Scott Dowdle's blog

Opinion: The Masters of Click-Bait Misinformation

Argh, I am *SO* tired of seeing various sites linking to the inflammatory and factually incorrect articles by the following three guys:

  • Jim Lynch (ITworld)
  • Sam Varghese (iTWire)
  • Paul Venezia (InfoWorld)

I would give examples but I just want to forget about them. Don't feed the trolls.


Video: KvmGT - GPU Virtualization for KVM

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Here is a video I've been waiting for by Jike Song from Intel. The KVM Forum 2014 was held in conjunction with the recent LinuxCon Europe and someone (from the Linux Foundation or the KVM Forum) has been processing and posting presentation videos to YouTube in a staggered fashion. About 13 hours ago this video appeared. When I noticed the topic on the KVM Forum schedule (along with the slide deck [PDF]) a week or two before the event, I was really looking forward to learning more.

The current implementation, so far as basic features go, seems to be fairly complete but it is currently targeted specifically at the Intel Haswell architecture using the i915 video driver. The presenter says that the approach taken should be adaptable to other GPU architectures beyond Intel. Their initial goal is to get the code released (it is under a dual GPL/MIT license) and to work with the KVM development community to get it upstreamed and part of KVM proper... and to work on more advanced feature implementation. As it stands now the basic features are present: hardware assisted GPU functionality for VMs in a shared fashion that offers 80-90% of native speed. Near the end of the presentation is a demo video that shows two Linux KVM VMs each running GPU intensive software (one game, one benchmark). As I understand it, when a GPU-driven application is displayed it is full-screen and there isn't currently a windowed mode to show more than one VM at a time. I do wonder how well 3D accelerated graphics would display over a remoting protocol like SPICE? Enjoy!

Video: Getting Ready for systemd (in RHEL7)

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I found the link to this video (Getting Ready for systemd) on the systemd documentation page. It is a Red Hat "Customer Portal Exclusive" and "Not for Distribution" but it is ok for me to provide a picture that links to it... that looks like a video-ready-to-play. :) Enjoy.

Video: Systemd the Core OS (no coughing)

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There has been so much negative stuff about systemd on teh Interwebs lately. It is so sad. Quite a few distros picked systemd because they liked a lot of the features it has. Why do the people who like systemd actually like it? Sure, if you look hard enough, you can find those answers... but I remembered a video where the man himself explains it.

The only problem with the original video on YouTube is that the volume is sort of low so you have to crank it up... and then there is coughing that blows your eardrums... so I took the time to edit out the coughing. The A/V sync isn't great and the sound leaves a bit to be desired... but it is still worthwhile viewing for anyone who wants to better understand why systemd. Enjoy!

If you want the coughing, you can find the original here.

Videos: LinuxCon Europe 2014

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Here's Linus with Intel's Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist, Dirk Hohndel on the next 12 months of the Linux kernel:

Here's a kernel panel hosted by LWN's Jon Corbet featuring Grant Likely, Linaro; Borislav Petkov, SUSE; Thomas Gleixner, linutronix GmbH; Julia Lawall, Inria; Frédéric Weisbecker, Red Hat.

Enjoy!

MontanaLinux: Using Fedora 21 (pre-beta)

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Fedora 21 pre-beta LightDMFedora 21 pre-beta LightDMI've been following the development of Fedora 21 since a little before the alpha release. Getting my MontanaLinux remix to build was actually quite easy and the fact that rpmfusion has a rawhide repo means all of the multimedia codecs / applications were good to go as well. I've done few dozen installs as KVM virtual machines and thought it was time to try physical hardware.

Hardware Problems?

First I installed it on my Acer netbook that is 32-bit only and about 5 years old now. The battery in it is shot and smartd has been telling me for over a year that the hard drive has been getting more and more bad sectors... which is a fairly good indicator that the hard drive is going bad. Doing the install from a LiveUSB it took a while because the installer was finding some of the bad spots on the drive. For whatever reason during the install the progress bar immediately said 100% and I knew that was wrong... so I kept switching over to a text console to periodically do a df -h to see how much had been written to the hard drive. Oddly whenever I'd switch over to the text console, the green illuminated power button would go amber and the screen would go blank... which to me meant it was suspending to RAM or something. At that point I'd have to hit a few keys on the keyboard and it would wake back up. For whatever reason it did this at least a dozen times during the install. I really wasn't expecting a good install given the flaws in my hardware and how they were manifesting themselves during the install process... but being patient paid off... and it actually was successful... and seems be working just fine post-install.

