Desktop Linux: the software I'm currently using

I moved from macOS to Linux for my desktop computing about two years ago now. I wrote about it a year in.

Stephen Newey said that he is looking to do the same, so I though I’d write up some of the software I am using currently for desktop Linux.

I’ve used some of the headings that Stephen has used, as they wouldn’t have crossed my mind otherwise.


macOS: Mail, with GPGMail plugin

Linux: A mix of Thunderbird with OpenGPG, for GUI-based email, and mutt when I don’t need / want a GUI


macOS: Calendar

Linux: the calendar in Thunderbird

Document production

macOS: A mix of Pages and Word

Linux: LibreOffice’s Writer

Text editing

macOS: nano

Linux: gedit

Presentations (slides)

macOS: Keynote

Linux: reveal.js

Audio editing

macOS: Audacity

Linux: Audacity

eBook management

macOS: calibre

Linux: calibre

Image editing

macOS: Pixelmator or GIMP

Linux: GIMP or Krita. If I just need to do a simple conversion, imagemagick



macOS: Preview

Linux: evince

Marking up

macOS: I didn’t

Linux: Xournal++


macOS: I don’t remember

Linux: PDF Arranger, pdfunite, or pdftk depending on what I want to do. (I haven’t found a good “all in one” GUI-based PDF tool which works nicely with GNOME; recommendations are welcome!)

Web browsing

macOS: A mix of Safari and Firefox

Linux: A mix of Firefox (GUI) and links (terminal)


macOS: wallabag

Linux: wallabag

Disk encryption

macOS: FileVault2

Linux: LUKS

File synchronisation

macOS: Nextcloud

Linux: Nextcloud

Client-side encryption of files before syncing them with Nextcloud

macOS: I didn’t

Linux: Cryptomator

Text expansion

macOS: aText

Linux: espanso


macOS: Blink

Linux: Blink

Password manager

macOS: 1Password, then Bitwarden

Linux: Bitwarden, but I’m now using the vaultwarden backend after Bitwarden locked me out of my TOTP codes twice


macOS: Time Machine

Linux: restic


macOS: Mastodon web UI

Linux: Mastodon web UI


I buy and rip DVDs and CDs still.

macOS: iTunes

Linux: I stream my own stuff via the jellyfin web UI. I have a “media” memory stick, to have some films and music available when I travel, which I can either plug into my laptop or my Raspberry Pi W travel “media centre”, but I hardly ever travel so not much use to be honest. For Internet radio, shortwave.