Operating systems ‣
A few, mostly Unix-like systems I use, have used or just find interesting
Linux distributions ‣
Debian without systemd etc.
An FSF-approved distribution based entirely on free software and striving for simplicity and elegance. Current Dragora utilizes the Linux-libre kernel, the musl C library and, among other things, LibreSSL. It's a system that bears quite some resemblance to Slackware. (currently in beta stage)
A general-purpose Linux distribution using runit for init, coming with its own package manager (XBPS) and supporting Glibc as well as the musl C library
Other systems ‣
An actively maintained free and open-source DOS variant compatible to MS-DOS
An open-source operating system especially targeted at personal computing that is largely a re-implementation of BeOS but also aims for POSIX compliance (beta stage)
The microkernel-based Unix-like operating system by Andrew S. Tanenbaum et al.
As someone in #plan9 on
Freenodeonce put it: “plan9 is the unix philosophy reimagined” (and made into an operating system).
A Unix-like system written in Rust (still in development)
Application software ‣
Loads of information on sound and MIDI software for Linux (a lot of it relatively dated, as it seems)
A sizable collection of software synthesizers running on Linux
E-mail clients ‣
- Claws Mail
A cross-platform graphical e-mail client designed to be user-friendly, lightweight, and fast. User-friendliness here includes not spying on the user.
File managers ‣
A small, lightweight, yet featureful file manager coming with its own text editor and image viewer (plus an .rpm and .deb package handler)
I'm not into gaming, but these games are quite nice.
Tilt the floor to get the ball rolling through increasingly adventurous obstacle courses and score enough points (by collecting coins) to be able to complete levels before time's up. Also, the music is really great.
You're an ant here, trying to solve domino puzzles against the clock (backstory included). There's also an ongoing attempt to re-implement this game open-source.
- The Persistence of Vision Raytracer (aka POV-Ray)
Web browsers ‣
A minimalist, privacy-oriented web browser based on WebKitGTK
A Qt5-based browser aiming “to recreate the best aspects of the classic Opera (12.x) UI”
msi's w3m cheatsheet
A concise overview of w3m key bindings needed for everyday web browsing
Window managers ‣
Giles Orr's window manager
A comprehensive resource on Unix window managers
A Tk-based dictionary lookup program that acts as a frontend to running
grepon a dictionary file. Available dictionaries are
de-en(ca. 326,000 entries) and
es-de(ca. 21,000 entries). Ding can also perform spell checks, using either
- The Cyber Vanguard's collection of cool, but (arguably) obscure X11 tools
Web design ‣
Programming and software design ‣
How to Design Programs
A thorough, beginner-friendly guide to good programming practice and systematic program design by some of the people who designed Racket
The Art of Unix
Programming by Eric S. Raymond
This is an amazingly useful book about Unix, programming and software design. (There's no need to buy into the author's references to Zen Buddhism.)
The Rise of
“Worse is Better” by Richard P. Gabriel
An essay on the design philosophy behind C and Unix – more or less. The author has also written a few not exactly uninteresting follow-ups to this one, in which he argues back and forth with himself. And he has published a nice overview of the whole series on his website.
Perl, the first postmodern
Larry Wall's classic postmodernist introduction to Perl, delivered at LinuxWorld 1999. Also worth reading: 2nd State of the Onion, a talk given by Wall at the Perl Conference 2.0 in 1998.
Criticism of Unix ‣
Unix/Linux/POSIX Filenames: Control Characters (such as Newline), Leading
Dashes, and Other Problems by David A. Wheeler
An analysis of the vast array of problems arising from Unix-like systems allowing almost any character in file names. As the title suggests, the author also ponders on ways to fix these problems.
Ed, man! !man
ed by Patrick J. LoPresti
A classic rant about “the standard text editor”
- Why ed(1) is not a good editor today by Chris Siebenmann
Introduction to Ada (PDF)
A fairly useful, 250-page introduction to the Ada programming language
- Consolidated Ada 2012 Language Reference Manual
Shell scripting ‣
The Bash Hackers Wiki
A good resource on Bash scripting. They also provide a list of Bash online tutorials with ratings and reviews that is especially useful to beginners.
Unsure if your shell script is basically sane? Having a hard time finding a bug? ShellCheck may help. There is also a collection of wiki pages providing more detailed explanation of why ShellCheck complains in a particular case.
The Open Group
Technical Standard Base Specifications (aka POSIX)
The go-to place for questions regarding Unix portability
GNU Coding Standards
Interesting, sometimes questionable deviations from POSIX, and much more on top of that
An informal standard for how to disable colored text output in command-line software
Read-worthy musings by some computer nerd. Also: Pixel art, hacks, bits, bobs, gizmos, gubbins, and links to other websites.
Dennis M. Ritchie
Home page of Dennis Ritchie (1941–2011) at Bell Labs
Website of Thomas E. Dickey. Don't miss the personal section.
Korn meets KoRn
David Korn, creator of the Korn Shell, meets fans and the band.
- Matt Fuller's rantings and ravings
- Schneier on security
- The Unix Heritage Society
Last changed: 2021-09-07