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2009 is the Year of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

So, the term is cliche/over-used/tired, but this could be it.

 

  • both tentacles of the Wintel monopoly have been chastened by the EU
  • netbooks continue their march
  • ARM is awakening and with Intel shut out of exclusive dealing can really grow into netbook/desktop/server
  • enough real people have seen GNU/Linux in action to know it is an option and it works well
  • on low-end equipment the superior performance of GNU/Linux is obvious
  • China has many OEMs willing to crank out netbooks on any hardware
  • 10% of PCs in use today are thin clients and GNU/Linux can run twice as many thin clients on a server as that other OS
  • 14% of businesses are in the process or have already moved away from that other OS
  • 50% of businesses have seriously examined moving away from that other OS
  • 10% of PCs today use GNU/Linux
OK, GNU/Linux does not have a monopoly on the desktop but it is definitely there. Last year that was in doubt. 2009 is the year the world realized GNU/Linux works on the desktop.Next year, any argument that we have not had the Year will be pretty lame. Growth areas will involve FLOSS and GNU/Linux everywhere.
 

Things every admin should know about VMWARE'S ESXi server.

This blog will focus on some of the things you should know about vmware's ESXi sserver.

I'm currently running ESXi on a Dell Optiplex 755 hosting two VM's running Windows Server 2008 Standard and Windows Beta 7 RC0 as a Test/Dev environment.  This is NOT production folks!

1.  ESXi is basically vmware's stripped down free (as in beer) version of ESX.

2.   There is no upgrade option when booting from CD/DVD install media.  I've also read on forums if you choose the "repair" option it will break things. (which seems logical because you'd essentially be trying to repair a version of an OS that's not installed yet!).

3.  Here's how to enable SSH.  Just remember there is not way to filter services based upon ip/network ranges.  It's either listening to the world or it's disabled!  Period.  So if this was a production environment, I'd recommend putting your ESXi server in it's own VLAN protected by a Cisco ASA 5505 (~$300-$500 depending on what vendor you buy from).

       1.  At the ESXi server console press ALT+F1.

       2.  Enter "unsupported" (without the quotes) in the console  window.

       3.  At the Tech Support Mode warning message you will be promted with a login box.  Type the root password.

     4.  You should now be looking at a ~# prompt.  You can now run vi /etc/inetd.conf and uncomment the SecureShell service.

    5.  You can try kill -HUP `ps | grep inetd` to restart the sevice but you may have to end up rebooting the server for the changes to work.

4.  In my opinion, ESXi is not really suited for a mid-large size production environment.  If you have the money, go with ESX sever with SAN attached storage.  If you don't, I'd probably go with VMware Server on a RHEL box with at least iSCSI attached storage.   

Note:  I'm very intereted in figuring out how to install/configure a GNU development environment on an ESXi server so I can compile and install from source iptables and logwatch.  Any suggestions/comments 0n how to do that would be greatly appreciated!!

Disclaimer:  This blog entry comes with NO expressed warranty, guarantee, support, or maintenance of any kind!  Use at your own risk!  

Thanks for reading and have fun in Virtual land!

 

NOOB's adventures in Linux From Scratch

  You know there's nothing quite so annoying than to have something to us newbies (remember, I'm a roofer by trade.. high school education, no advanced math whatsoever) be a bit of a challenge ... try to cover all the bases as asked , check the FAQ.... go to the mailing list..... check the home page.... Google it.... than to go to some Forum or IRC channel... and have someone belittle us.. or make assumptions....

   This rant is a bit off course of the subject of this blog,  however it's still part of being a Linux NOOB so bear with me as I attempt to share my frustrations with you.

   Last evening I had the misfortune of having the power supply go out on my main Linux desktop machine, Ubuntu linux.  Unfortunately for me I'm no genius far from it.... I happened to be in an "unnamed" IRC channel and asked if a "livecd" could be used to access the hard drive of that broken machine ... but wasn't exacting in my question as they misunderstood me thinking that I was trying to access the main hard drive of the livecd system

   Anyway they came away thinking , that I didn't even know how to mount a filesystem.. and it took me a few minutes to explain to them that that wasn't the issue... somehow I believed until this point that Linux was so secure that their would be issues when after I installed the hard drive out of the now dead box into this computer and tried to mount it that I would have to break security to access those files . Anyway they read into my ignorance about physical access that somehow I didn't know what I was doing mounting a system. I wasn't aware how vulnerable physical access to any hard drive was and that was translated into .... NOOB doesn't even know how to cd to a diff directory..... 

   As great an operating system Linux is and continues to be there will always be someone who want's to look down their noses at people who know less than them.... I've been roofing for 30 years and believe me I could show you a thing or two about commercial roof systems....

    The point I'm trying to bring to the forefront is be prepared there are some trolls out there that seem to hang in the rooms for the purpose of making themselves feel better about themselves. They don't miss the opportunity to humiliate those honestly trying to learn and making every attempt to solve their problem . On the same point,  I have met some very wonderful truly helpful people on the Forums and IRC channels. It goes both ways just be prepared.

  I'm working my way through the Basics part of the Linux User's Guide and will be discussing that very point in the next part of this Blog thanks  

 

 

Wolfram Alpha can't vouch for OOXML legitimacy

Wolfram Alpha went public today, and there is a lot to like about it. For example, Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr and Hunch, wanted to see if W-A could calculate her body mass index, and so she typed in BMI 5'2'', 115lb (her weight and height).  Following her lead, I did the same thing for her BMI, and W-A returned a body mass index of 21.

So I thought I would ask W-A a similarly profound and useful question.  I wanted to know if Microsoft's so-called Office Open XML specification was a true standard or a wolf in sheep's clothing.  I typed "OOXML is a fraud" into Wolfram Alpha. It returned, "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." 

Now compare that to Google.   I typed "OOXML is a fraud" into Google. Google returned 19k results. http://is.gd/Av2

Those of us who follow the OOXML versus ODF standard battle know that OOXML is, in fact, a faux standard, because OOXML is not implemented anywhere.  Not even Microsoft Office implements OOXML.  And Google certainly knows that.  It looks as if, in its first day of public life, Wolfram Alpha is still a wee bit naiive and has a lot to learn.

But it's great for calculating your body mass index! 

 

Fluxbox basic setup


 

Fluxbox How-to


I've been using Fluxbox for quite some time now and thought maybe I could share some hints, tricks, and such, with anybody who cared to look. This goes past just artwork. Some of the items I write about concern videos, transparency, conkys, and much much more.
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Fluxbox menu setup

Fluxbox Menu

Good menu layout is essential to working with your fluxbox setup.

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Fluxbox startup file

 

Fluxbox Startup File
The Fluxbox startup file located at ~/.fluxbox/startup. This is where you can add programs to start upon entering Fluxbox. 

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Fluxbox init file

 

Fluxbox init file

Here is my ~/.fluxbox/init file. Just copy and paste what you want, or replace yours with this one, as it is 'user independant' and contains may options and features.

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VIZZ.INFO

Virtualisation Information

VIZZ.INFO

 

VOIPPIX.INFO

VOIP Information

voippix.info

 

Fluxbox keys

Fluxbox Keys
Fluxbox gives you an easy way to assign keyboard commands using the file ~/.fluxbox/keys in your ~/.fluxbox folder.
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