Items below are software I consider indispensable

Software that can solve many different itches, is easy to use, and currently maintained are the main selection criterion that I use for adding things to this list. Over the years I have found many pieces of software (both freeware, shareware, open sources, etc). That I regularly use. I don’t really care if something is proprietary, so long as it works well, the company treats me well, and keeps their products up-to-date.

Non-Free Software Desktop

Name Description Platform Price
Securecrt The best ssh terminal on the planet. The company keeps the software up-to-date, and it works on almost any platform. Mac,linux,windows 139.00
Typora While it’s ‘free’ for now, I hope he makes some money on it. BEST markdown editor EVER. It’s what I author these pages on. WYSYWIG and EASY TABLES in markdown! Mac,linux,windows ??
Paste Infinite paste board software for mac. Its nice, but alas they went to a subscription model. But I love the software so much I just budget for it. Mac 9.99/yr?
OmniGraffle BEST vector drawing program ever. You can pretty do much anything with this thing. Inkscape would be a close second if you are looking for ‘free’. Mac 200.00
Paprika 3 Good recipe manager for android, mac desktop, or ios. Mac/Windows
HyperDock Gives mac a proper window preview Mac $9.95
BackBlaze Wonderful ‘back up’ my stuff PRE encrypted before its sent to cloud. NOT google, ms or APPLE! Mac,windows $50.00/per pc/year unlimited storage.
daisyDisk Uses concentric circles to tell you where you disk space went. Mac 9.99
Crossover Lets you run windows on linux or mac Mac/Linux $60.00
Msecure Password manager with optional local syncing. They give you multi platform for this price Mac/Linux
StrongBox Keepass compatible password manager, also does those darn 2fa tokens. IOS/ 9.99
TablePlus Mac Database GUI for almost any database. Multi Platform $99/2PC
Printopia Use Apple Airprint on Any Printer Mac 9.99

Free Software (apps)

Name Description Platform Rating
Firefox Web browser All 3
Edge Web Browser (Microsoft)-slightly less telling on, but better than Chrome. REALLY good for PWA’s etc. All 4
Apple Mail If it weren’t for their snooping, I would use this for everything, but it does work well. Mac 3
Iterm2 BEST terminal emulator for MAC Mac 5
Balena Etcher Easy way to burn (image) things to SDCArds for rpi etc. All 4
Brave I think they might be more private, but not sure, don’t use myself but list to avoid hypocrisy about ‘spybrowsers’. All ?
KeyStore Explorer Lets you do all things with certificates (x.509 etc). Java alas All 3
DarkTable Hard, if somewhat overly complicated RAW workflow (lightroom replacement) All 3.7
F.lux Keeps you from going blind at night (gets rid of blue in monitor) All 5
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup BEST rogue clone EVER All 5
Calibre Ebook ninjitsu. Handles almost any ebooks. Converts between inconvenient formats. All 5
Dbeaver Community Edition Kind of like Table Plus, but free. java Dependency All 4
HandBrake Swiss Army knife of video conversion All 5
image2Icon Nice icon converter for MACOS (kinda free) MAC 5
Microsoft Remote Destop Client VERY nice client for managing windows (or linux!) Desktops remotely. All 4
MonitorControl Lets you control non-apple monitors from menu MAC 5
USBImager VERY lightweight multi platform sd card imager Multiple 4
Qbitorrent Bitorrent Client for various platforms Multiple 4
OpenEmu Multi system emulator for MAC easy to setup (a bit wierd on controls though) Mac 4
SDLMame Arcard Emulator Mac 4
Signal Private Messaging ios/android/mac 5
Wireshark Packet Capture and Analysis utility All 5
VS Code MS telemetry enabled nice editor All 4
The Unarchiver NICE archiving utility for MAC Mac 5
UnClack Stops your keyboard from making noise when you are on the video phone. Mac 4
MonoSnap NICE free screen capture Mac 4
portmaster See what you are doing on the network linux 4
open broadcaster software Open sourced video editing various 4

