People of openSUSE: Dominique Leuenberger


Please introduce yourself!

Why does every interview start with this question. It’s a bunch of historical facts (born and raised in Switzerland, went to school, IT education track, work, blah blah)… but is that was makes out a person?

To put it more on the point of who I became, I’d say: Free spirited openSUSE enthusiast, trying to make the best out of this project. This comes as part of my job as openSUSE Tumbleweed release manager, but stretches far beyond this when one looks at the times I am busy with openSUSE.

How do people usually call you? What nickname do you use on IRC. Do you have a blog or any other web site you would like to share?

For like 20 years I’ve been going around as DimStar in the online presence, before that it was ‘DiMiTRi’ - some joker in school tagged me with this name, as I tend to be quite sarcastic and always in the mood for jokes. And Dimitri was a well know Swiss clown and mime (recently deceased).

In the ‘real world’, people tend to call me by my name ‘Dominique’ or if it’s too long, ‘Dom’ is also acceptable; ‘Domi’ is something reserved for close family members only.

What are you doing for a living? Are you paid to work on openSUSE?

The most important aspect of what I ‘do for a living’ is converting O2 to CO2.

But you more likely refer to the financial aspects of live. Since October 2014 I have the pleasure to be working for SUSE - dedicated on openSUSE. My main areas there are on Tumbleweed (chasing people) and, at times where resources are needed, of course also Leap.

When and why did you start using openSUSE?

I’ve been using openSUSE since it was called like that. But before I used SUSE Linux. I think I started somewhat around version 6.4 - which I bought as a box in the local book store. It was a nice change of ‘how easy things have become’ after I was playing with Slackware before that. Slack certainly gave me a good brush up in learning internas - but once this is done, you finally want to USE your system. That’s where SUSE Linux (and later openSUSE) came in.

What was your first contribution to openSUSE?

I started my contributions by filing bugs - then I was curious to find out HOW something was fixed, and in some cases thought it was not that difficult and I should have been able to do that too… so I did

In what way do you participate in openSUSE today and what keeps you going?

As said, since October 2014 this is my daily bread - and one of my hobbies after hours. It’s mainly the product and the community that keeps me going. It’s amazing to witness what all those people together can achieve.

Besides my main role as openSUSE Tumbleweed Release Manager I am deeply involved in maintaining the GNOME desktop environment.

What have you learned in your time as part of the openSUSE community you would have wished to know when you started?

There is plenty I have learned: be it open communication in an open source project, take all things you read with two grains of salt - and learn to ignore some people: some just tend to make noise whenever they can.

When people ask you why they should use openSUSE instead of another distribution, what do you tell them?

You’re using another distribution already? What makes you even consider looking at some other distribution? Of course with openSUSE you get the best of two worlds: you want it fast, rolling, always up-to-date: get Tumbleweed; but you don’t want to maintain this level of activity for your parents system? Install Leap! Best of all: they are so equal, that you will barely realize the difference. Keep in mind that the non-tech enthusiast don’t care for version 1.x vs 1.x+n; they care for the task at hand being able to be completed.

What are your favorite applications? What sets them apart?

A standard session I launch contains Evolution, Firefox, Vinagre and GNOME Terminal. + Vinagre I use to connect using ssh to my IRC bouncer; helps to stay online and have full history. I simply prefer this to be done in Vinagre than a plain terminal, just for the fact that it’s a ‘different app to chose in the task switcher’; makes it easier. + Without evolution I would be lost (I can resort to webmails for a short period of time - but always happy to be back on Evolution)

Three words to describe openSUSE? Or make up a proper slogan!

Have a lot of fun!

We have this in /etc/motd and it is exactly what this is all about: of course we want to make the best Linux distro out there - but we can only do that with people that have fun doing it.

What do you think the future holds for openSUSE?

I tried to look into my crystal ball - but it was so bright, it just exploded.

If you would have unlimited resources, what would you do with it?

Where would one start - unlimited is a huge number. And with unlimited resources, nothing should be unresolvable. I’d say there are more important things to invest that amount of resource than into openSUSE; at best, openSUSE could be a supporting platform for all this (think global ecology, poverty, education)

Which is your favorite movie scene?

My movie taste changes with my mood; any answer would be momentary and not represent anything.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars would probably win it - but if you’d ask me to chose between going to watch Star Wars 1 (which I have seen) or ‘the next Star Trek’ in Cinema, I’d join you for Star Trek - simply because I haven’t seen it.

Torvalds or Stallman?

I’m swiss - we do not engage in foreign policies :)

Tumbleweed or Leap?

Why ‘OR’ ? Tumbleweed on my main systems I work with, Leap for all my servers and family members’ systems.

Show us a picture of something, you have always wanted to share!

Things that I wanted to share are either on Facebook and/or Twitter… everything else was not meant to be shared.

What would you like every person in the openSUSE community to know?

openSUSE is ‘all of us’ - If you have great ideas, bring them up, drive them to implementation. Don’t expect somebody else to implement your ideas (unless it’s so good that others might start identifying themselves with it too)