...making Linux just a little more fun!

News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff

News Bytes


Selected and Edited by Deividson Okopnik

Please submit your News Bytes items in plain text; other formats may be rejected without reading. [You have been warned!] A one- or two-paragraph summary plus a URL has a much higher chance of being published than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@linuxgazette.net. Deividson can also be reached via twitter.

News in General

lightning boltRed Hat Announces Fourth Annual Innovation Awards

The fourth annual Red Hat Innovation awards will be presented at the 2010 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, co-located in Boston, from June 22 to 25. The Innovation Awards recognize the creative use of Red Hat and JBoss solutions by customers, partners and the community.

Categories for the 2010 Innovation Awards include:

  • Optimized Solutions: Recognition of striking performance, scalability and/or usability enhancements delivered with open source solutions;
  • Superior Alternatives: Recognition of the most successful migration from proprietary solutions to open source alternatives;
  • Extensive Ecosystem: Recognition of the use of Red Hat or JBoss' expanding partner ecosystem to create innovative architectures based on open source solutions;
  • Carved out Costs: Recognition of customers who have leveraged open source solutions to significantly cut costs and extract added value from existing systems;
  • Outstanding Open Source Architecture: Recognition of the use of Red Hat, JBoss and partner offerings to create innovative architectures based on open source solutions.

Submissions for the Innovations Awards will be accepted until April 15, 2010. Four categories will each recognize two winning submissions, one from Red Hat and one from JBoss, and the Outstanding Open Source Architecture category will recognize one winner who is deploying both Red Hat and JBoss solutions. From these category winners, one Red Hat Innovator of the Year and one JBoss Innovator of the Year will be selected by the community through online voting, and will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. To view last year's winners, visit: http://press.redhat.com/2009/09/10/red-hat-and-jboss-innovators-of-the-year-2009/.

For more information, or to submit a nomination for the 2010 Innovation Awards, visit: www.redhat.com/innovationawards. For more information on the 2010 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, visit: http://www.redhat.com/promo/summit/2010/.

lightning boltNovell and LPI Partner on Linux Training and Certification

Novell and The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) have announced an international partnership to standardize their entry-level Linux certification programs on LPIC-1. Under this program, Linux professionals who have earned their LPIC-1 status will also satisfy the requirements for the Novell Certified Linux Administrator (CLA) certification. In addition, Novell Training Services has formally agreed to include required LPIC-1 learning objectives in its CLA course training material.

Adoption of Linux, including SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell, is accelerating as the industry pursues cost saving solutions that deliver maxiumum reliability and manageability. A 2009 global survey of IT executives revealed that 40 percent of survey participants plan to deploy additional workloads on Linux over the next 12-24 months and 49 percent indicated Linux will be their primary server platform within five years.

"This partnership represents the strong support the LPI certification program has within the wider IT and Linux community. This historical support has included contributions from vendors such as Novell and has assisted LPI to become the most widely recognized and accepted Linux certification," said Jim Lacey, president and CEO of LPI. "We look forward to working with Novell to promote the further development of the Linux workforce of the future. In particular, by aligning its training and exam preparation curriculum to support LPIC-1 objectives, Novell has recognized the industry's need for a vendor-neutral certification program that prepares IT professionals to work with any Linux distribution in an enterprise environment."

Under the terms of the agreement, all qualified LPIC-1 holders - except those in Japan - will have the opportunity to apply for Novell CLA certification without additional exams or fees. Novell Training Services will include LPIC-1 objectives into its Linux Administrator curriculum and programs which include self study, on demand, and partner-led classroom training.

More information about acquiring dual certification status can be found at Novell here: http://www.novell.com/training/certinfo/cla/ and at the Linux Professional Institute here: http://www.lpi.org/cla/.

