This is a series of cornerstone articles highlighting essential utilities. These are small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
You’ve migrated 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. Or you’ve been using Linux for decades, know the operating system like the back of your hand. Whatever your level of experience, you want some really useful free utilities. Software that enriches your workflow, offers new opportunities, and allows you to tap into new innovations. This article picks the finest open source software to maximize the goodness of Linux.
I frequently mention that customization is important. It empowers users and can serve as a way to get people to feel confident doing more complicated things on their computers. It’s a lot easier to think you can learn to code if you’ve already fixed a bunch of little annoyances on your computer.
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, and much more. All to download for nothing, and with full access to the source code. They offer great opportunities to enrich your computing experience.
The series is growing. We’re regularly adding new utilities to the series. We recommend you bookmark this page!
|tmux||A terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow|
|lnav||Advanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting|
|Paperwork||Designed to simplify the management of your paperwork|
|Abricotine||Markdown editor with inline preview functionality|
|mdless||Formatted and highlighted view of Markdown files|
|fkill||Kill processes quick and easy|
|Tusk||An unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential|
|Ulauncher||Sublime application launcher|
|McFly||Navigate through your bash shell history|
|LanguageTool||Style and grammar checker for 30+ languages|
|peco||Simple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful|
|Liquid Prompt||Adaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh|
|Ananicy||Shell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities|
|cheat.sh||Community driven unified cheat sheet|
|ripgrep||Recursively search directories for a regex pattern|
|exa||A turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command|
|OCRmyPDF||Add OCR text layer to scanned PDFs|
|Watson||Track the time spent on projects|
|fontpreview||Quickly search and preview fonts|
|fd||Wonderful alternative to the venerable find|
|scrcpy||Display and control Android devices|
|duf||Disk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df|
|tldr||Simplified and community-driven man pages|
|lsd||Like exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls|
|broot||Next gen tree explorer and customizable launcher|
|Deskreen||Live streaming your desktop to a web browser|
This article complements our recommended software where we recommend many hundreds of applications for all different purposes, not only utility software.
And if you have any suggestions for open source utilities to add to this series, please use the comment feature below. We really love receiving your opinions and thoughts.