I would consider myself an unlikely Linux ambassador. Not that I hide any Linux use or fascination but that I am not out there on a mission to encourage or convert people to Linux. Mostly it would be an occasional conversation about me using Linux for something or a conversation where I am explaining that there are more operating systems then just Windows or OS X. Most of the time my Linux conversations are with those that already have some connection to Linux. To be honest I have probably been a much bigger "Ambassador" to LibreOffice than to Linux; and I am not an uber LibreOffice or ODF fan boy but one that believes for most basic users it will work just fine without all the Microsoft expense. All of that has taken a slight detour within the past couple of weeks.
At the end of April I was finally able to do something "geeky" by attending LinuxFest Northwest (check box in the 'ol geek bucket list). It's not that the sessions where so enlightening or life altering that I have been sending up Linux smoke signals from the Bridger mountains or anything like that; although they were informative and enjoyable. Nor was I overpowered and brain washed by the four guys I carpooled with for the 14'ish hour drives. Although we did have some good conversations some regarding Linux and some regarding Open Source issues, and to say none of it has had an influence on any of my views would be untrue. I did come back from LinuxFest Northwest with a more renewed interest in Linux and have been using Fedora now almost exclusively outside of work. I also returned with what I consider some cool SWAG. Now it's the SWAG that's the most important thing of all right? I came back with a nice black Fedora t-shirt that I thought fellow carpooler dowdle was going to mug me for, a beanie with GNU printed on it from the Free Software Foundation that I purchased, and a hippie looking acid dyed t-shirt promoting Linux and LinuxFest Northwest 2015 which I also purchased. I have been intentionally wearing them when I can.
My first "Ambassador" moment came when my oldest boy asked me about the GNU printed on my beanie. This gave me an opportunity, as well as a challenge, to explain to an almost 9 year old what GNU meant within the context of the Free Software Foundation. This included the discussion of locked down proprietary software and the negatives of such as well as the pro's of software that is open and free to improve or be fixed. In addition to my oldest son being in the car with me I also had two of my other boys one of which was listening to the conversation intently as well.
My second "Ambassador" moment came about on a quick trip to Walmart. I was once again wearing my GNU beanie. I was in the produce area and walked near a Latino family whose dad looked in my direction. Shortly thereafter his family passed by me and as he did he looked at me, smiled, and said "GNU huh?" and kept walking. Now it is certainly possible he thought my beanie was promoting the Wildebeest but I like to think he knew it was in reference to Free Software.
The third and most recent "Ambassador" moment once again took place at my local Walmart store a little after eleven at night. This time I was wearing my "Peace, Love and Linux", LinuxFest Northwest t-shirt. I had just finished checking out at one of the self checkout stations and ended up having a conversation with gentleman named Keith (we exchanged names as we parted ways). Keith saw my shirt and asked me if I used Linux which turned into a nice conversation. Now Keith knew of Linux and knew of OpenOffice but that was probably all. It's even possible Keith had an experience long ago or perhaps he has just read about Linux and OpenOffice but beyond that I would say Keith was someone that probably had some degree of interest in Linux. He asked me the usual questions of how easy or hard it was to install these days and where could a person get Linux, did you have to look on eBay? I told him he could just download it from the distribution's website. Told him briefly about the DistroWatch website which a person could find links to the actual distributions websites. I told him most users probably used Ubuntu or some derivative of Ubuntu or they probably used Fedora. I told him either one should install and work just fine on most hardware. He asked about OpenOffice which led to a discussion of OpenOffice and the origins of LibreOffice and which one was probably the best to use and how most distributions most likely included it by default. I even explained how LibreOffice was also available for Windows and OS X too. All in all it was an enjoyable conversation that lasted several minutes and ended in a hand shake and the exchanging of names. Keith also verified a couple of times the names of the two distributions (Ubuntu & Fedora) I had recommended. Now I have no idea if Keith will actually try installing Linux or try using LibreOffice. Nor do I know if he will have a good experience or a bad experience if he does decide to try using Open Source software. What I do know is that because I simply wore an article of clothing promoting Linux, Keith saw an opportunity to express an interest in something to someone that might be able to answer questions and provide some first hand feedback.
