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What do you install first on a new laptop?

nocnica profile image Nočnica Fee ・1 min read

When I am forced, kicking and screaming, to replace my 2015 macbook pro, I want to have a plan for the things I will install first. Here, I think are the things I couldn't live without:

  • visual studio code (of course)
  • my ancient copy of Creative Suite 5, the last version I own without a monthly fee
  • Spotify
  • my folder of weird desktop wallpaper
  • vpn service
  • (sigh) Slack (I love slack but I don't always love the work I have to do there)

What are your first installs?


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Chocolatey, every single time. These days, I only ever seem to find myself using Windows devices, and Choco is the first thing I install on every new device. Finally a package manager for Windows worth talking about.



Thanks for that link - I plan to use Chocolatey but didn't know about Boxstarter which looks to solve problems I completely would have forgotten about (pending reboots from certain installs).


I'm getting a windows laptop for home, I'll have to check it out!


I use Dell XPS13's for work, and slimbook.es PRO for home (even working at an all-macbook's company), both with Debian GNU/Linux


  • synaptic (apt package manager GUI)
  • ubuntu/terminus fonts
  • chrome
  • customized dotfiles


  • terminator (tiled & tabbed terminal emulator for gnome)
  • git, gitg
  • gvim (+ custom setup)
  • docker+docker compose


  • dropbox daemon
  • firefox

I used to when I was reliant on rvm for my ruby needs, now most of that happens in docker containers. I mean, I still have rvm and build rubys outside docker, but they are no longer my first concern.


How are you finding the slimbook? I've been tempted to get one, but have been holding off until I find a detailed set of reviews.


I love it! mine is a previous model and I am very happy. I requested mine with Debian and it came perfectly installed with support for all the hardware. I do also use a (older, more expensive, company provided) dell xps13, and will go with slimbook for my next purchase without a doubt.


Depends on the OS and purpose.

If the system will run Windows, that's the first thing I install (even if it's already got a copy of Windows, I want a clean install to work with), followed immediately by Chrome, Chocolatey (which I then proceed to use to the exclusion of almost anything else for installing other software), VLC, and Debian Sid inside WSL.

If it will be running Linux: ZSH, Vim, Screen, Cinnamon, and VLC.


ansible of course! Provisions my laptop from 0 to 100 :)


I have a couple of steps before installing anything...

  • Uninstall anything pre-installed that I don't want.
  • Configuration changes - privacy, personal prefs, etc.


  • Install OS / driver updates
  • Browsers (Brave, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi)
  • NVM (and at least one version of Node.js)
  • Git
  • Sublime Text (and enable vim plugin)
  • WebStorm (and enable vim plugin)
  • Google Drive stuff, whatever they call it this week.
  • GIMP
  • Rambox
  • 7-zip

Google Chrome...oh, never mind, I have a Pixelbook. 😁

Enable Linux
Visual Studio Code
Autodesk Sketch

And the rest are web-based like codeanywhere.com/ and designer.gravit.io/.


Apart from already listed items by other people, I install notepad++


For me, it's the .NET Core SDK and runtime. Straight after that is a .NET Core global tool that I've written which sets up a device, regardless of the OS installed.

It detects the OS type (Windows, MacOS, Linux based) and sets up policies and installs apps for me automatically.


Whoa, that sounds awesome! I'd love to see the source for how you accomplished some of that (thinking around Windows policies from .NET).


I actually engrave my name on the back of the case.
I then complete information about ownership, including my personal information for document/spreadsheet/office software.
I also put information into the bios, and protect the bios with a password.


First I get rid of Windows and replace it with Gentoo :). If paranoia sets in, I might even do a drive wipe just to make sure that every single bit of


is gone :)


On Windows:

  • Chrome
  • Google Drive
  • KeePass Password Safe
  • Visual Studio
  • Atlassian SourceTree
  • WinMerge
  • SoftEther VPN
  • VirtualBox
  • 7-Zip
  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom Classic CC
  • Office 365

On anything else:

  • Chrome.

Firefox, 7-Zip, VIM/nano (if not installed already, or WSL on Windows) and git.

Actually I first start by removing all the "bells and whistles" (especially on Windows, Settings > Privacy > set everything on the first 5 pages to off) and uninstalling all the bulk that manufacturers really like to pack together with drivers.


Like some others, if it has Windows pre-installed, my first install is Linux (some version of Arch for me, usually either Antergos or Manjaro).

From there, it depends on the system.


  • Brave browser
  • LastPass
  • Homebrew
  • SublimeText
  • iTerm2
  • Alfred
  • Synology NoteStation (I have a NAS with it)
  • FiraCode font
  • Docker + docker-compose


  • Firefox if not installed (Brave doesn't work on Arch)
  • uBlock for Firefox
  • SublimeText
  • FiraCode font
  • Krita
  • If gaming rig:
    • Steam
    • Lutris
    • Gaming dependencies

I had an Ansible playbook for a while, but I found that I rebuilt my systems so infrequently, and made so many changes during that time, that I spent more time keeping the playbook up to date than actually using it.

  • VS Code with any extensions
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Node.js
  • Slack
  • Discord
  • Spotify

well i think a good browser will make the list, an office suite, a coding application, and others.....


Actually, if there's a window pre-installed on the new laptop then I first install Linux on it (removing windows, not alongside) and then my first duty is to keep it updated and configured.
So here are my some programs which I loved the most i.e.,

-> Openbox or i3(window manager)
-> Polybar
-> MPV (Audio/Video player)
-> Python, Pylint, Anaconda
-> Jupyter notebook
-> Discord
-> Vim
-> Removing chrome, install firefox
-> Compositor (compton or OpenGl)
-> bash insulter(github repo.)


Maybe notepad++ and a proper browser if I'm on windows.
On linux the same but the editor changes time to time.


Well, in a Windows system, my first install was a Linux distribution. After Linux installation, the rest of the installs look something like this:

  • Chrome
  • Enabling Great suspender extension on Chrome
  • A nice icon theme, using Uniform nowadays.
  • VS Code
  • ZSH

Sublime Text 3, most of my CLI tools, Wireguard client, GPG, Keepass XC, and Syncthing.


Love the question.

  • A browser I trust.
  • Antivirus.
  • Games
  • Python and Lua
  • Everything else...



First in any pc,
Jetbrains toolbox -> phpstorm, webstorm, pycharm, Android Studio(All with Dracula theme)
VsCode with Dracula Theme + Code formatter
Brave or Chrome


putty and virtualbox. i love openbsd and gaming. so, i cannot get away from windows. Since openbsd had screen resolution issue in vbox. So, I need putty to get fullscreen shell.

  1. Linux
  2. Developer tools (gcc, etc.)
  3. GNAT Ada
  4. LaTeX
  5. Emacs
  6. Ruby
  7. Octave
  8. Inkscape
  9. Dropbox
  10. Brave browser (new addiction)

Not necessarily in this order


On Windows
•Android studio
•Intellj IDE :-)


Some version of Worms (usually Armageddon)


Sublime Text


First Node and then everything else...

Everything else:

  • VSCode
  • Git
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Postman ...