I've been an Ubuntu user since Hardy and have been a Linux user in general since the mid 1990s. My entire professional career has been related to Linux and I have been working my dream job having started at Canonical in 2010. I do a lot of ISO testing and bug reporting. I also contribute code to Checkbox and write test tools that are used in Certification and Ubuntu Freindly. I'm known to some as "That Guy Who Forced a Respin of Lucid on Release Day" to get a fix for a bug affecting multi-boot installations. I also help new users via answers and various mailing lists. I'm getting into Ubuntu and Linaro work on ARM and hope to start contributing there in some form. I also helped launch Ubuntu Friendly and plan to continue working with that program to help the community build a comprehensive database of hardware that works with Ubuntu.

Contact Info


Currently, I run the following:



Operating Systems


Lenovo S-10 Netbook

Windows XP, #!Crunchbang, Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)


Homebuilt AthlonXP

Ubuntu 11.04 Server


Toshiba A75 Laptop

Currently in parts


Alienware M15x

Win7 64bit, Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) 64bit


Homebuild AMD Sempron

Ubuntu 10.10 Server


Compaq Presario

Win7 64bit, Ubuntu 11.10 via Wubi


IBM Thinkpad x201

Ubuntu 11.10 64Bit, Precise Pangolin (well, soon)


FreeScale i.MX53 ARM dev board

Linaro 11.10, Ubuntu 11.10 ARM

Amateur Radio Gear:





Lafayette Radio

HE-10 Receiver


My first receiver, bought with my dad at a hamfest when I was a kid and still in use today




Former VHF mobile, but now sits in my shack connected to a 12 element 2m Yagi



10-160M All Mode HF

Primary station, connected to a W5GI Mystery Antenna



2m/440 HT

Portable comms, listening to local repeaters when I'm out and about, occasional IRLP use


MFJ-945 Versa Tuner II

HF Tuner

Not always necessary, but helps in a pinch

Linux and I

My first brief introduction to Linux was a very early Slackware, built on a 1.x kernel. I spent about a week downloading the 13 or 14 foppy images from a local BBS that had USENET access, and then spent another couple of days figuring out how to install it onto my old 386 machine. Once I had it installed and booted, I was left with "Well, now what". Unfortunately, Slackware was built more for people who knew Unix and Linux, not someone coming from the Windows world, and eventually I switched back.

My next and final introduction came when a friend of mine joined the Roanoke Valley GNU/Linux Users Group. Shortly after he joined, he got me to join as well, and at my first installfest, I got some help from a friendly LUG member installing Red Hat 5.1 on my machine. As luck would have it, I also won the door prize, a box set of Red Hat 5.2, courtesy of Red Hat. Since that day back in the mid-90's I've not been without a Linux system. I've run Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, Slackware (Yeah, I tried Slackware again), Ubuntu, #!Crunchbang, DSL, PuppyLinux, Yellowdog, Red Flag, and a whole host of other less known distros that I've long since forgotten.

I ran Red Hat primarily until I discovered Ubuntu when 8.04LTS was released. I appreciated the ease of installation (compared to some other distros I'd tried) and how things generally seemed to just work. At that point, my primary OS became Ubuntu, and it has been every since. While at IBM, I used Ubuntu daily as my workstation OS, working with a small group of people within IBM that preferred to use Ubuntu over Red Hat. I helped beta test and help fix bugs on an in house spinoff of Ubuntu set up for IBM employees with all the software they needed to get their jobs done.

My personal systems begain migrating over to Ubuntu back then and I've been mostly Ubuntu ever since, though I do keep other Linux OSs around for comparison and kicks. It's fun installing different OSs and seeing what their maintainers have done to make their versions different from the others. s

Community Life

I've been involved for a while in the community, helping newbies and experienced users alike, joining in on technical discussions and so forth.

