Monday, June 30, 2014 Thursday, June 5, 2014 Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Linux Setup - Liam Dawe, GamingOnLinux.com

Another interview, another person from Linux Voice. Liam is their gaming columnist and also runs his own Linux gaming site. One of the more common reasons people have given for not using Linux full-time is gaming, so it’s always nice to see projects that help people see how that’s changing. I’m also curious to check out SimpleScreenRecorder, since I know screencasting on Linux isn’t always straight-forward.

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 Liam Dawe and I own and run GamingOnLinux.com. I have run it for a few years now and it’s getting quite big. I also write the gaming section for Linux Voice magazine.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I use Linux because it’s free and I never have to worry about paying for the next version. I also love the customization; the fact that I can switch to a completely different user interface when one annoys me is fantastic.

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

    Currently I use Manjaro Linux 64-bit. I switched from Ubuntu as I can’t stand the direction they are going with it. They seem to have lost the plot a bit. Sure they are popular, but I don’t think it will last forever.

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

    I currently use KDE, as it offers the best feature set while also being a more traditional type of desktop.

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

    Well there is no one program I depend on. SimpleScreenRecorder is probably one of the most important, though. It is the only program I have found that manages to actually keep the audio in sync with the video when recording videos of games. No other application has done that for me.

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

    I currently have a [home-built machine with] AMD A10 5800K APU, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia 560ti graphics.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Attached is my rather nice and plain dual screen desktop!

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This screenshot is Linux Mint Cinnamon. I had some photo/email drama and had to ask Liam to re-send while he was using a new distro. I’m the worst. My apologizes to everyone.

Liam Dawe's desktop

Interview conducted February 23, 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.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Linux Setup - Spencer Hunley, Accessibility Advocate

I met Spencer at LinuxCon, where he gave a talk on how Linux can help out the disabled community. The talk itself was great, but the reaction in the room was what most impressed me. Spencer introduced the issue of accessibility for the disabled to quite a few attendees and a lot of the people in the room seemed very interested in lending their time and skills to the cause. It reminded me how much Linux is a community, as much as it’s a project or a business or a technology. So many developers care about users as much as they care about code.

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 Spencer Hunley; I am an autistic professional (diagnosed at the age of 17) and I am working to lower the cost of assistive technology by using FOSS and Linux-based software. There’s a lot of great assistive technology applications in the Linux ecosystem, and I believe that Linux can be a gateway for people with disabilities to become programmers, developers, system engineers, and much more.

    In my day job, I work in research for a private company.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I didn’t even know Linux existed until about 2007, I believe. A professor by the name of Dempsey Yearry showed the class a glimpse of Red Hat one day, and I was immediately curious. Dealing with the pitfalls of the average Windows installation (weekly defragging, cleaning, anti-virus/malware/spyware scans, etc) encouraged my decision to try something new. My first distribution was Ubuntu, and I was hooked.

    I use Linux for many reasons. Personally, I enjoy and am more comfortable with the level of control I have over my own system. I also like the fact that it’s not owned by one private company or individual, and that there’s a massive, global community that works with each other from the simplest of issues to the most complex. I also like trying new distros, learning new things, and making the system my own — it’s fun and interesting.

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

    Currently I’m running Linux Mint 15. It’s stable, reliable, fast and works for my everyday use. But on my netbook I’m running Peppermint Four, of which is keeping my old Asus EeePC 900 alive.

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

    Right now I’m using Cinnamon on the main laptop. I was transitioning from Xubuntu on my old laptop, and wanted something with a bit of eye candy but functionality and speed as well. I really like the themes that you can download through Mint’s site — there are some really creative and pleasing designs there. I haven’t had any issues so far, and I think it’s a fantastic environment.

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

    That’s a tough question. Most of what I use on a daily basis is distro-agnostic (LibreOffice suite, Firefox, Chrome, Unetbootin, Thunderbird, Transmission, etc). Aside from that I guess I depend on Mint’s update manager, but I’ve always enjoyed using Synaptic.

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

    Right now, I’m running it on a 3-month old 17.3” Asus N76VJ-DH71 with an i7 core (max speed 3.4GHz), 16GB RAM, two 1TB 7200 RPM hard drives, 2GB nVIDIA GT 635M graphics card (with Optimus, unfortunately), and Blu-ray ROM with SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW Dual Layer optical drive, with four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, VGA and a card reader.

    It’s a beast of a laptop, and battery life is limited, but it’s meant as a desktop replacement (which is no problem since it won’t be leaving the house much). Aside from having to go through the hassle to remove Windows 8, the Linux experience on it has been relatively painless. The audio is amazing, the fit and finish is superb, and I am a big fan of the backlit keyboard. I plan to stick with this computer for 5 to 10 years.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Sure!

Spencer Hunley's desktop

Interview conducted September 25, 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.


