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6 OpenSSL command options that every sysadmin should know

6 OpenSSL command options that every sysadmin should know

Look beyond generating certificate signing requests and see how OpenSSL commands can display practical information about certificates.
Anthony Critelli
Mon, 3/22/2021 at 10:22pm


Image by Uwe Baumann from Pixabay

Transport layer security (TLS) is an important part of any security strategy, and applications beyond web servers increasingly take advantage of the protections offered by public-key cryptography. The OpenSSL toolkit is the fundamental utility that any systems administrator must know if they are responsible for maintaining TLS-protected applications. In this article, I demonstrate some of the most common commands that I use daily.

Linux Administration  
Command line utilities  
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

Presto At Uber

In this special series on PrestoCon Day 2021 coverage, Swapnil Bhartiya at TFIR sat down with Girish Baliga, Engineering Manager of Data Infrastructure at Uber. Girish manages Pinot, Flink, and Presto teams at Uber. He is helping the team build a comprehensive self-service real-time analytics platform to power business-critical external-facing dashboards and metrics. Girish is also the Chairman of the Presto Linux Foundation Governing Board.

OpenPOWER Foundation Provides Microwatt for Fabrication on Skywater Open PDK Shuttle

The OpenPOWER based Microwatt cpu core has been selected to be included in the Efabless Open MPW Shuttle Program. Microwatt’s inclusion in the program represents a lower barrier to entry for chip manufacturing. It also demonstrates the ability to create fully designed, fabricated chips relying on a complete, end-to-end open source environment – including open governance, specifications, tooling, IP, hardware, software, and manufacturing.

Read more at OpenPOWER Foundation

Liquid Prep intelligent watering solution now hosted by the Linux Foundation as a Call for Code project

Over the past several decades farmers have been depending increasingly on groundwater to irrigate their crops due to climate change and reduced rainfall. Farmers, even in drought-prone areas, continue to need to grow water-intensive crops because these crops have a steady demand.

In 2019, as part of Call for Code, a team of IBMers came together and brainstormed on ideas they were passionate about – problems faced by farmers in developing countries due to more frequent drought conditions. The team designed an end-to-end solution that focuses on helping farmers gain insight into when to water their crops and help them optimize their water usage to grow healthy crops. This team, Liquid Prep, went on to win the IBM employee Call for Code Global Challenge.

Liquid Prep provides a mobile application that can obtain soil moisture data from a portable soil moisture sensor, fetch weather information from The Weather Company, and access crop data through a service deployed on the IBM Cloud. Their solution brings all this data together, analyzes it, and computes watering guidance to help the farmer decide whether to water their crops right now or conserve it for a better time.

To validate the Liquid Prep prototype, in December 2019, one of the team members traveled to India and interviewed several farmers in the village Nuggehalli, which is near the town Hirisave in the Hassan district of Karnataka, India. The interviews taught the team that the farmers did not have detailed information on when they should water their specific crops and by how much, as they didn’t know the specific needs on a plant-by-plant basis. They also just let the water run freely if the water was available from a nearby source, like a river or stream, and some were entirely dependent on rainfall. The farmers expressed a great interest in the described Liquid Prep solution as it could empower them to make more informed decisions that could improve yields.

A prototype is born

After winning the challenge the Liquid Prep team took on the opportunity to convert the concept to a more complete prototype through an IBM Service Corps engagement. The team was expanded with dedicated IBM volunteers from across the company and they were assigned to optimize Liquid Prep from August through October 2020. During this time the team developed the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the mobile solution.

The prototype consists of three primary components:

  • A hardware sensor to measure soil moisture
  • A highly visual and easy-to-use mobile web application, and
  • A back-end data service to power the app.

It works like this: the mobile web application gets soil moisture data from the soil moisture sensor. The app requests environmental conditions from The Weather Company and crop data from the plant database via the backend service deployed on the IBM Cloud. The app analyzes and computes a watering schedule to help the farmer decide if they should water their crops now or at a later time.


Liquid Prep has a developed a great working relationship with partners SmartCone Technologies, Inc., and Central New Mexico Community College. Students in the Deep Dive Coding Internet of Things (IoT) Bootcamp at CNM are designing, developing, and producing a robust IoT sensor and housing it in the shape of a stick that can be inserted into the soil and transfer the soil moisture data to the Liquid Prep mobile app via Bluetooth. The collaboration gives students important real-world experience before they enter the workforce.

“SmartCone is honored to be part of this project.  This is a perfect example of technology teams working together to help make the world a better place, “ said Jason Lee, Founder & CEO, SmartCone Technologies Inc.

Additionally, Liquid Prep will work together with J&H Nixon Farms, who largely grow soybeans and corn crops on about 2800 acres of agricultural land in Ottawa, Canada. They have offered Liquid Prep the opportunity to pilot test the prototype on several plots of land that have different soil conditions, which in turn can expand the breadth of recommendation options to a larger number of potential users.

Now available as open source

Liquid Prep is now available as an open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. The goal of the project is to help farmers globally farm their crops with the least amount of water by taking advantage of real-time information that can help improve sustainability and build resiliency to climate change.