I've been on several different Linux mailing lists over the years, and currently I'm active on the Linux and Linux_NEWBIES yahoogroups, as well as linux-redhat-fedora, suselinuxusers and redhat Yahoo! groups. I'm moderately active in my spare time on ubuntu-users and ubuntu-qa lists, though I don't post as often as I used to because there are so many good contributors there who answer more quickly than I. I also answer questions that are submitted via for Ubuntu Friendly and Hardware Certification, but I also like to find questions that have gone unanswered in other projects from time to time and answer those if I can.

I was off and on various Linux and technical IRC channels on EFNet for a while before getting away from spending too much time on IRC. Lately, I'm hanging out on Freenode in various Ubuntu channels. Usually, you can find me in #ubuntu-hams, #ubuntu-quality, #ubuntu-testing and #ubuntu-nc-us among others.

I was an active member in the Roanoke Valley GNU/Linux Users Group starting back around 1998 when Red Hat 5.1 was coming out. I picked up 5.1 at my first InstallFest and participated in every InstallFest RVGLUG had after that until I moved to North Carolina in 2000. After moving, I stayed a member of RVGLUG until a few years ago, hanging out on the LUGs IRC server and mailing list. Today, I'm a fairly new member of the NC Loco. I hope to actually make a meeting one day, though they're usually held about 1.5 hours away from me, which makes attending difficult. I am also a member of the Ubuntu Hams Team, a group of Amateur Radio operators interested in Ubuntu and Ham Radio on Linux.

Outside of that, I try to do as much ISO testing as I have time for, as well as bug reporting and triaging on Launchpad. I've represented Linux to the world at places like Comdex and O'Reilly's OSCON while working for Red Hat and represented Ubuntu and Canonical at the Ubuntu Hardware Summit held in Taipei, Taiwan. Most of my development efforts are fixes and new test tools that are incorporated into Checkbox, which is installed on every Ubuntu system. I've also contributed minor patches to musica and mago.

Until recently, I taught an introductory Linux course at the local Community College. It's a hobby of mine that I started doing when my old CIS dean asked me if I'd come back to the school and teach. I REALLY enjoy the experience of teaching Linux to people who may not have even heard of it before. It's great fun and teaches me a lot about myself as well. I've been teaching Linux/Unix System Administration (the class' official title) for 3 years now. Unfortunately, my work life has intervened and I can not make the commitment to teach a 16 week course now, but I hope to get back in the classroom one day.

My interests currently are in ARM systems (I so want an ARM netbook!). I have a FreeScale i.MX53 board that I've been doing some testing/benchmarking on. I'm starting to get involved in the Linaro community as well as assisting with Ubuntu ARM image testing. I am looking forward to doing a lot of Precise ARM ISO testing and bug filing as the Precise cycle gets into gear.

I've attended UDS a number of times and have led sessions, mostly focusing on testing, quality assurance and server related topics. I've been involved in topics related to Ubuntu Friendly and sit in on sessions of personal interest, such as the sessions on multi-touch, some Unity discussions, ARM focused sessions and others.

Professional Life

I first started with Linux in the Mid 90's with a 1.x version of Slackware, painstakingly pulled across a slow modem connection over several nights, one 1.44MB Floppy image at a time. From there, I was exposed to Red Hat 5.1 when I joined my home LUG (Roanoke Valley GNU/Linux Users Group).

While I was taking classes for the CCNA, a friend pointed out that Red Hat was hiring. I applied, almost as a joke, and two weeks later I was sitting in Raleigh, NC for an interview with Red Hat's Global Support and Services team. Two years later, I discovered the crash and the joys of outsourcing. Until that day though, I functioned as a Technical Support Engineer for Level 1 and 2 support (what came to be known as End-User and Enterprise). I taught the "Intro to Linux" portion of Red Hat's internal orientation, something that would be of use later as I again became a teacher. I popped up at places like OSCON and Comdex and also attended InstallFests around the Eastern US as a Red Hat representative. For a time, I was chief moderator of the original Red Hat Forums and worked as "Community Liason" for the Support team.

