What Software Do I Use?
Introduction and a Disclaimer
This was generally beginning to get too long for my homepage and there's other relevant info here too so I figured I'd split this into its own page. Software choice is incredibly deep, fun and important for actual computer usage. It basically defines your experience. However, it's difficult to really do this alone with no guides or recommendations. I felt that the quality of most recommendation sites was pretty poor in general. I hope that my recommendatiosn are of use in helping improve the landscape.
As usual, this is heavily opinionated so please don't whine that your favourite shillware was opposed in this. Also neocities is bugging out with this for me fsr, I'm not sure why. Apologies if random things like spaces between entires are missing - I proofread it thoroughly and everything's there, but it just doesn't want to work fsr.
There are some noticeable patterns you can find amongst what I use. I've listed them out here as guidelines to reading them:
- Free & Open Source over Proprietary: I heavily dislike proprietary software. It is just not meant to be usable in any case. It controls you, not the other way around, and appeals to idiots who don't know better. I hate it for both pragmatic and philosphical reasons and will avoid using it whenever possible. I have included the proprietary software that I am forced to use in a separate section here and recommend FOSS alternatives.
- Local over Web: This is an extension of the above point. I still don't trust web applications because I'm not really running it on my machine (technically you are but you get no power over it for the cost) and they tend to have proprietary designs. This is a huge reason I use Linux, as I believe it has far better local apps than Windows.
- Easy to Use: I do not want to have to spend too much time learning my software. In general that's not as difficult as it tends to be portrayed - it usually will just take one afternoon to get the hang of it - but I have better things to be doing iwth my time and life than to bend over backwards to make it work for similar output.
- Aesthetics: FOSS is considered to have always had an issue with aesthetics, which boggles me. I love the look of GTK and the themes I use with them, being one of the reasons why I tend to use it over Qt based apps. I want to enjoy looking at my software.
- Bloat: God I hate bloat. I try to avoid it as much as I possibly can. There is no reason to have excessive bloat - just come in, do that one thing you said you'd do and do it well, then get out. I balance this with functionality, however - I want to use the most functional software that is the least bloated possible. There's a lot that goes under this - in general, for instance, I will stick to the same graphics library so as to prevent too much from piling up (I tend to use GTK over Qt because most Qt apps and DEs are heavily overbloated or underfeatured, though admittedly not both), and as another example of how I follow this, I try to avoid GNOME applications if possible unless they're the best for the task, and likewise with KDE apps (which while good are almost never irreplaceable, even GNOME apps are less bloated from my experience).
- Functionality, Customization, Simplicity & The Unix Philosophy: Again, I want my software to follow the Unix philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well. That one thing's scope can be broadly defined. For instance, I'll use a text editor with loads of features because it does the thing of text editing in an easy to use fashion well. That is how I tend to interpret the Unix philosphy. I do not take it to the extreme as many people tend to, nor do I follow it blindly. I want a balance of good on the machine side and good on the human side and will not heavily tip the balance one way or another. Customization also fits under here seeing it's not a need for most apps, but it is absolutely a need for some and is nice to have in general. I value being able to rearrange the workflow however I desire in an easy way (at the least config files are a must).
- Reliability: I do not want my software to break on me, and if it does I need to be able to fix it quickly. I'm aware that people will call me crazy for using Linux then, but I've found Linux to break less than Windows and is usually more repairable when it does break. In general though I want to get things done and unstable software is not what I want for that.
- Performance: Before I had my old 2014 Lenovo z50-70 that I never got to use before 2020, I was stuck on generally very weak machines. As a result, performance was of utmost importance, particularly RAM. I was stuck on 4 GB of RAM for my machines so it could not use too much. My main machine had an Intel Pentium so CPU usage was also an issue for me. The habit has stayed with me ever since so I still try to keep it light even now that I have 16 GB of RAM and an AMD Ryzen 7 processor because software should be accessible to all with a reasonably modern machine (if you have a machine pre-2005 or so, or if its 32 bit, that's probably when it'd be useless for modern tasks if you asked me).
