The Linux Setup – Tom Callaway, Red Hat

As near as I can tell, the overlap between hockey fans and Linux fans is pretty small. By my informal, unscientific count, there’s me, there’s Jorge Castro, and now we can add Tom Callaway to the list. I actually found him through a shared disdain for NBC’s NHL coverage but his Linux credentials are very impressive. Tom is a GNOME user who takes advantage of its extensive extension collection. I know GNOME has taken some customization options out of the base install, but with extensions, I sometimes wonder if there isn’t more flexibility in the project now.

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

    My name is Inigo Mont… err… Tom Callaway. I’ve been interested in Linux and FOSS in general since 1997, and employed by Red Hat since 2001. My current job is in the Open Source & Standards team in the Red Hat CTO Office. I am leading up the effort within Red Hat to promote Free and Open Source Software in education. I also do work to promote open hardware and support 3D printers on Fedora. Last, but not least, I handle Fedora’s legal issues (but am not a lawyer). I maintain around 300 packages in Fedora.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I started using Linux because I was frustrated at how inflexible Windows was. I still use it because I believe in the power of FOSS to innovate, and I love digging into things, discovering how they work, and making changes.

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

    Fedora 20.

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

    I’ve upgraded to GNOME 3.12, with a number of extensions to make it more usable for me. Currently, I use these:

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

    Hmm. I’m not sure I depend on one particular piece of software. I tend to use Thunderbird an awful lot for email, calendar and RSS reading.

    The apps I open on startup are:

    • XChat
    • Pidgin
    • Pithos (Pandora GUI client)
    • gnome-terminal
    • Firefox
    • Thunderbird
    • Corebird (Twitter GUI client)
    • Tomboy (sticky notes)
  6. What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?

    A Lenovo T440s laptop. It’s Quad Core i7-4600U @ 2.10GHz, 12GB memory, 256GB SSD. When I’m in the office, it runs in a dock with a second screen attached to it. At home, I usually connect a second monitor and my office TV to it (love that screen real estate).

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Sure! I’ll even leave some of my windows unminimized.

Tom Callaway's desktop

Interview conducted April 21, 2014


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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