3 Linux questions from the community

Weigh in with some fun facts about your own Linux implementation.
491 readers like this.
How to upgrade your Fedora Linux system with DNF


In the last The Queue, I flipped the script and asked you questions as opposed to answering them. It was so well received, I'm going to keep it going with three more questions this month. I'll resume answering next month, so don't forget you can fill the queue with your questions about Linux, building and maintaining communities, contributing to an open source project, and anything else you'd like to know. While the previous two questions were a bit philosophical, this month we'll keep it fun.


What is the uptime on your main Linux installation?

For me right now, it's 22 days. When I asked this question at LinuxQuestions.org, it was a bit of a surprise that over 25% of respondents answered, "Less than a day."

On the other end of the spectrum, four people claimed an uptime of over 10 years!

Those outliers aside, I'd expect uptime has trended up in the recent past, especially as a result of technologies such as kpatch making mainline. While mostly a numerical answer, some of the responses explaining "why" were also interesting, so feel free to include as much information as you'd like in the comments.


How do you come up with the naming scheme for your Linux hostnames?

You may have multiple responses for different schemes used at home, at work, for servers, etc. The answers to this question will undoubtedly run the gamut. From animals and beers to the more utilitarian city/rack/function style naming, every time I think I've seen it all I come across a new naming scheme that makes me chuckle.


Do you compile your own kernel or use the one shipped with your distribution? If you do compile your own, do you use the official tree or a different one?

I'm also curious about your reasons for doing so. While I used to always compile my own kernel, and even maintained the -lq kernel patchset for a while, these days I invariably use the one shipped with whatever distro I'm using. Over 75% of LQ responses indicate that I'm not alone in this.

Jump in and answer these questions. It will not only help the Opensource.com community learn more about how we're all using Linux, but also teach us a little bit about each other.

User profile image.
Jeremy Garcia is the founder of LinuxQuestions.org  and an ardent but realistic open source advocate. Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @linuxquestions


Uptime - less than a day. My only home machine is Linux and I shut the box down when I've finished with it. The Linux server that I use at work has been up 292 days - since the last area wide power failure.

Hostname - my home machine is localhost. My home machines have always been called localhost. At work, we're are mostly a Windows site. All of the machines are named after Star Trek characters, so my Linux server is Tuvoc. Almost all of the servers are virtualised; the physical boxes are named after starships. While it is fun to have silly names, it is confusing trying to remember which server you need to connect to. If I was in charge, we'd have sensible names like FS1, FS2 (file server), DC1, DC2 (domain controller), etc

Kernel - I recompile the kernel at home, taking out things that I don't need. At work I leave it alone.

Uptime - Work machines are at about a week. My home machine is floating at 21 days so far. Servers stay up longer.

Hostname - For my home computers, all of them are named after bodily fluids (spit, mucus, lymph, bile, plasma, etc.). It amuses me to no end. I've used this convention for nearly a decade and haven't run out of names yet! Of course, for work, I've had to take on a slightly more professional air... so I've opted for using the last names of historical polymaths.

Kernel - Most of my machines use the default that's shipped with the distro. I do run a patched kernel on my Surface Pro 3, though. The latest 4.10 kernels apparently make that unnecessary, but I haven't tried yet.

My home server, running Ubuntu 14.04 has been up for 122 days, my main workstation, also running Ubuntu 14.04 is only 1 day and my laptop, running Debian 8 is ALWAYS less than 1 day as I shut it down after each use..

My local systems are named after characters from that old Saturday Night Live claymation cartoon, the "Mr Bill Show".. Main server is hands, secondary server is bill, and my workstation is sluggo. I also have 4 remotely hosted Linux virtual servers with the unimaginative names of vm1,vm2,vm3 and vm4..

I normally use the provided "generic" kernel provided by Ubuntu, although I have built custom kernels in the past to get special characteristics...

Uptime - Currently, 120 minutes (the time since I turned it on this morning). My main computer is a laptop and I usually shut it down completely after I am done using it.

Hostnames - For bare metal installations I used the family names of authors who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. My laptop is Mahfouz, for example. For development virtual machines, the hostnames are whatever is installed on them. In the case of my generic LAMP development environment, it is called "centos-server". Other virtual machines are more specific and are named after whatever is on the server (i.e., moodle, omeka, koha, etc.)

Kernel - I used to compile custom kernels years ago, way back when I running Red Hat Linux, but now I just use the default kernels included in Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

This is exactly why Linux isn't mainstream. Nobody is concerned with uptime, hostnames, or the kernel. Maybe the kernel, but certainly not uptime or hostnames. I suppose if you are a business. What I want to know is, can we get some application support? Can you stop working on your distro for a year, get together and make a good photoshop replacement, professional video editor, professional music editor, just bring what we have up to snuff and I will be happy. Bring all the features that have been industry standard for 10 years so people can get some work done on Linux. An operating system is only as useful as the applications that run on it.

