Linux

Ubuntu Most Hated Community Distro

What Microsoft’s inept Linux bashing campaign failed to do might just be achieved by the anonymous blogger who is writing the Linux Hater’s Blog. I love reading it not because I hate Linux and if you read the comments on that blog, many are Linux users themselves. Ubuntu has just been voted the most hated Community distro on that site.

Whilst reading that blog is very funny, it’s also a great insight into the failings of Linux (mostly as a desktop solution). When I read it, I can empathise with the issues and a realisation that I had mostly brushed under the carpet these things. Why worry about these things when I could bask in the fact that it was all free!

Good old Apple, takes an open source BSD based OS, customises the hell out it without releasing back to anyone, makes a ton of money from it and completely escapes the FSF backlash, whilst leaving Microsoft to take the heat! Steve Jobs is a genius!

You might think that the conversion is complete, that I’ve drunk far too much Koolade and I was even accused of "fanaticism" this week! I like to think of it as "passion" :-)

Linux Hater's Blog

Firstly, no I don’t hate Linux (I use it myself and have done a lot!), but this is damn funny!

*** Warning ***

It contains very strong language so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

LinuxHater’s Blog

*** Warning ***

Whilst the Linux fanboys rip into Vista, many are using a desktop called Gnome which even Linus Torvalds thinks is retarded. If you think it’s only Microsoft who has crises then look at this call to action from the Ubuntu Community Manager. Jeez, he’s even offering to get everyone round to his house to sort everything out! Maybe, Mark Shuttleworth will stump up some more cash and buy him an office at least! Ubuntu, who thinks "shitty brown" is the height of design and they have the audacity to slag off Vista. At least if you were a Mac owner you might have some ammunition.

 

Ubuntu 8.04 on a SBS2008 Network

Don’t you just love it when things just work together, well I do! I recently wrote about using Ubuntu 8.04 and saw a great post by Girish entitled Ubuntu 8.04 on SBS 2003 network, so I thought I’d try this with SBS 2008 and it works! I previously couldn’t browse the domain using smb4k using Konqueror which uses Samba.

Girish used the likewise-open package and uses the the command line apt-get install but I used the Synaptic Package Manager from System -> Administration and then click on search and type "likewise" and install the likewise-open and likewise-open-gui packages. Once installed under System -> Administration select likewise. When joining the domain use the domainname.local format as domainname by itself didn’t work.

Modify the startup scripts as outlined by Girish and reboot. When logging  in use a domain login in the format domainname\username.

You can map your network shares using Nautilus by going to Places -> Network and on the File Browser select File -> Connect to Server and change Service Type to Windows share and complete the following info

Server

Share

Folder

User Name

Domain Name

You’ll be asked for a password which is the username’s domain password. When selecting the new Share icon you might be asked to authenticate again and make sure it has the right domain name and select remember password. You can  then browse through your Shares, open files, etc. One issue I found when trying to open Office files is that OpenOffice.org 2.4 asks for authentication again but defaults to "WORKGROUP" and I don’t know how to change that. To workaround this you can copy the file locally to work on it and copy back.

I’d never heard of Likewise but this is a great find by Girish! Now just need Evolution to work with Exchange Server 2007 and we’re rocking and rolling!

Does the GPL mean no Commerciality

I was reading Viral Tarpara’s blog post about Facebook possibly Open Sourcing its code. Viral hoped that they didn’t choose the GPL because it would stop others commercialising derivative works. This is quite a common perception and something not helped by the Free Software Foundation itself. But is this true? Now, only a Judge and a Court of Law can actually make those decisions about the provisions of a License. What we do know is that GPL Software is commercialised and so are derivative works. Linux is an example of GPL Software and which is incorporated with proprietary code such as device drivers and sold on a subscription basis by companies such as Red Hat and Novell. Last time I looked these were fairly commercial organisations. There is a great book entitled “Open Source Licensing” by Lawrence Rosen which looks at these issues from a legal perspective. It is true that the FSF has not wanted the linking of non GPL code with GPL code but as Rosen points out in his book, what matters is the actual terms and conditions which don’t directly preclude this happening and also having this tested in Court and therefore the Precdents that would go with it. Linus Torvalds has been fairly vocal on this and wanting the freedom to incorporate/link non-GPL and GPL code.

