Taking XenExpress for a Spin

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Xen in actionXen in actionAccording to the XenSource About page, "XenSource plays the dual role of leading the open source Xen(tm) community, while simultaneously selling value-added enterprise solutions based on Xen technology." The first part of that leads to various Linux distro makers integrating Xen into their distributions (like SUSE, Red Hat/clones, and Fedora). For the second part of that, XenSource currently offers a product line which includes XenExpress, XenServer and XenEnterprise. Of the three offerings, XenExpress is designed to be the entry level product and is free. I recently downloaded XenExpress and gave it a try.

During the course of this article I will describe the basic design of XenExpress, its installation, installation and use of the Administrator Console client application, creation, monitoring and management of Xen virtual machines... and then I'll try to contrast how XenSource's product line stacks up to Xen as offered by Red Hat and clones. Feel free to jump directly to the XenExpress photo gallery if desired.


Zimbra Desktop

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Zimbra DesktopZimbra DesktopZimbra announced Zimbra Desktop today. What is it? Good question. Basically, it is Zimbra Server stripped down to run on your desktop... that will sync with your account on a Zimbra Server and download all of your email, contacts, and calendars... for offline reading.

I guess they could have created a completely new email client but they opted to have you run a local web server/service and connect to it with your browser (port 7366 by default). More...


Learning a little Xen on CentOS 5 Beta

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Virtual Machine ManagerVirtual Machine ManagerI got a bit farther with Xen this time. I did another CentOS 5 Beta install and made sure to add the Virtualization package set. It's not like I needed to do another install but I've been doing a few installs just to test out differences with the various package sets.

I originally tried out Xen about a year and a half ago on a Fedora Core 4 host on rather underpowered hardware and a lot has changed since then.


CentOS 5 Beta

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Install CD BootInstall CD BootI discovered that CentOS announced a public release of CentOS 5 beta this morning. I quickly downloaded the 6 .iso images for the CDs and gave it a spin. The DVD iso is only available via .torrent and I can't do bittorrent at work.

Added to this release are package sets for:

Follow along with me as I do installs on both a physical machine and in VMware. Feel free to go directly to the screenshot gallery.


A response to "World Domination 201"

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cheesyone recently posted a link to a paper written by Eric S. Raymond and Rob Landley entitled, World Domination 201. The article is very interesting as Mr. Raymond (aka ESR) plots a strategy to have Linux take over the desktop starting in 2008. If you haven't already read it... GO READ IT.

I believe I'm qualified to comment on the article given a few factors:

  1. I lived through most of the computer history mentioned in the article
  2. I've heard Linus' original World Domination speech
  3. I've been using Linux since January 1995
  4. I've been working in IT with Linux since 1998

You know to click on read more link below for the rest, right?


A List - Things I want to blog about... Eventually

I just wanted to jot some of these topics down so I could come back to them at some point... because they are all things I've done but haven't really documented well... or things I want or need to learn about.

Perhaps someone will find some of the topics interesting and initiate a fire under me so I'll get to them quicker... or perhaps someone will follow a link or two that is new to them and learn about something before I do... and share what they learn.

You know to click on read more link below for the rest, right?


What distros have you installed lately?

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No, this isn't a repeat blog posting... as I continually download and install various distros. Since I'm very Red Hat centric, I'm all excited about the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 release... that is coming out... maybe in March?!?
[Update: Looks like next week... March 14th.]

Fedora 7 Beta 2

Fedora 7 betaFedora 7 betaDownloaded and installed Fedora 7 Test 2. Notice that Core is no longer part of the name because Core and Extras are in the process of being merged. I downloaded the LiveCD and it worked great. I was very impressed by the artwork. I did an install from the LiveCD and it worked well... and seemed faster than the boot-install method. The only things broken that I noticed were some warning messages during shutdown after doing the install... about not being able to unmount something... but it was of no consequence... and a few of the desktop apps didn't work... like Abiword for example. Other than that, it recognized the onboard Intel video chipset of my wife's Gateway branded box and worked with accelerated video... rotating cube and all.

For the rest of the story, click on the read more link below...


BozemanLUG - After the meeting

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Just wanted to thank David Boreham again for the presentation he did on Fedora Directory Server. 15 people (including myself and David) attended the meeting... which is the highest turnout we have had in a very long time... although I believe we easily have the potential for 3 times that number. I *SHOULD* have brought a camera and taken a few pictures but I didn't.

Birth of LDAP

David started off the presentation by explaining that quite a bit of the most recent development work on FDS (aka Red Hat Directory Server) was actually done here in Montana... by David and people who work for him. It was incredibly interesting to have an actual developer give a presentation and David has a long history in the industry and was able to give us a first-hand introduction into the birth of the ITU's X.500 protocol and how it was later scaled down and adapted to work over TPC/IP as LDAP by Tim Howes of the University of Michigan.

David then explained what LDAP was good for and what it wasn't so good for.

History of Fedora Directory Server

Since FDS is the continuation of the product formerly known as Netscape Directory Server and was aquired by Red Hat on June 1, 2005, David went over some of the history of the product and where it stands today.

For the rest of the story, click on the read more link below...


Hauppauge MediaMVP - Billings LUG February 2007

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MediaMVPMediaMVPLately, I have had some fun with a Hauppauge MediaMVP 1000. It is a networked device that is able to receive video and audio steams and display them on your TV. It includes a remote control and once configured is very easy to use. What makes this device extra neat, is that it runs Linux with a few options available giving extra features. Be sure to attend this month's BillingsLUG meeting, when I give a demo of the MVP1000.

When it powers on, it actually loads its OS over the network. The fine people behind the MVP Media Center project have a quite nice replacement mini Linux Distro to get more out of the MVP 1000.

MVP Media Center supports a number of extras compared to the stock Haupauge offering. There is support to integrate the MVP to your ReplayTV and/or MythTV systems. MVPMC also supports streaming from everyone's favorite media player VLC in addition to audio streaming from a SlimServer.

For February's meeting, I will do a show and tell of this neat little device and we will go through the steps of setting up MVPMC and a Linux PC as a media server.


Fun with Remote Servers

1U Rack Mount1U Rack MountYou may or may not have noticed but this site was down some since late Sunday evening until right before I wrote this. I'm not exacly sure what happened but I have some sense of it so I thought I'd jot it down here. I also cover the hardware that runs this system as well as a little about the hosting company we are using. If you are interested, read the rest of the story.