Modern *nix Tools I Use Every Day

Terminal Mode

I’m a big fan of the terminal. I live in it for a lot of what I do professionally and as a hobbyist. And while I love retro as a hobby, when I want to get things done, there are many modern *nix tools I have on all of my machines.

Shell (bash)

Fish shell all the way! I’ve been a Fish user for many years now and I think it really captures a lot of what I like about “modern replacements”: Look pretty and support my laziness. chsh -s $(which fish) is often the first thing I do on a new machine.

Workspace (tmux)

For my session, workspace, and tmuxing needs I used Byobu for a few years, but more recently have moved to Zellij and I like the direction – and the activity – the project seems to be going in.

Searching For (find)

Another top pick is fd over find. Like rg, this tool just does what I want by default, is fast, and provides helpful output.

…Searching Within (grep)

I can’t recommend ripgrep (rg) enough. It’s insanely fast and the default behaviors are almost always what I want. I really only use grep in Bash scripts intended for others or on a foreign machine.

Edit (vi)

Micro has been my GOTO in this area for a while now. A pet peeve I have around editors of any kind is consistency by default. Which essentially means the key mappings are consistent with what modern Windows, *nix, or Mac key mappings are. Micro does this by default, has syntax highlighting for many languages built in, etc.


  • du –> duf
  • cat –> bat (I switch between the two depending on my needs)
  • top –> bpytop. I also still uses glances at times. Like bat, these are more of an alternative to top based on needs. For example, I keep a bpytop monitoring my Xibalba system