Sabtu, 29 September 2012



  • New distribution base: Ubuntu 12.04, providing new versions of all the packages and services managed by Zentyal.
  • Improved performance: there is now a global cache to speed up all the requests to the Redis configuration backend. Also, the MVC framework uses now a new model load system to save some CPU processing and to reduce memory usage.
  • Improved reliability: new locking and transactions systems have been developed to avoid any risk of data incoherences or corruptions.
  • Samba 4 integration: a full replacement of the Windows Server Active Directory, which allows Zentyal to join as additional controller of an existing AD Domain.
  • Kerberos integration: single authentication for HTTP Proxy, Mail and Zarafa groupware, in addition to File Sharing which is already provided by Samba.
  • New look & feel for the Web interface along with usability improvements.
  • New Master-Slave architecture: now it's easier than ever to synchronize your users between several Zentyal servers.
  • New UPS module:it helps to keep your server always up and running in case power outages.
  • New Thin Clients module using the popular LTSP software.
  • Reviewed HTTP Proxy with a simpler interface and improved filtering by time period.
  • Zarafa 7.1: a new version of the groupware suite featuring a new web interface, multi-domain support and web chat integration.
  • Support for advanced NAT rules in Firewall module

Important Notes


It will be possible to easily upgrade from a existing Zentyal 2.2 installation to Zentyal 3.0. However you'll have to wait some weeks until we publish the migration tool for this purpose. Moreover, due to the new base distribution and other mayor changes we can not guarantee that everything will be migrated straightforwardly: a list of known issues and services that will need reconfiguration will be published together with the migration tool.
For those who are already using Zentyal 2.3, you just need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file, replace the 2.3 repository with the 3.0 repositories and upgrade all the packages with: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade


Here are the APT source entries for Zentyal 3.0:
deb precise main
deb 3.0 main extra

About Zentyal

Zentyal, developer of the Linux Small Business Server of the same name, offers small and medium businesses affordable and easy-to-use network infrastructure solutions. By using Zentyal server and its cloud-based services, SMBs are able to improve the reliability and security of their computer network and to reduce their IT investments and operational costs.
Zentyal server development was started in early 2004 and currently it is the open source alternative to Microsoft network infrastructure products aimed at SMBs (Windows Small Business Server, Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Forefront...). Zentyal server is widely used in the small and medium businesses regardless of sector, industry or location as well as in the public administrations or in the educational sector.

OpenSUSE 12.2 In Suse Studio

openSUSE 12.2 was officially released today. It brings updated desktop environments and other software, adds many speedups across the board, offers nicer boot experience with GRUB2 and Plymouth, and contains many other features.

As usual, SUSE Studio supports the new openSUSE release from day one. Just click the Create appliance link after you log in and select the template you like to start with.

openSUSE 12.2 templates in SUSE Studio


You may notice that our cloud formats (EC2 and Azure) are not available for openSUSE 12.2. We are still making changes in Studio code necessary to support them. Once we'll make sure everything works smoothly, we'll enable them.

We also switched-off one-click WebYaST integration because WebYaST in openSUSE 12.2 has a critical bug that prevents users to log in. Once a fixed version is pushed into the update channel, we will enable the support on Studio side.

Testdriving openSUSE 12.2 GNOME desktop
Testdriving openSUSE 12.2 KDE desktop


You can upgrade your older appliances to 12.2 easily. Just go to the Start tab and click the Upgrade button in the bar at the top.

Studio will try to change repositories in your appliance to their 12.2 equivalents and add or remove few packages to ensure everything works smoothly. You can see what exactly was done in the log accessible from the bar at the bottom of the Start tab.

Sometimes the upgraded appliance will need few tweaks to work. Just inspect the log, see what was changed, and apply any additional adjustments.

If you are not satisfied with the upgrade, you can always revert to original version by clicking the Undo upgrade link.

Selasa, 25 September 2012

First alpha of Mandriva Linux 2012 now available

 Mandriva logo

Nearly two months later than originally planned, the first alpha for Mandriva Linux 2012, code-named "Tenacious Underdog", has been released for testing. The new development release upgrades the KDE desktop to version 4.9.0 from August and brings improvements to the distribution's installer, which is now said to be smaller and faster; the installer's text mode is also noted to be working again. Other changes include the complete removal of the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and the switch to Linaro's GCC 4.7 branch, as well as various package updates and bug fixes.

According to Mandriva Linux Project Leader Per Øyvind Karlsen, the alpha was delayed due to "a complex amount of reasons" within the project, including problems with the current build system, described as having become "terminally ill". Due to these build system problems, Karlsen, who is a Chief Architect for Russian firm ROSA, which develops a Mandriva-based desktop distribution called ROSA Marathon, says that the developers will switch to using ROSA's ABF build system, to "give us a more powerful and actively maintained build system for us to use". The move will also help the developers move closer "towards more direct collaboration with ROSA again", added Karlsen.

