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My Linux Development Environment of 2018

brpaz profile image Bruno Paz Updated on ・9 min read

In this blog post I will talk a bit about the setup and software of my personal laptop, powered by Linux. This is somewhat inspired by this post, but for a Linux based setup.

I wont list all the applications I have installed on the machine, but only the ones I consider relevant and more focused on Development.

Base system

Right now my machine is running Linux Mint 18.3 but I am thinking of moving back to Ubuntu 18.04 when its out. I dont really have any complains with Mint, but with with the replacement of Unity with Gnome 3 I want to give it a try.

Productivity Tools

  • Boostnote — My main note taking application. I use it mostly to store code snippets and reference material for my development activities. Its open source, cross platform and works completely offline. I wish to have an easier way to sync between multiple machines but since the notes are stored as CSON files, I am using a private Git repo to sync.

  • Simplenote — I use Simplenote as my “scratchpad”, for quick notes and thoughts. mostly when on my mobile.

  • Cerebro — Cerebro is an open source cross platform launcher similar to Spotlight and Alfred for Mac. The maintenance is kinda low atm and I felt the need to fork it, but it works pretty well. It doesnt have the same amount of plugins as Alfred does, but I have been developing some.

Internet

  • Google Chrome — My primary browser of choice.

  • Firefox — My secondary browser.

  • Min — Min is a minimalist webbrowser. Since Linux doesn't have anything like Fenetre for Mac, I use it when I want to browse documentation, follow a tutorial or watch a video side in a Picture in Picture / side by side mode.

  • Dropbox — For sharing files.

  • Mailspring — Email client.

  • Corebird — Twitter Desktop client

  • Ramme — Instagram desktop client

  • Caprine — Facebook messenger desktop client

  • Whatsapp Desktop — WhatsApp desktop client with built in notifications and system tray integration.

  • Slack — For chat and engage with communities.

  • Wireshark — For network sniffing. Useful when developing to see the communication between multiple applications.

Graphics and Multimedia

  • Pinta — Pinta is a free, open source program for drawing and image editing. Its my image editor of choice. While Gimp is the most popular image editor on Linux, I found Pinta to much more simpler to use and resembles more with Photostop.

  • XnConvert — a powerful and free cross-platform batch image processor, allowing you to combine over 80 actions.

  • Draw.io — Draw.io is my app of choice for designing all kinds of diagrams, from flowcharts, to sequence diagrams or even wireframes. Its 100% free to use and can be integrated with Google Drive.

  • Shutter — For taking screenshots and quickly annotate them with arrows, boxes etc. It also have some nice effects like blur sensible parts of an image.

  • ffmulticonverter — For converting images / videos between multiple formats.

  • Peek — Peek allows to record the screen and save as GIF format. very useful for creating demo gifs for put on project readme files for example.

  • pick — Color picker

  • Trimage — Image compression tool

Sound and Video

  • VLC — my favorite media player. Version 3 have chromecast support built in which is even better.

  • Kdenlive — for video editing

  • Kazam — To record screencasts

  • Spotify — For listening to my favorite music.

System utilities

  • Bleachbit — System cleaner utility.

  • Stacer — Linux System Optimizer and Monitoring

  • Caffeine — To keep my machine awake

  • Pullover — To receive Pushover notifications on my desktop

  • CopyQ — To manage my clipboard

Editors

  • Jetbrains (PHPstorm, WebStorm) — My IDE of choice,

  • Visual studio code — All in one text editor

  • vim (for editing files on command line)

Terminal setup

  • Tilix — My favorite terminal emulator.

  • Zsh shell — An feature rich alternative to bash

  • zplug — To manage zsh plugins.

  • zsh-completions — Additional completion definitions for Zsh.

Command line utilities

  • tldr — tldr is an alternative to man pages but only with the essential. Great way of quickly find any command syntax.

