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What is your "Go-To" software for dealing with your system?

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This is a bit of a complex topic. What software do you use as a "go-to" that you couldn't deal with your system without? It could be a built-in system feature, or a third-party system utility. Whatever it is that helps you get around your O/S on a day-to-day basis. Let's find out, and maybe learn of some new stuff that would help get around our own systems a bit better!

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I'll launch into the topic by listing my own "go-to" software - Total Commander by Christian Ghisler. This software has been around since the Windows 3.1 days, when it was known as Windows Commander. It's a dual-pane file commander, but with tabs that let you take it way beyond dual-pane functionality. Can't live without it.




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Simple, not overloaded, fast, no extras.

I fear their upcoming Version.

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22 minutes ago, Azuris said:



Simple, not overloaded, fast, no extras.

I fear their upcoming Version.

Notepad is the best, especially with the new search and user interface in Win11. I never needed anything more than it already has to offer. But what is that upcoming version? Enlighten me

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3 minutes ago, BonciuADV said:

Notepad is the best, especially with the new search and user interface in Win11. I never needed anything more than it already has to offer. But what is that upcoming version? Enlighten me


Tabs and new Design.

Imo it will be more "App" as everything else.


I want my purific Notepad (literally),

i just take Notes in there at Work that i do not have to keep.


The "old" one starts fast, has nothing that makes it slow while using etc.


If i want more, there is Word or Programs as Notepad+ (or how it is called^^)

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I always keep MingW (solely for Bash) and Notepad++ as key pieces of software.  I can't tell you how much work I've done with those, without the need of some fucking obtrusive IDE (Holy shit is VS Code's autocomplete by default intrusive and irritating.)

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I use these programs as quick-and-easy utilities for general work on my Windows machine. I have more advanced tools but generally if the thing I'm doing only warrants about 5 minutes worth of actual work or is just something spontaneous I'll reach for these:


- Paint.NET for quick and dirty image editing (cropping, resizing, converting file formats, etc.)

- Notepad (the default) for text editing (I'll use notepad++ if I'm doing more serious work but if I'm just taking down a note or editing a file real quick then notepad's fine)

- Calculator (the default) for quick math (though if it's a real simple question or if I'm converting units I might just pop it into Google)

- IrfanView for viewing pictures (the default windows photo viewer gives me issues when viewing pics in folders with tons of pics in them)

- Handbrake for video encoding (getting filesizes of recorded video down for easy sharing online)

- Shutter Encoder for basic video editing (e.g. clipping video segments from larger recordings)

- VLC Media Player for listening to sound or viewing video

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Classic Shell (or Open Shell) has been the top sine qua non ever since the horror that was Windows 8.


I do find Notepad extremely useful though, most often for stripping unwanted formating out of pieces of text that I have copied from something before pasting them into something else.


Windows Explorer should go without saying, though some people seem unaware of it entirely. It drives me nuts trying to figure out the insane mess that their computers become as a result.


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notepad, regedit, and powershell just about go without saying. beyond that: TreeSize, voidtools Everything, Open-Shell, ShellExView, Rufus, Ant Renamer.


i might also toss DesktopRecorder on the pile too, though; it's just a WASAPI loopback application that records current desktop audio to 32-bit float WAVs. haven't found a faster way to do it these days and it gets used every day for at least something, from audio production to troubleshooting.


mostly anything else gets into dealing with metadata and batch editing needs (mp3tag, irfanview, etc) and i think is beyond the scope of this.

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Uhhh, Notepad++, DOSBox Staging (has a context menu option for mounting a folder in DOSBox), SLADE, dgVoodoo, uhhhhh....


50 other emulators lmao

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Expanding beyond the #1 go-to utility...


 - Irfanview (thanks for reminding me, @segfault, I would have forgotten.)

 - VEDIT Pro 64 (been using one form or another of VEDIT since my old 80286-12MHz machine. It's just grown with me.)

 - 1Password

 - fre:ac (free audio converter)

 - MP3Tag (I liked it so much I'm an annual subscriber)

 - Stardock Fences (I wouldn't be able to keep my desktops in order without it)

 - Stardock Start11 (same idea, but for the Start Menu in Windows 11)


More as I think of them, but yeah, that pretty much covers it.

