Fedora 18 is out and it’s Cloudy

So we’ve released the latest version of Fedora, release 18. It’s the hard work of Robyn Bergeron and her team of erstwhile project maintainers, community contributors, documentation editors and hundreds of people with Fedora carved in their hearts. Kudos to their efforts, this release has been a labour of love. I was on the phone to Robyn last week and we were talking about the herculean efforts of all those involved to get this release out – albeit later than planned because of the documented issues with the whole Microsoft bootloader crap.

This release also features latest release of oVirt 3.1 (listen to the podcast with Jon Benedict in the Podcast directory above), latest version of Eucalyptus appearing for the first time (ver 3.2), as well as the Folsom release of OpenStack and the very cool Red Hat sponsored HeatAPI that we’ve featured in the podcast with Steven Hardy recently.

Robyn and I will be recording a podcast in a few weeks at FOSDEM in Brussels talking Fedora 18 and I think I may even be doing some stuff more formally with the Fedora crew if everything aligns. Watch this space for more news if and when it happens.

A grumble first. The new installer has real issues. To say that you are replacing the existing Anaconda because its old doesn’t wash if you don’t look at the behaviour of your former installation engine scripting. It’s quite a big fail and hopefully this will be fixed and fixed fast. If you are installing over or upgrading  a previous version of Fedora and you have previously used LUKS/DMCrypt the partitioning tool doesn’t allow you to authenticate the underlying volume or mount it just telling you you have 900k or whatever free on your drive. Non sensical – all old versions of Anaconda supported mounting of encrypted partitions. So if you are installing and have LUKS/DMCrypt on a partition my advice is back it up to a drive and blast it away as otherwise you’re potentially going to be screaming at the installer screen. You could argue that to install a fresh squeaky clean F18 install its nice to start with a clean harddrive but in reality we’re all adults and thats just bonkers. You have to think out the box and think that a LOT of your existing users will be using disk encryption and where applicable you document and build on screen assistance to what is the worst partitioning logic I have ever seen in an installer.

Think back 12 years to Caldera’s LISA installer and the emergence of Anaconda circa 2000/1 replacing the libnewt traditional installer and what a breath of fresh air it was. This is a major major step back. Oh and the artwork really sucks. No idea what high school grad they got to use Inkscape in his/her lunchbreak. Poor.

So you’ve installed Fedora 18, what next ? I like to customise my Fedora and to do that I have always preferred to use Fedora Utils thats just moved to GitHub. Fedora Utils is the ongoing work of Satyajit Sahoo and it saves a lot of time and hassle to get you a box with restricted codecs and applications.

Once you’ve installed the codecs and tools installed from Fedora Utils drop to the console and immediately avoid GPG key failure error messages grab both these RPMs


In a console move to the directory that you’ve downloaded to and issue the following command for each RPM both FREE and NON FREE

sudo yum localinstall --nogpgcheck

Next step, again as root

# yum clean all
# yum check-update
# yum update

Once update then add the following tools (especially if you use HP all in one devices or Jetdirect printers).

yum install hplip-gui gthumb gimp pulsecaster audacity ardour

You’re good to go

Oh and remember to encrypt your boot partition, LUKS/DMCrypt is your friend – security costs nothing folks.

Great distro – major move – but the installer is just very poor as is the logic behind partitioning and disk mounting. Let’s the side down, but as with everything in Open Source we can get under the hood and fix it.

Podcast: My OSS talk at Evento Linux

So I’ve had an eventful week. It’s really not been the greatest to be honest but I’m treating it as an isolated incident of madness and not letting it damage the experiences that I had in Portugal meeting great Red Hat customers, reseller partners and distributors and our great community base. Awful flight home, arrived in at 2am somewhat bedraggled and war weary but grateful to be back in one piece. Thats my travelling over for a week till I get my head round having a knife pulled on me.

More importantly Evento Linux was great – I am truly grateful for the help and support from our amazing PR handlers especially Ana Morais who managed us and our schedules with applomb, the guys at Syone and Caixa Mágica who put together a polished and well attended conference. Jeff Ruby from Red Hat Iberia put a lot of time and effort to get me out there but also to set up meetings and opportunities for me as well as filling me with good food, wine and port.

It was great to hook up with Matt Asay who was up before me when it came to giving our own adlib or slide orientated talks on OSS and Free Software. With my background now almost sixteen years in OSS I wanted to reach out to the 300+ students in the room who are looking to build careers in computing and potentially in Open Source. Also in the room where 150+ startup business and a lot of established core IT / SME businesses who it’s essential we reach out to and reach out to in a manner that enthuses and empowers them to understand where new core revenue can come from. Especially around Cloud and virtualisation.

Don’t expect to hear me talk slidedecks and product – this isn’t that sort of talk. This was to get hearts minds and deliver a message that would impact on the listeners long after they left the auditorium. Judging by the reactions emails and the feedback so far (as well as the smiling happy faces in the room) I think both Matt and I achieved that.

Judge for yourself by having a listen.

More pictures to follow as soon as I get them.

  Download this podcast here in MP3 format or OGG format

A detour from Cloud

Taking a detour from Cloud to get an important community message out there.

There are times when having an @redhat.com email address helps my day go that little bit quicker. I’ve always taken huge pride from being involved in Linux and with Red Hat especially.

Today re-affirms why Red Hat is the number one technology company you would ever want to work at and why it’s staffed by great people, managed by thought leaders, steered by the best directors and has a community and groundswell that is unmatched – anywhere.

To those that took time out to record this – kudos, to those that put the funding in place to make it happen and steer this to fruition I applaud you.

Now all thats required is for as many of you as possible to watch this from end to end and if you feel that you can – share it. Thats what Creative Commons is all about. Every time Red Hat does something to make me wearing my red fedora with pride I take stock, this time I just feel humbled.