What do you do with your Linux box instead of gaming?

Gaming is not Linux’ particular strong suit. Even though it’s improving these days, it’s not what Linux is known for.

So, I’m wondering what do you people do with your Linux desktop installs?

Do you program? Maintain your servers? Write stories? Compose music? Work on distributions? Or are you just a run of the mill user who uses Linux to write emails and browse a bit?

Tell us! :slight_smile:

I’ll start off:
I’m using my computer to browse, watch videos (no, no cats as I’m alergic :smiley: ), and send emails.

I’m also trying to write a story using a piece of software I found on the internet, which is a nice competitor for Scrivener: NovelWriter. It just keeps getting better and better. The author is quite considerate when it comes to making sure the software is stable. It’s also quite performant.

I also have a Spotify account, which I like to use on my computer, as well as my phone (ANC headset). Unfortunately, this is not open source, but it does run on Linux. It also does what it says it does.


I program, mostly using R these days, but formerly C and Fortran.
I use R for statistical analysis.
I specialise in quantitative genetics. Some of the genetic analyses I do are maximum likelihood estimation procedures .
They require huge amounts of RAM. I have on occasions run a single job which used my whole 64 Gb of RAM and started to swap. It was solving some 10 million simultaneous equations.
One of the advantages of Linux or BSD is that it allows a single task to address 2^64 bytes of ram.

The other things I do are

  • normal internet use
  • multiboot … like to have one stable distro and one rolling
  • test installs of various linux/BSD varieties
  • VM … I use qemu/KVM via virt-manager
  • docker … this is a learning curve
  • Github and CRAN
  • itsFOSS

I like to write. Up till recently my main tool was latex, but I am experimenting at moment with markdown.

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Video editing, photo processing.
And of course the average office things, text editing, printing, browsing, emailing, listening to music, etc…

Yes, but does this count to desktop usage?


Email, bills, videos, movies, BOINC (The most important part)

Oh yeah, I design websites, look up answers to people’s PC problems.



Not very exciting stuff, mainly web surfing, email and the odd spreadsheet.
When required I do web site design and development running Dreamweaver with the aid of wine the FTP to the hosting site.
But running my own business for clients and converting them into Linux users I get asked so many questions on subject different so dabble with many different software tools.
Jack of all trades and not really a master of any


My life is on my Linux machine…lol. I run a business so LibreOffice Writer/Draw/Calc, Accounting online and in Akaunting for now, but am checking out Frappe Books recomended by @abhishek , customer database in Notesnook, lots of research on Linux, Thunderbird 115 email and calendar using Etesync, Mega for cloud storage, phone connected to desktops for SMS & notifications using KDE Connect and Telegram for family, Anydesk for remoting into family computers to maintenance, resolve issues, etc., and YES, I do play games…casual mostly, Crossover, Heroic and Steam, Bigfishgames.com all my games (except a few really old ones) play just as nice through Crossover. Then there’s the bill payments, statement downloads, tax filings, shopping (just about all my shopping is online) and of course, streaming shows when I finally hit the bed each night, and I connect BT speakers and listen to Chrip audiobooks, use Cider to listen to Apple music and add my CDs to the cloud & library, track my diet/exercise/health on Cronometer daily, add recipes to my notebooks, use it to cook with to see the recipes on the countertop, sell items online, whew…did I forget anything? Am sure I did. But you get the jist.



Lots of the same as the others here.

Web surfing, YouTube, stream TV and movies, some word processing and spreadsheets, email, forums. I used to game more, but still game a bit using Steam.

My job is managing mostly Linux servers in the cloud, but it’s kind of like the old Army commercial. “It’s not just a job it’s and adventure.” I end up doing some of the same when I get home just for “fun”.

I end up helping out friends and family with computer problems, both personal and business related issues.

I store lots of family pictures and videos from the past 50 years on a desktop, an external drive, and baked up to a couple different internet storage sites.

I also read quite a bit. I use Libby (https://libbyapp.com) which is a library lending service, but also Barnes and Noble.


I do game on my Linux desktop… not often… I keep buying games but never playing them…

But that aside - I use it for my job - which - as others here have also stated - involves system admin of Linux and UNIX servers…

I also mostly use my Linux desktop for :

  • Web surfing (mostly Brave)
  • watching TV (have a Pi with a TV Card in it running TVHeadEnd - I watch the free to air via stream using MPV - but it’s mostly on ABC-News [i.e. Australian government TV network : Australian Broadcasting Commission / Corporation] 24 x 7)
  • Watching downloaded TV shows or movies (using MPV)
  • Listening to Music (downloaded) using Sayonara player
  • I also watch some Netflix and other streaming services through my main web browser on Linux (Brave)
  • But there are some (like Binge and Stan) where the playback is so shonky, I end up downloading the content to watch “offline”. Also - both Apple and Amazon Prime, when you watch via a browser, place the controls (pause, play etc) RIGHT in the MIDDLE of the content, and everytime the cursor moves, they plonk the play / pause button in the middle of what you’re watching, so I usually download those too! Netflix is probably the best, but also Australian “Free to Stream” services like SBS-On Demand and ABC iVIEW.
  • Occasionally make “satirical” memes for social media, mostly use InkScape for that…

I host my own “cloud” storage solution - Resilio Sync - so basically all my photos on one computer, and music, and documents, are sync’d to all the others on the sync chain (and it also does some version control) - so if / when I do a desktop rebuild - my volatile content is mostly left “untouched” and I don’t dual boot…

Unfortunately - most of my work use of documents and spreadsheets is Microsoft based, so I use my Macs with Office for that stuff…


Have you tried GNUCash?


