Enterprise Linux Log

April 17, 2007  7:27 AM

All about Ubuntu


Ubuntu 7.04 is scheduled to launch this Thursday, and I think it’s safe to say SearchEnterpriseLinux.com has it covered. Yesterday we posted a quick Q&A with Canonical’s director of operations Jane Silber detailing the specifics of how the OS featured some additional server side components meant to give it a finer business edge in the enterprise.

Before that, I was talking with a bevy of our readers, a few experts, and even a few bloggers about how this year and next could validate Canonical’s plans to attack the server and wrest some control away from Microsoft. The 451 Group’s Nick Selby wasn’t as bullish as Silber, which I suppose is to be expected, but he certainly was optimistic about Ubuntu’s chances.

It all beings April 19 with the launch of Feisty, and then continues on in October when Gutsy Gibbon — the next version — launches (I know, I know, I’m still getting amped up over Feisty too. But hey, this is software right? What’s new is old the moment it goes live).

April 16, 2007  8:06 AM

The Linux distro timeline


Linux timeline

Click the image above for an expanded, full size view of the Linux distribution timeline. On a related note, the image brings up an interesting point about fragmentation, doesn’t it? I’ll be digging into that topic a little bit deeper than with just an image later on, so stay tuned.

April 13, 2007  10:41 AM

Friday Fun: Linux and Microsoft get together


Microsoft and Linux, together at last!

Linux humor

[Via digg.com]

April 13, 2007  9:26 AM

CentOS 5 goes live


CentOS Red HatDesktopLinux.com has the scoop on CentOS 5, which was released this week. It features the GNOME desktop and a 2.6.18 kernel. CentOS is basically Red Hat Enterprise 5 without the branding or certification and support. The distro is based on the upstream release of RHEL 5 and includes packages from all variants, including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one.

Major changes in CentOS 5 compared to CentOS 4 include:

  • numerous updated software versions
  • better desktop support with Compiz and AIGLX
  • virtualization provided by the Xen hypervisor with Virtual Machine Manager and libvirt
  • simplified construction of user profiles

Standard features include:

  • Pidgin (formerly GAIM) 2.0 beta 5 messenger
  • OpenOffice.org 2.0.4
  • Thunderbird email client
  • GIMP 2.2.13 graphics editor

April 12, 2007  12:49 PM

LinuxWorld registration now open


LinuxWorld Red Hat SummitSearchEnterpriseLinux.com always has a presence at LinuxWorld, even back in the days when there were two of them a year. We’ll be back in full force again this summer, when LinuxWorld returns to the Moscone Center in San Francisco August 6-9. I mention that today because the official release just went out over the wire announcing that registration was now open for LinuxWorld San Francisco, and we hoe to see you all there.

Just like we hope to see you at the Red Hat Summit in San Diego on May 9-11. Users are what make the IT industry tick, not press releases or even analyst commentary, and I have to say that both of these shows have been both enjoyable and educational in the end user department.

April 12, 2007  10:32 AM

New Ubuntu code name is … Gutsy Gibbon!


Mark Shuttleworth personally took some time out of his busy schedule today to introduce the name and release date of the next Ubuntu upgrade: Gutsy Gibbon.

In addition to announcing Gibbon, Shuttleworth also announced a new “ultra-free” version of Ubuntu that can be expected alongside it.

The new “flavour” of Ubuntu will take “an ultra-orthodox view of licensing: no firmware, drivers, imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not include full source materials and come with full rights of modification, remixing and redistribution … for those who demand a super-strict interpretation of the ‘free’ in free software,” said Shuttleworth.

He said the new distro would be done in conjunction with the team behind Gnewsense, the Free Software Foundation-backed Gnu/Linux distribution.

Also in the mailing, Shuttleworth again pushes Ubuntu’s role as a server OS:

While Ubuntu is by no means the 800-pound gorilla in the server game, the Gibbon will show that lean and mean count for something! Agility of deployment, together with integrated management will be a focus for the Ubuntu server team. Gutsy will not be an LTS (Long Term Support) release, but it will nonetheless see a lot of server work and be useful for fast-moving server deployments.

You have to love our timing here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com. Just yesterday we posted a feature on Ubuntu as a rising star in the server room. I think the potential is there, it remains to be seen if Canonical’s slow boil strategy can get some traction this year or next.

April 11, 2007  9:22 AM

Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s Xen hiccup


eWEEK Labs had their hands all over Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 this week, and after a rigorous round of testing the conclusion is there’s still some assembly required.

This is software, after all, so bugs fixes and “room for improvement” are not surprises, but the part that did catch my eye was the part we have been writing incessantly about at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com since late last year: Xen.