  • yadm — Dotfiles manager

  • fasd — Fasd is a command-line productivity booster. Fasd offers quick access to files and directories for POSIX shells. It is inspired by tools like autojump, z and v. Fasd keeps track of files and directories you have accessed, so that you can quickly reference them in the command line.

  • fzf — A command-line fuzzy finder

  • the silver searcher — A code-searching tool similar to ack, but faster

  • lf — A command line file manager.

  • pandoc — convert between multiple file types from the command line.

  • pwgen — Password generator

  • lnav — An advanced log file viewer for the small-scale

  • trash-cli — trash-cli trashes files recording the original path, deletion date, and permissions.

  • opn-cli — Opens stuff like websites, files, executables. Cross-platform.

  • ascicinema — Record and share your terminal sessions, the right way.

  • hostess — An idempotent command-line utility for managing your /etc/hosts file.

  • get-port-cli — Get an available port

  • public-ip-cli — Get your public IP address

  • internal-ip-cli — Get your internal IP address

  • speedtest-cli — Command line interface for testing internet bandwidth using speedtest.net

  • fkill-cli — Fabulously kill processes. Cross-platform.

  • doctoc — Generates table of contents for markdown files inside local git repository. Links are compatible with anchors generated by github or other sites.

Development Environment

I use Docker extensively in my development environment. I still have common runtimes like go, php, node (with nvm) and ruby (with rvm) installed in the host.

  • Docker

  • Docker-compose — Define and run multi-container applications with Docker

  • Minikube — Run Kubernetes locally

  • Telepresence — Local development against a remote Kubernetes or OpenShift cluster

  • ctop — Top-like interface for container metrics

  • Vagrant — Development Environments Made Easy. I dont Vagrant that much nowadays unless I want to work on infrastucture stuff. (Ex: testing spinning a new cluster or testing an Ansible playbook).

  • Dnsdock — For managing dns of Docker containers.

Development tools

  • how2 — Stack overflow from terminal

  • Pet — Simple command-line snippet manager. I use it to store the commands I use most.

  • caniuse-cmd — Caniuse command line tool

  • hub — hub is a command line tool that wraps git in order to extend it with extra features and commands that make working with GitHub easier.

  • conventional-changelog — Generate a changelog from git metadata

  • release-it — CLI release tool for Git repos and npm packages.

  • git-open — Type git open to open the GitHub page or website for a repository in your browser.

  • git-semver — Git plugin for Semantic Versioning

  • tig — Text-mode interface for git

  • jq — jq is a lightweight and flexible command-line JSON processor

  • python-gitlab — GitLab client

  • overcommit —a tool to manage and configure Git hooks.

  • tmux and tmuxp — Terminal multiplexer.

  • gitbook-cli — GitBook’s command line interface

  • pageres-cli — Capture website screenshots

  • httpie — Modern command line HTTP client — user-friendly curl alternative with intuitive UI, JSON support, syntax highlighting, wget-like downloads, extensions, etc

  • yeoman — Yeoman is a tool that allows to scaffold projects from a series of templates.

  • generator-editorconfig — Generates .editorconfig files.

  • license — Create licenses from the command-line.

  • gi — Create useful .gitignore files for your project

  • travis.rb — Travis CI Client (CLI and Ruby library)

  • http-server — http-server is a simple, zero-configuration command-line http server. It is powerful enough for production usage, but it's simple and hackable enough to be used for testing, local development, and learning.

  • codeclimate-cli — codeclimate is a command line interface for the Code Climate analysis platform. It allows you to run Code Climate engines on your local machine inside of Docker containers.

  • mycli — A Terminal Client for MySQL with AutoCompletion and Syntax Highlighting.

  • json-server — Get a full fake REST API with zero coding in less than 30 seconds.

  • localtunnel — localtunnel exposes your localhost to the world for easy testing and sharing! No need to mess with DNS or deploy just to have others test out your changes.

