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The People Who Support Linux: “Be a Part of Creating Your Own Free World”

By 2010-06-118月 16th, 2017Blog


This is an ongoing series that profiles The Linux Foundation’s individual supporters and begins to collectively illustrate a very important part of the Linux community. Individuals help support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other important activities that advance Linux, while getting a variety of other fun and valuable benefits. It is this collective support from thousands of individual members that enables The Linux Foundation to provide important services for industry and community. 

Our third profile in the series introduces us to Damian Bere. Damian is a Senior Enterprise Architect based in the UK who has been using Linux for 10 years. Another fact about Damian: he’s smitten with his email address.

He told us: “My main reason is to show my support for the efforts of truly passionate people for a truly beneficial product that, if we’re honest, runs a large majority of our lives – from websites to airports, mobiles to DVRs, banks to shops, and much more. And what I’d ideally like to get is a vote of support for the community that will encourage others to do the same. Well, there’s that; and I really wanted an vanity email address. Am I allowed to admit that?”

Definitely, Damian.

Damian has worked on all kinds of IT systems in a variety of different roles from support to systems admin, systems analysis and development. He says these opportunities got him very familiar with Windows 95 and NT, Solaris, AS400, and AIX Unix. But he says it wasn’t until he found “a little Red Hat 6 box on the shelf in a computer store” that he started to work with Linux.

It was as if the floodgates had been opened. “For me, it was like having business-grade computing at home. I could hardly believe it!” he shared with us. “And after toiling with the weird and wonderful world of ksh and vi, and the many fundamental concepts of a *nix OS at work, hacking away at Linux to get my winmodem to work was actually quite fun (in between the occasional swear word of course)! Though, it’s probably not something I would have given to my parents, which is a stark contrast to today’s super easy-to-use release of Ubuntu (10.04) and Linux Mint 9 (my preferred distro) which is easy enough for anyone to use.”

Damian says that today at work Linux makes up a large portion of his company’s “global server estate.” At home, he has two servers running Linux (CentOS), a Linux-based firewall/router/VPN/gateway (Astaro), a Linux-based laptop (Linux Mint 9), a Linux workstation with a quad monitor setup (Ubuntu 10.04, 64 bit), and an Android phone. He also says that he runs Linux on a dedicated web host he uses for a small community site, and that a Linux-based media center is on his shopping list.

While he believes Linux is the leading OS, Damian says we have to admit its weaknesses. “Like all other operating systems, Linux has opportunities to improve. By admitting this and working together, we can make Linux better.” He cites pitfalls like fragmentation as an area for improvement.  He also hopes that the community will continue to be vocal and says speaking to non-Linux user “in their own language” can introduce them into the world of Linux. For people new to Linux, Damian suggests participating in forums, filing bug reports and adding experience to hardware compatibility lists all make a huge difference. “Be a part of creating your own free world,” says Damian.

As far as his favorite Linux innovations, Damian says it’s really about the openness that Linux embodies. “Through its {Linux’s} openness, many innovations have emerged. Android and MeeGo on mobile devices and notebooks; the anticipated tablet devices, from MeTab to the Dell Streak; and the many appliances and supercomputers that are based on a Linux kernel. For me, it’s not really about how great Linux is; it’s about how great Linux can help you to be through freedom and openness. This is where innovation lives, not behind locked doors.”

Other Linux Foundation supporter profiles include Matthew Fernandez and Kevyn-Alexandre Paré.




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