openSUSE Team: interviewing to Michal Hrušecký

openSUSE 13.1 is increasingly closer. I think it’s a good idea to know some of the hackers who make possible the launch of this GNU / Linux distro.


Here in my blog you could read spanish interviews to spanish hackers who work in SUSE for openSUSE Team. Now is time to know a little bit more the other members of the team! and here you can read it in exclusive!

I hope you really like it, and enjoy reading it. If you are interesting in GNU/Linux or free software maybe this interviews are what you needed to make your passion your profession!

This time is Michal Hrušecký a.k.a “miška” who answer my questions. Thanks a lot for your time. 😉 Let’s know why this guy can’t type with his ten fingers and many other things!!

You can also read the interview in spanish here:

  • Name: Michal Hrušecký a.k.a miška
  • Birth place: Prague
  • Age: 29

Name of the position you have inside the Team:

Currently I’m assigned to be part of release team, but my past came to hunt me, so currently I’m more working on MySQL/MariaDB. But in general, we didn’t have much named positions within the team, everybody was doing what was needed at the moment.

How long have you been working on the openSUSE Team?

I was part of the original Boosters team since it was formed back in 2009. So it makes it (if I count correctly) about 4 years. From original “thirsty thirteen” only me and coolo didn’t moved elsewhere yet. I like the job and especially interaction with community and the rest of open source world. And also the fact that we do something new all the time.

How long have you collaborating with free software?

I would say that really active collaboration, like being heavily involved in some project, started for me somewhere around 2007. But long time before that I was using open source and from time to time sent somewhere some patch, helped in mailing lists and forums and promoted open source among my friends and people I met.

How did start this hobby to free software? And what was your first contribution?

As most of the folks I started with MS-DOS and over the time I moved to MS Windows. But I liked computers and I liked to play with software. So as many kids I played with hexa editor, various resource editors and with replacing some binaries with my own. It was fun, but I could only go to some extend. Then I heard about this cool OS that provides even whole sources, so you can customize and play with it even more… And I installed my first Linux distribution which was SUSE 6.3 at that time. I started to learn how Linux work, how to use it, later some basic scripting/automation of tasks and even later I patched some applications to do what I wanted.

Later I came across project that combined two of my interests – open source and PDAs. It was project to run Linux on Palm devices. Unfortunately at that time, my device was not well supported, so I stood up and started doing something about it. And that is how I became seriously involved in open source project for the first time…

Which are your skills? What is your work mainly in the openSUSE Team? Which problems usually fix?

I started in SUSE as a packager and I can do C/C++ and shell scripting. These are my main languages. What our team did in the past was a lot of completely different things. We worked on wiki, connect, obs, openstack, … So we did whatever was needed at the moment in whatever language the stuff was written in. Heck I even did some CSS porting at some point (remember switching to Bento?) although I will admit at any time that I have no artistic feeling.

But generally, since we have a mix of people in our team, I would be in technical part of the team and somehow distribution/lower level related.

Right now what projects are you working? (if you can talk about them …)

My long project is helping Coolo and scarabeus with Factory which was little bit interrupted by openSUSE Conference and now by some MySQL/MariaDB packaging I have to do.

Now that nobody hear you 😉 How is the relationship with SUSE?

I think/hope that most of SUSE employees cares about openSUSE. But there is unfortunately quite some of them that are not really involved/visible in the community. Quite some people work on openSUSE or related things without being seen from outside and without communicating to the outside…

Which are the three tools that must be on your desktop?

vim, mutt and probably tmux. I found it really difficult when I tried writing mails without help of vim

Besides openSUSE in what other Free software projects do you collaborate?

Currently I only help with few packages in Gentoo where I co-maintain several packages related to SUSE (like osc, libyui, …). People can actually contribute to openSUSE/use obs directly from Gentoo and since we have a little overlap in communities (at least in Czech and Greece), it sounded like a good idea. Not to mention that I used it as well for some time.

What GNU/Linux distro do you use? What desktop environment? What other distros have used or use?

