Rafael is another Xfce/Xubuntu user. Xfce sometimes doesn’t get a lot of love or respect, which always surprises me. I think the issue with it is that it’s very plain and simple. But for people like Rafael (and myself), that’s the strength of it. Rafael also uses Linux because it’s the best operating system for his purposes. It’s not a political statement, though. And that’s an interesting thing to consider. Linux is mature and functional enough that using it isn’t just about making a political point. A lot of people use it because it’s their best option.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Rafael Lino, I live in Lisbon, a sunny city in Portugal, with my wife and two small kids.
I’m a private security officer so I can’t talk much about my job in public, because I would put my clients, family and friends at risk. Anyway, it’s a typical job with army-style rules.
With a job like that, my escape is writing about audiophile and DIY stuff on my blog. I was very active in some online Portuguese communities as a moderator and sometimes administrator, but I got tired of all the futility behind it, so these days I usually lurk or help in small-but-warm Facebook groups. Besides my online activities, I also enjoy working with audio-related electronics, and doing some woodworking.
Why do you use Linux?
I use Linux because it works for me and not the other way around. I’m a father and work by the shift, so I don’t have time for maintenance headaches or software malfunctions. When I was a Windows user I spent a lot of time handling that and it was boring. Now with Linux, stuff gets updated daily, so there are no boring reboots or other nags.
Also, Linux is a secure environment. Working in security I see the headaches system administrators have with Microsoft PCs.
Besides those things, my machine was getting old and I didn’t want to spend more money on new hardware, so I went the easy route and installed a fast, lightweight Linux distro.
I must admit I’m not into Linux for the community. I believe Linux has some amazing communities, but the ‘My distro is better than yours’ way of doing things in those communities fragments what could be a powerful game-changer in the software industry.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
Xubuntu 14.04 64-bit on both desktop and laptop.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I use the Xfce4 packaged with Xubuntu mostly because its beautiful and doesn’t need many resources to run fast and stable.
I wanted a solid, fast, simple desktop environment that didn’t distract me from enjoying music, reading and writing stuff. My wife also needs to use the desktop, so Xfce was a better choice because of its easy learning curve for people coming from a Windows machine.
What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?
I’ll pick two. Chrome, because besides the usual web surfing, I actually write most of my blog posts on it. I tried minimalist text editors, office suites, and all in-between, but nothing beats having the internet a click away—especially when you write about technology.
I also really need the amazing music player DeaDBeaF. It reads almost all audio files, converts them, and was the reason I finally could drop Windows and the amazing foobar2000. Like the latter, it might look simple, but its an amazing player made for audio enthusiasts, so it does away with the pretty interface and goes for a practical approach.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
This old computer is based on a Asus P5QL PRO motherboard, Intel Core2Duo at 2.40GHz, 4GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM, a Nvidia GT440 card, four SATA2 HDDs and my only indulgence, a dual-bay I use to swap my collection of 2.5" HDDs.
The PSU is a 750W NOX and all case fans are low-noise ones.
My laptop is an ancient Intel Mobile Celeron by a Portuguese company called Tsunami and it’s my backup, if the desktop bites the dust.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Yeah, no problem!
Interview conducted June 15, 2014