Enterprise Linux Log

May 2, 2007  9:03 AM

Response to the Dell/Ubuntu partnership


Some news heard ’round the Web today regarding yesterday’s big Ubuntu Linux on Dell computers announcement:

“We applaud Dell for offering its customers true choice in desktop operating systems. By directly listening to its customers, Dell heard that desktop Linux is more than ready for the masses. While there is still work to be done, I think even the most cynical would agree that this is yet another sign that the days of the desktop monopoly are over.” — Amanda McPherson, director, The Linux Foundation.

Red Hat’s Scott Crenshaw:

The second question is: why Ubuntu and not Red Hat?

Frankly, I think this question misses a major point. There’s a big market out there for open source and with it comes a diversity of vendors. Our focus at Red Hat is encouraging the growth of free and open source software. We think it creates better software, better communities and better value. We think we do it well, for the customers we seek to serve. Energy should be directed to helping people take advantage of these benefits, but because the question is being asked, I’ll share some perspective.

From time to time we receive proposals from hardware vendors to preload software onto desktop or laptop computers. When the arrangement makes appropriate financial and strategic sense, we pursue it. When it doesn’t make sense, we don’t pursue it. Buying market share is an easy way to get headlines, but doesn’t build a sustainable business model which allows continued support or investment, remember our goal is to completely change the paradigm.

That doesn’t mean we only pursue opportunities if there’s money involved. Fedora is the most popular Linux distribution in the world — each release is installed by millions, perhaps tens of millions, of people at no charge. Additionally, Red Hat has offered its resources to design and develop the user interface for the global One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to help create a borderless online world.

Justin Steinman, Novell’s director of marketing for Linux and open source, told eWEEK today that the move is just one more proof point in the continued growth of Linux.

“As proponents of open source and Linux, we’re happy to see Linux being preloaded onto consumer desktops.”

But Steinman then downplayed its significance. “I wouldn’t necessarily refer to the Dell-Ubuntu deal as ‘major.’ Dell is only going to load Ubuntu on three machines targeted at the technical consumer market, and the only support option available will be through online technical self-help forums, which will be monitored by the community,” he said.

So, Ubuntu Linux on Dell is the second coming for everyone but the major Linux distributors. Sounds about right to me ;-).

May 2, 2007  7:19 AM

OpenBSD 4.1 in the wild


The OpenBSD mailing list had some great news for that community yesterday: OpenBSD 4.1 is now available for download. The “what’s new page is far too long to list here, so you can get what I miss in my “executive summary” after the jump.

What’s new (in brief):

Improved hardware support, including:

  • New USB client controller support:
  • Support for the USB client functionality in the pxaudc(4) driver on the Zaurus.
  • New usbf(4) midlayer for USB Client controllers.
  • New cdcef(4) driver for providing a CDCE function on USB client controllers.
  • New cas(4) driver for Sun Cassini 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet devices.
  • New uow(4) driver for Maxim/Dallas DS2490 USB 1-Wire devices.
  • New owsbm(4) driver for 1-Wire smart battery monitor devices.
  • New zyd(4) driver for ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B USB IEEE 802.11b/g wireless network devices.
  • New moscom(4) driver for MosChip Semiconductor MCS7703 based USB serial adapters.
  • New glxsb(4) driver for hardware random numbers and AES acceleration on the AMD Geode LX processor.
  • New vic(4) driver for VMware VMXnet Virtual Interface Controllers.

More after the fold… Continued »

May 1, 2007  10:23 AM

Installing VMware Server on Ubuntu 7.04


I discovered this interesting VMware tutorial this morning while making the rounds on Digg.com:

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions about how to install the free VMware Server on an Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) system. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems ( “virtual machines” ) such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free).

It’s a pretty nice little piece of work. Check it out and report back on how it went.

May 1, 2007  8:51 AM

It’s official: Dell to offer certified, pre-installed Ubuntu Linux


Ubuntu on DellIn case you’ve been living under a rock this morning, let me help you out: Dell and Canonical have officially announced that Ubuntu Linux will be pre-installed and certified on a range of Dell laptops and desktops later this month. I know, I fainted a bit when I heard the news too.

