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#1 2021-03-06 09:24:26

ruenoak
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From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
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Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

In a quest for digital minimalism, and a recent fresh install of Devuan on my laptop  I've been thinking about what programs do I use on my system and why?
Now on my Kubuntu Desktop I have multiples of everything installed, it's insane. I find things I've installed at a point in time and have completely forgotten what it is and why I installed it.

Recently I watched a video entitled Digital minimalism, now he was a mac user but I will forgive for that, but he did say something that interested me. Not counting the platform (OS) he was on,  he realised he only used one app to do everything. Google Chrome. Well, I guess I could forgive him for using Chrome as well, but it did make me think about what applications do I use, why am I using them and do I really need too.
So I have been thinking, what are my core applications? Those essential applications that you need daily.
So I thought I would ask the question here.


Not counting your distribution and it's utilities, we will call that the table you put your pen and paper on. also I think we will say the terminal is part of the table.
Really thinking about why you use the applications you use,
What are your core essential applications and can you refine them down even further. This is not about the bare minimum you could use,  but what you need to get through your day.
It's minimal not bare bones.

Mine are below, but not complete.
--------------------
A Web browser
A text editor (preferably advanced)
A media player
FTP Client
A document reader (maybe the Browser can do this)
IRC (Browser could do this also)
Email (Browser again)
--------------------
Thinking about this I use SeaMonkey a suite of tools including a Browser an Email client, a web editor/creator (old) Address book and a IRC client
I guess this covers a few of my applications.

I'm sure I could add a few more here but as far as day to day work goes, I could probably get by with theses.


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#2 2021-03-06 10:47:51

PedroReina
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From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2019-01-13
Posts: 205  
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Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

I like this topic very much. I used to install systems for high school centers. So, always interested in what is really needed, but I dont want bloatware.

Now, I'm retired, but still active in the sense of working on personal projects.

I think that your question have very different answers depending on the different needs of everyone. Anyway, this is my personal list, incomplete for sure:

On a desktop:

Terminal: Konsole.
Shell: bash.
Graphical file management: Dolphin.
Text editor: nice editor and geany.
Office program: LibreOffice.
Web Browser: Firefox.
Email client: Thunderbird.
Document viewer: Okular.
Media viewer: VLC and mplayer.
Image viewer: Gwenview and qiv.
C compiler: gcc.
Python and Perl interpreters: the one on the distro.
LaTeX and Asymptote compilers.
PDF managing: PDFtk.
Audio managing: Audacity.
Graphics managing: The GIMP.
3D creation: OpenSCAD.
Database managing: sqlite3.
SSH CLI client and gFTP.
SSH server.

On a server:

Shell: bash.
Text editor: nice editor.
Web server: Apache.
Mail server: exim and Dovecot.
PHP and Perl interpreter: the one on the distro.
Database managing: sqlite3.
SSH CLI client.
SSH server.

Last edited by PedroReina (2021-03-06 10:58:40)

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#3 2021-03-06 11:13:35

GlennW
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Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 150  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

about 12 non-system gui programs
text editor: kate
Web browsers: Palemoon (browsing) and Firefox (radio)
Clementine: Music
Dolphin: file manager
vlc: video clips and movies
Steam: CounterStrike:Source
Konsole: Terminal console
Synaptic: Package Manager
gwenview: Picture organiser
fslint: file management
OpenTTD: Logistics game (virtual train set)
... Oh well, maybe 10.

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#4 2021-03-06 12:09:22

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Good topic.

In no particular order;

st: terminal
dmenu: run/search programs
firefox-esr: web browser with custom user.js ( i was using ungoogled chromium but found out how far behind upstream they are so stopped using it)
vim: editor
mpv: video
cmus: music
youtube-dl: downloading music/video
spacefm: file manager
sxiv: image viewer
pandoc: office ( I dont really use this that often but when i need to send a properly formatted letter i use markdown and convert it to pdf with pandoc)
mupdf: pdf, epub viewer
pass: password manager
hexchat: irc
uget: download manager
transmission-gtk: torrent client

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#5 2021-03-06 14:45:30

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,697  
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Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Don't we already have an applications thread?

