Posts Tagged ‘Mageia’

It starts as a happy new year indeed

2014/01/04

Well, would you really be surprised if i say that the begining of 2014 looks as promising (and as busy of course) as the end of 2013 was ?

While travelling to Linux.conf.au in Perth (28 hours door to door but could it be a better start for 2014 !) I had some time to look at Project-Builder.org, subject of my conference on Monday and also to MondoRescue.

For Project-Builder.org, I’ll publish a new version for LCA (0.12.3) which will fix rpmbootstrap for lastest Fedora (18-20), Mageia 3 and also other recent distros. Also as SVK is now broken on Mageia 3, I’m using git-svn to work on my laptop when remote, and thus pb supports it now. Some various fixes since last year release will also be done (better printing with VM/VE name for logs, improved ntp support, pbdistrogetparam command to easy shell interface…), but globally the software is pretty stable for my usage, so now it’s your turn to tell me what would be useful for you in it. I also need to make a newer presentation for Monday with a short demo.

For MondoRescue I’m not ready yet to publish a final version, so I have made for now a first beta for the 3.2.0 version. First this will be a new 3;x version as there are lots of changes in the code that may make it less reliable due to the adoption of dynamic memory allocation instead of static in a lot of functions. If I compare 3.0 and 3.2:

  • 3.0
    • total mr_asprintf usage : 646
    • total sprintf usage : 674
    • total strcpy usage : 560
    • total fgets usage : 79
    • total malloc_string usage : 367
    • total MAX_STR_LEN usage : 370
  • 3.2
    • total mr_asprintf usage : 1223
    • total sprintf usage : 166
    • total strcpy usage : 388
    • total fgets usage : 28
    • total malloc_string usage : 129
    • total MAX_STR_LEN usage : 221

Which means that a lot has been done in code changes between 3.0 and 3.2. But also a lot remains to do if we want to have no malloc_string nor MAX_STR_LEN at all. And also if I made mistakes in the mr_malloc/mr_asprintf/mr_free usage, the commands will crash. THat’s why I need your tests here ! I’ve made a full bakup restore cycle (which has revealed some issues that I fixed), but I’m far from being confident in the result.

Another consequence is that this version will probably have less fixes than previous ones as most of the time has been passed on code modernization.

And it will require new mindi and mindi-busybox versions. And these versions should finally work for systemd crazyness of removing /bin and /sbin (which broke MondoRescue for a too long time now). And you’ll need new perl modules in order to have it work correctly as I finally rewrote some bash mindi functions into perl to have what I consider better code.
Which means Fedora 18-20, Mageia 3 should work out of the box (at least my Mageia 3 now works correctly).

And expect again more pacthes to MondoRescue durnig the 28+ hours back home at the end of next week 😉

So I wish to all readers a happy new year 2014 and hope it will start for you as it has for me !

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Interview for Mageia’s Blog

2013/11/03

In case you’re interested, you can read my interview made by Ennael for The Mageia Blog.

And I’m right now trying to debug an issue with squidGuard for Mageia 3 while upgrading my internal proxy server ! Cf: https://bugs.mageia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11575

First UEFI PlugFest for Linuxers

2013/10/31

After the 3 days dedicated to LinuxCon US 2013 in New Orleans, it was time to contribute to the UEFI Plugfest organized for the first time as a co-located event.

So what is a UEFI plugfest ? Well it’s a place where hardware manufacturers and software producers meet to check the compatibility of their implementations with regards to UEFI. So Every hardware manufacturer brings some systems, sometimes early units or prototypes, and try them with the latest operating systems available to find out potential issues, some other bring cards to see whether their UEFI driver works fine on computer manufacturer and operating system producers want to try their latest version on these often brand new systems.

UEFI PlugFest

I think it was a brilliant idea to mix the 2 populations for multiple reasons:

  • UEFI members were for sure impressed by the technical knowledge floating around, and employed in such an open fashion, which is not the standard way of working of this standard body.
  • Linux kernel members could exchange with manufacturer representatives of UEFI systems which definitely helped reducing all the FUD around this technology, in particular Secure Boot. They also had the opportunity to test some not yet available hardware platform to ensure their distributions/drivers/tools were working fine or fix them if that wasn’t the case

UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

So in the HP area, under the lead of Dong Wei who is UEFI Forum Vice President and HP Fellow, we tried with 2 colleagues various Linux distributions (and even Windows, but not me !) on the 4 systems that were around. And some findings were interesting !

