I’ve made no secret of my love of Xfce and Pasi does a great job explaining what makes it so great. Mainly, the fact that it’s light but also very customizable. I’m using GNOME for my daily work, and playing with MATE on an old ThinkPad, but I always find my way back to Xfce.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Pasi Lallinaho, an open source contributor from Finland.
I’m currently a Xubuntu council member and website lead. I’ve been contributing to Xubuntu since 2008, with artwork, websites, community involvement, documentation, and more. I like to think that I’m sort of an enabler for other people in the community. I don’t program (and many other things) myself, but I’m happy if I can do something that can make processes and work easier and smoother for others.
As upstream is important, I’m helping out Xfce (the desktop environment) with their infrastructure. I’m also the co-founder of Shimmer Project, a collective found to make open source beautiful.
I also have a blog about open source and the phenomena around it called It’s Free.
Why do you use Linux?
Linux gives me the freedom I want. It’s always free, I can always select the software I want and I can customize my desktop however I want.
I also would like to emphasize that with open source software, everybody has the possibility to contribute and shape the future of the software they are using, which makes things even more awesome.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I run Xubuntu exclusively on all of my systems. My first experiences with Linux were around 2000 with Red Hat. When I was looking for a Linux operating system back in 2006— I was switching from Windows to Linux exclusively—Ubuntu caught my eye. I used the flagship Ubuntu (with GNOME2 then) for two years, after which I switched to Xubuntu and haven’t looked back.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
Xfce, obviously. Xfce has the perfect balance between being lightweight, user friendly, and customizable.
What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?
For a lot of my work and open source activites, Inkscape. It’s a wonderful vector graphics editor which I use to create most of my artwork. For example, I’ve used it to create all of the Xubuntu wallpapers over the years. It’s also a handy drafting tool for a lot of things, including websites and all kinds of print stuff.
I mentioned customizability earlier and an important part of keeping my workflow smooth and productive is the little scripts and configuration I’ve built on top of Xubuntu.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I recently switched to a 7th Generation Intel NUC. I want my hardware to keep out of the way, just like my operating system and desktop environment, and the quiet NUC does just that.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
I like minimalist desktops, so there isn’t much to see, but here you go!
The wallpaper license is CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Patrik Walde and can be found here.
Interview conducted November 2, 2017