The Linux Setup – Raghavendra Kamath, Designer

It’s always great to have artists show off their Linux setup. Raghavendra is getting a lot done using KDE and says he doesn’t miss Adobe products. There are certainly cost benefits to not having to subscribe to your software, but as Raghavendra points out, the quality and customizability of Linux design software is also strong. It’s not that Linux design software is better than its Adobe equivalents. The nice thing is both are good. But one is cost-free.

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

    I am Raghavendra Kamath (aka, Raghukamath). I am a freelance illustrator from Mumbai, India. My work involves illustrating and visualizing for advertisements, comic books, book covers, magazines, etc. It is really fun to work when your hobby itself is your profession. I work from my small home studio, mostly on freelance assignments. I try to take some time off from regular work for my personal art assignments.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I knew about Linux from early 2009. When I bought a new laptop for my sister, out of curiosity I decided to buy it without any operating system on it so I could install Linux. I was amazed by the features and the choices it gave to the user. I wanted to switch my main desktop to Linux, too, but my workflow was tied to Adobe’s software, so I was a bit hesitant to jump ship at that time. When Adobe switched to a subscription model, I realized that if for some reason I failed to pay them the rent to use their software, I wouldn’t have access to my own work files. Countless hours of painstakingly done artwork would just be locked away, as all my source files were in Adobe’s proprietary format. Fortunately, while searching for other options I stumbled upon David Revoy’s blog post in which he describes why he chose open source software. This was exactly what I wanted to hear and it was reason I switched to Linux on my production machine.

    I am extremely happy with the freedom and choice Linux offers. Now I have more control over my machine and also my work. I am glad that I made the switch. Otherwise I wouldn’t have found the software gem called Krita. Krita made the switch comforting and easy for me. My workflow and efficiency were not at all hampered.

    The developer and artist community of Krita are also one of the reason I now use Linux.

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

    I have run Arch Linux on my production machine for the past seven to eight months. Before that, I was an Ubuntu user. I have also tried openSUSE.

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

    I use KDE as my daily driver. I use it because it gives me options to customize it to my liking, it looks good, and I really feel comfortable with it. And I love the welcoming attitude of the developers and the community. I used Cinnamon on Arch for some time and it is my second most favorite desktop after KDE.

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

    I use Krita for a good six to eight hours per day. I cannot imagine using my computer for work without having Krita installed on it. I have grown very accustomed to its workflow and behavior. So much so that I felt really lost when I recently tried to use Photoshop on one of my friend’s machines while collaborating with him. Krita has completely replaced seven years of Photoshop experience in my mind.

    Other essential software for me on Linux is Mypaint, GIMP for occasional photo retouching, Inkscape for all design stuff, Scribus for laying out print materials, Blender, Imagemagick, LibreOffice, Skanlite, cron and Back in Time for backups.

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

    I have a self-assembled desktop PC, which runs on Intel i7-4790k with 32GB RAM, a 24” Dell monitor plugged in to a 2GB Nvidia 750-ti graphic card, and a 1.5TB hard drive.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Sure! Here is my screenshot.

Raghavendra Kamath's desktop

Interview conducted April 15, 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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