The Linux Setup – Bruce Byfield, Writer

A KDE user for the second week in a row! And one who uses Activities. KDE isn’t an easy desktop environment, but it continues to attract power users. My suspicion is that as other desktop environments (across operating systems) simplify their interfaces, KDE will continue to attract new users who want a more sophisticated interface—even at the cost of a learning curve.

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

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

    I am a writer who covers free and open software and the people involved with it. I have also written Designing with LibreOffice, a free book about how to design documents.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I discovered free software 16 years ago and the excitement of the idealism that drives it has never left me. A few years after my discovery, I made a conscious decision not to use proprietary software. Since then, I have sometimes installed proprietary software for comparison articles, but I always uninstall it as soon as I am finished writing—sometimes, within a matter of minutes after I am finished.

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

    Debian. I discovered Linux while working for two Debian-based companies, and have never seen any reason to change permanently. In particular, Debian is the most stable distribution I have ever installed.

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

    KDE Plasma. I am addicted to Activities, and have 4-8 at any given time, each with its own set of launchers for applications, URLs, and files. Some are for general tasks like writing, while others are for specific projects.

  5. What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so

    I care more about functionality than anything else. Give me any editor from Vim to LibreOffice, and I am happy. Right now, I am more familiar with GIMP than Krita, but I am slowly learning Krita.

    That said, I usually use Bluefish when writing articles.

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

    My workstation is a custom computer, with a solid state drive for the operating system, and a mechanical drive for file storage. It has 32GB of RAM.

    I got into the habit of building custom computers when I used OS/2 and wanted to make sure that all my hardware was compatible. For years, the same reasoning applied to Linux, but now compatibility is less of an issue. Now, my main reason is that I like knowing exactly what hardware I am running.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Since I use KDE Activities, I have multiple desktops. However, my main desktop shows my collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art.

Bruce Byfield's desktop

Interview conducted October 17, 2016

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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