Scott Dowdle's blog
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.
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.
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.
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:
- RHEL4 / CentOS4 2.6.9 based
- RHEL5 / CentOS 5 2.6.18 based
- 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.
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.
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.
I'm all done with making the slides for my presentation on OS Virtualization vs. Hardware Virtualization for the Linuxfest Northwest 2008 conference.
Update: Ok, here's the video of my presentation.
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.
Yesterday the Fedora Project released a "Preview" of Fedora 9. Today Ubuntu released a "Release Candidate" for 8.04 "Hardy Heron" and the openSUSE team released openSUSE 11.0 Beta 1. Since my preferred Linux distribution for the desktop is Fedora, I've been keeping up with all of the test releases. What follows is some commentary about my experiences with the Fedora 9 Preview including an image gallery. I'd like to encourage MontanaLinux users of other distros to write up their experiences with their preferred distributions.
If you haven't seen the Triumph of the Nerds series from PBS' Robert X. Cringely, check it out! It was made in 1996... but it is still fascinating for anyone who either lived through it or is interested in computer history.
Part 2 and 3 are in the full article.