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

High PageRank a poisonous gift ?

Definitely if you end up on one of these.

However, I do not understand how any of the Arabic comment spammers expect me to moderate Arabic script. They probably don't know the site is moderated, oh well... Sigh...

Not sure when this wears off though :-/

RHEL backported one additional year

At the 2008 Red Hat summit in Boston, Red Hat outlined to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux for new hardware and installation media one year longer than it did in the past.

This is a major event. In the past Red Hat offered new hardware support, bugfixes and feature enhancements (dubbed full support) for 3 years after the initial release. But now that will be for 4 years after initial release. New installation media will be release up to 5 years after initial release !

Using apt in an RPM world

Everytime I am surprised that people don't know that apt-get works on RPM-based distributions and works much better than the alternatives. Especially in a CentOS/RHEL environment where you have various distribution releases running, apt-rpm allows you to use the same apt version and the same apt features across CentOS/RHEL 2.1, 3, 4 and 5.

In an attempt to persuade you to try out apt, let me denounce some myths about the current apt-rpm:

Windows XP silliness

Another strange problem today while trying to install Firefox 3 RC3 on a Windows XP SP2 on a corporate laptop. Almost immediately after I run the installer:

"Sorry, Firefox can’t be installed. This version of Firefox requires Microsoft Windows 2000 or newer.”

WTF? This is a Windows XP SP2, you moron !

I remember having the exact error with one of the Beta releases. A reboot does not make a difference, I have administrator privileges, so it must be the braindead anti-virus, right ?

RHEL Beta-test SIG ?

I have been playing with (and talking about) this before, so why not take it to the next level and share it with the larger CentOS and RHEL community ?

The CentOS community is pretty limited in what we can do to the core OS. Since our mantra is "aiming to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux" we cannot fix bugs or improve the CentOS core without waiting for RHEL to make those modifications first. We have limited leverage and a 6-month release cycle against us.

Searching for RHEL and CentOS information

If you use RHEL or CentOS a lot and you often find yourself looking for good information on the web about either CentOS or RHEL, you might find the following Firefox search addons very useful.

Here's my overview, sorted by importance:

Red Hat Knowledgebase search
Search Red Hat's extensive knowledgebase, documentation and many other resources

Linuxtag 2008 in Berlin was brilliant

The latest edition of Linuxtag was very productive. During the 4 days the CentOS crew managed to do several things, including:

  • professional booth with a 24" screen/laptop setup that we can now reuse for other events around Europe
  • proper template slides for events like this (also now a German translation thanks to Ralph and Felix)
  • well received "CentOS and Enterprise Linux" presentation
  • strengthened our ties with the Fedora project
  • have a much better solution for our CentOS media (both printing and burning)

Why CentOS will not become the next Microsoft

The subject may sound weird to you, but all the arguments that free CentOS from becoming the next Microsoft can be used to to counter the pundits that position Red Hat as being the next Microsoft.

(You may think this statement is so nineties, but a recent opinion piece that got onto Slashdot prompted similar comments)

We can only ask ourselves why someone would want us to believe that Red Hat is the next Microsoft, but let me reiterate why neither CentOS nor Red Hat will be the next Microsoft:

Thank you, South-Africa

For not giving in to politics, arm-wrestling and dirty practices that some company wants to cover up so badly.

Update: And thank you Brazil !

Tunneling NFS4 over SSH

Today we had the need to mount a filesystem from a system that was almost completely isolated and instead of having to transfer a huge amount of data over a tunneled SSH connection, I thought, why not pursue mounting NFS over an SSH tunnel.

Since NFS4 by default does TCP if both client and server can do that, this would be the perfect opportunity to test the new capability. In fact, it should not be hard at all.

Comment spam happy ending

Finally I have some good news in the comment spam saga, my latest article brought some interesting comments and eventually lead to a bugfix for Drupal 6.

This however means that Drupal 5 users in a similar environment (high PageRank and unregistered comments) may still be affected. The filter module may help, but will also not help in the PageRank front as it may not differentiate normal links and contributed links, something Drupal 6.3 will do out of the box as intended.

Ubuntu's need to catch a wave

Let me play devil's advocate here. Mark Shuttleworth's recent pledge to join a synchronised release plan for Enterprise Linux distributions is no more than a wish to benefit from a lot of work that Novell and Red Hat are already doing in the Enterprise space.

Let me explain.

Going back a decade

Closing my eyes during the Portishead concert warped me back more than a decade, I must be getting old.

Elise expressed exactly how I experienced the concert.

Can't wait for the Massive Attack concert in August. Only Tricky is missing to complete the list of 1995.

Spam comment tale continues

Things are getting worse at the spam comment front, whereas I used to get about 2 to 3 spam comments a day (or comments that look very real but advertise a commercial website nevertheless), I now have attracted more people that leave unwanted comments. Up to 20 a day, worse than my mailbox *with* spamfilter.

This is bad...

My first presentation for everyone to mock

Finally FrOSCon made available the video of my first dstat presentation, which was also my first presentation at an Open Source conference *ever* !

I am a bit disappointed that I did not have access to it before doing the same presentation at 3 different other venues, as I could have learned much from it. It shows that I had not slept that night because of the stress and sleepless nights turn me hyperactive :-)