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Caleb Howland

LOCATION: United States, Earth (Sol III), Sol System, Vulcan Sector, Sirius Sector Block "No principle can be enforced through law; a thousand laws cannot masquerade as, or take the place of, one principle."

About Me

I am a college student, a worship leader, an avid sports enthusiast (cricket, tennis and basketball, mainly), and - of course - an Ubuntu user.

Introduction to Linux and Ubuntu/Transition from Windows

I was first introduced to the Linux world in 2010, after, ironically enough, the end of Sun's [OpenSolaris operating system] (an open-source version of Solaris, now called [OpenIndiana]). A friend of mine had Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Remix on his machine, and I decided to burn my own live image of Ubuntu 10.04 (then the latest LTS release) onto DVD and boot it. The rest, as they say, is history.

At the time, I was running Windows XP on a Gateway2000 500 SE computer (now known as the E-3600). I began with a Wubi install, then, in 2011, when I acquired bigger hard disks, began a dual-boot system. In mid-2012, I quit using Windows almost entirely to move to Ubuntu.

In September of 2012, I bought a Fujitsu convertible laptop, and temporarily left Ubuntu to get a feel for [Microsoft's] [Windows 8] operating system. When its 64-bit version refused to comply with my biometric scanner, however, I permanently switched back to Ubuntu as a host operating system. In December, I loaded the old Gateway with a modified version of Lubuntu (I installed LibreOffice in preference to GNOME Office) and gifted it to a friend who didn't have a computer and wanted one.

The next year, the fan in my Fujitsu laptop ceased to function, causing me to acquire a Toshiba laptop with [UEFI] [Secure Boot]. From April 2014, I dual-booted Windows 8.1 vs. [Ubuntu Studio] 14.04 LTS.

Then, [I discovered Arch Linux], a modular operating system that relies on end-user tinkering to function. With Arch Linux, I discovered how to manipulate a lot of the "stuff under the hood," most notably [systemd], a modern multipurpose daemon that is now the standard init system and network controller for Debian and Ubuntu.

My current operating system and hardware configuration as of 8 October 2016 is: Toshiba Satellite L55t-A5232, Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" MATE Edition

Why do I use Linux-based operating systems?

Ubuntu, as I have come to know it over the years, is a very principle-centered operating system. Before, when I used Windows, almost everything I used was closed-source (which made it legalistically centered), and, as such, I had to bug the devs about all sorts of stuff. Not so in Ubuntu! All one has to do here is raise a little flag and someone who doesn't get paid, someone who's enthusiastic about what he or she is doing with the Ubuntu project, will be glad to help.

Wait. I thought Linux was the name of the operating system, and the names I hear being thrown around (Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, etc.) are different forms of Linux!

Well, yes, it is. Linux is indeed an operating system. However, Linux is also the name of the kernel used to run such an operating system. I generally tend to use "Linux" to refer to the kernel itself, and using the term "Linux" to describe independently-created operating systems based on the Linux kernel (for example, Ubuntu as "Ubuntu Linux") I find to be rather redundant. Therefore, I find "Linux-based operating systems/distributions" to be a good fit when discussing operating systems based on the Linux kernel.

What Linux-based distributions have I used in the past?

My experience includes, but is not limited to:

  • Arch Linux (some experience, or at least enough to put a desktop environment together from the install scripts and to bend systemd to my will)
  • Damn Small Linux (just as a toy)
  • Debian (enough to exhaust myself)
  • Fedora (a little bit of experience, but enough to prefer it most of the time)
  • Linux Mint (a good OS for beginners)
  • openSUSE (not that much experience)
  • SliTaz (mainly as a toy, no machine I currently own would benefit from this OS)
  • Ubuntu (first-ever Linux-based OS, also a good OS for beginners)

My Contributions

Most of the contributions on this list are to the Ubuntu project. I don't edit my own wiki space that often, so if you want to know where I'm currently involved, it's best to ask me directly. This list is current as of October 2016.

Lubuntu Communications/Marketing

From 10 April 2013 onward, I have assisted the Lubuntu Communications and Marketing Team with spreading the word of Lubuntu. At first, I primarily worked on the StartLubuntu (later StartUbuntu) project developed by the user "amjjawad", designed to introduce Windows XP users to Ubuntu and its derivatives before Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP. Today, I'm one of the group administrators for Lubuntu's official Facebook group.

Ubuntu GNOME

From 28 December 2013 to mid-2014, I became an [Ubuntu GNOME Facebook Page] Moderator. I left the moderation team because I was no longer involved in the Ubuntu GNOME project.

Ubuntu MATE

I was an avid GNOME 2 user before I used Ubuntu. Now, we have [Ubuntu MATE], thanks to dedicated users of GNOME 2's more direct fork, the [MATE desktop environment], particularly [Martin Wimpress], the maintainer of MATE on Arch Linux. I helped test the 32-bit (i386) series for both the unofficial respin and the first official release of Ubuntu MATE.