- Security & Privacy: This is what got me into Linux at all and is generally a pretty high priority for me. I'm willing to try to work around some privacy violations but I don't necessarily want to do so. It should be private out of the box. Security also matters but to a less extent than privacy - neither exists without the other, but while there's no point in security if my data is compromised regardless, on the other hand not every insecure private service is gonna get compromised. Security still matters though.
And that's honestly it. Anything more would be case by case, which is the purpose of what is below. I may add more later on.
What Software Do I Use?
It's most likely I'll be reviewing most of these but I figured it can't hurt to put this here and might even serve as good recommendations. So without further ado, here's what I use:
- Operating System: I was writing an article on this before I got as busy as I am now but tl;dr Arch is the best desktop base. It ultimately boils down to packages and package management, of which pacman is incredibly fast & powerful and the AUR means that for desktop purposes, almost anything you can get out of Linux will be there. Granted, there isn't an Arch-based distro that truly works bug-free out of the box - even Manjaro has its bug issues. In general though, Arch is the best you can get. Ubuntu isn't terrible but apt is slow and it does require uninstallation of a lot of packages as well as hounding the internet for PPAs etc. which is one of the things I'm trying to avoid from Windows. Debian is similar overall. Fedora is worse than Ubuntu in a lot of vital ways, and while it does have the faster package manager it performs worse from my tests and in particular is a huge RAM abuser. I cannot recommend Fedora over Ubuntu at all. I only use Windows if I absolutely have to and I won't ever touch MacOS except in the workforce. ChromiumOS/CloudReady is absolutely terrible and I despise it on every level. FreeBSD and in particular OpenBSD are just not as polished for the desktop as Linux is atm, but FreeBSD has a lot of upsides and potential (can't say the same for OpenBSD). In the meanwhile, stick with an Arch based distro if you have a bit of time for compiling/bug fixing and Ubuntu based distro if you do not.
- Desktop Environments: I'm writing reviews of these but I think that MATE is the best you can get rn. It's what Xfce was supposed to be in many aspects, most notably being lighter nowadays (which is really quite sad) while offering better functionality and much easier customization. By default the layout is nowhere near as good but it's easy to fix up. LXQt is also pretty good, some poor defaults but otherwise it just works with no hassle. KDE is fine in everything but its bloated and is heavier than whaty ou initially see, Xfce is sadly a dying project seeing its dev force is almost 0 and it has severe issues (heavier than what it should be, extreme balloon in heaviness upon themeing, doesn't handle dual monitors well, switching to client side decorations, if you don't know what this means just know it will cause applications to look extremely GNOME-y anad then at that point its just to Windows what GNOME is to Mac). I don't hate GNOME but I've become disillusioned with it, it feels inefficient with its one-size-fits-all approach and it's just too heavy for a lot of features I don't use. I think it takes too heavily after the Proprietary Duo of Windows and MacOS and while that's a fine direction given that it aims to appeal to the masses it's not what I signed up for. I also hear from developers constantly about the issues they have with working in GTK etc. and their concerns are more than valid. I have not used Cinammon, Budgie etc.. I've used a tiling WM in i3 and found it to be a pretty decent experience overall. If you go that route, I'd recommend using LXQt/LXDE apps with it as those seem to be the lightest and have the least stupid dependencies, but if you're using a tiling WM in general I'd assume you're more a CLI guy anyways.
- Fonts: Lato and Ubuntu font family are my favourites. Lato I just grew up on, heard about it at a young age and I liked it a lot. My favourite is actually Proxima Nova but that's proprietary whereas Lato is not. Ubuntu is pretty cool as well. For serif works I use Tinos unless I absolutely have to use Times New Roman for school (yes they specify it and do take off points for not using it) in which case I'll begrudgingly use it.