Thursday, October 24, 2013 Monday, July 22, 2013

The Linux Setup - Dmitry, Linux Notes From DarkDuck

Dmitry interviewed me a few weeks ago and I thought it would be fun to repay the favor. By far the most interesting aspect of this setup is the fact that Dmitry chooses his distro by his mood at a given moment. Given that he’s running three different desktop environments on three different distros, that’s a pretty neat feat of mental gymnastics. I find it hard enough when I have to move from Chrome to Firefox.

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 Dmitry, but on the Internet I prefer my nickname, DarkDuck. I am the person behind Linux Notes From DarkDuck.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    At one point I understood that Windows XP took about 10 minutes to boot on my laptop. Also, I understood that Linux ran on my smartphone HTC Desire at that time. I decided to give Linux a go, and since then I am in the Linux world.

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

    I run three Linux distributions on my laptop:

    • Debian 7.0 Xfce – because of the rock-solid stability of Debian. It also controls my GRUB2.
    • Mageia KDE – because I am in love with Mageia since day 1.
    • Linux Mint Cinnamon – because I really think this is a good combination of convenience, performance and functionality. I must admit that I disliked Mint in their early versions, mostly due to their overly complex menu. In my opinion, the current version does not have this issue.

    All of these are 64-bit. The “choice for the day” depends on my mood, but Mageia is the default option in the GRUB config.

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

    • Xfce – because it’s light and has all the features I need.
    • KDE – because of the eye-candy, of course.
    • Cinnamon – just to try something new.
  5. What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?

    I can’t say that I depend on any particular software. Although, I have some personal preferences: Chrome(-ium) over Firefox, VLC over other media players, LibreOffice over CalligraSuite or GNOME Office.

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

    My current laptop is a SONY VAIO VGN-NR21Z with dual core 2.1GHz Intel processor, 3GB RAM, 500Gb HDD, NVidia graphic card, Intel 4965AGN Wireless card.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

DarkDuck's Debian desktop
Debian Xfce

DarkDuck's Linux Mint desktop
Mint Cinnamon

DarkDuck's Mageia desktop
Mageia KDE

Interview conducted June 12, 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, May 5, 2013

The Linux Setup - Gary Newell, EverydayLinuxUser.com

I take what some might call a perverse pleasure in interviewing distro hoppers, because they tend to be much more clinical about their setups. These questions can seem kind of strange if you’re using a new distribution every week. It was interesting to see how Gary makes a distinction between quick-booting distros, like Arch and CrunchBang, versus something bigger like Linux Mint, which Gary also seems to enjoy quite a bit. One skill distro hopping seems to cultivate is the ability to evaluate software by feature, rather than as a whole. As you read the interview, you’ll notice Gary comes at everything from a features perspective, rather than a distribution-centric one.

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 Gary Newell. I am a software developer living in Aberdeen, Scotland specialising in software for the oil and gas industry.

    I am also the author of www.everydaylinuxuser.com.

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

    I am really bad for distro hopping. I also use different machines for different purposes. On my most powerful PC, which is a Toshiba Satellite Pro, I run a 64-bit version of Linux Mint 14 with the Cinnamon desktop (see screenshot).

    On my netbook I am currently running SolusOS. I have another laptop that currently has Arch Linux on it. On another partition on the same laptop I had OpenSUSE up until last week, but now it is running Debian. I have been using Debian mainly for the past week in order to write a review later on this week.

    I find Linux Mint works really well on modern hardware.

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

    Well I don’t really use all that much software. I don’t really do much software development at home. All I need in life is a decent browser and I find Chromium serves that purpose. A good screenshot tool is required for the blog. I do use Unetbootin wherever possible to create the bootable USB drives. GParted gets used quite a bit as well.

    My favourite piece of software is actually the FUSE Spectrum Emulator. I love retro gaming and the Spectrum holds a lot of nostalgia from my childhood.

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

    Linux Mint is running on a Toshiba Satellite Pro with an Intel I5 processor, 64 bit, 16GB RAM,

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    As I mentioned before I am a bit of a distro hopper. To be honest it depends on what I am doing at the time. If I want comfort, I use Linux Mint, but I am finding that to boot into something quickly, the Arch install is working really well. It really depends on the distributions that I have available at any given time. When I had Crunchbang installed, I used to go to that quite a bit if I wanted instant access to the internet without having to wait for my computer to boot.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

Gary Newell's desktop

Interview conducted April 14, 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.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Which is More Popular: Linux Mint or Ubuntu?

There’s been a lot of online discussion about if Linux Mint is now more popular than Ubuntu:

It makes no difference to me, either way, but I thought this blurb from the DuckDuckGo email newsletter was kind of interesting:

The big news from this month is we are now integrated into Linux Mint, a popular open source operating system. This partnership helped us grow about 20% month over month, to over 12 million direct searches. You can read more about how we are working together here: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1884

Twenty percent growth from becoming the default search in Mint seems like a huge jump to me. Mint might not be as popular as Ubuntu, but it definitely seems very popular.