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10.18.13

IBM Does Not Deserve That Much Credit for Power Systems Agenda

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A turbine

Via Siemens

Summary: Recalling the real goal of IBM’s Linux-themed marketing and the side effects of this strategy

IBM only embraced the “Linux” brand in order to help sell its own hardware (so expensive that IBM does not publicly advertise the price — one has to call or request a quote online). It is merely an investment [1], an attempt to shift to Power Systems [2] all sorts of GNU/Linux or UNIX customers (many still move away from UNIX, e.g. [3]). When it comes to distributions [4], IBM’s Power limits those choices somewhat. IBM is increasing hardware choices in some sense, but this happens to concurrently reduce some distribution choices. Then again, some are not fans of the meme that “Linux is about choice” [5], so to them, IBM’s selfish agenda is irrelevant here.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Can IBM expect the same ROI from next round of investment in Linux?

    At the most recent LinxuCon, IBM announced it will invest $1B in Linux and related open source technologies over the next five years.

  2. Little Linux Pricing On Big Power Systems Iron

    In case you haven’t noticed, IBM thinks that getting customers to put their Linux workloads onto Power Systems is going to reverse the sales decline for the platform. That decline has more to do with all flavors of Unix falling out of favor compared to Windows and Linux in the data centers of the world with the exception of very large workloads, usually databases, and the relatively high prices that Unix system vendors charge for their iron.

  3. Senwes Unix to Linux migration

    When Senwes, one of the largest grain handling companies in the southern hemisphere, decided to upgrade its main data centre and disaster recovery site, it was looking for flexibility.

  4. Choosing A Linux Flavor For Your Datacenter

    There are hundreds of flavors of Linux, each with their own focus and opinion on how the soup of open source tools should be assembled and maintained into a workable operating system. Choosing one for your desktop can be fun, as you get to try different distributions out without a whole lot of investment. However, when choosing a flavor for the datacenter or cloud hosted environment, you may find yourself stuck with your decision for a long time.

  5. Doing more with less – The Free Software Column

    In a famous posting to fedora-devel-list back in 2008, adam Jackson wrote: “If I could only have one thing this year, it would be to eliminate [the meme that ‘linux is about choice’] from the collective consciousness.”

The US Navy Moves to GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Windows at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US Navy

Summary: The world’s largest force of offshore violence and naval aggression is embracing GNU/Linux

LINUX is “evolving everywhere,” as one reporter from IDG put it some days ago [1]. A colleague said that “your next network operating system is Linux” [2] as if Linux is not yet a common platform in networking (it is). When it comes to mission-critical systems, it is usually the platform of choice and GNU is often part of the system (not always).

Microsoft can go on raving about Windows for submarines and all that marketing nonsense (the US Army favours Linux in equipment like drones, having abandoned Windows) and new reports [3,4] suggest that the US Navy’s new $3.5 billion ship will be Linux-powered. Does this represent a strategic shift in the Navy? It’s the US Navy which is also behind submarines, so is Windows on its way out? NSA back doors can’t be good for anyone’s security.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The future of Linux: Evolving everywhere

    Mark Shuttleworth’s recent closure of Ubuntu Linux bug No. 1 (“Microsoft has a majority market share”) placed a meaningful, if somewhat controversial, exclamation point on how far Linux has come since Linus Torvalds rolled out the first version of the OS in 1991 as a pet project.

  2. Your next network operating system is Linux

    Networking is the last bastion of proprietary systems, but Cumulus Networks sees a near future where Linux powers network hardware by default

  3. USS Zumwalt — a Guided Missile Destroyer Running On Linux
  4. The Navy’s newest warship is powered by Linux

    The USS Zumwalt will be a floating data center—armed with missiles and robot guns.

GNU/Linux Now Embedded in Many Desktops, Laptops, and Other Devices

Posted in GNU/Linux at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU/Linux inside

Photo from fsf.org

Summary: New articles about GNU and Linux in various devices that target the majority of computer users

BASED on an overview of Walmart inventories online [1], owing to the growing popularity of Chromebooks [3] as well as ‘proper’ (full) GNU/Linux on desktops and laptops [3] or Mini PCs [4], the rise of */Linux is very evident.

Other new articles speak of reasons to switch to GNU/Linux [5], the ease of moving to GNU/Linux [6], who GNU/Linux will be suitable for [7], and who’s available for help [8]. It seems like GNU/Linux sure is growing in China [9].

