HomePLAYSTATIONAn interview with Ken VanDine, Ubuntu desktop lead at Canonical

An interview with Ken VanDine, Ubuntu desktop lead at Canonical


One other recent interview for you at present, this time with Ken VanDine who’s answerable for main the best way for Ubuntu on the desktop at Canonical. This can kind a part of a mini-series, with the primary already up with Aaron Honeycutt from System76.


GOL: Are you able to first introduce your self and inform us what you do?

“I’m Ken VanDine, main the Ubuntu Desktop workforce at Canonical.  I’ve been right here for over 13 years now, and dealing on the Linux desktop for effectively over 20 years.”

GOL: How did you get began with Linux and what attracted you to it?

“Curiosity… From the time I used to be a younger little one, I simply needed to know the way issues labored.  I’d take my toys aside to determine how they labored earlier than ever taking part in with them.  As I bought older, that translated into laptop {hardware}, and shortly after software program.  I found Slackware Linux in 1993 and by no means regarded again.  It was merely superb to have entry to the supply code, seeing the way it labored, and I rapidly immersed myself into open supply software program as a way to quench my thirst for the way software program labored.”

GOL: What’s it wish to work for Canonical because the Ubuntu Engineering Supervisor? What’s your work setup like?

“Having the chance to work on the Ubuntu Desktop all these years has been fairly the privilege, and actually the spotlight of my profession.  Throughout this time I’ve been capable of work on many thrilling initiatives and contribute in several methods.  Now I get to be extra concerned in setting path and main a tremendous workforce of a number of the finest builders round, it actually doesn’t get any higher than this! “

GOL: What initiatives are you straight concerned with / engaged on proper now for Ubuntu?

“I lead the general improvement of the desktop, which incorporates the distro, enterprise desktop, WSL, developer expertise, and gaming expertise.  With the gaming expertise workforce being the most recent, I’m the first driver for that till we employees that workforce.”

Pictured – Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

GOL: Does Canonical frequently communicate to different companies and builders, to try to get them to help Linux and Ubuntu?

“Actually, we’ve relationships with many fascinating corporations, which is superior.  And now that we’re beginning to get entangled within the gaming scene on Linux, we’ve discovered ourselves creating some extra fascinating partnerships.”

GOL: Canonical not too long ago introduced one other push into gaming. It appeared like Canonical and Ubuntu let issues slide on that entrance — so why now?

“I’d contest that we haven’t actually let it slide.  For instance, we’ve had lengthy standing relationships with companions like NVidia to make sure customers are capable of simply use the most effective driver for his or her {hardware}.  However sure, we’re upping our recreation, and getting concerned in a lot deeper methods.  So why now?  Momentum… The panorama for gaming on Linux is bettering, at a steadily growing tempo.  This momentum has sparked elevated enthusiasm.  It’s the suitable time to extend our funding and assist be a catalyst to proceed to gas that momentum.  Our engineers have the distinctive background to make a big contribution to that development, which we’ll all profit from.”

GOL: Going by numerous stats (like Steam), Ubuntu has been frequently falling as the primary alternative for Linux Gaming. With the likes of Arch and Manjaro pulling in quite a bit. Why do you suppose that’s? Any extra fascinating plans to drag folks again?

“I believe that is primarily because of internet searches completed by customers trying to remedy numerous issues getting their video games to work.  There’s a wealth of knowledge that results in distros like Arch.  Our prime precedence will probably be to make sure customers can get their video games working with out the necessity to seek the advice of these websites.  The following objective will probably be to enhance the sources out there to assist customers on Ubuntu when wanted.”

GOL: So proper now, why ought to somebody go for Ubuntu over Pop, Manjaro, Arch, Fedora and others?

“These are all effective distro decisions, and other people ought to select what they’re most snug with.  I’d say folks ought to select Ubuntu if their precedence is a Linux desktop that simply works.  We work arduous to offer the most effective consumer expertise attainable, not solely with the on a regular basis desktop expertise but in addition ease of entry to the most effective drivers, bug and safety fixes and out of the field entry to the most effective choice of top quality functions.  And let’s not neglect our certification program that ensures that many desktops and laptops are supported.”

GOL: What are you notably enthusiastic about for the way forward for Ubuntu?

“Dare I say the yr of the Linux desktop?  Nah… Linux has reached some extent the place that may not be the objective put up, we should look effectively past that.  I’m actually enthusiastic about all of the methods Ubuntu is assembly the every day challenges of so many use instances, starting from robotics, IoT, cloud, to desktop deployments in massive enterprises and residential customers taking part in video video games.  Ubuntu is all over the place, and I’m actually excited to be a part of this journey.”

GOL: For all of the critics of Snap packages, something you want to say to them?

“Ubuntu customers aren’t the critics of snaps, and I’d argue that customers are much less involved with how they get their functions.  In fact we’ve robust opinions on ship top quality functions, in a safe and dependable method and it’s our mission to do exactly that.   We do hear what folks say and we take the mission of offering the absolute best expertise very critically, so we’re at all times searching for respectable methods to enhance the platform.”

GOL: Contemplating we’ve Flatpak, AppImage, deb, rpm and so forth. What do you consider how fractured packaging is on Linux? Does Snap not add to the issues for builders?

“There’s fragmentation, which isn’t stunning. I’ll say out of the packaging codecs you talked about, Snap is the one one which has actually seen any success from ISVs.  There’s a cause why you see official snap help from main ISVs, however not the others.  Snap was one of many first packaging codecs to deal with points like sandboxing.  Different packaging codecs following swimsuit exhibits snap was heading in the right direction.  The advantages of snap and the only supply of reality retailer are necessities for any main vendor.”

GOL: One of many potential issues with Snap is that the server facet is solely managed by Canonical and is principally proprietary. Will this be opened up? Do you see it as a difficulty that wants sorting?

“Anybody can create an alternate retailer that helps snaps.  The API is totally open as is snapd.  Having a centralized retailer is definitely one of many strengths of the ecosystem.  ISVs need that single trusted supply for apps.  I believe the super success we’ve had with ISVs adopting snap is in no small half because of this idea.  And I ask, is it actually an issue?  Snap is totally open, anybody can see what’s being executed in your system.  The internals of the shop that handles metadata simply isn’t fascinating.”

GOL: Are you shopping for a Steam Deck? What are your ideas on what it means for Linux Gaming total?

“I haven’t but, I want I had reserved one earlier.  It’s an excellent gadget, and Linux was the plain OS alternative for such a tool.  Valve has completed a unbelievable job of pushing compatibility applied sciences to make Linux a viable platform.  All their work has actually completed wonders to convey extra video games to Linux and I look ahead to seeing the place that takes us.”

GOL: What’s your individual private computing setup like?

“My major system is a Thinkpad T14, with a few 24” shows hooked up by way of a USB-C dock.  However in fact I’ve fairly a little bit of extra {hardware} crucial for improvement and testing.”

GOL: What are your prime 5 favorite video games to play on Linux?

“Oh, that’s a tricky one.  I’ve at all times been a fan of racing video games and actually take pleasure in any of the Want for Velocity video games. I’ve additionally been actually into Raft recently in addition to taking part in LoL, Valheim and RDR2. I’m extra of a creator than a gamer, nevertheless I do have a ardour for enabling customers to get essentially the most out of their Linux desktop expertise.”


Massive thanks to Ken for becoming a member of me on this.

I will have extra interviews to return, keep tuned! Get in contact if you wish to be interviewed.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.



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