Participation is welcomed from software developers, designers, testers, agronomists/agri experts/soil experts, IoT engineers, researchers, students, farmers, and others that can help improve the quality and value of the solution for small farmers around the world. Key areas the team are interested in developing include localizing the mobile app, considering soil properties for the improvement of the watering advice, updating project documentation, software and hardware testing, more in-depth research, and adding more crop data to the database.

Get involved in Liquid Prep now at Call For Code

The post Liquid Prep intelligent watering solution now hosted by the Linux Foundation as a Call for Code project appeared first on Linux Foundation.

Creating a backup of data stored in a Linux virtual machine

Creating a backup of data stored in a Linux virtual machine

Learn how one sysadmin backs up data from one virtual machine to another in a different geographic zone.
Saksham Lamba
Sun, 3/21/2021 at 2:46pm


Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay

In this article, I cover what I’ve learned about backing up data stored in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) virtual machine (VM). During my first year of working with Linux, I had the idea of backing up data on a Linux VM deployed in the cloud.

Linux Administration  
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

A sysadmin’s favorite Linux history command line hack

When typing is necessary, it’s better to do it efficiently.
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

8 steps to developing an Ansible role in Linux

In this article, an existing Ansible playbook is used to deploy Vim and convert it to a role adding flexibility and reusability.
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

SEAPATH: A Software Driven Open Source Project for the Energy Sector

LF Energy recently announced a new project called, SEAPATH, or Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts (THerein). It’s the second project by the foundation in its Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative. SEAPATH will provide a reference design and a real-time, open-source platform for grid operators to run virtualized automation and protection applications. In this interview, Dr. Shuli Goodman, Executive Director of LF Energy, and Lucian Balea, R&D Program Director and open source manager at RTE joined Swapnil Bhartiya to talk about the project.

Linux Foundation Support for Asian Communities

The Linux Foundation and its communities are deeply concerned about the rise in attacks against Asian Americans and condemn this violence. It is devastating to hear over and over again of the attacks and vitriol against Asian communities, which have increased substantially during the pandemic. 

We stand in support with all those that have experienced this hate, and to the families of those who have been killed as a result. Racism, intolerance and inequality have no place in the world, our country, the tech industry or in open source communities. 

We firmly believe that we are all at our best when we work together, treat each other with respect and equality and without hate or vitriol.

The post Linux Foundation Support for Asian Communities appeared first on Linux Foundation.

Cloud Native Training & Certification from The Linux Foundation & CNCF

There’s no question that cloud computing skills are in demand, and knowing cloud can help you secure a lucrative career. In fact, the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report from The Linux Foundation and edX found that knowledge of cloud skills has the biggest impact on hiring decisions. LinkedIn also named cloud computing the second most in demand hard skill of 2020. And a recent D2iQ study found “only 23% of organizations believe they have the talent required to successfully complete their cloud native journey”. 

Closing this talent gap is why Linux Foundation Training & Certification has partnered with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) – the home of Kubernetes, Linkerd, Prometheus, Helm and other widely used cloud native technologies – on a variety of programs to make quality cloud native learning more accessible. The hope is that providing more educational opportunities will lead to a great ability for those aspiring to work in the field to do so.

This article examines the various training courses available to learn about cloud native technologies, as well as certification exams to demonstrate that knowledge. Sample learning paths are also included as a guide of how to get started, and how to proceed on the cloud native learning journey.

Free Training Courses

Our catalog of free cloud native courses is offered on the non-profit edX platform, and provides the fundamentals necessary to move on to more advanced training. These courses are all taken online and are self-paced. Note you can audit each course at no cost for between six and fourteen weeks depending on the course, so we recommend completing each course you are interested in before moving on to the next to ensure you do not run out of time.

  • Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies (LFS151) – This class is designed for people who have little or no prior experience with cloud technologies. Upon completion, students will possess an understanding of cloud computing and the use of open source software to maximize development and operations.
  • Introduction to Kubernetes (LFS158) – This course is for teams considering or beginning to use Kubernetes for container orchestration who need guidelines on how to start transforming their organization with Kubernetes and cloud native patterns.
  • Introduction to Service Mesh with Linkerd (LFS143) – This course is designed for site reliability engineers, DevOps professionals, cluster administrators, and developers and teaches them to use the Linkerd CLI and UI to deploy and operate Linkerd, as well as to secure, observe, and add reliability to Kubernetes applications.
  • Introduction to Serverless on Kubernetes (LFS157) – The course is designed for developers and IT operators, and explains how a serverless approach works in tandem with a Kubernetes cluster, along with the potential of serverless functions.
  • Exploring GraphQL: A Query Language for APIs (LFS141) – This course is for both management and technical teams involved in the building and management of websites and provides the skills to get started using GraphQL for a small project or professionally in production.
  • Building Microservice Platforms with TARS (LFS153) – This course is designed for engineers working in microservices, as well enterprise managers interested in exploring internal technical architectures, and helps them to understand microservices architecture and how to quickly build stable and reliable applications based on TARS. 
  • Introduction to Cloud Foundry and Cloud Native Software Architecture (LFS132) – This course is for teams that either use or would like to use Cloud Foundry to deploy applications, preparing them to deliver business value quickly, without wasting time getting apps to the cloud.
  • Introduction to FinOps (LFS175) – This course is addressed to a wide audience including technical professionals, finance, procurement, and accounting professionals, business unit or product managers, and executives, helping them understand how to build a culture of accountability around cloud use that lets your organization make good, timely, data-backed decisions in the cloud, not just to save money, but to make money.

eLearning Courses

Self-paced, eLearning courses provide a way to learn intermediate to advanced skills in a low pressure environment. These courses are offered for a fee and include access for a full year. Some courses can also be bundled with a certification exam for a discounted price.