Minggu, 23 September 2012

SUSE Linux Enterprise Serve Virtualization with Xen

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Virtualization with Xen



1.1. Basic Components


The basic components of a Xen-based virtualization environment are the Xen hypervisor, the Domain0, any number of other VM Guests, and the tools, commands, and configuration files that let you manage virtualization. Collectively, the physical computer running all these components is referred to as a VM Host Server because together these components form a platform for hosting virtual machines.
The Xen Hypervisor
The Xen hypervisor, sometimes referred to generically as a virtual machine monitor, is an open-source software program that coordinates the low-level interaction between virtual machines and physical hardware.
The Domain0
The virtual machine host environment, also referred to as Domain0 or controlling domain, is comprised of several components, such as:
  • The SUSE Linux operating system, which gives the administrator a graphical and command line environment to manage the virtual machine host components and its virtual machines.
    The term Domain0 refers to a special domain that provides the management environment. This may be run either in graphical or in command line mode.
  • The xend daemon (xend), which stores configuration information about each virtual machine and controls how virtual machines are created and managed.
  • A modified version of QEMU, which is an open-source software program that emulates a full computer system, including a processor and various peripherals. It provides the ability to host operating systems in full virtualization mode.
Xen-Based Virtual Machines
A Xen-based virtual machine, also referred to as a VM Guest or DomU consists of the following components:
  • At least one virtual disk that contains a bootable operating system. The virtual disk can be based on a file, partition, volume, or other type of block device.
  • Virtual machine configuration information, which can be modified by exporting a text-based configuration file from xend or through Virtual Machine Manager.
  • A number of network devices, connected to the virtual network provided by the controlling domain.
Management Tools, Commands, and Configuration Files
There is a combination of GUI tools, commands, and configuration files to help you manage and customize your virtualization environment.

1.2. Understanding Virtualization Modes

Guest operating systems are hosted on virtual machines in either full virtualization mode or paravirtual mode. Each virtualization mode has advantages and disadvantages.
  • Full virtualization mode lets virtual machines run unmodified operating systems, such as Windows* Server 2003 and Windows XP, but requires the computer running as the VM Host Server to support hardware-assisted virtualization technology, such as AMD* Virtualization or Intel* Virtualization Technology.
    Some guest operating systems hosted in full virtualization mode, can be configured to run the Novell* Virtual Machine Drivers instead of drivers originating from the operating system. Running virtual machine drivers improves performance dramatically on guest operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. For more information, see Chapter 13, Virtual Machine Drivers.
  • Paravirtual mode does not require the host computer to support hardware-assisted virtualization technology, but does require the guest operating system to be modified for the virtualization environment. Typically, operating systems running in paravirtual mode enjoy better performance than those requiring full virtualization mode.
    Operating systems currently modified to run in paravirtual mode are referred to as paravirtualized operating systems and include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and NetWare® 6.5 SP8.

1.3. Xen Virtualization Architecture

The following graphic depicts a virtual machine host with four virtual machines. The Xen hypervisor is shown as running directly on the physical hardware platform. Note, that the controlling domain is also just a virtual machine, although it has several additional management tasks compared to all other virtual machines.

Figure 1.1. Virtualization Architecture
Virtualization Architecture

On the left, the virtual machine host’s Domain0 is shown running the SUSE Linux operating system. The two virtual machines shown in the middle are running paravirtualized operating systems. The virtual machine on the right shows a fully virtual machine running an unmodified operating system, such as Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP.

1.4. The Virtual Machine Host

After you install the virtualization components and reboot the computer, the GRUB boot loader menu displays a Xen menu option. Selecting the Xen menu option loads the Xen hypervisor and starts the Domain0 running the SUSE Linux operating system.
Running on Domain0, the SUSE Linux operating system displays the installed text console or desktop environment, such as GNOME or KDE. The terminals of VM Guest systems are displayed in their own window inside the controlling Domain0 when opened.

Figure 1.2. Desktop Showing Virtual Machine Manager and Virtual Machines
Desktop Showing Virtual Machine Manager and Virtual Machines

1.5. Supported Virtualization Limits

Although Xen may operate well with extended parameters, its operation on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 is supported only within the limits shown in the tables below. Note that PV stands for paravirtualization, while FV stands for full virtualization.
[Important]Xen 32-bit Hypervisor Removed
Because vast majority of our customers already moved to 64-bit Xen hypervisors, we decided to focus the development and testing efforts to support 64-bit Xen hypervisors only. Therefore the 32-bit flavor of the Xen hypervisor was removed from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2. This means that only 64-bit x86-based VM hosts are supported. This does not affect VM guests - both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors are supported.
[Note]Minimal Required Memory
Please consider that the VM host server needs at least 512 MB of memory. If you are adding virtual machines to it, you must add additional memory to this base requirement.

Table 1.1. Supported Limits per Virtual Machine
VM Limits Xen 4.1
Max. virtual CPUs 32 PV, 16 FV
Max. memory 256 GB
Max. virtual network devices 8
Max. virtual block devices 100 PV, 4 FV (100 with PV drivers)

Table 1.2. Supported Limits for Virtual Host Server
VHS Limits Xen 4.1
Max. physical CPUs 64
Max. dom0 virtual CPUs 64
Max. physical memory 500 GB (dom0), 2 TB (Xen)
Max. block devices 12,000 SCSI logical units
Max. iSCSI devices 128
Max. network cards 8
Max. virtual machines per CPU core 8
Max. virtual machines per VM host 64
Max. virtual devices per VM host 2,048
Max. virtual network cards 64 across all virtual machines in the system

1.6. Supported VM Guests

This section lists the support status for various guest operating systems virtualized on top of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2. All guest operating systems are supported both fully-virtualized and paravirtualized with two exceptions: Windows, which is only supported fully-virtualized, and OES and Netware operating systems which are only supported paravirtualized. All guest operating systems are supported both in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, unless stated otherwise (see Netware).
The following guest operating systems are fully supported:
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2
  • Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3
  • Netware 6.5 SP8 (32-bit only)
  • Windows 2003 SP2+
  • Windows 2008 SP2+
  • Windows 2008 R2+
The following guest operating systems are supported as a technology preview (fixes if reasonable):
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP2
The following guest operating systems are supported on a best-effort basis (fixes if reasonable):
  • Windows XP SP3+
  • Windows Vista SP2+
  • Windows 7 SP1+
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 4.8+
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 5.5+
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.0+
The following guest operating systems will be fully supported when released:
  • Open Enterprise Server 11

1.7. Supported VM Hosts

This section lists the support status of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 running as a guest on top of various virtualization hosts (hypervisors). Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported. There is full support for SUSE host operating (for both, guest and host). There is full support for 3rd party host operating (for guest).
The following SUSE host operating systems are supported:
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP 1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP 2
The following 3rd party host operating systems are supported:
  • VMware ESX 4.1
  • VMware ESXi 4.1
  • Windows 2008 SP2+
  • Windows 2008 R2+
  • Citrix XenServer 5.6 FP1
The following SUSE and 3rd party host operating systems will be supported when released:
  • VMware ESX 4.2
  • VMware ESXi 4.2
  • Citrix XenServer 5.7
  • Windows 2008 future service packs


Jumat, 21 September 2012

Manjaro 0.8.1 XFCE edition released

What is Manjaro Linux?

