Linux Programs I Use


A few people asked me in the last time which tools and programs I use so I decided to put them in a short list.

I often look at lists like “The best …”, “Software you need” or similar posts. Not because I need them, but because I want to get inspired and learn about new / other tools that may become a program I use. This also means that in most cases there is more than one program listed below.

But there is one most important thing if you’re thinking about using a new / other program: The complete configuration shouldn’t take more than what it’s worth. It is without any sense to invest many hours to configure or switch to another program, if it doesn’t bring you an enormous improvement concerning productivity, speed and / or creativity. Remember always that your time is limited and is better invested in something you want to achieve.

Also keep in mind, that is is a list of software I like. I didn’t try all the available alternatives that are out there. If a program is not listed, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad or that I don’t like it.

I will update this list, if something changes, if I have the time.


Text Editor / IDE

Graphics and Images

  • Inkscape (for most SVG stuff)
  • Gravit (recently for some SVG stuff)
  • GIMP (for image editing)
  • gThumb (for viewing and quick adjustments)
  • Imagemagick (for scripted image editing)

Email client

  • mu4e (nearly exclusively)
  • Thunderbird (in some rare cases or systems without emacs)

Web browser

File manager

  • Nemo (If I use a graphical file manager, mostly I use a terminal or Emacs)

Terminal Emulator

  • rxvt-unicode (mostly, some times also various others)
  • Emacs ansi-term (when in Emacs and needing a more or less traditional shell)
  • eshell (when in Emacs and using eshell)


  • fish (mainly)
  • eshell (sometimes when in Emacs)
  • bash (sometimes for compatibility reasons)


  • Debian (everywhere with one exception, normally stable)
  • Ubuntu (on a server, where I didn’t have the time to switch yet)

Window Managers / Desktop Environments

  • StumpWM (mainly)
  • MATE (sometimes, when I don’t want to tile windows)

RSS / Atom Feed Reader

Edit 16. February 2016: Removed a bunch of non-free (free as in libre) software and added a RSS / Atom Feed Reader

Edit 28. March 2016: Software changes

Edit 25. March 2018: Reworked and updated the complete list.

Published by

Marcel Kapfer

Composer, Designer and Programmer