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About Sugar!

Sugar is the graphical user interface originally developed for the One Laptop per Child computer/education project and as of May 2008 being developed under the umbrella of Sugar Labs.

Sugar is used on the OLPC XO-1 laptop computer and is also available as a session option on Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora. Unlike more traditional desktop environments, it does not use a "desktop" metaphor and only focuses on one task at a time.

Main contributors to the project include Christopher Blizzard and Marco Pesenti Gritti, Eben Eliason, Tomeu Vizoso, Simon Schampijer, Dan Williams, Walter Bender, Christian Schmidt, Lisa Strausfeld, and Takaaki Okada. The free software community has also contributed greatly to Sugar. Released under the GNU GPL, Sugar is free software.

It is written in the interpreted Python programming language, whereas most other environments are written in a compiled language such as C. Sugar is also referred to as the OLPC Python Environment. It is composed of the Python language, GTK GUI and Gecko HTML engine.

If you want to get involved with it, search by Sugar Group!

 

Disable write

To disable the write command for a user, add the following line in his .bashrc file:
mesg off
You can turn it back by using mesg on or by simply deleting the line from .bashrc.
 

Nagios - A Fork in the Road

Nagios Founder Ethan Galstad comments on the recent fork of Nagios

http://community.nagios.org/2009/05/11/nagios-a-fork-in-the-road/

"Nagios-A fork in the Road"

As many of you know, a recent fork of Nagios has been announced, accompanied with a flurry of activity in both the community and press. An email thread titled "Nagios is dead! Long live Icinga!" began last week on the nagios-devel mailing list to kick this off.

What are my thoughts on this announcement? I think its one of the best things to ever happen to Nagios.

Why? The announcement of the fork, along with the community's reaction to it has brought to light several things:

  • Community interest in furthering Nagios is at an all-time high
  • Community developers want to get more directly involved in the future project direction
  • Nagios development has been slowed by some bottlenecks
  • When the community perceives a problem, the community reacts
  • Communication within the community needs to be improved

This entire event has seen some ugly misconceptions and half-truths lobbed in the direction of Nagios Enterprises, the Nagios Project, the Nagios Community, and myself as an individual. That's unfortunate.

I am disappointed that no one from the Icinga project contacted me directly about this before the decision to fork was made. One of the reasons that was stated for the fork was lack of communication on my part. The unexpected announcement of this fork clearly demonstrates that there are communication problems on both sides of the issue.

 

Many of the individual developers in the Icinga project did what they felt was best in the situation they believed to be true. They appreciated Nagios, wanted to see it succeed, and wanted to play a direct role in its evolution. Many of them have been very active in the Nagios project and community over the years. Their efforts have been much appreciated by both myself and the community as a whole. To those individuals, I pose this question - If what you wanted to do was help create "the" new Nagios interface and be materially involved in the future development of Nagios, why didn't you just ask? It's apparent that we all need to improve our communication and demonstrate better understanding of each other.

In the course of discussions about this fork within the Nagios community, many concerns have been raised, including: the future of Nagios, the Nagios trademark policy, and the commercialization of Nagios.

In an effort to begin to address these concerns, I have penned some of my thoughts in the following write-ups:

Open Source communities are not a panacea. The sky is not always blue. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely delusional. Community can be great, and community can be frustrating. Ask anyone with long-term involvement in an Open Source project.

It's interesting to watch how individuals and companies react to situations of distress and change. Challenges can bring out the best and worst in all of us. True intentions, motivations, and personal character are often brought to light. I'm sure that the result of all of this will be a stronger Nagios project and community that endures far into the future.

To those of you who would complain about the state of things now or in the future, the time has come to "put up or shut up". If you see the need for change, you must be willing to materially involve yourself and commit your time, effort, and resources to affect that change. Don't assume that someone else will do things for you, and don't complain if they don't.

As things move forward, I can almost certainly guarantee you that you will not always get what you want and things will not always be done the way you want them to. Neither I, nor anyone else involved in the Nagios project, will attempt to please everyone. That is neither possible, nor beneficial to the overall effort.

I would suggest that we need one more fork for Nagios. That being a mental fork - a change in mindset - rather than a code fork. Lets all work together to improve the way we think, communicate, and affect the direction of Nagios for the better.

Are changes necessary? Yes. Will changes happen? Yes. Is Nagios dead? Hardly.

 Author:  Ethan Galstad

http://community.nagios.org/2009/05/11/nagios-a-fork-in-the-road/

 

 

 

The Importance of Keeping Notes

All Linux Adventurers, but most especially new ones, will find it beneficial in the extreme to keep notes of their adventures as they progress in GNU/Linux Land.

My Linux Notebook is a simple bound composition book that you can buy in any grocery or general merchandise store. It looks like this...

 

... and costs a buck or so. If I had known then what I know now, I would have chosen a loose leaf version. I have many additions to my current notebook. I just slide in loose leaf pages within this existing composition notebook. A loose leaf binder would have been neater.

