Life continues

Life continues

The noise about Ubuntu Linux has increased over the last couple of days, much of it critical. I have been aware that the Open Source militants have for a long time had a down on it and Canonical for bundling proprietary software with the distro (coadecs and now graphic card drivers) and they have taken some odd diversions in their path to today ( Amazon Search Bar, I am talking about you), but it has a a commitment to a usable free desktop and server operating system and it’s not owned by a proprietary software company and is not a competitive weapon in the systems market, unlike say Red Hat who “own” Fedora, RHEL and Centos. The industrialisation of Red Hat was funded by IBM as a competitive weapon against Solaris and HP/UX and who now own it and offer it as their O/S of choice for their Intel servers.  At a meeting I attended, Richard Stallman expressed his tests as: does it do surveillance, doe it have restrictions (against the four freedoms) and does it have backdoors and documents his then use of GNewSense, a Debian derivative. He also argued, correctly, that one can’t know if the software is free of these defects unless one can read the code. I wonder how many of these Linux distributions meet these tests today?

My review of the meeting might be worth having another look at, unlike some of what I write, it has aged well. …

It just works on Linux

While at Sun, while developing the CEC Messaging Platform, one of my colleagues put part of the platform on Linux, because “It just works on Linux”. I was reminded of this today while repairing one of my desktop computers, which had suffered an HDD failure. The system runs Windows XP and after the hardware repair, Windows was hanging every time the Drive was referenced. This was despite mounting the disk on the e:\ mount point.

I rang Dell who support the UK today from Germany and was advised to create a Linux Live CD and see if that could mount the file system.

It could.

Also it browsed the networks, found the file server, mounted a folder and I am now busy copying the files to a remote disk.

The Dell and Alienware people who have helped me over the last two months have been both helpful and knowledgeable. There was some reticence from the Alienware people since my system is pre-merger and they classify it as “legacy”. They  diagnosed the original disk failure and guided my through replacing the disk and rebuilding the OS. They stated that fixing windows explorer was a software problem and beyond them, so they passed me over to Dell software support. Again great advice and it looks like I have recovered the data.  Now to see what happens if I format the disk.

Thanks to Linux, Dell and Alienware.

NB. Both these services were chargeable, so having to pay for two incidents was a bit poor, but I got to talk to people who know what they’re doing. Alienware gave me reason to believe that it was going to be OK, and Dell reminded me that Linux just works. …

Centos 5, first thoughts

Most of yesterday I spent building a Centos 5.3 VM in virtual box on my Mac. This took longer than I’d expect, but I am not sure if its someone else’s software or me. Anyway getting the Guest Additions remade and installed was a pain, I had forgotton about enabling sudo, the keyboard selection is non-obvious and a Centos bug means that screens don’t auto resize, nor it seems can they be above a fairly intermediate size (1152×768). Still its usable and its what my hosting company use so I’d better get over it. For more see also my notes and links. …

Open SSH on the Qube

I wrote a piece on my Oracle blog, on configuring SSH on my Cobalt Qube. It’s redundant now since the Qube and it’s Linux have gone. This snip/pointer was published in Feb 2016.  I quite liked the finishing line, “Now I can break the Qube from anywhere in the world”. …

Upgrading the Qube

Three days ago, I finally received another Qube with two shiny new disks and found that at home my 5 year old PC has an ethernet controller old enough to permit the recovery disk to boot. This part of the process is really neat and hard to get wrong. (I have initialised the Qube from the OS recovery disk. This involves booting another computer using the recovery disk which is a Linux disk. This system acts as a boot server and I configured the Qube to boot from the net.) I have just finished running the upgrade process for the Qube. Given the OS was published in 2001, there are 73 upgrades and order is significant. …