* Posts by amacater

86 posts • joined 27 Jul 2014

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Raspberry Pi's trading arm snags £33m investment as flotation rumours sink

amacater

Re: "the list of investors "

That was called OLPC :(

30 years of Linux: OS was successful because of how it was licensed, says Red Hat

amacater

Re: Linux on the desktop - what about on the server?

Tell me: Where can you get commercial training for CentOS? Commercial support? LPI will train for all Linux. To be honest, there's almost no difference between Red Hat and Debian now: same systemd, same apps, same desktop environment. [I've CentOS 8/ 8Stream / Rocky / Almalinux and Debian 11 on one set of VMs - put a user in front of any of them and you'd only notice that the Debian is more up to date and slightly more jazzy than Rocky]. RHCE is a course which demonstrates how to pass an exam.

Dell and HPE will support Ubuntu and Debian now: Lenovo are preinstalling other Linuxes - and second hand Thinkpads are the stock machines for savvy users.

amacater

Re: Linux on the desktop

Don't bother with the clones: come and talk to the Debian developers. Step forward six or so years from CentOS 7 to Debian 11. The reason there are 200 Debian derivatives rather than 15 or so for Red Hat?

Community - which Red Hat have rather squandered and fragmented in the last year or so. If Fedora is too fast pace - you've nothing. (Though the Fedora developers and users are a great community in themselves).

MATE - no problem - you don't even have to find a different install medium. www.debian.org will give you a download link for the netinstall medium.

amacater

Re: Linux is not an OS

Oh, Red Hat, the latecomers - remind me when they make it to 28 :)

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

amacater

Re: FFS

What's last, what's first? Travelling in Indonesia with a tour group, I got my food first - Mr.Andy

What's a family name? Why do you have to have more than one name ...

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

amacater

It works the other way too: I _think_ that the goverfnment website in Slovakia (.sk) is still using .gov.uk templates and structure very successfully. [Hat tip to a Debian colleague for that info.]

Huh, it's as if something happened that made people not like CentOS so much

amacater

Re: Too much choice?

There are three packaging solutons: tgz/git/build from source - Gentoo/Arch/LFS - .deb - Debian and Ubuntu and derivatives - .rpm - Fedora/RHEL and clones, and SUSE.

Apt wins dependency management for packages, I think but the others don't always have as many packages to care about anyway.

Of these for third party packages: .rpm is good for some third party commercial packages too but .deb and the Debian package universe has more or less won everything else.. [See, for example, the relative pain of producing a full bootstrap and rebuild of Rocky/Almalinux onto an ARM system like Raspberry Pi.]

Add in the horror of Red Hat subscription/license entitlement and .rpm is likely to die out in the long term, IMHO.

amacater

Re: Not exactly a surprise.

A note from IRC last night: for 7, some CVEs are already being marked as WONTFIX ... 7 is on "last few years" support now.

Not all CVEs are created equal, but you'd hope that they'd all be patched in a distribution where you pay significant $$$ for support

Big Blue's big email blues signal terminal decline – unless it learns to migrate itself

amacater

Surely you can set up a mail sever using Red Hat ...

Ah, yes, see how well the return on the $34Bn is going ...

Rocky Linux release attracts 80,000 downloads as ex-CentOS users mull choices

amacater

Supercomputers and non-RPM?

I would suggest you go over and subscribe at Beowulf.org. A tiny mailing list full of very bright people who've been doing supercomputing / HPC for 30 years or so. It was an accident that they started out with Red Hat packages to form Extreme Linux all those years ago: it's really not easy to build something from scratch but it is do-able. There are some supercomputing facilities running on Debian and Ubuntu, I think, and genomics sequencing is largely Ubuntu at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, for example.

amacater

Re: Another indication of support is that Google has made a customised Rocky Linux

Facebook are apparently using CentOS Streams - so on something that doesn't stabilise fully. What will be more interesting will be to see which CentOS fork Amazon picks as the basis for Amazon Linux which is the elephant in the room.[and the largest scale user of the Red Hat ecosystem.]

amacater

Fermilab and CERN were using Scientific and were mulling switching to CentOS after Scientific decided to not do CentOS 8 and to recommend CentOS 8. They're now, apparently, considering other options - one suggestion is that they might go to Ubuntu. Internal advice shows that a whole host of Linux distributions are made available internally.

amacater

Jump to Debian or Ubuntu and leave RPM Hell behind? :)

amacater

Secure Boot - both Alma and Rocky are in the space of having to wait for shim packages etc. to be signed by Microsoft.

