Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Linux Setup - Scott Caie, Funtoo Developer

It’s always reassuring to see a developer who uses his own product. Scott’s all over Funtoo, using it for everything from laptops (lots of laptops) to servers. His setup is optimized for speed, since his work requires a lot of processing power. I think it’s very interesting that he uses Firefox for his browser only when Chromium is unavailable due to a build. That’s a very specific usage case. I found Scott while I was looking into Funtoo, which seems like an interesting distro. Hearing from Scott only intrigues me more. Scott also mentions Daniel Robbins, the head of Funtoo, who comes from Gentoo. Daniel did an interview with the original Setup that you might enjoy.

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

You can follow My Linux Rig on Google+ here and follow me on Twitter here.

  1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    My names Scott, or anak1n on the internet. I’m a freelance programmer and part of the Funtoo Core Team. I help bring packages to the main Portage Tree, as well as fix bugs, fix broken packages, help out in IRC, test out some new packages before they’re introduced to the Portage Tree, and I get to work with Daniel Robbins, who is one of my heroes. I really enjoy working with Funtoo, it’s a great distro and the whole philosophy really is, “Linux should be fun, too.” We’re currently talking about bringing the MATE desktop into the main Portage Tree instead of having it added via overlay (different tree), and I’m part of that. I would have to say right now my main responsibility with Funtoo is just helping out with IRC and fixing packages. The latest thing I’ve done would be getting the XChat builds fixed, by adding a patch that Gentoo never added. We fork some of our packages until it’s fixed in Gentoo’s tree.

  2. What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    Everything I have right now is running Funtoo. Except for one server which is running Gentoo. So that’s, three Funtoo servers, two Funtoo laptops (one of them is dual-booted with Windows 7, though). It’s a reliable, customizable distro.

  3. What software do you depend upon with this distribution?

    Funtoo is a fork of Gentoo with a more stable Portage Tree, that being said it’s pretty much built from scratch. A stage 3 install, and compile what you want/need. The main things I always compile though, are Tmux, X.org, Fluxbox, irssi for IRC, Pidgin for GoogleTalk and Facebook chat, Firefox to browse the web while Chromium builds (takes about 2-3 hours), and Konsole for my terminal emulator. I use Fluxbox as my main window manager because it’s lightweight and I can get work done without having to customize it much. It’s a small but useful WM that doesn’t use many resources so I can focus on building and testing new packages, instead of eye-candy.

  4. What kind of hardware do you run it on?

    I’ve run Funtoo on tons of hardware — one time on an Acer Aspire netbook with a single core processor @ 1.0GHz. That was fun and took forever. But currently, the servers are all virtual servers, so 512MB of RAM with a dual core AMD processor, and then my laptops. One is an Asus X401A ultrabook, with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD, dual core Intel Pentium processor @ 2.3 GHz, and Intel integrated graphics (which work surprisingly well). Another working laptop is an Asus K45C laptop with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD, dual core Intel Pentium processer @ 2.2 GHz, and Intel integrated graphics. Another one is an Asus U50F which I’ve had for a few years that needs some work done. But it’s 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB HDD, dual core Intel i3 processor. I’m not sure what it’s clocked at though — I need to fix it first. All in all, I really like Asus computers.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    I’d have to say as far as a server goes, something powerful enough to host a bunch of virtual servers so I can rent them out. I rent out a couple right now with the home server I have, but it’s not that great. As far as home-use computers, an Asus with at least 6GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, with a quad-core processor. The compilation times can be a pain sometimes, and I test out a lot of the new GCC builds that are brought into the Portage Tree, and when that happens you have to rebuild everything. I have 1,184 packages, which would take me 1-3 days on the laptop I mainly use. So just something portable but powerful.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Of course!

Scott Caie's desktop

Interview conducted April 20, 2013


The Linux Setup is a feature where I interview people about their Linux setups. The concept is borrowed, if not outright stolen, from this site. If you’d like to participate, drop me a line.