Whichever way one looks at it, GNU/Linux is very mainstream, but the brands GNU and Linux are not always mentioned to the users.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Laptop Computers At Walmart Now Include Lots Of */Linux

    Wow! What a difference a few years make. It was only a few years ago that Walmart sold out of GNU/Linux netbooks and proclaimed buyers returned them… Now Walmart.com lists Linpus GNU/Linux, Chrome OS GNU/Linux, and even Android/Linux notebooks. Some are in the top ten of best-sellers.

  2. Hands-on with the surprisingly nice $279 HP Chromebook 11

    You actually get pretty decent build quality for the price.

  3. Preloaded Linux systems: Weighing the options

    If you need a Linux-based desktop or laptop and don’t have the time or inclination to do the installation yourself, here are some alternatives.

  4. The Utilite Linux Mini PC

    Sometimes we need to test or use another Linux distribution than the one we use to complete our daily tasks and setting up a virtual machine is not always the best solution. Have you heard about the Utilite Linux Mini PC?

  5. 20 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Linux!

    Leading business houses, educational institutions and governmental agencies across the globe are shifting their operating systems to Linux from proprietary. Similarly, they are switching over their application programs from commercial software to open source software.

  6. Easy Ways to Get Going with Linux are on the Rise

    Many of us who run Linux are intimately familiar with loading and configuring our favorite distros, and doing so on all kinds of computers. There is also a certain subset of the Linux community that is inclined to put Linux on older hardware, and some distros cater to this proactively.

    However, there are more and more options for getting Linux preloaded on computers, and more options for affordably running Linux on state-of-the-art hardware. Here is a look at some of the options gaining in popularity.

  7. This article will help you in deciding whether you can use Linux or not

    These are just few use cases that I could think of and I have tried to be as honest as possible to show how well Linux can take care of your usage. Linux has come a long way and now it’s ready for the prime time. The only reason it has not picked up as Windows or Mac is because there is no big company investing money and resources in marketing Linux.

  8. On Linux Install Fest 2013

    Today was that time of the year again when ROSEdu organized the traditional Linux Install Fest. I managed to be there only a couple of hours, enough to get a grasp of the event and do a few things.

  9. Why do so many Chinese bitcoiners use Linux?

    Unlike commercial operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS X, Linux stands alone because of its unique nature. One of the major benefits of using this OS is that it is open source, meaning that the underlying source code may be used, modified, and distributed as its users see fit.

Red Hat’s Desktop Efforts (e.g. Fedora) Lag Behind the Debian Camp

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fedora

Summary: Fedora, despite leading in much of the technical side, fails to catch up with the reliability of Debian-derived desktop distributions

Fedora is Red Hat’s breeding ground for innovation in GNU/Linux, especially when it comes to the desktop side. Yum is being phased out and Fedora repositories (with binary packages [1]) leave room for desire [2]. I used Fedora with KDE numerous times before, from version 1 (Fedora Core) through to 14, which I used only for a few months. Fedora 11 is the one that I used the most with KDE and it was never as satisfactory as Kubuntu, especially because packages were not as simple to install (I have 3 Kubuntu installations at the moment, one Debian). My experiences with KDE in Fedora are not unique [3] and staff inside Fedora calls for testing of Fedora 20 [4], hoping this would help identify bugs. Based on the quality of previous releases, it’s hard to believe this one would offer a high level of polish.

Fedora does not have many derivatives. There are some like Hanthana [5] and Korora [6], which are now derived from the latest stable Fedora, but neither one is exceptionally popular (or at least not ubiquitous). In my view, and based on my many experiences with Fedora since the project was born, desktops that are derived from Debian are generally more reliable and easier to maintain. At work, Debian is our standard system to use. Red Hat needs to recognise this and put more effort into the desktop side. Phoronix has some new benchmarks [7,8] and Tecmint has a comparison from an administrative point of view [9].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Conky Manager Fedora Packages
  2. Handbrake for Fedora, it’s a thing

    I was reading today about how the Korora spin on Fedora includes Handbrake, the popular cross-platform video transcoding/DVD-ripping utility.

    But I am running regular Fedora 19, albeit with proprietary-package assistance from RPM Fusion and a few other repositories.

    Still, Handbrake isn’t in any of those repos.