Intel to put SiFive's latest CPU cores into 7nm dev system to woo customers to RISC-V

amacater

7nm - yes, why not for SiFive new chips.

These may be significantly simpler than an Intel Xeon or whatever and so a good proving ground for a 7nm process.

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…

amacater

We have our own candidate ritght here on El Reg ...

Can I nominate amanfrommars - [they?] will make sense of everything done in this post if duly appointed.

Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different

amacater

Re: Pi's

You can, potentially, have vanilla 64 bit arm64 Linux on the Raspberry Pi now with minimal effort.

I'm writing up how it was done when I did it the other day - if not, use your favourite search engine to find Pete Batard UEFI Raspberry Pi

Almost identical instructions will allow you to put Debain straight on an external SSD for yoru RPi 4.

openSUSE leaps to 15.3 – now built with 'same binary packages' as SUSE Enterprise

amacater

Re: way back...

Depends fairly much where you are: if you're in some universities / many big enterprises it's "Red Hat or nothing at all" and all sorts of reasons will be put forward for that including support and security.

Using both fairly regularly: there's nothing** you can do on a Red Hat based system that you can't do on a Debian based system: if you go the other way round, you quickly discover that Red Hat has very fewsupported programs and relies on lots of third party sites like EPEL to provide a smaller subset of what's "there but without full Ubuntu support because it's universe/multiverse" / "just works" for Debian.

**FIPS certification / US Govt. security certification / credit card payment data/authorisation may be harder

Some very large sites dropped Red Hat for Debain and/or Ubuntu many years ago eg Wellcome Sanger Institute.

[Full disclosure: Long term Debian user / sysadmin for other Linux at various times: biases are my own]

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

amacater

Just give me a Linux desktop

Absent Outlook and now Teams - what has Windows got for the Enterprise per so. If applications become commodities - and Microsoft's push to make them web apps is just that - give me a decent Linux OS, a minimal GUI if I really want it and let me use whatever I want. Regularly updated desktop Linux is at least as secure as corporate Windows updated a while behind anyway.

Compsci boffin publishes proof-of-concept code for 54-year-old zero-day in Universal Turing Machine

amacater

So - when should you halt it to patch it?

And, if it's unpatchable/obsolete - when should you stop the production line ...

Audacity 'scared and excited' to be bought and brought under Muse Group's roof, promises to stay free and open source

amacater

Re: "Its new management has pledged to keep the platform free and open source."

As someone who got buirnt by buying a leading closed-source musical notation etc. software for daughter's education: Musescore and Audacity will make an awesome combination and could readily produce a supported version for, say, Windows charge a small amount and make money on that.

Everybody wins with the right combinations of things - I wouldn't expect every parent to be able to install Debian to make a music workstation for their child, for example.

Flatcar Linux takes the 520, drives up to Redmond: Microsoft acquires Kinvolk

amacater

Connected with Microsoft's own Linux for Azure/WSL?

https://github.com/microsoft/CBL-Mariner - Microsoft's Linux that they're using for GUI apps on WSL2 is RPM based. Maybe this helps them with this and with containers on Azure? Tying to RPM - well, somebody has to, despite the fact that the world runs Ubuntu, Debian and over 200 derivatives while there are about 15 RPM based distributions, I think.

More Linux love for Windows Insiders with a kernel update

amacater

Re: Things change

When Microsoft acquires Canonical - there's still Debian :)

amacater

Why WSL on Windows?

Corporately "secured" Windows device but dev. is developing for Linux - much more straightforward to do this.

Oh hello. Haven't heard much from you lately: Linux veteran Slackware rides again with a beta of version 15

amacater

Re: one of?

By about two weeks - 17th July Slackware as against August 16th 1993. On a point of order, however: MCC Interim Linux - founded 1992 - included instructions on how to convert the distribution to Debian. Potentially, any system remaining from that vintage might legitimately claim to be the oldest continuously updated system :)

Island in the Stream: AlmaLinux project issues first stable release of CentOS replacement

amacater

Re: Will it have the Mate desktop ?

As I understand it, the only supported desktop in the upstream distribution is now Gnome 3.

