About me (cliquer ici pour la version Française)

Gaël DuvalI was born in 1973 and got my Master’s degree in Computer Sciences (Systems & Networks) at University of Caen, Normandy in 1997.

In 1998 I created the popular Mandrake-Linux system which was the first Linux distribution to care about ease of use (6 years before Ubuntu actually). Then I co-founded MandrakeSoft which went public in 2001. Mandrake-Linux later became Mandriva Linux with the aquisition of Conectiva in Brazil, it was acquired in 2010 by a Russian Investment fund.

There is a chapter about the early story of Mandrake-Linux and Mandrakesoft, and how we took part of the Linux & Open Source revolution, in this excellent book “Rebel Code” by Glyn Moody (here at Amazon, here at Google Books for a preview). I was also interviewed about Mandrake more recently, at FOSSForce.

Starting from 2007, I’ve developed the Ulteo project, a multi-platform application and desktop delivery solution for corporates, with partners. The project was aquired in 2014 by AZNetwork SAS.

In 2015 I’m working on building a “Startup Factory” with partners, called “NFactory”, launching September 2016. I also have new projects linked to mobile development, Artifical Intelligence and chatbots in my spare time.

I’m generally performant at envisioning and bootstraping new projects from mostly nothing. I’m especially interested in participating in potentially disruptive projects in the software industry (AI…) and/or in the “energy field” (photovoltaics, electricity storage, electric cars).

Since 2016 I’m an Advisor for the CommonSearch: project, a radically transparent search engine for the web.

In 2017 I started /e/, a mobile phone OS and associated web-services with respect of user’s privacy. /e/OS is a fully “unGoogled” Android from the core OS to online services. This is a non-profit project, in the public interest (see the crowdfunding campaign here). Then I created Murena, the company that sells smartphones with /e/OS and the Murena private cloud.

I’m defending the idea that a “Sovereign operating system” is a non-sense in 2019. Instead, all the “digital chain” must be considered, and Open Source is key in those matters. I developed these ideas in a chapter writen for a Springer Book: “Reflections on Operating Systems” (ISBN 978-3-319-97226-8).

Recent press review:

  • a video discussion at the 2022 Nextcloud Conference

  • my presentation of /e/OS at the 2022 Nextcloud Conference

  • article about /e/OS at ZDNet
  • a video interview at Coder Stories

Contact: Please feel free to contact me by email at gaelduval at indidea dot org, if you want to discuss something or just say hello! 🙂

Find me on:

– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gaelduvalprofile/

– Twitter: https://twitter.com/gael_duval

– Facebook (pro): https://www.facebook.com/gaelduvalprofessionnal

– And on Wikipedia (yes!)

Personal interests:

– Music (listening, playing guitar, piano & drums, recording/producing) & Arts
– Wine (tasting, producing)
– Physics/Astronomy…
– many others actually 🙂

Official pictures of Gaël Duval ! (images licence: CC BY-SA 4.0)gael_duval_officiel

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10 Replies to “About me (cliquer ici pour la version Française)”

  1. The year was 1998. A local store in the midwest called Meijer carried an Operating System called Mandrake Linux. I had heard of Linux before, but this was the first time I could actually touch it. On a whim, I bought it, brought it home, and installed it. Ooo, Here was something new and different. This was what brought me to Linux. Thank you.

    PS. A fun note was when I went to install apps. I had to mount the drive. “Mount it? Its bolted down, its not going anywhere!” lol I still laugh at that to this day.

  2. Le projet eelo os est fort intéressant mais ne serait t’il pas plus judicieux de mettre comme moteur de recherche Lilo ou Ecosia pour que le projet soit totalement Européen, et de sortir totalement de Google en utilisant plus du tout Google. Enfin mettre en place un partenariat avec eux pour justement réduire les datas centers et être plus écologique. Ce projet est à fort potentiel donc j’aimerais bien l’installer sur mon future téléphone.
    Merci de votre compréhension.

  3. Bravo pour votre initiative !
    Quand est-ce que la première version sera disponible ?

  4. Dear mr. Duval,
    I am a freelance software developer for GNU/Linux systems, living in Milan, Italy. I have more then 20 years of work experience as software developer and – sometimes also – GNU/Linux sysadmin. And about 20 years ago I met Mandrake Linux. It was love at first sight. I am proud to say that I was one of your PAYING customers, I bought several versions of Mandrake Linux (despite the fact I could get them free of charge), and recommended it to my clients, and convinced them to buy Mandrake too, to support your company. I was very sorry to read about the events that happened later in Mandrake…
    Mandrake remained one of my greatest memories (I still have the boxes and the CDs), as it helped me to become a better programmer, and – most importantly – it permitted me to enjoy to work on a such a user friendly and powerful platform.
    I am also a privacy fanatic and enemy of the surveillance economy (more then you, I think, since you have those antisocial-network profiles), one of those lonely idealist fighters, kind of “we are going to loose, the enemy is too powerful, but we won’t surrender, and will fight until the last bit of life remains in our bodies”.
    I am glad to read about your project, the “free-of-G0#g!e” mobile operating system. And I feel that your project is going to be more dynamic and useful then the Replicant project. Is your project also going to be free of binary blobs (or, at least, make them optional)? I hope so!
    If that’s the case, I’d like to get involved, and to help you, as much as my available time permits me. I must say that, despite having a yearslong experience as a developer, I have no competencies in development of modern mobile operating systems. But I am willing to learn. Even if I have to sacrifice hours of sleep. I’m also a proud dumbphone owner, but I’m aware that soon in the future the 2G GSM networks will be shot down (in some countries it already happened), and the dumbphones will cease to be produced… So, I need to get ready for the future, but remain unwilling to sacrifice the privacy of myself and the privacy of people who communicate with me.
    Tell me what I can do.


  5. Hello. Please replace “7 years before Ubuntu actually” to “6 years before Ubuntu actually” — Ubuntu was released in 2004 year (4.10), not in 2005.

  6. Gael – I want you to do well as so many want to “de google” and I am a supporter of the new world phone order. But I think you will need to up your game on Support. I got the Teracube phone last week and have tested. A lot of great features, and faster than I thought with some nice features. Anyway, the only problem so far is the complete lack of support and maybe a “its not my job” mentality between e/os and Murenam I don’t know. You don’t know who to contact if a problem. I reported some problems/bugs to e/os hep desk which they should respond to but nothing. I then said I needed to get at least an acknowledgment or may return phone (asked for procedure if I decide to return phone, and you do have a good return policy). But instead of “thank you” for reporting the problem of losing bookmarks on home screen and a “we will look into it” they sent me a procedure to return phone. That’s not exactly a voice of confidence and I want you to well. FWIW!

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