- Browser: Ungoogled Chromium all the way, easily the best I've used that has extension support. In all honesty I'd much rather use KDE Falkon but until it supports extensiosn I can't make it a daily driver - it does work for school though surprisingly with a Firefox user agent. I use Brave as a side on my machines (you can read my browser article to see how to get it on Ubuntu) since schoolwork mandates that I don't have too much in the way (most notably uMatrix) and thus it's easier to work with while still staying somewhat private. GNOME Web and KDE Falkon are workable if you use a ton of extensions but need a browser on the side with nothing getting in your way, but they're not as good as Midori which sadly does have some notable flaws, such as lacking an ability to change one's user agent. You can read more about this here. Regarding extensions, I'll make that its own article but DigDeeper has good guidelines on it.
- Search Engine: There's really no good ones out there as you can read in DigDeeper's report. None of them match Google's search results (except StartPage which is shady as fuck ) and almost all of them either have poor privacy policies, poor results and/or both. ATM I use DuckDuckGo because it has the best results of any of them. Qwant is more trustworthy imo but they keep giving me weird CAPTCHA errors even when I'm not using Tor which is generally not a good sign. DDG has the best results of any engine bar Google and it honestly beats Google quite often. In general, search engines are not gonna be a battle we will ever win so I just settle for what I can get here.
Regarding CLI editors, I've tried Emacs out a lot more since I first wrote this and it's quickly become a favourite editor. Granted, I use the GUI version (my GTK theme looks pretty and it offers a nice fallback in teh case I don't know a command) but it seems like it'd be fine with the CLI version as well, though I havne't really used it as much. Emacs has honestly impressed me a lot. It really works as a universal editor and the keyboard shortcuts have increased my efficiency - granted, not as much as they would have on Vim, but in turn they are far more intuitive. I learned most of hte basics in about an hour (DistroTube's tutorial is better than the built-in one imo). Org-mode is also killer and I've made good use of it. Granted, I still think Emacs is a bit heavy and its still too broad in scope - I will be keeping mine as the text editor it is supposed to be and not my whole OS - but it's surprisingly good. With that, however, I don't really use it these days. It's just unnecessarily large for the basic editing I do. I still use and quite love nano for small edits - it actually tries to stick to hte philosophy of being one good thing, a simple and easy-to-use editor, and it does so quite well, so I'd recommend it for more minimal tasks. Really though, learn Emacs! It'll be sure to impress you.
- File Manager: Caja is probably the best one out there, it's good enough once set up and faster and lighter whle still retaining strong functionality, though its dependencies might be a bit much outside of MATE. There's also Thunar, which is easy to use and quite fast but lacks some features (most notably a proper search function) and Nautilus, which looks nice and has lots of features but is very slow and heavy. PCManFM - both GTK and Qt - is unintuitive though otherwise decent. Nemo seems like it's the same case as Nautilus but I never tried it. If you prefer the CLI, nnn is unmatched in terms of intuitive use. I recommend it even for people who usually use the GUI more.
- Mail Client: I don't use any, I just do not use email outside of the Gmail I'm forced to use. I personally dislike email a lot, it jsut feels like instant messaging with extra steps. If you want to send me an encrypted message, just do so on XMPP. If I did want to use email, I'm not sure what I'd use. KMail seems pretty cool as does Claws Mail. Trojita/Geary don't support PGP as well so they'd be worse off for the usage.
- Torrenting Client: Just got into this so I'm using Transmission-GTK. I won't be doing much heavy lifting, just maybe some stuff from Library Genesis etc. so Transmission should be fine for my needs and I didn't want the otherwise heavyweight qBitTorrent. If I ever do plan on doing the heavy loads I'll find something and make it work, probably qBitTorrent as it has a search engine.
- VPN: RiseUp VPN is the only major good one. It's free as in freedom (client is FOSS and lets you use your own client as well), it's 100% nonprofit and RiseUp has resisted the FBI before (and cooperated with them but only to get rid of some spammers). It is under extremely heavy loads rn so please donate if you can afford it - even $5 will help keep it going. CalyxVPN is better funded but slower and is under a similar case in terms of ethics - it was founded by the first person to ever oppose the FBI's gag orders in court. Its harder to set up on desktop but do use this over RiseUp if possible. I don't believe either allows torrenting (I know RiseUp does not) and either way its very incosiderate to do so from them, there are no good free VPNs that allow you to do so. If you want to torrent, you gotta pay... but I have heard there are ways to use I2P (similar to Tor but more emphasis on the intranet of sites) to torrent from the clearnet using Vuze/BiglyBT but I have not tried this. I used to torrent, but as of late I no longer do as my old method stopped working.