You can possibly pull in packages from EPEL for other desktops - but it looks as if MATE requires building from source - https://tylersguides.com/guides/install-mate-on-centos-8/ - or downloading from a repository put up by a Fedora user - https://wdawe.com/index.php/installing-mate-desktop-on-centos?blog=1

I remember your name from a long time ago: you'd have no problem with either but Debian "just works" for me and has done for about 25 years.

Boffins get first measurements of Jupiter's stratospheric storms that show 'unique beast' dwarfing Earth's issues

amacater

Great Red Spot?

Big whorls have little whorls

Which feed on their velocity

Those little whorls

Have smaller whorls

And so on to viscosity

or thereabouts - it's a long time since I read it :)

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

amacater

Re: After 25 years use ...

You're looking to move to something with a longer track record than Red Hat's entire existence. To a distribution that is also upstream to several projects, maintained on multiple architectures and with a faster MTTR on security. Oh, and also the basis for 200+ other distributions. ...

Red Hat - five years [ of vendor support] for older packages, maybe, and no free clone. As Red Hat moves away from being a Linux provider - why _not_ go for a community supported distribution with the same underlying systemd as Red Hat - and a choice of multiple desktops?

Apache foundation ousts TinkerPop project co-founder for tweeting 'offensive humor that borders on hate speech'

amacater

Re: I don't know why there is such a fuss over this.

There is no difference between Russia and America: Both enjoy full freedom of speech.

In America you may also enjoy freedom after speech.

Similar period joke.

European Space Agency open to hiring astronauts with a physical disability

amacater

Being picky here - as a wheelchair user myself - but why single out parastoanauts - these folk will be astronauts, pure and simple. If I drive my car, I don't suddenly become a paradriver. If I eat out at a restaurant - I'm not suddenly a paradiner.

This is disguised able-ism drawing attention to disability as "other" in a not so subtle way.

ThinkPad T14s AMD Gen 1: Workhorse that does the business – and dares you to push that red button

amacater

Re: 16GB LPDDR4x soldered.

Soldered RAM is annoying - but the T14s is the lower profile laptop. On the T14,proper at order time, you can configure the memory - one slot is 16G soldered but the second can take up to 32G for a total of 48G.

No Ethernet is probably standard for the form factor - the T14 has Ethernet - but most people might well use a dock for additional connectivity.

Mouse buttons - if you use the mouse buttons consistently, you don't wear out the trackpad - likewise with the pointing device if that's what you like. For writing a university dissertation length paper - you'll probably use a decent external keyboard / mouse

£30m in contracts awarded in Post Office's £357m ATM overhaul

amacater

Fewer ATMs is possibly unsurprising just at the moment in the middle of a pandemic when everything is trying to be cashless - but that assumes you've got debit cards / credit cards, IT to manage some sort of account on line - and that excludes many of the people that bank with the Post Office because there's someone they can talk to to get help / collect benefits / pensions there. Cities are becoming deserts if you need cash machines and corner stores taking £2 per transaction or whatever aren't helping those on the lowest incomes.

Linux maintainer says long-term support for 5.10 will stay at two years unless biz world steps up and actually uses it

amacater

Always worth reading the full thread. No, Linux doesn't necessarily need pure money - it does need devs willing to step up for the long haul. That's the hard bit: money doesn't magically produce great coders and lack of interest will eventually trump finance every time.

We regret to inform you the professor teaching your online course is already dead

amacater

Re: Undead teachers are nothing new.

One of my favourite teachers had been teaching at the same school for 35 years - so was now teaching

the grandchildren of some of his first students when he sadly died at age 59. He'd also taught a celebrity and regarded him as "a jumped up little sh*t" even as he was well known on TV on both sides of the Atlantic.

My Dad was a teacher: one of his early colleagues was similar - in a village school, she'd have paretnts turn up to parents evenings and sit quaking in their seats. "Yes, Mrs. Finding, no, Mrs. Finding" as she told them about how well or badly their children were doing.

The killing of CentOS Linux: 'The CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do'

amacater

Re: I don't get it....

So - "there maybe 3 versions of a patch as they tinker with the final version"

So - CentOS Streams 8 today -> RHEL 8.4 in about April; How do I know what version of packages I've got in six months time - where's my kernel version going to be, what do I build my hardware compatibility for my 30G interconnect on? What level of package churn do third party repositories like EPEL now need to cope with?

