The Linux Setup - Ruji Chapnik, Artist
I noticed Ruji in the March 2012 edition of Linux Journal, where she wrote a cool article about playing and managing music from the console. Having interviewed her, I can say my instinct that she would be interesting was spot-on—Ruji runs Sabayon Xfce, a setup I myself enjoyed for a while.
Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Ruji Chapnik. I’m a freelancer and Linux hobbyist. As far as what I “do” goes, I suppose you could call me an artist; I have a bachelor’s degree in art, anyway. Lately I’ve been posting satirical comics at dondepresso.tumblr.com. You can find out more about me at rujic.net.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I have two laptops, a 13” MacBook Pro and a Lenovo G770. Both are running Sabayon Linux. Both are also set up to dual-boot, but I rarely use Windows on my Lenovo. I do use Mac OS X for Final Cut Pro, which is my go-to nonlinear video editing program.
What software do you depend upon with this distribution?
I’ve played with different desktop environments and have settled with Xfce on both systems. I used Gnome 2 in the past and switched to KDE for a long while last year, but later I wanted something zippier.
Some of the software I find essential for daily use
- Terminator: The best terminal emulator in the world. I’m addicted to making little boxes inside it.
- GIMP: Needs no introduction.
- gedit: I use it for all my notes. Sometimes I use different highlight modes to organize my thoughts; for instance, in C++ mode, my numbered lists show up in color. I don’t actually edit code in gedit.
- DeaDBeeF: I just started using this music player when I was getting annoyed with Amarok’s interface. I customized the colors of the GUI and made it look all psychedelic and crazy and stuff.
- Xfrun4: Yep, that’s right. The popup “run” dialog. I’ve customized my keyboard shortcuts so that hitting CTRL+SPACE opens Xfrun4. This saves me a lot of time when opening applications.
What kind of hardware do you run it on?
MacBook Pro 5,5 (13”) with 4GB RAM and 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Lenovo G770 (17.3”) with 8GB RAM and 2.50 GHz Intel Core i5-2450M processor.
What is your ideal Linux setup?
The most comfortable setup I’ve had was a year or two ago, when I was running Sabayon Linux on my MacBook Pro with Gnome 2. I used Compiz Fusion as my window manager, which was awesome. I set it up to do all kinds of neat 3D tricks when I moved windows or switched workplaces.
Running Linux on a Mac can be a pain in the ass when it comes to using the iSight camera and playing audio; Mac hardware often doesn’t play nicely with Linux. I haven’t had these problems with Linux on my Lenovo. It was such a relief that I didn’t have to tweak the hell out of my ALSA settings to get the audio working.
The setup on my Lenovo is pretty close to ideal, but I miss some things about Gnome 2. I don’t want to use an obsolete desktop environment, though, and I don’t care much for Gnome 3—so the best thing seems to be Xfce. At some point when I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll install CairoDock, which I prefer to Xfce’s built-in toolbars.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Interview conducted March 25, 2012