Tag Archives: Linux

​Happy 25th birthday Red Hat Linux!
March 27, 2018 6:02 am|Comments (0)

Today, Linux and open-source software rule the tech world. Twenty-five years ago? It was an amateur operating system that only geeks knew about. One of the main reasons Linux got from there to here is Red Hat turned a hobby into an IT force.

Red Hat co-founder Bob Young — who had run a rental typewriter business — became interested in Linux. In 1993, he founded ACC Corporation, a catalog business that sold Slackware Linux CDs and open-source software.

Everyone knew, as Young remembered later, “Solaris was much better than Linux, but it was only by using Linux that he could tweak the operating systems to meet their needs.” Young realized that while he couldn’t sell Linux as being better, faster, or having more features than Unix in those days, he could sell one benefit: users could tune it to meet their needs. That would prove to be a key selling point, as it still is today.

So, he joined forces with Linux developer Marc Ewing, and from Young’s wife sewing closet, they launched Red Hat Linux. Like other early Linux businesses, Red Hat started out by selling diskettes, then servers, services, and CDs.

Today, in an interview, Young said, “What I love about the story is that it took many great contributors from the free software/open-source communities including Stallman to Torvalds. To Marc and I and our team-mates to Matthew Szulik, and now Jim and his vast team. None of us could have fundamentally changed the way software is developed and deployed without all the others.”

Young continued, “As my internet software developer son-in-law puts it: he and his colleagues couldn’t do what they do without all the free and open software that Red Hat is both a contributor to and a beneficiary from.” He concluded, “And then there is our families. I would not have been able to make my contribution if my wife Nancy had not been willing to bet our kids’ college education on building a software business on a model never done before.”

Today, that model is making Red Hat the first billion-dollar-a-quarter pure open-source company.

First though, Red Hat had to find the magic formula, which would bring it success while so many other of its contemporaries, such as Calera, TurboLinux, and Mandrake, were left in history’s ashbin.

Red Hat’s current CEO Jim Whitehurst told me in an interview, “The real contribution we’ve made, besides open-source software, has been the enterprise business model. It’s obvious now, but it wasn’t obvious at the time.”

I would say so!

In 2003, Paul Cormier, then Red Hat’s vice president of engineering and now Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies, led the way to leaving behind its early inexpensive distribution, Red Hat Linux, to move to a full business Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Cormier said later that many “engineers at the time didn’t care about a business model. They wanted to work on Red Hat Linux. We had some level of turmoil inside the company with going to this new model. Some engineers left, but more stayed.”

Many users didn’t like it one darn bit either. They saw Red Hat as abandoning its first customers. Enterprise customers saw it differently.

Whitehurst, who took Red Hat’s reins in 2008, said, “Once RHEL was in the market we had to support it full stop to made it truly consumable for the enterprise.” They did so and the rest is history.

Red Hat grew and grew. In its latest quarter, Red Hat realized $ 772 million of revenue, which was up 23 percent year over year. Not bad for a company built around an operating system that people back in the day thought of as being only for the lunatic fringe.

Today, Whitehurst, remarked, “Linux is the default choice for open-source companies and enterprises. Ten years ago people still had doubts about open source. Now it’s the default choice for clouds, AI, and big data.” Indeed, “Are there even any important big data or AI projects that aren’t build on open source?” he asked.

The answer, by the by, is no.

It’s not just Red Hat, it’s all of Linux and open-source. “At a Red Hat development site,” Whitehurst said, “an engineer asked me about Microsoft competing with open source.” Whitehurst replied: “Microsoft is not the issue, Windows is a competitor to Linux and we’d love to kill it, but the largest enterprise software company in the world is pro-open source and that’s good for all of us.”

While Red Hat makes the bulk of its money from Linux, Red Hat is no longer just a Linux company. Its eyes are now set on the cloud. Red Hat is determined to use OpenStack to gain a place as big in clouds as the role it already has in Linux.

Red Hat realizes it’s not just the cloud. The company is also heavily invested in containers and container management. Nothing shows that more than its recent acquistion of CoreOS, a leading Kubernetes company.

Linux brought Red Hat where it is today. Moving towards tomorrow it will use open-source software to use the cloud, containers, and container orchestration to rise even further in its next 25 years.

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​The most popular Linux desktop programs are…
February 13, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

Video: Barcelona: Bye Microsoft, hola Linux

LinuxQuestions, one of the largest internet Linux groups with 550,000 members, has just posted the results from its latest survey of desktop Linux users. With approximately 10,000 voters in the survey, the desktop Linux distribution pick was: Ubuntu.

While Ubuntu has long a been popular Linux distro, it hasn’t been flying as high as it once was. Now it seems to be gathering more fans again. For years, people never warmed up to Ubuntu’s default Unity desktop. Then, in April 2017, Ubuntu returned to GNOME for its default desktop. It appears this move has brought back some old friends and added some new ones.

An experienced Linux user who voted for it said, “I had to pick Ubuntu over my oldest favorite, Fedora. [That’s] Simply based on how quick and easy I can get Ubuntu set up after a clean install, so easy with the way they have it set up these days.”

Right behind Ubuntu was Linux Mint. Mint is a favorite for users who want an easy-to-use Linux desktop — or for users who want to switch over from Windows.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-most-popular-linux-desktop-programs-are/, followed closely by antiX. With either of these, you can run a high-quality Linux on PCs powered by processors as old as 1999’s Pentium III.

In the always hotly-contested Linux desktop environment survey, the winner was the KDE Plasma Desktop. It was followed by the popular lightweight Xfce, Cinnamon, and GNOME.

If you want to buy a computer with pre-installed Linux, the Linux Questions crew’s favorite vendor by far was System76. Numerous other computer companies offer Linux on their PCs. These include both big names like Dell and dedicated small Linux shops such as ZaReason, Penguin Computing, and Emperor Linux.

