The Linux Setup – François Téchené, Purism

François is from Purism, a company which makes Linux laptops, as well as its own version of Linux. It’s an interesting project. François is also a great interview subject in that he’s a filmmaker who is using Linux for his work.

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

    My name is François, I am from France. I am director of creative at Purism, so most of my creative energy goes to Purism and promoting the copyleft philosophy. I am also a filmmaker and animator, making traditional 2D animation with computers. Some years ago I co-funded the British film production Free Seed Films and, much more recently, the non-profit organization Ethic Cinema, which aims to promote free cinematographic creations.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I would like to give as much credit to GNU as to Linux because GNU is the origin of the system and the philosophy. I use GNU/Linux because it matches my philosophy in terms of user freedom and control over software and hardware. I come from a background of proprietary software for multimedia creation and I made the move to free software not so long ago in order to get this freedom, as well as control over the tools that I use everyday. I want control over my hardware obsolescence as much as possible.

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

    I use PureOS. It is the OS developed by Purism and it is based on Debian. It is actually Debian Stretch, with some add-ons for privacy and security.

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

    I use GNOME Shell because it is sober, clean, and very efficient, with a modern look and feel. It is also one of the best mobile/desktop convergent environments, in my opinion. Why have different habits when using different devices?

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

    Do you mean Free software? If so, I would say Blender. It is one of the most amazing programs I have ever used. It’s very powerful and helped me a lot with my transition to free software. Of course, there is other software that I depend upon, like GIMP, Krita, Kdenlive, as well as FFmpeg and Firefox. What would I do without a web browser? 🙂

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

    I use a Librem 13, which is a very cool laptop that helps me avoid a lot of headaches. It is fast and its motherboard has been designed by Purism to run free software, so I can update safely. With PureOS, I don’t worry about incompatibility while getting the power, robustness and freedom of Debian.

    I am waiting for the 4K based Librem 15 to arrive.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

Francois Techene's desktop

Interview conducted August 21, 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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