I have never really found a way to "get involved" with a project before as I am not a coder, have no deep comprehension of the inner workings of Linux, nor do I feel I would make a good candidate for documentation writing. This wasn't a bad way to get involved and to be honest it was a lot easier and more enjoyable then attempting to submit a bug report.
I'm a sucker for history videos... and I enjoyed the trip back in time that these were. While I was aware of the feuds that existed in UNIX-land and UNIX-GUI-land back from the early days I didn't witness it personally... so the first two expose some of that. The third video shows what moving from Windows 95 to Windows 98 was like... including the Linux alternative with an interview with Linus himself. Enjoy!
The Computer Chronicles: UNIX (1985)
The Computer Chronicles: UNIX (1989)
Computer Chronicles: Windows 98 and Linux
This was released by the Linux Foundation yesterday and I thought I'd share. Enjoy!
LinuxCon 2013 Europe was this week... and videos from it have started being published. Here's a video with our favorite Linux leader about the future of the Linux kernel. Enjoy!
Oh, and here is the Kernel Developer Panel
I saw this mentioned on the Fedora Planet. Andy Grover gives a presentation on The Linux Way and how while it is based on The Unix Way, it has been updated for a new era. The real content starts about 4 minutes into it. Enjoy!
The KVM Forum 2011 was held at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, Canada on August 15-16. It was co-located with LinuxCon North America 2011.
LinuxCon and the KVM Forum were both sponsored by The Linux Foundation who recorded a large number of videos from both events. Unfortunately, The Linux Foundation had few security breaches to deal with on their kernel.org and linux.com domains which (I'm guessing) has greatly delayed them doing post-production work on the recordings and posting them publicly.
I found that Red Hat had recently posted a handful of the KVM Forum videos to YouTube but since they were only available in the flv and mp4 formats, I decided to re-encode them and post them to archive.org as webm (a free, open source, non-patent encumbered video format). I think archive.org is really a better place for them. Red Hat released them under a Creative Commons, Attribution - No Derivative Works 3.0 License. I have not altered the videos in any way other than re-encoding them to webm in a smaller resolution (624x352) and bitrate (664Kbit) making them one half to one third of the original filesize yet maintaining reasonable quality. Modern Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera browsers can play webm as can stand-alone players like VLC, Totem, and mplayer.
They are all highly technical presentations for those interested in the nitty-gritty details of the Linux KVM virtualization Hypervisor. I have embedded the first, short keynote video below and given download URLs for the rest. Thanks to Red Hat for posting them!
One thing to note is that the camera / recording is statically positioned and does not show the presenter slides so I have also included the links to the slide decks in PDF format. For a better understanding, you are strongly encouraged to look at the slides while watching the videos. Also be warned that some presenters may occasionally use curse words.
Here's a zip file containing all slide decks in PDF format for all of the presentations.
|Alexander Graf - AHCI Doing Storage right||105 MB / PDF|
|Allen Kay, Intel - Intel Graphics Virtualization on KVM||57.3 MB / PDF|
|Alon Levy, Red Hat - SPICE Roadmap||88.9 MB / PDF|
|Andrew Theurer, IBM - Improving the Out-of-box Performance When Using KVM||210.9 MB / PDF|
|Anthony Liguori, IBM Linux Technology Center - Keynote Address Day 2||43.1 MB / PDF|
|Anthony Liguori, IBM Technology Center - Code Generation for Fun and Profit||128.7 MB / PDF|
|Asias He, Beihang University - Native Linux KVM tool||113.1 MB / PDF|
|Avi Kivity, Red Hat - Keynote Address, Day 1||36.9 MB / PDF|
|Avi Kivity, Red Hat - Performance Monitoring for KVM Guests||148.4 MB / PDF|
|Bryan Cantrill, VP Engineering, Joyent - Experiences Porting KVM to SmartOS||199.1 MB / PDF|
