The Linux Setup – Craig Nuzzo, Two Tech Dudes

Craig’s Linux journey is similar to mine. Windows fails, you’re frustrated, you jump on Linux, and you never leave. I also enjoy Craig’s points about the teaching and learning potential of Linux. As he points out, many education programs use the Linux kernel for pedagogical purposes, which is amazing. You’re not only making software that powers so much of our technology, but you’re using that same software to teach more developers? And improving the code base as it happens? That’s powerful. Also, Craig reached out through the contact form. You should, too!

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

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

    My name is Craig Nuzzo and I am a professional and hobbyist Linux user, engineer, and admin. I work on a small Systems Engineering team at a start-up-gone-enterprise that develops websites and solutions for automotive dealerships around the world. We are hiring and offer remote work so check out our career page.

    I also host a podcast covering various tech related topics, like Linux, security, and programming. I just try to simplify all the noise out there and it helps me think as well. Being an INTJ, it helps to get out of my comfort zone a bit too. The best place to follow us is in on Twitter.

    I keep up on alternative technologies that give power back to the people and not to corporations. I enjoy learning how the tech works from a top-level as well as under the hood.

    In my free time I enjoy weightlifting, playing basketball, singing, cinema, watching hockey, football, & baseball, going to concerts, listening to metalcore music, and keeping up with the latest Linux/other security-related news.

    Check out my Now page to see what I am currently up to.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    TL;DR: Because it is fun. Because it is innovative. Because it is open. Because the knowledge pays the bills.

    I had purchased a new laptop for myself after graduating from college back in 2007. I was regretfully and naively a marketing major, but always interested in computers. I just needed that hardware upgrade. I had used the same Toshiba Satellite laptop all four years of college and the CPU on that thing was just not keeping up with new software and all the Google Chrome threads that I concurrently ran. So I went out and bought an Asus U43F laptop. I absolutely loved. It ran the new Microsoft Windows 7 and everything was fantastic. I replaced all my Windows programs with mostly open-source ones, even found a nice little utility to help me out when I did frequent system restores to keep it clean, which was Ninite. That was until the BSODs (Blue Screen of Deaths). They would appear out of nowhere. I could not figure out how to fix them. Based on initial research, it appeared to be some sort of swap space error, but who knows; “DDL Hell” could have been a culprit as well. I tried numerous system restores, kept my memory footprint at a minimum, but nothing. That did nothing. Until one day…

    …I got in.

    I believe it was just after my first computer programming language course: Visual Basic or maybe Java. I just woke up, downloaded an ISO of Linux Mint, installed it completely over Windows, and never looked back. Not only was my U43F laptop seemingly five to ten times faster at everything it computed, I didn’t have one BSOD or any other hardware issue ever again on my U43F.

    I always had replaced the proprietary applications with open-source ones, so why not the kernel!

    Linux is a great way to learn computer science-related skills and theory because all the code is open-source, which can be viewed over at Kernel.org. Linux is used in many institutional curricula.

    The operating system should be well-organized, use memory efficiently, and give the control necessary to run on most hardware. I believe that an operating system is meant to get the most out of the hardware. To me, the OS is more important than the hardware. I can grab an old laptop and throw a Linux distribution on there and get it up and running. At this point in time, my current operating system criteria belongs to the Linux-based ones.

    Besides the technology itself, Linux also has a very innovative and creative community. Sure, sometimes things may get heated and people may not agree on things (i.e. systemd vs traditional init). But, at the end of the day, we are all interested in one common goal: to provide an awesome operating system for our computers. We use Linux to make all types of computing devices.

    The above paragraphs have modified and taken from my blog posts over at and . Check them out for more details.

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

    Ubuntu 18.04. I’ve distro-hopped around for many years, mostly for fun. Yet I still go back to Ubuntu just because it works very well and the community is massive. I keep it simple. Depending on the direction of Canonical in the near future regarding being a publicly-traded company, I may end up on something like Solus or Arch.

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

    GNOME. It’s the Ubuntu default now and looks slick. It was a toss-up between that and KDE, but I feel like GNOME has a great direction and works very well. Not that KDE doesn’t, but it’s a Pepsi/Coke thing now, which is fantastic to see. The direct competition is making each desktop environment better.

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

    Audacity. I’m not sure how else I would edit my podcast or my singing voice.

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

    A System 76 Ratel Pro desktop (discontinued model), with Intel i5-6600 3.9GHz and 32GB RAM. It’s a beauty.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

    Absolutely!

Interview conducted December 3, 2018


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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