Press "Enter" to skip to content

Jeff Hoogland Leaves Bodhi

Jeff Hoogland, the lead developer of Bodhi Linux, said in a blog post on Friday that “for a variety of reasons,” he is stepping down from the leadership of his “labor of love.”

Bodhi Linux, based on Ubuntu, is a lightweight distro leveraging the Enlightenment Desktop. A note on the Bodhi Linux web page says, “We regret to inform you Bodhi Linux is no longer being maintained,” and has a link to Hoogland’s blog page.

Bodhi Jeff Hoogland
Jeff Hoogland steps down from Bodhi Linux
“I have worked with dozens of different people over the course of the last few years. I have made friends and learned more than I could have ever imagined,” Hoogland said in his blog post.

Hoogland thanked the many supporters and users of Bodhi Linux and welcomed current Bodhi contributors to pick up the reins and continue maintaining the distro. He noted that the servers are paid up until April, 2015.

“[E]ven though I no longer have the bandwidth to actively develop Bodhi, I know many enjoy using the project,” he wrote. “So if you are reading this and have an interest in picking up where I am leaving off, please contact me. All Bodhi related code can be found on my GitHub page and I am more than happy to help guide you in the right direction with how things work as you are getting started.”

Bodhi is a popular distro, with many loyal followers who wouldn’t want to see the distro disappear. I was able to contact Hoogland and ask him if he thought someone would be found to carry on.

“I am hoping so,” he replied. “I’ve already had contact with at least one person who might be interested in taking over. Hopefully more than one person becomes interested so they can share/split the things I was doing. Many hands make for light work as they say.”

Bodhi Linux Hoogland
Notice of Hoogland leaving on Bodhi Linux website.
click to enlarge
Hoogland indicated to me that he has no intention of abandoning FOSS, but that he wants “to start devoting my PC time to other pursuits.” When asked about those “other pursuits,” he replied, “I want to learn more practical Python applications. It has been my preferred language for developing both tools for Bodhi and personal things in the past. I am hoping to gain some more expertise with the language so I can pick up some more freelance work eventually.”

Hoogland, currently a member of the adjunct faculty teaching mathematics at ITT Technical Institute in Springfield, Illinois, started Bodhi nearly four years ago during his senior year of undergraduate study. He continued to guide the project through graduate school, multiple home moves and now with parenthood.

In wrapping up his blog post, Hoogland said “I’d like to close with saying thanks to the Bodhi and open source community as a whole. In general you have been very supportive of the small project I started to Enlighten the world.”


  1. Dietrich Dietrich September 13, 2014

    Seriously, Jim is the consummate professional always and I sincerely wish him well.

    But this story is quite emblematic.

    It speaks to the question of which Distro one should choose. Choose carefully and particularly, look not just at the bells and whistles, look at the support behind the software — the risk is higher that such a Distro will expire if maintained by a few or one developer.

    My theory is that with world geopolitical events unfolding and a global economy hitting the skids, finding a ‘day job’ that can put food on the table, keep kids clothed, and pay the rent is critical. All else doesn’t matter if that doesn’t happen and so making contributions to open source will suffer.

    Moral of the story:
    Stay with the ‘best of breed’ Distro: Fedora

    Fedora Linux: The safest operating system on the planet.

    I stake my reputation on it. — Dietrich

  2. lozz lozz September 13, 2014

    I experienced this when my first distro, Mandrake, “died” while I was still using it. Mandriva was never quite the same and I eventually moved on to a happy home with Kubuntu for several years.
    That’s the beauty of GNU/Linux, if you need to move to another distro there’s always a huge range of alternatives.
    I wonder if there are many long-term users that have managed to stay with just one distro throughout their career?
    Might make a good subject for a poll.

  3. Larry Cafiero Larry Cafiero September 13, 2014

    Dietrich: If by “Jim” you mean Jeff, then I would agree. However, I am not sure how you can say the story is emblematic.

    A common tenet in FOSS is “use what works for you.” Obviously for you, that’s Fedora, and that’s fantastic. However, Fedora may not work for others — for whatever reason — and therefore one should actually see for themselves which of the hundreds of choices of distros works for them.

    Many choose Bodhi Linux, and I can see why. It’s a lightweight distro that works on older hardware, and it flies on newer hardware, and Jeff has done a great job over the last four years leading the project. My sincere hope is that whomever picks up the reins at Bodhi Linux will have the same commitment and vision that Jeff had as its leader.

    lozz: That’s interesting, and a good idea for a poll (even if it’s just “Which distro did you start with?”). Personally, the distro I first used eight years ago — Debian — is not the one I primarily use now. My trek consists of being shown Debian to Xubuntu to Fedora to CrunchBang to Korora, and I still use the last three primarily on several machines (as well as Sun 5.9, a.k.a., Solaris 9, on an Ultra 10).

  4. Leslie Satenstein Leslie Satenstein September 14, 2014

    Most Linux versions are hobby distributions. They come, have a following, and eventually disappear.

