...but before I start, let me thank someone important

...but before I start, let me thank someone important

My first blog entry for the Free Software Magazine is dedicated to someone important to free software.

Therefore, I would like you to pause for a moment here, and say a silent “thank you” to Ettore Perazzoli. Do it now, don’t go diving into Google to see who this guy is first, don’t just skip this paragraph, don’t do anything else. It’s a simple “thank you”, just trust me and say it.

Ettore PerazzoliEttore Perazzoli

I met Ettore at the PlutoMeeting 2000 in Terni, and I’ll never meet him again on Earth: Ettore died at the end of 2003 at the age of 29. He was a programmer at Ximian, and had his hands on many parts of what is currently your GNOME desktop: he contributed to Nautilus, and a lot of Evolution comes from his work. His last piece of software, f-spot, was committed to the CVS just two days before his death.

Why he died? How? I asked it myself many times, but no official answer was given.

At that PlutoMeeting he spoke about his work on Evolution, Camel, Bonobo... (if you are using Ubuntu Linux then these things are running over and under your desktop). He was great! He had the gift of clarity, and underwent two hours of questions before waving the white flag: “guys, sorry but I can’t go on, I am dead!”. I knew why he was so tired: we all went for a pizza the night before, and he arrived saying: “dammit! I messed with my laptop’s kernel and it went in panic! Not good, having to hold a talk tomorrow... It took me some three hours to have it sorted out!”

I can’t say I knew him deeply, but I felt he was a wonderful person. And from what his friends said and wrote, and still say and write, I know my feeling was right.

Therefore, if you are a GNOME user, say that “thank you” each time you start your desktop environment; if you are an Evolution user, do the same. If you are of any Christian confession, just thank our God that was so kind to give him to the world and say a little prayer for him; if you have other Gods or other confessions, do the same as appropriate for your religion. And if you have no religion, just say that “thank you”, it will suffice.

Ciao Ettore



Tony Mobily's picture


I was friends with Ettore. Our lives had a lot in common - he went to the US, I went to Australia.

Things didn't turn out the way they should have. I agreed with him on many levels, and still today can't see Evolution at work without thinking about him.

Goodbye, Ettore.


Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Thanks Marco for putting up this article about ettore. I have recently switched from Windows to Ubuntu and never looked back (except for some of my official work which still cannot run on Ubuntu).

While I'm simply amazed about all that I use on Ubuntu (Gnome, OpenOffice, Evolution, Drivel, Rhythmbox, Korganizer and Automatix to sample a few), it was wonderful to know about the man, who was the cause for some of these.

I say "Thank you" to the Gods of all religion. God(s), please bless the whole GNU/Linux Team and Free Software Community out there!!!

- Ramesh, India.

Author information

Marco Marongiu's picture


Born in 1971, Marongiu graduated in applied mathematics in 1997; he's now a full-time system administrator for a well known software company in Oslo, Norway. He's also a Perl programmer and technical author and lecturer by passion.
Marongiu has been a Debian User since version 1.1.10 and he helped found the GULCh Linux Users Group (Gruppo Utenti Linux Cagliari), the first one in Sardinia.