- Firewall: UFW suits my needs well enough and GUFW is easy enough to mess around iwth. Firewalld just seems too complex to be worth the time, and OpenSnitch's popups are too time consuming to deal with though ideally I'd use it (be sure to use the fork by gustavo-iniguez-goya that you can find here as it is the currently maintained version, evilsockets quit maintaining it about a year ago). I'd definitely start using a firewall if you aren't already - Linux isn't perfect security wise (though at least unlike Windows it doesn't have legacy Windows 95 code that's easy to exploit) and the growing market share does put it at risk so it's the best time to start getting into the habit of using one. Even a simple one like UFW should suffice for most users.
- XMPP Client: Yeah let's be up front about this one - there are very few good clients that support OMEMO. I like Dino, it has the best OMEMO implementation and is generally really intuitive and nice-looking. It actually feels like something modern instead of the boomer shit that most XMPP clients end up being. For mobile, Conversations is super good, being in a similar boat as Dino. Pidgin's OMEMO is apparently broken as is Gajim's, and I've heard people have issues with Psi and Psi+'s OMEMO as well. Never tried Salut a Toi though. On mobile, aTalk just breaks for me entirely.
- RSS/Atom Feed Reader: I don't use a desktop feed reader, I just save that for my mobile. When I did used to use one, Liferea generally gets the job done in a simple but intuitive and effective manner. QuiteRSS also works if you're on a Qt based system, imo it's better as it has an actual adblocker (based off of KDE Falkon's) instead of just forcing you to turn off JS. On Android, Flym used to work in actually scraping all of the text for me but then it just stopped working so I use Feeder.
- Image Editor: Inkscape is my favourite by a very long shot. It's incredibly intuitive and easy to use yet is so powerful and feature filled. I find GIMP horrendously unintuitive and try to avoid it - I'd honestly rather convert to SVG and back to PNG if it means using Inkscape over GIMP. Also not a Krita fan. I haven't tried LazPaint for this purpose yet but I do want to, you can read more about it in the next entry.
- Drawing: LazPaint is easily the best option available. It is incredibly small and lightweight, taking only 8 MB of storage and opening up virtually instantly. It otherwise functions similarly to the acclaimed Paint.NET of Windows. It's honestly unrivaled for Linux (and it is on Windows too though you're better off using MS Paint there). LazPaint is to Paint.NET, however, as Dibuja (linked because it's otherwise hard to find) is to just the original M$ Paint. The dependencies keep Dibuja relatively small and it's otherwise great to work with. The only issue I have is zooming in has to be done with the button, but otherwise it's probably the best option alongside LazPaint (and frankly better for simple tasks). KolourPaint is excessively bloated as is Pinta (the app itself is quite small but the dependencies are absurd), and MyPaint felt unintuitive. Drawing (the app found here) doesn't have zooming in and that alone leads me to believe it's not feature complete yet but it seemed really nice outside of that.
- Audio Player: I was writing a separate article about this but it's been dead for some time (I'm not an audiophile so it's harder to really review heavily featured ones and find them to be good, and otherwise the article still wasn't up to par) so I'll put it here. Quod Libet is unrivaled in usefulness. It has a great UI, strong customizability, good performance and scaling (it can play libraries that are tens of thousands of songs long apparently) but most notably, it has unrivaled tag and metadata editing. You can basically fill in all of the missing data you need from the song you just downloaded in a super easy way. It's unrivaled in this, and the tag editing is even available in a separate program without the music player in Ex Falso so you can make use of any player you desire.
