The Linux Setup – Gregor Herrmann, Debian Developer

You’ll notice something different about this interview. I’ve changed up the questions a bit, just because it seemed like we were just getting to the point where some of the same ground was being covered each week. These questions are a bit more Linux-specific, getting to why people use Linux and what kind of desktop environment they use, but also what that one piece of essential software is. Gregor’s interview shows the value from digging a little deeper. It’s also funny that the first time I specifically ask about desktop environments, I’m asking a guy who only uses the awesome window manager…

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

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

    I am Gregor Herrmann. In my free time I’m a Debian Developer, i.e. I’m one of the many volunteers around the world who try to produce a free operating system.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I value the freedoms that Free Software gives me; it’s fun to be able to improve one’s software; and it often works better than proprietary alternatives.

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

    Debian Unstable.

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

    I don’t use a desktop environment, and my window manager is “awesome.” It’s quite minimalistic and configurable, doesn’t get in my way and can be used with the keyboard alone.

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

    Probably urxvt, because I have many terminals open in parallel, running mostly console applications (mutt, slrn, newsbeuter, irssi, …).

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

    A Thinkpad X220 with a docking station for a real keyboard and a bigger screen.

    Besides that, I currently have two small Linux machines on my desktop running Debian derivatives: a Raspberry Pi (with Raspbian) and a Nokia N900 (with Maemo5).

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Not sure screenshots of terminals are so exciting 🙂 Anyway, here are three:

    • one with Mutt, slrn, Newsbeuter

      Gregor Herrman's desktop with Mutt, slrn, and Newsbeuter

    • one with irssi and IceWeasel

      Gregor Herrman's desktop with irssi and IceWeasel

    • and an “empty” one with my wallpaper (which I usually don’t see due
      to awesome).
      Gregor Herrman's plain ''desktop''

Interview conducted May 6, 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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