|Conrad Wood, ProfitBricks - Geographically distributed HPC Clouds using KVM||119.8 MB / PDF|
|Dan Kenigsberg, Red Hat - VDSM is now Free||145.2 MB / PDF|
|Daniel Berrange, Red Hat - Introduction to libvirt APIs for KVM||160.5 MB / PDF|
|Gerd Hoffmann, Red Hat - Fixing the USB disaster||148.4 MB / PDF|
|Jagane Sundar - Livebackup - Full and Incremental Disk Backups of Running VMs||136.2 MB / PDF|
|Jan Kiszka, Siemens AG - Using KVM as a Real-Time Hypervisor||132.6 MB / PDF|
|Kevin Wolf, Red Hat - The Reinvention of qcow2||148.1 MB / PDF|
|Lucas Meneghel Rodrigues, Red Hat - Making KVM autotest useful for KVM developers||152.1 MB / PDF|
|Marcelo Tosatti, Red Hat - QEMU: live block copy||72.4 MB / PDF|
|Mark Wagner, Red Hat - KVM Performance Improvements and Optimizations||107.3 MB / PDF|
|Markus Armbruster, Red Hat - QEMU's device model qdev||59.1 MB / PDF|
|Michael S. Tsirkin, Red Hat - Virtio Networking Status Update||86.2 MB / ODP|
|Paul Lu, University of Alberta - Low-Latency, High-Bandwidth Use Cases for Nahanni/ivshmem||149.5 MB / PDF|
|Paul Mackerras, IBM LTC Ozlabs - KVM on the IBM POWER7 Processor||164.5 MB / PDF|
|Ricardo M. Matinata, IBM Linux Technology Center - Implementing a Hardware Appliance||188.4 MB / PDF|
|Rik van Riel, Red Hat - Guest Memory Overcommit: Free page hinting & more||106.0 MB / PDF|
|Ryan Harper, IBM Linux Technology Center - Keep a Limit On It: IO Throttling in QEMU||89.7 MB / PDF|
|Stefan Hajnoczi, IBM & Paolo Bonzini, Red Hat - Virtio SCSI: An alternative virtualized storage stack for KVM||142.2 MB / PDF|
|Stuart Yoder, Freescale Semiconductor - KVM on Embedded Power Architecture Platforms||125.6 MB / PDF|
|Yoshi Tamura, Midokura - Network Virtualization||101.3 MB / PDF|
The Linux Foundation has put together a 20th Anniversary of Linux Gallery with a timeline and a lot of donated items from various companies and members of the Linux community. As luck would have it, I ripped this from youtube so I could repost it in webm format and noticed that in the original the metadata for the audio stream said -
creation_time : 1970-01-01 00:00:00. While that isn't quite true for Linux, which was started in 1991, it is basically the Epoch time considered to be the start of the UNIX universe. :)
If you can't play it in your browser, you can download it here:
20th_Anniversary_of_Linux_Gallery_Tour.webm (29 MB, ~6 min)
Our friend Ed Dunnigan wrote saying:
It is my impression the Linux users and Distros are sitting on our hands. We seem to have arrived.
I wonder how many new Linux users are out there now? I pull down three Linux Users Groups and it has been a long long time since I saw a new user asking questions. I have been using Linux since about '95 or so, and with my aging problem (memory loss) I always learned a lot at users group meetings. Now it seems to me the recent presentations I have noted are very specialised. Not the general subject about Linux.
Have we, The Linux Community, given up trying for new users?
I'll give my response and I encourage everyone to reply with theirs too.
2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Linux kernel. But when exactly was it created? One of the first milestones we have was the original comp.os.minix newsgroup posting that Linus wrote announcing his unnamed new OS. Here's a recreation of that posting:
From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).
I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)
PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
So that post was sent out on August 25 but it is obvious that Linux has been around for a while... since April... but when was it started? I'm sure a better history is documented somewhere. I guess I'll break out one of my copies of Just for Fun and see if I can find it.
I'm not even sure at what point working name was changed from Freax to Linux. Note that in Linus' post, he doesn't give it a name. I welcome comments from others on what they remember! I started using Linux a little late myself... in January of 1995.
Oh... and it sounds like a good reason to have a party... but when and where? Anyone?
This is a quick video from The Linux Foundation. It is just a little over one minute long and compares Operating Systems to cars.