CentOS Joining Red Hat Family

CentOS Project Leader Karanbir Singh writes:

With great excitement I'd like to announce that we are joining the Red
Hat family. The CentOS Project ( http://www.centos.org ) is joining
forces with Red Hat. Working as part of the Open Source and Standards
team ( http://community.redhat.com/ ) to foster rapid innovation
beyond the platform into the next generation of emerging technologies.
Working alongside the Fedora and RHEL ecosystems, we hope to further
expand on the community offerings by providing a platform that is
easily consumed, by other projects to promote their code while we
maintain the established base.

Read more about this fabulous development in this ars technica article and in Karanbir Singh’s CentOS Announce list posting.

I’m very excited about this. CentOS has been a favorite of mine for many years. I used to tell folks it’s the closest thing you can get to Red Hat without spending money. Now it’ll be closer than ever before.

Best of luck with this endeavour CentOS and Red Hat!

Later…

~Eric


Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE Review – A Reblog from Linux and Life

Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE Review from Linux and Life

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Last year, I installed and wrote a review for Linux Mint 13 Maya, the MATE version. It had worked really well on my laptop so even when Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” was released, I still kept using Maya. But after a year, I think its the time for an upgrade, and on the same occasion that Linux Mint 15 Olivia was recently out, I decided to download and install the new Linux Mint 15, MATE version.

Read the rest of this excellent review HERE.

Later…

~Eric


Memorial Day 2013

Never forget.


Porteus – Another Excellent Choice for the Thumb Drive Toolbox

A few years ago, I wrote a little article called My Thumb Drive Toolbox for Linux.com.

In that article, I explain how to install Slax on a thumb drive. I also mention Puppy Linux as being usable for that purpose also. It’s very useful to have a full-featured Linux OS on a thumb drive, particularly when repairing corrupted MS Windows systems, as I did earlier this evening for a client.

Over at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, a topic came up regarding the porteus.org website possibly being down. Hamza from porteus.org dropped in to respond to the issue. After we resolved the issue, I went to the porteus.org website to snoop around a bit. I was, of course, already familiar with Porteus, but I had not visited the new site nor had I used the distribution recently.

My old (ancient, really) version of Slax on my thumb drive toolbox was still functioning, but I had been wanting to update to the newest version of Slax for a while. I’d been waiting for v7.0 for a while. I decided to kill two birds and all that…

I downloaded and installed both Slax and Porteus earlier this afternoon. I’ve had the chance to evaluate them both this evening. Slax is very nice, even with KDE 4. ;) However, this article is about Porteus, which I installed with my favorite desktop environment –> Xfce. I first burned the .iso to a CD (directions on Porteus’ download page) and then booted that CD to use the Porteus Installer app to install it to my thumb drive. It worked wonderfully.

I specifically chose to use the 32 bit version because many of the systems that I would need to boot it from are older 32 bit machines. It’s best to have a diagnostic Linux distribution on a thumb drive that is functional with older machines if you’re in the fix-windows-for-family-and-friends business. HA! :)

Visit the website, snoop around the forums, then give Porteus a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is a quality portable media distribution, with a good documentation and support network. You know I’m going to like Porteus. It’s only natural…

from the Porteus forums:

Porteus is a light-weight, highly configurable and flexible live distribution based on Slackware

Oh, and don’t forget… if you have the resources available, run it from RAM. It’s GREASED LIGHTING FAST!

Have fun!

~Eric


Slax 7.0? It’s About Time!

Many of us have patiently waited for this:

New Design for Slax.org, Preparing Final Release

at 17:40 Posted by Barnaby |

Just in time for the expected final release of Slax 7.0 on Monday after all this time the web site has had a makeover as well to serve as a visual reminder that a new age for Slax has truly arrived.

Read the article at Linux, BSD, and everything else…

Hmm… KDE, huh? Well, I’ll deal with that if necessary. ;)

Happy Slaxxing! :)

~Eric


Arch Linux Commits to systemd

Can’t say I didn’t see this coming. I converted to pure systemd months ago in my Arch.

According the THIS article at The H website and other sources, it looks like Arch Linux is going 100% systemd. Well, that’s cool. I don’t have any issues with that. I’m not completely sold on systemd yet, but I haven’t found anything to really complain about. I do think it’s a slight poke-in-the-eye to Arch’s KISS approach to GNU/Linux, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Arch isn’t the only distribution that has made this leap. I believe Fedora and SuSE are also moving in that direction. I’m not a developer or coder, so I can’t really tell you what the under-the-hood advantages of systemd over sysvinits may be. However, many folks smarter than I am in that area seem to favor systemd.