  3. I tried Fedora 19 KDE one more time

    My first attempt to use Fedora 19 KDE was not very successful. I was not able to even login into the system, spinning on the login screen endlessly. So much for that. In the beta phase before that, I discovered a whole bunch of bugs, including a severe kernel panic that would kick in on the graphical stack approx. five minutes into the session. All in all, it was a blunder.

  4. Upcoming Test Days, and Fedora 20 status

    If anyone’s noticed I haven’t been around as much lately – I’m in Europe visiting family and friends (and, later this week, the Brno office!) If anything I’m busier than usual, but there’s a lot of dealing with personal administrivia and seeing people, so I’m not getting as much work done as usual. (Plus my internet connections here are much slower and I’m on my laptop instead of my usual mission control, which makes me a lot less efficient). Normal service should be resumed around Oct 19th, please do not adjust your sets!

  5. Hanthana 19.0 Review: Sri Lankan spiced up Fedora, has some bugs but quite good in overall
  6. Korora 19.1 released

    Today we have released Korora 19.1 which is a 3 month update to the original 19 release. Anyone already running Korora doesn’t need this, however if you are planning do any more installs we highly recommend downloading this new release as it includes all updates, a few tweaks and fixes a number of bugs. This release also includes versions of the MATE and Cinnamon desktops which we’ve created to gauge community interest.

  7. Ubuntu 13.10 vs. Fedora Linux CPU Benchmarks

    A few days back I shared OpenGL benchmarks of Fedora 19, Fedora 20, Ubuntu 13.04, and Ubuntu 13.10. For those not interested in the CPU performance of these four Linux distributions, those results are now available.

  8. The First Wayland Benchmarks From Fedora 20 Show Great Promise

    Since last week it’s been possible to run the GNOME Shell on Wayland with Fedora 20. The user-experience isn’t yet refined and easy, but Linux enthusiasts can easily get a GNOME 3.10 session running on Wayland for testing purposes using F20 packages. In this article are the first graphics benchmarks from Fedora 20 when running GNOME 3.10 on Wayland with XWayland support and then from running a clean X.Org Server.

  9. RedHat vs Debian : Administrative Point of View

Red Hat Roundup: Claims That OpenStack is on the Rise, New Partnerships, Releases, and More

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat, Servers at 12:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The creation of Bob Young keeps giving

Bob Young
Photo by Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Summary: An overview of recent news about Red Hat, the world’s leader in GNU/Linux server sales

DESPITE growing pains and competition from other “open” options [1], OpenStack has a new release [2] and one of its main backers, Red Hat, claims that it has growth potential [3]. Taking advantage of the whole ‘cloud’ hype, Red Hat is growing closer to Salesforce.com [4] and SAP [5]. A RHEL 5.9 – 5.10 risk report is released [6], with the latest RHEL 6.x now in beta [7]. Red Hat uses the total cost of ownership (TCO) line to claim advantage [8] and its shares are doing reasonably well [9-10]. Despite RHEL not being free (gratis) [11], free derivatives continue to exist [12] and be made public. Techrights runs the latest CentOS, which is essentially a rebranded RHEL.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Being on the napkin

    Which would make Eucalyptus the open source little brother that the System/360 never had, that has no analogue in the history books, and that could have changed everything. Trouble is, I’m not sure how to fit that on your napkin.

  2. OpenStack Havana Heats Up the Cloud

    The new open-source cloud platform release provides orchestration, monitoring and security features.

  3. OpenStack Demand Is High as Havana Debut Nears: Report

    A Red Hat-sponsored report shows growth potential for the open-source OpenStack cloud, though there are some challenges.

    The open-source OpenStack cloud platform has the support of many of the world’s leading IT vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel, AT&T, Cisco and Red Hat, but does it have the support of enterprises?

  4. Salesforce.com Expands Use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    Linux is the foundation for the cloud, and increasingly, global customers are choosing Red Hat Enterprise Linux as their cloud foundation. That’s why we’re excited to share that salesforce.com, the world’s #1 CRM platform, and a longtime Red Hat customer, has completed a new, multi-year contract with Red Hat, expanding use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a key part of its infrastructure.

  5. Red Hat Loves SAP, It’s Official

    Red Hat has gone public with the beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5. With predictable labels like “better scalability and manageability”, there is also some real meat on the bones for those prepared to chew deeper.