The GNU project was started back in 1984 to create a Unix Like Operating System but the kernel was never completed and so the GNU suite of programmes were used with the Linux Kernel and Linux is a trademark owned by Linus Torvalds who has chosen to license the Linux Kernel using the GPL v2. It’s strange that an organisation like the FSF promoting Software Freedom, doesn’t want people to have the freedom to chose the Licenses under which a system/product is put together.

Going to be Using Ubuntu Linux for a while

Well, it’s actually going to be a combination of Ubuntu LTS 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and OpenSuse 11.0 (hopefully when that gets released sometime in June). The main needs are to use Bugzilla and Subversion and also to look more closely at Mono and see how far we can really go with cross platform development with it.

In the recent Linux Format Magazine review Ubuntu 8.04 got a 7/10 and I can see why now. It’s a good distro, easy to install and configure but it’s not trying to be anything spectacular or cutting edge. One of my previous pains with Linux has always been getting stuff installed and having to build stuff from source and resolve library dependencies. It’s not pretty and life is just too short to be messing with things like that. I know some see it as a test manhood but not me! The Synaptic Package Manager and the .deb files of Debian are about the best things around and the online respositories are extremely fast for downloading from.

Accessing email from Cougar is done from Outlook Web Access via Firefox 3 beta as Evolution doesn’t support connecting to Exchange 2007. I don’t know whether there is a resolution to this at the moment. Also, I cannot browse my network shares on Cougar but having looked at the latest Samba version (3.0.29), I think I might have to upgrade to that.

I had the usual having to install libdvdcss to watch DVDs as most Linux distros won’t provide this because of the legal implications. I’ve installed Skype and I’m using Kopete for Messenger and how could I forget Twitter, which is sorted out with the Firefox addin TwitterFox.

There’s also a great game called Open Arena which is a Quakesque like experience, so shooting up some badies is catered for. So, for now I think I’m equipped for general day to day usage.

It’s fast and responsive on my lowly laptop and with Vista on it, things are frustratingly slow.

Using Windows for Linux Identity Management

The Port25 guys have a really good paper on using Windows to manage Linux Identities. It relies on Samba on the Linux client side, Linux’s Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM)  and Identity Management for Unix under Active Directory Services on Windows Server 2003 R2. The Linux client is made a domain member of the Windows Server.

The latest version of Samba (v4) is looking to provide a full Active Directory domain controller but I don’t think Microsoft will be writing a paper on this.

Samba 4.0 Alpha Released

The significance of Samba 4.0 is that it’s been virtually completely rewritten and support added so that it can act as an Active Directory 2000 or above domain controller to Windows Clients with a full domain join. Linux has a lot to thank Samba for because it is this little piece of software which makes it a possibility as a replacement for a Windows Server.

Mono Overview from ONLamp

This ONLamp Article gives a great overview of Mono which is an implementation of .NET on Linux and the Mono guys have also been working hard on getting Silverlight working for Linux as well with some good progress.

Linux and Windows Interoperability from Port 25

What a great post on Port 25 on Linux and Windows interoperability. The best and most detailed overview of what Microsoft and Novell are doing and aiming for. This is one of my passions “interoperability” and in that lies some great opportunities for Microsoft. As the post says heterogenous systems are growing rapidly and customers want solutions that work seamlessly together. Nice to see them mention Eclipse which is an Open Source framework for building rich client applications based on Java originating from IBM and which forms the basis of the new croos-platform Lotus Notes client. Eclipse doesn’t use the standard SWING Gui Toolkit but IBM’s SWT GUI Toolkit. You can build some great apps using Eclipse and have the look and performance of native apps all using Java, thanks to SWT.

We are going to be thanking these guys profusely in the years to come and shows what you can do with with a small talented team.

Novell's Virtual Machine Driver Pack

The recent edition of LinuxToday magazine has some info on the Virtual Machine Driver Pack (VMD) from Novell for Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10. The VMD Pack allows for unmodified Windows OSes to run on the Xen Virtualisation technology in SLES 10. No more having to install VMWare server to do this or modifying the OS kernel, you can do this straight out of the box now. An Annual subscription for the VMD Pack for up to four virtual machines costs $299, while if you want to run unlimited VMs, then it’s $699.

I’m assuming the VMD Pack has come out of the Microsoft/Novell deal and I have to say this is great news! The corollary of this is that SLES 10 will be running on Microsoft’s Virtualisation Technology in Server 2008 and this has already been demonstrated. What a great choice for customers!

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