Linux Journal

Linux Kernel 5.1-rc3 Is Out, Gmail Turns 15, UbuntuMATE 18.04 Beta 1 for Raspberry Pi Is Now Available, Sabayon 19.03 Released and Debian Receives Handshake Donation

3 months 2 weeks ago

News briefs for April 1, 2019.

Linux kernel 5.1-rc3 was released yesterday. Linus Tovalds writes, "The rc3 release is bigger than normal, which is obviously never anything I want to see, but at the same time it's early enough in the rc series that it's not something I really worry about. Yet. And while it's bigger, nothing really unusual stands out. The single biggest patch in there (by far - it's in fact about a third of the whole rc3 patch) is just removal of the mt7621-eth staging driver, which is because the regular mediatek ethernet driver now handles that hardware."

Gmail turns 15 today! See the Google Blog for details on new features: Smart Compose is getting smarter, and you now can schedule when emails are delivered to someone's mailbox.

UbuntuMATE 18.04 Beta 1 for Raspberry Pi has been released. Martin Wimpress writes that the beta is available for "Raspberry Pi Model B 2, 3 and 3+, with separate images for armhf (ARMv7 32-bit) and arm64 (ARMv8 64-bit). We have done what we can to optimise the builds for the Raspberry Pi without sacrificing the full desktop environment Ubuntu MATE provides on PC". High-level features include the Ubuntu kernel ("fully maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel and Security teams"), automatic online filesystem expansion, Ethernet and WiFi, Bluetooth, support for USB booting and much more. Go here to download.

Sabayon 19.03 was released yesterday. New features of the Gentoo-based distro include a new build infrastructure, full disk encryption support, support for 32-bit UEFI, Linux kernel 4.20, Python 3 and more. In addition, the project is working on a completely new wiki. You can Sabayon it from here.

Debian recently announced it received a $300,000 donation from Handshake. This contribution will "help Debian to continue the hardware replacement plan designed by the Debian System Administrators, renewing servers and other hardware components and thus making the development and community infrastructure of the Project more reliable."

News kernel Gmail Google Ubuntu MATE Raspberry Pi Sabayon Debian Handshake Distributions
Jill Franklin

Linux Journal at 25

3 months 2 weeks ago
by Doc Searls

It's been great. And we'll make it greater.

Most magazines have the life expectancy of a house plant.

Such was the betting line for Linux Journal when it started in April 1994. Our budget was a shoestring. The closest our owner, SSC (Specialized System Consultants) came to the magazine business was with the reference cards it published for UNIX, C, VI, Java, Bash and so on.

And Linux wasn't even our original focus. Phil Hughes, who ran SSC, wanted to start a free (as in speech, not beer) software magazine, which was hardly a big box office idea. I was a member of the email group doing the planning for that, which started, as I recall, in late 1993. Then, in early 1994, Phil announced to the group that he had made up his mind after finding "this Finnish kid" who had written a UNIX of sorts called Linux.

It was clear to Phil, and to approximately nobody else, that Linux was going to kick the ass of every UNIX in the world, plus all other operating systems as well, including the big one headquartered a few miles away from SSC's office in Seattle.

So maybe that's why Linux Journal is still here. We rode (while helping raise) the wave of ass-kicking that Linux has done in the world since our first issue, starting 25 years ago this month.

Our first publisher was Bob Young, who quickly left to leverage his on-the-job learnings into a Linux startup he called Red Hat. When I first met Bob, years later, I told him Phil said, "I taught Bob how to spell Linux." To my surprise, Bob replied, "That's true!"

Linux Journal for its first decade or so was headquartered in the Ballard district of Seattle and was very committed to on-site work. Though we had far-flung writers (Marcel Gagné in Montréal and Reuven Lerner in Israel), it was expected that those who could easily fly or drive to our offices would do that as often as they could. So I would fly up to Seattle from my home in the Bay Area, sometimes for a week per month. It was a very convivial and energetic scene.

Linux was a very hot item while the bubble gassed up. In fact, there was nothing hotter. The two biggest IPOs in 1999 were Red Hat and VA Linux. One wag observed that more VC money was spent on booths at Linux World Expos during that time than money was actually made in sales by the same companies. We reaped derivative benefits in the form of VC-funded advertising.

Then, when the dot-com bubble burst, most of our VC-based advertisers vanished overnight, and our losses were huge.

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Doc Searls

Weekend Reading: Scary Tales from the Server Room

3 months 2 weeks ago
by Carlie Fairchild

It's always better to learn from someone else's mistakes than from your own. This weekend we feature Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers as they tell stories from their years as systems administrators. It's a win-win: you get to learn from their experiences, and they get to make snide comments to each other. 

It's Always DNS's Fault!

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

I was suffering, badly. We had just finished an all-night switch migration on our production Storage Area Network while I was hacking up a lung fighting walking pneumonia. Even though I did my part of the all-nighter from home, I was exhausted. So when my pager went off at 9am that morning, allowing me a mere four hours of sleep, I was treading dangerously close to zombie territory...