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The snipping tool is my favorite as it allows me to take png screenshots from the software I normally use to make sprites and edit them in gimp


but here's a list of my personal favorites:



Libreoffice (open source microsoft office that's A: free, And B: open source)


Gzdoom (of course)




WinRar (the only free trial software that just ASKS you to buy a license instead of FORCING you too)


Darkaudacity (basically audacity but open source last I checked)



Kdenlive (formerly openshot video editor, primarily because openshot kept crashing constantly)

Task manager

Ultimate doom builder

GZdoom builder

Snipping tool

OperaGX (only recently started using it, I've yet to fully transition from google to operaGX)

LMMS (I suck at music, so I just merely remix midis from the likes of haste and slaughterfest 2012 for private listening)


That's about all I can think of, but yeah that's pretty much it.

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Midi player by falcosoft



Media Player Classic


Soulseek (cant live without it)


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Lots of great stuff mentioned already, a few that I use:

  • Firefox, because it doesn't hog as much RAM as Chrome and for its plugins (e.g. NoScript, uBlock Origin, old reddit layout, alternative twitch.tv player). I wish it was possible to move the tabs to the bottom of the window so that they're just above the taskbar, like I did with a plug-in for pre-Quantum Firefox.
  • John's Background Switcher (free for Windows, Mac is paid for some reason), great when you have multiple monitors and want to see different backgrounds from your picture folders or online.
  • MSI Afterburner, GPU overclocking utility. I don't do any overclocking, but it's nice to have the monitoring graphs and fan profiles.
  • Winamp, really whips the llama's ass! I use it mostly for old videogame music via plug-ins.
  • Freetube, standalone FOSS Youtube video player that filters out ads and allows you to customize the experience to be less shit. Comes in Windows, Mac, and Linux flavors and I think there's even a portable version for a thumbdrive.

The Freetube app hasn't been updated since November 2022 as of this post, so there's no telling when a Youtube update messes with it. So far the only bug I've noticed is that looking through a channel's video archives will only show the latest. I would love if there is an option to choose an aspect ratio for needlessly stretched videos, like longplays of old videogames. Pillarboxing is far more preferable to seeing ovals that you know damn well are originally circles.


I used to watch Youtube on Firefox with plugins to block ads, but I was getting real annoyed with them getting through via Youtube updates. The last straw was an ad with an obnoxious guy saying that watching Youtube videos to improve mental wellness was a fruitless pursuit and that I should use the service he was shilling. He might be right, but the way he came across got me to say "fuck him, the person who wrote the ad, the service that employed the ad and the Youtube algorithm".

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Oh yeah; forgot about Rogsoft's NotepadPlus. Haven't lived in Windows for like nine years now...

Thumbs up for for @dasho with grep. I've been using it alot more lately than I once did. Another

good one is mmv ~ multiple file move; great for renaming sprite directory contents!

Everyday, non-Doom.. hmm.. some Firefox variant, mousepad, funny enough, NeoPaint for Windows.

I run it through WINE. OpenOffice, or more specifically, the OpenCalc part of it. Audacity, xfce-terminal,

cat, tar, cp, ls, echo, ooh mc = Midnite Commander. The Doom stuff which I always paste in my

readme.txt files plus Rocket Launcher 2.0 and Doomseeker. There you have it; my life.


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It's hard for me to think of "go-to" software that doesn't come preinstalled with Debian GNU/Linux + GNOME, but here's some of what I have installed manually and use regularly:

  • I use ghostwriter to write all sorts of documents. It uses the Markdown format, which is a lot easier for me to work with than most other document formats, since it's all text.
  • I mostly listen to music on my phone, but when I listen on my laptop, I use Lollypop, because it's pretty, it integrates with the GNOME desktop, and it works.
  • For the same reasons, I use Geary to read my emails.
  • All of my videos are edited with Kdenlive.
  • I have two CD ripping tools installed - Sound Juicer and K3B.
  • HandBrake (cross-platform) has come in handy on occasion for ripping DVDs.
  • And I have lots of Doom source ports: Chocolate Doom, Crispy Doom, DSDA-Doom...