  • mailhog — Web and API based SMTP testing

  • artilery — Artillery is a modern, powerful & easy-to-use load testing toolkit. Use it to ship scalable applications that stay performant & resilient under high load.

  • Postman — Postman Makes API Development Simple.

  • Devdocs-DesktopDevDocs.io combines multiple API documentations in a fast, organized, and searchable interface. This is an unoffcial desktop app for it.

DevOps tools

  • doctl — A command line tool for DigitalOcean services.

  • gcloud-sdk — The official sdk to interact with Google Cloud infrastucture.

  • aws-cli — This package provides a unified command line interface to Amazon Web Services.

  • ansible — Automate infrasctucture

  • terraform — Write, Plan, and Create Infrastructure as Code

  • kubectl — kubectl is a command line interface for running commands against Kubernetes clusters

  • kubectx — Fast way to switch between clusters and namespaces in kubectl!

  • kubeval — Validate your Kubernetes configuration files, supports multiple Kubernetes versions

  • helm — The Kubernetes Package Manager

  • heroku-cli — The Heroku Command Line Interface (CLI) makes it easy to create and manage your Heroku apps directly from the terminal. It’s an essential part of using Heroku.

  • forge.sh — Define and deploy multi-container apps in Kubernetes, from source

  • Firebase tools — The Firebase Command Line Tools

  • dpl — Dpl (dee-pee-ell) is a deploy tool made for continuous deployment.

Conclusion

This is current Development machine. Hope you have find this useful.

I am always looking for ways to improve my workflow, so if you use any tool that you find useful and its not listed here, feel free to comment this post.

Linux can be a very powerful development environment. Its a pity that amazing Mac applications like Alfred or Fenetre doesn't have a viable Linux alternative. Thats what I miss the most. And I never used a Mac but I feel the power of these applications!

Posted on Apr 27 by:

brpaz profile

Bruno Paz

@brpaz

Web Engineer. Working mostly with PHP, Symfony and Golang. Entusiast about Engineering Best Practices, Continuous Delivery and DevOps. Sports and FC Porto fan!

Discussion

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Hi, I'm the creator of Fenêtre !
Really appreciate the reference mate, that's awesome.

I'm chiming in just to say that I'm working on the cross plateform of the app.
Currently just Windows, but if there's interest for Linux as well, it might be cool to do too.

Anyway, great listing !
Cheers.

 
 

I use Windows for the video side of things, Linux for JS dev, but after looking into Fenêtre and the video editor Bruno mentioned (Kdenlive) I can honestly say I am just as eager for Fenêtre on Linux!

So, for what it is worth, +1 for Linux Fenêtre!

 

Hi. Yes, Would love to have something like Fenetre for Linux!

 
 

That looks useful actually. I've always missed the basic things like always-on-top on the Mac.

 
 
 
 

HI, you can use this:
extensions.gnome.org/extension/122...
as a Fenetre alternative. If you have Mint with Gnome :)
Also try Albert as a Alfred alternative. And THX for useful stuff

 

Hi. Didn't know about that Extension. Thanks.

Yes, I have seen Albert before. Its not there arent tools like Alfred in Linux world. The issue is the lack of extensions, at least compared with Alfred which has an huuuge amount of workflows for literally everything.

This also looks cool .

 

Nice, I made a setup last week for with a simpler setup still for web devs, but I wrote almost all the commands in a gist for further use (docker, bash-it, basic tools and CLIs)

 

The how2 link is broken. :-( I was really interested.

 
 

maybe you need to install it with sudo but not recommended.

 
 

Thanks. The more important task was to make the author aware ;-)

 

Awesome list :D
Boostnote seems to be the tools I'm looking for to replace CherryTree so Thank you.

NOTE: Mycli exists as Pgcli for Postgresql
ADD: github.com/nicolargo/glances for one-system monitoring
ADD: github.com/audreyr/cookiecutter an Yeoman alternative

 

Can you make a shell script to set all of this up? Would be damn helpful. Nice article!

