Introduction & Spitball Pitch: Len Payne

Hello Everyone,

My name is Len, and I’ve been using one form of Linux or another for about 20 years now, both professionally and unprofessionally.

In my day job, I write software and wrangle CentOS servers to help make sure that hungry people get the food that they need. In my previous gig, I worked for almost a decade as a professor, so I have lots of experience explaining things to adult learners.

I’m going through a process over the next few weeks/months, and I’d like to share my stories. The basics of where I’m at: I use Red Hat-based distros professionally, but my personal laptop has been Ubuntu for the past five years. My new laptop should arrive next week, and I plan to install Fedora Workstation 33 on it. I don’t know if there’s interest in a series of articles about the various setup and configuration steps. My loose plans for what I hope to do (some of which I may write about) are:

  1. Install F33 on a ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen8
  2. Make the fingerprint scanner work if it doesn’t work out of the box
  3. Configure, test and validate disaster recovery solutions for the desktop
  4. Install several free software packages (KeePassXC, GIMP, InkScape, Firefox, Thunderbird)
  5. Install several non-free software packages (Chrome, Spotify, Steam, Dropbox, Slack, JetBrains IDEs, Teams)
  6. Install my Ruby Dev Environment
  7. Install my PHP Dev Environment
  8. Take a second look at that ol’ disaster recovery solution and make sure it works when the whole system is setup

If there’s any interest in any of those tasks, give me a heads up. I can start building up cards on Taiga if any of these things seem interesting.

In general, I’m interested in writing on the following other things too:

  1. Local community building and outreach events (InstallFests, Hackathons, etc)
  2. Cloud architecture and deployments
  3. Gaming on Linux
  4. Alternative systems (Silverblue, Fedora CoreOS, Spins, Labs, etc)

Looking forward to engaging with you folks more!


They all look like excellent topics to me. +20 :slightly_smiling_face: Once another editor “+1’s” your ideas, please do go ahead and create the cards and start writing the articles. The only one that I see any potential for problems with is #5. I’m sure a few people are bound to balk at a few of the items under point 5, but such things have been published here before.

P.S. The following user’s use case might make for a great example/demonstration on #8:

Using DNF group remove @kde-desktop-environment removes Gnome WiFi dependencies


#2 and #3 look the most unique and interesting to me. (Installing packages and environments are more generic and also I’m some cases highly individual preferences.) Also your list of other topics could have some good articles in the offing as well. This could be great stuff!

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Welcome, Len! It’s probably best to start with a pitch or two and work from there. I agree with Paul that #2 and #3 are the best starting points and the installation ones are probably not great for articles (unless there’s something more to it than simple installation)

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P.S. The following user’s use case might make for a great example/demonstration on #8:
Using DNF group remove @kde-desktop-environment removes Gnome WiFi dependencies

I would welcome a magazine article on disaster recovery with DNF. History and other commands are useful, but a walkthrough would be nice.

In fact it does — this is the model Lenovo ships with Fedora Workstation, and everything (with the current exception of the optional WWAN card) works out of the box.

My assumption was that the disaster recovery solution being proposed would be by means of a btrfs rollback of the root filesystem. Personally, I have my systems set up to automatically create snapshots of the root filesystem on every kernel update (on first boot of the kernel, just before the root filesystem is mounted). Having these automated snapshots has really saved the day for me in the past. I also keep a custom script in /etc/kernel/install.d to clean up old snapshots when their associated kernels are removed. I agree that an article on how to set up a system for easy rollback would be awesome.

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In fact the fingerprint scanner does not work out of the box! And that’s okay. I’ll figure out where the gap is between my install from ISO and the shipped install from factory diverged. It’s almost certainly a small step (like a package install that then just-works.) Hopefully troubleshooting it gives some good fodder for a story.

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