UEFI PlugFest - Dong Wei, HP

  • Debian 7.1 had grub issue at boot and we were not able to install it
  • Mageia 3 has no UEFI support yet and we were not able to install it easily. However, support is planned for Mageia 4, and some info have been published recently to detail how to perform UEFI based installation.
  • Ubuntu 13.10 provides all what is needed to install in a UEFI compliant environment, thanks to their documentation. We were also able to test SecureBoot with success with their version of Matthew Garrett‘s shim bootloader, signed by Microsoft. They are also working on an interesting tool: FWTS aka Firmware Test Suite, which should be adopted by all distributions IMHO in order to have (for once !) a single tool able to perform firmware compliance tests for a Linux environment. Easy to use, pretty comprehensive, reports lots of useful info. Too bad that they are not providing their certification tools online anymore 😦
  • OpenSUSE 12.3+ again has what is needed for UEFI support. Same mechanism with a shim bootloader, but this time signed multiple times by Microsoft and SUSE. However, this requires a more recent implementation of the UEFI specification, which wasn’t the case on all our system during this event. SUSE provides in particular an excellent documentation on UEFI support, including the possibility to sign its own kernel with pesign in order to use it with SecureBoot.
  • Fedora 19 provides mostly all what is needed. Install worked in UEFI mode without problem. We used the updated version of the shim and shim-unsigned packages from Fedora 20 in order to avoid some issues. However, the multisign issue met with OpenSUSE was also encountered here. More over, Fedora doesn’t provide a good documentation yet for signing your own kernel, which was reported upstream and could benefit from this article. Also the usage of mokutil is broken and should be fixed for Fedora 20.
  • UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

    We also got visited by two Kernel Maintainers Greg Kroah-Hartman and James Bottomley who even tried some of his tools on our systems.
    UEFI PlugFest - James Bottomley, Parallels - Neill Kapron, HP

    Note that Some USB keys even correctly formated didn’t boot correctly on some platforms so if you encounter this issue, try using another USB key.

    Finally I made some tries with MondoRescue on the Last Fedora distribution installed. I thought the work done to support EFI on Itanium would be sufficient, but there are some detection problems for the boot loader in mindi need to be solved and are now tracked upstream as well.

    And on top of all what I was able to learn working with my 3 colleagues, I was pointed to a very instructive article from Ken Thomson on Trusting Trust, I hadn’t read before (and I encourage you to read it), following discussions on Secure Boot. And we had a very nice dinner downtown, a walk through Bourbon Street
    Bourbon Street

    followed by a real air of New Orleans Jazz.
    DSC_8789

    That was the end of a very rich US week. More to come on other more recent travels later.

LinuxCon North America 2013: an air of Jazz

2013/10/13

It was really great to be able to attend LinuxCon in New Orleans in September. I’d like to thank again HP’s OSPO team and in particular Eileen Evans, VP leading it, to sponsor my travel there. HP is also a Platinum sponsor of both the Linux Foundation, CloudOpen & LinuxCon events.
DSC_8665

As I arrived in the afternoon of Monday, I missed the keynotes and presentations that day, but could join the HP booth where HP was presenting HPcloud:
Stand HP

and also demonstrating the new Moonshot converged system there:
Stand HP - Moonshot

This event is always attracting lots of people from various background and the booths area was crowded
Pingouin
as well as elsewhere in the hotel
DSC_8643

Jeanne, who was coodinating the event for HP was even interviewed by the Linux Foundation team
Jeanne Colon-Bonet

Cocktails (nice hurricane !) and a light dinner were provided to the attendees during the booth crawl session which allowed me to talk with some of my US colleagues to learn the latest news
Stand HP - Jonas Arndt, Scott Lamons, Scott Jameson

I started to feel the effects of the jet lag, and went to my hotel room (couldn’t help make some mail !) and rest thinking I was singing Renaissance music just some hours ago !

