CentOS Pulse #0905 - 22 September 2009
This issue of Pulse covers topics like the CentOS 4.8 release, the Spanish CentOS community, wireless networking and contains an interview with Tru Huynh.
Subscribing to this newsletter? We have set up a read-only centos-newsletter mailing list where we announce new CentOS Pulse releases to subscribers with a summary and a link. You can subscribe here! Further there is a Newsletter RSS feed available under http://feeds.feedburner.com/feedburner/PZYQ
With a little delay we would like to present you the 5th issue of the CentOS Pulse Newsletter. Last month CentOS 4.8 has been released to the public and UOP (Upstream OS Provider) has announced 5.4 of the enterprise OS at their Summit in Chicago. Our team has started working on the corresponding CentOS version and some patches have already been backported to 5.3.
If you are involved in system management you may also have noticed that both, Spacewalk and Satellite Server have been upgraded and include Cobbler and Koan for provisioning and kickstarting as well as some other impressive additions. In one of the next issues I will try to outline the key features of Spacewalk for CentOS/Fedora lifecycle management.
Besides that I visited the German FrOSCon where Dag and Didi have prepared a wii-moted CentOS Live-CD, allowing other presentators to borrow a remote controller for their talks. Further CentOS proved to be the operating system of choice for all the official Computers.
I had some nice conversation and a lot of fun with family and friends and would now like to wish you a
2.1. CentOS 4.8 released
On 21th of August, CentOS 4.8 has been announced. This release corresponds to the upstream vendor U8 release and includes all released updates through August 20th, 2009. It contains bugfixes, updates and functionality improvements and is expected to be the last normally scheduled point release that will add support for new hardware. There is one final point release (CentOS-4.9) expected at the beginning of the Maintenance Life Cycle Phase for CentOS 4. Users seeking support for new hardware are advised to upgrade to the CentOS 5.x series which is still in the Full Support Phase.
An older CentOS-4 version can be easily updated via yum by running yum upgrade.
CentOS 4.8 is available to download for alpha, i386 and x86-64 architectures. Work for the the ia64, s390 and s390x architectures is in progress.
2.2. Pulse Logo
These days, everything has a logo or mascot, so why not this newsletter.
3. Featured Articles
This Newsletter section keeps you informed about the CentOS project and enables sub-projects, SIGs and external contributors to announce new initiatives and describe what they are doing and where they're heading. If you are interested in contributing ideas or articles, get in touch with the CentOS Pulse Team
Ernesto Celis, a Spanish-speaking CentOS contributor from México, has explained his attitude to the project and lined-out the goals of the CentOS-es team:
"Since I started to use CentOS as an alternative to RHEL 3 in 2005, I soon realised that there where several other Spanish-speaking users contributing to the project by translating wiki pages, helping others to resolve problems or just chatting about interesting topics.
The mailing lists and the wiki are the main channels of support that spanish speaking users deserve and where people like Alain Reguera Delgado (Cuba) and Ernesto Perez (Ecuador) spent a lot of time and effort in.
After an IRC meeting on FreeNode.net (#centos-es), we agreed to review the status of the Spanish wiki pages. There are still some sections like Promo and Contribute that needs to be completed and other pages that has to be kept up to date, but we are now trying to divide the work among the human resources we have. If you have good Spanish knowledge you are welcome to help.
Roger Peña and Ernesto Perez manage the mailing list, where experienced users support newcomers in a friendly manner. Most of them have chosen CentOS as a first approach to GNU/Linux, either because of job specifications or simply for the reputation of stability and long term support that CentOS offers. Besides providing support we discuss issues concerning the community and how to improve contributions to the project.
Gino Alania (Peru) has originally founded the #centos-es channel on irc.freenode.net which unfortunately has become somewhat abandoned until Enrique Quezada (Chile) suggested on the mailing-list that the irc channel could be used as platform for immediate support and more efficient communication. Nicks as epe, ecelis, gin0, K|Ke and others are logged in as long as possible to offer support to the newcomers and to share ideas.
The Spanish-speaking community is interested in working to the version 2 of web site. Enrique Quezada and Eduardo Grosclaude have proposed the inclusion of a Spanish forum on centos.org which probably will happen.
This was just a quick look at the Spanish-speaking CentOS community. We all have committed to participate in the project and to maintain the Spanish infrastructure as well as helping new users."
4. Community Threads
This section of the Newsletter dives into interesting contributions inside the CentOS community. We make the distinction between contributed documentation on the Wiki, support-related contributions on the mailing lists and forums and development-related topics on centos-devel.
