People Profiles


Greg Farnum has been working on Ceph since he graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 2009.

Greg is one of the core engineers on the Ceph project and has enjoyed several years of Ceph development as an Inktank employee. He recently took some time to sit down and tell us a bit more about himself. Feel free to stop by our irc channel and say hi to Greg and the rest of the Ceph engineers.

So! What do you do for a day job?

Inktank / Software Developer

Current Projects besides Ceph?

Ceph takes up most of my development brain, but I occasionally start pleasantly futile projects of my own. As an Apple sellout I perpetually dream of writing a good git client for my iPad.

How long have you been working on Ceph?

About 3.5 years.

What part of Ceph have you worked on most recently?

Installation and management, with interludes in the MDS.

What other FOSS projects have you worked on?

Most of my FOSS work has been related to Ceph: Hadoop, Hypertable, the Linux Kernel, Crowbar, etc.

Where did you go to school?

Harvey Mudd College

We have a very distributed team, where do you live?

South Pasadena (LA area), CA USA

Any passions outside of work?

I read a lot of fiction, play some video games, and practice yoga several times a week.

How will the community know when you’ve done your job well?

Ceph will satisfy their needs and do so smoothly and easily.

What made you want to work on Ceph?

I loved the company culture, the idea of getting paid to do open source development, and the problems to solve in distributed systems.

What kinds of development tools do you normally use?

I prefer emacs over vim because I know how to quit it, but am one of the few developers using Eclipse (though I may soon switch to KDevelop or XCode [yes, really] if I can swing a compilable port). OS X is my normal desktop, but at work it serves mostly as an internet terminal — all of my development is done on a Linux development box via X.

What advice would you give aspiring FOSS devs?

Be ready for rejection, and just keep trying. Find a project you can get excited about and start out with the small stuff.

If you could ask the Ceph/storage community one question, what would it be?

“I would love to better understand other distributed storage systems, but finding information on them can be a challenge. Send good architectural information my way if you have it.

So I suppose my question would be: What information about Ceph have you been unable to find that you would like?”

How important is the consumption of caffeine to your job performance?

Very low — caffeine doesn’t help me much and if it does then I’m going to have trouble thinking regardless.

Favorite tech/tool advancement in the last ten years?


More seriously, IDEs have improved significantly and I really appreciate that when working on big or new systems.”

What is your favorite sci-fi?

I could not begin to choose.

When you dream in code, what language is it in?

Python when I’m sleeping, C++ when I’m awake.

What is your favorite Open Source project?

It kind of has to be Linux, right? Although WebKit is moving up in the world.

What is your favorite James Bond Actor?

Daniel Craig

Given an extra 10 hours in the day, what would you do with it?

Ummm…all of the above?

When are you most productive?

1p – 3p :: Lunch does not lead to food coma.

What future tech are you most hoping will be invented?

“Faster than light travel is the biggest choice given here, and would certainly make it more likely for the human race to survive past the death of our sun.

Energy weapons aren’t future tech, we already have them!”

Pirates or ninjas?


Any parting thoughts?

Be awesome.

Greg at: github | launchpad | Ohloh

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