Anyway, here's mine:

  • Firefox for browsing, email & PDFs

  • feh for image viewing

  • graphicsmagick for image manipulation

  • Blender for 3D type stuff (with their Cycles path tracer) and also Mitsuba/Mitsuba 2 because I love rendering 3D scenes from text files

  • cmus for music

  • mpv for videos

  • TexLive for documents

  • vim & ed for editing (and yes, I do really use ed)

  • bemenu for starting stuff (it's a Wayland version of dmenu)

  • rtorrent for torrents

  • rsync for backups

  • ranger for file browsing, I use the (Korn) shell for file management (no graphical file manager)

  • Steam for Counter Strike (GO & Source) & Skyrim (Proton ftw!)

  • Warsow, UFOAI, Yamagi Quake 2 & Dungeon Crawl games (although I usually play Dungeon Crawl through the browser so I can test out the latest trunk version)


antifa ftw!

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#6 2021-03-06 16:00:29

steve_v
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Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 99  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

ruenoak wrote:

a quest for digital minimalism

A fools errand if you ask me, and sounding like something a (stereo)typical Mac-using hipster would pursue. But you do you. tongue

You seem to be targeting primarily large(ish) desktop GUI applications, so I'll leave out the server-side stuff and the multitude of small CLI tools I use daily... Also all the applications I have installed but only use once every six months.
I use my machine(s) for a whole lot more than web browsing/email/social media (it boggles my mind that the 99% seem to think that's what computers are for), so the list is fairly long. Even if I stick to only GUI apps.

That leaves, in no particular order:
Window manager of some kind.
Graphical file manager.
Web browser (two web browsers actually, so that I can keep one as a "clean" addon and customisation free testbed).
Mail client. Webmail is universally horrible, and running a whole web browser for the task is insanity.
Calendar, contact and task manager.
Password manager.
FTP / SFTP client.
Batch download manager.
Torrent client.
IRC and XMPP messenger.
Remote desktop client (RDP and VNC).
Document viewer / editor. In practice this means an M$ office compatible suite, a PDF viewer, and an ebook reader.
Spreadsheet application, possibly included in the above.
Image viewer / photo manager
Image editor.
Video player.
Dedicated music player, as I've yet to see a "media player" that handles a large collection in a satisfactory manner.
Music library manager / tag editor. No, I haven't found a "media player" that does this well either.
Text editor, with syntax highlighting and external scripting support.
GCC and friends.
General CAD application.
Specialised electronics/PCB CAD application (the two are in no way interchangeable).
Machine virtualisation software.
Scientific calculator.
Data visualisation and plotting suite.
A bunch of games, and some WINE.

That list is in no way complete, but it should cover most of the things I'd need at least once a week. Many GUI applications could be replaced with their CLI equivalents (or *nix tools and a dash of shell) and I'd be happy, but that does nothing for installed application-count.

ruenoak wrote:

can you refine them down even further

If I wanted to wear the hair-shirt of using inferior tools for the wrong job all day, I'm sure I could. There's a reason specialised tools exist, and that's because while swiss-army-knives do many things, they do none of them even remotely well.

I could use a web browser for email, and I could use google docs/office online/whatever SAAS scam is flavour of the month. I could probably even play music, watch videos and view documents in a web browser...
But it would suck, hard, and my productivity would go down the drain. vOv

Last edited by steve_v (2021-03-06 16:14:42)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#7 2021-03-06 16:14:33

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

@steve_v,  you have given a list of types of programs, not the actual programs you use. Same for the OP, it makes a difference because some programs can do more, they can be swiss army knives. Im a researcher so my tools are based on this, everyone is different in their use cases.

Last edited by dice (2021-03-06 16:18:55)

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#8 2021-03-06 16:27:01

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 99  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

dice wrote:

you have given a list of types of programs, not the actual programs you use.

Indeed. Because:

dice wrote:

Same for the OP

It seemed that's what was being asked.

If you like:
Kwin/KDE
Dolphin
Firefox
Kmail
Kontact
KeepassXC
Filezilla
Jdownloader
Transmission-remote
Pidgin
KRDC
Libreoffice / Okular / FBreader
Gwenview & DigiKam
GIMP
Smplayer
Cantata & MPD
Easytag & Flacon
Kate
GCC, make, etc. scripted from Kate.
QCAD (I need .dwg compatibility that works)
Pre-Autodesk Eagle (I need the component libraries)
VirtualBox
Kcalc
Labplot
Lutris, WINE, DXVK etc. etc.

