Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)

The New Leaf Journal is powered by WordPress and and other free and open source software and services. I use free and open source operating systems, tools, and services on my own computers and devices. Below, I will recommend some of my favorite FOSS software and services in several categories. If you are interested in some of the software we use here on WordPress, see my related resource page on WordPress plugins and themes.

The following lists are not intended to be exhaustive. I will list software and services that I personally use or used regularly in the past. I will periodically update the list to add new software and services as I try different tools. What works for me may not work for you, but I think that most readers will find a few suggestions to try for their own computers and devices.

Services

ServiceSourcePurposeFree?Self-Hostable?Analysis
BitwardenGHPasswords-miumYesA terrific FOSS password manager with a robust free plan. I have been a customer since 2020.
CryptpadGHEncrypted collaboration-miumYesFOSS Google Drive alternative. Solid free plan and can be self-hosted.
JMP ChatGLSMS-XMPP BridgeNoNoBridges a phone number to an XMPP account. I reviewed it here.
Mullvad VPNGHVPNNoNoMy go-to VPN provider.
PosteoGHEmail HostNoNoI use Posteo for my personal email. Open source, reasonably priced, and supports IMAP and POP3.
TutanotaGHEmail Host-miumNoI use Tutanota for a password management email account. Its Android client works well for that purpose.
SimpleLoginGHEmail Aliasing-miumYesFOSS email aliasing service. Robust free plan. I have premium which allows for custom domains.
SnikketGHXMPP HostingIn BetaYesI use Snikket to host a custom domain XMPP account that is linked to my JMP Chat number.
Standard EbooksGHFree ebooksYesNoStandard Ebooks produces beautifully formatted ebook classics that are available for free. Site and books are open source.
Wallabag.itGHRead-it-LaterNoYesI am not using Wallabag at the moment, but it is a great tool for saving articles to read later. It can be self-hosted, but the official instance is reasonably priced.

Bookmarks and Organizing

ToolSourcePurposePlatformsAnalysis
BukuGHCLI bookmarks managerLinux, Windows, MacOS, Android (Termux)Powerful bookmarks manager – I use it with Bukubrow (see web extensions) to manage bookmarks across browsers.
BukuserverGHGUI browser for BukuLinux, MacOS, WindowsGraphical browser for Buku bookmarks that exposes a front-end on a local web server.
TagSpacesGHLocal file organizerLinux, Windows, MacOS, AndroidTag and organize local files. I am using it in conjunction with SingleFile (see Web Browser Extensions) and Zim (see Writing Tools).

Chat Clients

ClientSourceProtocolPlatformsAnalysis
ElementGHMatrixLinux, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOSThe flagship Matrix client and best choice for desktop. I use it inside Ferdi (see below).
GajimGLXMPPLinux, Windows, MacOSMinimal XMPP client and my current choice for desktop.
SnikketGHXMPPAndroidI am using the Snikket client (along with server) on my Android-based mobile devices.

Email Clients

ClientSourcePlatformsAnalysis
K-9 MailGHAndroidTerrific free email client for Android-based devices.
ThunderbirdLPLinux, Windows, MacOSEmail client (and more) for the desktop.
TutanotaGHLinux, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOSTutanota only works in its own client. On desktop, I use it through Ferdi.

Media

Media SoftwareSourcePurposePlatformsAnalysis
CalibreGHE-book manager and viewerLinux, Windows, MacOSIncredibly powerful e-book manager and viewer with a plethora of features.
FreeTubeGHYouTube clientLinux, Windows, MacOSVery good desktop YouTube client that also allows for downloading videos.
HypnotixGHIPTV playerLinuxQuality IPTV player. I use it to watch NHK TV World.
LutrisGHGame launcher and managerLinuxGame launcher and manager for Linux with compatibility tools.
mpvGHMedia playerLinux, Windows, MacOS, AndroidSimple lightweight media player.
NewPipeGHYouTube/PeerTube clientAndroidPrivacy-friendly YouTube client for Android.
PlayOnLinuxGHGame launcher/compatibilityLinuxSimple game launcher for Windows software on Linux.
RadioliseGHIPTV/RadioPWAIPTV and radio progressive web app.
SMPlayerGHMedia playerLinux, WindowsVideo player front-end for MPlayer. Can use mpv as video backend.

Operating Systems

OSSourceBased OnForAnalysis
Manjaro LinuxGLArch LinuxComputersMy primary desktop operating system since August 2020.
Bodhi LinuxHubUbuntu LinuxComputersA lightweight operating system happily running on my old desktop. I reviewed it for a 2007 MacBook.
EndeavourOSGHArch LinuxComputersMy primary laptop operating system at the moment.
/e/ OSGLLineageOSPhonesMy daily driver phone operating system. I reviewed it here.
LineageOSGHAndroidPhonesMy daily driver on my primary tablet. I discussed installing it on a Nexus 7 here.
UBportsGHUbuntu LinuxPhonesAlso known as Ubuntu Touch. I am running it on a Nexus 7. I discussed the installation here.
Ubuntu ServerLPDebianServersPowering The New Leaf Journal.