Everything above, I installed via the Debian repo, and it's all free and open-source. Though out of the ones I listed, only Kdenlive, ghostwriter, and Handbrake run on platforms other than Linux.


3 hours ago, prfunky said:


why not LibreOffice?

Edited by continuum.mid

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-Steam's probably one of the first things I install when I have to format my PC

-Discord since that's where all my friends are

-Irfanview loads images infinitely faster than the default one on Windows 10 (on an SSD even???? Really Microsoft????)

-Can't go without VLC for all my local music and videos, and then Spotify for streaming music

-Doom Mod Loader, less well known Doom frontend and aside from not working with DSDA (I use SoBad's Doom launcher for that) it works just fine for my other source ports of choice

-I need 7zip for opening anything that isn't a .zip

-PowerToys has become kind of a must for me; I'm aware there's probably a lot of other programs that do the exact same things but I've gotten used to how PowerToys works so idk how willing I am to switch away from it

-VoiceMod; I don't actually use the voice filters that often but I did pay $30ish for it, so might as well install it

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1 hour ago, continuum.mid said:

why not LibreOffice?


I don't remember. Every time I do a fresh Linux install, I immediately uninstall LibreOffice and then

install OpenOffice. Somewhere along the way, I had a problem with Libre that pissed me off enough

to NEVER have that problem again. I'm sorry I can't remember what the specific issue was though.

They were actually once spawned from the the same thing. LibreOffice was a licensing issue fork of

OpenOffice and like I said, I rode with it for awhile, maybe a couple-to-three years before I had

whatever problem it is that I can't remember. OpenOffice itself was a rebranding of a product called

StarOffice. If I recall correctly, StarOffice was made by Sun Microsystems. OpenOffice is what

happened when Sun decided that they weren't going to make any money with it so they just "open"d

it up. I HAVE a StarOffice 5.1 CD around in my collection of old turn-of-the-millenium software CDs,

wherever I put them. Back then I was probably using either Windows 98 SE or Windows 2000 and a

side of some Linux flavor as a secondary OS.


I've been pick-a-flavor Linux primary user for nine years now. I love it when I turn my Windows XP

secondary PC on to fart around with DoomBuilder when I haven't for a bit. There's something

comforting about getting that end-of-support dialog box...


I can't count how many times I've run these commands:

sudo apt-get remove libreoff*
cd ~/Installs/en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
cd desktop-integration
sudo dpkg -i *.deb



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6 minutes ago, prfunky said:

I don't remember. Every time I do a fresh Linux install, I immediately uninstall LibreOffice and then 

install OpenOffice. Somewhere along the way, I had a problem with Libre that pissed me off enough 

to NEVER have that problem again. I'm sorry I can't remember what the specific issue was though. 

I think I've had those sorts of reactions to all manner of software and even Linux distros, so I 100% get that. LibreOffice hasn't failed me yet but I haven't needed it in a while either (because I use Markdown for documents, and rarely do spreadsheets). I always had issues with Calligra, on the other hand.

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LibreOffice Writer. I kind of use it to just jot down whatever ideas are in my head, although when I upgraded to the newest version, there was a huge lag issue when trying to write anything. I managed to fix it, but the lag is still ever-so-noticeable. EDIT: Managed to find an older version; lag is here no longer.


7-Zip. Like WinRAR, but it's not nagware.


Blender. I'm still not that good at modelling anything that isn't a gun (and even then, I'm only halfway decent at that), but it's still nice to have. I did use to use Bforartists, but since have moved on to real Blender.


GIMP and MyPaint are two apps that I use from time-to-time, although it seems that MyPaint doesn't get updates anymore. I also have Krita, which I don't use at all but still have sitting on my desktop.


GZDoom is essential for my gameplay-mod-dependent Doom playstyle.

Edited by Artman2004

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 - I've been installing foobar2000 and VLC on every system since I first learned of foobar2000 eons ago. Now, I'm not so sure about either. Right now I've still got my system pointed at foobar2000 for handling MP3s, FLACs, and so on, and VLC for handling video. However, I've installed the reborn Winamp and am liking it more and more. I'm already using it instead of either of the other programs for multimedia audio streams that aren't Spotify. If it were a bit faster on load times, I'd use it to replace foobar2000 for audio files.