I divided up my notebook with stick on tabs. They divide the notebook into "General Linux" and "<insert name here>" distributions. I have a tab for each distribution that I've ever installed on any of my systems.

From the very start of the particular Linux adventure, the downloading/burning of the CD/DVD, I am taking notes. I write down the source of the download, the date of the CD/DVD creation, the method and means of partitioning, etc. After that, I take notes on everything that I do to setup and customize the operating system. 

As I continue to use and learn more about the particular distro, I maintain my notes for that distribution. Not only is it helpful in learning the particular ins and outs of a distribution, but it's very handy to have these notes when helping others or when reinstalling months later.

In the General Linux area, I keep all my notes about BASH, general scripting, init script tricks, tweaks for hardware, tweaks for GUI interfaces, etc. Basically, anything that is useful across Linux platforms gets jotted down in this area.

I cannot tell you the number of times in the past 3+ years that having these notes has saved my rear end. If my house caught on fire, I'd grab four things...my three cats and my Linux notebook!

Best of luck with your Linux Adventure!

Until next time...

~V. T. Eric Layton

***Tempus Fugits***

 

Flash, Kongregate, Web browsers and evil dependencies

It seems that for some reson, Firefox (or Conkeror (and from that I reson any xlrunner based browser)) running on Arch Linux x86_64 will not run the Kongregate (www.kongregate.com) flash api that they inseart to their games. However, using midori they all run fine. So the obviouse answer is to install midori, or, if I don't like midori enough for every day useage, install it, and only use it for kongregate.com. Personaly I don't like midori at all, and thus I am using Conkeror to write this blog. But this leaves me in the uncomfterbal situation of having aproximatly 5 browsers install. I have Conkeror for my every day browsing, Firefox for the extensions I can't do without and midori for playing games. I also have konquor for some reson (I don't mind especialy, I love kdemod3) and a couple of other browsers that I was playing about with, trying to get them to comile, and I cba to find the relevent files and remove them now, 6 months down the line. I know, it's shadmin, but it's how I've lived my life so far, and I see no reson to change. But anyway, back to the question. Like president kennedy when it came to the cuban missile crises, I have 3 choices, all of wich leave me unsatisfied. I can continue doing what I do now, using 3 browsers, and adding more as I see fit, thus gradualy losing controll of my machine, and giving the power over to the beast that is dependency tracking, or I can only use one browser, Conkeror, thus missing out on many of the firefox spesific extensions and using a site that isn't kongregate for flash games, or finaly, I can go and mone at adobe or whoever is responicble for the firefox-kongregate incompatibility (kongreagte blame adobe) and see if it gets patched. My current feeling is the first, as I'm lazy, the second one will never happen (I love kongregate and xmarks) and the third will probabaly be done by someone somewhere (I know, not the right attitude, but who cares). Also, out of my pick, Conkeror, Firefox, Midori and Konqueror, which do people like. I never could get into Konqueror, as I felt it was a below standard web-browser, and a below standard filemanager. Someone, please prove me wrong.

 

Promoting Linux in a strictly Microsoft company

I thought I might write a post on my fight to bring Linux to my Windows-oriented colleagues.

About 3 months after I started working where I work now, I got permission to install Linux on my work laptop since we all worked with virtual machines anyway and windows wasn't an actual requirement. So I installed Ubuntu.

Later we switched to a terminal server running on VMware ESXi, which I understand also uses the Linux kernel.
They tried Microsoft Hypervisor first, but it was a big fiasco.

Not long ago I convinced the tech guy to let me write something in PHP (instead of the usual ASP.Net) and run it on a Linux server. He was quite positive about this, since one of our clients has started using Red Hat and he does some system administrative work there, so he tought it'd be useful to use a Red Hat-based distro, which ended up being Fedora 10.
Since then he has gone mad with the Linux disease. He discovered how easy it was to use ISPConfig for managing websites we host, run a DNS server and an FTP server. So He set up another Fedora 10 server as a backup DNS server and later also installed a backup server with OpenFiler, which is based on Cent-OS, so another Red Hat distro.

I frequently have discussions with another colleague of mine and he's a big microsoft fanboy, but soon I will be able to ask him "If Microsoft and Windows are so superior, why do all our servers basically run on Linux now?". Just a little more and we will have more Linux-based servers and perhaps also clients and slowly but surely they will realise the awesomeness of Linux.

 

UID 1979 signing in

To kick off this blog, I would like to start with a general observation about online communities.   After all, that's what Linux and OSS help us build, right?  Vibrant and active online communities are just one result of open-source thinking. 

 The backlog of my story reveals that I once dreamed of being a writer.  So big was this dream, in fact, that I can pretty much say that for as long as I've had my hands near any variety of writing instrument, I've been "in the middle of" some big breakthrough as a writer: technical, scientific, literary, or otherwise. And for as long as I've been able to go "online," I've sought communities where I can mold and shape the bits of these "breakthroughs" into tangible, manageable bytes.

