Linux Software I use


I find that a large percentage of my time "tweaking" linux is spent searching for software that I like. I've slowly built up a toolset that's lightweight and stable, and does the things that I generally need to do - and I thought that *maybe* someone else would find this list useful too. I am sure there are better ways to do some things, but I'm pretty happy with most of how my setup works.

Rather than try and come up with a list of programs I use, Gentoo already has this list sitting around for me in the form of the world file. For non-gentoo folks, the world file is a list of every package I explicitly installed, and doesn't include dependencies. So it's pretty much everything I use. I did drop some stuff from the list that's just boring, like fonts and git.

One reason this list might be interesting to someone is that this configuration is 100% wayland. I'm not running X or XWayland. So if you're looking for a wayland solution to something, this list might be a helpful list. Another reason is that I strongly dislike heavyweight software. I will generally choose the lightest-weight option available. I do still have thunderbird on this list, I'm not saying I always use the most minimal option. Sometimes I just want to look at a darn graphical calendar, but the bias in this list is clear.

Lastly you may notice that my configuration isn't over-engineered, in fact it's very under-engineerd. I have hard-coded paths just written into scripts. This is partly because this really is what I run, not some cleaned up configuration I created for posting. It's also because I don't like over-engineering. As is I can fix this stuff really easily. My notifications aren't working? Oh yeah, that wav file doesn't exist, eh, just find a new one. It's no harder to modify than it is to modify the config that calls it. I'm probably erring too far on the side of lazyness, but hey, it works.

I've dropped some of the less interesting entries from the world file, things like git, fonts, etc.

Not every piece of software I use is in the portage package system (or maybe it is but I haven't got searching for the overlay). I should probably write ebuilds for these and be all cool and Gentooy, but I haven't.

Then I run a few things on my server:

But... how do you configure sway you ask? Never fear, here's my sway and waybar configs from my laptop. It's a pretty vanilla config, not much to see here. The notification bits are probably the most interesting

Then a couple of short scripts I'll just post inline. The volume script is interesting because it changes ALL the pulseaudio volumes. This means shortcuts using it that get attached to e.g. the volume buttons on my phone, work when using plug-in headphones, a bluetooth speaker, USB headphones, or the built-in speaker. I've tried a lot of scripts over the years and this works the best so far. It DOES occasionally cause a weird jump in the settings if something else touched a volume, but I prefer everything to just adjust together for simplicity


change=0 device=alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1f.3.analog-stereo cur_vol=$(pactl get-sink-volume ${device} | awk '/front-left:/{gsub("%",""); print $5}') new_vol=$((cur_vol + ${change})) echo $new_vol pactl list sinks | awk '/Name:/{print $2}' | while read SINK; do pactl set-sink-volume $SINK ${new_vol}% done


#!/bin/bash v=$(cat /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness) expr $v + $1 >> /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness

It's possible to get w3m to display images in foot, even over ssh, which is pretty cool. I can run mutt on my server (I have it both places) and view images in an email if I want! This took a lot of poking around the internet, digging through configs, and guessing to figure out - and I've not seen anyone mention it anywhere, so I'm going to add it here. To convince w3m to display images in foot select "img2sixel" for the "inline image display method". For that to work img2sixel needs to be installed, which is part of libsixel in Gentoo. I have w3m-0.5.3_p20230121 built with imlib, gpm, ssl, and unicode use flags. I also have fbcon set, but I'm 95% sure it's not needed. As long as the terminal supports sixel (a format for displaying images in terminal emulator) it'll work. If it's working w3m will display the google logo as an image.