Some things - like your university cluster - run isolated, no updates from the outside world for a couple of years. For all other systems, maybe you _should_ run yum update once a week / once a month to be patched against security problems - but the point was that CentOS provided RHEL level stability. The kernel version you installed on day 1 would still be the same major kernel version on day 3650. The major version of GCC would still be essentially the same ten years later.

CentOS Streams gives that stability for six months plus all the development / debug artefacts. For the first five years or so of the Red Hat release cycle, with each point release you get added features / preview releases / features which may or may not get into RHEL next major version available which people may or may not adopt. Now you've got that degree of instability every day with the added uertainty that tomorrow it will change unpredictably.

Fedora - 13 month supported cycle -> cherry picked CentOS Streams - 6 month supported cycle -> stabilised expensive Red Hat on a five year support until the next one. CentOS had a large silent community of users - most of whom could do their own support - and a small cadre of repackagers maintaining a build infrastructure and a small group doing SIGs

Red Hat engineers have taken on the build infrastructure for Fedora and CentOS: Red Hat as a whole has lost goodwill and isn't gaining the community of savvy users as paying customers necessarily. They've opened up outside contribution to CentOS Streams to a community of ?? - people whose work will be monetised by a for-profit they can't control who will charge them for their own code.

All of the repackagers - Oracle, AWS, Rocky Linux and others - now have a harder job so Red Hat gain in one way but lose massively in potential customer base. It's not necessarily malice that's done this but it might be incompetence and lack of appreciation of why people used CentOS and what the value proposition was. Attempts to find out now are too little, too late.

amacater

Re: Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

No. That's not how it works. One subscription per server, thanks, as far as Red Hat is concerned if you're using it in production. Sorry to see that they regard the provision of software updates and security fixes as being paid for support - that's just standard running for a security conscious Linux distribution: you have to pay extra for it and people won't do it. Charge for support for problem solving / corner cases, yes, but not for security updates.

amacater

Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

ZFS is probably missing bits in every Linux except Oracle's : the licensing is such that there are arguments that it can't be incorporated out of the box into any distribution. If you - as a user - choose to do that for yourself - that's different. You can get ZFS on Debian - you can even get root partition on ZFS on Linux - but it's not officially supported.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

amacater

Re: RE: doing things behind the curtain

Put a blank SSD in your Windows laptop. Grab a vanilla Windows 10 .iso image created via the Microsoft tool. Do this from nothing on the hard drive: keep a note of how many steps it takes.

Also note how many third party sets of drivers you need to get the graphics card working.

Check how long it takes to download the sets of Windows updates when you then first go to Settings and run update and how many times you need to run settings to get up to date.

You can do this more readily with (most) Linux distributions and a lower number of third party packages - and I install both OS fairly regularly from nothing, so have done this relatively recently with Windows 10.

For bonus points: install Linux first, then install Windows to make it dual boot (and then reverse the process). Which OS doesn't find the other?

For real fun: do this without a working mouse/trackpad (or use speech output to install the OS without a working screen.)

And yes, you can install Debian without any of the above though the screenless isntall is a bit slow because the speech output is verbose.

Hint: This thread is all about Debian and finding a single .iso image which will "just install" . If you include the firmware you need - and there is a step to do this manually even when using the fully free media - then the updates happen seamlessly during the install. For Intel/AMD - that's a <700M CD size download to get the unofficial media and then however long the net install takes.

The Debian folks are talking right now about building a better download page: most people seem happy in the original thread if the installer can be made to prompt the user once to install/not install firmware.

amacater

Re: Not for noobs

Text install and expert install option - should give you enough options to do most things you want - it is, after all, the way the more complicated tests are done when testing the point releases.

amacater

Re: Small market share of Debian?

200 or so if you include each flavour of Ubuntu as it's own. There are three or four main streams: Slackware, Debian, Red Hat and Gentoo/build it from source. The largest number of surviving distributions are Debian-based. [I used to maintain the LDP Distributions HOWTO and helped Rebecca Sobol of LWN check the distributions list more recently.]

amacater

Debian installer

As one of the people cited in the article: Debian's fully free installer provides a step to stop and add firmware - usually from a USB stick. As a convenience, the unofficial installer includes that firmware on the CD. Unfortunately, most folk with laptops want to install over Wifi - which is not the best install method if you have Ethernet available. One of my colleagues recommends a USB -> Ethernet adapter which works well if you can.

