March 8, 2013

Today is my last day at Red Hat.

I’ve been here for almost fifteen years, and it’s been a heckuva ride. I’ve seen GNOME and the Linux desktop grow from from pretty minimal beginings to what it is today.

RHAD Labs logo

The beginning…

Looking back on it, I’m so proud of the work that the Red Hat desktop team has accomplished during this time. We absolutely moved the bar on what was possible and enabled so many things. So many technologies that are basic building blocks of the modern Linux desktop were incubated within this group. Many of the things that people take for granted didn’t start in a vacuum but started because someone stepped up to make it happen.  Just off the top of my head dbus, metacity, gtk2, aiglx, systemd, pulseaudio, pango, cairo, gconf, orbit, gio/gvfs, gnome-shell, hal, NetworkManager, evince, PolicyKit and so many more got their start here.  Along the way, we made lifelong friends and built communities around these projects, to the point where others have taken them far beyond their humble beginnings.  To me, that’s what makes Free Software so awesome, and the Free desktops in particular so special.


I am looking forward to being a part of the GNOME community in the future as a civilian, though I won’t be fixing any more TreeView bugs. (-:

The team is now in Christian Schaller’s capable hands and the engineering group at Red Hat is stronger than it has ever been. I’m looking forward to watching from the sidelines to see what they do next!

11 Responses to “Changes…”

  1. Juanjo Marin Says:

    Good luck in your new job ! . I’m sure your contributions to GNOME as “civilian” will be equally appreciated :-)

  2. ebassi Says:

    thanks for everything you did at RH, for the Foundation, and for GNOME in general — and good luck for your future endeavours!

    and don’t be a stranger: we still want to see at GUADEC. ;-)

  3. Vincent Untz Says:

    I just want to say: from my external perspective, you rocked at RH and that made a difference for the GNOME project! I’m sure you’ll keep rocking in your new place!

  4. Andrew Overholt Says:

    Wow, crazy! You are an inspiration to many, jrb. I wish you the best of luck whatever you do.

  5. Wow, that comes a bit of a surprise. Would it be OK to thank you for Red Hat 7? I know it’s a bit late, but that was my first full-time Linux distro :-)

    I hope you take a well-deserved & long enough vacation before starting your next gig. Good luck!

  6. Andrea Veri Says:

    Thanks a lot for your great work Jonathan! A lot of things have been originally set up by you on the GNOME Infrastructure and many of them are still up and running serving hundreds of GNOME developers and contributors every day. Good luck with your new job! Looking forward to see you on #sysadmin like you’ve been over all these years!

  7. Sri Ramkrishna Says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    It’ll be great to see you back as a civilian. Since you’ve been a manager, we’ve actually seen less of you! So I don’t see this as goodbye but more of a big hello! I’m also looking forward to see what comes out of the hard working desktop team!

  8. Thanks so much for all you’ve done for the Linux Desktop & the ecosystem around it Jonathan ! Through many shared ups, downs and lessons learned over the same fifteen years, I’ve appreciated your integrity and friendship greatly. All the very best in your new role !

  9. Brent Fox Says:

    Hiya jrb! Hats off to you, my friend. Wishing you all the best in your next adventure. I’ve always had enormous respect for the things you accomplished in GNOME and Red Hat, and I have no doubt that you will continue breaking new ground in whatever you choose to do next. Working with you was a real privilege. I’ll be sure to look you up next time I’m in Boston.


  10. […] I assume most of you have read Jonathan Blanfords blog post about leaving Red Hat and me taking over for him as head of the Red Hat…. First of all I would like to thank Jonathan for both his contributions to GNOME and Red Hat, but […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] Snoopy failed to fetch results for the comment blog url ( with error ” and so is spam.

  11. Jorge Castro Says:

    It’s been a pleasure hanging out with you at GUADECs, good luck with your next challenge!

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