A selection of the best Linux apps and Gnome extensions

When I inevitably mess up something on my Linux set-up (again) and want to get my system back the way it looked and felt, with most of the tools I regularly use, this is the page I will look at for reference.

Appearance and themes

Example of the visuals from the described packages. On the bottom the left window is being moved, hence the transparency.


This is just a list of my favourite applications that I use regularly, in no particular order.


  • Terminator: a great terminal with loads of customisation.
  • Sublime Text: a lightweight, general-purpose text editor with endless customisation and strong plugin support.
  • PyCharm: excellent python IDE for powerful python development.
  • Clion: same interface as PyCharm, but for C++.
  • RStudio: the best editor for scripting and package development in R.
  • Gitkraken: useful for those times when I need to do something more complex than simple commits and merges.


  • Gnome Tweaks: provides much more powerful customisation for Gnome. Pretty much essential.
  • Mailspring: my current favourite email client with integration for gmail, Office365 and more.
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox: simple to use and powerful virtual machine hosting for cross-platform development.
  • Filezilla: a powerful FTP client.
  • Chrome: the best (albeit RAM-hungry) web browser.
  • Firefox: powerful and stable, the only real option if you want to de-google your life without sacrificing too much (sorry Opera fans).


  • Darktable: great app for powerful photo editing.
  • Clementine: great music player with decent library features.
  • Spotify: you either have to cough up, or listen to ads, but it does have a lot of music. The app is really good too.
  • VLC: the best tool for video playing.
  • GIMP: a fantastic, free image editor.
  • Inkscape: a professional vector graphics editor.


Apps that perform a single, specific task.

  • Artha: a dictionary app that can be confirmed with a hotkey to work with Gnome notifications from any app.
  • Caffeine: a small app that prevents your computer from sleeping from the task-bar.
  • Docker integration: place an icon in the task bar for docker integration.
  • Steal my focus: removes the annoying “Window is ready” popup in Gnome and just brings the window into focus .
  • User themes: allow for shell themes to be loaded from the user directory.
  • Oh My Zsh (for zsh): much better terminal interactions (I use the “agnoster” theme)
  • Auto move windows: moves windows to a specified workspace for particular apps.

This list is obviously entirely my own preferences and by no means a full review of all available tools. I am running Opensuse Leap 15.0 with Gnome 3.26.

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