    Which BigBox store would want to sell Linux if, every six months, it is replaced with a newer version, and without a migration path to the new version from the old.

    And at some point, you have to decide as I surmise Mr. Hoogland has done, that hours spend on Bodhi are better spent on family first. One can’t earn a proper living by concentrating solely on Bodhi. Those are a big part of his decision.

  5. Ray Ray September 14, 2014

    I have used bodhi for a few years now and found it to be very fast, very easy to use and well supported. It has stopped me distro hopping since I discovered it. Well done to Jeff and all of his fellow developers.
    Please accept my kindest regards and best wishes for the future Jeff. You are a star!

  6. Bob Robertson Bob Robertson September 15, 2014

    The good thing about Linux is that distributions are in fact interchangeable. The same applications work the same way on every one.

    Losing a distribution only means losing one “way” of doing things. Unlike a proprietary OS, where losing the parent company means having to change _everything_.

    Jeff showed us how Enlightenment could be used to make a fast, efficient, beautiful system. That lesson isn’t lost, and I look forward to the next artist that comes along and builds upon it.

    Many thanks, Jeff. You created _art_.

  7. Dietrich Dietrich September 15, 2014

    @Bob Robertson wrote:
    “The good thing about Linux is that distributions are in fact interchangeable. The same applications work the same way on every one.”

    This isn’t true always. If you are lucky an rpm for Magiea or openSUSE will work on Fedora.

    And is a multiplicity of package managers.

    A newcomer will surely find the ‘terrain’ most confusing and get into trouble the first time they stray outside their Distro repository.

    There is a standard. It’s called Linux Standard Base, promulgated by the Linux Foundation.

    Only a few Distros are LSB compliant, Red Hat and Fedora being just two.

    Debian may be popular but it is NOT LSB-compliant.
    In fact, they’ve been the biggest foot-draggers on becoming compliant with the newest systemd design changes put forth by Red Hat. In general Debian’s release management policy is arbitrary and a ‘speed bump’ on the road to innovation. Nothing more.

  8. MacLone MacLone September 15, 2014

    I understand that doing things for free does not pay the bills. And that is the reason why you should use only the big supported distros. Imagine a corporate who migrated to bodhi or PearOS and one day it disappears… well, you have the idea.

  9. Eka Eka September 15, 2014

    @Dietrich: first you compared Bodhi with Fedora, then you compared Fedora to Debian. I wonder if next comment would be comparation between Fedora and Damn Small Linux or GParted?

    I tried Bodhi for several weeks few months ago. It is beautiful. Worth mentioned is the App Center, neat and newbie friendly I think.

    Well, project leaders came and gone. Nobody said Bodhi is done.

  10. Dietrich Dietrich September 15, 2014


    I’ve spoken to the entire issue of Bodhi and Hoogland’s retirement on my website.

    As for here, it would be helpful if you would provide in quotes anything I have written and then clarify why you disagree, if at all.


  11. Andrew Andrew September 15, 2014

    I wish Jeff all the best. Maintaining a distro is a metric ton of work, and it’s even harder when people are constantly preach that others shouldn’t use it instead of preaching that they should be helping the small distros grow. That said, priorities can change especially when family is involved. Good luck to you Jeff, I’m sure we’ll run into each other again some day, wait, what’s that? Who’s poking me with that stick! DAMN IT JEFF! Just kidding.

  12. Christine Hall Christine Hall September 15, 2014

    @Andrew I thought of you as a candidate to pick up the baton as soon as I heard the news about Bodhi.

  13. Andrew Andrew September 15, 2014

    @Christine, thank you for thinking of me, but managing a distribution is not a position I’d like to be in again any time soon. I’m still enjoying technology from a distance. 🙂

  14. Abdel Abdel September 15, 2014

    @ Dietrich: Would you please stop favouring one Linux distro over another. It’a all linux and we’re all together in this. Everybody are doing their best. And for that we should be grateful if even they sometimes/often couldn’t deliver.

  15. Dietrich Dietrich September 15, 2014

    @Abdel wrote:
    “Would you please stop favouring one Linux distro over another.”

    Me: Errm. No. But thank you for asking politely.

    Fact is, there’s only maybe 10 Distro out of hundreds that are any good, one, I favor, being Fedora.

    Sorry, but, the realities of Life include being smart enough to recognize and adapt to using things which are ‘better’. You apply that mentality when you shop in a Mall and should do the same when choosing a Distro.

    Peace. Out.

  16. Andrew Andrew September 15, 2014

    LOL @ “being smart”

  17. Statmonkey Statmonkey September 21, 2014

    I played with and enjoyed Bodhi a few months ago. Extremely well done and visually different distro, very creatively done. I had some issues and Jeff took not only time but was very patient and helpful. I wish Jeff all the best and sincerly hope that someone picks up the lead for Bodhi.

    I don’t want to feed the troll here but he should remember that even those sheep who are smarter than the rest and who know what is better for all the others also get slaughtered.

Comments are closed.

Breaking News: