Video: A Different Linus talks about an Open CPU

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Wed, 08/29/2018 - 09:37

We have had a few discussions about the RISC-V development (at the BozemanLUG meetings).  Some Fedora folks have gotten Linux working on some of the RISC-V development boards.  There appear to be several layers to the overall design from the low-end moving up.  Can RISC-V ever become a viable, mainstream alternative?  Time will tell... but at the very least, seeing such developments gives me some hope.  Here's a somewhat mainstream "youtuber" talking about RISC-V and given the number of views so far, maybe the word / information will break through.

Civility in a systemd World

Submitted by Putz3000 on Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:48

Let me just say that I don't really know much of anything about systemd and as such, I'm not even sure I care. I know that people either like systemd or really, really, hate systemd and that there is a very slim slice of global users that don't care one way or the other. I also know that literally everything in life can be turned into a punchline joke if you link it to systemd. You don't even have to understand the specifics of the joke, you just know that if systemd is part of the punch line that you are supposed to laugh. Now after all that, here is the real reason for this post.

I was listening to episode 262 of the Linux Unplugged podcast in which there is a discussion of Benno Rice's BSDCan 2018 keynote called "The Tragedy of systemd."  First, the discussion was really, really good and certainly thought provoking. I would highly recommend listening to the discussion.  It was interesting enough that I had to go and actually find the keynote presentation and watch it in it's entirety.  Remember what I said at the start of this post, I don't really know anything about systemd nor do I know if I even care.  And yet I am willing to say it was a very good presentation.

What I think really made this a good presentation was that Benno discusses the type of impact our public systemd stances can have on a project and on a community (think Linux) as a whole.  So I would like to encourage all of you to listen to episode 262 of Linux Unplugged podcast and watch Benno Rice's BSDCan 2018 keynote.  Who knows?  Even if you don't change your opinion of systemd, you might just change how you publicly use your opinion of systemd.

Video: Containers Should Contain... Right?

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:50

Here's a presentation video from the very recent OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2018.   The topic repeats what Dan Walsh was saying a couple of years ago.  Again, this is talking about application containers using traditional kernel features like namespaces and cgroups... because as we all know, in the Linux kernel, containers are NOT a REAL thing.

Just to be clear, OpenVZ... which is a mature out-of-tree patch for system containers that has been around and maintained for well over 13 years... does contain... but the hype is all around application containers like Docker and its work-alikes.

Two companies have been working on two separate projects to contain containers by running them within very light-weight KVM virtual machines.  A while ago those projects merged to become Kata Containers and they also had a we-released-1.0 presentation at the conference.  Their tagline is, "The speed of containers, the security of VMs".  It is still focused on application containers and perhaps not-so-oddly are implemented as an additional runtime for Docker and uses OCI container images rather than a more traditional KVM (qcow2 or raw) disk image.  I will ask the question... can Kata be used to run system containers and if not, why not?

Video: Raspberry Pi 3B+ on Pi Day

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:29

I'm sure everyone has already heard this from yesterday... but yes after believing there wouldn't be a new Raspberry Pi release for 2018 because nothing was announced at the end of Feb., the Raspberry Pi foundation pulled a fast one on Pi Day by announcing a new revision of the Raspberry Pi 3B.  They added a + to the end of it: Raspberry Pi 3B+.

What's new?  They improved power regulation and cooling of the CPU enabling a default clockrate 200MHz faster than the previous Pi (1.4GHz).  They totally refreshed the radio components (with a nice RPi logo stamped on the cover of it) bumping the wifi to dual-band 802.11ac and Blutooth 4.2.   They also improved ethernet performance making it "faster ethernet" but just under 1GBit along with 4 new pins for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities with an add-on HAT.  Overall it is a cleaner design and the best Raspberry Pi to date.

While some had hoped for a doubling of the RAM (still only 1GB) that just wasn't in the cards as RAM prices have been significantly increasing over the last year and it is very important to the Raspberry Pi Foundation to keep the price point at $35.

Quite a few reviewers got a hold of the new model early and were able to post informative videos on YouTube including some benchmarks.  Retailers don't quite have them in stock yet but will RSN.  I already put in my order with Newark and it should be shipping in about 10 days.  I hope to get FedBerry going on mine for a desktop Fedora system.  I'll post about that when the time comes.  In the meantime, enjoy the following brief video mentioning what's new in the Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Update: My Rpi3B+ arrived on Monday, March 19th.  Wow, that was fast.  I couldn't find the case I had so I haven't had time to play with it yet.  For some reason, it seems smaller than previous models.

Years and Years of Linux Journal...

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:25

Update: On Jan. 1st, 2018 Linux Journal published an update on their website stating that they had a new investor that was bringing them back to life.  Long live Linux Journal.

I got an email from Linux Journal today.  It announced that they were ceasing publication because they were broke.

I've been a long-time subscriber.  How long?  Well, I started using Linux in January of 1995... and only found out about the existence of Linux Journal some months after that.  I don't recall the exact month I subscribed but it was probably sometime in late 1995 or early 1996.  Early on they were every-other-month but it didn't take them very long before they went monthly.  I continued renewing my subscription every year... although I think there might have been a few, fairly short, accidental late renewals where I might have missed an issue or two.  Whenever that happened I was sure to check the newstand (aka Barnes and Noble).

I remember early on (1996?) they were based in Seattle... and it just so happened that my family and I would periodically visit Seattle for days and sometimes weeks at a time because my first son was born with kidney problems and the Seattle Children's Hospital was his regional pediatric care facility.  Staying in Seattle for periods of time you look for stuff to do... and I decided to find their offices and pay them a visit.  In those days it wasn't too far from the University district.  On my first visit I was able to buy most all of the back issues that came out before I was a subscriber going back to issue #2.  They had long sold out of issue #1 (dated March 1994) as it obviously had the lowest print run anyway... so I never actually saw a physical issue #1... but I saw all of the rest of them.  I believe I visited their Seattle office at least 3 times.  They had tee-shirts and various other branded items one could buy.  I do remember getting one or two tee-shirts.

I also saw a Linux Journal booth at various Linux-related conferences I have attended over the years.  I was always sure to grab a few copies of the current issue they would giving away to share with my fellow LUG members.

A few years ago they went digital-only (August 2011).  I never missed an issue because they allowed access to all back issues they offered in PDF format... which goes back to issue #132 dated April 2005.  Their last issue was #283 dated November 2017.  I have the bulk of my print issues sitting on a shelf in front of my desk at work.

In the email from today they said that they were unfortunately not going to be able to give  subscribers a refund for any remaining undelivered issues.  That's fine.  I don't even know how many issues were left on my last subscription.  As a parting gift they were able to provide a link to 6 free issues of Linux Pro magazine... as well as a download link for the final Linux Journal Archive optical disc which contains every issue, now including the last one... in HTML format.  That is normally a $25 value.  I downloaded it.  They said the download was good until the end of the year... at that point I assume their website and everything else will be dismantled to stop any additional financial burden on them.

Linux Journal you will be missed! 1994-2017