Speaking of the hotel, this was a very nice venue, with futurists elevators with no button in them 😉
Hotel

Second day was more active, and I attended all keynotes and sessions I could.
Among the most interestong for me I was able to see, there was the keynote of Kevin Kelly who talked about the notion of “Technium”, this idea that 7 billions people all connected all together all the time, with the latest technologies available will create a new entity he called the Technium and described. Not entirely convincing, and this is good, as it’s also a bit frightening. I consider and hope people will keep enough independance to watch this type of evolution with distance and won’t become a big brother type of system managing itself.
Kevin Kelly, Wired Mag. on the Technium

Then it was time for an OpenStack refresh with Thierry Carrez who did a great job explaining that a release manager is not just working 1 day every 6 months 😉 I can’t agree more with him ! (even if I have much smaller projects to deal with). Thierry also covered the various sub projetc and how to manage coherency in such a project. When you think about it: 3 years ago nobody was talking about OpenStack and now they have as many company and contributors as the Linux Kernel had in roughly 20 years ! Quite amazing.
Thierry Carrez, OpenStack
Then James Blair continued on a related talk explaining the continuous process pushed to the extreme set up in the project with the development of ad-hoc tools such as zuul. I must admit it really gives incitation to look more closely at it, gerrit, jenkins and take what could be relevant, even for a small project.
James Blair

After the lunch, it was time to go back to keynotes, which were a bit less interesting than usual for me, even if the concepts brought by Candy Chang to revigorate a neighborhood was original. I decided to continue with Cloud and look at what Red Hat had to propose around openshift. In complement to their RDO (sort of Red Hat OpenStack distribution), they have this offering which exists for some time, but seems now to grow in activity. Diane Mueller presented well the offer, the various aspects of the project, but I definitely lack a demo or a more detailed explanation of the technical aspects of this PaaS offering. Worth digging later on with my Red Hat EMEA friends 🙂
Diane Mueller, Red Hat

I attended then the openVswitch presentation from Jesse Gross, but again was a bit disappointed as I was expecting a more concrete presentation of this important tool in todays cloud environments.
Finally, I attended a session on storage management I already attended last year, by Ric Wheeler, which is always interesting, and allowed me to see which progresses were made on their way to storage unification, and principally what remains to be done !! I particularly think to the global architecture they try to put in place, which would be really great to have but is not there yet.
Ric Wheeler, Red Hat

The business day was then over, and it was time to move to the VIP party.
DSC_8692
Of course, it was time for my first air of Jazz as well in New Orleans. And even if that’s not my preferred style of music, it was pretty good that night, as well as the buffet !
DSC_8694

Lots of VIPs were there of course, which allowed for entertaining discussions
DSC_8696

The inside was worth the outside !
DSC_8700

The atmosphere was nice, and I stayed there till 10:00PM but wasn’t alone
DSC_8704

Some mail, some sleep and I was ready for day 3 ! Which as usual started with a Keynote (the “usual” Dirk Hondel talk)
Dirk Hondel, Intel
and the session the most expected by the audience I think, the Kernel Roundtable.
Ric Wheeler, Redhat - Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat - Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation -
This time, they had invited Sarah Sharp, Intel (I like her clarity) / Tejun Heo, Red Hat (I discovered his enthusiasm which was great)
Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat
Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman, both Linux Foundation.
Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation
The panel was moderated by Ric Wheeler, Red Hat.
Ric Wheeler, Redhat - Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat - Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation

The room was as usual full, and laughed frequently on Linus or Tejun jokes.
Assistance de la kernel round table
The most amusing part was probably when Linus was asked if he had been contacted to introduce backdoor code in the Linux kernel and when he replied “No” doing “Yes” with the head 😉

