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Thursday, January 5. 2012
Reposting of what I wrote on the Oracle Linux Blog:
Just a friendly reminder: this year too, we'll continue this series of free one-day events.OTN Sys Admin Days are like OTN's Developer Days, but we focus on the Sys Admin with two parallel, hands-on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux tracks. These are live classroom events and you'll need to bring your own laptop to follow the practical exercises that we will go through in a VirtualBox environment.
The Linux track will cover topics like package management with RPM and yum, storage management with LVM2 and Linux RAID as well as learning the basics of managing the Btrfs file system. The Solaris track will cover the ZFS file system, Solaris containers and security (roles, SMF).
The next OTN Sys Admin Day will take place in Salt Lake City (UT), on January 18th, 8:00am-4:00pm.
Attendance is free, but a registration is required – reserve your spot now by following this link! We look forward to your participation.
Thursday, April 28. 2011
The folks at OTN have been very busy — among many others (both virtual and in RL), there are two upcoming developer/sysadmin days about MySQL and Solaris. Both will take place in California next month:
Wednesday, August 11. 2010
I tend to switch between Linux and OpenSolaris as my desktop operating system from time to time. To be more flexible in this setup, I store most of my work-related data (e.g. source trees, VirtualBox images) on an external 320GB USB disk drive, using the ZFS file system. While OpenSolaris supports ZFS natively, I can access the file system on Linux using zfs-fuse and I could even mount these file systems on a FreeBSD system, if needed. There aren't that many file systems that allow an easy exchange of data between (Open)Solaris and Linux – the other ones that I am aware of are FAT and UFS, which both don't give me the confidence and flexibility I need.
A while ago, I purchased a second external drive of the same size and now use both of them in a mirrored configuration. This gives me several benefits:
From my experience, ZFS is a very solid and reliable solution, providing impressive functionality with a very user-friendly UI (you only need use two commands, zfs and zpool).
Thursday, October 29. 2009
So you're a small startup company, ready to go live with your product, which you intend to distribute under an Open Source License. Congratulations, you made a wise decision! Your developers have been hacking away frantically, getting the code in good shape for the initial launch. Now it's time to look into what else needs to be built and setup, so you're ready to welcome the first members of your new community and to ensure they are coming back!
Keep the following saying in mind, which especially holds true in the Open Source world: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!". While the most important thing is of course to have a compelling and useful product, this blog post is an attempt to highlight some other aspects about community building and providing the adequate infrastructure. This insight is based on my own experiences and my observations from talking with many people involved in OSS startups and projects.
Continue reading "Some friendly advice for bootstrapping your OSS project"
Posted by Lenz Grimmer in Linux, MySQL, OSS, Solaris at 21:12 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, October 19. 2009
FOSDEM, the Free and Opensource Conference, will again take place in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday and Sunday (6th and 7th February, 2010). Now happening for the 10th time (congratulations!), it is one of the largest Open Source conferences in Europe, with a strong focus on developers. Sun/MySQL have been regular sponsors of and contributors to the event in the past and it is alway a great experience to be there. It's very rare to meet so many well-known and bright people from such a wide range of OSS projects.
They have now opened their Call for Participation - the organizers are seeking input on talks for the main conference tracks (deadline: 2009-11-22) , lightning talks (deadline 2009-12-28) and project stands (deadline: 2009-11-22).
As for the last conference, we plan to apply for a MySQL developer room (and maybe a project stand, anybody interested to join? Please contact me!). However, the web site currently states that they are "slightly reworking the concept of developer rooms", so it remains to be seen what this will turn into. In any case, we will set up our own call for papers, once the developer room allocations have been finalized (and we were lucky). I was initially thinking about running another OpenSQL Camp, but it's probably too short after the upcoming one in Portland...
If you have an interesting talk about a MySQL-related subject, consider submitting your proposal now! We will gladly review and comment on your proposal in advance, if you would like to get our input or need suggestions about topics! Thanks.
Friday, October 16. 2009
With IntelliJ now being available under an Open Source license, developers have another option to choose from when it comes to Java-based IDEs/Frameworks (Eclipse and NetBeans being the other two prominent ones). Choice is always good, and being an Open Source enthusiast, I of course welcome JetBrain's move!
However, as I'm not really a heavy GUI-based IDE user myself, I can't really comment on which one is the best. These kind of discussions tend to turn into a Holy War anyway... In the end it's likely that each of them gets the job done and you have to come to your own conclusions, based on your personal preference and requirements.
