When looking for software to use, I generally opt for simple, lightweight, or minimal programs. I try to adhere to the UNIX philosophy when I can. Often these programs are in the command line. I also try to use only free/libre software when possible. Not all of the software I use follows these preferences, sometime because no alternative exists, and other time because I simply find it easier.
- Operating System
- I use Artix GNU/Linux. It is a fork of Arch Linux that does not use SystemD. I have used a number of Linux distributions in my time, but I think Artix has the best combination of minimalism, software availability (AUR), ease of use, and documentation of any distro I've used. (Operating systems I've used in the past include but are not limited to: Windows[98/XP/Vista/7/10], Ubuntu and derivatives, Debian, Arch, Void, Gentoo)
- I use st (simple terminal), made by suckless.org. Currently I am running Luke Smith's build, but in the future, I plan on configuring my own build to better suit my needs.
- Bash, the ubiquitous. That is the primary reason I use it. It's default, it's everywhere, and it is very well documented.
- Window Manager/Desktop Environment
- I use dwm, also by suckless. It's simple; it's lightweight. What more could I ask for? I've only patched it with noborder and pertag; I've found that's all I really need.
- I do not use any sort of desktop environment. They all come with a suite of programs I simply never use.
- Text Editor
- Vim (I actually use Neovim) is the only option. Emacs is so bloated, I don't even want to talk about it. If there were a way to get syntax highlighting in ed, I would learn that.
- Web Browser
- Ungoogled Chromium. It's simply the only modern browser that isn't chock-full of anti-privacy anti-features (other than TOR Browser, of course).
- File Manager
- None. I do all of my file management in the shell.
- Video Player
- I use mpv like everyone else. If you're not using mpv, you are streets behind.
- Music Player/Library/Tag Editor
- mpd + ncmpcpp. It's a mouth full, but it does everything you might want a music player to do.
- Bittorrent Client
- I use qBittorrent. It doesn't really fit in with my general preferences, but it's got a built-in search engine. I may switch to a command line client in the future.
- PDF Viewer
- Zathura. It's simple.
- Image Viewer
- I use sxiv. It does what I need it to do, and it has a thumbnail view.
- Image Manipulation
- I use GIMP. I've been using it for years, so I know it pretty well. It's great for making memes.
- I know how to use AutoDesk's AutoCAD and Inventor, when I'm designing something at home for printing, I use OpenSCAD. I've tried using FreeCAD in the past, but I find it too buggy.
- 3D Slicing
- I use Ultimaker Cura. It was the only slicer available in the Void repositories, so it's what I used when I got my 3D printer. It works well with my Ender 3.
Where To Find Good Software
The program of your dreams is probably listed below:
- The suckless website's list of programs that "rock" – Generally minimalist programs
- A more comprehensive (and gradient) list of minimalist software
- The FSF's Free Software Directory – Emphasis on libre software (although most software in the links above will have free licenses as well)
- Install Gentoo wiki recommendations – A good mix of programs for novices and advanced users
My PC was originally built in 2011. I've replaced some parts since then, usually due to a part failing. This is my current configuration. I am in the process of upgrading the storage and turning it into a home server.
- AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
- CPU Cooler
- Xigmatek LOKI SD963
- ASRock 770 Extreme3 ATX AM3
- Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)
- Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4 TB
- Video Card
- Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8 GB NITRO+
- Rosewill R519 ATX Mid Tower Case
- Power Supply
- Rosewill Tachyon 550 W 80+ Platinum
- Optical Drive
- LG GH22NS70
- WiFi Card
- Rosewill RNX-N150PCe
- ThinkPad x220 + Mini Dock
- Intel i7, 500GB SSD, 8GB RAM. Running Artix GNU/Linux. This is currently my main computer.
- ThinkPad x60 + Ultrabase
- With a 120GB SSD, 3GB RAM, and Librebooted. Currently no OS. I might try OpenBSD on it.
- Acer Aspire One 721
- Running Artix GNU/Linux. Not a laptop I'd recommend, but it was a gift, and it runs well enough for what it is.
- ASUS VA27EHE 27" 1920x1080@75Hz
- Glorious GMMK with Kailh BOX Navy switches and YMDK PBT keycaps
- Rosewill RK-9000I with Cherry MX Blue switches
- Pointing Devices
- Elecom HUGE trackball
- Logitech M570 trackball
- TONOR Pro Condenser Microphone
- 3D Printer
- Creality Ender 3