The Linux Setup – Shawn Powers, Linux Journal

The Linux Setup is a new 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 find more of The Linux Setup here.

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

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

    I’m Shawn Powers. I do several tech related jobs, but I’m probably
    most publicly known as and editor/writer for Linux Journal. I also do tech videos for Linux Journal, and speak at conferences, etc. I’m also a Linux trainer for www.cbtnuggets.com, and I have a training series for LPIC-1 certification coming out there now. (Yes, I’m shameless, lol) Lastly, my “day job” is as Technology Director for a local school district here in northern Michigan.

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

    Ubuntu, although the new Unity interface concerns me greatly. I’ve had long talks (and even a panel at Penguicon) with folks from Canonical about it. I’m hopeful it will get more stable and less restrictive as it matures, but right now I’m sticking with Ubuntu 10.10.

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

    Looking across the top of my screen (which you can do as well with the screenshot of my desktop), I see Firefox, Gnome Terminal, Pidgin, Skype, Twhirl, LibreOffice, gFTP, kdenlive, textroom, banshee, and pithos. I use them all pretty regularly, but find myself on the commandline or in textroom most often. Well, that and Firefox. I’m horribly addicted to information, so I’m generally browsing the web in the background of any activity.

    There are a few “background” applications I couldn’t do without as well. Dropbox for instance. Without Dropbox keeping all my different computers and operating systems in sync file-wise, I’d likely go insane(er). I also have a server at home running backuppc, which keeps all my systems backed up. If you don’t have a recent, tested backup – GO DO ONE NOW! As someone who has lost thousands of family photos in the past, trust me.

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

    It’s nothing fancy, really. My Linux machine is a several year old Lenovo tower. It has 4GB of RAM, and ‘cat /proc/cpuinfo’ tells me it’s an Intel Core2 Duo CPU @2.8GHz. I have an old ATI video card in there with a 23" monitor, and a recent addition; a Crucial RealSSD 128GB SSD. It makes my mediocre system blisteringly fast, and apart from RAM, it’s the best upgrade I’ve ever done on a desktop.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    Honestly, I find Linux works pretty well with any fairly recent computer system. I have a half dozen laptops, and they all seem to work quite well with whatever flavor of Linux I throw at them. If I had to pick an ideal Linux setup (especially if you’re offering to buy it for me!), it would currently be a Lenovo X120e laptop. It’s what I think a netbook should be. It has an 11.6" screen, decent resolution, full size keyboard, and enough battery life to compute without the constant concern of where the closest outlet is. Plus it’s about $400. I just wish I could convince my wife I needed one. 🙂

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    The setup looks pretty similar on every desktop and laptop I use.

  7. Shawn Powers' desktop


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