- Video Player: I don't have one basically. I never really need to view videos that aren't stuck on YouTube and I don't have the consistent internet speed for youtube-dl to be a viable choice in viewing them, so I use Invidious which is sadly ending development. If someone does send me one, it's usually in Discord, another proprietary software I'm stuck using that plays embedded videos. If I really need to view an mp4 file I'll just use the browser for it, which is not something I would otherwise do. I do plan on trying mpv someday. For a beginner who really needs a video viewer, VLC isn't terrible for it and for casual use it's the best option.
- IDE/Code Editor: Geany is magical. It is incredibly lightweight for something as feature-filled as it is and has a great UI. It's usable for almost any purpose, coding or not - I used to use it as my main text editor. Other decent ones are Atom (p intense on resources but great UI with lots of extensibility) and SublimeText (even better than Geany outside of resource usage but its proprietary). I don't do all too much coding though. This site doesn't count as coding because HTML isn't really a programming language but I used to use Emacs for it, I find it the best editor for the purpose and hell I might try to set Emacs up to do Python too. A friend of mine is trying to convince me to use PyCharm but it seems too project oriented for my learning atm.
- Terminal emulator: Default DE terminal emulators are fine for my uses, I don't really care for Konsole or anything else tbh. Just use what works. Suckless terminal doesn't have enough out of the box and fsr applying patches hasn't worked for me, in addition to me hating the suckless crowd as a whole though for a terminal the software is actually workable even without patches.
- Other Useful Software: The following software are others that I use. I don't think they deserve their own mention as a main bullet point:
- Htop: Great system monitor with lots of power, the clear best of the top clones.
- LibreOffice: It's a bit bloated but it actually is pretty nice for editing certain files. In particular:
Usually I install these packages separately so I don't bother getting Calc (which is good, I just don't use it), Math or Base but if the distro packages them all together (Arch) then I do get them all.
- Writer allows me to edit docx files with ease, it's not that much of a hassle @ people who don't want to switch from M$ Word. At the least Google Docs wouldn't force you to be on Windoze so that'd unironically be better than sticking to Windoze for M$ Office (IN NO WAY DO I RECOMMEND USING GOOGLE THOUGH).
- Impress is the same for PowerPoint presentation files, though these days no one uses it over Google Drive, at least in the educational fields that force me to even consider Google Drive as a thing at all.
- Draw allows me to actually edit PDFs and thus it is the best PDF viewer. Okular of KDE might let you do that as well, I haven't ever tested it.
- GNOME Disk Utility: IMO the better version of GParted.
- Disk Image Writer: To be clear this isn't an app and I'm putting this here for completeness's sake. Any so called iso image writers are useless. Just use dd (a bit slow but zero bloat), a file manager (yes its possible to do this) or hell even GNOME Disk Utility works (and surprisingly its really fast at it too). Of the ones out there balenaEtcher is technically the best since it lets you do with but it is literally a full Electron app with a shit ton of dependencies for something you can do with one command on the CLI.
- GPG: Yes I do mean just the CLI and not any GUI for it (the best is probably GNU Privacy Assistant). I don't use email and I have no intention of uploading my GPG key here but I do use it to password-protect some files on my PC. Real talk it seems like it's secure for now so I can't recommend against it. I'd say it's only am atter of time before there's some way to break it thoroughly though.
- Proprietary Software I'm Forced to Use: I don't want to use these but sadly I have to. Some people in power just do not know what they're doing - software choice is highly important and it's something they neglect. I'll note software you should use instead, in the case you are someone with that power and wish to respect your users.
- Google Drive Suite: I have to use this for school seeing that my teachers use it. Talk about excessive bloat. It uses way too much RAM for almost no features that are genuinely useful. It also makes using a non-Chromium browser awful, which is part of the reason why I use Ungoogled Chromium. Use LibreOffice instead - it has more for a lot less RAM.
- Gmail: People seem to dislike it when I use anything else. I really hate Gmail's client though, its absurdly laggy for what it provides. Use another email provider instead, like Disroot.
- Zoom: God, why do people use this? At least it respects Linux users with supporting a ton of distros very well so I'd gladly use it over Google Meet for that alone. Use Jitsi instead, it's a self-hosted solution for video calls but there's a lot of instances online that you could use. Brave apparently will integrate it within the browser soon so it'll be easier to get normies on there.
