Yesterday the Fedora Project released a "Preview" of Fedora 9. Today Ubuntu released a "Release Candidate" for 8.04 "Hardy Heron" and the openSUSE team released openSUSE 11.0 Beta 1. Since my preferred Linux distribution for the desktop is Fedora, I've been keeping up with all of the test releases. What follows is some commentary about my experiences with the Fedora 9 Preview including an image gallery. I'd like to encourage MontanaLinux users of other distros to write up their experiences with their preferred distributions.
If you haven't seen the Triumph of the Nerds series from PBS' Robert X. Cringely, check it out! It was made in 1996... but it is still fascinating for anyone who either lived through it or is interested in computer history.
Part 2 and 3 are in the full article.
What to know why FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and open standards are important? South African Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi does a wonderful job explaining in her opening remarks for the Idlelo African Conference on FOSS and Digital Commons. A text version of her speech is also available.
Let's hope that more politicians and decision makers around the globe become as informed as those in South Africa.
The Objective Observer wrote an article entitled, "Penguin Suicide Bombers: The Terrorism of Open Source". The article is quite inflammatory although along the way the author tries to justify his handle. In any event, I thought it important to give the author the benefit of the doubt and to try my best to set the record straight... or my version of it anyway... in as positive a way as possible. What follows are the two, somewhat quick emails (please forgive any typos) I sent in response to the article... oh, and I'll be happy to include any responses I get back from him if any.
I saw this first mentioned on LWN... but an employee from Red Hat named Bryan Che... who just happens to be the Red Hat product manager for a new Red Hat product, Red Hat Enterprise MRG... has made a request to the Fedora Project Board. The proposal is quite interesting... and given the last couple of sentences, perhaps you have figured it out already.
I use the SystemRescueCD a lot at work. My work study scoffed at me for actually running it from CD rather than a USB stick... because the USB stick is much faster. I bought a three pack of SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2GB USB thumb drives from CostCo for about $50. I followed the SystemRescueCD instructions and bingo it worked. Ok, it boots up a lot faster now.
I applied the Fedora method to the recently released CentOS 5.1 LiveCD and that worked too. I guess the same principle would apply to any LiveCD .iso you'd want to throw at it... including regular distro install media. They even have a program for Windows users.
Rusty Conover volunteered to give a presentation this month.Here's the title and description he provided:
Using Linux-based Cloud Computing to achieve scalable web hosting
Web sites are becoming bigger users of bandwidth every day so its getting harder to build an infrastructure that is scalable enough to handle serving thousands of visitors in parallel, especially when they all want to stream your videos on their high-bandwidth cable modems.
To do this you're probably going to pay a lot of money for a large internet connection that will sit idle most of the time along with all of the servers you'll need to fill that pipe. It would sure be great to have that infrastructure without having to pay for it, physically build it and then run it. The great thing is you don't have to anymore.
I will explain how I have solved this scaling problem using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to allow InfoGears to have bandwidth on demand and achieve needed scalability for our applications and client websites without a large effort in a extremely cost effective manner.
I'll explain how to use Apache 2.2, BIND and some Perl to make everything work together and result in a solution that is simple to use, scalable and reliable. So if your interested in how to lower your hosting costs, decrease the load on your web servers or just how to prepare to handle things when your videos go viral this will be a presentation for you.
Wow, that sounds very interesting. Please pass this along to anyone outside of the BozemanLUG who you think might be interested.
Want to know why Dell is offering Linux on desktops and laptops for home and small business? They've made a video.
I like how they say that Linux is easier to use in some cases than MacOS and Windows... and in some cases not. They don't do too bad of a job.
Just so you are aware... two days ago a bug was announced in Linux kernels 2.6.17 and above... that will give a local user root access. Here's info with the exploit code:
I have verified that the exploit compiles and works. I was able to get root on stock Fedora, RHEL and CentOS machines running the 2.6.18 or above kernels. Supposedly all distros running a 2.6.17 or later kernel are affected... even those running with the grsecurity patches.
I was unable to get root on an OpenVZ patched kernel but the exploit did cause a kernel panic that locked the machine I tried it on. I didn't want to crash any more machines so I didn't try any more. I've heard (but have not verified) that Linux-Vserver is affected on both the host node and inside of containers although exploits done within containers only get root of the container and are still trapped inside of it. Your milage may vary. Kernels prior to 2.6.17 are not affected. I hope vendors have fixes for this RSN... although I have heard that the current fix is not complete.
Update: The bug got fixed upstream late Sunday... and has found its way into a number of distro updates including Debian, rPath, Fedora, and PCLinuxOS. Red Hat, after the QA process, just released this morning (Tuesday). It seems that distros or kernel releases based on distro release updates will take a bit longer... CentOS and OpenVZ for example.
Update: 02/13/08 CentOS has released updated kernel packages.