After the keynote, Linus passed 20 minutes with fans who wanted to take pictures with him, always nice, even when the camera wasn’t working (and cound’t resist to hack it !). Maybe next time, I’ll also have the courage to ask one picture, even if I diserve none having nearly never worked at the kernel level myself. I will never thank him enough to have created an ecosystem which allows me to earn my life and still have fun at work and at home 🙂 This is a great man !
Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation
As this was the day of my own presentation on Mageia, I didn’t attend as many sessions as the previous day.
The OpenDaylight one was interesting for me, as it was my first exposure to the ecosystem. Mostly it was an overview of the multiple components. The project is young, but deserves to be followed, as it could become as openStack on the SDN side, despite what some people say. Also the UEFI presentation was very interesting, in particular in preparation of the UEFI plugfest which was the 2 following days.
Vojtěch Pavlík, SUSE

And of course, it was my pleasure to have a 15 people choir to sing “Happy Birthday Mageia” during my session this afternoon 😉

And the day ended with … Blues, not jazz this time ! At the house of blues of course.
House of Blues
With Voodoo art inside
House of Blues - art Voudou

This event is organized for all LinuxCon participants, so there are multiple threaded buffet to satisfy the appetite 😉
House of Blues

The blues band was great, really (they even had a pinguin, look closely !)
House of Blues
I think it will be part of the memorable dinners organized during LinuxCon as it gave everybody energy for the rest of the week
House of Blues

I really enjoyed this event again, made new relationships, learned and hopefully transmit to some the fantastic beauty of Open Source. Hope to have the same pleasure end of this month in Edinburgh. But for me the week wasn’t finished as I attended the UEFI plugfest as said earlier, but that’s for another article.

You can see more pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcornec/sets/72157636383786144/with/10184624874/

Happy birthday Mageia !!

2013/09/18

The 18th of September 2010, Mageia as announced as a new project. So today is a special day, as its the 3rd birthday of my distribution of choice.

More over, it was for me a special day as I was presenting this distribution during LinuxCon US.

Completely unrelated, some of you may know that I’m directing a vocal ensemble.

So combining all 3 elements today, I was happy to have a choir of some 15 people attending my talk sing “Happy birthday Mageia” ! (It was private so no rights issue ;-)) A great personal pleasure !!

And no, there is no recording available but that was done with a community state of mind:-) What you can get are the slides which won’t of course contain that unique moment of art but should motivate you to at least try Mageia.

No next rehearsal planned for our /tmp/choir today but I hope the audience enjoyed it as much as I did.

Interesting end of week

2013/09/13

Quite some activities for this end of week and the next one:

  1. I’m publishing on Friday mindi 2.1.7 in order to fix kernel detection issues for the most recent ones (> 3.9).
  2. I’m going by train on Saturday to Paris to attend a concert made by my daughter Ségolène singing early music with Jean Belliard in Etampes (Eglise St Gilles).
  3. I’ll sing myself on Sunday for the last concert of our yearly Académie in St Sulpice de Favière (come and talk about music !!)
  4. I’ll go back to Roissy to tke the plane on Monday morning to arrive in New Orleans for LinuxCon US 2013
  5. I’ll attend LinuxCon on Monday and Tuesday, and deliver a talk on Mageia on Wednesday, then attend the UEFI plug fest till Friday (come and talk about FLOSS !!)
  6. I’ll fly back on Saturday, arrive on Sunday in Paris pass some hours with my daughter again, and then back home in Grenoble to start working again the day after.

The real question now, is that it’s time to sleep, and I need to make the Mageia presentation for next week. Anne Nicolas Velu helped me a lot with material and pointers, now I need to make the 20+ slides I’d like to have to cover the topic in a nice and entertaining way for the audience. Luckily there is a long flight 😉

No time to get bored as you can see.

Once more presenting at LinuxCon US

2013/07/27

I’ll be lucky again to be able to present during the upcoming LinuxCon in New Orleans ! I really need to thank the HP Open Source Program Office which is funding my travel there !

This year, I’ll make a new talk with a new subject around my distribution of choice: “What is so special about Mageia ?

