Recommended Development Tools in Linux, MacOS, and Windows

Kendrick Peak
Kendrick Peak

I use Linux, MacOS, and Windows, and I like all three operating systems. There might be a tool I like more in one than the others, but I can write code and spin up environments regardless of which OS I’m using. In this article I have put together a list of my recommended development tools.

I have a work-provided Macbook Pro that runs MacOS. It is based on Apple Silicon and I have found that the ecosystem is a lot better than it was in 2021 when I first switched. Most applications I need are now native or universal and even NodeJS runs decently well on the native architecture.

My personal computer is a desktop that runs Windows 10 and Manjaro (Manjaro is an arch-derivative rolling release distro. I use the Cinnamon DE because I can keep my window-snapping muscle memory). Since the desktop is my personal machine, I have found it useful to do most of my programming there on Linux. This helps me separate coding time mentally. I deliberately did not install anything like games in Linux so it could be a focused environment.

Development Tools

Package Manager

  • yay
    • Linux
    • yay wraps the built-in pacman. I use it to install all of the Linux software.
    • This is only available for arch and arch-derivative distros.
  • homebrew
    • MacOS
    • Install most software available on homebrew with it.
    • Since I’m on Apple Silicon, I check if the homebrew packages are native or universal, and if they still point to Darwin, I install manually. In the past year, this situation has gotten a lot better.
  • I don’t use a package manager on Windows. I have been watching the development of winget and I plan to try it out now that it is out of preview.



    • Visual Studio
      • Windows
      • I like to use Visual Studio in Windows for .NET projects , but I think that for .NET Core API projects Visual Studio Code works very well. I do not use Visual Studio for front end projects.
      • I also don’t use Visual Studio on MacOS unless I am working with Xamarin. It is not the same product under the hood as the original Visual Studio on Windows and I use Visual Studio Code instead.

    Code Editor

    Git Client

    • GitKraken
      • Linux
      • MacOS
      • Windows
      • I like using Git GUI clients because I have a very visual memory. GitKraken helps me commit only final code and not debug stuff. I also like to use it to commit specific lines which helps me do atomic commits.

    Database Tools



    • Boost Note
      • Linux
      • MacOS
      • Windows
      • There is an older and a newer version of Boost Note. I still use the older version because I prefer the feature set. The older version is in maintenance mode and might be an acquired taste at this point, but I really like it.


    If I find any other recommended development tools, I will add them here.

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