I interviewed Ikey Doherty a while back but haven’t checked in on Solus, his distribution since then. Linux Voice/Linux Magazine recently did a write-up of it, though, and it looks very interesting—a curated, rolling release, meaning you get the latest and greatest software, but presumably without your system breaking, since a maintainer is watching what gets updated (and when it’s safe). For someone like me, who doesn’t want to worry too much about updates, it’s an intriguing option (although OpenSUSE Tumbleweed has been, knock wood, very stable so far for me).
Ikey is living the dream—he made his own desktop environment. Perhaps even more impressive, he made it for his own distribution! Perhaps most impressive of all, Solus, Ikey’s distribution, is built from scratch, meaning it’s not based upon another distribution. It’s a lot of work, but Ikey doesn’t seem to mind it. Ikey also flags git as his essential tool-of-choice. I’m using git to submit chapters for my book and it’s a pretty amazing piece of software. It’s impacting all kinds of work.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Ikey Doherty, a software engineer currently residing in the UK. I’m also founder of the Solus Operating System, a Linux-based distribution built from scratch, using the Budgie Desktop. I work exclusively with (and on) open source software.
- Why do you use Linux?
For me, it does everything I need. Most of us have tales about The One Laptop That Died, Thus Linux Was Brought To Me. I’m not much different in that sense; my main difference (luckily) has been I’ve had no reason to ever go back to Windows.
That’s purely the practical angle. Let’s not forget that I also have complete and utter control over my system, as it’s open source!
- What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I run Solus Operating System on my main machine (a NUC). It’s still in development but I’m a firm believer in dogfooding. Right now it gets the majority of what I need to do done, such as developing Solus and actually using it for my primary job.
- What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
Budgie. Because I made it for me 🙂 . Therein lies the true power of open source. I made extensive use of components of the GNOME stack to provide the experience I wanted, without needing to fork or cause fragmentation. As time went on, it was something I then shared with others…and well, here we are today.
- What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?
That’s somewhat hard to define as there are so many important elements. For me, it’s quite likely git. Though not strictly Linux specific, it’s now something that is central to all of my development work, whether at my primary job, or in outside activities such as Solus.
- What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
Right now I’m working from an Intel NUC, Broadwell i7 (i7-5557U), with 16GB RAM, Iris 6100 graphics and 120GB SSD.
- Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Interview conducted July 24, 2015