Peter is a writer who makes a great case for Linux. I’m surprised more writers don’t use it. It’s got so much flexibility, it’s easy to make it look and act just right, which I find important for writing. In fact, I kind of like toggling between different distributions, just for a new look when I work. It’s like working in a new place without leaving home.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Peter Y. Chuang. I am a writer. I write novels, short stories, and other stuff, some of which I put on my website, which is hosted on a server running Linux (of course). I also make a GNOME/GTK+ theme.
Why do you use Linux?
I tried Linux for the first time nine or ten years ago out of curiosity, and I was very much impressed by its performance, its virtual desktops (coming from Windows, that was quite a revelation), and its customizability. Unfortunately, it took me a few years before I could switch to Linux full-time, as I relied on Microsoft Excel for the financial modeling work that I used to do.
After being a full-time Linux user for about five or six years, using Linux has now become a habit, so I don’t usually think too much about why I use Linux until I have to touch a Windows machine (I am the tech support guy in my house, so touching Windows machines is inevitable). These days I find Windows very difficult to set up and use. A lot of things that Linux users find very basic require convoluted solutions on Windows. Also, Microsoft’s endless attempts to trick users into letting their computers do unwanted stuff is, quite frankly, sickening.
To put it simply, I use Linux because Linux is better, easier to use and control, and it’s free and open-source software.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
Arch Linux. I use it because it is a rolling distribution, has a very good package management system, and is very easy to configure, even though it doesn’t seem like it.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
GNOME. I like it for its minimalism, and I think it’s perfect for users who are familiar with keyboard shortcuts.
What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?
LibreOffice Writer. I use it to do most of my writing and editing.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I run Linux on a custom-built desktop machine and, until a few weeks ago, a late-2015 Dell XPS 13.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Sure. This is my desktop with the theme I made, which is forked from Flat-Plat.
Interview conducted June 17, 2017