There are some holdouts. Patrick Volkerding of Slackware has no plans in the current millennium of getting away from sysvinits in his distribution. Slackware is my primary OS, as you know, so this is OK by me. I don’t believe the Debian folks are considering systemd at this time either. I would actually be shocked if they were. Systemd is too new for Debian. It would be a definite threat to their legendary commitment to stability.

Have a wonderful fall season (spring, if you’re way down south ;) )!

Later…

~Eric


Running Pure systemd In Arch Linux

A recent upgrade in Arch Linux caused my Thunar file manager to lose its auto-mounting capabilities.

Now granted, auto-mounting of removable media (floppy, ZIP, CD/DVD, USB, etc.) on my system is purely a convenience. It’s not a necessity. I have no fear of the command line, so mounting manually can always be achieved. It’s the principle of the thing, dammit. What used to work should continue to work. Unfortunately, as we all know, thanks to updates of one sort or another (in any operating system), this doesn’t always hold true.

After doing some reading and research into the causes of Thunar’s apparent crippling, I became aggravated with Arch because recent updates have been plaguing me with breakage. Now, let’s be honest here… it’s not really Arch’s fault. Arch is a rolling-release distribution. Things change rapidly. The developers keep the base system closer to the bleeding edge that most periodic-release distributions. Anyone who uses Arch knows these things.

I run Slackware as my primary operating system on all my machines (except for an old Dell Latitude 610 running Bodhi Linux). Arch is my secondary (backup) operating system on my main system. I used to use Debian for this purpose, but as much as I love Debian, it is just too sluggish about getting current versions of apps in its repos. Now don’t all you Debian folks start throwing rubber chickens at me. I understand that Debian’s legendary stability is due to the fact that its stable repos contain only tried and truly long-term tested versions of applications. That is how it should be with Debian (I run Sid as a tester on my system, by the way).

So, back the Arch situation…

In the process of trying to find out what I needed to do to fix the auto-mounting issue, I ran across some information here and there about systemd. What is systemd, you might ask.

systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux control groups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. It can work as a drop-in replacement for sysvinit.

*from http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd

I noticed that Arch’s core repo shifted udev from its stand-alone status to a sub-app of the systemd-tools application.

News: systemd-tools replaces udev

2012-06-01 – Dave Reisner

systemd and udev have been merged upstream. We will still ship them in separate packages. However, in order to keep things simple, udev will now be part of a package called systemd-tools. This package contains several other standalone tools which can be used without systemd. The astute reader will note that this also means the entirety of systemd is available in the core repository.

Please replace udev with systemd-tools when prompted. If you upgrade the linux package at the same time, you may see an error during initramfs creation that the udev hook is not found. After the upgrade completes, please rerun ‘mkinitcpio -p linux’ to ensure that a bootable image is created for the newly installed kernel.

Seeing this made me wonder if Arch was going to transition to systemd over initscripts sometime soon. To be honest, as some of the folks at Scot’s Newsletter Forums/Bruno’s All Things Linux can attest to,  I actually became a bit peeved… pissed off, you might even say. ;) All’s well, though. Ignorance is a great stimulant for fear and loathing. Knowledge paves the way for understanding and acceptance.

A little research was in order, so I spent the next few days after this initial rant about systemd learning what I could about it. Eventually, I decided to convert my Arch to systemd 100%, eschewing initscripts entirely. How did that go? Relatively well, actually. Read more about how I did it and how things turned out HERE, if you’re interested. I even managed to solve my auto-mount issues along the way.

systemd is available in many distributions already. I do believe that it has a good chance of replacing the standard initscripts method of services in GNU/Linux in the near future. If you’re a tinkerer, go give it a try on some test partition on one of your systems. I wouldn’t recommend converting 100% to systemd on your main operating system, though; not unless you really know what you’re doing. It wouldn’t hurt to learn the fundamentals of systemd. I believe it’ll be around for a while.

Have fun!

~Eric

Further reading:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Systemd

http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd

http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Control-Centre-The-systemd-Linux-init-system-1565543.html

http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Booting-up-Tools-and-tips-for-systemd-1570630.html

*Sorry for the raw links. I’m being lazy today. :(


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