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Started by seppalta, August 13, 2015, 12:46:53 AM

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There are so many useful apps that run on Linux that no one person can discover all of them alone.  I am hoping this thread might bring to light some of the lesser known apps,  ones that are not generally included in the common distros.  You tell me yours and I'll tell you mine. 

For example,  I just discovered sox (SoundeXchange), a really useful old Unix tool for recording audio.  I cannot understand why it is not included in every distro.  It is lightweight, easy to set-up and use, and records anything that goes thru your speakers regardless of source.  I set it up to start from my Openbox Root Menu in any of 5 modes based upon recording time.  Check the attached photo to see how it looks, and see for set-up details.


kernel-remover made me give up smxi   found in siduction.       ncdu is a real goto      I always try to bind dmenu_run -b to Alt-F3  - install dmenu via apt-get install suckless-tools. 

And soon - no it has been more than five days - testing now has Sigil - the be all and end all to crafting .epubs from .html (or a pre-existing .epub).  Woot!! (sorry for shouting)  Gone are the days of downloading an ubuntu *.deb Sigil was the only debuntu .deb I downloaded for quite some time.  QT5

Calibre of course to organize your .epub collection and other tasks, but if you like clean css that has logical names - sigil is what you use to make, check , fix .epubs.   And hey - Sparky is in testing - and often Calibre is new enough to just use the .deb instead of the binary blob, Kovid's Calibre is about the only blob I download for  stable systems beside flashplayer and wifi firmware.  Calibre is 2.33 presently in testing = kudos to debian maintainer Miriam Ruiz and her team.

Sox,  I got sooo tired of having to compile sox to play mp3, but it has been a couple years now since Debian lessened it's lame treatment of lame compilation into the .deb  The elegance of "play fubar" and then music comes out.   Sox slices, it dices, and it is easier to use to concatenate mp3's together than ffmpeg by far.  I can get a mantra that I want to utilize for mantrayana, concatenate and then play on mp3 player on the bus - I love sox
Search forum for "More info easier via inxi"    If requested -  no inxi, no help for you by  me.


Not really all that unknown, but bet many folks dont know of them.

On my Sparky XFCE

1.  Clicompanion

QuoteCLI Companion is a tool aimed at making the terminal easier to use: it's a GUI that displays a list of commands and an embedded terminal under it. The application comes with a list of commonly used commands by default, each having a short description and if you want to find out more about a certain command, simply right click it and select "Help". This will display the "man" (manual) for the selected command.

2.  Brightside (hot-corners)

Brightside is a tool to assign various actions to the corners and edges of your screen especially designed for those who do not use Compiz. If you use Compiz, use CCSM and/or Ubuntu Tweak instead (though only a few Compiz options are available in Ubuntu Tweak).

Among the built-in actions are: mute volume, prevent screensaver from starting, start screensaver, monitor DPMS stand-by, suspend or off mode and show the desktop as well as assinging a custom action.

Besides hot corners, you can also use Brightside to easily enable 'edge flipping' - using this, you can switch to the adjacent workspace by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen.


QuoteSkippy-XD is a lightweight full-screen window picker for X11, similar to the Mac OS X "Exposé" feature, useful for desktop environments like as Xfce or LXDE, which don't have such a feature by default.

There are Compiz and KWin plugins that offer similar functionality (and GNOME Shell has this built in) however, Skippy-XD should work with pretty much any NETWM or GNOME WM Specs compliant window-manager: Xfwm4, OpenBox, FluxBox, WindowMaker, IceWM and so on.


Clicompanion is nice - wished I'd known about it when I first got involved with Linux.  In case you don't have add-app-repository (install software-properties-common to get add-app-repository), you can download a clicompanion deb package from

I created a similar tool by using xdotool to create a bash submenu that I attached to the openbox Root Menu:   
You use it by opening a terminal, then the Bash Commands submenu, then clicking the desired command which will then get printed in the terminal.  A typical command in the submenu would look like this xdotool type "sudo apt-get install ?" .


The only window adjuster that I use with Openbox is a tiler; occasionally a tiler is useful to unscramble a mess provided you can activate it with one click or by punching a key or two.  Getting a tiler was easy provided you didn't mind it including Conky as a tile, which I did mind.     I finally obtained a quick launch ability without tiling Conky with pytyle and a few simple shell scripts.  The best way to activate pytyle was by using the simple lightweight run tool, gmrun (sudo apt-get install gmrun).  A regular terminal or gexec did not work as well because they left open an additional window to add to the mess and once their window was closed the tiling activation ended.  The shell script, pytile-start, that I used to activate pytyle is shown in one of the accompanying pictures.  I could afford to put it in autostart, so pytyle is always running (but not activated) as soon as the computer is started.  You could just as easily make it  a menu or panel item to use as a starter, thus, saving computer resources.

Pytyle is activated with the keyboard.  I found I only used 4 settings:  activate (Alt+a), cycle (Alt+c), demote (Alt+.), untile (Alt+u).  So, having a floating memory (flows between on and off), I also added launchers for these 4 settings to the bottom of my wmdrawer menu, which is shown in the second picture.  The command for these launchers is simply xdotool key "alt+?" &, where ? is replaced by a, c, . or u.


Dillo ( is a very small (less than 3000 kb) web browser.  I seldom use it for browsing although it is always there as a back-up, and it has never crashed on me.  What I use it for is as an html check.  Most big browsers seem to be able to fudge small html errors, but not Dillo! 


Hakerdefo from the Vsido Forum  (  has provided a lightweight Python script, Poor Mans Radio Player (PMRP), for playing online fm radio. PMRP lists nearly 200 radio stations in 20 categories and can be downloaded: wget  It is easy to install and configure.  For details see  Photos:

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