The Linux Setup – Bastien Nocera, GNOME/Red Hat

Bastien is my second GNOME developer in three weeks! Like Emmanuele Bassi, Bastien has a commitment to improving things for users, which in his case means GNOME. Interestingly, Bastien points out how GNOME’s work has been used to improve other desktop environments, which is the power of free and open source software.

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

    I’m Bastien Nocera. I work on GNOME for Red Hat’s Desktop Team from my home in Lyon, France. I’m the maintainer for GNOME’s Settings, which means that I get to work on things like integration of Wacom tablets, geolocation, fingerprint readers, power management, Bluetooth and many more interesting things, with colleagues and community members.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I’ll rephrase the question slightly if you don’t mind (EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t.). I use the Linux kernel, sure, but I also use a lot of tools and libraries on top of that.

    The reason why I started using Linux distributions was because I was curious, and it was different, but that was a long time ago. Nowadays it would be because it’s something that I can help build and that can solve people’s problems, whether it’s improving the everyday experience, as with GNOME 3, or building something that fits Free Software values (such as freedom or privacy).

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

    I use Fedora on all the devices that can run it, and even some that shouldn’t be able to 🙂

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


    I started GNOME using it for its looks, back in the 1.0 days, but I stayed for the goals that the project set out. People related to the GNOME project set out to fix problems in the desktop by fixing them from the ground up, and you’ll see many technologies on typical Linux desktops that are from that era, from D-Bus up to the very latest color management.

    If you connect to Wi-Fi in Xfce, color calibrate your display in KDE, or use your Bluetooth headset in Unity, you’re probably using software that GNOME developers wrote.

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

    I don’t think there’s one particular piece of software that I use that’s only available to Fedora. What Fedora does have is a great community of developers and packagers that will get the latest software from upstream and make sure it integrates nicely with the distribution. So when we rely on features and fixes from the kernel, the display drivers, or even a GNOME library, we can be sure that it will be in Fedora in a timely manner.

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

    An all-in-one desktop from Lenovo, and a MacBook Air that doesn’t run MacOS X.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    It’s stock GNOME 3 running on Fedora, so it’s fairly boring. I usually use the keyboard to switch between windows when I’m coding so this screenshot isn’t quite an accurate representation of my running setup.

Bastien Nocera's desktop

Interview conducted July 25, 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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