I found Jim through Korora, which is a Fedora remix. Jim’s story of coming to Linux is a common one for non-technical users. In fact, it’s mine! He started with free and open source software on Windows, moved to a dual-boot situation and eventually left Windows behind for good. He uses Xfce because it stays out of his way, and that’s also one of my favorite things about it. It’s the desktop that doesn’t need to prove it’s a desktop.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Jim Dean and I currently live just outside Sydney Australia. I say I’m retired but I’ve been busier than when I was working full time. I’m the secretary/public officer of a local association that runs a hobby event.
I’m part of the team that produces Korora. I do testing and support where I can. The current project is learning ‘kp,’ Korora’s packaging tool, so I can be more useful to the project. I never expected I would be part of a team producing a Linux distro but it is enjoyable and I see it as my way of contributing to the open source community.
Over the next year I plan to move away from here and hope that I get more time to focus on my interests which include photography and Linux.
Why do you use Linux?
A difficult question to answer as there are a range of reasons. I became disenchanted with the lack of control on proprietary operating systems as well as the cost and security concerns. I first started using open source software on Windows and that led to using an open source operating system. Being able to use the same software on both platforms made the transition very easy.
I dual-booted for some time and found I was spending increasingly more time in Linux. My last dual boot system was with XP.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I’m using Korora 23 beta at the moment. I used Fedora for a long time and when Korora appeared it was a natural choice as it was based on Fedora.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I prefer Xfce. I find it simple to set up, easy on the hardware, and can be made to look good. I like an environment that doesn’t get in your way when you are working.
What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so
As part of my duties in the association, I spend a lot of time in office software, so LibreOffice is probably what I use the most. Having a good, reliable, and capable office suite was one of the things that made my move to Linux so simple. I had used OpenOffice on Windows and always considered it to be at least the equal of any commercial competitor.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I’ve been a ThinkPad fan for a long time and I’m using a T440 at the moment. They always seem to work well out of the box on Linux. It is middle-of-the-road specifications, but the only change I would make is a larger hard drive.
I have a couple of older systems I use for testing and other things, as well as a desktop that is packed up pending the house move.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Sure. I often post screenshots in the Korora community on Google+, to promote Korora. But these are usually from test systems and don’t show my day-to-day desktop. I prefer a darker (but not black) theme so I use one called crunchy dark grey, which I found on an Xfce forum. As the name suggests, the theme started on CrunchBang.
I use a couple of panels, but I don’t like the look of them so I set them to be transparent. I also use a basic Conky configuration to monitor what is happening with the system.
The wallpaper is one of my own photographs.
Interview conducted December 18, 2015