Excluding the graphing calculators I had through middle and high school, the first real computer that I was able to call my own was an Acer Aspire. It was a gift from a relative. The monitor was thick and heavy and pixelated, and I obtained it during high school, somewhere in between my sophomore and senior years.

My AP English teacher once posed the question to our class: "Do you think that we've reached a sort of creative impasse in our thinking? Have we come to the end of new ideas? Has every great plot already been written? Has every imaginable human struggle already been imagined?"

"No," I answered, firmly. "Definitely not. Technology will change humanity."

And it did. Materializing with the theory of Moore's Law and extending into the fuzzy tail of cloud computing today, there's no doubt that societies have become more advanced and even more capable of advancement.

But back to high school.

Eventually I got a dot-matrix printer so that some assignments could be completed at home.  Yet all the while, all I could think about was how much my computer and printer sucked and how the ones at school were so much better.  And cooler.

(Granted. The computers were *not* as cool as the Apple Macintosh computers I'd left behind at my high school in Florida when I'd been working as a wee freshman on the yearbook staff.)

But keep in mind, at this point in the story, this is still is a 15 year-old's thinking.

Today I'm 29, and it's almost bizarre to think about how I've been on this planet for *almost* twice as long now.  Indeed.  When linux.com relaunched and I signed up, happy to have a new place to write and share ideas, I was also very happy to discover that the decidedly nifty prime number of 1979 would be mine here.  

(To Be Continued == TBC)

 

My Linux history, future and this blog

Like everyone else, I'll start this blog with "this is my first blog ever!"

 Now, I'm not a complete stranger to Linux, but I'm certainly not a guru. I got my first impression of Linux from my older brother who was using it once, now he's back to Windows. I had seen Linux couple of times, and I was seeing news and so many good things about it and I wanted to try. I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 and it was good.

It was so easy to install compared to Windows XP that I was amazed. It was so easy to install software, it knew everything about all my hardware! I din't have to use anything like those cd:s full of drivers I had stored for a reinstall. It was a dream come true, but I'm not going to admit that I was, or that I'm now such a geek that would dream about some operating system.

I have tried a lot of distributions.  I've tried LFS, INX, DSL, *buntu, Elive, OpenGEU, Sidux, Gentoo, SourceMage, Crunchbang, Fedora, Mandriva, Linux Mint and more. I haven't really used those .rpm using distributions too much, with no good excuse.

I haven't been a part of any meaningful development, but I will be developing something someday. I'm studying programming, so it would be a waste if I'd not help everybody after I'll get some actual skills. I think that I want to  learn C/C++ and python for starters.

I'm a huge fan of wearable computing. I've been reading a lot about it and I will soon start building one of my own after I have finished the part where I should plan everything. I have also decided to build a distribution for it, using INX-like menu based interface without normal graphical interface. I'm amazed how I can see wearable computing almost dying, when it should be flourishing because everything is so small and powerful today. I can't believe the only mentions about wearables here are from old Linux documentation.

This page seems to be lots of fun.

 

First post!

Hi this is my first post in this new blog, I really like the new linux.com so far and I'm looking forward to see how it will develop...
 

SysAdmin Rant #1 - Documentation

   Document, please for the love of God, why the hell is there admins and I.T. guys out there that still do not document!  I mean WTF.  Do they realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to arrive at an Enterprise Company and not have any documentation to go off of?  

   9/10 of all the businesses I have worked for have little to no documentation.  Most of the time it's the admin who claims, "why do I need to document,it's in my head." This frustrates me so much!  

  Most of these business that don't have documentation, ask me to then provide Documentation for them, although it gets old, this actually helps me to learn the infrastructure  very quickly.  

 

Greetings!

Awesome!! So I finally started a Linux blog. The goal here is to promote Linux through use, projects, and general discussion.

 Ive been using Linux for about 3 years solid (5 off and on). It really hit me when I started Linux From Scratch (on the 6th attempt). From there I switched to Ubuntu (and some of its off shoots like LinuxMint) and dabbled in Fedora.  I got bored over a weekend and started messing with Slackware recently. 

After working as a Windows Administrator for a 3 years, I needed a change of pace. Having a tight budget, I switched from Windows Server 2003 to Ubuntu Server Edition and Mac OS X. I know, Mac, but say what you will, I love it. 

 I plan to use this blog to document some of the things Ive done with my Linux boxes.  Now, I don't plan to rewrite the book on Linux and some of its packages by any means. Ive found some really good tutorials out there on various things but rarely do I find everything in one spot. Here I hope to do that at best. 

 Feel free to contact me, I'll get back to you ASAP. Remember, Linux is a community driven project so feel free to send me stuff (like tutorials, docs, etc) to keep it going. 

 --Nick

 
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