2 Jun 2015

Ruth Suehle: Red Hat and Fedora derivatives and forks are part of the community

No one will argue that Linux world is more fragmented than the worlds of other operating systems. Each distribution has its fans, developers and haters.

There are few companies among this ocean of distributions that work closely with the community and help the Linux world to improve. Would it be interesting for you to see what people in these companies think like? Let's talk to one of them!

Let me introduce: Ruth Suehle!

DarkDuck: Hello, Ruth! Could you please introduce yourself?

Ruth Suehle
Ruth Suehle: I manage the community leadership portion of the Open Source and Standards (OSAS) team at Red Hat. Our team works to help ensure the success of the community upstream projects, which are so important to Red Hat. This includes Fedora, CentOS, RDO, oVirt, Project Atomic, and many others. You can read about what we're working on and find events where our team and other Red Hat employees are presenting at community.redhat.com or follow us on Twitter at @redhatopen.

DD: Do you have any personal favourites among these projects?

RS: I know better than to pick favorites. :-)

DD: Other than Red Hat, have you worked for any other Linux-oriented companies or projects?

RS: I have not, but I've been at Red Hat for almost eight years. Before that I often worked with Linux as a web developer who often had to admin the servers as well. I've also worked in technical documentation for pharmacy automation systems and at a semiconductor research consortium.

DD: What are your relations with Red Hat and Fedora derivatives and forks, like CentOS and to less extent PCLOS, Mandriva, Mageia, ROSA etc?

RS: They're a part of the community and doing what open source is all about. CentOS has actually been a part of Red Hat for more than a year.

DD: Silly question, but what is the OS you currently use? What is the DE? Is it different between home and office environments?

RS: I use Fedora, both for work and for home, usually with Gnome, but I occasionally experiment with other desktops. My kids use Fedora as well. I do have one Windows machine that is dedicated to my embroidery machine because that's the only OS its exceptionally (depressingly) proprietary software works on.

DD: What are your favourite applications and tools apart from OS and DE themselves?

RS: I'm a pretty simple girl. I always have a browser, LibreOffice, Terminator, and X-Chat open. I'm not even that picky about which browser and switch frequently. Beyond that, it just depends on what the day needs. Gimp or Inkscape if I'm working on photos or graphics. Recently it's been the Arduino IDE, as I've been helping my daughter learn basic Arduino stuff. I really want to say Steam, but after some solid efforts with Steam on Linux when it was first announced, I wasn't blown away. I stick to the PS4 now, but I might try Steam again soon.
Only slightly more interestingly, I've just installed RedShift after a discussion about f.lux, but I haven't been using it long enough to offer a good opinion.

DD: Do you read the blog Linux notes from DarkDuck? What would you like to see here? What should be improved?

RS: I'd like to see more about Fedora and other OSAS-supported projects, of course! ;-) I did like your "antique" edition of Red Hat Linux 5.2. I have a few similar pieces of ancient history.

DD: I've written a series of reviews of different Fedora 16 and 17 flavours in 2011-12. Should I make another round? If yes, which flavour would you personally recommend?

RS: Fedora releases every six months, and I think you'll find is now quite different from the Fedora you tried three or four years ago, so you might even re-do some of the things you've already looked at. Fedora 22, released just recently, has a lot of really interesting new features.

DD: Putting the Linux and computers aside, what do you do in your free time?

RS: I have two kids under 10, so "free time" is a somewhat nebulous concept, though it gets better as they get older. All three of us are competitive Scottish Highland dancers. I'm also into costuming, among a million other hobbies of making things. The next project I'm considering is the Age of Ultron version of Black Widow's costume.

DD: You're the co-author of a book about Rasperry Pi. Was writing it an interesting experience?

RS: I think most technical book authors would agree that they're glad to have written a book more than they were glad to be writing it! But the best part of it has been giving talks about the Pi at various conferences and learning about all the things people are doing with the little device. They originally thought they'd sell 10,000. Now there are millions out there. I joke that about half of them are running XBMC (now called Kodi). One of my favorite projects is the bilingual, largely functional R2-D2. I listed a few of my other favorites in a post on opensource.com a while back. And last OSCON, I met someone who used it to control a Big Mouth Billy Bass!

DD: Do you plan to write another book?

RS: Not right now.

DD: Thanks for your time, Ruth. I wish you all the best in your role and your projects! Hope to keep in touch.


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