You can follow My Linux Rig on Google+ here, follow me on Twitter here, and subscribe to the feed here.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Linux Setup - Dave Whitinger, LXer

I know of Dave Whitinger from LXer, which is a lot of people’s must-read for Linux and open source news (obviously, it’s one of my daily stops). Dave has a fascinating setup. As you’ll read, it’s Fluxbox over Fedora, and as Dave points out, it allows him to use the same user interface for as long as he wants to. Thinking like this keeps Dave out of the UI wars and lets him focus on work. It’s a novel concept…

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

  1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I’m a Linux advocate and developer of community-oriented websites. I have created several Linux websites, most notably LinuxToday.com and LXer.com, the latter of which I am still involved in. I worked for Red Hat back when there were about 20 employees, and in the year 2000 I created DavesGarden.com and last year I created Cubits.org, which lets anyone create and host their own community with forums, articles and things like that.

    I live on 90 acres in East Texas with my wife and five children where we keep all kinds of farm animals and grow huge gardens. I’m this year’s president of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners and am managing the Jacksonville, Texas farmers’ market.

  2. What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    I started with Slackware back in the mid 90s and switched to Red Hat Linux when I started working for that company. When Red Hat switched to Fedora I moved along with it.

    Since then I’ve been using Fedora exclusively. I have tried out all kinds of distros out there but I always use Fedora for my “real work” machine.

  3. What software do you depend upon with this distribution?

    Vim, Firefox, Mutt, xterm, Fluxbox (along with the dockapps like wmbiff and wmbutton), ssh, rsync, git and mercurial, all the dev tools and libraries, mySQL, PHP, Apache, Rhythmbox, OpenOffice.org, the GIMP, gcalctool, MPlayer, Google Chrome, wget, nmap and tcpdump… I could go on for quite some time, actually!

  4. What kind of hardware do you run it on?

    A hand-me-down from a server that I dismantled several years ago.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 4400+* (2.2GHz)
    Tyan Tomcat K8E(S2865G2NR) motherboard
    4GB of Patriot PSD1G400 memory
    nVidia GeForce 7600 GT video card with dual 21” LCD monitors.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    The one I have, of course! I’ve been using Fluxbox as my window manager for many years and I love it. I am super productive with the customized setup I’ve created and honed over time. Fluxbox lets me have tabs in any window, so I keep several xterms open with multiple tabs (switching between tabs with the Windows-key+tab).

    Alt one through eight switches me to different screens. One is a browsing and communication page. Two is the GIMP and notes. Three is my main development desktop. Four is my email (Mutt, of course). Five is my music. Six is a series of always-on ssh sessions to my remote servers. Seven and eight are miscellaneous extra desktops.

    Fedora is something that I am very comfortable with. It is reliable and consistent for me, and as long as I can compile and use Fluxbox, their decisions regarding GNOME or other desktops don’t affect me in the slightest.

    Using dual monitors is critical for me. On window three, I have a slew of xterms open on the left screen, and my browsers on the right screen. In this way, I can do easy and rapid web development and that is important for me.

    My wife playfully gives me a hard time for using Mutt for my mail. She chuckles when she sees me in this modern age using the exact same mail setup that I’ve used since the 1990s. But it works and it works well, and it makes me efficient and fast. My desktop runs Linux and is a tool to help me get work done. I don’t need or desire fancy graphics and fun toys that are really distractions.

    I handle change poorly, and I don’t live on the cutting edge. For me, computers are a means to an end. A tool that enables communication and development of tools that enrich peoples’ lives and help them connect with like-minded individuals around the world. My ideal Linux setup is one that gets out of my way and lets me get my work done.

    I predict that in 10 years from now, my desktop environment and workflow will be nearly identical to how it is today.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Sure.

Dave Whitinger's desktop

Interview conducted June 12, 2011


The Linux Setup is a feature where I interview people about their Linux setups. The concept is borrowed, if not outright stolen, from this site. If you’d like to participate, drop me a line.