Alfonso Savio: How Do You Fedora?

We recently interviewed Alfonso Savio on how he uses Fedora. This is part of a series here on the Fedora Magazine where we profile Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. If you’re interested in being interviewed for a further installment of this series you can contact us on the feedback form.

Who is Alfonso Savio?

Alfonso Savio is a man of many talents. Alfonso works for the National Cancer Institute of Naples and started using Linux in 2004 with Fedora Core 3. He’s a systems integrator, systems and network administrator, project and database manager, and software developer. However, his official title is ICT Manager of the Clinical Trials Unit.

Alfonso’s team analyzes data from clinical trials to advance scientific research in the fight against cancer. The team comprises physicians and data managers. He is the sole person in his department using Linux for his primary desktop. Hence, he’s an open source trailblazer.

His childhood inspirations include comic book character and arch enemy of Superman Lex Luthor. His favorite movies are It’s a Wonderful Life by Frank Capra and Creator by Ivan Passer. This may explain his belief in miracles, and the fact that men don’t need super powers to triumph. He values honesty, seriousness, wisdom, optimism and curiosity in other people. His interest in computers started with an Atari VCS 2600. Savio’s first professional work utilized MS DOS 3.3, QuickBasic, Novell Network and BTrieve DBMS.

The Fedora community

Alfonso gets involved in the Fedora community by finding bugs and promoting Linux based on Fedora. However, his path to Fedora traveled through many different distributions. He has a special fondness for PCLinuxOS. “I have to mention a distro that finally made me choose GNU/Linux as my favorite OS, is PCLinuxOS 2007 and its creator Bill Reynolds,” he said. Nowadays, Alfonso is a strong believer in Fedora and Red Hat. “The Fedora Project is stable and well supported by the community and Red Hat,” he continued. “I think Fedora is the distro going in the right direction to make GNU/Linux a valid alternative to other operating systems.”

What Hardware?

Alfonso’s mobile workstation is equipped with a Core i7 processor, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB of RAM, and a GeForce 555M graphics card. His desktop workstation runs on a Xeon E3, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD, and a AMD Radeon R9 390 graphics card.

Main Desktop

Main Desktop

What Software?

At work Alfonso maintains four production servers with Fedora. His physical backup server uses rsync and Samba shares. He also has a physical Ruby on Rails server with Passenger and MariaDB for data. Then, his two virtualized servers use KVM/QEMU. The first, a Ruby on Rails server, uses Passenger and MariaDB. The second, a mail server, uses the IredMail system.

Development Desktop

Development Desktop

Alfonso also runs Fedora 21 to 24 on various computers. He uses Mate as a preferred desktop. His favorite software includes:



  1. TitiFromParis

    Thanks. I like those articles which make me discover new software and habits.

    The link to pluma goes to the mate desktop site though…

  2. Thank you Charles for the beautyfull post about me.

  3. Rafael Reuber

    Virtual Machine Manager is good as Virtual Box?

    • Fedora supports so well VirtualBox, infact you can install and upgrade it with dnf command and official repos.
      Virtual Macchine Manager plus Spice can be compared to VirtualBox for desktop virtualizzation, but Virtual Machine Manager is just a front end to KVM/QEMU hypervisor that can virtualize hardware directly, VirtualBox doesn’t. I choose KVM also for desktop virtualizzation just because in this way I can test KVM features before using them with servers. But I used VirtualBox for a long time and I like it.

  4. Milton

    For the GeForce and Radeon cards, do you use the proprietary drivers?
    My respects to you and your team for your time and dedication in fighting this horrible disease.

    • Thank you Milton. It may seems strange, but knowing that someone’s healt depends on the reliability of your system makes you to give the best you can. I prefer to use community drivers. But I don’t need the best performance from graphic cards; probably a graphic designer should opt for propretary drivers.

  5. Joe Pesco

    @Alfonzo, Before I plunge into DBeaver is there anything you would like to say about your selection of DB manager?

    • In my more important project i have to use MySQLWorkbench to admin the database. So searched for an open source alternative to admin dababases in a Linux/RubyOnRails system. After 2/3 tries I choose DBeaver: it’s not perfect (as MySQLWorkbanch I should say…), but it’s stable, java/eclipse based (as Aptana Studio) and frequently upgraded with important new features.I use it for MariaDB and MySql with satisfacion. This kind of tools are much more confortable than command line tools.

  6. I don’t often install even the community based version of MySQLWorkbench, and like many use phpMyAdmin. It is greatly improved over previous versions, but it still doesn’t approach MySQLWorkbench”s feature set. I’ll be sure to checkout DBeaver! Thank you!

    • I also like phpmyadmin, but generally I do not work with LAMP servers so I opt for a stand alone software like DBeaver.
      You are welcome.

      • I just now downloaded the package! It is to early to talk about keeping all one’s eggs in one basket, but I am chewing on the idea of an alternate to those db utilities already in my toolbox! Many times: thank you!

  7. Such a nice post and congratulations to Alfonso and his colleagues! Persone come voi sono l’orgoglio di noi italiani.

  8. German

    Sorprendente. Conocer a todo tipo de usuarios de Linux.

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