I personally would be interested in seeing how their support for PHP or Python compares to the one in NetBeans. Their plugin repository lists more that 560 plugins, including many for database connectivity/modeling/navigation (incl. support for MySQL). I'm also glad to see that they have a plugin for Bazaar, something that I'm desperately missing from NetBeans!
Interestingly, they decided to keep a few parts proprietary, it's going to be interesting to see how this will turn out for them and if developers will be willing to pay for these extra features, considering that most of this is available for free from the other two projects.
Their Contributor License Agreement looks like it has been derived from the Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA), which is always nice to see. I assume this can be attributed to Roman Strobl - I was positively surprised to notice that he joined their team as a technology evangelist in June! Roman did a great job in spreading the NetBeans and OpenSolaris gospel at Sun before and I briefly met him at this year's FOSDEM conference in Brussels. Congratulations!
Friday, September 4. 2009
First off, I would like to thank all of the participants and supporters, particularly my colleagues Regina Steyer and Iris Musiol for the perfect logistics and co-sponsoring as well as Uli Graef, Thorsten Frueauf, Matthias Schmidt, Alexander Rubin and Joerg Moellenkamp for manning the Sun booth and the help on site.
Another big Thank You goes out to my team mates Giuseppe and Colin as well as to Sheeri K. Cabral, who were a big help in keeping the OpenSQL Camp on track and by supporting the event by giving talks. In addition to that, Sheeri recorded most of the OpenSQL Camp sessions on video and published them in record time!
So here's a quick summary of both events from my side, starting with the main conference.
Sun was a Gold sponsor of the event and we had a booth right at the main entrance area; it could hardly be missed. It consisted of two large and two small desks as well as a divider behind them. For demos, we had a (slightly noisy) Sun Fire X2200 M2 Server and four SunRay 2 Thin Clients (which by themselves triggered a lot of questions and curiosity by many visitors). The booth was flanked by rollup-banners on both sides as well as various posters attached to the divider. Here's a picture of our booth before the event opened:
We also had a number of talks in the main conference track (both German and English):
The comments and ratings of these sessions were generally very positive. Our booth was well attended, especially during the session breaks. In total, there were over 1.400 visitors at the conference over the two days.
I personally did not attend many sessions in the main conference tracks, as I was too occupied with the OpenSQL Camp and the booth organization. However, I managed to listen to Uli Graef's talk, which was a very technical and interesting session about ZFS features and internals. Being a big fan of ZFS myself, this was a very worthwhile session to be at and my impression was that it encouraged others to take a closer look at this truly amazing file system.
The second talk I attended was Sunday's keynote by Dries Buytaert from the Drupal project about "The Secrets of Building and Participating in Open Source
As for previous FrOSCons (is that the proper plural?), there was a social event scheduled for Saturday evening, providing barbecue (Steaks and Sausages as well as vegetarian dishes) and drinks. This event usually takes place outside and is always an excellent opportunity for networking and talking with key people from other OSS communities and projects. And there was plenty of time for talking - the queues for the grilled food were long...
Here is a list of other blogs and articles about FrOSCon that are worth a read (in no particular order and both German and English):
In addition to the main conference tracks, FrOSCon also provided a number of so-called "Developer Rooms" to OSS projects, so that they could organize sub-conferences or hackfests of their own. We applied for a room to set up a conference dubbed "OpenSQL Camp", related to the topic of Open Source databases, which was approved.
We then sent out a call for papers and invited people from the many OSS database communities to join us and talk about their projects. Every session proposal was published on the OpenSQL Camp web site and people were able to vote on the sessions they were most interested in via email or twitter:
The organization and scheduling of the talks and speakers was done via the FrOSCon conference system (Pentabarf), which made it very easy to perform this task and also made sure that the OpenSQL Camp sessions were included in the main conference program. Below is a full list of sessions at our subconference (see the FrOSCon Program page for abstracts, speaker info, links and slides). We had two cancellations by speakers on short notice, but were able to cover the gaps with ad-hoc presentations. I'd like to send a special thanks to Geert Vanderkelen, who gave a great presentation about MySQL Cluster despite the very short notice and some technical difficulties at the beginning!
Most talks attracted between 20-50 attendees and we had a great mix of topics from several different database projects (with a slight majority of MySQL-related talks). The Panel Discussion (moderated by me), called the "OSS Toolshed Shootout" went quite well and the speakers had a good time answering questions on various topics about their projects. Thanks again to all OpenSQL Camp speakers for making this event a success!
All in all I think that both FrOSCon and OpenSQL Camp were well worth supporting and attending - we were able to provide insight and trigger some interesting discussions among the OSS enthusiasts and developers in the audience. It was also a good opportunity in get in touch with many people of other OSS communities, fostering the MySQL (and other Sun OSS projects) ecosystem.