Passwords and 2FA

ApplicationSourcePurposePlatformAnalysis
Aegis AuthenticatorGH2FA (HOTP/TOTP)AndroidEssential simple free and open source 2FA application for Android.
KeePassDXGHPassword ManagerAndroidKeePass application for Android.
KeePassXCGHPassword ManagerLinux, Windows, MacOSLocal password manager that manages KDBX databases. Working on transitioning to it for all of my passwords.

RSS/Atom Clients

ClientSourcePlatformAnalysis
FeedReaderDecSyncGHLinuxRSS reader that syncs with DecSync. I use this on my computers.
Flym-DecSyncGHAndroidRSS reader that syncs with DecSync. I use this on my tablet.
spaRSS-DecSyncGHAndroidRSS reader that syncs with DecSync. I use this on my phone.

Server Tools and Apps

ThingSourcePurposeAnalysis
CloudronGLApp installer/control panelI use Cloudron to manage the server running this humble online magazine.
WordPressWPBlogging CMS.Powering The New Leaf Journal and millions of websites around the world.

Syncing Tools

ToolSourcePurposePlatformsAnalysis
DecSyncGHSync contacts, calendars, tasks, RSS, and OSM locations.Linux, AndroidI use DecSync with Syncthing for syncing contacts and feeds between my computers and mobile devices
SyncthingGHP2P synchronization toolLinux, Windows, MacOS, AndroidAn essential tool for syncing directories directly between devices. I use it for many purposes.

Web Browsers

BrowserSourceForBased OnAnalysis
BadwolfLinkLinuxWebKitGTK+Very simple, minimal, and privacy-friendly browser that I use for opening articles from my RSS reader.
BromiteGHAndroidChromiumA de-Googled version of Chromium for Android. This is my primary browser on /e/ and LineageOS.
FalkonGLLinuxQTWebEngineA terrific lightweigh web browser for Linux operating.
FirefoxMercLinux, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOSSelf (Gecko)One of my secondary browsers on desktop. Make sure to go through its options carefully before using it.
Ungoogled ChromiumGHLinux, MacOS, AndroidChromiumChromium without the Google. My primary desktop web browser. I enjoy the 2.5 hours it takes to build.

Web Extensions

ExtensionSourceForPurposeAnalysis
BukubrowGHChromium, FirefoxBuku bookmarks integrationEasy browser integration for the Buku bookmarks manager
ClearURLsGHChromium, FirefoxLink cleaningNot technically necessary with uBlock Origin, but I appreciate some of its extra features.
Dark ReaderGHChromium, Firefox, SafariDark modeFor those who like reading in dark mode. It also has a light mode.
LocalCDNCBChromium, FirefoxCDN emulatorLoads third-party resources locally.
Mark-ItGHChromium, FirefoxNotesA fun extension that adds markdown note taking to one’s web browser.
Privacy RedirectGHChromium, FirefoxRediretorRedirects links to several social platforms to privacy-respecting frontends.
Search by ImageGHChromium, FirefoxImage searchEasy way to search for images using many search engines.
SideberyGHFirefoxVertical tabsAdd vertical tabs to Firefox. With a bit of tweaking, you can create some interesting set-ups.
SingleFileGHChromium, FirefoxSave webpages as HTML filesPowerful extension for saving webpages as HTML files.
Skip RedirectGHChromium, FirefoxSkip imtermidiary URLsSkips intermediary URLs and takes user directly to end location.
The Great Suspender – No TrackGHChromiumTab suspenderSuspend unused tag. I covered it and another good option, The Marvelous Suspender, in an article.
uBlock OriginGHChromium, Firefox, PalemoonAd and Script BlockingThe essential extension. I use it for ads, scripts, and many trackers. How do people live without it?
Note: Chromium refers to browsers based on Chromium. Examples: Chromium, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, and Opera.

Writing Tools

ToolSourcePurposeCompatible WithAnalysis
GhostwriterGHMarkdown EditorLinux, Windows (portable), MacOS (unofficial)My favorite markdown editor. I reviewed it here.
Libre Office WriterGerritWord ProcessorLinux, Windows, MacOSTerrific FOSS alternative to Microsoft Word
MarkorGHText/Markdown EditorAndroidWell-rounded markdown/text editor for Android.
PepysGHMarkdown JournalLinux, Windows, MacOSSimple markdown daily journal
ZettlrGHMarkdown Editor/ResearchLinux, Windows, MacOSMarkdown editor with powerful features for research
ZimGHDesktop WikiLinux, Windows, MacOSA personal desktop wiki with too many features to detail here

Miscellaneous Resources

ResourceSourcePurposeAnalysis
Awesome Humane TechGHTech resourceList of humane tech software and services – sorted by category.
Search Engine PartyGLSearch engine resourceA sortable list of search engines and how they compare in various metrics.
The Visual Novel DatabaseRepoVisual Novel wikiDatabase of visual novels with more than 24,000 entries. We include a link to it in all of our visual novel reviews.