Major Hayden: How do you Fedora?

We recently interviewed Fedora user and contributor Major Hayden on how he uses Fedora.  This is the first installment of a new series here on the Fedora Magazine where we will profile Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. If you are interested in being interviewed for a further installment of this series you can contact us on the feedback form.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Major Hayden and I work for Rackspace as a Principal Architect.  My daily work includes scalability and performance improvements for our Cloud Servers product.  I wrestle with OpenStack, Xen, KVM, various Linux distributions, and whichever container technology surfaces each week.

My first job at Rackspace was as a Linux support technician and we worked on Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers all day long.  We had some very old Red Hat 7, 8 and 9 servers in the mix and we usually held our breath when we made changes on those.  All of that work on Red Hat led me to use Fedora more frequently after the first Fedora Core release.

I joined the Fedora community a few years ago and I maintain a few packages.  My experience in the community has been amazing overall.  Sure, I stumbled quite a few times and knocked over a few things, but someone would show up and get me pointed in the right direction again.  I try to get involved with the cloud and security teams when time permits.

What hardware do you use to get the job done?

I go a little nuts for new gadgets and I have quite a few computers running various operating systems.  My main work laptop is a 13” MacBook Pro (mid-2013 retina) and I run OS X and Fedora 21 on it.  Fedora 21 became my daily driver on the laptop a couple of weeks ago after running into some irritating stability issues in OS X Yosemite.  Everything worked out of the box except for the wireless card and the webcam.  The wireless card works with the ugly Broadcom STA driver but the webcam is unusable since Broadcom hasn’t released much data about it.

The Dell XPS 13” (9343, 2015 model) is my latest gadget purchase.  The QHD+ screen is phenomenal and it’s a great form factor.  However, the sound card has some issues with Linux and the touchpad has some problems with freezing.  This will be a fun laptop to use once those kinks are smoothed out.

Fedora runs on almost all of my virtualized infrastructure at Rackspace and Linode.  I colocate a small deployment of servers in central Texas and those servers run Fedora as well.  My NAS at home runs Fedora 20 with ZFS managing my storage volumes.

As for network devices, I’m totally sold on Mikrotik’s RouterOS on RouterBoard devices.  They provide a ton of functionality and the hardware is reasonably priced.  Their windows administration GUI runs in wine on Fedora as well (but you’ll usually find me using ssh to manage them).

What software do you use?

Sure, GNOME confused me quite a bit with the GNOME 3 changes, but it’s still my favorite window manager.  I deck it out with quite a few extensions to speed up my workflows.  I can’t live without a few extensions: caffeine, steal my focus, topicons, and system-monitor.

Chrome is my browser of choice and I do most of my development work in Sublime Text.  I really enjoy how Sublime Text organizes large projects.  For quick edits of text files, I use vim.  Most of my development work is in Python and these tools work really well for that.

I’m also one of the weird folks that disables HiDPI in GNOME 3 on my laptop.  Some text can come out a bit small but the gains in screen real estate make it totally worth it.

Parcellite is a new discovery for me.  It’s a great clipboard manager but it adds some handy automation for quickly retrieving and pasting things you clip.  In addition, it can sync both clipboards — your window manager’s clipboard (via CTRL-C/CTRL-V) and X’s keyboard (selecting text and then using a middle mouse click) — which can be useful over time.
As for terminals, I bounce between terminator and gnome-terminal.  My shell is bash and I don’t get too crazy with my bash configuration.  I do like to add on the powerline prompts for bash, vim, and tmux.  They look great and they provide some handy information to give me context of what I’m doing.



  1. williamjmorenor

    Did you mean RH, 5,6 y 7?

    The post said: “some very old Red Hat 7, 8 and 9”

    • Red Hat Linux (RHL) is not the same as the current Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Versions 7, 8, and 9 are very old.

    • I believe Major was referring to Red Hat Linux (RHL) 7,8 & 9; The last release of RHL was in the early 2000s —

    • aim

      Red Hat (RH), not RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux)

      RH was 4-9, then starts fedora core 1-, now it’s fedora
      RHEL is a server derivation from “desktop oriented” RH with extended support (now it is base on some fedora release, i.e. rhel 7 was grown from Fedora 19)

  2. David Battaglia

    Nice interview. How do you choose fedora and not arch or manjaro?

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