Back to Win

Almost 3 years past since I moved to Ubuntu Linux. I’ve been developing there, I’ve been learning there, I’ve been taking rest there, I’ve been a geek there. Time has gone and now it’s time to switch back to Windows. Linux is great, but I’m a C#-on-Windows-Server developer now.

It’s a story about finding out good Windows alternatives for Linux software, I’ve being selecting by years. I also describe my virtual desktop based workflow and a way how I’ve restored it on Windows 10.

Part 1. Software

Run Linux shell and third-party soft natively. Terminal emulator + Ubuntu + X Server.
Alternative to: Tilix.

Here and after WSL stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux, a native way to run Ubuntu on Windows 10.

Clipboard manger. Remember what you’ve copied.
Alternative to: ClipIt.

Advanced file manager.
Alternative to: Nautilus.

Years past and Total Commander become a bit more natural for me. Killer features are tabs and 2 panels flavored with a new flat UI. But anyway, you’ll need to remap some shortcuts in settings.

Part 2. Workflow

Let’s discuss something less trivial then a need for a clipboard manager. Les’t talk about a way you can use it.

When you do smth a lot, you find a workflow to do these things faster and better. After you master this workflow, you start interpret a set of tasks as a one task, so you don’t lose focus on evaluating them. For software development it can be a git branching model you use, a way you debug or a way you modify your code (vim/IDE shortcuts). For OS use in general, my workflow consists of a few things:

  • Static allocation of virtual desktops and use them on purpose.
  • Shortcuts for any background tasks (window management, music control, making screenshots and so on).
  • Scripts for any usual tasks consist of more than two atomic tasks.

Virtual desktops itself safe you from a mess evoking by plenty of apps in one viewport (union of your monitors’ screens). Having a predefined allocation safe you from searching for an app you need over virtual desktops.

I use the following allocation for virtual desktops:

  • desktop1 — for current task (development, learning, e.g.). In the most cases these are IDE + Chrome + file manager + PDF viewer.
  • desktop2 — for auxiliary tasks (notes, tasking system like Trello, e.g.)
  • desktop3 — for communication (Telegram, Slack, e.g.)
  • desktop4 — for entertainments (music player, Spotify, e.g.)

To do so on Windows a few additional apps are needed.

Shortcuts for moving programs between virtual desktops and switching to a specific virtual desktop.

Launch a program on a specific virtual desktop.

Final words

Feel free to leave comments with your workflows and nontrivial soft you use.

I have an urge to write more articles about workflows and software collections. The next one will be about hidden Windows shortcuts, Windows scripting and Windows configuration hints.



Software developer, IT enthusiast and life researcher

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