We could change the link on the front of the website to point directly to the CD including firmware but it won't stop some of the problems that people have. There have been flamewars and a GR [General Resolution] in Debian on the issues of what was free software/free firmware/free documentation a while back.

For those who recommend Mint/MX or other smaller derivatives: these all depend on Debian and have comparatively fewer devs of their own to fix problems - nothing's easy.

Debian 'Bullseye' enters final phase before release as team debates whether it will be last to work on i386 architecture

amacater

Re: I'm finding this hard to believe...

For Debian specifically, 686 is the lowest that's supported - there were discussions on the debian-cd list about this.

[Removal of 486 was apparently accidental due to compiler options - by the time it was noticed, a couple of releases had gone by so it wasn't reverted.]

amacater

Debian Bullseye 32 bit

The release team also suggested a change in approach. Up until now, Debian has assessed support for the various architectures fairly late on in the cycle. This is possibly too late: the suggestion now is to assess this just as a major release happens in the planning for the next release. So if Debian Bullseye - which will be Debian 11 - has just started the process of slowing changes, to soft/hard/ freeze, to release - it's a little late to suddenly drop an architecture.

Any support will need to be for five years or so - three years in full support, two in LTS - and discussions round the issue showed that's hard, though it did produce interesting information about who had what hardware still running / who would care if it ceased at this point. It threw up people willing to test i386 at the moment but not necessarily anyone extra willing to commit to long term maintenance.

Assume something of the order of four months for the freeze etc. and release of Bullseye. Planning for Debian 12 ("Bookworm") release goals begins more significantly then. Bearing in mind that the release process will take a couple of years for a further five year lifespan, I anticipate that i386 will be dropped at that point, early on in planning for Bullseye release goals. It is a decision for the developers/porters and release managers at that point.

Most Intel/AMD 32 bit only hardware is ten or eleven years old in 2021. There's another interesting conversation going on over at LWN about obsolete ARM chipsets and removal of architectures from the Linux kernel - nobody is actively preventing you running old code but you have to take everything else into consideration including being prepared to actively contribute to keeping it running appropriately.

SolarWinds takes a leaf out of Zoom's book, hires A-Team of Stamos and Krebs to sort out its security woes

amacater

CEST

Vastly overloaded acronym

Central European Summer Time

Check Employment Status for Tax [UK HMRC] but worst is Cyber Emergency Support Team and Cyber Evaluation Security Toolkit which already exist in this field.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

amacater

Re: Nope, never, not me...

I have learnt from my mistakes. With practice, I can now repeat them 100% reliably and in half the time ... :)

amacater

Re: Doubtless with the assistance of a baseball bat peppered with rusty nails.

An American colleague gave me an unusual aluminium ruler as a gift. It has the shape more or less of a palette knife with rounded corners - I've no clue what the scale actually represents because it's not obviously linear.

Her advice was to walk up behind people at their desks and THWAP it down hard. It's non-lethal, creates a loud noise and attracts their attention. Best clue stick I've had.

My favourite "bleeding obvious" - 1998 or so, building a Linux computer for another colleague. Build goes OK but I can't get it seen on the network. Call in the (senior) colleague to troubleshoot who smiles, reaches round behind the computer and holds up one end of an Ethernet cable: "Would this help?" :)

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'

amacater

Re: Not ideal

From a comment on CentOS-devel where people were talking about what it takes to rebuild Red Hat from source:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is not self hosting

Run, don't walk away from the whole Red Hat ecosystem: bad enough when the installer doesn't work but that's obviously only a minor glitch.

amacater

Re: CentOS → Ubuntu? I find that hard to believe

Sarcasm aside - I'll assume this is a serious point and deserves to be answered seriously: the one problem that all distributions have is a shortage of developers. Devuan is a fork from Debian and has fewer developers for a similar size distro. If you want to make Devuan into something well supported, it requires more developers.

If moving to Devuan because you don't like systemd - fine, but you may need to find extra folks to help with maintaining sysvinit and other init systems for a larger user base and a longer term.

amacater

Re: Shame

CentOS 6 - move now - you have NO security support and no fixes. Please don't leave something old and unpatchable anywhere on the 'Net. Regular checks and keeping on top of patching are good and useful no matter which distribution you run.

amacater

Re: The decision was reluctant

One of the comments attached to that, I think, on LWN was along the lines of - if someone is holding a gun to you and says "Your head or your legs" - what are you going to say?

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