Compared with VMware’s VI3 (VMware Infrastructure 3) and with the Xen-based Virtual Iron and XenEnterprise products we’ve reviewed, RHEL 5’s tools for creating and managing guest machines are pretty Spartan, and our experiences installing and running Windows Server 2003 and RHEL 5 guests contained more troubleshooting and Googling than we would have liked.

However, we expect that any company looking for a general-purpose Linux operating system with solid support and lots of hardware and software certifications would be rather pleased with RHEL 5.

Make no mistake about it, reviews of RHEL5 have been positive, and this Xen hiccup was an expected one, given the newness of the technology and the fact that Red Hat isn’t firing on all cylinders with it just yet. The question is how quickly RH can turn things around, especially with Novell having such a big head start.

Our sister site SearchServerVirtualization.com will surely be monitoring Xen’s overall progress, so make sure you check out what they’re doing over there. Keep your browser pointed here for everything else happening with Red Hat — including SearchEnterpriseLinux.com’s field trip to their Summit in San Diego next month.

April 10, 2007  2:30 PM

Nagios map in pictures — plus CentOS!


Nagios systems management

I’ve been conversing via the blogosphere with an IT administrator based in the U.K. about Nagios and CentOS today, and I must say it’s been an experience.

As you may know already, we posted a short case study about some SNMP-related trouble one IT manager was having with Nagios, and why he eventually went with a third party out-of-box application from Hyperic for monitoring and systems management.

Across the pond, Kieron Williams (that IT manager I mentioned above) is in charge of a small pub company called Brunning and Price. If the beer stops flowing, he has a problem, he said, but it’s not so much the case if, say, an email is 30 minutes late. Nagios works just fine for him in that regard, but it appears this popular open source monitoring project is only helpful to a point in enterprise environments, no?

The reason this conversation has been so helpful to me is because Kieron is also dabbling with CentOS due to some Microsoft Windows-related licensing headaches (quick aside: I think I’ve written the phrase “Microsoft licensing headaches” a gazillion times over the past three years at SearchEnterpriseLinux).

It just so happens that I’m putting together a CentOS piece for SEL due out this week or next. So, if you have anything to offer up on why you’d choose CentOS in your enterprise environment — or any CentOS stories for that matter — drop me a line at Jack Loftus, News Writer or fire off a comment below.

April 10, 2007  9:53 AM

How not to manage a MySQL query


Poorly written queries will run slowly in MySQL. There’s really no way around it, but a slew of posts over at Digg.com are trying anyway. One blogger named Mike that I found today takes them all to task with a few tips on the proper way to handle this sticky SQL situation:

Properly index your tables

If you do a lot of lookups using a particular column of a table, or if you join on a column, that column should be indexed. Moreover, if all of the data that you are retrieving is available in the index (e.g. you’re using a multi-column index) then MySQL can avoid looking at the table altogether and execute your query using just the index.
Avoid superfluous queries

Don’t do this:

$result = query_db(‘select * from table1’);

for each $result as $row
$array[] = query_db(‘select * from table2 where column = ‘.$row[‘id’]);

Do this:

$result = query_db(‘select table2.* from ‘
.’table1, table2 where table1.id=table2.column’);

Look for bottlenecks

Don’t waste time optimizing queries that aren’t bottlenecks in your application. Find the low hanging fruit and correct those problems first.

Learn SQL

This is the most important tip. SQL optimization really has to be done on a case by case basis, and you can’t do it unless you have a good understanding of the language and how you can use it to your advantage. You need to understand things like subqueries, grouping, left joins vs. right joins vs. full joins, etc. There is no free lunch.

Lunch… hmm. What time is it? MySQL queries make me hungry — but only if they’re well written!

Also, are you new to MySQL? Check out SearchEnterpriseLinux.com’s recent technical tip on Getting Started with MySQL.

April 10, 2007  9:28 AM

Microsoft’s Port 25 turns one year old


It seems like only yesterday that Microsoft’s Bill Hilf was calling for calm on Port 25, a Web site the guys in Redmond set up to give readers a look inside the Microsoft Open Source Software Lab. Why was Hilf calling for calm? Why, it was because open source advocates had stormed the message boards with skeptical posts regarding Microsoft’s intentions. Anonymous commenting privileges were promptly turned off.

But Port 25 is still ticking, and Hilf was beating the drum of success today:

When we started Port25 a year ago we certainly had no idea how it would turn out. The process of creating, launching, and evolving Port25, I believe, has many similarities to an OSS project: small group of motivated individuals, loosely coupled development model, organic growth, and meritocratic guidance and leadership. These things helped us quite a bit as we broke some new ground for Microsoft and I’m proud of where we are at one year in.

The site was established to promote openness at Microsoft and serve as a point of contact for users and MS developers. Maybe it’s working, but the MS-Novell patent deal and other patent related issues tell me there’s more work to be done before we see Linus Torvalds raising a glass with Steve Ballmer. Did I just make anyone shudder?

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