Manjaro Linux is a Linux Distribution based on well tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and will be 100% compatible with Arch. We manage our repository with our own developed tool called BoxIt which is designed like git.
Our aim is to create a light Linux distribution which is simple, Up to date, Fast, User friendly and which follows the K.I.S.S principle. We are using the Xfce Desktop Environment, Which is lightweight but powerful. Arch Linux is a great GNU Linux distribution, but installation and configuration requires time and experience.
This means for our users, They still have a rolling release but not so fast as Arch-Linux might be. AUR is still usable and you have all features you know from Arch Linux. This way we provide a stable system which is still up to date.
Manjaro Linux provides a more user friendly installation process, Bash scripts for managing graphic drivers, Pre-configured Xfce with some useful extras and a GUI Settings Manager is also under development. But if the Xfce desktop environment is not what you prefer, We are pleased to announce that we have also begun development of both KDE and GNOME versions of Manjaro Linux. Once complete, We will have a full suite of Manjaro Linux versions available to suit all types of Linux users. ;)
Another feature will be our hardware detection. A well known problem is libgl and it’s conflicts with catalyst and nvidia packages. We packed libgl and all proprietary drivers in a different way and manage with mhwd to symlink to the right needed so files. This enables us to support hybrid cards like Nvidia’s optimus system in a simple way. Mhwd can also install all drivers using a database and multiple kernel versions to your system.
To pack this all up we provide live-cds in 3 different flavours:
  • XFCE will be our main desktop released as a CD-Edition to build your desktop on
  • Cinnamon / Gnome is shipped as a DVD-Edition with common used applications
  • last but not least we have also a KDE DVD-Edition featuring all from K3B to Calligra
The Folks at manjaro also did some extra homework and added the fallowing......Check it out!

Enhancements to point out
  • We updated to linux 3.5-series
  • MHWD got better hybrid card support and Optimus works on more card combinations. Some bugs also have been fixed.
  • Our CLI-Installer got improved.
  • A patched LXDM replaces LightDM with a complete new Manjaro theme.
  • Syslinux got a new layout and got translated to followed languages: Argentinian, Brazilian Portuguese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.
  • Followed languages we fully support now: American English, Belarusian, British English, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Deutsch, Espanol, Espanol (Argentina), Francais, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
  • XFCE edition get’s shipped on a DVD with more apps and printer-support out of the box.
  • We added some more support to start Manjaro easier from your USB-Stick
  • Development packages for AUR got added including packer and yaourt
  • All translation-packages get installed during startup and our installer
  • A new drivers-overlay starts our LiveDVD faster
  • Small package updates to fix reported bugs
  • Lot’s of bugfixes since our 0.8.0 release

Selasa, 18 September 2012

High Performance

System 76 Ubuntu preloaded for Work and Play.

System76 - All I Need

Open Suse 12.01 Linux

About Warren Woodford Founder of Mepis Gnu/Linux

Approaching the 45th year of his career, Warren Woodford is one of the most senior people in the computer industry. He was an early adopter who helped shape some of the technologies we take for granted today like desktop computing, software plugins, custom integration, online information at your fingertips, easy to use interfaces, automated (“automagical”) background functionality, and service architecture.
Warren started MEPIS in 2002 as a testbed for learning Linux and with the goal of integrating a Linux distro that met his personal standards–standards that were influenced by working with GUIs at Xerox in the 80s and being a NeXT and now an OSX developer. The result was the well liked desktop Linux distro known as SimplyMEPIS. Warren maintains MEPIS for his own satisfaction and for the benefit of the MEPIS user community. Through MEPIS LLC, Warren continues a successful consulting practice where he and his associates specialize in solving product design and mission critical problems for startups and large corporate clients.

 Sean Campbell: Warren, could you introduce yourself and tell us about some of the things you have worked on during your career?

