The Linux Setup – Jonathan Roberts, TuxRadar Podcast

One of my favorite podcasts, Linux or otherwise, is TuxRadar, which is produced by the editorial team of Linux Format magazine, an English publication. Jonathan Roberts is a TuxRadar host presenter/Linux Format editor, so I was especially excited to see what kind of system he uses.

Also, if you’re not already listening to TuxRadar, it’s something you definitely want to do. It’s funny, informative, and thought-provoking. And the European perspective can be especially enlightening.

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

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

    My name is Jonathan Roberts and I recently became the staff writer for Linux Format magazine. The magazine’s permanent staff also put together a fortnightly podcast called TuxRadar, so since joining I’ve also been a contributor to the podcast. It’s mostly about Linux, but always lots of fun.

    Before joining the team at Linux Format, I studied Theology at Exeter University. I also contributed to the Fedora Project in various guises, where I was known as JonRob, ran the Questions Please podcast ( and attempted (but failed) to launch a campaign promoting free culture called Free Me (

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

    I run Arch Linux, and I love it. It’s fast, always up to date and is actually the most stable Linux distribution I’ve ever used. It takes a little while to get set up, but thanks to the amazing Beginners Guide anyone can do it and it’s well worth the investment.

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

    I’m not that fussy about software and often experiment with different options to see what works best for me. At the moment, I write my articles in Vim, and I use Chromium a lot for research etc. I used to use gedit, but when preparing an article on the 50 best Linux applications, Vim got such glowing reviews that I had to give it a go!

    I also use VirtualBox for testing distributions or setting up servers/development environments when researching an article. It saves me breaking my system and having to re-install it all the time.

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

    I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop – an R630 to be exact. It’s a great machine, and it was a real bargain too. It has 2GB RAM – I’d love another 2GB sometime soon – a Core i3 processor, integrated Intel graphics and a Broadcom wireless chip that uses the open source drivers. Everything works out of the box with 2.6.38+, so it’s an ideal machine in my mind.

    As well as all those components, it’s got a 13-inch screen, is incredibly thin and light with a 3-4 hour battery life. Since I carry it to and from work everyday, these are really important features to me.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    Just give me another 2GB RAM and I’ll be thrilled.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Sure, though there’s not a lot to see since Gnome Shell hides everything! When I’m at work I have an external monitor and keyboard connected as well, hence the strange look of the screenshot.

Jonathan Robert's desktop

Interview conducted September 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.

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