Podcast: Fedora lead – Robyn takes the mic

When you get a chance to sit down with Robyn Bergeron, current incumbent leader of the Fedora project you take it. Robyn and I have recorded before in February but this time we had some time on our hands without any pressure and decided to record a really amazing show talking:

Part one of the show synopsis

Fedora releases, rel 20 on the horizon – plans for the future
How the Community ethic is absolutely key to Fedora
How Fedora comes about and the need for transparency
Openstack and Cloud
Remembering Seth Vidal fondly

  Part one of the show you can listen to by clicking here 

Part two synopsis

We talk deep and dirty about community and playing nicely
The CentOS conundrum / how bad could perception be ?
How the board of Red Hat support and guide Fedora
Embedded Linux – Raspberry Pi etc etc
Splitting Fedora 21 – The Holy Trinity
Growing old gracefully in Open Source

  And part two of the show is now also available, click here to listen

These shows ARE longer than I usually broadcast but it’s Christmas and genuinely you very rarely get to hear behind the scenes at a major Linux distribution and this is a real chance to get that opportunity.

Podcast: Fedora 19 is Cloudy – Peter Robinson


With the launch of Fedora 19 in the last two weeks we thought it was time to get a podcast out with Fedora team member Peter Robinson. It coincided with the third birthday party of OpenStack which we (Red Hat) co-sponsored at the BlueFin building this last Friday gone. Peter and I met up to do some work together Friday and then retired from the scorching heat of London South Bank to the sane 1960s concrete jungle that is London’s National Theatre. It’s a great place to chill in the heat but also to record (hint there in case anyones in London and wants somewhere free to record).

We talk Cloud, Fedora 19 ARM goodness, how Fedora is built and we talk about every aspect of FOSS within Fedora. We also pay tribute to Seth Vidal and this podcast is very much in his memory.

Come back next Wednesday for a new show.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: Robyn Bergeron talks Fedora

Today’s podcast is with Robyn Bergeron who is of course the Community Project Leader of the Fedora Project, the erstwhile evergreen Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat.

Last June Robyn and I were in Boston together and I meant to get her in front of one of my microphones to record a podcast but it was the last day of Red Hat Summit and people were packing up and getting ready to disappear all points east and west and it never happened.

So it was a given that the first opportunity I had to record something with her turned into a forty five minute recording I’ve cut down to about 25 minutes or so for this podcast.  We talk Fedora of course, releases, release criteria and etiquette, conventions and community, we talk OpenStack, we talk Aeolus and JBoss and all things technical that make up Fedora’s capabilities as part of upstream RHEL.

Listen carefully and you may even hear John Mark Walker from Gluster.org muscle in on the recording. Do of course download and listen, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Internet Radio, Podfeed or via the RSS using your client of choice.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: FOSDEM – Peter Robinson

Fresh, hot off the press a new podcast recorded an hour ago in Brussels, Belgium at FOSDEM, talking to Peter Robinson about Open Hybrid Cloud engineering, CloudForms, OLPC, Fedora and all ARM HPC goodness, IPA, Cloud engineering, SELinux in short two techies getting passionate about all things OSS and Red Hat.

We are at FOSDEM. I feel old. Twelve years ago today I was 28 and giving a keynote at the first OSDEM and doing a Q&A with Jeremy Allison and Richard Stallman here. I’m 40 this week !!

Recording more podcasts here at FOSDEM today and tomorrow – want to be in one come find me at the University now !

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only


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.

Addiction Therapy Red Hat Style

There is a paradigm shift going on in technology generally. It’s not just in the brave new world of elastic computing and cloud but more in how applications are developed using ever increasing agile toolkits and development frameworks. Open Source methodologies are at the forefront of this but the industry standard behemoths that may carry a licence fee, a site licence or EULA also have a reliance at their core on the release cycles of Open Source licences.

So lets take Solaris. There is a wide plethora of uses Solaris still finds a home as the server of choice. It’s still a powerful example of a UNIX platform that is a workhorse alternative to Wintel environments or alternative AIX or HPUX mainframes. It is, however, a brave CIO that can afford to ignore the cost savings and associated pro’s of migrating to a Linux variant, especially a supported certified enterprise variant such as Red Hat.