Warren Woodford: Sure. I’ve been pushing electrons for a very long time. I grew up with what is now the computer industry, and I was already working at almost the VP level when the first microcomputers came along.
My background includes telecommunications, entertainment, field service, mini computers, micro computers, mainframe computers, PCs before they were called PCs, real time processing systems, software for business, software for home, software for government, and tools that people have heard of if they’ve been around a long time–always on the bleeding edge.
That’s the way I worked until the Internet bubble burst, at which time I kind of withdrew and decided to take it easy while the economy was down, not realizing it was going to be so volatile for so long. It was in 2000 or 2001 that I first started looking at Linux.
Aside from the philosophy and technical foundations of Linux, there was a lot there that I really didn’t like, frankly. Because of my background, I had been a champion of GUI interfaces since the early ’80s, and that aspect in particular was very inadequate at the time.
The bottom line is that, when I first found Linux, it was too rough around the edges for me. That represented the possibility of opportunity, not that I was really looking for work. This will piss off a few people, but there was a certain amateur quality about it.
Around 2001 was the first time I used a version of Linux that felt pretty good, which was SUSE, but it also had some significant bugs. It was pretty mature, but it was stiff–just too rigid in the way it did certain things. Mandrake seemed like it was on the right track, but there were bugs in the installation process and things like that.
Still, I felt that there was promise, so I started using Mandrake around 2001, and as I got familiar with everything, I decided that it was marginally good enough. Then, in 2002, Mandrake stumbled badly with their release in the September/October timeframe. They made some big mistakes, in part because of pure hubris.
It was around that point that I started thinking about building a version of Linux, instead of depending on other people. I jumped into it, deciding to pursue it as a way to learn technology that I didn’t know.
It has always turned out that when I learn a new technology, opportunities arise, whether my original reason for getting involved worked out or not. That’s how I got into Linux and decided to develop MEPIS. It was first for myself, and then I decided to see what would happen if I gave it free reign.
It got picked up by Distrowatch and went to #10 in one month, and that told me something. I started spending almost all of my time on it, but then in 2004 I had an injury that laid me up for a long, long time. During that time, MEPIS made it to #1 at Distrowatch, but I couldn’t really do much to maintain it.
Then it slid. Mark Shuttleworth saw opportunity and forked Ubuntu off of Debian. To be clear, I think that has ultimately been good for Debian, and Ubuntu contributes a lot back to the Debian community, but it is clearly a fork.

Sean: What do you think about Ubuntu’s strategy? They contribute upstream–more as of late, in fact–but at the same they time fuzz the distinction for users that Linux is really a collection of sub projects that are traveling in the same direction at roughly the same velocity.
I actually think what he’s trying to do isn’t all that bad, but I may have the luxury of some detached pragmatism. I see it as a logical, commercially driven decision, but I’m curious what you think about it, because you’ve obviously got a lot more history in this than I do.
Warren: I’m not bothered by anything that Ubuntu does. I think that Ubuntu pushes the boundaries regarding purity, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, although that gets me in trouble with some people.
Some people call me a whiner about the GPL, while from my point of view they are the whiners. The GPL deserves to be scrutinized closely and to be debated, as does any legal document that restricts people’s rights. Calling a person a whiner because they care enough to challenge, question, or state positions about something is itself whining.
I think it’s good that Ubuntu challenges the boundaries regarding what is and is not proper open source. I think that what Ubuntu contributes back, both upstream and cross-stream to Debian, is good. And I think that the way that they kicked Debian in the collective butt has been good for Debian.
The fact that Mark is out there trying to make commercial deals actually may or may not make a big difference in the long run, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. For example, I know that a couple of years ago he negotiated with IBM to get Ubuntu approved as a platform for running DB2. That would make it very easy to get that DB2 approval extended to Debian if anybody wanted to, and I think that’s OK.
From the point of view of what’s right and wrong, I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with their fuzzying things a bit, as long as they don’t do it as much as Xandros did. Xandros at one point was blatantly changing copyright, renaming things and such, to make it appear that they had invented KDE or something. I can’t speak for what was in their mind, but something was going on there.
I don’t see Ubuntu doing that. I see them creating projects of their own to build utilities that represent their philosophy about how such things should be done, like the Adept project for a package manager. However if there’s a good product out there already, then there’s no good reason for them to be reinventing the wheel.
I think KPackage has been kind of so-so. On the other hand, I think Synaptic is awfully darn good. But Synaptic is GTK based, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I wouldn’t program in that world. For personal reasons, it would be too inefficient and take too long to do. I wouldn’t program in Python for the same reason.
I don’t see anything wrong with creating or sponsoring Adept, just as I don’t see anything wrong with the idea of starting Ubuntu in the first place. You can complain or you can say that competition’s a good thing.
Mark, for one, is probably not going to pursue something unless there really is a shortcoming to be addressed.
Sean: What about Ubuntu’s OEM strategy? They have done really solid work in getting Toshiba to push Ubuntu, for example, and of course they also have Dell with five systems. They seem to be doing a really bang up job in getting OEMs to ship, promote, and push the Linux based desktop, and that doesn’t even count the netbooks push that’s happening.
Do you think they may have figured out a strategy that could give them a certain position on desktops that others haven’t quite figured out yet?
Warren: An important consideration is that Mark is more or less a billionaire, and he made that money in the computer industry. He can talk to companies like Dell, IBM, Toshiba, and others with a level of credibility that no one else in the Linux industry that I’m aware of can match.
He can get in the door to propose things, and he can get things agreed to that nobody else can. That gives him an advantage when you consider one distro over another, but that’s just how things are.
That’s good for Linux as a whole, and it means that companies like Dell and Toshiba are starting to think about compatibility more than they were before. And that’s a good thing. There are people who have told me, “Hey, this is really great. I bought a Dell machine with Ubuntu and then put SimplyMEPIS on it and it all worked.”
Sean: You’ve got Intel producing video drivers and wireless drivers and you’ve got network managers, so this is where the Ubuntu fuzzing works both for and against you. On the one hand, it makes the user feel like the network manager is Ubuntu’s network manager, even though it isn’t, really. On the other hand, they can just go stick a different distro on it.
Warren: Yes. In that regard, they’re having a positive impact on Linux compatibility with mainstream hardware, by getting the mainstream hardware companies to think a little bit about compatibility.

