Scott Dowdle's blog

Linux World Conference and Expo - Day Three

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Ok, so here I am with yet another late write up. This is for day three of LWCE 2008 which was Thursday, August 7th... the last day of the show.

Marc and KirMarc and KirWalking around some

Marc was able to help man the OpenVZ booth some today. He lives in San Bruno and took BART to the show... so I got the chance to actually walk around the exhibit floor some, take some pictures and talk to a few people. I posted about 199 photos to the LWCE 2008 photo gallery.

After walking around some it became increasingly obvious to me that the number of exhibitors (when compared to last year) was way down. There were a lot more open spaces and the amount of room between isles seemed bigger. There were also a number of new areas that took up room including the Installfest, Software Central, the App Zone, Linux Garage and the Center Stage.

Linux World Conference and Expo - Day Two

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I didn't get a chance to write this up yesterday... but here is my report for Day Two - Wednesday, August 6th.

[Update:] Check out the LWCE 2008 photo gallery.

FreeBSD BoothFreeBSD BoothFreeBSD Shenanigans

Ok, so I should have noticed this on Day One but I didn't. No one showed up to man the Debian booth which was actually one booth over from us. I have no idea why... although there was a hand written sign that said many of the Debian folks were in Argentina at some Debian specific conference. Ok?!?

Oddly enough no one showed up to man the Gentoo booth either. It was in the next isle over from us. There wasn't any explanation as to why their booth was empty. Eventually someone took the Gentoo sign down.

As has been a tradition, FreeBSD had a booth at Linux World. The same folks were manning the FreeBSD booth as last year... and they also made it to as were at Linuxfest Northwest back in April. Them seem to have a good source of funding for the shows. I wonder how many shows they go to a year. Since they are such a fixture at so many Linux shows they are well known and are quite friendly folks. They had a ton of PC-BSD install CDs that they were giving away. If you are lucky enough to be befriended by any of them, you are rewarded with a set of devil horns to wear. Most of the Joomla booth staff were wearing horns.

At some point the FreeBSD folks noticed that the Debian and Gentoo booths were uninhabited so they decided to take them over. They covered the Debian and Gentoo booth tables with PC-BSD install media. At one point they even had a person sitting at the booths. The joke was that BSD stands for "Beats the Sh1t out of Debian". I thought the practice was tacky but in their defence someone in the Joomla booth said that the FreeBSD booth staff were really good friends with the Debian booth staff who would appreciate the joke.

Linux World Conference and Expo - Day One

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Today was the first day of the Linux World Conference and Expo 2008 in San Francisco. This is my second time attending LWCE as a exhibitor... being part of the OpenVZ Project booth. LWCE is primarily a conference for business people using Linux in a business environment. It has a rather large exhibit floor (think football field size), several keynote presentations from executives in leading industries and I believe this is the 12th year the show has been running.

This year the show seems a little smaller although it is hard to know for sure without comparing numbers (which I don't have handy). My only point of reference being the exhibit floor which appears to have fewer exhibitors, wider isles... and this year there is an "Installfest" section that takes up a bit of room... that makes one wonder if they decided to add it to eliminate a big chunk of empty space.


The Linux Kernel Development Model

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Here's a video presentation by Greg Kroah Hartman on the development model of the Linux kernel. There are some interesting stats to be found.


Kernel Walkthrough

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This video comes from the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group and is dated Nov. 7, 2007. Pretty darn interesting for us non-programmer types who want a better idea of the structure of the Linux kernel.


Installing and using OpenVZ on CentOS 5

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I wrote up a HOWTO for the CentOS wiki entitled, Installing and using OpenVZ on CentOS 5, and thought I would share it here as well.

Please note that the OpenVZ kernel is a product of the OpenVZ Project 
and is NOT supported by CentOS. The OpenVZ Project follows the RHEL 
kernels closely and provides updates in a somewhat timely fashion 
after updated Red Hat (and CentOS) kernels are released. As a result 
the RHEL-based OpenVZ kernels are well suited for use on RHEL and 
CentOS hosts with support for (almost) all of the same hardware. 
Please note though that the OpenVZ kernel is less modular than the 
stock Red Hat / CentOS kernels with some hardware support being 
compiled in. 

It is recommended you read this HOWTO in its entirety before 
attempting any of the operations shown in it.

What is OpenVZ?

OpenVZ is operating system-level virtualization based on a modified Linux kernel that allows a physical server to run multiple isolated instances known as containers, virtual private servers (VPS), or virtual environments (VE). The preferred term these days is container. Containers are sometimes compared to chroot or jail type environments but containers are really much better in terms of isolation, security, functionality, and resource management.

OpenVZ consists of a custom Linux kernel (available from the OpenVZ Project) and some user-level tools. OpenVZ is very portable, does not rely on VT support in the CPU, and as a result it is available for a number of CPU families including x86, x86-64, IA-64, PowerPC and SPARC.

OS-level virtualization is quite different from machine / hardware virtualization products such as VMware Server, Parallels Workstation, VirtualBox, QEMU, KVM, and Xen in that with OpenVZ you can only do Linux on Linux virtualization.

OpenVZ modifies the Linux kernel to add advanced containerization features which allow for isolated groups of processes under a parent init along with about twenty dynamic resource management parameters for controlling container resource usage. The OpenVZ Project maintains three stable kernel branches:

  1. RHEL4 / CentOS4 2.6.9 based
  2. RHEL5 / CentOS 5 2.6.18 based
  3. Vanilla 2.6.18 based

There are a number of unstable branches based on newer versions of the Linux kernel that may eventually reach stable status.

Server Outage?

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I was in the middle of doing an rsync backup of the server when I lost communications with it. I did a few traceroutes and filed a trouble ticket with the colocation service. Follow along to see what happened.


Report: Linuxfest Northwest 2008

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Entry BannerDan, Warren and I returned Monday afternoon from the Linuxfest Northwest 2008 event. What follows is my review of the show.


Introduction

For those unfamiliar with the Linuxfest Northwest, it is an annual, two-day event held at Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, Washington on the last weekend in April. It has become a hub of Linux activity in the Northwest with several of the Washington area Linux Users Groups supporting it. Visitors seem to come from all over the country especially those places that don't have a Linux conference anywhere near them. I also attended the LFNW last year so a bit of this review compares this year with last.

Let's get this out of the way... it was obvious that there were less visitors to the show this year than last year. I haven't seen any numbers published yet though. While that might sound bad it did make for a better show as it allowed for more time with the presenters and the exhibit booth folks.

OS Virtualization vs. Hardware Virtualization

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Presentation PDFSlides PDFI'm all done with making the slides for my presentation on OS Virtualization vs. Hardware Virtualization for the Linuxfest Northwest 2008 conference.

Check out photos in the photo gallery. Thanks goes to Warren for letting me borrow his camera. All photos are licensed under a Creative Commons license so do with them what you will.

Update: Ok, here's the video of my presentation.

Creating an OpenVZ OS Template for Fedora 9 Preview

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I decide to create an OpenVZ OS Template for Fedora 9 Preview. I hope to use it at the Linuxfest Northwest 2008. Creating an OS Template wasn't too hard. Actually, I created two OS Templates. One was a "minimal" and the other was a "withGUI". The "withGUI" includes KDE, GNOME, XFCE, all of the desktop apps like OpenOffice.org, GIMP, Inkscape, etc. Creating an OS Template that includes one or more desktop environments can be tricky. Admittedly, not very many people would want to use the Fedora 9 Preview after the official release comes out but these instructions should also apply to the final release if you replace the Preview DVD .iso image with the final release .iso. Read the full article for all of the details.


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