The Linux Setup – Emma Heffernan, Student

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember how I found Emma! I’m guessing Twitter. But that’s not important. What’s important is that Emma uses Mint. She got into Linux during the pandemic and it wound up sticking. Mint gets you like that. I wasn’t a huge Mint user, but had it on a laptop, and have been using that laptop more as I work from (and around my) home. Emma uses Cinnamon and is enthusiastic about it. I’m using MATE and think it’s fine. I prefer GNOME but I like the smaller footprint of MATE on an older ThinkPad. And be sure to check out Emma’s Vim suggestions, too!

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

    Hi, I’m Emma. I am currently entering the final year of my BSc in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security at Technological University Dublin, but also working as a Security Analyst for edgescan. My passion is all things Linux, maths and Vim! You can find me on Twitter @3mm4h3ff.

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    Initially, I always used Linux through virtual machines for capture the flag competitions or minor tasks. While lockdown had us caught up indoors, I decided it was the right time to experiment and develop my command-line skills. While my laptop is primarily Windows, I ended up running Linux Mint 19.3 on my desktop. Since the move, I can see the dust gathering on my laptop! Nothing against Windows or other operating systems, but the reasons I use Linux are for freedom, security, good performance, and high stability.

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

    I am running Linux Mint 19.3, Tricia.

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

    Cinnamon! It’s extremely slick and easy to use, especially as it helped make the transition from Windows to Linux fairly fast. I have used GNOME on Ubuntu 18.04 in the past and love it!

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

    If I can only pick one, it most definitely is Vim, the text editor! I am no expert—just a huge fan. I use Vim for the efficiency and countability! Whether I am using Linux or Windows, Vim’s got me covered. Lots of people ask how can they get into using Vim. It’s quite simple: on the shell prompt type vimtutor or check out vim-adventures.com. Thank me later!

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

    Currently, I am running my setup on an Intel i5-2500K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 16GB RAM and 250GB SSD. Superfast for my everyday usage.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

Emma Heffernan's desktop

Interview conducted May 26, 2020


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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