I think that Operating Systems should not track you, send your data anywhere, and show you ads. That is why I recommend using Free and Open-Source Operating Systems that value your privacy, such as Linux. Linux supports almost any hardware out-of-the-box and it is way more comfortable for tech people. Have you ever tried to install MinGW on Windows? From my experience, it's PITA, while on Linux it's one or two shell commands.
In my opinion, tiling window managers are great productivity tools. It's enjoyable and efficient to use only a keyboard to manage your windows. They are especially useful, if you frequently use multiple terminals. Spawning and switching between them is super fast, for example, in dwm. They are also extremely lightweight. Compared to full-featured Desktop Environments like Gnome or KDE, they are almost nothing in your RAM and on your disk.
Text & Code Editor
I've been using vim (neovim) for quite some time and can tell that it helped me a lot when I needed to quickly (e.g. 10 minutes before a deadline) edit or code something. On top of that, I can tell that it is much more enjoyable to edit smth using vim than with a normal text editor. Every key press or mouse movement you save brings you joy. I recommend watching ThePrimeagen's video series before diving in.
Currently I am learning Emacs (doom emacs with evil mode), org-mode, and elisp. Emacs' functionality is incredible. I will elaborate on that later, when I will be more familiar with Emacs.
Web Browsers are one of the most commonly used programs nowadays. That's why you should carefully choose a browser that doesn't spy on you.
Librewolf is the web browser of my choice, because it is a Firefox fork preconfigured to be secure and private. Both Librewolf and Firefox are open-source and support everything a modern web browser needs.
Here are some extensions that will improve your browsing experience:
- Vimium brings vim motions to your browser. You can follow links without even using a mouse
- uBlock Origin - ad and tracking blocking
- Using Multi Account Containers, you can use multiple accounts at the same time and keep tracking websites separate from each other.
- Bitwarden is a private, self-hosted, and open-source password manager.
- OneTab helps you to organize your tabs
- Dark Reader turns on dark mode in almost every website.
mpv is a lightweight, open-source, and reliable media player. You can play YouTube and other videos on the internet using mpv and yt-dlp.