Following that, I worked here and there while I worked my way through school. I spent about half a year as the system administrator for a small local ISP before getting hired as a contractor at I.B.M. Three years into that and I was hired by I.B.M. and worked for another three years. All that time was spent working on the NOS team within System x, testing Red Hat and SuSE Enterprise Linuxes and VMWare ESX, ESXi and embedded hypervisors. At I.B.M. I specialized in Xen virtualization and testing Real Time Linux, as well as test automation and was the Technical Lead for System x's Red Hat Hardware Certification effort.

I was laid off again in April 2009 and spent a nice sabbatical at the beach while looking for further work.

Eventually I landed back at I.B.M. as a contractor for the Integral Functions Team performing hardware validation tests against Red Hat and SuSE Enterprise Linuxes. I was also involved in building a provisioning/test automation system.

Today, I work for Canonical, helping to make Ubuntu better. I'm part of the Professional Engineering Services Team as a Hardware Certification Engineer, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm home.

The Future, Then and Now

The future is hard to predict and this is somewhat like making New Years Resolutions.

I've done a fair bit of work cleaning up Checkbox. I've done a lot of test description re-writes updating test instructions to match the Unity layout as well as making them clearer for the tester. I've also worked on automating tests that were previously manual. I helped start and continue to help with the Ubuntu Friendly program. I see this as a very valuable tool for the Ubuntu community in terms of "Will my computer work?" We've seen a lot of participation and learned some valuable info from this program and hopefully will continue doing so.

I plan to continue helping users both new and old via mailing lists and places like Answers and other venues. I want to continue doing QA work, especially since that is no longer any part of my professional purview within Canonical. I intend to continue annoying developers by filing bugs whenever something breaks, or simply goes against my ideas of how things should work.

I also want to become a better programmer and contribute more code to packages.


I'm a General Class Amateur Radio Operator, Student pilot (when I have time and money) Biker (Motorcycles) and Photographer. I like camping, hiking, biking, the beach, fishing, driving in the countryside, reading, movies and a whole lot of other things Smile :-)


I worked directly with Jeff in the Certification team until last year, and continue to work indirectly with him and stay in touch with him - I absolutely consider him a friend first and a colleague second.

Jeff has put an amazing amount of effort into making Ubuntu better. He does this directly through testing throughout the development cycle and certifying the final release. Indirectly, the work he puts into improving Checkbox and improving/extending the tests it runs are immediate benefits for everyone.

Of the UDS sessions I've attended with Jeff, he has always encouraged positive conversations. I'm sure anyone who's interacted with him will speak highly of him.

From the time that he has been working in Ubuntu, I guess many people already know his contributions. I am guessing that both them, and those who don't know him yet but have read his application will think "and you're not an Ubuntu Member, yet?". And this is really how I feel about Jeff, I was so surprised to learn that he wasn't a member just yet, because his contributions, specially when it comes to testing, bugs and other QA activities are very valuable. I am glad to have the opportunity of working with him in the same team at Canonical, he's a rock start! -- ~apulido

Jeff is simply incredible. I've had the privilege of working with him on several projects, mostly around hardware testing and certification. He's committed to Ubuntu and to its community, combining integrity and copious productivity with a friendliness and patience that's hard to match. He is skilled and intelligent but never arrogant, always including and encouraging others to get involved and contribute. His hard work for Ubuntu is definitely worthy of recognition, as we're all better off for having him in our community. I'm pleased to call him a colleague and friend.

Jeff's vast experience, encyclopedic knowledge of computers and familiarity with Ubuntu are apparent when working with him on a daily basis. However, he doesn't limit himself to what his job demands. He's always helpful to people both at work and in the community at large, where he exhibits politeness and patience, two assets which make him extremely valuable to the Ubuntu community. He's a very good troubleshooter and is always steering people in the right direction to get issues worked out. His experience covers many aspects of computing, and the fact that he is willing to make that experience available to anyone in the community who can benefit from it makes him a really awesome member of the community. ~roadmr

After all that has been said above... I will not repeat. Short summary: Jeff more than deserves membership. I fully endorse it, and plan to cheer and yell for him during the council meeting.

JeffLane (last edited 2012-02-23 22:09:11 by hggdh2)