The Linux Setup - Miriam Ruiz, Debian Developer/Engineer
Another Debian developer! Miriam has a low-drama setup. She simply uses Debian to do what she needs to do. I find it interesting that she desktop hops a bit (she’s now working with GNOME), but at the same time, it’s very cool that she’s open to trying new desktop environments. In general, her setup seems to be evolving over time, which is inspiring to those of us who are a bit entrenched in our own workflows.
Who are you, and what do you do?
That’s probably one of the most difficult questions to answer, I guess. Like mostly everyone I know, I’m a lot of things. I’m a Spanish girl, an engineer, a geek, a feminist, a Free Software activist and, regarding Linux, I’m a Debian Developer.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I run Debian GNU/Linux on all of my computers. It’s the distribution I’m most familiar with, it’s a good option for most purposes and architectures, it has a good support community in mailing lists and forums, and it already includes most of the software I usually need. And when I need something that isn’t already there, I usually package it myself.
What software do you depend upon with this distribution?
It depends on what I’m using at the moment. The things I use the most are the shell console, a programming environment (an editor and gcc), Mozilla Firefox (with a lot of add-ons), and programs like LibreOffice, GIMP and VLC. I tend to use Python or bash for scripting, and if I have to do some work with data, R or Octave. I tend to use lots of smaller CLI programs that make my life easier, though. Regarding my desktop, I’ve been changing it over time. I’ve already gone through Xfce and KDE, and I’m currently using GNOME.
What kind of hardware do you run it on?
I do most things either from my small netbook or from an old workstation computer, depending on what I need to do. I’ve got some other computers that I use to try things, like a tiny ARM or an old PowerPC. Most of the time I use my netbook, and I connect remotely to my workstation for doing whatever needs intensive use of the CPU, like compiling something, or doing a lot of numerical calculations, for example.
What is your ideal Linux setup?
My ideal configuration would just include Free Software (and thus should only be comprised of hardware that has Free Software drivers, including the graphic card and the WiFi system), would have a comfortable desktop environment (right now I’m a bit biased towards GNOME, but KDE is a good option too), and would have a system that was easy to configure and upgrade, and had most of the software I might use in its repositories (my natural option would, of course, be Debian). For mobile computers I like netbooks a lot, and for workstations, two big monitors is a good idea :)
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
It’s not really very impressive. This is from my netbook where the desktop environment I use is GNOME 3. I tend to use multiple desktops a lot, and I usually have many windows open.
Interview conducted November 27, 2012