December 22, 2019

Suckless software; Can it make your Linux suck less?

A new infatuation is sweeping the Linux nation; it’s called suckless software. Does it truly make your computer suck-less? Did your computer suck to begin with? Are these dumb questions? Let’s find out

Suckless software offers a movement to create concise, unbloated software. The term Suckless actually refers to how this software they utilize less resources than their bloated counterparts. A fun play on words to indicate their superiority-complex. Is the name earned though, do these programs truly suck less?

Resource wise, yes, they utilize fewer resources than other antiquated software. The programs take up very little storage space and require very little ram to run

Experience wise, this is where it gets a bit hairy. The whole idea behind suckless programs is that they are made of a few C files with not very many lines of code. The downside to this being that these programs typically use either no configuration file at all or a config file written in C. The nice thing about these programs being so simple though is that if you can code in C; you can bend the program to your will.

From this idea of suckless sprung a few very interesting programs. The terminal emulator ST has grown in popularity lately, thanks to it’s heavy customizability and simple nature. Same with the windows manager, DWM, which offers a very useful alternative to overly complex windows managers like GNOME.

So to suck-less or not to suckless? If you want to understand how your program runs, add features that you need when you need them, and utilize very little system resources in the process; go with suck-less. If you’d rather use programs that install easier and customize with a simple text file, stick with regular programs.


  • Small correction: GNOME is not a window manager. It is a desktop environment. GNOME uses Mutter as its window manager. Also, it is “window manager” instead of “windows manager”.

    • That is very true thankyou. Also I didn’t notice the windows manager part lol. Speaking of Gnome not being A windows manager I’d love to dive further into Gnome + a tiling wm

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