Wherefore Art Thou CentOS 8?

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Wed, 09/11/2019 - 15:04

UPDATE: CentOS announced on their twitter account that CentOS 8 will be released on Sept. 24th.

IBM's Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (and I'm not sure if Red Hat likes me putting IBM in front of it or not) was released on May 7th, 2019.  I write this on Sept. 11th, 2019 and CentOS 8 still isn't out.  RHEL 7.7 came out on August 6, 2019.  In an effort to be transparent, CentOS does have wiki pages for both Building_8 and Building_7 where they enumerate the various steps they have to go through to get the final product out the door.

Up until early August they were making good progress on CentOS 8.  In fact they had made it to the last step which was titled, "Release work" which had a Started date of "YYYY-MM-DD", an Ended date of "YYYY-MM-DD", and a Status  "NOT STARTED YET".  That was fine for a while and then almost a month had passed with the NOT STARTED YET status.  If you are like me, when they completed every step but the very last, you are thinking that the GA release will be available Real-Soon-Now but after waiting a month, not so much.

It was also obvious that CentOS had started work on the 7.7 update and the status indicators for that have progressed nicely but they still have a ways to go.  Of course one of the hold ups is that they have quite a few arches to support (more than Red Hat themselves) even though their most used platform (x86_64) had its Continuous Release (CR) repository populated and released on August 30th, 2019.  There is still a ways to go on 7.7 but they are generally much quicker with the point update releases.

Users started complaining on the CentOS Devel mailing list harkening back to an earlier time in CentOS' history where they lagged way behind.  There were lots of responses to that thread, many thanking the CentOS developers for all of their hard work, some name calling, and a lot of back and forth with plenty of repetition.  Everyone understands that it takes a while for a major new release to come out and it'll be done when it is good and ready... however... the main complaint was that the development team (which long-time CentOS developer Johnny Hughes Jr. said numbered 3 people) wasn't being transparent enough given the fact that the wiki pages hadn't been updated in some time.  Johnny Hughes finally explained the reason 8 has stalled:

WRT CentOS 8 .. it has taken a back seat to 7.7.1908.  Millions of users already use CentOS Linux 7.  Those people needs updates.

That totally makes sense, doesn't it?  Everyone was happy with that answer... and I updated the Building_8 wiki page to reflect that by changing the status to, "Deferred for 7.7 work" and adding a note that said, "2019-09-10 According to this thread, work was stopped on CentOS 8 after upstream released 7.7. Since so many more users have CentOS 7.x in production, and no one has 8 yet, priority has been given to the 7.7 update... and once it is done, work will continue on 8."

Someone asked JH Jr. if they could use some help and he said that building the packages was easy enough and there wasn't really a way to speed it up... but testing all of the packages, especially all of the various arches, was a way the greater community could help.  That was a poor summary so if interested I encourage you to read the full thread.

While I'm definitely looking forward to the release of CentOS 8, I understand the 7.7 release takes priority and I now better know what to expect.  As has been said so many times, thanks for all of the hard work devs, it is appreciated.

A list of names from "Cold Blood"

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 17:37

I watched this fairly cheesy hitman / action movie today and there was a scene in it where a police detective was looking at a list of phone numbers.  When I saw it I had to freeze the screen... and look at all of the fine names that were on the list.  I'm guessing that none of the phone numbers attributed to the individuals are real, or ARE they?

List of phone numbers from the movie, "Cold Blood"

Most of them I recognized but a few I didn't.  When I looked up the few I didn't recognize, I learned that they still fell into the same pattern.  How many do you recognize?  And just in case you were wondering, this movie has absolutely nothing to do with computers... so someone snuck in a good list.

