The Linux Setup – Scott Caie, Funtoo Developer

It’s always reassuring to see a developer who uses his own product. Scott’s all over Funtoo, using it for everything from laptops (lots of laptops) to servers. His setup is optimized for speed, since his work requires a lot of processing power. I think it’s very interesting that he uses Firefox for his browser only when Chromium is unavailable due to a build. That’s a very specific usage case. I found Scott while I was looking into Funtoo, which seems like an interesting distro. Hearing from Scott only intrigues me more. Scott also mentions Daniel Robbins, the head of Funtoo, who comes from Gentoo. Daniel did an interview with the original Setup that you might enjoy.

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

    My names Scott, or anak1n on the internet. I’m a freelance programmer and part of the Funtoo Core Team. I help bring packages to the main Portage Tree, as well as fix bugs, fix broken packages, help out in IRC, test out some new packages before they’re introduced to the Portage Tree, and I get to work with Daniel Robbins, who is one of my heroes. I really enjoy working with Funtoo, it’s a great distro and the whole philosophy really is, “Linux should be fun, too.” We’re currently talking about bringing the MATE desktop into the main Portage Tree instead of having it added via overlay (different tree), and I’m part of that. I would have to say right now my main responsibility with Funtoo is just helping out with IRC and fixing packages. The latest thing I’ve done would be getting the XChat builds fixed, by adding a patch that Gentoo never added. We fork some of our packages until it’s fixed in Gentoo’s tree.

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

    Everything I have right now is running Funtoo. Except for one server which is running Gentoo. So that’s, three Funtoo servers, two Funtoo laptops (one of them is dual-booted with Windows 7, though). It’s a reliable, customizable distro.

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

    Funtoo is a fork of Gentoo with a more stable Portage Tree, that being said it’s pretty much built from scratch. A stage 3 install, and compile what you want/need. The main things I always compile though, are Tmux, X.org, Fluxbox, irssi for IRC, Pidgin for GoogleTalk and Facebook chat, Firefox to browse the web while Chromium builds (takes about 2-3 hours), and Konsole for my terminal emulator. I use Fluxbox as my main window manager because it’s lightweight and I can get work done without having to customize it much. It’s a small but useful WM that doesn’t use many resources so I can focus on building and testing new packages, instead of eye-candy.

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

    I’ve run Funtoo on tons of hardware — one time on an Acer Aspire netbook with a single core processor @ 1.0GHz. That was fun and took forever. But currently, the servers are all virtual servers, so 512MB of RAM with a dual core AMD processor, and then my laptops. One is an Asus X401A ultrabook, with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD, dual core Intel Pentium processor @ 2.3 GHz, and Intel integrated graphics (which work surprisingly well). Another working laptop is an Asus K45C laptop with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD, dual core Intel Pentium processer @ 2.2 GHz, and Intel integrated graphics. Another one is an Asus U50F which I’ve had for a few years that needs some work done. But it’s 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB HDD, dual core Intel i3 processor. I’m not sure what it’s clocked at though — I need to fix it first. All in all, I really like Asus computers.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    I’d have to say as far as a server goes, something powerful enough to host a bunch of virtual servers so I can rent them out. I rent out a couple right now with the home server I have, but it’s not that great. As far as home-use computers, an Asus with at least 6GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, with a quad-core processor. The compilation times can be a pain sometimes, and I test out a lot of the new GCC builds that are brought into the Portage Tree, and when that happens you have to rebuild everything. I have 1,184 packages, which would take me 1-3 days on the laptop I mainly use. So just something portable but powerful.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Of course!

Scott Caie's desktop

Interview conducted April 20, 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.

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