Enterprise Linux Log

July 9, 2007  2:08 PM

NY Metro POWER-AIX/Linux Users Group


Just wanted to let everyone out there know about our inagurual meeting of the NY Metro POWER-AIX/Linux Users Group. The meeting will be this Thursday July 12th at the Future Tech Solutions Center in Holbrook NY. For more information or to register, click on poweraix.

Advertised on their home page as the “… information hub of the Global Power AIX Community comprising of user communities, partners, IT professionals and business users”, the poweraix community has really started to take hold. First organized in May of 2006 and emphasized strategically by IBM during the keynote presentation at last years System p Tech University in Vegas (by Jeff Howard, Director of System p marketing at IBM) there are now 33 UGs throughout the world, with the number of members growing exponentially every month.

Providing a forum to System p and AIX users worldwide, the user-groups allow members to communicate and collaborate on ideas and experiences to help them further their knowledge. It’s mission statement is To foster the creation a world-class global community for IBM AIX users, in which members derive significant value.”

The NY Metro POWER-AIX/Linux Users Group is currently open as a communications and collaborations channel for the NY Metro AIX and Linux community. We’ll have technical discussions and provide presentations from IBM System p Gurus, as well as IBM Business Partner technical experts. We are committed to providing a technical forum for AIX and Linux System p users. Sponsored by Future Tech, a premier IBM Business Partner, this will be a technical forum for professionals using AIX and Linux on System p. Our focus will be on sharing ideas and providing tips, technical expertise and relevant information to the entire NY Metropolitan System p community.

For those of you not local, one of the presentations will be on-line. We’ll be providing external conference webinar access, which will be used to demo the new features and functionality of IBM’s System Planning Tool (SPT). For further information, please check back periodically at the NY poweraix users group site.

July 9, 2007  12:20 PM

Jeremy Allison: Samba team to adopt GPLv3


A letter from Samba contributor Jeremy Allison confirmed today that the Samba Team has decided to adopt the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 licenses for all future releases of Samba.

The GPLv3 is the updated version of the GPLv2 license under which Samba is currently distributed. Over the course of the past year the Freedom Software Foundation (FSF) has held an open vetting process with its members and members of the open source software community at large to update the license. Areas of focus, according to GPL inventor Richard Stallman, include compatibility with other licenses and to make it easier to adopt internationally.

When contacted by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, Samba project release manager Jerry Carter said the differences between the GPLv2 and GPLv3 will primarily be of interest to people developing Samba and/or redistributing Samba. “End users of Samba, whether they received packages from a vendor or downloaded the source directly from samba.org, should be able to proceed with business as usual,” he said.

Mind your Samba release numbers

“To allow people to distinguish which Samba version is released with the new GPLv3 license, we are updating our next version release number,” Allison said.

The next planned version Samba release was to be 3.0.26, but this will now be renumbered so the GPLv3 version release will be 3.2.0 instead. To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2.

New code contributions will be accepted in exactly the same way as before, Allison said. “As Samba has always accepted code with the ‘or (at your option) any later version’ of the GPL, contributors do not need to change anything about their submissions,” he said.

As with previous major version changes, the Samba team will continue to provide security fixes for 3.0.25b releases for as long as this code base is widely used. All new features will only be developed for the new 3.2.x or later GPLv3 versions, however.

GPLV2 vs. GPLv3

The Samba Team currently releases libraries under two licenses: the GPLv3 and the LGPLv3. According to members of the Samba team, if a contributor’s code is released under a “GPLv2 or later” license, it is compatible with both the GPLv3 and the LGPLv3 licensed Samba code. However, if your code is released under a “GPLv2 only” license, it is not compatible with the Samba libraries released under the GPLv3 or LGPLv3 as the wording of the “GPLv2 only” license prevents mixing with other licenses.

“If you wish to use libraries released under the LGPLv3 with your ‘GPLv2 only’ code then you will need to modify the license on your code,” Allison said.

Software patent covenants

Patent covenant deals done after March 28, 2007, are explicitly incompatible with the license if they are “discriminatory” under section 11 of the GPLv3.

Samba distributors who have made such patent covenant agreements after that date will not have the right to distribute any version of Samba covered by the GPLv3 (Samba 3.2 or later). The rights of vendors to ship 3.0.25b and previous versions is unchanged and remains as it was under the GPLv2. Consult legal advice if you are in doubt.

This particular passage in the GPLv3 was made specifically by the FSF to target deals similar to the one struck by Microsoft and Novell Inc. in November 2006. As part of that deal, Microsoft offers sales support for Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). The two companies also have announced plans to simplify running Windows and SUSE Linux in mixed operating system environments.