Abstract:
Now ranked #2 on DistroWatch, this fully community driven FLOSS distribution is still largely unknown and its merits underestimated. However, it provides unique features for both server or desktop users, based on a rich management, packaging and contribution set of tools, a friendly community eager to deliver the best Linux distribution. While young and born in 2010, Mageia is a full featured distribution inheriting from its Mandrake roots back in the 90’s, but now fully managed by its community such as Debian, or Fedora. However, few people know what makes Mageia so appealing. This presentation will cover in detail deployment with auto_inst, security with msec, SELinux and Tomoyo, package management with urpmi and friends, and the numerous other tools (providing a real choice), or integration tasks or governance model that make it a unique distribution you should test next.

Audience:
Everybody interested by choosing a linux distribution, seeing what others are doing compared to the one they use is welcome to attend in order to understand the specificities brought by Mageia.

Experience Level:
Intermediate

Benefits to Linux:
Distributions are key for the Linux ecosystem. And Mageia, even if young is based on a strong history that makes it robust, adapted to both newbies and experimented linux sysadmin. Its features and the specific tools develpoed around it make an interesting approach that is worth sharing, and hopefully other distribution memebers will take some of thiese tools to also propose them to their user base. For new comers, this also a really well suited distribution, that hopefully will attract more users, more packagers as well, to reinforce the comunity, and globally the Linux community.

So, first if you are a Mageia fan, feel free to send me content, idea, slides, anything you’d like me to present during this session. And if you want to talk, then attend the session and come and see me at the end 😉

Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !

2013/04/09

Distro Recipes 2013
As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

After a nice welcome breakfast, Aurélien Bompard started by presenting the Fedora distribution.
Aurélien Bompard presenting the Fedora distribution
He did a great job especially expalining how easy it was to become a Fedora maintainer, even if a comparison to Debian revealed that it’s much less different that what people may think (it also takes time to become a packager able to modify most distro packages) and I know by experience that the Fedora packagers are really picky (sometimes for not so good reasons) with new contributions.

After that I talked about HP and Linux distributions. I used in fact the standard HP marketing presentation of the company as a starter (modified of course to suit my needs and include more penguins !) in order to explain the span of our activities, our relationship with communities including distributions, announced that HP will even soon provide firmware for ProLiant servers under a package format (rpm and deb), the fact that HP doesn’t see Linux demand for desktop/laptop on the consumer market (no, it’s not just a price issue that would make Linux more appealing in that case as I justified) but that we do support Linux on some enterprise desktops/laptops. Hopefully this was useful and/or new to some of the audience.

Then Dodji Seketeli made the type of talk making you believe that you could contribute to gcc ! Of course, when he details how much time it took him to add some of the features of the next stable version, you know you can’t ! Well I at least 😉 Anyway lots of good news and features that make that future version 4.8 expected soon.
Dodji Seketeli on gcc

That conclude our morning sessions, and it was then time to eat !! Especially as we had a great buffet waiting for us as you can see:
Repas midi

In order to avoid a sleepy afternoon, we started right after by a round table with 7 people (!), that I had the pleasure to chair. With a representative of each distribution (Mageia, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Arch, Embedded) and a Microsoft representative, you could expect blood and swords fight ! Not at all, I was surprisingly happy that the elements were clearly exposed, each representative defending their own work rather than criticizing, and finding ways to propose more future joint work. Of course, some subjects such as LSB/FHS lead to more debate, but very constructive and I really enjoyed this time slot as a way to show that differences are an added value ! It was also the opportunity for me to meet with Colin Guthrie and Frédérc Crozat, which I had never met before. These distros should be happy to have such representatives defending them (and the others too of course ;-)) Finally if you have ideas to share to improve cross-distribution work , consider joining the mailing listdedicated to his topic and start sharing your ideas.

Then it was time again for the remaining presentations. The first was Lucas Nussbaum. Long time Debian Developer, (he is even running for the Debian Project Leader now, vote for him !) he made a convincing picture of the Debian ecosystem, the numerous Web sites that contributors can create to enhance the distribution with stats, infos, Ubuntu correlations, … As usual, Debian appears as a very mature distribution, with a strong Governance, being perl friendly… If I had to change I may well become a debianers. But isn’t it because of the pres, as the morning I was a fedorian 😉
Lucas Nussbaum pour Debian