- Discord: All of my friends are on it, and it is by far the most featureful of any messenger platform. There are really no good alternatives to Discord - Matrix is self hostable but has had security issues in the past from what I know, and XMPP is an awful, buggy, overcomplicated mess. I guess Matrix is the best of them though.
Invidious is ceasing development as of nowInvdious seems to have returned fortunately, but in the end its not the most reliable, so YouTube is something we will have to work with at some point. It is Googleware and thus bloated to hell and back while spying on you. Try to download your music instead with youtube-dl. It's really hard to avoid using it though. Real talk, YouTube is an obvious monopoly and should be investigated as such.
- Tried Steam and getting Proton to work, jesus christ that was not fun. Piracy comes at a cost I guess. I'll stick to emulators for now.
Deserves its own section due to its inherently different nature. In general, I mostly emulate games as I feel games have declined in quality since the early 2010s (in particular the community SUCKS) and I don't have much money to work with. That being said, the free software games out there are honestly pretty good - tehy may not be the flashiest but they're genuinely fun and extensible, as well as very performant so I can play even when stuck on my older PCs.
These deserve a shoutout for the fun they give.
- SuperTuxKart: What it lacks in the recognizable Mario characters and advanced mechanics it makes up for in a pretty cool turbo system. It does require less strategy though due to less kart characteristic variety - the majority of karts are the light kart type, and there's only 3 types anyways. I main Puffy.
- Teeworlds: Runs on literally anything, no matter how it weak it is. It's a super fun game that can get repetitive but stays fun when playing on the more populated servers. I wish there were more players tbh.
- SuperTux and ReTux: I play these significantly less frequently as I tend to get tilted and also I used to distrohop a lot. These may not have the advanced mechanics of Super Mario but they have more creative use of backtracking and also yeah it performs really well.
Video game console emulators
This wiki has some pretty good guides on where to go with this. I personally use:
- On Android I use the .emu series and SNES9X EX+ series for NES, SNES and GBA. They have a fantastic UI, they perform very well and are very accurate.
- Mednafen and specifically the Mednaffe frontend for PSX. It works very well and the Mednaffe frontend (WARNING THAT MEDNAFEN IS A CLI DRIVEN APPLICATION, MEDNAFFE IS THE ONLY FRONTEND ON LINUX) is very intuitive.
- If you're looking to emulate GameCube games, look at Slippi, which plans on creating easy to use and featureful netplay. You can find setup instructions here. It used to require compiling but now there's an AppImage so use that.
- For PS2 games - which I seem to play a lot of these days - I use PCSX 2. It's a pretty nice experience overall.
Where Else Can I Find Good Software?
Obviously, I am not the end-all be-all of software recommendations. There are other good places to find good ones, or ones at all:
- AlternativeTo.net: This is probably my single most used resource for the sheer amount of options it shows. While it may seem that it doesn't show as much as other sources, there are software recs here I have not found elsewhere. It's a crowdsourced site that relies on its users to recommend software so you're not gonna get fully shilled as you might on other sites, though you'll still face some shilling (Firefox fanboys). In general though it's the best site for this.
- The Free Software Directory: In general you can most software to fit your needs here. It's not fully comprehensive and it has a terrible interface imo but for the most part it works pretty well.
- ArchWiki: In addition to listing virtually every relevant Linux app out there in nice categories, the Arch Wiki also will have articles on most of them which will show how to use and troubleshoot the app. It's a very comprehensive, high quality list, especially for Linux users.
- DigDeeper's Site: DigDeeper has some really cool recommendations that particularly focus on privacy and functionality. These are the best recs for the purpose of privacy. He does have some takes that are poorly informed in my opinion though.
- Stallman's Site: Who better to take recommendations from than the founder of the free software movement himself? While he's overly dogmatic on the free software aspect, his recommendations don't end up too badly in the end and are more than usable. His main site has mostly guides on what not to use but he has some programs listed here.