July 9, 2007  8:52 AM

Dell now sells campy humor, and Linux too


[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/g6UWUTCeRaI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]Apparently this link is being provided by Dell at their Direct2Dell website … … …

July 9, 2007  8:07 AM

Linux 2.6.22 kernel released (architectural changes edition)


The latest stable version of the Linux kernel dropped over the weekend. Linus Torvalds had this to say in the kernel mailing list:

Not a whole lot of changes since -rc7: some small architecture changes (ppc, mips, blackfin), and most of those are defconfig updates. Various driver fixes: new PCI ID’s along with some ide, ata and networking fixes (for example – the magic wireless libertas ioctl’s got removed, they may be re-added later, hopefully in a more generic form, but in the meantime this doesn’t make a release with new interfaces that aren’t universally liked) … And various random fixes for regressions and other buglets.

And there you have it. Happy Monday.

July 3, 2007  12:27 PM

Linux development increases 34% since 2006


A survey of developers and IT managers in North America found that the number of developers targeting Linux for their server- and client-side applications increased by 34% over the past year.

The Evans Data Spring 2007 North American Development survey of more than 400 IT decision makers also found that the growth in Linux development came at the expense of Microsoft Windows, which decreased 12% from one year ago. Approximately 64.8% targeted the platform as opposed to 74% in 2006, the survey said.

John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data, said in a statement that Windows development is set to continue its decline into 2008 to the tune of roughly 2%. The decline will leave the still-dominant operating system with a majority 63% market share in 2008. Linux, on the other hand, will hold a 16% share in 2008, according to Evans Data estimates.

The survey featured developers at enterprises, VARs and system integrators, and covered both client and server application development. According to the survey, the decline in Windows targeting by developers started in 2005, and has increased year-over-year as Linux matured and gained in popularity as an enterprise level OS.

… and on that note, Happy Fourth of July to our readers in the States! We’ll be back in action later this week after some R&R.

July 2, 2007  8:31 AM

Patch: Linux 2.6.22-rc7


Once more before the storm. The stable patch storm, anyway.

Ok, Linux-2.6.22-rc7 is out there.

It’s hopefully (almost certainly) the last -rc before the final 2.6.22 release, and we should be in pretty good shape. The flow of patches has really slowed down and the regression list has shrunk a lot.

The shortlog/diffstat reflects that, with the biggest part of the -rc7 patch being literally just a power defconfig update.

The patches are mostly trivial fixes, a few new device ID’s, and the appended shortlog really does pretty much explain it.

Final testing always appreciated, of course,


There’s nothing like the smell of Linux kernel news early in the morning.

June 28, 2007  8:29 AM

Picking the brain of a Linux consultant


As SearchEnterpriseLinux.com gears up to cover the heck out of the state of Linux support today (a summer support series — how’s that for some alliteration, huh?), I’ve been exchanging emails and phone calls with Linux consultant Patrick Green, of Chicago-based Silver Strand Solutions. Here’s a look at what Green (also an Enterprise Linux Log off-and-on contributor) had to say about his line of work.

The Enterprise Linux Log: What sorts of services do consultants offer over and above a support contract?

Patrick Green: I try to be hands off with the actual heavy lifting. I prefer to educate, inform, and empower the staff of a company to get up to speed. Most of what I have done is provide digestible training materials. If I am not the one executing it, I develop a comprehensive teachers guide and student guide with a .ppt presentation. This will range from a simple desktop tour to authenticating to a Windows environment and even how to position Linux in your sales model.

The other thing I do is look at the macro environment the client exists in. Consultants and sales people do not always give the proper thought to the experience of the guy in the mail room or the receptionist at the front desk. There may be an impact on those people as well and you have to ease the migration burden on them. I compare the migration path to a roadmap for a reason. You have where you are and where you want to be. Some parts of the migration will be simple and others are hard. I like to plan migration in such away that after a tough hurdle, there is a “reward period” where the easy stuff is handled. After said breather, another pain point. These pain points may not be sexy and they may not sell a transition to a platform, but if we are honest, we will know all large IT transitions have these.

TELL: How much do they typically charge?

Green: In my case, I prefer to charge by the project. I have an hourly rate in my mind. After speaking with the potential client, I do what any consultant does. I factor in how long the project will take to develop and execute, add in expenses, justify everything in detail, and set a proposal (ready to negotiate). Typically, my projects average around $4,000-$5,500 a project.

TELL: Are they available as a supplement to support contracts, or to implement larger projects?

Green: Some are. In my case, I prefer not to supplement contracts, but will be happy to implement a larger project. When one goes to conventions, one discovered that convention floors are like a small town that travels. I prefer to build relationships with vendors and support specialists who can handle the long term needs of a client. It is not “passing the buck”, it is giving the client the best service and the best advice for the long haul. There have actually been times where I have turned down business and told a client to contact File Engine, Turtol, or some other vendor knowing that what they want and need can be best handled by those people. I then give the vendor a heads up call and let them know the customers needs in brief so they can give the client the best possible solution.

In the case of a larger implementation, my methods are similar. I will gladly draw up a roadmap, dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and help them find the best distro and service that they need for their project.

