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Tech open source

Most of this page is about open source software. A lot commercial software is easy to use and works straight out of the box. However you are less in control, there may be unwanted hidden features, and bloated design means you are constantly required to buy new hardware. Many of the packages listed are fast and light on system resources but can take time to learn how to use.


window managers

shell tools



More shell tools


tools, toys, reference

vim text editor

Vim has a steep learning curve. But if you edit a lot of text files it is definately worth learning. The keybindings in vim are used in a lot of other nerdy programs, and vim is installed on a lot of different systems which makes it a very useful thing to know, even if you just know the very basics. It has really a lot of features and plugins available.

Plugins for vim

file management


ranger screenshot ranger is a terminal based file manager with vi style keybindings and many features including 'rifle' file opener, previewing, tabs, bookmarks, tagging. ranger is not a two pane file manager like mc or vifm, but uses 'miller columns' showing the directory hierarchy (similar to mac os 'finder'). The centre column is active, the left column the higher level directory, and the right column shows either a deeper directory or file information or preview. Can preview pdf with pdftotext. Can preview images with ascii, or if your terminal emulation permits it by displaying the image. Ranger is written in python and is highly configurable, hackable and extendible.


first macro does the search according to user query, second macro jumps to results list

 macro index <F8> "<shell-escape>rm -rf ~/.mu/results; mu-find -o l -l ~/.mu/results " "mu-find"
 macro index <F9> "<change-folder-readonly>~/.mu/results\n" "display mu-find results"

mutt email client

Its not for everyone, it takes a lot of configuring but once you have got it right it can work well and save time.

non-commercial email providers

These email providers are non-commercial groups which take security and privacy seriously. Please add more

Public inboxes for one-time use email addresses offers 'public' (no password) email accounts which are very useful for if you need to register via email for a site that you do not trust or do not want to give your personal email address to. They also offer SMS inboxes.


document and book viewers

electronic books


Find duplicate files:

find -not -empty -type f -printf "%s\n" | sort -rn | uniq -d | xargs -I{} -n1 find -type f -size {}c -print0 | xargs -0 md5sum | sort | uniq -w32 --all-repeated=separate

Find and delete duplicate files:

find -not -empty -type f -printf "%s\n" | sort -rn | uniq -d |  xargs -I{} -n1 find -type f -size {}c -print0 | xargs -0 md5sum | sort | uniq -w32 --all-repeated=separate | cut -f3-100 -d ' ' | tr '\n.' '\t.' | sed 's/\t\t/\n/g' | cut -f2-100 | tr '\t' '\n' | perl -i -pe 's/([ (){}-])/\\$1/g' | perl -i -pe 's/'\''/\\'\''/g' | xargs -pr rm -v

network attached storage (NAS)

booklet printing on linux

some tools, for example, for reordering pages of an a4 documents to make an a5 booklet or zine.

pdf2ps # convert a pdf document to postscript
psbook # reorder the pages to make a book,
psnup -s1 -2 # shrink to 2 pages on each A4 side ps2pdf out.pdf # convert it back to a pdf

If you dont have a duplex printer probably you want to print the even pages, put them in the paper drawer (the right way around! very confusing!) then print the odd pages lpr -P myprinter -o page-set=even -#1 infile.pdf # print the even pages
lpr -P myprinter -o page-set=odd -#1 infile.pdf # print the odd pages


Offline-first tools - for those who have little or no connection to internet

offline dictionary for linux



Bittorrent, as well as some other peer-to-peer systems which could be used for filesharing, are discussed on the decentralised internet projects section


slsk bird

Soulseek has been going since many years, a peer-to-peer filesharing network with a focus on specialist/underground music. Technically it is nothing special, it relies on a centralised server for search indexing and the official client software is not open source, although there is an open source client available, nicotine+, as well as a daemon-client project, museek+ (still somewhat in development) making it possible to run control the client remotely (on a computer elsewhere, or NAS, or ARM computer). Soulseek's focus on rare or specialist music has left in largely ignored by the authorities, unlike similar filesharing networks. It remains a community of music enthusiats hosting a lot of music that simply cant be found anywhere else. While the focus is on music, its is also possible to share other kinds of files, increasingly books are available. Even though it lacks the distributed nature of torrent downloading, for older or unusual music, its often quicker to find and download from soulseek than with bittorrent. I would rather use the open source client, nicotine, but i find that for some features the official qt client works better.

DirectConnect (NMDC) and Advanced DirectConnect (ADC)

Directconnect is a peer-to-peer filesharing protocol where searches and peer discovery happens on centralised 'hubs'.


audio software

to take 30 random mp3s and put them in a directory (i use this to randomly choose some of my music to put onto my mp3 player):

find -name "*.mp3" | sort --random-sort | head -n 30 | xargs -n 1 -i^Cd '\n' cp {} /media/mp3player/randomtunes

audio hardware



network analysis

other / uncategorised

Many of these links need to be (or already have been) put elsewhere on the wiki

Unsorted links: last built with MkDocs on 2022-06-14 19:50:50.287587+00:00i