Video: A Greybeard's Worst Nightmare (Updated)

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Sat, 04/20/2019 - 09:31

Trying to wrap one's head around the paradigm changes happening in the industry can be difficult.  Everything is just moving way too fast.  Daniel Riek has been giving a talk for a while now entitled, "A Greybeard's Worst Nightmare."  Here is a fairly recent iteration of his talk where he does an excellent job of providing both a historical context and a bridge to understanding the revolution and evolution that is happening.  Unfortunately a lot of the progress has been coming from black box services provided by proprietary companies who don't see lock-in as a problem.  Daniel explains how the benefits that have been gained by adopting free and open source software don't have to be abandoned in an effort to keep up with industry methodology shifts providing the most innovation and value.  We can and are keeping up... but there is a LOT to learn.


LFNW 2019: What Presentations Are You Going to Attend?

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:51

Looking over the fine list of presentations  and events for LinuxFest Northwest 2019, here are my preliminary picks for which ones I want to attend.  Since there are several at any given time slot, there are quite a few more I'd like to see but... conflicts.  I hope they record the presentations and post them in a timely fashion.

    9:30  - CC-208 - UEFI Boot for Mere Mortals
    10:45 - CC-115 - Linux Container Primitives
    1:00  - CC-200 - The Current State of Free and Open Source Software in Public Education
    2:15  - CC-115 - A DevOps State of Mind: Continous Security with Kubernetes
    3:30  - CC-115 - A DevOps State of Mind: Managing Microserves and Databases with Kubernetes

    9:30  - CC-236 - The Fight for a Secure Linux BIOS... Past, Present and Future
   10:45  - G-103  - Sex, Secret and God: A Brief History of Bad Passwords
   12:30  - CC-200 - Deep Dive into firecracker-containerd
    1:45  - G-103  - "Just don't buy it"
    3:00  - G-103  - Q&A: Past, Present & Future

Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is that at the last minute things get shuffled around some and then you have to adjust.  We'll see how it works out this year.

Folks going this year include: Gary Bummer, Rob Potter, Warren Sanders and myself.  Anyone else interested in attending?  We probably have room for one more.


BozemanGLUG: April 2019 Meeting


Regular April meeting.

     1) What I learned from our recent hardware failure - Scott Dowdle
     2) Read and discuss the following articles
          a) Preparing for Fedora Workstation 30
Silverblue at 1
     3) What looks interesting at LFNW 2019?
     4) An updated mini-tour of the NAH building

Additional topics may be added closer to the meeting.  Check back later.

Hardware Failure

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Tue, 03/12/2019 - 21:48

The physical server hosting the virtual machine that MontanaLinux.org was running on had a complete hardware failure.  It appears the motherboard failed.  While we believe the original hard disks are intact (even if they aren't, we have a fairly recent complete backup) getting everything back up will be a bit time consuming.  This site is mostly back up but the files directory will take a while to sync so some of the videos may not be available for a while.

I'm temporarily running the site on a Digital Ocean droplet until we get another physical host in place.  I have a spare in Belgrade but I have to get it to Warren in Billings.  If we can just transplant the RAM and drives, that'll be great.  If we have to setup a new system from scratch and then restore from backup, that's going to be a bit more work.  old.montanalinux.org and mail.montanalinux.org (Zimbra) will probably remain down until we get the physical system fully migrated.  Yeah, that sucks.  Sorry.

Update:  The site is fully syned now.
Update 2:  old.montanalinux.org and mail.montanalinux.org were up as of late last night (Wednesday, 3/13/19).
Update 3: Got everything moved to BudgetVM.  It's a KVM VM running OpenVZ Legacy with a handful containers each with their own IP address.  I had it all setup and they accidentally reinstalled the OS on top of it... so I got three months free.  Yeah.

Video: Richard Stallman, "Free Software and Your Freedom"

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 09:57

Richard Stallman paid a visit to Montana State University, Bozeman on Monday, Feb. 11th, 2019 and gave a talk entitled, "Free Software and Your Freedom".   I recorded the following video of his presentation with his permission.


RMS-Free_Software_and_Your_Freedom-20190211.webm (~1hr 47min, 590MB)