Conferences and Events

ESDC 2010 - Enterprise Software Development Conference
March 1 - 3, San Mateo Marriott, San Mateo, Ca
RSA 2010 Security Conference
March 1 - 5, San Francisco, CA
Oracle + Sun Customer Events
March 2010, US & International Cities:
March 2, New York
March 3, Toronto
March 11, London
March 16, Hong Kong
March 18, Moscow
Enterprise Data World Conference
March 14 - 18, Hilton Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Cloud Connect 2010
March 15 - 18, Santa Clara, CA
Open Source Business Conference (OSBC)
March 17 - 18, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA
EclipseCon 2010
March 22 - 25, Santa Clara, CA
User2User - Mentor Graphics User Group
April 6, Marriott Hotel, Santa Clara, CA
Texas Linux Fest
April 10, Austin, TX
MySQL Conference & Expo 2010
April 12 - 15, Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
Black Hat Europe 2010
April 12 - 15, Hotel Rey Juan Carlos, Barcelona, Spain
4th Annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
Co-located with the Linux Forum Embedded Linux Conference
April 14 - 16, Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco, CA
By invitation only.
eComm - The Emerging Communications Conference
April 19 - 21, Airport Marriott, San Francisco, CA
STAREAST 2010 - Software Testing Analysis & Review
April 25 - 30, Orlando, FL
Usenix LEET '10, IPTPS '10, NSDI '10
April 27, 28 - 30, San Jose, CA
Citrix Synergy-SF
May 12 - 14, San Francisco, CA
Black Hat Abu Dhabi 2010
May 30 - June 2, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Uber Conf 2010
June 14 - 17, Denver, CO
Semantic Technology Conference
June 21 - 25, Hilton Union Square, San Francisco, CA
O'Reilly Velocity Conference
June 22 - 24, Santa Clara, CA

Distro News

lightning boltRHEL 5.5 Beta Available

Red Hat has announced the beta release of RHEL 5.5 (kernel-2.6.18-186.el5) for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 family of products including RHEL 5 Server, Desktop, and Advanced Platform for x86, AMD64/Intel64, Itanium Processor Family, and Power Systems micro-processors.

The supplied beta packages and CD and DVD images are intended for testing purposes only. Benchmark and performance results cannot be published based on this beta release without explicit approval from Red Hat.

The beta of RHEL 5.5, called Anaconda, has an "upgrade" option for an upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 or 5.4 to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 beta. However Red Hat cautions that there is no guarantee the upgrade will preserve all of a system's settings, services, and custom configurations. For this reason, Red Hat recommends a fresh install rather than an upgrade. Upgrading from beta release to the GA product is not supported.

A public general discussion mailing list for beta testers is at: https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/rhelv5-beta-list/ The beta testing period is scheduled to continue through March 16, 2010.

lightning boltSimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta5

MEPIS has announced SimplyMEPIS 8.4.97, the fifth beta of the forthcoming MEPIS 8.5, now available from MEPIS and public mirrors. The ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.97-b5_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.97-b5_64.iso respectively. Deltas, requested by the MEPIS community, are also available.

According to project lead Warren Woodford, "We are coming down the home stretch on the development of SimplyMEPIS version 8.5. There is some work to be done on MEPIS components, but the major packages are locked in to what may be their final versions. We've been asked to make more package updates, but we can't go much further without switching to a Debian Squeeze base. Currently, we have kernel, KDE 4.3.4, gtk 2.18.3-1, OpenOffice 3.1.1-12, Firefox 3.5.6-2, K3b 1.70.0-b1, Kdenlive 0.7.6, Synaptic 0.63.1, Gdebi 0.5.9, and bind9 9.6.1-P3."

Progress on SimplyMEPIS development can be followed at http://twitter.com/mepisguy/ or at http://www.mepis.org/.

ISO images of MEPIS community releases are published to the 'released' subdirectory at the MEPIS Subscriber's Site and at MEPIS public mirrors.

lightning boltTiny Core Releases V2.8

Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux GUI Desktop. It is based on Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, and Fltk. The core runs entirely in ram and boots very quickly. Also offered is Micro Core a 6 MB image that is the console based engine of Tiny Core. CLI versions of Tiny Core's program allows the same functionality of Tiny Core's extensions only starting with a console based system.

