I’ve been using Linux for over twenty years. It started when I was intrigued seeing a copy of Red Hat 5 “Hurricane” on sale at a local computer swap meet; my love affair began in the Australian summer of 1997/8. “Bored” with Windows NT 4‘s stagnation, familiar with Unix from my studies at University and intrigued by running my own Unix like host I took the plunge and over the ensuing years often had more copies of Fedora running at home than I care to remember. Learning ipchains and iptables, building customised snort probes on receive only Ethernet cables, setting up Apache, Squid and running my own ‘net facing Bind, Apache and Sendmail servers hooked into Spamassassin, x509 certificates, FreeS/WAN and IPsec…yes, that was fun, fun to tinker. And the fun continues today with VirtualBox instantiated Fedora and Kali. No more racks of gear in my study, no constant whine of rotating discs and cooling fans, the clutter of servers and repurposed desktops, snakes of blue cables, KVM switches, power boards, all subsumed by cloud-hosted and on-demand VMs, soft configured networks on ESXi, collections of Adaptec cards and NICs relegated to recycling.

I do have a soft spot for Linux. A free and open-source alternative when there were precious few available back then. The opening of a door into new possibilities for me and our industry. The explosion of choice, of options, of freedom, freedom to build, freedom to make, freedom to explore.

When gcc supplanted the bereft C compiler in The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), when you had to buy your domain name from Network Solutions by snail mail…

Inspired by an email I received this morning on

Best of 2019: Fedora for system administrators – Fedora Magazine