  • Containers Fundamentals (LFS253) – This course provides the knowledge needed to work with containers to bundle an application with all its dependencies and deploy it on the platform of our choice, be it Bare-Metal, VM, Cloud, etc. 
  • Kubernetes Fundamentals (LFS258) – This course provides a strong operating knowledge of Kubernetes, including how to deploy a containerized application and manipulating resources via the API. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.
  • Kubernetes for Developers (LFD259) – This course is ideal for developers who are looking to gain skills in Kubernetes application development. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam.
  • Monitoring Systems and Services with Prometheus (LFS241) – This course leads new Prometheus users through many of its major features, best practices, and use cases. It covers aspects including setting up and using Prometheus, monitoring components and services, querying, alerting, using Prometheus with Kubernetes and more.
  • Cloud Native Logging with Fluentd (LFS242) – This course explores the full range of Fluentd features, from installing Fluentd to running Fluentd in a container, and from using Fluentd as a simple log forwarder to using it as a sophisticated log aggregator and processor.
  • Service Mesh Fundamentals (LFS243) – This course introduces the challenges of distributed systems, strategies for managing these challenges, and the architecture of service meshes. It also covers key concepts such as data plane vs. control plane and the evolution of ingress.
  • Managing Kubernetes Applications with Helm (LFS244) – This course covers the history of the Helm project and its architecture, how to properly install the Helm client, the various components of a Helm chart and how to create one, the command-line actions used for managing an application’s lifecycle, and much more.
  • Containers for Developers and Quality Assurance (LFD254) – This course can help everyone involved in the application lifecycle, be it developers, quality assurance engineers, or operations engineers, by preparing them to deploy a containerized application in production from a workstation.
  • Kubernetes Security Essentials (LFS260) – This course provides the knowledge and skills needed to maintain security in dynamic, multi-project environments. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exam.
  • Cloud Foundry for Developers (LFD232) – This course teaches developers how to use Cloud Foundry to build, deploy and manage a cloud native microservice solution. It also serves as preparation for the Cloud Foundry Certified Developer (CFCD) exam.
  • DevOps and SRE Fundamentals: Implementing Continuous Delivery (LFS261) – This course introduces the fundamentals of CI/CD within an open container ecosystem, explaining how to deliver features rapidly, while at the same time being able to achieve non-functional requirements such as availability, reliability, scalability, security, and more.

Instructor-Led Training Courses

Instructor-led training is ideal for teams or for those who need hands-on support to gain the skills needed for a job role. These courses take place either in person or virtually at a pre-scheduled time, with a live instructor leading. 

  • Kubernetes Administration (LFS458) – This course is ideal for those wishing to manage a containerized application infrastructure. This includes existing IT administrators, as well as those looking to start a cloud career. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.
  • Kubernetes for App Developers (LFD459) – This course will teach you how to containerize, host, deploy, and configure an application in a multi-node cluster. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam.
  • Kubernetes Security Fundamentals (LFS460) – This course provides skills and knowledge across a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment, and runtime. It also serves as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exam.

Certification Exams

Our certification exams demonstrate that an individual possesses the skills to be effective in a given cloud-native role. Most exams are performance-based, presenting tasks to be completed in a real-world environment. Upon passing the exam, you receive a certificate and digital badge which can be independently verified at any time by current or potential employers using our online verification tool.

  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) – A certified K8s administrator has demonstrated the ability to do basic installation as well as configuring and managing production-grade Kubernetes clusters. They will have an understanding of key concepts such as Kubernetes networking, storage, security, maintenance, logging and monitoring, application lifecycle, troubleshooting, API object primitives and the ability to establish basic use-cases for end users.
  • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) – A k8s certified application developer can design, build, configure and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes, as well as define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.
  • Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) – Obtaining a CKS demonstrates a candidate possesses the requisite abilities to secure container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime, and is qualified to perform these tasks in a professional setting.
  • Cloud Foundry Certified Developer (CFCD) – CFCD is ideal for candidates who want to validate their skill set using the Cloud Foundry platform to deploy and manage applications.
  • FinOps Certified Practitioner (FOCP) – A FOCP will bring a strong understanding of FinOps, its principles, capabilities and how to support and manage the FinOps lifecycle to manage cost and usage of cloud in an organization. 

Other Resources

Sample Learning Paths

The post Cloud Native Training & Certification from The Linux Foundation & CNCF appeared first on Linux Foundation – Training.