It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware completely supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired Internet access.

Extra applications must be downloaded from online repositories or compiled using tools provided.

The theme for this newest release is to have a single directory for extensions and dependencies. This greatly improves systems resources by having a single copy of dependencies, also greatly improves flexibility in "moving" applications present upon boot, dependency auditing, and both batch and selective updating.

Tiny Core V2.8 is now posted at http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/tinycorelinux/2.x/release/.

lightning boltFreeBSD 7.3 Expected March 2010

The FreeBSD 7.3 Beta-1 for legacy systems was released on January 30. The production release is expected in early March.

Software and Product News

lightning boltKsplice "Abolishes the Reboot"

Ksplice Inc. announced its Uptrack service patching service in February, eliminating the need to restart Linux servers when installing crucial updates and security patches.

Based on technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ksplice Uptrack is a subscription service that allows IT administrators to keep Linux servers up-to-date without the disruption and downtime of rebooting.

In 2009, major Linux vendors asked customers to install a kernel update roughly once each month. Before Uptrack, system administrators had to schedule downtime in advance to bring Linux servers up-to-date, because updating the kernel previously required rebooting the computer. By allowing IT administrators to install kernel updates without downtime, Uptrack dramatically reduces the cost of system administration.

Ksplice Uptrack is now available for users of six leading versions of Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux, CentOS, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, and OpenVZ. The subscription fee starts at $3.95 per month per system, after a 30-day free trial. The rate drops to $2.95 after 20 servers are covered. A free version is also available for Ubuntu.

Visit the Ksplice website here: http://www.ksplice.com/.

lightning boltMariaDB Augments MySQL 5.1

MariaDB 5.1.42, a new branch of the MySQL database - which includes all major open source storage engines, myriad bug fixes, and many community patches - has been released.

MariaDB is kept up to date with the latest MySQL release from the same branch. MariaDB 5.1.42 is based on MySQL 5.1.42 and XtraDB 1.0.6-9. In most respects MariaDB will work exactly as MySQL: all commands, interfaces, libraries and APIs that exist in MySQL also exist in MariaDB.

MariaDB contains extra fixes for Solaris and Windows, as well as improvements in the test suite.

For information on installing MariaDB 5.1.42 on new servers or upgrading to MariaDB 5.1.42 from previous releases, please check out the installation guide at http://askmonty.org/wiki/index.php/Manual:Installation/.

MariaDB is available in source and binary form for a variety of platforms and is available from the download pages: http://askmonty.org/wiki/index.php/MariaDB:Download:MariaDB_5.1.42/.

lightning boltMoonlight 3.0 Preview Now Available

The Moonlight project has released the second preview of Moonlight 3.0 in time for viewing the Winter Olympics. The final release will contain support for some features in Silverlight 4.

Moonlight is an open-source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight platform for creating and viewing multiple media types.

This release updates the Silverlight 3.0 support in Moonlight 2.0, mostly on the infrastructure level necessary to support the rest of the features. This release includes:

  • MP4 demuxer support. The demuxer is in place but there are no codecs for it yet;
  • Initial work on UI Virtualization;
  • Platform Abstraction Layer: the Moonlight core is now separated from the windowing system engine. This should make it possible for developers to port Moonlight to other windowing/graphics systems that are not X11/Gtk+ centric;
  • New 3.0 Binding/BindingExpression support.

Download Moonlight here: http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight/.

lightning boltOpenOffice.org 3.2 Faster, More Secure

At the start of its tenth anniversary year, the OpenOffice.org Community announced OpenOffice.org 3.2. The latest version starts faster, offers new functions and better compatibility with other office software. The newest version also fixes bugs and potential security vulnerabilities.

