This year I was really grateful for the following Gnu/Linux programs (certainly not only exclusive to 2009):
1. osd_cat -- I really like being able to send myself messages 'system alert' style (or have tcpdump output scroll by at the top of the screen).
$ echo "This is important." | osd_cat --align=center --pos=middle --font=lucidasanstypewriter-bold-24
2. mtp-tools + libmtp8 -- This is a very helpful command line tool for working with an annoying protocol used by many mp3 players.
3.alsaconf + alsamixer + .asoundrc = I really appreciated how well alsa conf sets up sound. chrooted alsa sound worked much better for me than chrooted jack sound. I also liked being able to edit the alsa conf file .asoundrc to be able to capture all raw sound over the alsa card. http://tinyurl.com/y9m3hmw
4. apcupsd -- My last UPS died with no warning. I then bought an APC UPS. The monitoring daemon is FOSS and the script highly configurable. My ups can now send me updates via email.
5. imagemagick -- It is very useful for batch edits of pictures: trimming, converting, etc. It's also a quick way to whip up a text image.
$ echo -e "Happy New Year" | convert -size 960x -font Essays1743-Bold -pointsize 24 -channel RGBA -background black -fill green1 -stroke green caption:@- -trim newyear.png
6. schroot - Schroot helps to easily chroot -- creating an environment to sandbox and safely run 32 bit applications.
7. rsync - I'm grateful that rsync is always there to keep my data backed up.
8. wget + for = Sometimes you want to download a webpage or file at the command line... and sometimes you want to download a lot of webpages or files.
$for ((i=1; i<=773; i++)); do wget http://example.foopictures.org/vacation/[^ ]*\.\(JPG\|PNG\|BMP\)'`; done
9.nmap , zmapfe = nmap is a really useful tool for seeing what's going on in your network.
nmap -A -T4 127.0.0.1
Zenmap now makes nice topology pictures.
10. cat + sed + grep + (and regular expressions)= I probably use these three or any combination thereof more than I should. Check yourself (unless you've disabled your .bash_history:
$cat ~/.bash_history |grep -o '\(sed \|cat \|grep \)' |wc -l
Enjoy your New Year!