I connected with Maddish through the work of Simona Levi, an artist and free and open source advocate, as well as Maddish’s colleague. Maddish has a simple setup, mostly relying on the terminal. I love the response about the “opacity” of operating systems, though. More and more people want to see what their code is doing for them and to them.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Maddish, co-founder of Xnet,
a group of activists working, since 2008, in fields related to online democracy (participation mechanisms and citizen control of power and institutions);
the advocacy of a neutral and free Internet; the free circulation of culture, knowledge and information and the defense of citizen journalism for the right to know, inform and be informed; the technical and legal fight against corruption; and the technopolitics understood as the practice of networking and taking action for empowerment, justice and social transformation.
I’m a web developer by day, and I take charge of all the technical needs of the group, from websites, servers, tools and so on.
Why do you use Linux?
It’s the only operating system I trust, as I can see the code and I can find lots of support in the community.
It makes my life easier as I have no interference from anything hidden in the OS, alerting me to
terrible threats in my computer.
I was a musician when I used Linux for the first time, on a friend’s laptop.
After seeing the tree directory structure I thought, ‘I want to learn more and go deep into this. It’s amazing! You can read each file in that system!’
Being able to read the code you’re running should be considered normal, not exceptional.
We used to accept the opacity of operating systems and software, but things are changing.
So, I gave up playing notes and I started playing keys.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I started using Ubuntu, but then I migrated to Debian. Right now I’m using Debian 7 on my laptop, as it comes with a better default configuration for my purposes and it doesn’t have as much unnecessary pre-installed software.
On servers I’m using CentOS, Ubuntu and Debian.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I actually run GNOME, but really I don’t care so much about which desktop I use. Basically, I use GNOME because it was the default one.
What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so
The Shell. It allows me to systematize a lot of work and go faster.
This is also the way I connect to servers, where I spend my working day.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
Dell Latitude E5450. It was very easy to make everything work on this machine.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Interview conducted November 21, 2015