Command Line Software (terminal)

Name Description OS Rating
brew Package manger for mostly macOS/linux Linux/macos 5
jq Used for parsing json like grep for json Various 3
gron Flattens JSON into greppable output Various 5
dog Modern replacement for dig/dns querying. various 5
fish Fish shell- MUCH better than zsh, bash, or sh various 5
sshguard Non-heavy way to protect your ssh sessions from interlopers linux 4
zstd The only good thing to come out of Facebook, nice compressor multi threaded. various 5
lrzsz Zmodem package everyone forgets about EASY way to transfer things through your terminal (no network required!) check your package manager! linux 5
sshaudit Automatically audits ssh connections for correctness and security Linux/Mac/? 5
sslscan Scans your ssl site for good security (ciphers only) Linux/mac 5
htop Nice process monitor Linux/mac 5
ncdu Net Curses Du tells you how much space things are using Linux/Mac/? 5
asdf Non-sucky way to run python and other dumb languages effectively Linux/Mac 5
caddy Single web server that does automatic cert renewals, lots of things All 5
Hiawatha VERY secure web server with built-in XSS whatnot protection linux 5
most The BEST pager supports ansi sequences. MUCH better than more, less etc all 5
doas Secure replacement for sudo from OPENBSD all 4
rclone Rosetta Stone for copying files from s3 to say azure, or other clouds (20 + supported) all 4
restic VERy nice encrypted backup program all 5
ccrypt Encrypt files with aes and symmetric passwords all 5
cfssl Cloudflare ssl cert manager script from json failed All 5
ctop Container top list for docker shows you what your containers are doing all 4
wget Gets any file via https or http all 5
lynx Text only browser (nice for certain websites that have paywalls) all 4
dosbox-x Nice emulator for dos that also does voodoo 3dfx cards sb awe etc. all 5
fossil Improved SCM that should have replaced GIT all 5
git-crypt Encrypts git files automagically letting you keep some secrets in your code BE CAREFUL! all 5
git-lfs Lets you save files up to 4GB in a git repo, only pulling down ‘most current’ version w/o all others. Mostly for binary assets in GIT all 5
ipcalc Calculates ipv4 CIDR ranges (for the prehistoric still using ipv4). This version supports modern IPV6 all 3
iperf Network performance tool (iperf3 tends to bomb out on udp) all 4
lazydocker Lets you do docker the ‘lazy way’ all 4
trivy Scans docker images for vulnerabilities all 5
minicom Terminal program for doing rs232 things or modem things all 4
mkcert Makes ‘self signed cert’ errors go away on your computer all 4
mosh Resumable high latency modification to ssh (great for crappy connections) all 4
teleport Very easy way to ‘share’ or manage systems remotely all 4
netdata Standalone statistics generation for your system - tell you EVERYTHING about your sytem in a nice web guy all 5
mtr Network tool replacement for trace route traces network path all 4
nmap Security tool for port scanning a host all 5
packer Hashicorp program that can ‘make’ image factory or image system. Mostly used on cloud providers for ‘machine image’ generation. all 3
peazip Actually a guy app, but nice decompressor linux and Mac and windows support 267 archive formats. all 4
pandoc Rosetta Stone for converting almost any text format to any text format all 4
pigz Gzip parallel compressor MUCH faster than gzip all 4
gztool Lets you ‘cat’ an ever expanding gzip file (nice for compress as you go gzips) all 5
pixz Multi threaded compressor for xz all 4
pv View status when using pipes like a progress bar for cli linux 4
pwgen Generate secure passwords Linux/mac 4
qrencode Encode anything to QR code Linux/mac 5
qemu Virtual machine emulator on cli for many systems all 5
ripgrep REALLY fast grep (10x faster) all 5
sqlite Small database all 5
syncthing Synchronizes between different computers/phones files all 5
thefuck Fixes things you type incorrectly ? 5
tig Shows you git commit history on cli all 5
