I don't use anything really obscure: most of my favorite tools are quite known or used to be popular. Yet, I really, really wanted to take part in that discussion about arcane tools, so I've built my list. My platform is Ubuntu but, most of the time, there will be alternatives elsewhere.
Terminal multiplexers are another tools that deserves more adoption. I'm a heavy user of GNU Screen, other people prefer tmux, but the concept is what matters. It is like having tons of open terminals but without the tons of windows. It can be useful as a poor man's daemon, too. And there is no risk of killing processes by closing the window! Once you get used, you can make some nice tricks. For example, I scripted it to set up environment variables when starting different profiles. Quite useful!
As a Firefox user, I find some extensions really useful. GreaseMonkey is one of them. It automatically executes JS scripts in any page. It used to be way more popular, I believe it deserve more attention!
(Still regarding Firefox, its profile system can be quite useful, especially when paired with the right extensions. I have talked about it in another post, by the way.)
Finally, back to the terminal, I have to recommend The Silver Searcher, aka
ag. I rarely user
grep (or ack) those days in the interactive terminal. After all,
ag is recursive by default, supports extended regular expressions, have facilities to search only files of a type and, well, is shorter to type. Naturally,
grep will always reign on my scripts but
ag proved to be a great alternative.
And you, have you ever used any of those (or alternatives to them)? If no, which less known tools do you use? Let us know in the comments! :)