4.1. Wireless Networking
A substantial number of threads on the CentOS fora relate to getting wireless networking to work correctly. This is interesting both for the quality and quantity of help provided by experienced forum users (particularly people involved with ELRepo), and the evidence it provides that CentOS is increasingly popular as an operating system the desktop, particularly laptops and notebooks. Unfortunately it also points up problems with wireless, sometimes with no good solution, and the need to choose the right hardware if you want to run CentOS. Some recent representative threads:
4.2. Wiki in Simplified Chinese
Using the Chinese Translation tool in OpenOffice, TimothyLee has converted his Traditional Chinese translations of the Wiki into Simplified Chinese. To view the Wiki in Simplified Chinese, go over to http://wiki.centos.org/zh . The Traditional Chinese tranlations now reside under http://wiki.centos.org/zh-tw .
In this section we will interview a developer or someone who is affiliated with CentOS so the community gets to know the people that bring them this amazing OS.
This month I interviewed Tru Huynh who a lot of people will know from CentOS 3.
First can you say something about yourself? (Job, where do you live, etc ...)
I have been working for the last 7 years in a very well known French non profit research institute in Paris, France. I am in charge off all the computer setup for a biostructral research group with quite a lot of interaction with the campus IT team. Once upon a time I graduated as a chemist, then obtained my phD in molecular modeling where I made my first system administration work (AIX/Sun/SGI) and cluster installation (RedHat 5.2).
What was your first Computer?
Oric atmos with a tape recorder, some friend had Apple IIe. In those time, you actually had to type the code, not just downlad and run it ;).
How did you start with *NIX?
In my graduate school in 85, digital box for email when Apple was still doing appletalk and windows 3.1 was new.
How did you come to be a CentOS developer?
Out of interest, I was using Red Hat Linux since 5.2 until 7.3 (skipped 8.x and 9). I just needed another distribution I could use... Tao Linux, White Box and SL were the other choices... It started as a hobby, just to prove to myself that I could do it, now it's part of my life (a few hours a day). Doing it once was quite a challenge, but keep doing it for years requires a lot of dedication (and a family that understand you ) as most of the OSS people will tell you.
What are your main areas of contribution?
Maintance of the CentOS-3 branch for another year, mirror and a little of the centos.org infrastructure supervision.
What would you like to dig into in the future?
build up a cluster/computing SIG:
- stateless booting for cluster use (perceus.org for instance)
- livecd easy customisation
- for bioinformatic teaching (bioslax like)
- embedded server setup (the livecd/custom cd contains the required
- services to PXE kickstart/rescue boxes/cobbler deploiement)
What is your favorite program?
What do you do if you are not looking at a screen?
Spend time with my family.
What is your favorite drink?
coffee (expresso!) when I am working, tomato juice for great occasions but water most of the time, cool beer when it's hot and humid out there. Champagne when I have to (nice beverage indeed ).
6. Tip Of The Newsletter
This will be a section in which tips and useful programs will be introduced. If you have a good tip or know of a really good program that you want everyone to know about send us a mail.
A very useful program that only a few people know is the shopt command. With this it is possible to correct minor spelling errors, case-insensitive pattern maching or recheck the window size after every command execution.
An example from the TipsAndTricks section:
If you use one of the snippets that uses a for loop in a script with an arbitrary number of archives, you may want to set the shell to use "nullglobs". For instance, normally *.tar.gz will evaluate to *.tar.gz when no files were found that match this wildcard, rather than evaluating to an empty string. As a result 'tar' is executed with this string as a parameter. To avoid this, you can request that the shell uses nullglobs with:
shopt -s nullglob
If no matches were found, the shell will return an empty string, and the for loop is terminated.
7. Jokes and Funny Stuff
"Being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed the floor under your bed"
8. CentOS in the Spotlight
The following articles mention CentOS and are a good resource to understand how the media (and public) looks at CentOS.
The H Open
Enterprise Networking Planet
The Tech Herald
The H Open
9. Upcoming Events
The CentOS Promo SIG organizes CentOS presence (booths, presentations) at various conferences and tradeshows. Here we highlight upcoming events. If you are interested to help out, join the Promo SIG.
10. Contributing to this newsletter
We are always on the look-out for people that are interested to help report on CentOS community activity, maintain a section in the newsletter, write an article or hint us an interesting topic, thread, article or person to talk about. If you want to appear in the newsletter, you have to contribute positively to the CentOS community and hopefully get noticed by one of our reporters
We have a special page with more information about contributing !