tmux Terminal muxxer replacement for screen Mac/linux 4
topgrade Upgrades all your things at once (mac) Mac/linux 3
tree Shows a tree of a directory unix 5
upx Compresses executables (very nice on FAT piggy golang programs.) all 5
watch Watches any command and refreshes automatically unix 5
YouTube-dl Downloads YouTube things to local disks all 4
Font-insonsolata-for-powerline Nice font with power line symbols for shells with fancy status lines all 5
percollate Turns web pages into ePub documents all 5
New HeteroDox Mono Font Very nice font that resembles old sun displays with some flair all 5
Jetbrains Mono Nice font for VS code editor all 5
ansible Semi-declarative system configurator like yaml to automate system configuration (mostly unix) all 4
bat Nice cat replacement with coloration and numbering all 5
bmaptool Samsung tool support bitmapping image files (dd) a bit esoteric but can be faster sometimes. linux 3
bookmark Lets you run bookmark program on cli and open in browser. System independent way to manage bookmarks. Mac/unix 4
Brew cu Brew cask updater for non-brewed apps in OS X osx 5
file Built in unix command that will use magic #'s to tell you what a file actually is (regardless of extension) unix 5
mktemp Makes temporary files (nice for things that need to disapper) unix/mac 5
nim My favorite new strongly typed language (executables way small) all 5
perl My first language other than basic or pascal all 4
steampipe Query azure or was converts into sql all 4
exa Nice rust replacement for ls (colors and whatnot) all 5
docker-slim Make your docker images smaller automagically (kind of) all 4
dockle Build secure docker images (from guide) golang program all 4
Hadolint Docker linter written in haskell all 4
gitea NICE scm like GitHub but free and non-bloaty all 4
pspg Database pager (way more that this!) lets you see database and csvs in nice curses interface. Search whatnot. Can view csv files as well. Supports realtime steaming. pspg -f pipe --stream --hold-stream=1 and on postgresql side: set output to pipe: \o pipe all 5
lnav Logfile Navigator Lets you see logs with time sequences. Local log file viewer all 5
fisher Manages packages for fish shell all 5
omf Oh my fish manages themes and whatnot all 5
technitium DNS adblocker that’s way better than pihole all 5
yggdrasil network Network overlay with built in routing all 5
Apptainer (formerly singularity) Secure single file container environment nice replacement for docker all 5
Nim VS code add in (more recent version) Nim VS code plugin with debugging and more recent version. Also turn on 'autosave' to have things almost autocheck all 5
nala Nicer cli for doing debian packages debian 4
cloudflare-ddns the ONLY working one for updating cloudflare zones. I tried like 10 rust ones and NONe worked. all since its go 5
oh-my-posh Custom command line prompt editor all 5
horcruxes Allows you to separate files in to x of n pieces, and to retrieve w/o password by having x of n pieces (like if you have 3 of 5 you can retrieve the file). all 4
grr real-time forensic tool all 4
distrobox lets you 'try out' other distros via docker in linux all 4
ltex checks grammar in markdown all 4
yq like jq for yaml all 4
kubernetes goat lets you hack away at kubernetes for security problems safely all 4
rq data transformation software (say toml to yaml whatnot) all 4
loginx replacement for unix login command (does things like remember the last login etc) linux 4
ripgrep-all supercharged grep that does ebooks, pdf etc. linux 4
picosnitch bpf based packet logger like little snitch linux 4
ae-dir a least prileged ldap server linux ?
k9s easier way to manage k80s kubernetes is evil and complexy but everyone seems to love it. Oogle created it, so is probably scary and spy like 5 {-1} (if you think k80s is nothing more than an 80s' tech in modern clothing that requires 1000GB of ram to run.)
gitui A very nice git cli gui mostly nice if you don't want to look at git cli stuff but still want to use a terminal 4