Unless you are a hardcore photo editor, GIMP is more than enough to get everything you need done. If photo editing is your life blood than yah the extras are nice. In this case people are riding on the "Photoshop" name it self and their familiarity with it, but you can install a theme for GIMP to make it look and act like Photoshop, but I haven't personally tried that out.

For video editing there is Lightworks on Linux which is more than enough and is used in Hollywood production. For Hollywood about 85% of the films are cut using AVID, with about 12% using Apple Final Cut and about 3% use Lightworks (Numbers taken from an equipment rental database and video editors in the business). So, in this case Adobe Premier is not even on the map and redundant in high professional studios. So you might as well purchase the superior video editor on Linux.

Now my problem as a photographer is there is no equivalent for Adobe Lightroom on Linux that's up to speed. Linux's Darktable is coming along nicely but still not ready for my production needs, in fact Capture One has pretty much surpassed Lightroom, minus a few weaker filters like noise reduction, but sadly that's on Windows/OSX only.

In the 3D modelling land your have your famous Blender and also the behemoth Softimage XSi, which again is used for hollywood production in movies like all the Jurassic Parks, Matrix, Titantic, Harry Potter movies, Avatar, Happy Feet, 300, Spiderman, District 9, all the Starwars movies and hundreds more.
In gaming it was the main choice for console devs, kicked off with Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid and it was used in the Valve Source and Unreal engines + others, the list is just too long (Softimage is currently free for Linux, download it from Autodesk (Just select student license and away you go).

So who is the main competitor now? Well Maya (Available for Linux) is used here and there in hollywood when usually just a 3D model needs to be created. But putting amazing scenes together Maya just won't cut it, an this is where Discreet Logic's Flame and Flare is the king (Which was created by fed up Ex-Softimage employees that left Softimage (due to the short lived purchase from M$ in the 90's) and decided to setup a new shop down the road while bringing the source code for Softimage with them, with the idea to kinda fork it into a new product called Flame and Flair.

Eventually Autodesk bought out Discreet Logic as Flame and Flare was a complete success (although court-battles went back and forth that Flame was built upon Softimage's source-code, they settled out of court).

Autodesk eventually bought Discreet Logic and there nice software, but the actual Discreet Logic building is still here and renamed "Autodesk Discreet Logic" and this is where most of the innovation occurs and the high profile employees reside from Autodesk.

So for 3D modelling you have Maya and if you really want to dig in, you can use Discreet logic's Flint and Flame which only run on Linux by the way (there is a stripped down version for OSX but that is not going to render those crazy Quicksilver X-men slow motion scenes done on a huge Linux server running Flame.

So to say Linux doesn't have the software to do any of that is flat out wrong, in fact it's the opposite, Linux has the software and Windows doesn't. But that's in the super high-end of things and guess it doesn't really apply for personal usage. But hey there is Blender, Maya and Softimage that are quite affordable (3D Studio Max is barely ever touched by high end professionals, so we can toss that aside).

This was all happening across the street from me here in Montréal, I can see the old Softimage building from my deck, hence I have a lot more information on what happened that never made it out to the internet :)

Now the audio software part of it, I have no idea, that's not my thing :P

In reply to by Endaft (not verified)

Uptime is up to two weeks for my desktop, usually 8-12 hours for my laptops, but I do shut down when there is possibility of T-storms. Names are usually the model # followed by 1, 2, etc if I have more than one of a specific model. So far, I have had no reason not to use the Kernel provided by the Linux Mint folks.

Oh, and Endaft, try taking some time to appreciate all of the great software that you get for free for Linux. Or better yet, if you don't like the available software, write some of your own!

Longest uptime for my prime Dell is 2 weeks. I usually I bring it down every 2 days. My other systems all will run 12 hrs before I shut them down.
Hostname is was always a variation of my favorite username, dustyzebra. But I now use something w/the word "system" in it. An when I have my I2P running, it's always "anon". Not very original I know. I will always config/compile a kernel because I have a wide range of "crap" that I plug into it. SDR, USB-to-Serial thingees, some odd PCI boards that I "play" around with. Unfortunitlly, I can't seem to find a Company that will hire a 57 yr old Computer Systems Engineer. I started with Micros when I was in High School around '74. So I don't have any "Normal" hostnames to work with in a work environment. Geez, I am long winded and have forgot what the hell the I had planned on saying (that's prob why no hire for 57 yr old NUT case).
Lastly, I have never liked Windows. From that pre-release 1.9xx to 3.3 something or other to 95/98/The-Boozers-Versions to XP/Vista/7/8.1 and God help us all, WINDOWS 10. Don't get me wrong, the average user doesn't have the knowledge or mind set to deal with Linux. Even thou, Ubuntu is pretty good at dealing w/that kind of user. What really makes me sad is the lack of those "must-have" programs. Not enough money in it in this platform to make Development companies shit money for a new project on Linux.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.