Some days ago i’ve written a post about the “Ultra-Geek” Linux Workstation developed by Joe Nelson.

Reading his post, I found many similarities with the current configuration of my laptop.

So I decided to share the setup of my ‘Ultra-Geek linux Laptop’, with ‘design goals’ very similar to those of Joe Nelson:

  • I need a really stable system with an immediate response, even on a hardware that is not too recent and powerful: so the system should use minimalist (but effective) tools.
  • Cache data offline when possible: no reason to repeatedly retrieve them from internet.
  • Avoid interpreted languages, web-based desktop apps, JavaScript garbage and background programs that can use a big amount of CPU.
  • Privacy: “Commercial software and operating systems have gotten so terrible about this.”


Operating System

  • Debian 9 “Stretch” (the project was started with a Debian 8)

Usually i install the base system without the graphical interface, starting with a ‘netinst’ image.
Once the base system is correctly installed, i add only the base GUI packets, and its dependencies (i3, Xorg and SLiM).


  • Window manager: i3
  • Login Manager: SLiM
  • Application launcher: dmenu
  • Screenshots: ImageMagick, with a simple bash script:

System tools and utilities

Web and Social


  • MUA : NeoMutt (with maildir storage format)
  • MTA: msmtp
  • MRA: offlineimap (syncs the local mailbox with remote imap)
  • abook to store and retrieve addresses. Integration with neomutt using this snippet in .muttrc:
set query_command = "abook — mutt-query ‘%s’"
bind editor <Tab> complete-query

Security and Privacy


System monitoring

  • Resource usage and process monitor: htop



Office and Documents