Konsole, bash, and all the CLI stuff therein.
All the other things I have forgotten but would miss immediately if I were to remove them wink

Last edited by steve_v (2021-03-06 16:36:40)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#9 2021-03-06 17:07:31

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 287  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

I seem to fall somewhere in between minimalist and 'normal', if there is such a thing.

Besides a terminal and file manager, GUI programs I use every day:

Thunderbird
Firefox
LibreOffice Writer and Calc
Audacious for music (mostly streaming internet radio)
Stellarium (I've been an amateur astronomer since the 60's)
VLC occasionally - don't do much video
Aisleriot - solitaire every day!
Image viewer - whatever comes up when I double-click an image file
Pluma or Kwrite for text files (nano or vim at command line)

I mostly use apt, but sometimes synaptic.
When I'm messing around trying things out, I use gparted to prepare and delete partitions.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

Pretty much everything else I do is from the command line. Mostly I use MATE, occasionally KDE, so all the associated stuff is installed.

Any minimalism in my approach is just because of what I need or want to do. Aesthetically, I don't like clutter. I am not in any way resource-constrained - with all my apps loaded up and multiple tabs in my browser, I don't think I've ever pushed my RAM usage over 3 GB. I have actually tried to see how much RAM I could use by opening multiple browsers, etc. I have 12 GB installed, barely ever use 1/4 of that. Ditto, I have acres of free disk space, so I keep lots of backups.

I guess I'm not real minimalist. Mostly, I don't worry about it.

Last edited by sgage (2021-03-06 17:09:26)

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#10 2021-03-06 22:30:34

ruenoak
Member
From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

WOW! Really interesting answers, people are quite diverse in what they need  and use.
This is what makes GNU+Linux so great, we have the freedom to choose and customise to our needs.

Yes it will probably become the next hipster fad Digital Minimalism, and yes I think they will probably all be using macs “bloated by design” because of their marketing.

The guy in the interview said he just uses a browser but doesn’t mention the plethora of cloud centric applications he might be using. It made me think though, for people who use their computers productively in various areas of work, and not just as overly priced electronic fashion accessories. What applications do they need?  It will vary greatly depending on what you do.
I think this person managed  various things, so yes I could see him working out of a browser with the help of plug-ins and cloud applications.

There’s no wrong answer as everyone’s  requirements are different.
My initial question was based around a similar setup as he would have. A Mac with OSX and what ever comes with it. So mine was, my Thinkpad with Devuan Beowulf 3.1 – default desktop setup.
I wasn’t looking at the server side of things.


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#11 2021-03-06 22:35:51

ruenoak
Member
From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

dice wrote:

pandoc: office ( I dont really use this that often but when i need to send a properly formatted letter i use markdown and convert it to pdf with pandoc)

Ah now pandoc, that is something I use too.


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#12 2021-03-07 10:27:00

PedroReina
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From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2019-01-13
Posts: 205  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

ruenoak wrote:

I wasn’t looking at the server side of things.

OK, but it is fun too smile

I find very convenient to have own server, it is much natural for web development.

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#13 2021-03-08 12:51:01

Ogis1975
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Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 196  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Here is my list smile

Firefox for browsing and email

apvlv for PDFs

feh for image viewing

imagemagick for image manipulation

ffmpeg for music

ffmpeg for videos

wordgrinder and sc for documents

nvim for editing

alacritty for terminal and starting stuff (Yes. I am a cave man)

transmission-gtk for torrents

ranger for file browsing, I use the (bash) shell for file management.

Last edited by Ogis1975 (2021-03-25 17:59:45)


MyLiveMatter

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#14 2021-03-08 21:55:16

ruenoak
Member
From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

PedroReina wrote:

OK, but it is fun too smile

I find very convenient to have own server, it is much natural for web development.

Yes indeed Servers are fun, I run one or two myself, I guess I was thinking. Servers are sort of a specialist area where as Desktop is more widely general use.
I guess you could say a server is more lean by design maybe? Depending on what the server is used for of course.

ruenoak


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#15 2021-03-08 21:58:25

ruenoak
Member
From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Ogis1975 wrote:

moc for music




Ah moc. I love moc, I use it on my Devuan minimal install.

