Bruno Miguel

Maintainer of the Arch Linux repo

February 2021

Bruno makes FOSS and takes our Twitter mic from February 10th to 17th. Thank you, Bruno!

Please tell us about yourself

I’m a 37 year young Free Software enthusiast from Portugal. I prefer the term Free Software to Open-Source because I truly believe in the movement. This comes from the inspiration I got from Richard Stallman - his writing and talks.

I don’t have any formal training in systems administration or programming, but I like to learn these subjects as I need them. The Free Software movement makes learning easier for everyone because the source is available and is, usually, accompanied by good documentation.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I’m maintaining my AUR-based repository for Arch Linux and Arch-based distributions, and I’m also a volunteer for Fosshost, working on documentation, proofreading and related tasks.

What is most interesting about that?

My repository allows for people without powerful hardware - and anyone else, of course - to have access to packages that are in AUR and would usually take some time to compile. This can be really cumbersome if you have at least a few packages and what made me create the repo.

The volunteer work I do is also exciting. I think Fosshost is an amazing project with a lot of potential, and an opportunity for me to learn more and to give back to the FOSS community.

How did you first discover FOSS?

The first contact I had was with a Linux distribution a friend of a neighbour gave me. I can’t remember the name of the distro any more (this was 20+ years ago), but I do remember it used KDE and crashed a lot. It was, coincidentally, the first time I learned that there were other operating systems besides Windows. Living in a rural area has these quirks.

A few years later, I rediscovered FOSS through Debian, started to get into it and, a couple of years later, I became completely immersed in FOSS.

What prompted you to start contributing to FOSS?

My parents always taught me to contribute to the community, to give back. That was the feeling I had with FOSS, so I promised myself I would contribute in one way or another, so I could give back to the community that gave - and still gives - me so much.

Why should others get involved with FOSS?

All knowledge should be free and FOSS allows a lot of knowledge to be like that. It also gives you control, something proprietary software gives you less and less, if at all.

How should they get started?

One way is to help others install and use Free Software, like browsers, productivity tools, operating systems and so on. You can also help with translations or, if you have the knowledge, coding. But the best way to start is doing whatever you feel more comfortable with. You just need to start.

Where do you see difficulties in contributing?

Some projects don’t have guidelines and onboarding steps for new contributors and that can be frightening for people starting with FOSS. Setting them up will help potential contributors.

What does a perfect day off look like?

Chilling with the wife and making something (always with an open license) that has the potential to help anyone, even if it is just one person.