Luigi Genoni

A Short Intro

  • Located in: San Giorgio su Legnano (MI), Italy
  • Occupation: I studied Latin Philology (the study of words in a particular language), but I work as Unix System Manager and I write for a monthly Italian review, Linux&C, about latest Linux kernel development news
  • Claim to Fame: knetfilter
  • Fav. KDE applications: konqueror, korganizer and konsole
  • Hardware: 1xK6 II 500Mhz at home, 2x500Mhz PIII, 2x450 Mhz Sun UltraSparc as workstations at work

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

I'm the maintainer of knetfilter, a gui to set up and configure firewalls with Linux 2.4.0 and iptables. It is a marginal application in front of the KDE great stuff, but it is one of the many applications for sysadmins developed for KDE that, in my opinion, make KDE as rich and interesting as it is for the users.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I started with KDE 0.4 beta version. I was working as Linux System Manager at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in Italy, and the Unix area manager Italo Lisi, (my mentore, who taught me almost everything I know), asked me to find a good desktop environment to use for the Unix cluster we were installing at the Scuola for interactive users (24 clusterized graphical Linux boxes ).

I was impressed by KDE since it was a beta version, but it was stable, and there were a lot of useful applications, inside and outside of the core packages, that my users were happy to see installed and to use. When I started to get interested in the new netfilter stuff of Linux kernel (2.3.49), I saw no-one was thinking about a graphical interface, while we needed it and it would have been great to have it on KDE, since Qt/KDE programming was so easy to program for and so powerful/enjoyable to use.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

It is difficult to say. I use kde at work every day also on Solaris stations, but I work on kde 2/3 hours per day at home at night (not just knetfilter I like to try and test every new KDE application I see that could be useful).

What is your favorite tool? (for developers; what is your favorite editor?)

I use emacs to code, and Jed when I have to edit something for system management, of course, often I have to use vi. :(

Is there a process you follow when you code?

I like to write on paper what I want to get, which features, how they should work... and so on. Then I sit and use my keyboard to write a first version of the code. After some day I study my code to improve it. The second version of the code is my first alpha release. At this point I work on the code to get a good beta, and then to fix bugs.

What was your first computer?

A Sinclair ZX81 with 16K on RAM. I was 7 years old, and I used it to play. Often I had to copy the game programs written in basic from some book, and so I started to learn basic, at 8 I tried to write some games myself.

I still have my ZX81, but it is broken :( (I use an emulator under Linux).

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

Konqueror, and for developers kgdb. But there are some many useful applications and tools under KDE, everyone can choice what he/she prefers.

Where do you see yourself and KDE 5 years from now?

Difficult to say. I would like to be a sysadmin who writes programs in his spare time because he enjoys it, not a programmer for work. I hope I will still write for Linux&C, an Italian review fully focused on Linux.

I hope Linux will be used as a desktop as much as for servers, it will depend on many factors, basically HW producers. Kde will be a great DE on every Unix OS, not just Linux and *BSD for many years, I am sure. I hope I will have the possibility to enjoy writing other tools for it.

Are you being paid to work for KDE and if yes by who?

No, I write knetfilter in my spare time.

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

March 1974, in Busto Arsizio, Italy, a little and pretty town in northern Lombardia.

Which University/School did you go to?

I studied latin and greek Philology at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, there I started to learn about Linux in 1993. A lot of students of physics and informatic were my teachers.

6 months before I discussed my thesis in 1998, I started to work there as Unix System manager on Linux, AIX, Solaris, and Irix systems.

What's your status, are you single and up for adoption?

I have a girlfriend.

If married/girlfriend/partner(m/f), how does he/she cope living with a KDE addict?

I introduced her to Linux and KDE. She was already spending a lot of time with computers, now I think she likes it. I try to keep as much time as I can free for her, and sometimes I help her with her Linux station.

Do you have children?


What is your favorite food?

A lombardian (north Italy) plate, Polenta e brusciti, and Italian red wine.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Prague, and Germany. I like German people, because they are so different from Italians.

What do you (and your s.o) like to do in your sparetime?

I like to read romances and books about latin literatures. I do enjoy it to relax.

What was the last movie you have seen?

A horror movie, The Exorcist, at the cinema, and Wilde, about the life of Oscar Wilde, at home.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

Actually I re-read the Satyricon of Petronius, I recommend it to everyone who would like to smile and cry at the same time.

What songs do you sing in the shower?

Judas Priest songs, like the nightcrawler, or some "Italian song" by Enzo Iannacci Renato Pozzetto and Cochi Ponzoni (T'Ho vist un Re).

It's the Holiday season, you're having a few friends over for a fondue in your cabin in the snowy moutains. You can invite 3 famous people, who will you invite and why?

I would prefer to have my friends over, and no famous people.

How is Christmas celebrated in your country?

In Italy Christmas is, first of all, a religious day, and usually it is celebrated religiously, as it is done in every catholic countries. Living near Milan, I celebrate it like every ambrosian catholic.

Do you celebrate Christmas with your family?

Of course, Christmas is the family day. In Italy we usually say "Christmas with your family and Easter with who you want" (Natale con i toui e Pasqua con chi vuoi). So I celebrate christmas with my family, mainly with my gramma, who is 89 years old.

Does you family have a holiday tradition?

Yes, but it is not something special. We use those days to visit the nice cities we have here near the place we live, and we go to the mountains near my home (Alps).

Is your best friend (no family) a real person or an on-line one?

He is a real person, but he lives far from here, and we e-mail often.

Did you ever met a fellow KDE'r in person, when and where?

By mail a lot, not in person.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

Unix is the most user friendly system I know, the point is that it is really selective about who is indeed its friend.