@TrekJunky no, I had not looked at it. Thanks so much. It appears to be well maintained and very user friendly. I will give it a go.

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I mostly use Linux as a platform to run Firefox - Same for my phone and tablet. :stuck_out_tongue: I do occasionally use Libre Office and GIMP but not much else besides Firefox and a text editor.

Hi @Sheila_Flanagan,
Take a look at Homebank.
It’s just an alternative to GnuCash, but it might be useful to you.



As I am retired I use LibreOffice Calc to manage my pension for the last 16 years. Netflix is my main form of film entertainment, alongside problem type games and puzzles. I do spend a lot of time scanning the internet news sites, trying to sort the truth from the ever increasing propaganda or downright lies! I enjoy making sure my machine is in top notch spec as far as my HP Z400 will allow. I also keep my holiday photos on it and occasionally remind myself of some rather good past times. Music nowadays is kept on my machine and I can make music CDs for driving to my own choices which happens to be Country & Western.
My shopping is mostly done online except for the weekly forays into supermarkets.
I have to say in conclusion that I think I would be lost without my computer! Totally!


@DanTheManDRH are you saying you run Linux on your phone? Very interested in the details and how that works for you.


No, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I was making half hearted joke how all my hardware just winds up being somewhere else to run a browser and get online. :slight_smile:

I sorta / kinda use/run “Linux” on my phone… TermUX - gives you a bash shell (but also works with ZSH shell - which is what I use)… There are ways of installing a GUI too, via TermUX - but I don’t think I’d ever bother - X isn’t really all that useable on a tiny handset screen… But I mostly just use it from ZSH shell, either directly, or I SSH to it (and I can also pull stuff using rsync / ssh / scp - and to some extent “push” stuff to the isolated/abstracted app storage [needs a rooted handset to write “everywhere”])

I used to run a much more complete Linux desktop on my Android phone, few years back - Google Nexus 5 (rebadged LG) via MaruOS is/was still Android but it ran Debian Jessie and XFCE in a chroot (note - XFCE would be output via a SlimPort USB micro to HDMI adaptor)… However the hardware on the Nexus 5 was a bit limited i.e. storage (only 32 GB), and can’t add an SD Card. I have a 512 GB SD Card in my Galaxy S9+… My “portable” music collection is ~150 GB… I need my phone to be a portable music player…

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@daniel.m.tripp I purposely bought my last phone (Google Pixel3aXL) because it is completely supported for Ubuntu Touch. I do have the extra microSD slot which I, too, use for my music player. I have Apple music, but I like to listen to my own stuff and often when traveling in the car/RV we go into areas with no service.

Reason I am interested is not so much to work on stuff (too old to see that small of a screen) but to use it as the phone for calls/texts, camera & map app. I can do without a lot of the Android apps which are just for convenience as I can just use a browser and login if I need to.

Just wondered if anyone actually has Linux on a smart phone and how that works for them as I heard a few folks say it was not good, but that’s been a couple of years ago. Seems to me if Ubuntu Touch has made everything work on my phone and we have FDroid store and others to get some apps from, it should be fine. But I do need to answer business calls on my phone daily, so a bit hesitant to take the leap.

So as long as there is space (64 gb phone + 512 gb sd) I don’t see why it couldn’t work. Any tips would be great. I don’t have to have Google maps, just need a reliable map service for finding customer addresses.


OK, let me share some pictures :smile:

On the right that’s me shooting the Malaguti.

…then it is done 100% in Linux.

And the result:


I tried Ubuntu Touch on that Nexus 5 and hated it… Mind you that was a while ago (2017?)… But boy was it frustrating! e.g. they won’t even let you SSH to your Linux! Really? I gave up on it and went back to MaruOS.

Last time I checked (on the website) MaruOs was available for some Pixel series - however - there’s a caveat there - you can only run the Linux Desktop via a Chromecast to a TV or monitor - and - worst? 720P only (MaruOs on my Nexus5 would do 1080p via slimport → HDMI)…

So you can get FDroid store on ubuntu touch and run Android apps? Hmmm… Yeah… Nah… Reckon I’ll give that a miss - I’d need to get a new battery for the Nexus 5 for a start - but only 32 GB storage?

Good luck anyway @Sheila_Flanagan - I’m happy (well lets say resigned - not really “happy”)) with stock end of life Android 10 from Samsung on my S9+ with FDroid and TermUX (and being able to ssh / sftp / scp / rsync between my Linux and MacOS machines to my phone).


I use Linux for:

  • Programming
  • Studying DevOps/Site Reliability Engineering/Cloud computing
  • Working on Projects related to the above
  • Writing up my notes
  • Planning Pathfinder/DnD games (one done one so far)
  • Gaming (Only Steam so far, with the exception being Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart which on Flatpak)
  • Chatting with friends on Discord
  • Bills and all of that jazz since I haven’t used my Windows side in like 6 months
  • Plotting the downfall of my enemies