Zoning Out

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

Sometimes events and equipment conspire against you and your team to cause a problem. Occasionally, however, it's lack of understanding or foresight that can turn around and bite you. Unfortunately, this is a tale of where we failed to spot all the possible things that might go wrong.

Panic on the Streets of London

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

I was now at the next phase of troubleshooting: prayer. Somewhere around this time, I had my big breakthrough...

Unboxing Day

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

As much as I love working with Linux and configuring software, one major part of being a sysadmin that always has appealed to me is working with actual hardware. There's something about working with tangible, physical servers that gives my job an extra dimension and grounds it from what might otherwise be a completely abstract job even further disconnected from reality. On top of all that, when you get a large shipment of servers, and you view the servers at your company as your servers, there is a similar anticipation and excitement when you open a server box as when you open Christmas presents at home. This story so happens to start during the Christmas season...

 

 

 

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Carlie Fairchild

Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" Beta Released, New Artwork for Mageia 7, Zorin OS Beta 15 Now Available, vChain Launches CodeNotary, and OpenSource Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Deadline for Proposals Is April 2

3 months 2 weeks ago

News briefs for March 29, 2019.

The Ubuntu team announced the beta pre-release of the Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" Desktop, Server and Cloud products. The beta release also includes images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu. Note that "The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of 19.04 that should be representative of the features intended to ship with the final release expected on April 18th, 2019." To upgrade to the beta from Ubuntu 18.10, follow the instructions here And to download the images, go here.

New artwork is coming for Mageia 7. The Mageia blog announced that the voting has concluded they are beginning to integrate the new artwork into Mageia 7 in preparation for its release. You can see the winning photographs here.

Zorin recently announced the release of the next major version of the OS: Zorin OS 15 beta. From the Zorin Blog: "Every aspect of the user experience has been re-considered and refined in this new release, from how apps are installed, to how you get work done, to how it interacts with the devices around you. The result is a desktop experience that combines the most powerful desktop technology with the most user-friendly design." Note that this is a pre-release and not recommended for use on production machines. You can download the beta here.

vChain recently released CodeNotary, a "global, de-centralized, blockchain secured" alternative to code-signing certificates. CTO and co-founder of vChain writes, "We at vChain, created CodeNotary to protect your hard work, increase user confidence and trust without spending a fortune. If you provide non-commercial software we provide a life-long free license of CodeNotary." See these two articles "vcn command line for vChain CodeNotary to sign code and more" and "With CodeNotary, you never have to pay for code signing certificates again" for more details. Non-commercial project owners and developers can get an "all-time" free license here

The deadline to submit a proposal for a talk at OpenSource Summit and Embedded Linux Conference is April 2, 2019. The two events will be held in San Diego, California, August 21–23, 2019. For OpenSource Summit proposals, go here, and for the Embedded Linux Conference, go here.

News Ubuntu Distributions Mageia Zorin OS vChain CodeNotary
Jill Franklin

Creating Linux Command-Line Tools in Clojure

3 months 2 weeks ago
by Mihalis Tsoukalos

Learn how the leiningen utility can help you manage your Clojure projects.

This article is a gentle introduction to the Clojure Functional Programming language that is based on LISP, uses the Java JVM and has a handy REPL. And, as Clojure is based on LISP, be prepared to see lots of parentheses!

Installing Clojure

You can install Clojure on a Debian Linux machine by executing the following command as root or using sudo:

# apt-get install clojure

Finding the version of Clojure you are using is as simple as executing one of the following commands inside the Clojure REPL, which you can enter by running clojure:

# clojure Clojure 1.8.0 user=> *clojure-version* {:major 1, :minor 8, :incremental 0, :qualifier nil} user=> (clojure-version) "1.8.0" user=> (println *clojure-version*) {:major 1, :minor 8, :incremental 0, :qualifier nil} nil

The first command gets you into the Clojure REPL, which displays the user=> prompt and waits for user input. The remaining three commands that should be executed within the Clojure REPL will generate the same output, which, in this example, shows that Clojure version 1.8.0 is being used. So, if you're following along, congratulations! You have just run your first Clojure code!

The leiningen Utility

The first thing you should do after getting Clojure is to install a very handy utility named leiningen, which is the easiest way to use and manage Clojure projects on your Linux machine. Follow the instructions at leiningen.org or use your favourite package manager to install leiningen on your Linux machine. Additionally, if you are using Clojure all the time and working with large Clojure projects, tools like Jenkins and Semaphore will automate your build and test phases and save you lots of time.

After installing leiningen, use the lein command (which is the name of the executable file for the leiningen package) to create a new project named hw:

$ lein new hw Generating a project called hw based on the 'default' template. The default template is intended for library projects, not applications. To see other templates (app, plugin, etc), try `lein help new`.

The preceding command will create a new directory named hw that will contain files and other directories. You'll need to make some changes to some of the project files in order to execute the project. First, you'll need to edit the project.clj that can be found inside the hw directory and make it as follows:

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Mihalis Tsoukalos