The Linux Setup – Jayson Rowe, Server Administrator

I know Jayson from Google+, which despite its reputation as a ghost town, actually has quite a lot of Linux-centric people and conversations. Jayson is a true explorer, though. Reading through his interview, you can see he’s a KDE person who leans on Xfce when he doesn’t have the specs for KDE. The subtext is ‘anything but GNOME,’ which is a fairly common approach (there are also plenty of ‘anything but KDE’ users, too). But after Jayson submitted his interview, he wrote in to let me know he was giving GNOME a shot, which is pretty cool. It’s very easy to get caught up in your Linux favorites, but part of what makes it so much fun is trying out something different, if only for a few hours.

Jayson reports GNOME is growing on him. But he might just be humoring me.

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

    My name is Jayson Rowe and I am a Server Administrator that also does some programming. I am also a Fedora Ambassador, a member of the Fedora Infrastructure team and a Fedora packager as well.

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

    I use Fedora Linux on all of my machines (except one which runs Slackware). I ran Kubuntu/Ubuntu for several years before switching back to Fedora. Fedora simply meets my needs better now.

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

    I use the KDE Desktop on my main machines (Xfce on some other low-powered machines). I am a big fan of Sublime Text 2. I use it for practically everything from quick edits, to writing code to filling out this interview. Although SL2 is my main editor, I do use Kate and Vim (if in a terminal) some as well. I also rely a lot on Chrome, Dropbox and Wine as well as VirtualBox to get things done. I do a *lot* in virtual machines.

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

    My setup at home is a system I built with an AMD Phenom II X4 965, 16GB of RAM, 23" and 22" LCD Monitors and a bunch of spinning platter drives. I tried an SSD but it died on me, and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it. I also have a little MiniITX Atom PC that is connected via Synergy that in a lot of ways serves as a third monitor (usually with Twitter up).

    I also have a Nexus 7, an old HTC Incredible (running CM7, of course), a Dell Mini 9 netbook, a Dell Studio 15 laptop (running the Fedora Java Remix with GNOME Shell, as inspired by Jos) and an aging-but-still-useful Thinkpad Z60m (which is my lone Slackware machine).

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    Intel i7 6-core
    Decent sized SSD for ’/’ and ’/home’
    Two big platter disks in a RAID-1 for ’/tmp’, ’/var’, ’/data’ and swap.
    16+ GB of RAM (would love 32GB).

    For a software setup, I’m very happy with Fedora, KDE and Xfce for my needs.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    I don’t always see my desktop, but when I do, it’ll be a cool picture. I have quite a collection of images I get from InterfaceLift and I keep them in my Dropbox folder. In KDE I have it set to change the picture on each monitor every 15 minutes. My Xfce machines still have the Fedora Beefy Miracle fireworks.

    Here is my main PC at home running KDE:

    Jason Rowe's KDE desktop

    Here is my little Xfce PC at home that acts as my third monitor:

Interview conducted August 29, 2012


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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