OK, so I didn’t, but I did start thinking about our series of articles over the past few months about Ubuntu on the server. So did Raven Zachary, an analyst from the 451 Group that we speak with regularly about Linux and open source. In our article today covering the Dell/Ubuntu news, Zachary opines that in the near future, Ubuntu on Dell’s server lines is all but confirmed by today’s news.

“I think you will find Dell, over time, also offering Ubuntu across its server product line as Ubuntu grows in popularity in the data center,” he said.

Ubuntu on the server would mean one distribution to manage, from the developer’s desktop to the data center, Zachary said, and would feature Canonical’s 24×7 support offering.

There’s been a lot of hype around Ubuntu lately, and for good reason: Feisty Fawn’s launch in April; the Dell news; and even Michael Dell’s souped up mobile workstation that we reported on first here at the Enterprise Linux Log. But beyond that, Linux now has yet another venue with which to spread into the enterprise.

That’s good for me as a reporter because it keeps me in a job, but it’s also great for you, the IT pro, because it means there is yet another choice out there to keep competition and innovation fresh. It’s a heterogeneous world now, no?

May 1, 2007  8:35 AM

BIND 9.4.1 now available


BIND 9.4.1 now availableIf you’re into DNS and BIND, then today’s your day: BIND 9.4.1 is now available.

BIND 9.4.1 is a security release of BIND 9, containing a fix for a vulnerability in BIND 9.4.0:

2172. [bug] query_addsoa() was being called with a non zone db.
[RT #16834]

If you are running BIND 9.4.0 (either pre-release or final), you are advised to upgrade as soon as possible to BIND 9.4.1.

BIND 9.4.1 can be downloaded from: ftp://ftp.isc.org/isc/bind9/9.4.1/bind-9.4.1.tar.gz

Keep your eyeballs here in the future for updates on other open source projects like openNMS and Samba.

April 30, 2007  12:41 PM

Enterprise Linux recap, week of April 23


The buzz from March’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 announcement has seeped into the end of April, it would seem, as this week’s recap is all about RHEL 5:

Oracle Linux gets backing from EMC, others
It was another small step forward for Oracle Enterprise Linux this week as a handful of ISVs pledged support, but it’s still a long road ahead for the Red Hat clone.

Open source monitoring shines light on firm’s servers
A successful Nagios deployment from a previous job led one IT administrator to continue the open source trend at his new data center with Solaris and Linux machines.

BakBone backs up Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
BakBone is expanding its Linux-based data protection portfolio to include the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

PostgreSQL or MySQL: Which is faster?
TIP – There isn’t always a clear-cut answer in the race between dueling databases, PostgreSQL and MySQL, says an expert. Find out his thoughts and how the two compare.

Red Hat author dishes on RHEL 5
Author Tammy Fox has been working with Red Hat Linux for nearly a decade. In this exclusive interview, she lays out important tips for IT managers looking to test or deploy RHEL 5.

I sense an SELinux-related series of articles in SearchEnterpriseLinux.com’s future, but that’s only because I’m writing them right now.

April 30, 2007  9:21 AM

Latest stable Linux kernel loves virtualization


Internetnews.com is reporting on the Linux kernel this morning, and how the latest stable version is heavy into the virtualization technology.

Highlighting the Linux 2.6.21 update is the inclusion of the paravirt-ops paravirtualization interface, which enables multiple hypervisors to hook directly into Linux.

VMware, XenSource, IBM and Red Hat first launched the effort to provide expansive virtualization in paravirt-ops in August to make it easier for all virtualization vendors to work in Linux. VMware’s VMI (virtual machine interface) is also included in 2.6.21 taking advantage of paravirt-ops.

We usually leave the virtual news to our brothers and sisters in arms over at SearchServerVirtualization.com, but sometimes kernel news is just to tempting to pass up. Today’s news means that the kernel will now directly communicate with the hypervisor, thus streamlining the process. In the end, it will improve the adoption of hypervisors in the enterprises that love Linux. Which is a lot of them, by my last count.