  6. RHEL 5.9 – 5.10 Risk Report Released
  7. Latest Beta Release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Now Available
  8. How RHEL trims total cost of ownership (TCO)
  9. 2 Reasons Red Hat Really Shouldn’t Be This Cheap

    Red Hat beat analyst estimates both on earnings and revenues by growing sales 16% year over year and adjusted earnings by 25%. Analysts and investors ignored all this good news to focus on the billings proxy, a forward-looking measure of upcoming revenues. On that measure — on which Red Hat doesn’t offer any guidance — the 8% higher number fell short of Wall Street’s 12% projections. Red Hat has seen this market reaction before, but the business growth hasn’t slowed down like the panic sellers expected.

  10. First Week of November 16th Options Trading For Red Hat (RHT)

    Investors in Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) saw new options begin trading this week, for the November 16th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the RHT options chain for the new November 16th contracts and identified one put and one call contract of particular interest.

  11. Open software is not free: Red Hat

    Software vendors dispels the myth that open source software has no costs involved

  12. Video: The CentOS Project

    I use CentOS quite a bit myself and I know a lot of other CentOS users. Here is a video of one of the main developers (Karanbir Singh ) within the CentOS Project explaining how the CentOS Project works and builds what it builds.

The Amazing Rise of Drupal

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drupal

Summary: Taking note of trends in Free (as in freedom) CMS software

JOOMLA, which is a popular CMS and content engine right now in 2013 [1], was used by a government client of my employer. WordPress, which I run on about a dozen sites (not just Techrights), is also very popular these days, but it is hardly being used in government sites. It’s just more of a blogging platform — one that I became closely involved in one decade ago (also the inner circles like development). Drupal was back then a close rival of WordPress, but both survived and established themselves in slightly different markets. A new government client of my employer uses Drupal and so does the White House. It has become almost a de facto standard as a CMS, whereas WordPress became somewhat of a de facto standard as a blogging platform. Both are GPL-licensed.

Looking at some news from the past month and a half, WordPress causes problems to some [2] and Drupal is gradually stealing its thunder [3-8]. One has to wonder if one day Drupal’s blogging facilities will help it leapfrog WordPress, even among bloggers. Either way, it’s all Free software, so these two projects can probably coexist, reuse, and thrive together, just like GNOME and KDE. The more options we have, the better, even if some disagree [9].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Joomla on Ubuntu Server 13.10
  2. When a WordPress Update Goes Awry

    Perhaps it’s merely a reminder that Murphy’s law is always at work–you know, if something can go wrong, it will. Or maybe it’s to instill in my own mind that the next time I upgrade, be sure to look at a cached page to make sure the public is seeing what I see. Then again, it could be an opportunity for you to learn from my mistakes.

  3. Top 5 things Angie Bryon loves about Drupal

    Angie Byron is an advocate for Drupal. Commonly known online as webchick, she is a Drupal core co-maintainer. She has her finger on the pulse of the community, helping to manage over 1,600 contributors from all over the world.

  4. Dries Buytaert Is Building the Next ‘Red Hat-Like’ Open Source Success Story

    “We wanted Drupal to be what Red Hat is to Linux, that’s why we started Acquia,” says the Belgium-born founder of open source website CMS software Drupal and now co-founder and CTO of Acquia, Dries Buytaert.

  5. Drupal Dries Buytaert’s top three tips for startups

    Drupal, the open source platform he developed 13 years ago, has grown immensely, now underpinning around 1 in 50 websites and a huge community of developers. Sites running on Drupal range from the White House and NBC, to the EU’s Digital Agenda site—and indeed my own site.

  6. Achieving Continuous Integration with Drupal

    In the early 1990s, my first job out of college was as a software engineer at a startup company. We were building a commercial product using a well-known open-source network security project. In those days, Agile software development practices (not to mention the World Wide Web, or even widespread public awareness of the Internet) still were in the future. My fellow engineers on that project (who had just graduated with me and to this day are the best programmers I know) and I were taught what we now call the Waterfall method. We thought we were invincible.

  7. People, passion and learning to fail – opening up with Dries Buytaert

    On Wednesday I had a special guest – Dries Buytaert, Belgian creator of open-source platform Drupal and general all-round entrepreneur; to get his views on open source, web publishing, web startups and entrepreneurship.

