Archive for Debian

Upgrading to Feisty

Some details on upgrading to Feisty from Edgy.

If you run an Ubuntu server, you should use the new server upgrade system. Install update-manager-core:

      sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Launch the upgrade tool:

      sudo do-release-upgrade

Follow the on-screen instructions

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Dinner with Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth is a really cool guy. Matt Asay has dinner and a conversation with him in London. This and some other insightful comments that should be read.

Core and periphery. Mark said something that I found extremely interesting, and intuitively correct: it’s better to have multiple forks of your project than a single fork. Multiple forks means the community tends to choose between “core” and “periphery.” A single fork means it chooses between two visions of “core,” and you’ll likely lose that battle 50% of the time.

So (and this is my extrapolation, not Mark’s, so blame me if it sounds Sun T’zu-ish), radical openness is in many ways better than semi-openness, because the more you allow your project to be forked, the more value accrues to the core project. This has long benefited Red Hat and SUSE – there are many other Linux distributions, but they’re periphery. What happens, though, if Ubuntu becomes considered “core,” as it gains traction with the development community…?

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Etch is here!

Debian 4.0 is released:

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed “etch”, after 21 months of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. It also features cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB.

This release includes a number of updated software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5 (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.14, the Xfce 4.4 desktop environment, the GNUstep desktop 5.2, X.Org 7.1, 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, Iceweasel (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox, Icedove (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5), Iceape (an unbranded version of Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8), PostgreSQL 8.1.8, MySQL 5.0.32, GNU Compiler Collection 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3, Samba 3.0.24, Python 2.4.4 and 2.5, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.4 and 5.2.0, Asterisk1.2.13, and more than 18,000 other ready to use software packages.

Good job!

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HP making money off supporting Debian

Big Debian Linux Payday For HP

HP is making $25 million by supporting the free Debian GNU/Linux distribution in what may ultimately turn out to be a challenge to commercial distributions from Novell and Red Hat.

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Puppet on Ubuntu Howto

Configuration Automation & Centralized Management With Puppet on Ubuntu from HowtoForge.

Puppet seems easier to setup the cfengine, hopefully it will be as easy to use.  Using puppet to push up apt-get updates seems like a worthy task. Hopefully someone puts together a howto on the best practice for that.

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Ubuntu and VMware – Losing your ethernet device when migrating

VMWare bases the MAC address of interface on it’s internal UUID. If you shift a machine (copy, rename) vmware asks to update the UUID. You might get something like this:

# ifup eth0
SIOCSIFADDR: No such device
eth0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device
SIOCSIFADDR: No such device
SIOCSIFADDR: No such device
eth0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device
eth0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device

The solution found by hbraga is to check /etc/iftab. Ubuntu on install adds the MAC address for each interface to this file. Either comment out the lines or update them to reflect the correct details.

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Debian Unattended Upgrades

This looks very interesting: Unattended Upgrades.

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IFolder server finally!

The 3.5 version of the IFolder Server has just been released as open source. Yah!

I’ve been wanted to running this for a while as it seems like a well tested system that works well with offline files and is cross-platform. There are even build instruction for Dapper, plus config details. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to test this some time in the next month or so.

Update: Notes on builder IFolder Server on X68_64. Unfortunately it looks a little tricky. Seems I’ll have to figure running a 32bit userland on a 64bit xen kernel. I think they might be some problems with 64bit modules and 32bit modutils, have to check in the mailing list.  Also see this review with some good comments.

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Xen and /etc Management

These guys have an interesting looking project called Enomalism Virtualized Management Console which is an open source web based Xen domain management console. After looking at the screen shots, I’m looking forward to seeing how it functions. They have some futher work which seems to leverage this to provide an integrated collaborative content management for business called TYfresco. Combining Zimbra, Sugarcrm and, a new project for me, Alfresco.

I tried to get Zimbra running recently on an Amd64 Debian domU, but ran into 64bit issues. After several attempts at compiling Zimbra, I figure my next try will be with a 32bit chroot.

Anyway I’ve also been thinking along these lines and better Xen management recently. I’ve been considering building my own system based on Cfengine and Layed Subversion. Cfengine is meant to be very powerful, and is some thing I’d like to spend time learning regardless. Laysvn seems easier to use now, however I’m in two minds about its functionality. The balance been easy of use and security is something I have to explore further.

I see a tool like this as being useful for both deploying new and migrating old servers, plus the restoration management in the event of a system failure. However this needs to be balanced against the leakage of system security information from files like /etc/shadow. On one hand it’s important to store this, on the other with a bad implementation it increases the risk that secure information will leaked. Another thing to consider, as indicated by several comments on Tracking, auditing and managing your server configuration with Subversion in 10 minutes, is permissions management.
Finally I saw this cool looking admin tool on freshmeat in my rss reader Great News today. Network wide updates for systems which use APT, or nwu. Maybe this is something I figured I could do with cfengine, or maybe it’s something that can be combined with cfengine. However, very useful work.

As more systems are run on Xen, making it much easier for sysadmins to partition their services on the same hardware and therefore make system maintenance easier on the application. Better tools will have to be produce to assist management on the OS level.

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Linux server stats

Some interesting stats about the relative usages rates on distributions in the Linux server space. SUSE, Fedora or Debian for sys admins: A closer look:

Interestingly, Debian accounted for 44.6% of the Linux systems deployed while SUSE had 11.4% of the systems deployed. Fedora and Red Hat legacy distributions accounted for 9.2%. The later surprised me.

As those experienced with Debian would expect:

Overwhelmingly, system administrators preferred apt-get for adding, removing and updating their servers. We also discovered that system admins added ports of apt-get to Fedora and SUSE. So much for yast -i. The preferred Debian administration utility drove people who used the non-commercial distributions to Debian.

Also with a link to an interesting php ldap admin tool: GOsa.

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