Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Linux Setup - Alex J. Reissig, Writer

Alex is great because he’s a real distro-hopper. By practice, but also by vocation. So his setup has lots of tweaks, no doubt based upon things he’s seen in lots of other distros. I myself distro-hop much less than I used to. Part of it is a need for stability. But another part is knowing (or thinking I know) what I like. Like I’m fairly certain I’ll never be a KDE guy. It’s nothing against KDE — it just doesn’t quite click for me. But Alex reminds us it’s good to kick the tires on new distros, just to see if there’s something we can steal for use in our distro of choice.

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 name is Alex J. Reissig, although online you’ll see my pen name…AJ Reissig (AJ being a nickname from my childhood). My background is in chemistry, and my day job is as an analyst at Zimmer PowerStation in Moscow, Ohio (USA). Since there is no rest for the wicked, I also keep myself busy by producing YouTube videos about all things Linux (my channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/freedomredux). I also write novels: political fiction and science fiction (my SciFi blog is ariaprime.com). It is my hope that one day the writing and videos can become my full-time profession, but we’re not there…yet.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    There’s a few reasons why I’m a Linux user. First, I’m not a follow-the-herd kind of person; I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum. I also like to try new distributions and play with the latest/greatest software, something you can’t do with Windows or Mac. And while I’m not an anti-closed source person, I’m not a particular fan of Microsoft’s business practices, so using Linux is my little way of giving Microsoft (and Apple) the middle finger. And of course there is the cost factor…why run Windows when you can get a more flexible OS for free?

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

    I’m a self professed distro-hopper, and since I produce YouTube review of Linux distros, I typically have 4-5 different operating systems on my desktop at any given time. My current OS of choice is Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, which is my main driver on my desktop computer. On my laptop, I have a highly modified Xubuntu 14.04 setup. I’ve switched the Window manager to Gala (from Elementary OS), swapped out the Thunar file manager for Nemo (from Cinnamon), and a host of other changes.

  4. What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

    The GNOME 3 desktop is my favorite environment. While it is a radical departure from traditional desktop layout, once you get used to it, you realize this is a desktop made for people who want to get work done. No icons cluttering up the desktop, tons of extensions to customize it just the way you want it, and you can hotkey to your heart’s content (I love hotkeys!). Some of the extension I use are:

    • Appindicator support
    • Caffeine
    • Clipboard indicator
    • Coverflow alt-tab
    • Drop down terminal
    • Gno-Menu
    • Native window placement
    • Put windows
    • Top icons

    My number two desktop has to be Xfce because it is rock-solid and so versatile.

  5. What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?

    There’s lots of Linux software that I love, but hands down my can’t-live-without software is Kdenlive. It’s an open source video editor that can perform just as well as editors that cost hundreds of dollars…what’s not to like? Of course, there’s other Linux software that I use on a daily basis, and it would be hard to find suitable replacements. Here are my favorites:

    • Evolution email
    • LibreOffice Writer
    • Simple Screen Recorder
    • GIMP
  6. What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?

    My desktop is an Acer running a quad core AMD processor @3.1GHz and 16GB RAM. Graphics and sound cards are stock, baseline units. I have three hard drives on this unit, one being an SSD for my OS. My laptop is a ThinkPad Edge E430, with i3 processor @2.2GHz and 8GB RAM. It has a 320GB hard drive (standard 5400 RPM) along with a 64GB mSATA, which is where my OS resides.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Here’s a shot from my desktop. The background is one-of-a-kind (created in GIMP), and if you’re interested in the theming, I use:

    • Window Borders: Dorian 3.10
    • GTK Theme: Gnomish-Gray
    • Icons: Square
    • GNOME Shell Theme: Zukitwo-Cupertino

Alex Reissig's desktop

Interview conducted June 28, 2014


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.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Linux Setup - Jason Myers, Systems Software Engineer

Not everyone loves tiling window managers, but people who do really love them. Jason is a tiling fan. And he uses Ubuntu. I’m as guilt as anyone of obsessing over desktop environments, but the great thing about Linux is you can pretty much use whatever desktop you want with whatever distribution you want. That’s kind of freedom and flexibility never ceases to amaze me.

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?

    I’m Jason Myers a systems software engineer with Emma, chair of PyTennessee, and co-organizer of PyNash. I help mitigate delivery system abuse and spam. I use mostly Python at my day job, however I occasionally dabble in JavaScript and golang on the side.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I use Linux because I like a bit of the freedom it offers, the community it has created, and tiling window managers. It started back in high school, when I wanted to become an analytical chemist. The software used at my internship ran on IRIX, and I wanted something similar at home. A great coworker at the time help me get setup with Slackware 3.1 (so many floppies…) on my terrible Packard Bell. I moved to RedHat (pre Fedora) 4.0 the following year. It wasn’t long before I decided I wanted to do computer science instead and started working at an ISP.

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

    I use Ubuntu LTSs as my primary distro, so now it’s 14.04.

  4. What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

    Xmonad, which I like because of its super-fast tiling, sparse interface, and keyboard-driven behavior. But I really just want a good terminal (I’m a Terminator fan) in whatever window manager I’m using.

  5. What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?

    Vim and WeeChat are my top two applications. I use Vim for all development and text editing, and WeeChat keeps me connected to IRC and ultimately the Python and local (Nashville) developer communities.

  6. What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?

    I’m using a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (i7-4500, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD), with a CODE keyboard.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Boring but attached. Dotfiles are online at GitHub.

Jason Myers' desktop

Interview conducted June 26, 2014


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.


Thursday, August 7, 2014 Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Linux Setup - Kyle Riedemann, Android Developer/Student

Kyle’s interview recaps a lot of the ideas that have been expressed here the past few weeks. One is that Linux is a great development environment—perhaps better than OS X for certain users (like Kyle). Kyle also uses and enjoys Unity, although like every Unity user, he seems to feel guilty about it. Canonical should really consider changing the name to Unity: It’s OK. Don’t Feel Bad.

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?

    I am a student at Oklahoma State University (OSU). I’m a Management Science and Computer Systems major and a Google Developer Group organizer for the OSU-Stillwater chapter. I’m a beginning Android developer, and I’m focusing my studies on database management.

    I have two apps on the Play Store and hopefully a lot more to come, too. This is my developer profile on Google Play.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I use Linux because I was tired of using OS X, and I don’t like Windows. I’ve found that setting up my development environment is easier on a Linux install, and I love the fact that I can make a live USB drive with Android Studio and Oracle Java, so I can work on any computer at a moment’s notice.

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

    I use Ubuntu 14.04 on my laptop currently, but I’m very interested in Arch. I love the Arch Wiki and I’m planning on installing it after my summer class is over. I like Ubuntu for the easy compatibility with Steam.

  4. What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

    I use Unity. I know, I know, Unity sucks. But it does what I need as a desktop environment, and I love the way it handles multiple monitors. I’m a big fan of GNOME 3, but I’m sticking with Unity for now.

  5. What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?

    I mostly depend on Chrome, to be honest. Chrome and Android Studio are always my first installs. I love Chrome because it automatically downloads the LastPass extension when I log in, and syncs tabs with my Android devices.

  6. What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?

    I’m using a Galago UltraPro from System76. I’ve found it to be a solid piece of hardware so far, and you can see more of my impressions of the hardware at my blog. It does everything I need it to, and it handles games well in Windows and still maintains decent battery life.

    My review can be found here for those interested.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Here’s a screenshot.

Kyle Riedemann's desktop

Interview conducted June 21, 2014


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.


Thursday, July 31, 2014