 

Great article. Had one question though. I am an avid user of docker compose in both my dev and production environments. I want to move to Kubernetes (to take advantage of Container Engine, and autoscaling, etc). How do you find developing using eg. Mini Kube vs docker compose? And can you recommend and resources for learning?

 

Hello. I am in a similar situation than you. I still use Docker Compose for development and for now I found it simpler to use. I am using Minikube more of a platform to experiment and to learn Kubernetes.

But I plan to dig deeper in Minikube soon.

 

OMG, a lot of cool apps you use, gonna test some of them, but I got one question. How long to setup a environment like this in a new computer? there are too many tools, can you remember the commands to use all that?

 

Great question! Right now I have just a list of all the software I have installed so I would need to install everything by hand on a new machine which would take many time. I am working in a way to automate all this using Ansible. Something like this: blog.josephkahn.io/articles/ansible/

About the commands,tldr and pet can help a lot with that.
Shell autocompletion is also very useful. Many of the commands have ways to enable autocomplete for bash or zsh shells. Make sure you enable it.

I dont use all these tools on a daily basic tough, so many times I still need to read the documentation. I need to improve at this ;)

You could have a Github Gist or something with your personal cheat sheet where you can quickly reference.

One piece of advice, build your own cheat sheet and not rely on some random cheat sheet you found online. That way you can identify which commands you use more and build a cheat sheet according to your needs.

 

Awesome list. You might want to add insomnia for API development. I prefer it over postman since insomnia does not come with lots of bells and whistles which I don't use and looks cleaner.

Also, check out the ansible playbook I wrote for configuring a fresh Ubuntu system: github.com/fazlearefin/ubuntu-dev-...

 

You definitively should try rambox.pro/ in order to reduce the amount of dedicated chat apps :)

 

I use Rambox. I just wish it didn't bog down my computer when I have many things open.

 

I ran into the same problem using Rambox - I found Franz which does the same thing and works a little more efficiently.

I had some issues with Franz and then I found Rambox and switched.

So the circle closes :D

 

That's an interesting list! I see we use some of the same software, like mycli.

I wrote as well an article which explains my setup (relatively minimal, terminal oriented) if somebody is interested:

web-techno.net/efficient-developme...

Thanks for the list, I will look at it more in details see if I can enrich my set of tools!

 

Awesome! Thank you very much for sharing!

 

Annoyingly/wonderfully, there's another 'ctop' that has other cool things like 'entering' the container (getting a shell prompt) and tree view.

github.com/yadutaf/ctop

 
 

Really nice article!

For me I'll add to the list:

Terminator
Redshift

 

Yes I have used Terminator before, but I have replaced it with Tilix. It has the some functionalities like split panes, but with a more modern look.

Didn't know about Redshift. Will check. Thanks!

 
 

Asciinema looks good, I'll try it out.

 
 

Great list, thank you for sharing! I would just add Guake, a popup terminal I can't live without anymore.
Cheers!

 

Thank you.
Guake is nice, but Tilix also allows you to eanble a "Guake mode" ;)

 

Yakuake is like Quake, but allows plane splitting.

 

Some colleague who uses Mac and make a post like this.

 
 
 
 

Thank you for putting in the time to create this. Love to see what apps I am missing. Gave me some good ideas

 

Love this post, great job.

What technologies do you work with the most?

 

Thank you.

I am a Web Developer, mostly working with PHP, Java and Go in my daily work.
I am also interested in NodeJS, VueJS and DevOps stuff like Kubernetes.

 
 

Thanks so much, I found some really useful tips here

 

Thanks a lot :)

I can't install boostnote for my Ubuntu 17.10 Gnome :/ But I used it at my work place.

 

Thats a pity. may be you should open an issue on Boostnote Github repo. I plan to switch to Ubuntu 18.04 so Boostnote has to work fine :)

 

Really nice list. I discovered some cool apps I haven't seen before!