 - Microsoft Excel. Part of Microsoft 365. I track so many things, from my medications to my commissions using Excel - I don't know where I'd be without it. I used to use LibreOffice, but I started running into little niggly problems that were just minor irritations. That, plus my wife used an earlier version of Office. We decided to get a home site license of Microsoft 365.

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These are indispensable for me:


StartAllBack - to get a functional taskbar in Windows 11

OpenShell - to get the Windows 95 start menu back - StartAllBack only has the Windows 7 version

Total Commander - has been my file manager of choice for over 20 years now.

Visual Studio




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Most of my "go-tos" have been mentioned already, so I'll open with a curveball: Standard Notes. It's not freeware sadly, but it saves all note-like things that I actually want to keep across devices while maintaining a commitment to privacy. I have a five-year subscription with them which I think was much cheaper than the plans they offer today, but the current prices aren't too bad either and they offer cloud storage and a couple other things. YMMV.


Aside from that,

- Notepad of course. If you don't see me with at least one Notepad window open at all times I've either just rebooted or suffered some manner of serious breakdown and need immediate help.

- Office, but 2010. It's what I had a license for and I've seen no reason to update it. It's been years since I used OpenOffice but I remember serious formatting issues...

- IrfanView


- CDex for CD ripping

- WinRAR on my older machine, but on the newer one I went with 7-Zip and it's probably the superior choice of the two (haven't gotten around to putting it on the older one yet)

- Classic Shell on the Win10 machine (I'm fine with just Win7 UI)

- Photoshop and Paint (not the app version because fuck Win10 apps)

- Discord

- Firefox (for most browsing) and Opera (I don't normally use a VPN but its built-in VPN can occasionally be handy)


And if we're counting Doom-based utils... WadAuthor, Doom Builder, SLADE/SLumpED, and a shitty little launcher I coded in VB6 like 15+ years ago.


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  • lxterminal, an xterm,
  • midnight commander (mc, a Norton commander clone), spaceFM (graphical mc),
  • Bourne again shell (bash),
  • gkrellm, a small widget to see what’s happening in my system,
  • firefox, balsa (mail reader), kate (IDE),
  • audacious (music player), XCFA (to rip my CDs and DVD as music), handbrake (to rip DVDs), easytag,
  • libre office and evince,
  • wxmaxima and geogebra (mathematics), numworks (pocket calculator and emulator),
  • python (toolbox and toy),
  • yt-dlp and wget to download things (and used in scripts),
  • gimp, inkscape for graphics…

I’m naked in Windows without them.

Edited by ducon

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As with most of its kind, Linux Mint comes with nearly everything system related preinstalled. I have my own set of scripts, wallpapers, desktop sounds (the new Mint login sound is as bad as anything the Windows 10 design team could have come up with), etc; but for 3rd party apps the first thing that gets installed is Pinta, a clone of Paint.Net, followed by enough software dev tools to build the usual game playing and editing tools (GZDoom, Raze, ECWolf, kextract, wadext, acc, etc.). Then VMWare Player (free for private non-commercial use), and a small Windows 10 VM, for Ultimate DoomBuilder as it works poorly in WINE and the Linux port is buggy as hell. Finally, I hold my nose, use GPartED to put a small bare-metal Windows at the end of the HDD ... then boot-repair to put it in its place :)

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Ignoring anything gaming related or large software suites like Adobe or Office...


The Free Shit:

  • Irfanview for quick-n-dirty image cropping and such
  • ShareX for quickly uploading images to Imgur
  • 7Zip for the extracting of things
  • Wiztree for figuring out where the fuck all my disk space is going
  • VirtualDub2 for quick-n-dirty video cropping, trimming etc.
  • QTTabBar for tabs and folder shortcut buttons in Explorer
  • Foobar2000 for music
  • VLC for video
  • iTunes for janitoring my phone and ripping my rapidly growing collection of audio CDs
  • YTDLP-Interface for quickly grabbing videos off of Youtube as needed
  • Far, far too many Chrome extensions, for day-to-day living


The Extremely Not Free Shit:

  • Sublime Text for pretty much anything plaintext that a boy could want to do
  • Clip Studio Paint for drawin'
  • Goldwave for quick-n-dirty sound recording and editing

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