In just over a year from its launch, OpenOffice.org 3 had recorded over one hundred million downloads from its central download site alone.

OpenOffice.org 3.2 new features include:

  • faster start up times;
  • improved compatibility with ODF and proprietary file formats;
  • improvements to all components, particularly the Calc spreadsheet;
  • usability makeover and new chart types for the Chart module.

A full guide to new features is available at http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/3.2/.

All users are encouraged to upgrade to the new release, because of the potential security vulnerabilities addressed in 3.2. Any people still using OpenOffice.org 2 should note that this version was declared 'end of life' in December 2009, with no further security patches or bugfixes being issued by the Community. For details, see http://development.openoffice.org/releases/eol.html.

The security bulletin covering fixes for the potential vulnerabilities is here: http://www.openoffice.org/security/bulletin.html.

Download OpenOffice.org 3.2 here: http://download.openoffice.org.

lightning boltNew Release of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g

In February, Oracle released the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g, a component of Oracle's Fusion Middleware.

The Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a free set of certified plug-ins that enable developers to build Java EE and Web Services applications for the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform where Eclipse is the preferred Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This release provides an extension to Eclipse with Oracle WebLogic Server features, WYSIWYG Web page editing, SCA support, JAX-WS Web Service validation, an integrated tag and data palette, and smart editors.

Also new with this release is Oracle's AppXRay feature, a design time dependency analysis and visualization tool that makes it easy for Java developers to work in a team setting and reduce runtime debugging. The new features in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g allow WebLogic developers to increase code quality by catching errors at design time.

FastSwap support enables WebLogic developers to use FastSwap in combination with AppXRay to allow changes to Java classes without requiring re-deployment, also reducing the amount of time spent deploying/re-deploying an application.

lightning boltGWOS Monitor Enterprise Release 6.1 Adds Ubuntu Support

GWOS Monitor Enterprise Release 6.1 has added support for Ubuntu servers. It also includes many improvements and strengthens the GWOS platform for monitoring heterogeneous, complex IT environments. This new release, part of the ongoing evolution of the GWOS solution stack, is available to Enterprise customers with a current subscription agreement. GroundWorks is also available in a community edition.

Highlights in this new release include:

  • Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS and Ubuntu Server 9.10 are now supported platforms;
  • Tighter integration between the event view and state-oriented views, reducing the time to diagnose a problem anywhere in the monitored environment;
  • Connect to affected systems directly from the status viewer with two clicks. This feature, subject to administrator control, enables faster remediation of detected problems by operations staff. Supports console (SSH), web-based (HTTP/HTTPS) and graphical (VNC, RDP) administration;
  • Viewing all historical and performance information over arbitrary time periods;
  • Direct web links to specific service groups, services, host groups and hosts within the portal application. Back-links to the monitoring system are particularly useful when included in notification messages and ticketing systems.
  • Updated components including Nagios Core project 3.2 and the JBoss Portal;
  • Performance improvements for large systems configuration.

GroundWork 6.1, Enterprise Edition with Ubuntu support, is only $49 for the first 100 devices monitored. Download it here: http://www.groundworkopensource.com/newExchange/flex-quickstart/.

Also in January, GroundWork released Brooklyn, their iPhone app for GroundWork Monitor and Nagios. The iPhone app costs $8.99 at the Apple App Store.

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

Deividson Luiz Okopnik


Deividson was born in União da Vitória, PR, Brazil, on 14/04/1984. He became interested in computing when he was still a kid, and started to code when he was 12 years old. He is a graduate in Information Systems and is finishing his specialization in Networks and Web Development. He codes in several languages, including C/C++/C#, PHP, Visual Basic, Object Pascal and others.

Deividson works in Porto União's Town Hall as a Computer Technician, and specializes in Web and Desktop system development, and Database/Network Maintenance.

Howard Dyckoff

Bio picture

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks.

Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at blogspot.com from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.

Copyright © 2010, Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 172 of Linux Gazette, March 2010