With Solaris you could actually draw a mental picture of an OS that now has so many daemons under the bonnet that draw direct code from Open Source / BSD binaries that would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that when looking to draw the argument to migrate you could actually say you started without realising it ?

When we look at security aspects of design, high availability and the manageability of platforms all UNIX variants are blessed with rich context controls. The only difference being the speed of release and feature sets that move with greater inertia, born in the community and matured by organisations and developers in the Open Source world. Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM and as a firm IBM has been a great stalwart and ally of Linux since day one, in fact as a organisation they’ve helped push Open Source and structured methodologies around better hypervisor alternatives such as KVM. They are the last bastion of industrialised mainframe support with the evergreen AIX but are also extremely clued up to the gains made by porting to Linux on X,P and Z platforms working with Red Hat.

So that takes us back to Solaris. There are plenty of opportunities ahead where utilising virtualised Linux instances can quickly, and securely, demonstrate major gains in performance and capability over Solaris. Some of these incumbent SOA workloads may actually become part of a blended or hybrid offering for your company or for enterprises. For those companies who are savvy and who realise that the planning for cloud stage starts with a blended approach of technology and process alignment it’s even more of an opportunity.

The mindset of the IT professional tasked with staged migration to Cloud, and marshalling development resources for application development then has to look at his or her governance controls. This then allows you to quickly form a raft of keystages and goals. And guess what ? Quickly it becomes quite obvious that in a world of ever decreasing IT budgets and ever increasing needs from end users and customers alike that funding goes further when you work more openly.

From development environments suddenly realising .Net is as dated as its starting to look, that a lot of “development” in the Wintel environment using dated tools isn’t coding in it’s truest sense it’s actually modification of reusable libraries and objects. Try pushing your Visual Studio or MS SQL code in three clicks to the Cloud I dare you.

We released Fedora 17 this week. If you are sat reading this on your Windows workstation and you work in IT and have a calling to extend your capabilities and your available tools then maybe its time to investigate. How many other free downloads also come with the promise of your own local hosted Cloud, a JBoss server instance and a few million new technological savvy friends who are always up 24/7 to hold your hand ?

Understanding the capabilities of what you want to achieve is enhanced by the nature of the technologies you have access to. If we make this freely available is there any excuse not to react and take advantage ?

If we can give you something today that can form the baby steps required to move to a supported Linux environment to replace something that you can’t afford to have as an IT asset then that’s got to be a good thing ?

In 1999 I used to be an ubergeek at VA Linux in San Francisco. I used to wear a shirt that carried the moniker “The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Window 2000 – Come On We Grew Up !!”. It was never more true that if you are serious about understanding Cloud, defining the intelligent and Open strategies you need to reduce your costs and increase your adaptability as an organisation you need to work with us and there is never a better time to do it than now.

From those initial steps you’d be amazed that the walls of your internal IT processes, especially the ones guarding those expensive to own Solaris hosts become ever so crumbly. It’s hard to argue with being open and we really genuinely, as a community to a man (and a woman) want to proffer the hand of friendship to help you achieve change. First steps to any change or addiction rely on the individual being able to ask for help. This isnt AA – they admirably deal with addiction problems. Linux will become a new addiction, a healthy one. Think of me as your pusher .. The first taste is free 🙂

We’re nice folk, heads might be 9-5 in the clouds but with feet firmly planted on the ground. From North Carolina to our amazing support and dev guys in Brno, CZ, from Madrid to The Arctic Circle – Red Hat folk are everywhere to support and provide the inertia you need to succeed.

Feels nicer being Open. Come fly the friendly skies an overpaid marketing exec once mantra’d about a well known airline. We don’t want to sell you a ticket we want to just give you the key to a new better world order.

That can’t be a bad thing right ?

  • Addendum from a network savvy Welsh type at Red Hat UK – Tom Llewelyn (our Gluster Bus Dev God in EMEA) – Good post, but to my mind AIX on p and HP-UX in Integrity and Superdome are viewed more as mid-range than mainframe. zOS is the last bastion of the mainframe OS market.

    Tom I apologise for lumping AIX and HP UX into one labelled vehicle and stand corrected 🙂