The Linux Setup – Kevin Fenzi, Fedora Infrastructure Leader

Kevin goes back and forth between GNOME and Xfce, which I think is very cool. It’s like being bilingual. I also appreciate Kevin’s work on Rawhide, Fedora’s rolling repository. I’ve had some problems with Fedora in the past, but the last few versions have been really nice and very impressive. Rawhide is on my list of things to try out.

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

    I’m Kevin Fenzi, and I have been using Linux since about 1996 or so (Red Hat Linux 3.0.3 was my first Linux distro). Currently I am employed by Red Hat as Fedora Infrastructure Leader. Basically I maintain (with my team and the community) all the Fedora servers, including the build system, downloads, compose machines, end-user applications and so on. It’s a great place to work and a great community to be involved in. I’m also involved in lots of other places in Fedora.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I cannot imagine using a closed-source product at all these days. The ability to report issues, look at the source, and propose and build fixes, is invaluable. Everything I need to get my work done is available in the
    free software world.

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

    Fedora Rawhide. I switched over to running Rawhide full time a few years ago as an attempt to make it more usable for everyone else. I’m not sure how much I had to do with it, but I think it is generally more day-to-day usable than it used to be. If you are able to debug problems or issues, it’s great fun—join in.

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

    From about 2005 to late last year I was running Xfce full time. I’m one of the Fedora Xfce maintainers (in my spare time) and was very happy and comfortable in that setup. Late last year I decided to give GNOME 3 another chance and it seems to me that it’s quite usable now, aside from some warts. So, I have actually been switching off between GNOME and Xfce. Since I reboot almost daily, I switch at reboot times. I find that I can be productive and happy in either environment, although each has its strengths and weaknesses.

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

    It’s difficult to pick just one. I use Claws Mail, HexChat, Midori, Ansible and terminals all the time. However, I guess I would say: ssh. Without it, there’s no way I could all the work done that I need to do
    every day.

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

    My main workstation is a laptop, a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. I’ve had it for about 18 months or so now and just love it. It’s got a 3200×1800 13.3" screen, it’s light and very portable, and quite speedy.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    I’m never sure how screenshots really convey a setup.

    In Xfce I have a bunch of workspaces. One has terminals, one has HexChat, one has Claws Mail, one Midori, etc.

    In GNOME, I just maximize everything except for two terminals, which I make fill half the screen.

    So, any screenshot is likely to just show some full-screened application. However, here’s one of my Xfce desktop with a terminal.

Kevin Fenzi's desktop

Interview conducted January 19, 2015


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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