Scott Swigart: How much difference is there, from an application developer’s perspective, between different Linux distros? And how much work is that to take into account, and how much does something like the Linux Standard Base help with that?
To put it another way, for an application developer, how much effort is it to support and test and ensure that you’re compatible with lots of different Linux distributions? And how much of that work is done by the app developer versus the distros themselves?
Warren: That is a very big question. About three years ago, some of the biggest companies in the computer industry brought together some Debian affiliated companies like mine regarding this very question. They wanted to explore having Debian-based Linux as a competitor for Red Hat and Novell, and it gave rise to the ill-fated Debian Common Core Consortium.
Those conversations arose from this very issue. You couldn’t have commercial applications or commercial support for a particular Linux distro without a known, stable base. That plays out at different levels, because it depends on what kind of application it is. If it’s something for server, then probably, you only care about a core set of packages.
You can have a core set of packages, and you can have standards around that. If you do, then at the very lowest foundational level, companies that are considering something commercial related to Linux have a common base that they can rely on. But what’s the real core if you’re running a practical application?
And if we’re not using straight X, then what toolkit are you using, and what version? Consider the case of Acrobat Reader for Linux. How are you going to release Acrobat Reader in a way that runs cross distro, when each distro and each release of each distro may have different versions of key libraries?
Adobe does it by basically bundling those libraries, so they only have to rely on the very minimum number of compatible packages, or libraries, on a particular release.
From the point of view of an application developer, the problem is that every distro and every release of every distro has variations in what versions of core packages are installed. And because each distro has a different philosophy about long term maintainability and about stability of the distro, it’s a moving target forever.
You know, it’s a miracle that Firefox works so wonderfully. Those guys are incredible, and so are the Open Office people. Figuring out how to write code that is compatible with so many different versions of libraries to run with or be compiled against is a huge job. This is where Linux has a really big disadvantage when it comes to building complicated applications that you want to distribute broadly.
Scott: Educate me on the Linux Standard Base. What you basically said is that it’s a moving target forever. How much does the Linux Standard Base do to alleviate that? It feels kind of like POSIX back in the day.
Warren: In my opinion, LSB doesn’t do a lot for that. LSB provides some value, like POSIX provides some value, but it doesn’t resolve all the issues.
New releases of MEPIS are still on top of Debian, which acts like a stable core or foundation on which MEPIS is built. If you take the latest version of OpenOffice and recompile it for Debian Lenny, OpenOffice 3.0 will compile in that environment. But OpenOffice 3.0 will not compile on top of Etch, because so many things have changed. One of the things that happens is that a lot of libraries change over time–names of libraries, APIs, and entire philosophies change.
Underneath it all, Linux represents a very active developer community in various areas with people trying out new ideas or making improvements. Without them being coordinated with or accountable to projects like OpenOffice, or Firefox or whomever, it’s a real challenge to build a stable distro or to build a complex application and have it be compatible.

Scott: There seems to be a lot of pressure as companies become more comfortable with Linux, to move from the paid distributions to the free ones, because they find that they’re not picking up the phone. They are not making a lot of support calls and things like that.
On the other hand, if we are at conference and we walk up to the Red Hat booth and ask them about that, their response is typically that the Linux market overall is growing, and it’s only going to be a small percentage of the total number of Linux users that go from free to fee. They are just happy to see the overall market grow.
Warren: In general, corporate America wants something that is supported officially. You can argue about why that is, and it may be a bit cynical to say so, but my impression is that people in companies can’t afford to take the chance of guaranteeing something themselves.
You are in a company and you are working toward retirement. You have a good job with benefits, and you do not want to say, “Well, let’s use this free version of Linux. I guarantee you it will be fine, and we will take care of any problems that come up.”
People don’t want to do that in the corporate world. They want say, “Well, Gartner says this thing over here is great and will work fine for our purposes. They have an annual support contract, and they’re an established company, so we can go with this.” The company can feel comfortable, and everybody up the food chain can be held blameless if something goes wrong.
I think that is the number one driving factor for free versions of Linux not being used in corporate America, except covertly or in very special circumstances where management is used to taking risks. Some industries are more risk-averse than others, of course.
The commercial versions of Linux also offer extras that the free versions don’t. If you look at Red Hat versus Fedora or Novell versus SUSE, they are offering extra things, like guaranteed update schedules, tiered support, and other kinds of extras. For example, their versions also contain extra utilities that facilitate and manage enterprise deployment of Linux.
Now, a small company can sure start out with Red Hat and switch to Fedora, and in a ten-person company with a good technical person in house, that could work out fine. For the most part, though, that won’t happen in larger companies except where risk taking is the norm.
Scott: Do you see that changing over the next five years or so? Do you see some of those larger, somewhat risk-averse companies realizing that there is money that they could be saving by not writing a big check every year, if they haven’t been having the problems they were worried about?
Warren: They absolutely will consider writing a smaller check to a different company, but I don’t see them going with something that is completely free and open source unless it is not critical to their operations.
I know of a recent scenario where a company had no approved product for doing a translation; if I remember correctly, it was a transform between PDF and TIFF. They couldn’t find a commercial product that exactly met their requirements and was approved by their enterprise architecture organization.
Since they couldn’t get enterprise architecture to suggest a product, they went with something open source. But that’s a minor usage of an open source product. I guarantee that same company won’t use Linux as a platform OS. They hang their hat on IBM big iron and AIX.
In the corporate world, it’s largely not a matter of writing a check or not–it’s more writing a big check versus a smaller one, where the person championing it to upper management isn’t going to get hung if something doesn’t work.
People will be bothered if there’s a big problem with some software, but if the company is big enough and proper due diligence was done, then nobody is going to be fired if it doesn’t work out.

