I am a freelance Linux consultant by trade, a sysadmin by vocation and an Open Source developer by conviction. Welcome to my soapbox !

CentOS too much like Red Hat ?

I noticed there was something wrong with Planet CentOS this evening, and apparently the CentOS website says:

The CentOS websites are current down for some unscheduled maintenance, we hope to have services restored as soon as possible.

But at the same time if you go to www.redhat.com, you get a:

redhat.com will be back soon.Thank you for your patience.

I think there's plenty of food for conspiracy theorists in there :-) Maybe CentOS is running in Red Hat's datacenter ?

Could it really ?

First CentOS book available as ebook

About 18 months ago I blogged about the fact there was no book that focused on CentOS. There were books about Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which would be the same, but none of them had CentOS on the cover. None would discuss the community aspect, where to get help or why it matters in size.

Improved RHEL, CentOS and Scientific Linux hardware support

The past few months a bunch of very cool CentOS community members (and I am not including myself here) spend their time creating kernel modules for the stock RHEL5 2.6.18 kernel to extend hardware support. The result is now known as: ELRepo

What does it mean ?

It means that if you have problems to get specific hardware working on RHEL5, CentOS-5 or Scientific Linux 5, you can visit http://elrepo.org/ and download kmod packages for your hardware.

It effectively means that with recent hardware (laptops, desktops), you have a high chance that you can run an Enterprise Linux distribution to get recent sound hardware, webcams, dvb-t, file systems drivers and others, to work with no fuss.

RHEL 5.4 beta released

At the very same day as Firefox 3.5 hit the mirrors, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Beta with a lot of interesting new functionality:

  • KVM hypervisor now supported (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
  • Fencing agents for IBM LPAR HMC and Cisco MDS SAN switches
  • Updated ALSA drivers (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
  • Improved laptop docking support
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • FUSE support (already available from RPMforge and elrepo.org)

Leaving CentOS team, not CentOS community

With disappointment and regret I decided to resign from the CentOS team after having spent the prior weekend thinking it through. It was not the first time I was in this situation, but this time the number of reasons weighed up against the belief that I can make a difference from within the team.

What inside Firefox is using my CPU ?

I love Firefox a lot, more than any other browser actually. With my small set of addons, me and Firefox, we conquer the world every day !

That's why I hate it when my buddy Firefox is chewing away too many CPU cycles while not doing anything. It is really frustrating because it heatens my lap(top), flattens my battery and slowens my work. (yeah yeah, I know that is not proper English)

Community newsletter, take two

I knew exactly what I signed up for when I got this crazy idea to create a CentOS newsletter, still the second issue was less well planned than I had hoped :-/ But then again I am very happy with the result and step by step I am sure things will go easier.

Publishing and announcing it was now a matter of minutes. Geerd-Dietger was of great help to get it to the finish line (in time) ! And the result of the hard work is now available here:


I live in the right part of Belgium

Comparing the green parties in both parts of Belgium is comparing apples and oranges (pun intended). The Flemish green party (Groen!) is a poor extract of what it used to be and if you heard Mieke Vogels debate (both in the Flemish parliament as well as during elections) I am surprised they didn't loose any more votes. You don't need to vote Groen! to vote green anymore although maybe some use their vote to make a statement. And they are free to do just that. And while Mieke's intentions are good, the execution is poor. (I liked the old Groen! politicians better)

CentOS Pulse - Community newsletter

A CentOS newsletter was what I wanted to have for a long time. It finally materialized the past week and was published today. You can read it at:


We plan to release a new issue every 2 weeks and for the time being I will be the interim editor. The foreword explains why the newsletter is a new starting-point for the CentOS community and hopefully we can use it to communicate decisions, needs, hopes and events better and in a transparent way.

Gnome thumbnails in CentOS

Since some time I was wondering why my Gnome did not generated thumbnails for various video formats (avi, mkv, ...) as thumbnails in my file browser (nautilus) really help me navigate.

Today I investigated some more, and even though I have the whole gstreamer-plugins set installed what I apparently needed was gstreamer-ffmpeg !

When RPMforge is enabled, simply do:

apt-get install gstreamer-ffmpeg
yum install gstreamer-ffmpeg

Red Hat backported I/O accounting to RHEL5

One of the things I do on a weekly basis is follow the kernel development that Red Hat undertakes for their future RHEL5 kernels. This is very interesting because you can check the changelog for fixes, new hardware support, backported features (eg. kvm) and newly supported stuff (eg. fuse, xfs) that is coming in RHEL 5.4.

We discovered xfs was coming to RHEL, new ath5k fixes prove helpful on a friend's laptop, and I was waiting for I/O accounting, kvm and fuse to hit these releases too.

syslinux in momentum

At this year's FOSDEM we finally had H. Peter Anvin to come over and discuss the syslinux project to a wider audience and I had been waiting for that day for about 3 to 4 years. (Even though I sadly missed hpa on one occasion before :-/)

Are there too few people who understand desktop Linux ?

I just read the ComputerWorld article "Are there too many desktop Linuxes?" and once again I think the author is missing something very obvious and important.

If we are talking about Desktop Linux, we are talking about the consumer and enterprise market. If we are talking about the consumer and enterprise market, we are talking mostly about non-technical people and not me or you (since you are reading my blog, I do not consider you the average computer user).

My gift to you: wiipresent

"Finally!" I hear you say. And you are right. Because of time-constraints and my wish to include much more than is essential for this tool I delayed and delayed and delayed the public release of wiipresent.

But now I convinced myself to be happy about it :-) At least my TODO list is nicely formatted and complete. And in itself the tool already works very nice. The fact that ct magazine already mentioned wiipresent in their April edition was another motivation to release what works already.

So let me introduce to you: wiipresent v0.7.2, an off-the-shelf tool to use your wiimote for giving presentations on Linux (or control your Linux remotely).

First stable release of Drupal comment_moderation module

We released today the first stable release of the comment_moderation module for Drupal. I was lucky to have another Drupal developer David Stosik to join the project. David implemented all the remaining functionality that I wanted for the first stable release.