Many first choices weren’t too surprising. For example, Linux users have long stayed loyal to the Firefox web browser, and they’re still big fans. Firefox beat out Google Chrome by a five-to-one margin. And, as always, the VLC media player is far more popular than any other Linux media player.

For email clients, Mozilla Thunderbird remains on top. That’s a bit surprising given how Thunderbird’s development has been stuck in neutral for some time now.

When it comes to text editors, I was pleased to see vim — my personal favorite — win out over its perpetual rival, Emacs. In fact, nano and Kate both came ahead of Emacs.

There was, however, one big surprise. For the best video messaging application the winner was… Microsoft Skype. Now, Skype’s been available on Linux for almost a decade, and recently, Canonical made it easier than ever to install Skype on Linux. But, still, Skype on Linux?

Jeremy Garcia, founder of LinuxQuestions, thought the result might have come about because: “Video Messaging Application was a new category this year and participation was extremely low. Additionally, Secure Messaging Application was broken out into a separate category that had higher participation and resulted in a tie between Signal and Telegram.”

Of course, it’s also possible that even passionate Linux people can like a Microsoft product. After all, Microsoft now supports multiple Linux distributions on its Azure cloud.

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​Google moves to Debian for in-house Linux desktop
January 19, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

Video: Supercomputing has an undisputed champion — Linux

Google has officially confirmed the company is shifting its in-house Linux desktop from the Ubuntu-based Goobuntu to a new Linux distro, the DebianTesting-based gLinux.

Margarita Manterola, a Google Engineer, quietly announced Google would move from Ubuntu to Debian-testing for its desktop Linux at DebConf17 in a lightning talk. Manterola explained that Google was moving to gLinux, a rolling release based on Debian Testing.

This move isn’t as surprising as it first looks. Ubuntu is based on Debian. In addition, Google has long been a strong Debian supporter. In 2017, Debian credited Google for making [sic] “possible our annual conference, and directly supports the progress of Debian and Free Software.”

Debian Testing is the beta for the next stable version of Debian. With gLinux, that means it’s based on the Debian 10 “Buster” test operating system.

Google takes each Debian Testing package, rebuilds it, tests it, files and fixes bugs, and once those are resolved, integrates it into the gLinux release candidate. GLinux went into beta on Aug. 16, 2017.

Don’t bother looking for this new Linux distro. You won’t be able to find it. GLinux, like Goobuntu before it, is strictly for internal Google use.

Linux is not Google’s only desktop operating system. Google also uses macOS, Windows, and the Linux-based Chrome OS across its fleet of nearly a quarter-million workstations and laptops. Google isn’t using its mysterious Fuchsia operating system in production.

To manage its desktop operating systems, Google uses the Puppet DevOps tool. Specifically, Google works with the Standalone (Masterless) Puppet mode.

Google’s IT staff uses Pupper’s Standalone approach for two reasons. Standalone doesn’t require a large infrastructure of Puppet configuration servers. Instead, the desktops pull the cryptographically verified configuration files from a web host, then verifies the data locally, and applies the configurations. In addition, by not using a server-client model, this enables the company to commit to its BeyondCorp access model, which does away with using internal networks for corporate access.

BeyondCorp is Google’s enterprise security model, which uses the concept of zero trust networks. It works by shifting access controls from the network perimeter to individual devices and users. This enables employees to work securely from any location without a traditional virtual private network (VPN).

For Goobuntu, and now gLinux, Google uses PXE to netboot the standard Linux desktop installer image. These new Linux images are automatically built in the form of compressed tar-format archives. These images are then placed on an HTTPS server alongside Debian pre-seed files that automate the host setup portion of the installation. This installation process is integrated with Puppet and host update infrastructure to ensure every desktop is configured as intended at install. This allows Google to reinstall gLinux from the network in about 30 minutes.

Google wouldn’t say what desktop environment gLinux will be using. It’s believed, however, that it will use GNOME, backed by the Wayland display server.

Google wouldn’t officially comment on when the changeover from Goobuntu to gLinux would be completed. Sources say it should be well under its way by this summer.

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Explore Cloud Computing Architecture through Oracle OpenStack for Linux
May 2, 2017 2:05 pm|Comments (0)

Partners who are new to OpenStack can take the Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux: Getting Started training where they learn the steps involved in …


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IDG Contributor Network: HP’s OpenSwitch becomes a Linux Foundation Project
June 6, 2016 7:05 pm|Comments (0)

HP’s open source networking operating system, OpenSwitch, is now a Linux Foundation project.

Many industry players are joining the project, including Broadcom, Cavium, Extreme Networks, LinkedIn, Mellanox, Nephos Inc., P4.org, Quattro Networks, SnapRoute and, of course, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

OpenSwitch is full-featured, Linux-based modular and modern network operating system that provides support for traditional and cloud networking environments.

Commenting on the arrival of OpenSwicth Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation said, “OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation. We’re looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise.”

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Ubuntu Make Now Lets Users Install the Unity 3D Editor in Ubuntu Linux
November 17, 2015 10:45 pm|Comments (0)

Ubuntu Make Now Lets Users Install the Unity 3D Editor in Ubuntu Linux
Didier Roche, the creator of the Ubuntu Make command-line utility that lets users of the Ubuntu Linux operating system install various useful third-party projects, has announced the release of a new maintenance version. Ubuntu Make 15.09 is now …
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ownCloud Announces Ubuntu-Based Appliance with ownCloud Proxy
Being based on the long-term supported Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) operating system, the ownCloud Appliance comes fully pre-configured and includes the ownCloud Proxy app, which was introduced during the ownCloud Contributor Conference event that …
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