Scott: What about the year of the Linux desktop?
Warren: It’s never going to happen. Sorry.
Scott: Why not?
Warren: There’s a chicken and egg problem with getting it on the desktops, where no matter how much Mark Shuttleworth does, Michael Dell is not going to tell Bill Gates where to go. No one is going to forget that Microsoft’s the big game in town, no matter how much Microsoft stumbles.
Mark Shuttleworth can spend his entire billion dollars on trying to make Ubuntu good enough to shoot down Microsoft on the desktop and that won’t change. It goes back to what I was saying earlier about the fragmentation in the Linux market.
You don’t have one set of products against which you can build commercial software, or do commercial deployment, or even long term enterprise deployment. It’s doable with Ubuntu, but it’s not a no brainer, although Novell and Red Hat are trying to address that part.
Right now, I don’t know of a single major corporation that would go with Linux on the desktop for one reason–no Visio. Until OpenOffice does a Visio clone, you can forget it.
Sean: That reminds me of a story. Wikipedia went to Ubuntu recently for all their servers, but they still have one Windows machine to run QuickBooks, which runs their financials.
There’s the problem, right? And it leads to the question, if you were king for a day, what is a reasonable goal for Linux on the desktop?
Is it netbooks, where because it can be thin and light, it’s kind of a doorway to the Internet? And then if you want to leverage all those other locally installed apps, you have to go over to the Windows thick client? That scenario is a bit like the way Apple is carving out a niche with a certain set of consumers.
Warren: Like I said, Linux desktops cannot win in big business as long as there is no Visio clone. They can’t win in small business because of the very thing you mentioned–QuickBooks. Small companies all seem to use it.
On the other hand, some things that are happening right now, like Nokia buying Trolltech and Google inventing Android, can shed light on where the opportunity lies.
In other words, appliances are a place where Linux, with a GUI, can land and really thrive in my opinion–not the desktop we’d normally think of.
Scott: We talked to someone from Mandriva, and his impression was that by focusing on the Linux desktop, people are missing the boat. He suggests that Linux is going to bypass the desktop altogether, because people are looking for the day when won’t need their laptop on the road, because they have a phone and similar devices that are sufficiently capable.
So Linux is not well suited for the desktop, as we know it, but it might be very well suited for what comes after the desktop. Even if the desktop always remains as a mainline use case, there are going to be other scenarios with handheld devices.
Linux shouldn’t really be aiming at where people have been, it should be aiming at where they’re going, and it might be better suited for that.
Warren: I think that’s exactly where it is going, and it is happening right now, specifically with things like Android and Nokia. Notice that in the handheld arena, you don’t probably want QuickBooks or Visio.
Because these application markets are just getting established, if you make sure that the environments support the major toolkits for developing applications for those environments, you’re not going to fall short.
To touch back on Linux on the conventional desktop, though, I use MEPIS for everything I do. I just spent a year on site in a corporate environment, and I used MEPIS everyday.
Almost everybody there was using Windows, but my Citrix connections were better, and so was my wireless connection within the corporate environment. Through Citrix, I was able to use Microsoft apps. An individual can absolutely use Linux for their desktop and have very little that they’re falling short on.
I also run all kinds of things in Virtual Box. Actually, for MEPIS, I do a recompile of the open source Virtual Box, because since Sun took over, they’ve been a little behind on recompiling the open source edition. If you’re using a 2.6.26 or a 2.6.27 kernel, you can’t run a guest on Virtual Box unless you have Virtual Box Version 2.0.2 or better.
The bottom line is that I can run Windows in Virtual Box, and I can run all kinds of test scenarios in Virtual Box. I can run from whichever 32 or 64 bit version of MEPIS I want. My main development machine is a MacPro, so I can even run OS X when I need to do that. It gives me one heck of an environment as a developer.
Scott: I want to be sensitive to the time, so is there anything you want to add in closing?

Warren: Earlier you asked about what I thought was not given as much attention as perhaps it might be. To follow up on that, there are reasons for DNSSEC and IPv6, for example, to be implemented and used.
The circles that I run in, I haven’t heard much talk about DNSSEC or IPv6, except very recently. I think that with IPv4 running out of IP addresses, IPv6 has to come along really soon. But the problem is infrastructure not OSes; I think most Linuxes can do IPv6 out of the box. MEPIS certainly does.
DNSSEC, though, has been with us for 16 years now as a concept, and it hasn’t been implemented. It should greatly improve security on the Internet regarding spoofing and things like that, and there’s work being done to actually implement it now. Still, though, I don’t hear much being said about it, and I don’t know to what degree people are getting ready for it or considering implementing it sooner rather than later.
The .gov domain is going to start implementing DNSSEC January 1st. There are trials that have been done, I believe, for .com and .org, but if you look to see what’s been done regarding integrating DNSSEC in user applications, there’s practically nothing.
It’s all at the experimental stage. To go to a website and be able to identify immediately that it does not have a valid DNS record would be a great thing. That’s something that I would hope that the Firefox project is going to put in the next release, but I don’t know that they are.
Sean: Those are great points. Thanks for taking the time to talk today.
Warren: Thank you.

MEPIS A Linux operating system based on Debian Stable GET MEPIS NOW!

KDM Login Screen
MEPIS Linux is a user-friendly operating system based on Debian Stable that “just works”. It comes live, meaning it runs from your CD/DVD or USB drive so you can use it on your Windows or Mac machines without installing. Clicking an icon on your desktop will step you through what is arguably the easiest Linux installer around, and you will be up and going in no time. MEPIS comes with much of the software most users need, and hundreds of additional open-source programs are just a click away--Community members keep you up-to-date. Finally, great user support is available from a complete Manual, a rich Wiki, and a very friendly Forum.


The MEPIS Linux LiveDVD or LiveUSB (LiveMedia) that you have just opened combines a bootable operating system with an installer--that means you can test-run MEPIS Linux directly from this media without touching your existing Windows system. This way, your current applications and data are not at any risk while you explore and test this new OS.
This LiveMedia will operate nearly identically to a MEPIS Linux installation on your hard disk, and it presents you with the actual full MEPIS desktop for you to work with. Speed while using the LiveDVD will be limited by your computer environment (because it is running from your DVD-ROM), so please be patient as programs load; a LiveUSB will be much snappier. Once installed and running from your hard-drive, you will find MEPIS Linux runs very quickly.
When you decide you are ready to try MEPIS, you can then use this LiveMedia to install the operating system, either alongside your current operating system ("dual boot") or on its own. We'll guide you through that later.