Excellent!


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#16 2021-03-08 22:20:52

ruenoak
Member
From: Auckland New Zealand
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 28  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

sgage wrote:

Any minimalism in my approach is just because of what I need or want to do. Aesthetically, I don't like clutter.

Agreed, for me the idea of digital minimalism is not becoming a digital monk and living in a cave as such, though with the madness in the world, sometimes that does sound appealing. I think it is about less clutter and minimising the bloat, using the tools you need but not going with out, I think we all know how easy it is to bloat our computers, and of course some OS's conveniently do it for you wink

It's funny as I'm writing this, looking at my Kubuntu desktop I have three different browsers open, SeaMonkey for this, Chrome for work "because I have to use it"
and Firefox for services I am logged into Youtube, Email etc.  I'm not doing very well as a digital minimalist at the moment wink


"Has cat, eats cheese, drinks coffee, watches cartoons" smile

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#17 2021-03-10 11:34:39

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 123  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Programs I need....

Web browser => Firefox

Music player => Xmms/Audacious

Video player => Mplayer/VLC

File manager => mc suffices, otherwise, basically any GUI one

Editor => Use what comes - vi/vim/nano mainly

Plus, I do like to have an image viewer & PySolFC installed

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#18 2021-03-23 23:27:15

zapper
Member
Registered: 2017-05-29
Posts: 348  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

web browser = Palemoon or iceweasel-uxp depending on which computer,
mpv for videos
mocp (moc) if you prefer, for audio

pcmanfm for file manager

geany or nano for editor

Focuswriter mainly for writing, libreoffice for other documents,

icedove-uxp for email client (this is strictly on Hyperbola... tongue) I prefer to use devuan for gaming more.

hexchat for irc

sakura for command line

Those are mainly what I use.  I might have other specifics but that sums up most of it.

Unless you speak of wine and emulators such as qemu, dosbox, etc... wink

Some of this is subject to change, I may try to use ffplay from now on aka... for videos if possible.

Last edited by zapper (2021-03-23 23:28:00)


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Haughtiness comes before a fall, pride before destruction.
Peace be with you!
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#19 2021-03-25 06:21:25

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2020-07-14
Posts: 76  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Let me think... The firsts on the line are used the most the latter the least...

3D: Blender, Freecad (actually almost anything)
Design: Inkscape + Scribus
Email clients: Thunderbird, Web mail
File Managers: Thunar, Midnight Commander (MC)
Media Players: MPV, Parole
Office suites: LibreOffice (Writer, Impress, Draw mainly)
Photos: Gimp, ImageMagick, Gpicview, Ristretto
Readers: Atrill, MuPDF, FB Reader, MasterPDF
Text Editors: Mousepad, Atom, Geany, Nano, Micro
Terminals: Xfce4-Terminal, Terminator
Video editors: Shotcut, Natron
Unordered random cli-utility: htop, find, locate, fzf, flatpak, apt
Unordered random gui-utility: Galculator, SvgCleaner, Redshift, Xsane, trimage, synaptic, synapse
Virtualization: Virt-Manager
Web browsers: Firefox, Chromium, Midori

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#20 2021-03-25 17:31:28

Nili
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From: $HOME/♫♪
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 161  
Website

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

I'm the type who prefers a single app for purpose except where they are dotted.
Commonly vary as follows...

OS: Devuan
X session: startX
WM: CWM
GUI: GTK3
Browser: Mozilla Firefox
File Manager: SpaceFM
Audio/Video player: MPV
Text Editor: nano, Geany
Torrenting: Transmission-gtk
Image View/Desktop backgrounds sets: FEH
Terminal: rxvt-unicode
Screenshots capture: scrot
System Info: conky, inxi, top
Calendar: URxvt/ncal
SMART: GSmartControl
Other snippets: rcconf, fdupes, mediainfo, alsa-utils, deborphan, ntfs-3g, youtube-dl, jmtpfs, ncdu etc...


Fedora (Workstation Edition)
Devuan (Testing)
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#21 2021-04-03 12:54:25

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Digital minimalism. How many applications do you use daily

Devuan
Brave web browser
terminal emulator
apt
thunar
tint2
synaptic
thunderbird
lightdm
GIMP
mousepad
geany

Last edited by Spock (2021-04-03 12:55:27)

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