If I were to use a really bad analogy, it would be this. Picture Red Hat or Novell as Ford or GM looking to provide a company with fleet vehicles. They provide the cars with the options and the warranties and the service contracts. I am a cross between a driver’s ed instructor and a purchasing consultant. Someone has to help them learn to drive and know how many vans they need in their fleet to do what they need to do, where to store them, how large a service contract, how often to change the oil (and are you better served having the oil changed at the dealership or the Jiffy Lube down the street or hire a guy), wash em, etc.

TELL: Look for more on Linux support best practices at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com coming soon.

June 27, 2007  3:25 PM

Red Hat subscription revenue up 7%


Red Hat, perhaps driven by the release of the latest version of its flagship operating system in March, today announced some positive financial results for the company to the tune of a 7% increase in subscription revenue from last month.

Total revenue for the quarter was $118.9 million, an increase of 42% from one year ago. Subscription revenue was $103.0 million, up 44% year-over-year.

Net income for the quarter was $16.2 million, compared with $13.8 million this time in 2006.

According to Red Hat, other quarter highlights included:

  • Red Hat held its third annual Summit for customers, partners and the community.
  • Red Hat launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 in mid-March.
  • Red Hat launched its service oriented architecture strategy, including the addition of data management applications

A live webcast of Red Hat’s results will begin at 5:00 pm ET today and can be accessed by the general public at Red Hat’s investor relations website at http://investors.redhat.com.

It seems like only yesterday analysts and soap box denizens were calling for the doom of Red at in the face of Oracle Linux and the Microsoft-Novell partnership. The red fedora remains unbloodied and unbowed.

June 27, 2007  9:29 AM

Microsoft Security Response Center rated one of the worst jobs in science


This is one of those posts that’s provided as some gratuitous schadenfreund for Linux advocates out there, so just sit back and enjoy the show…

It seems today that Popular Science recently rated Microsoft’s Security Response Center as one of the top ten worst jobs in science. Popular Science has been compiling the list since 2003, as “a way to celebrate the crazy variety of jobs that there are in science,” said Michael Moyer, the magazine’s executive editor.

The MSRC got sixth in the list this year, just behind gravity research subject, but before coursework carcass preparer (read: cats and toads for biology classes). “We did rate the Microsoft security researcher as less-bad than the people who prepare the carcasses for dissection in biology laboratories,” Moyer said. My my, lucky them.

So, Linux fans, sleep soundly tonight with the knowledge that the security response team at Microsoft sits nestled between Whale feces researchers and “garbologists” in the pecking order of worst jobs in science. Who’s laughing? There’s nothing funny about this. not in the slightest.

Link to the list of the worst jobs in science, 2007. Hat tip to HAZMAT divers. Don’t forget to shower!

June 27, 2007  9:01 AM

Expert asks, “Are two Windows drivers worth more than SLES 10?”


It appears I’ve been had. I reported last week that Novell alleged it was “first to market” with drivers for Windows and Linux that plug into Xen’s fast paravirtualized I/O stack. Simon Crosby over at the Server Virtualization Blog says this is not true (SVB is our sister blog here at TechTarget — j.l.).

Here’s what Novell said:

Holger Dyroff, vice president of SUSE Linux Enterprise product management, said that with the release of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack, his company will become the first vendor to offer support for Windows and Red Hat guests running on Xen. In July, Novell will ship drivers for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003. The virtualization consists of a bundle of paravirtualized network, bus and block device drivers that enable unmodified Windows and Linux guest operating systems to run as virtual machines on top of the Xen hypervisor. Drivers for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 will be released later this summer at no additional charge.

Enter Simon Crosby, who I definitely have to put on my speed dial just in case this happens again. Crosby asks, “when last did your favorite OS vendor make a great public fanfare about delivering two new device drivers, and then charge more than the price of their OS to use them?” Long story short, Crosby breaks down the pricing in real world terms, and finds what Novell is basically saying with its latest virtualization announcement is that two Windows Drivers are worth more than SLES 10. Wow!

So, you pay $349 per year for SLES 10, and an additional $299 per year for up to four Windows VMs, totaling $648. But there’s still no mention of VM management, VHD/VMDK support, backups, P2V, snapshotting, cloning, suspend/resume or the storage management that you’d expect of a useful virtualization platform […] What’s amazing about the Novell announcement is that for a workload with more than 4 VMs, the total leaps to $1148, and the price of the Windows drivers is about double the price of SLES 10 itself! Now, I’m proud of our high performance Windows Drivers, the ACPI HAL optimizations and comprehensive Windows suspend/resume and live relocation support that we offer, but they are just a part of the product.

Bottom line is this: without the included management tools, Crosby has a hard time believing any IT manager in their right mind would want to pay double to use SLES for Windows virtualization. He concludes with a great question for vendors and IT managers alike: “Can any OS vendor properly understand and consciously optimize the user’s experience with a competitive product?”

They sure are trying, but for now it’s definitely a game of wait-and-see. Does anyone out there care to try and tackle that question?

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