April 26, 2007  12:35 PM

Partners on Oracle Enterprise Linux: *YAWN*


Oracle PartnersJust a quick follow up on yesterday’s Oracle Enterprise Linux news, courtesy of CRN:

Oracle said it’s making headway in building support for its Unbreakable Linux, but some open-source partners say the software giant hasn’t created a serious threat to mainstream market leader Red Hat.

“We are not seeing Oracle in any major way in the Linux opportunities we are encountering,” said Ken McLaurin, senior marketing manager of open source and virtualization at Akibia, a Westborough, Mass.-based solution provider.

Chris Maresca, founding partner at Olliance Group, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider, also said he doesn’t see Oracle gaining much traction with Linux.

“They don’t have much credibility in the Linux community, and they are not adding any value to Linux, just support,” Maresca said. “In that sense, they will always be behind Red Hat.”

When I spoke with IDEAS International senior analyst Tony Iams about this yesterday, he said this was par for the course for any new OS. Adoption is slow now, yes, but if Oracle continues with these customer and ISV announcements month over month, then Red Hat could have a legitimate threat on their hands.

“It will be interesting to see if Oracle can keep up these kinds of announcements. For this to be truly effective, Oracle really needs to be able to match Red Hat’s support ecosystem with minimum compromises,” he said. There’s a lot of “if” and “could” being thrown at you up in there, I know.

The CRN story is telling, yes, but then again it’s still early and yesterday’s ISV news shows there is some interest, somewhere, for Oracle Enterprise Linux. It will be interesting next couple of months, for sure, but something tells me the folks at Red Hat aren’t exactly sweating bullets just yet.

April 26, 2007  7:57 AM

Linux: 2.6.21 Kernel Released


The latest stable release of the Linux kernel has been released into the wild:

If the goal for 2.6.20 was to be a stable release (and it was), the goal
for 2.6.21 is to have just survived the big timer-related changes and some
of the other surprises (just as an example: we were apparently unlucky
enough to hit what looks like a previously unknown hardware errata in one
of the ethernet drivers that got updated etc).

So it’s been over two and a half months, and while it’s certainly not the
longest release cycle ever, it still dragged out a bit longer than I’d
have hoped for and it should have. As usual, I’d like to thank Adrian (and
the people who jumped on the entries Adrian had) for keeping everybody on
their toes with the regression list – there’s a few entries there still,
but it got to the point where we didn’t even know if they were real
regressions, and delaying things further just wasn’t going to help.

So the big change during 2.6.21 is all the timer changes to support a
tickless system (and even with ticks, more varied time sources). Thanks
(when it no longer broke for lots of people 😉 go to Thomas Gleixner and
Ingo Molnar and a cadre of testers and coders.

Of course, the timer stuff was just the most painful and core part (and
thus the one that I remember most): there’s a lot of changes all over. The
appended changelog is just for the fixes since -rc7, so that doesn’t look
very impressive, the full changes since 2.6.20 are obviously a *lot*
bigger (and you’re better off reading the individual -rc changelogs).

Thank you, Linus Torvalds, for yet another stable Linux kernel. The smiley was all him, by the way.

April 25, 2007  8:53 AM

Samba 3.0.25rc3 available for download


From the Samba mailing list this morning:

Major features included in the 3.0.25 code base include:

o Significant improvements in the winbind off-line logon support.
o Support for secure DDNS updates as part of the ‘net ads join’
o Rewritten IdMap interface which allows for TTL based caching and
per domain backends.
o New plug-in interface for the “winbind nss info” parameter.
o New file change notify subsystem which is able to make use of
inotify on Linux.
o Support for passing Windows security descriptors to a VFS
plug-in allowing for multiple Unix ACL implements to running side
by side on the Same server.
o Improved compatibility with Windows Vista clients including
improved read performance with Linux servers.
o Man pages for IdMap and VFS plug-ins.

This is the third release candidate of the Samba 3.0.25 code base and is provided for testing only. An RC release means that we are close to the final release but the code may still have a few remaining minor bugs. This release is *not* intended for production servers. There has been a substantial amount of development since the 3.0.23/3.0.24 series of stable releases. We would like to ask the Samba community for help in testing these changes as we work towards the next significant production upgrade Samba 3.0 release.

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