Open Source Musings

Sharing a passion for Linux and open source, with a decidedly non-techie slant

(Note: This article was originally published at and appears here via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.)

There are great tools on the Linux desktop for taking screen captures, such as KSnapshot and Shutter. Even the simple utility that comes with the GNOME desktop does a pretty good job of capturing screens. But what if you rarely need to take screen captures? Or you use a Linux distribution without a built-in capture tool, or an older computer with limited resources?

Turn to the command line and a little utility called Scrot. It does a fine job of taking simple screen captures, and it includes a few features that might surprise you.

Let's take a peek at it.


There are more than a few free and open source task management applications out there. They run at the command line, on your desktop, and even on the web. They are, as you might expect, of varying quality, and with a varying number of functions. But there's pretty much a task management tool for just about everyone's needs.

Since early 2020, I've been trying to use Nextcloud as my personal hub. One app I've been experimenting with (again) is Tasks. Which, as the name implies, is Nextcloud's todo list manager.

Let's take a quick look at how to use it.


(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at and appears here via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.)

I don't do Windows. The operating system, I mean. At least, not on my own computers and not with any of my own work.

When I was a consultant, I often had to work out of my clients' offices, which meant using their hardware, which also meant using Windows at many of those offices.

Even when using Windows, I tried to install as much open source software as I could. Why? Because it works as well as (if not better than) its proprietary equivalents. One of the applications I always installed was Notepad++, which I looked at for The Plain Text Project.

To be honest, I've wanted a version of Notepad++ for Linux for a while now. Someone made my wish come true in the shape of Notepadqq. Although it's billed as “a text editor for developers,” it's not a bad tool for writers or anyone else, either.

Let's take a look at it.


Despite all the grand talk of us being in the digital age and of the paperless whatever, many of us still receive and handle more paper than we care to. While most of that can be recycled or shredded, we might need to keep a few of those documents for posterity.

No one wants to deal with drawers full of paper. So why not archive all of your important documents? If you have a scanner or a multi-function printer, and are running the GNOME desktop, then using Document Scanner (which was known for the longest time as Simple Scan) is a quick, easy, and efficient way to do that job.

Let's take a look at it.


When it comes to editing images and photos on the Linux desktop, the first application that comes to mind is The GIMP. And with good reason: The GIMP is big, powerful, and flexible.

It's also a bit much if you only need to do some basic image editing. Not everyone is a professional photographer or designer. Most of use only need to do basic tasks like cropping, resizing, minor retouching, and the like.

A good option for that is Pinta. To paraphrase Jack Tramiel, Pinta is image editing software for masses, not classes. It's reminiscent of Windows Paint, but with a few more features. Features that you might actually use.

Let's take a quick look at how to do some basic image editing with Pinta.


One of my goals for 2022 is to slow down. To take things a bit more quietly and deliberately. That includes writing.

Over the last couple of years, and with all the spaces in which I publish online, I felt rushed. When I first started this blog, my plan was to occasionally post here. That plan didn't work out — I started writing here every week. And that seemed forced. So it's time to step back a bit.

It's not that I don't have ideas. I have more than enough to keep going for a long time. It's just that I haven't been able to let those ideas form in the way in which I want them to.

Starting in February, 2022 I'm going to limit the number of posts in this space to three (or maybe four) a month — two in-depth articles, a links roundup, and every so often republishing an article I wrote for or at The Plain Text Project.

That kind of schedule is a lot more sustainable — I'll be able to devote more time to thinking about what I'm writing and, I hope, improve the quality of what I post in this space.

Scott Nesbitt


Enter your email to subscribe to updates.