As I wrote somewhere else I started with SUSE, after that I moved to Mandrake (as my source of SUSE CDs dried out and the only thing I could easily get was Mandrake). After that I moved to FreeBSD where I was happy for quite some time (not Linux, but still GNU 😉 ). After some time, mainly because mainstream HW support I moved to Linux again and I chose Gentoo. As people around me needed something easier to maintain, I searched for some easy binary distro that just works and I got back to openSUSE (after testing Debian and running away and not being able to install Ubuntu). I’m openSUSE user for about five or six years now and this spring I replaced my last Gentoo installation I had on real hardware and I have it currently only in VM.

What characteristic of other distro or operating system you would like to have had openSUSE?

Well, I liked etc-update from Gentoo, so I made it available in openSUSE. I still think that spec files are too complicated and packaging is unnecessarily difficult and could be made simpler (for example as it is in Gentoo or OpenEmbedded) and some of our tools can use some polishing (like update messages from zypper (/var/adm/…)), zypper locking, … And although I like Tumbleweed, I would like Factory to be more of a rolling distro (as everybody contributes there). Currently there are periods of time when Factory is too boring (after the freeze) and too exciting (too broken/too slow to rebuild). So more consistently rolling variant of Factory would be nice.

¿A quién te gustaría conocer o haber conocido?

Hmmm, that one is difficult. Since I started to participate in conferences and later started working in SUSE I met quite some interesting people, so I guess nobody alive, so maybe Merlin? Using Magic sounds cool…

Any hobby or vice confesable?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, one of my interests since forever were PDAs. I have Cubieboard at home as a home server, I pre-ordered Jolla, but that is geeky stuff, you are probably asking about something “normal”. I like to try new things and to travel. Luckily being part of Boosters included some traveling, but I do it in my free time as well. As for the trying new things, this year I went to scuba diving course and it was a lot of fun. From time to time I go to the driving range to practice, but didn’t forced myself yet to get a trainer and to get a golf licence. I have paragliding licence and I really want to get back to the air, so I’m saving money for ultra-light pilot licence 🙂 Apart from that my family has a small cottage just outside of Prague, where I like to spend some time, just surrounded by trees, nobody around…

Share with us a band, or song you like?

One thing I’m always returning to and I like to listed once in the while is Mike Oldfield. Apart from that in car I usually listed to AC/DC or something like that.

But if you ask me to share a song, I would choose this one:

Just to relay the really important message 😉

Tell us a Geek anecdote that happened to you during your stay in Nuremberg or
anywhere else?

hmmm, can’t recall any at the moment. We have really nice and friendly environment in our company. But over the time, your limit for geeky gets somewhere else. One thing I remember I used to do before I joined was to hangout and work together with other open source friends in pubs with
notebooks. And as we were working on some releases and we didn’t have any office we spend quite some time there and we even ended up few times going to pizza place carrying our own power extension cord, switch and UTP cables to set up adhoc infrastructure to work together better.

Another thing we did with my friends on high school was that we were participating in some mathematical competition and we were supposed to solve some task, I don’t remember what was the task in detail, but it was about finding out numbers that had some properties. I knew that I’m unable to solve that, that I’m out of ideas. But as the numbers were integer and from pretty narrow interval, I excused myself, went to the server room (we were responsible for computer network at high school with my friends, so we had a keys), wrote a simple program that brute forced the numbers and handed out the result together with the source code. I knew that I’m not getting anywhere, so I just wanted to find answers 🙂

On high school I was also trying to learn to type with all ten fingers. They had this special software to teach us that and each one of us had his own diskette with his progress. Well soon after I joined, I figured out how to modify the saved files to pretend that I passed the course already and that is
the story of how I never learned to type with all ten fingers…

The last word is yours, can finish as you like!

I’m proud to be part of open source world and I really like what am I doing. I like openSUSE and our community and I believe there are even greater things in front of us than what we as a project achieved so far.

And one last sentence: Have a lot of fun!

Interesting links

Here you can see him in a talk in last openSUSE Conference in Greece last summer 2013.


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