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June 24, 2008

Interview with Christer Edwards, Ubuntu Utah Founder

by @ 10:00 am. Filed under interview

Say hello to Ubuntu Utah Founder Christer Edwards. Being one of the major open source contributors recognized around the community, I was curious to know more about Christer.

Please tell us who you are.

Christer Edwards, aka Zelut. 28yrs old. Geek.

How long have you been in the tech industry (i.e., made a living through your knowledge of computers)?

I’ve always been interested in computers but have only really got into “the industry” over the past few years. Previous to that was mostly tinkering and self-study. Currently I’m working as a Linux instructor for Guru Labs, teaching primarily RedHat Enterprise Linux.

How many different operating systems (either Open Source or proprietary) have you used?

Linux, Windows and Mac are the primary ones. I have not owned (or plan to own) a Windows machine in nearly three years. At home we have Ubuntu desktops, laptops and servers and my wife uses an iMac with OSX Leopard.

What draws you to the philosophy of Open Source Software?

Open development. Transparency. The *only* people who benefit from proprietary products (whether it be code or hardware) are the vendors. The open, transparent philosophy in the Open Source / Free Software world is what draws me. I am free to use the information in any way I see fit and no one is able to control how, where or for what reason I use my machine.

What was the Linux distribution you started with? When did you first start using Linux?

I first started tinkering with Free Software nearly ten years ago with a BSD variant and ended up melting a video card fighting with X11. After that I took a few years off (hehe) and eventually made my way back to RedHat 9. About the time they “went corporate” with RHEL I got a little burned and went back to XP for a year or so (this was also due to some nagging by the then-girlfriend). In early 2005 I was looking for a solution regarding viruses and the like and thought I would give Linux a try again. Ubuntu single-CD installer downloads faster than a Fedora DVD so Ubuntu made it to my machine and has stuck ever since.

Which Linux distributions have you used, and for how long did you use each?

I’ve used slackware, Mandrake (when it was mandrake), Fedora, opensuse, and Ubuntu.

What is your preferred Linux distribution? Why do you like it more than the others you’ve tried?

I prefer Ubuntu far more than the other distributions out there for a number of reasons. 1) compared with Fedora, Ubuntu actually puts focus on usability vs just bleeding-edge (although Fedora should be applauded for constantly pushing the envelope). 2) I prefer it over openSUSE recently because in the 10.x series there have been too many big changes. rug, smart, zypper.. zypper again. Major changes like that have made for a rocky road and I’d rather just get work done. Also openSUSE seems to try and re-invent the wheel constantly vs use established tools such as kickstart, yum, apparmour, etc. If openSUSE were to become a little more.. established I don’t mind it, but until all the smoke has settled its too volatile for me.

Do you contribute to any specific distribution? Tutorials, maintain wiki articles, develop packages, other types of personal efforts?

I contribute to the Ubuntu project by way of localized support teams, bug work, wiki contribution, etc. I also maintain the blog, which has regular instruction on how to make the most out of your ubuntu / linux machine. I have also recently begun working on .deb packaging and the Ubuntu MOTU project to help maintain the community supported repositories.

Are you part of any organizations or user groups that you would recommend? for local ubuntu support. for a collection of utah based free software groups and resources.

<end interview>

There you have it directly from the source: Christer Edwards. Take a look at Christer’s Linked-In Profile, or his Launchpad Page.

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