    Drupal, the open-source platform he developed 13 years ago, has grown immensely, now underpinning around 1 in 50 websites and a huge community of developers. Sites running on Drupal range from the White House and NBC, to the EU’s Digital Agenda site – and indeed my own site, the one you’re reading this blog on right now.

  8. Drupal 8: A View into Performance

    Views is one of the most installed Drupal modules with over two thirds of Drupal sites reporting that they have it installed. Soon, though, that number will go up: as of Drupal 8, Views is a core module! This effort started as a community effort and was announced as an official Drupal 8 initiative in a post by Dries explaining why this change is so exciting.

  9. Oh No, Too Many Distros?

    My poll also found that a majority of visitors to my website think there is just too much choice. I asked a simple question with only two answers. Given the topic of “Too Many Distros” and the choices of only “yes” or “no,” 63% of participants said yes. 37% said no. Visitors to my site are split almost equally into three camps: little experience, moderately experienced, and well experienced or better.

Corporate or VC Funding Turns Free Software Into Proprietary

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who pulls the strings?

Piano

Summary: Commentary on funding that comes with strings attached and what this means to freedom-respecting software

Nginx, which is basically proprietary software except its very core (like OpenX [1] and other companies that misuse the “open” label), received some more funds [2] and to some — like IDG (or IDC) — the only number that ever counts is money [3]. There is a new platform called Open Funding [4] and it’s said “to help speed up the development of free and open source software by financially supporting the developers.” Generally speaking, Free software should be funded by users, not outside companies, which usually seek to get money back — a “return” on their “investment”. Usually, although not always, there are user-hostile strings attached to the latter type of funding (the former has strings tied to users). This might help explain why Nginx stopped being Free software in the first place. The same type of thing happened to various other projects, some of them famous like MySQL.

It is not always a victory when a FOSS project attracts funding. It very much depends on where the funds come from. Nginx does well in terms of market share [5], but not in terms of freedom.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Nginx Raises $10 Million in New Funding for Server Development

    Open-source server vendor Nginx will use the new financing to help fuel both its community and its commercial efforts.

  2. OpenX Sells Open Source Ad Serving Product

    Sale of OpenX Source Ensures Continuity of OpenX Community

  3. Greed is good: 9 open source secrets to making money

    Low-cost marketing, hard bargains, keeping competitors in check — profiteering abounds in the open source community

  4. Open Funding for free software

    A crowd funding platform for free software projects has reached beta state and already transmits the helping requests of various FOSS development teams. The name is Open Funding and the mission is to help speed up the development of free and open source software by financially supporting the developers.

  5. Nginx: this Russian software is taking over the internet

The BSD Camp Adds Compelling New Features Like Better ZFS

Posted in BSD at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: New releases of FreeBSD and the relevance to GNU/Linux

Free software is not a one-man race. There are numerous camps with slightly varying opinions on what freedom means. FreeBSD, one of the giants in the BSD world, is gradually approaching release 10 [1,2], having just updated 9.2 [3,4]. GhostBSD, which is derived from FreeBSD, is also worth noting [5]. Those systems not always compete with the GNU/Linux camp because there is a lot of sharing of code and packages between those two camps. Starting an argument over the level of freedom or meaning of freedom would be a waste of time and effort.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. First Alpha for FreeBSD 10 Released

    Glen Barber from the FreeBSD team announced the availability of the first alpha download of FreeBSD 10 on their mailing list. FreeBSD 10 appears to be a significant upgrade from 9, with a long list of improvements and new features. However, as is standard with FreeBSD, the most interesting features are under the hood.

  2. FreeBSD 10.0 Now In Beta With Faster ZFS LZJB

    FreeBSD 10.0 has been in alpha for just one month but announced today is the first beta of the forthcoming FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE.

  3. FreeBSD 9.2 Is Behind Schedule, RC4 Released

    The release of FreeBSD 9.2 was supposed to happen by the end of August, but instead we’re now up to the fourth release candidate.

  4. FreeBSD 9.2 Brings ZFS TRIM, ZFS LZ4, Updated DTrace

    After being challenged by days and while FreeBSD 10.0 is up to Alpha 4, the FreeBSD Foundation and its developers released FreeBSD 9.2 today as stable.

  5. Open source snapshot: GhostBSD

    GhostBSD is a FreeBSD derived, Gnome-based desktop operating system.

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