MEPIS Linux builds directly on the highly popular Linux version called Debian, which itself derives from the GNU-Linux operating system formed in the early 1990s from the merger of a Unix-type kernel and a free, open-source software environment. Thousands of volunteers around the world work to keep this operating system current.
Now in existence for more than nine years, MEPIS Linux was started and is still maintained by Warren Woodford. This industry veteran and independent consultant ( continues to strive for a user-friendly operating system that "just works." Behind him stands a vibrant community that contributes to development and support.

Kamis, 13 September 2012

OpenSUSE Tutorials

OpenSUSE Tutorials
The Novell sponsored OpenSUSE distribution is developed by the community driven OpenSUSE Project and holds a secure spot as one of the most popular distributions available. OpenSUSE focuses on bringing users a well-rounded desktop full of graphical enhancements and innovative OpenSUSE tools. YaST control center, ZYpp package management, the OpenSUSE Build Service, Xgl and Compiz are just a few of the impressive tools available in OpenSUSE


Automate Install With AutoYaST Answer Files

  1. Building a reference file
  2. Editing the file
    a. Disk Partitioning
    b. Boot Loader
    c. User
    d. Networking
  3. Running the install with AutoYaST

Building a Reference File

During the installation of openSUSE you can clone your installation to make an answer file. If that was not chosen though, it is still easy to create after the install though YaST after the event. I would suggest though, whichever way the answer file is created it will still want some tuning with a text editor afterwards. With openSUSE the autoyast editor is not installed by default, so we need to add this with:
zypper in autoyast2
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
Once this is successfully installed you will be able to access this in YaST, the main SUSE control panel, in the Miscellaneous Section > Autoinstallation
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
Selecting the program icon then will take you into the answer file editor. From the tools menu, found at the top, we can then select: “Create Reference Profile”. This allows an answer file to be created from the current, or host machine settings. We can choose which settings we want to copy and then select ok.
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
The editor is OK and we can choose some configurations that we want to copy, like the boot loaded, date and time, keyboard, package selection etc. Some of these settings will need editing after and with others, it is simply easiest to add the configuration to the XML file directly.
With the file created choose save as from the menu and in my case, for the demonstration, I will save to /install/11-4/oss.xml. This location is accessible as my web installation source.

Editing to answer file

To edit the file directly you can use any text editor, I will use VI but it is personal choice. The YaST editor is ok but, as with so many GUI tools, it simply cannot set everything exactly the way you want or need. Many of the setting relate to specific resources like the disk-id of the host machine or the MAC Address of the host. If we were to clone the users and groups, all users and groups are cloned, even the system accounts. This is not required as the accounts are created as services are installed. I would see the YaST tool as a starting point from then on edits can be made with the text editor.

Disk Partitioning

Unless we need a specific partitioning scheme we can allow autoyast to build the partition table for us and format the volumes. This will provide for a swap partition and a root partition. For simple desktops and servers this is enough and keeps the configuration really simple:
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
Being an XM file we start with <partitioning> and close with </partitioning>. We then add a <drive>. We do not mention the device name so the first drive found is used, the partition table is wiped and <use>all</use> denotes the auto-partitioning.


This is easy to clone but we need to make sure that we delete any reference to disks by their ID and replace with device names.
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
From the partial <bootloader> XML section we can see the grub stanzas point to disk/by-id entries. This, then, is pointing to unique identifiers on the cloned machine. We need to change these to device names, such as, for the resume (swap) entry /dev/sda1 and the root entry /dev/sda2:
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
Check the whole of the bootloader section for these types of entries. I have also removed the stanzas for the failsafe mode and floppy boot as they are not required.


It is easy to add your own user section. If you use the YaST tool, it will clone all users and groups. We only need to create the root user and perhaps one other standard user. All other system users and groups are created as required.
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
Each user will appear in the <users> XML section delineated but <user></user>. Here , the user root has been added with a clear text password. For added security, use the output of the normal passwd command to generate an encrypted password. The encrypted flag would then be set to true.


Take great care and caution when cloning the networking settings, it is easy to have misconfigurations with MAC Address being included which relate to the host machine. Once you have a Networking section created it become easy to copy, personally, I have become used to using my own Networking section.
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST

Installing using the answer file

Once created there may be a little debugging left. However, we need to test with a sample build to work out what is working and what is not. Building on to a virtual machine is just perfect as we can always revert to saved version of the VM to test again and again. It will not take long until you have the perfect answer file. If you are installing using the PXE boot setup we have created we then need to add the autoyast file entry into the /srv/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default file.
OpenSUSE Install With AutoYaST
The addition being to the append line: autoyast=
The install then should proceed unhindered and without input from yourself other than to select the install option from the PXE menu.

Create a Script to test Network Connection

 Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope what you learn here, will be for doing good or Justice to the World!

Create a Script called .  The purpose of the script is to check network connectivity but in the process to learn how testing works as well.  Remember, when you execute a script and it is successful you will get a return of “0″ and if it is unsuccessful you will get any other number.
1. Create the script
ping -c 2 $SITE > /dev/null
if [ $? != 0 ]
echo $(date +%F)
echo Problems with the network!