Installing it on my Optiplex 9010 desktop at work was also more complicated than I was expecting. For whatever reason (maybe a BIOS setting?) I could NOT get my machine too display the bootloader menu from a LiveUSB although other Dell models at work seemed to work fine. So I burned a DVD with the burner in the Optiplex 9010. Oddly the same drive that wrote the DVD seems unable to read it about 19 out of 20 tries. That meant that I couldn't get it to boot from the DVD either. I finally decided to try something different... and I got an external / USB optical drive and plugged it into the USB port and I was able to get it to successfully read the DVD and the bootloader to appear. With a functioning bootloader I was able to boot the DVD and the live system worked great... and the installer went flawlessly.

Fedora 21 pre-beta actually seems quite stable. As you may recall I have all of the desktop environments installed as part of my remix so I can check them all out... but I primarily use KDE. On both of my machines I have /home as a separate partition so my personal data is retained across installs. I also backup /etc and /root to /home/backups/ so any of my previous configurations (stuff like ssh keys) can be retrieved and used if desired.

Some Notes

I picked lightdm as the default login manager. In the past I've mainly used kdm but KDE is in the process of transitioning to sddm which seems a bit buggy still.

One of the main features in Fedora 21 I'm wanting to play with actually is provided by the rpmfusion repos... ffmpeg 2.3.3. I'm wanting to do some testing with the newer ffmpeg that does a reasonable job at webm encoding with vp9 and opus. I'd also like to try out GNOME 3 under the Wayland display server... which is supposedly working fairly well in Fedora 21... but I haven't tried it yet.

One weird glitch I ran into was with the Google-provided google-chrome-stable package. I'm not much of a Google Chrome user but I do occasionally use it for (legacy) sites that require Adobe Flash. I use Firefox the vast majority of the time... but I've decided to no longer install the Adobe provided flash-plugin package (at version 11.x). As you probably know Google has taken over maintenance of newer Flash versions (currently 15.x) on Linux and include it as part of Google Chrome. As a result, whenever there is a Flash update from Adobe, there is a Google Chrome update that soon follows. Anyway, very early in the Fedora 21 development cycle (pre-alpha), the Google Chrome package refused to install because Fedora 21 had a much newer version of some library (I don't recall which one) and it wanted the older version. A few Google Chrome package updates later... and it is happy with regards to dependencies... but installing it with rpm... it gets stuck on the post-install and just sits there. I had to ^c rpm (which you generally don't want to do) because it wasn't going to finish... and just to be safe I did an rpm --rebuilddb and everything seems fine. The google-chrome-stable package verifies just fine (rpm -V google-chrome-stable) and the package works as expected.

Conclusion

Overall everything I've tried works fine. I like to get started with new Fedora releases as early as possible in the development cycle so I can help report any bugs I find (in Fedora provided packages) and be up-to-speed with all of the new features on release day so I can deploy to other machines immediately. I've been doing it that way for several releases now. I do really appreciate all of the work the Fedora developers put into each release.

Video: Q & A with Linus Torvalds at DebConf Portland 2014

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We watched this last night at the BozemanLUG meeting. I believe it was recorded last Sunday (August 31st) at the DebConf Portland 2014 event so Linus is talking to a room full of Debian true believers. This is one of the more interesting Question and Answer sessions I've seen with Linus because in it he goes into quite a few controversial topics. On a few occasions he crosses over the line and realizes it and has to walk some stuff back. Is there anyone who agrees with Linus on everything? If so, I'm not one of those people. There are about 4 or 5 things he talks about in the video that I'm on the other side of but I won't bore everyone with what those might be. I didn't go with VP9/OPUS for this one so it is webm with VP8/OGG inside. Enjoy!

Video: LinuxCon Chicaco 2014 - Linux Kernel Panel

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Here's the Linux Kernel Panel from a couple of days ago... at LinuxCon Chicago 2014

It was re-encoded in webm format with vp9 / opus and is very low bandwidth... 200kbit video and 96kbit audio. The source material wasn't HD so it really isn't a good example of what vp9/opus can do but it ain't bad. Enjoy.

Video: TedX talk - Richard Stallman

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I ran across this video recently of Richard Stallman giving a TedX talk on our favorite subject. To spice things up a bit I took the original HD version I had (in ogg format) and re-encoded it with ffmpeg 2.3.2 running on Fedora 21 pre-alpha. I've been re-encoding everything to webm for several years now but finally I can do the newer flavor of webm that uses VP9 as the video codec and OPUS as the audio codec. Oddly on my Fedora 20 desktop none of my standalone media players will play the file. Some will play just the audio, others will play just the video. On Fedora 21 the players do a better job.

How can you view it? Well, vp9/opus in a webm container have been supported by both Firefox and Google Chrome for several releases now... so enjoy it in your web browser. You are using one of those, right? I prefer Firefox because I like freedom rather than an advertising company trying to make products that help themselves out. Enjoy!

Video: Fedora mentioned on TNT's Major Crimes series

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I ran across this on Monday night. Anyone else watch Major Crimes? Enjoy!

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