everyone|
|journalctl||Query and display messages from the journal|
|kmon||Manage Linux kernel modules with this text-based tool|
|Krusader||Advanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager|
|Neofetch||System information tool written in Bash|
|Nmap||Network security tool that builds a "map" of the network|
|nmon||Systems administrator, tuner, and benchmark tool|
|nnn||Portable terminal file manager that's amazingly frugal|
|pet||Simple command-line snippet manager|
|Pingnoo||Graphical representation for traceroute and ping output|
|ps_mem||Accurate reporting of software's memory consumption|
|SMC||Multi-featured system monitor written in Python|
|Timeshift||Reliable system restore tool|
|QDirStat||Qt-based directory statistics|
|QJournalctl||Graphical User Interface for systemd’s journalctl|
|TLP||Must-have tool for anyone running Linux on a notebook|
|Unison||Console and graphical file synchronization software|
|VeraCrypt||Strong disk encryption software|
|Ventoy||Create bootable USB drive for ISO, WIM, IMG, VHD(x), EFI files|
|WTF||Personal information dashboard for your terminal|
If you have any recommendations for system tools to be added, drop us a comment below.
This article complements our recommended software where we recommend many hundreds of applications for all different purposes, not just system tools.
Instead of QDirStat, I still stick to ncdu. It’s fast, small and yes, it runs on a cli. So now you are warned 😉
What are we warned about?
Interesting mix of cli and gui applications here, although a few are surprising. Helpful to mark which are cli and which are gui.
cli – ps_mem, gtop, pet, inxi, journalctl, nmap, ddrescue, Clonezilla, fdupes, nmon, f3, firejail
gui – Alacritty, BleachBit, catfish, Timeshift, GParted, Krusader, QJournalctl, QDirStat
How about Ucaresystem-core and also topgrade? Using them both seems to ensure a smooth Linux existence.
Thanks for your suggestions.
I believe one of our contributors did look at these tools, but that was probably some time ago. We’ll see what developments have taken place for these 2 projects.
And, now, 12 months later, how’s that all going then please?
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