This variable is used for the site to test against.  You could build in the gateway, another server, etc. if you wanted to.
ping -c 2 $SITE > /dev/null
You will use ping and only ping the site 2 times, with the output being sent to /dev/null so it is not on screen.
if [ $? != 0 ]
This is a test that states that the success must be “0″, in other words the site must be up or it will send a message to the screen.
To test this change to does not accept pings) and you should see the error message.
echo $(date +%F)
echo Problems with the network!
This reports the error message and the date if the ping is unsuccessful.
2. Test the script and then use other domains

Kamis, 06 September 2012

Development Release: Slackware Linux 14.0 RC4

Slackware 13.37 is released!
 It's true! Slackware 13.37 has been released. Nearly a year in the making, you will appreciate the performance and stability that can only come with careful and rigorous testing. Slackware 13.37 uses the Linux kernel (hence our new $SLACKWARE_VERSION.$KERNEL_VERSION naming system used for this release ;-), and also ships with kernels for those who want to run the latest (and also includes configuration files for and 2.6.39-rc4). The long-awaited Firefox 4.0 web browser is included, the X Window System has been upgraded (and includes the open source nouveau driver for nVidia cards). The venerable Slackware installer has been improved as well, with support for installing to btrfs (for those who would like to try a new copy on write filesystem), a one-package-per-line display mode option, and alienBOB's big surprise: an easy to set up PXE install server that runs right off the DVD! More details may by found in the official announcementand in the release notes. For a complete list of included packages, see the package list.
Please consider supporting the Slackware project by picking up a copy of the Slackware 13.37 release from the Slackware Store. The discs are off to replication, but we're accepting pre-orders for the official 6 CD set and the DVD. The CD set is the 32-bit x86 release, while the DVD is a dual-sided disc with the 32-bit x86 release on one side and the 64-bit x86_64 release on the other. And, we still have T-shirts (coming soon, a limited edition 13.37 release commemorative black T-shirt with the classic Slackware logo on the front, and a "leet" LILO bootscreen on the back) and other Slackware stuff there, so have a look around. Thanks to our subscribers and supporters for keeping Slackware going all these years.

Slackware Linux

Development Release: NetBSD 6.0 RC1


NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system. It is available for a wide range of platforms, from large-scale servers and powerful desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent for use in both production and research environments, and the source code is freely available under a business-friendly license. NetBSD is developed and supported by a large and vivid international community. Many applications are readily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection. » Learn more
» Latest release: NetBSD 5.1.2
NetBSD 5.1.2, the second feature update of the NetBSD 5.1 branch, was released on February 2, 2012. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons. NetBSD 5.1.2 is dedicated to the memory of Yoshihiro Masuda, who passed away in May 2011. » Full 5.1.2 Release Notes
A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, and other services may be found at the NetBSD mirror sites page. We encourage users who wish to install via ISO images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the ISO image area.

Distribution Release: openSUSE 12.2

 File:OpenSUSE 12.2 GNOME overview.png

The latest release of the world’s most powerful and flexible Linux Distribution brings you speed-ups across the board with a faster storage layer in Linux 3.4 and accelerated functions in glibc and Qt, giving a more fluid and responsive desktop. The infrastructure below openSUSE has evolved, bringing in mature new technologies like GRUB2 and Plymouth and the first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy. Users will also notice the added polish to existing features bringing an improved user experience all over. The novel Btrfs file system comes with improved error handling and recovery tools, GNOME 3.4, developing rapidly, brings smooth scrolling to all applications and features a reworked System Settings and Contacts manager while XFCE has an enhanced application finder.
“We are proud of this release, maintaining the usual high openSUSE quality standards.” said Andrew Wafaa from the openSUSE Board. “The delay in the schedule caused by our growth in the last two years means we have to work on scaling our processes. Now this release is out and with the upcoming openSUSE conference in October in Prague, the community has time and opportunity to work on that.”
A few of the most notable changes are in the following areas:

From the kernel to the desktop, openSUSE 12.2 brings you speed-ups: Linux 3.4 has a faster storage layer to prevent blocking during large transfers. glibc 2.15, the basic library, improves the performance of many functions especially on 64 bit systems. Systemd 44 enables faster booting. And KDE 4.8.4 builds on Qt 4.8.1 to make the desktop more responsive.

openSUSE adopts the latest developments in Linux distribution technology as they mature. The GRUB2 bootloader is now the default, we’ve begun the process of revising and simplifying the UNIX filesystem hierarchy to improve compatibility across distributions, and during startup and and shutdown Plymouth provides flicker-free transitions and attractive animations.

GNOME 3.4 introduces smooth scrolling in all applications, a reworked System Settings app and polished Contacts manager. XFCE 4.10 has an improved application finder and allows vertical panels. The Dolphin file manager is both prettier and faster.

XOrg 1.12 introduces support for multitouch input devices, and multi-seat deployments. Mozilla Firefox supports the latest Web technologies. The llvmpipe software 3D renderer enables Gnome Shell and virtual machines to use compositing even where no 3D hardware is present. GIMP 2.8 and Krita 2.4 make Free image processing and natural media painting competitive with proprietary tools. Tomahawk Player promises to make listening to music on your computer a social experience.

LibreOffice 3.5 continues to refine the Free office suite experience with many additions and improvements. KDE 4.8.4′s email and calendaring applications have increased stability, while the next-generation btrfs filesystem now has improved error handling and recovery tools.

The 3.4 kernel allows the capping of CPU usage across entire groups of processes. The new version of systemd offers a watchdog function for supervising services under its control, as well as a new process management tool. Sysadmins will benefit from a new suite of Digital Forensics/Incident Response tools.

A set of heavyweight scientific tools brings math applications such as numeric computation, plotting, and visualization to openSUSE. The Stellarium astronomical simulator lets you explore the night sky without a telescope. Programmers will enjoy version 1.0.2 of Google’s Go language, as well as the latest C++ language standards implemented in GCC 4.7.1 and Qt Creator 2.5.
Aside from these technical changes, the documentation team has made a major revision of the reference manuals, and has introduced changes to make it easier for community contributors to write openSUSE documentation.
For more details about the latest innovations in openSUSE 12.2 visit