- Whatever a desktop environment has as the default: In general these may be more bloated but are super beginner friendly and highly functional. Good default apps are a high priority for me for this reason. Xfce has the lightest but the least functional of these. Cinammon has pretty good ones if you can manage to get them. MATE has excessive dependencies but otherwise has good ones (I use MATE anyways so it's no biggie for me). If you're on Qt based systems, LXQt has excellent default apps. GNOME and KDE often have exclusive apps that no other DE or even anyone in general has an equivalent to, so they're fine to use for that purpose. Otherwise, they're generally more bloated, particularly KDE, and should be avoided unless you're already using those environments.
- F-Droid: Libre or not, the best software for Android lives on F-Droid. It has some of the coolest apps with near-irreplaceable functionality, such DNS66 for adblocking, Scrambled Exif for EXIF removal, etc.. It also has suites of apps that can replace the default bloatware you get. Google Play is a huge fucking mess and should be avoided at all costs - try using the Aurora Store frontend for it on F-Droid for when you need ot use it.
Where Should I *Not* Look For Good Software?
Just as there are good sites, there are some imo objectively horrendous sites that should be avoided as well. I'll do my best to be unbiased here:
- PrivacyFools.io: No the fools over "tools" was not a mistake. These guys have to be some of the biggest idiots I've seen. They are blind mainstream shills that do not do a remote amount of research into what they're slapping on there. DigDeeper has a good criticism of them with evidence on his site if you want but Firefox and ProtonMail's appearences alone should convince you that this should be avoided.
- r/privacy and Reddit in general: I hvaen't used other areas of Reddit for software nearly as much as I've looked at r/privacy but its just a ton of people whining but refusing to change. They don't even want to be private and move on from proprietary abuse, which at least privacyfools.io will desire. Reddit is a horrible site and should be avoided at almost all costs. There is not a worse place of mindless circlejerking and shilling.
- Other Privacy Sites in General: Most of these just absolutely suck. They are basically similar to PrivacyFools.io in terms of shilling and do not give the best recommendations. They also in general are overly focused on privacy - for instance, they'll shill a product that advertises itself more heavily on privacy over other, perfectly fine ones that have better functionality. Examples include PRISM Break, RestorePrivacy.com etc. There's no real way to stay private in 2020, it's a losing battle anyways so don't focus on it single-mindedly. If you do want to focus on it, DigDeeper is the only real site for it (well, me too but not as extensively). Don't use anything else.
- suckless.org's "rocks": I mean, not to go on a rant about suckless because they're easily the most toxic group of delusionalists on the internet, it's just a difference of philosphy here. These guys don't care about usability etc., they care about blindly following the unix philosophy because they're terrible at handling the complex problems the world gives us and will complain if they see code that actually aims to solve these complex problems. Not gonna say more on this, the inclusion of this alone will get me a ton of hate mail if people ever read this. In general, if it's recommended here, I myself would recommend against using it, so I guess it has some utility in that right?
- Encyclopedia of Things Considered Harmful: I'm just trying to leave the negativity out of this site so let's just say I very heavily disagree with the author of this webpage and leave it at that. It doesn't help that he literally offers no reasoning outside of a few quotes for the vast majority of his criticisms. I myself feel that his recommendations are overly dogmatic in simplicity, similarly to suckless (actually worse to be honest) but unlike them, these recommendations are actively harmful to the user (IRC is not secure in the least, ed is hte most user-hostile editor and is nowhere near efficient enough to actually get things done, HTTP is here to stay like it or not, there are some things better done in a GUI particularly because computers are meant for everyone and not just the Unix retarded elitists, there are more things in life than keeping it as simple as possible, the world's a complex place which requires some complex solutions for the end user, etc.) so thus the site should be avoided entirely. I don't think there's a single opinion here that isn't lifted from mUh UnIx PhIlOsOpHy studs such as Ken Thompson, OpenBSD devs, etc. and while obviously those guys are worth listening to they're not as bad as this shit. That's all to it.
If I didn't include a site in either list, it was likely deliberate - I just don't lean either way towards it, or its philosophy disagrees with mine and it's not actively stupid so it doesn't belong in the bad lists.