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People of openSUSE: Marcus Schaefer

August 13th, 2009 by

Marcus Schaefer is busy with Build Service, KIWI and SUSE Studio.

Every openSUSE user, that tuned graphic, used SaX2. The xorg.conf created with SaX2 has this line:
# Contact: Marcus Schaefer , 2005

Of course the sax2 is the best known, or better to say the most popular part of his work, but there is much more. The most recent project is KIWI that allows relative painless creation of distribution images (CD, DVD, USB memory stick, … ), and the KIWI is what powers up the SUSE Studio, powerfull and easy to use image creation service.




Nicknames: schaefi
Homepage: http://www-ms.homelinux.com
Blog: openSUSE blog
Favorite season: summer
Motto: live is a beach(volleyball) :)


Please introduce yourself!

I was born into a family with a close touch to nature in the Alps region town of Isny at Allgäu, in the German state of Württemberg. My father Wolfgang Schäfer is a technician and an example for me from the beginning on. My mother Susanne Schäfer is a sportswoman, she always encouraged me to keep on running. My parents gave me full freedom in my decisions and so I decided to became an assistent in physics before I studied computer science. Sport is an elementary part of my life. I always find freedom, friends and a balance to business in sports. My favourites are beachvolleyball and cycling. March 26th 2008 is the year I became a father which was the biggest change in my life followed by my marriage with my wonderful wife Daniela in 2007. Our son Florian is as sweet as a boy can be and I’m excited to see our young family growing :-)


Tell us about the background to your computer use.

I studied computer science at the university of applied sciences in Isny in Allgäu. The atmsphere there was more like in a family and I had the chance to take part in several admin projects which forms the background of my first real use of a computer.


When and why did you start using openSUSE/SUSE Linux?

I started using Slackware Linux at home in 1996 even though you first had to compile a kernel with your cdrom driver included to be able to start the installation I found that Linux rocks.


When did you join the openSUSE community and what made you do that?

I think it was around 1998 when S.u.S.E. offered me a job as an intern and I started my first opensource project called sax. That was the time when I learned how important it is to have users and people supporting you in your effort.


In what way do you participate in the openSUSE project?

The openSUSE Build Service relies on a cluster of build nodes which creates the packages from the projects. I have implemented an appliance builder and the PXE infrastructure to easily create and deploy the nodes for building the packages.


What especially motivates you to participate in the openSUSE project?

As the name says it’s open and along with Novell’s enterprise strategy it’s important for me to be part of an open community too.


What would be your the most important contribution to the openSUSE project and community, or what is the contribution that you’re most proud of?

I think the fact that SUSE is the only distribution which has a unique and fully functional X configuration utility over the last 10 years is something I’m a bit proud of :)


When do you usually spend time on the openSUSE project?

More often than my wife likes it :)


Three words to describe openSUSE? Or make up a proper slogan!

Simply trust the geeko


What do you think is missing or underrated in the distribution or the project?

I don’t know exactly but I think the expert knowledge at SUSE is somewhat unique and surely underrated


What do you think the future holds for the openSUSE project?

I hope that the open source community believes in us that the name “open”SUSE really is meant serious and that the name SUSE stands for an open distribution as well as for the base of enterprise products. The opensource community is the most important value an operating system can rely on.


A person asked you why he/she should choose openSUSE instead of other distribution/OS.

I always encourage people to use openSUSE because with the distro they also get the expert on their side :)


Which members of the openSUSE community have you met in person?

The most often Adrian sitting in the server room freezing :) and many others working in the Nuremberg office.


How many icons are currently on your desktop?



What is the application you can’t live without? And why?

vi, you know why :)


Which application or feature should be invented as soon as possible?

The Studio Marketplace


Which is your preferred text editor? And why?

vi, don’t ask why :)


Which famous person would you want to join the openSUSE community?

Peter Anvin, he rocks.


Which computer related skills would you like to have?

I would wish to know more about networks, network security and firewalling.


The Internet crashes for a whole week – how would you feel, what would you do?

Hey there’s git, no problem to proceed coding :)


Which is your favorite movie scene?

Ice Age, when Scrat meets Scraty :)


Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek


What is your favorite food and drink?

Spätzle mit Soß und dazu a Clemens


Favorite game or console (in your childhood and nowadays)?

Monkey Island


Which city would you like to visit?



What is your preferred way to spend your vacation?

At the beach playing beachvolleyball


Someone gives you $1.000.000 – what would you do with the money?

It will not happen so sorry can’t tell you a good answer


If traveling through time was possible – when would we be most likely to meet you?

Somewhere in the future


There’s a thunderstorm outside – do you turn off your computer?

I never turn of my computers :)


Have your ever missed an appointment because you forgot about it while sitting at your computer?

To my shame yes more than one time


Show us a picture of something, you have always wanted to share!

I’m thinking of sharing a picture of my sweet boy with the world. But I will wait until he is old enough to be able to agree to that :-)


You couldn’t live without…



Which question was the hardest to answer?

This one :-)


What other question would you like to answer? And what would you answer?

There are many questions I don’t have a good answer for, so better don’t think too much about it ;)


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2 Responses to “People of openSUSE: Marcus Schaefer”

  1. Ben

    What do you think the future holds for the openSUSE project?
    I always encourage people to use openSUSE because with the distro they also get the expert on their side :)

    A person asked you why he/she should choose openSUSE instead of other distribution/OS.
    I always encourage people to use openSUSE because with the distro they also get the expert on their side :)

    Was that in error, or on purpose?

    Anyway, Monkey Island was an awesome game! And I think another question which is good to ask is whether you have a UPS or not while you leave your computer on. I don’t, and usually I’ll leave my computer on, but since I have no UPS I will turn it off if it gets really heavy outside(Hurricanes, tropical storms, etc….the Golf of Mexico sure is fun to live near).

    • Marcus

      sorry for the mistake, I sent the correct answer to the moderator

      …yes I have a back UPS running in my office :-) it already protects me from some headaches I guess
      where I live the power often fails for some reason, most probably this is because of the mountains