The next speaker was a long time Linux enthousiast Pierre Ficheux. In fact back when it was Minitel time (not 2.0) I used his xtel program !! Pierre made a presentation (in english but with the accent ;-)) around embedded Linux distributions, presenting various way to tailor one for your device (he was using a Raspberry Pi) depending whether you use an Ubuntu, a Yocto generated one or a pure OpenEmbedded linux one. Definitely a good idea to explore for my Pi !
Pierre Ficheux sur Yocto (Open Wide)

And then we had the lightnings talks. Aurélien Bompard was there again for HyperKitty. Too bad it’s devoted to mailan, as I think Sympa would also benefit from such a work, as their archive management (at least on the latest versions I used) could be improved.
Aurélien Bompard pour HyperKitty

I came then again on stage for a project-builder.org presentation (building cross-distro packages for upstream projects) and made a short demo which I think is explaining much more than my slides, so I plan on using it more in the future !

After me, Eric Leblond explained how his upstream project (ulogd2) wasn’t picked up correclty by most distributions and asked for help to improce that.

And final speaker was Nicolas Vérité who made a panel on all mobile Linux distributions, recommending to follow closely Tizen for the future as the main force in this area.
Nicolas Vérité sur Distros Mobile

Too bad it was already over. Anne closed the session and I’d like to thank her for the invitation and the perfect organization of this first cross-distributions vent as a real success. Well done and see you next year hopefully !
Anne Nicolas (Hupstream)

Meeting at the first Distro Recipes

2013/03/19

I’ve been kindly invited for the first Distro Recipes event in Paris the 4th and 5th of April.

As I have an internal HP meeting on the 4th, I’ll be only available at the end of that day, but will present on the 5th how Hardware manufacturers work with Linux distributions, giving the example of HP. I’ll also monitor a round table aound “Linux distributions: differences and commonalities” where we will try to have polite discussions 😉 about what makes a distribution unique, and what is instead worth sharing by collaborating. Finally I’ll also present during the lightning talks “Project-Builder.org: packaging for multi-OS Open Source Projects

So won’t have that too much time outside of presentations, as you can see, but would be happy anyway to meet with MondoRescue or Project-Builder.org or HP/Linux users and talk with them.

Anyway a great event to be in, as the list of speakers is really interesting, all majors distros being represented, and for sure very interesting new contacts to make, and hopefully the curiosity to discover these other distros that you don’t use 🙂 Come for the same reasons, and see you there !

Time to drop flash

2013/01/30

I’ve never been anti-non-FLOSS: I’ve used StarOffice back in 1995, when it would allow me to not use a Windows PC, but to do everything I had to do with a LInux system. I’ve used and still use AcrobatReader (and Okular). And on LInux I’m using flash, especially to look at Video published, such as on http://youtube.com

But today, trying to get an update for flash, I read on Adobe’s Web site that Flash Player 11.2 would be the last version for Linux. Only security fixes will continue to be provided. Well so instead of being an incitation to move back to Windows (you dreamed guys ;-)) or adopting Mac, It’s an incitation to drop flash usage as much as possible, and use more open video format.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always favouring open format, and free, libre, open source software. But I’m also practical, and if I need to use a software to have my work done which is not FLOSS, I dislike that but can use it as long as it’s not core to my activity. And honestly, flash is probably the last one with regards using non-FLOSS on my systems. Flash is not core anyway. It’s for entertainment mostly so I’m ok with a proprietary plugin, especially when Mageia does a great packaging work making it very easy to use.

But now, if Adobe doesn’t care about Linux users, then all Vidéo providers shouldn’t care either about the flash format and start moving off it ASAP. (including french TV for their news).

When I think about the “awesome” presentation I had today at LCA, about native (without plugin) Video conferencing between Firefox and Chrome, using native HTML5 WebRTC format, I think all these funcky formats are just doomed to disappear anyway. The richness of Open Source, and it’s rapid evolution pace doesn’t allow anymore to companies, even the size of Adobe, to resist. And for sure their decision will accelerate the move. Especially as mobile users, who are mostly Linux users nowadays, ar using more video content.

So many thanks to those who are working on such standards and techno; it will make our lives much more easier, and still fun in a near future.