#FreeSoftwareAdvent: all my 2023 Free software suggestion posts in one place

(2022’s #FreeSoftwareAdvent posts are here.)


shellcheck checks your shell scripts for you, to help find and fix errors.

There’s a hosted version (https://www.shellcheck.net/), or you can install it locally.


LinkChecker scans your website (or whatever host you point it at), looking for broken links.



vaultwarden is an alternative, unofficial, implementation of the Bitwarden password / secrets manager server.

After a not great experience with Bitwarden earlier this year, I switched to vaultwarden.



hugo is a static website generator: you put in Markdown, and it gives you a website ready to put onto your hosting service.

I switched our blogs to it earlier this year.




DAVx⁵ is a CalDAV / CardDAV / WebDAV sync tool for Android.




Snikket is an XMPP-server-in-a-box: a very easy-to-deploy voice, video, chat, and file sharing service. Sandra and I have been use for our communications for a few months now.




Tusky is a fantastic Mastodon client for Android.

For better or worse, I use it for loads of my inane posts.




wallabag is a “read it later” server, to which you save web pages and, well, read them later.

You can host it yourself, or use someone else’s server.




OnionShare makes sharing a file incredibly easy, using Tor.

You can also use it for hosting your own .onion / hidden service.


PDF Arranger

You can use it to merge or split PDFs, and rotate, crop and rearrange their pages.



mutt is an old-school command line email client, which I use a lot. If I just want to check my email, it’s much faster to use mutt than, say, Thunderbird.



If you need to boot from different .iso / other image files routinely, ventoy is a lifesaver. You install it onto a USB stick, and then copy the image files onto the USB stick.

When you boot from the USB stick, you boot into ventoy, and then choose what .iso you want to load.

It even handles Secure Boot.



As a Free software hypervisor, proxmox works well - I use it on a few Intel NUCs. It’s easy to install, and it makes managing and running containers and virtual machines easy, as well as offering web-based console access.


GSConnect / KDE Connect

Installed on my phone and my computer, it use it to control my phone, and get information from my phone, from my Linux desktop. I use GSConnect, which integrates nicely with GNOME. I use it mainly for sending SMS via my phone but from my computer.


KDE Connect

Emoji Copy

I’m not a massive fan of emojis, but it is occasionally fun to be able to add them to posts.





If you want a very easy way of doing screensharing via WebRTC - letting someone else (or multiple people) see your screen, or seeing someone else’s screen - screego is a neat way of doing it.

I’ve used it for giving presentations, when Teams screensharing didn’t work. Again.



I am using mpd - Music Player Daemon - to play music on a machine connected to some speakers, which I can control remotely. It is lightweight, easy to configure, and meant I can have music in my office, so I am a fan.

(A web interface, mympd, works nicely, but I use something else (tomorrow’s post!)…)



The ncurses music player client plus plus, which is almost as much of a mouthful as ncmpcpp.

I am using it on my laptop, to remotely control mpd. It’s a terminal client, with easy keybindings for setting up and controlling playlists.



ESP32-Faikin is a project by @revk@toot.me.uk, to provide an after-market Wi-Fi board for Daikin air conditioning units, so that you don’t have to use Daikin’s “cloud” service.

This code/module provides local control via web interface, MQTT, and HomeAssistant integration, all with no cloud crap.



restic is a backup utility, which I use for keeping my machines backed up.

It is simple to configure, including specifying how many historic backups you want to keep.

Critically, it’s also simple to test recovery, because an untested backup isn’t a backup.



Quick Folder Move

Quick Folder Move is an add-on/extension for Thunderbird, which takes a lot of the pain out of filing email. (Yes, perhaps I’m odd for filing email…)

A simple key combination to bring up the search bar, and either type in part of the directory name, or select from recent directories. And the highlighted email are moved there.


Home Assistant Extension for Chrome and Firefox

If you use the excellent Free software home automation system Home Assistant, and want three or four options readily available in your browser, this extension does that.

I have it set up with a view containing only my office lighting and heating, so that the controls are rarely more than a click away.



I’ll be honest: I find installing python software quite a chore, and I am always worried that I am going to mess something up. pipx makes it massively easier, most of the time.

sudo apt install pipx -y


Organic Maps

Organic Maps is a privacy-focused, community-developed, open-source navigation app, for Android and iOS.

Don’t forget to download your maps ahead of time.

I used it recently in Germany, and I was impressed.