I personally look forward to next year's FrOSCon - a Big Thanks to the organizers for another great event!
Posted by Lenz Grimmer in Linux, MySQL, OSS, Solaris at 22:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 26. 2009
There have been several similar articles to this one, but I find it pretty amazing to see all these emerging and established Solaris/OpenSolaris distributions. It's a good sign of a healthy community!
So here is my collection - please let me know if I forgot one.
Third-party distributions (in alphabetical order):
Wednesday, June 3. 2009
My last post about Basic MySQL Security generated a number of interesting comments, thanks for all your feedback! I'd like to address a few points that were mentioned there:
While the problem seems to be a non-issue on Linux, Keith Murphy stated that the password might still be visible on other Unix operating systems (e.g. Solaris), as described in Bug#11952 in our bug database. According to the bug report, it depends on the implementation of "ps" — there seems to be a BSD variant (/usr/ucb/ps) as well as a SysV implementation (/usr/bin/ps).
However, on my tests on OpenSolaris (2008.11), both still displayed the password! So be aware of this when working on non-Linux systems and better double check the behaviour on your particular platform. The bug report provides a few more details about this issue, apparently it cannot be fixed for all platforms.
I also pointed out that the password will end up in your shell history and Jay Pipes emphasized this in his comment. As I wrote, you need to make sure that your shell history file is properly protected against access by other users! Usually, a chmod 600 ~/.bash_history will fix this. Most shells create these files with appropriate permissions automatically or can be configured to do so (check your shell's manual page with man `basename $SHELL`).
But there are more potential password leaks that I would like to mention, while we're on the topic: the mysql command line client maintains a history file of its own, that you should be aware of. The history is convenient for easily going back in your list of previous SQL statements by using the Up/Down cursor keys or searching for a particular query by using the CTRL+R shortcut. However, the MySQL client stores all your SQL statements in a file ~/.mysql_history in your home directory by default, similar to how your unix shell does it. So if you are adding new MySQL user accounts using the GRANT ... IDENTIFIED BY PASSWORD... statement, the user's password will be written to the history file in plain text, visible to everyone who has the appropriate file system privileges. Keep that in mind when performing administrative tasks on a MySQL server and make sure to restrict access to that file! By default, the client creates the file with only read and write permissions for the user (600), but if you want to be on the safe side you can of course remove it after you entered passwords on the MySQL command line. As an alternative, you can start the MySQL command line client by using the "-q / --quick" option, which skips using the history file for this particular session. If you can live without a command line history in general, you could simply replace that history file with a symbolic link to /dev/null:
$ ln -fs /dev/null ~/.mysql_historyAlternatively you can set the environment variable $MYSQL_HISTFILE to point to either a different file name or to /dev/null directly. By the way, all of this is documented in the mysql(1) man page as well as in the Reference Manual.
Another attack vector for local users to obtain MySQL passwords are the MySQL server log files — anyone with file system access to the binary log files can extract possible GRANT statements from there using the mysqlbinlog command! So you need to make sure that these files are properly secured from being accessed by regular users as well.
In general, the best approach is to not allow regular users to log into your MySQL Server system in the first place. Shell access should be restricted to the system's admin accounts, access to the MySQL server should strictly take place via the MySQL Client/Server protocol. Which, by the way, is not using encryption by default — make sure to use SSL or an SSH tunnel when accessing a MySQL server through an untrusted network. Otherwise you may also reveal confidential information like user passwords to unauthorized entities...
Wednesday, April 1. 2009
On early Tuesday morning, I made a quick trip to Paris, France, to attend and speak at the Solutions Linux / Open Source 2009 Conference. I've never been to this conference before and was quite surprised about its size - it's actually the largest Open Source event in France and it reminded me a lot of LinuxTag in Germany. Many well-known vendors (e.g. Sun, Novell, Canonical, Bull, etc.) were exhibiting. The also was a large "DotOrg" section for various Open Source projects and I was very happy to see that LeMUG.fr, the official MySQL User Group of France, had a table there, too! A big Thank You goes to Pascal Borghino, who manned that table on his own most of the time and answered questions about MySQL. I walked around the exhibition floor and took some pictures, which I have now posted to my Flickr account.
In addition to the exhibition, there were several parallel tracks with sessions. I was invited to speak about MySQL HA Solutions in the "Aquarium". Unfortunately I had the last slot at that day and they were running a bit behind schedule, so I had only 15-20 people in the audience. But I still had a great time and I received several positive comments about my presentation. I travelled back home early the next day - I wish I had scheduled some more time to attend the conference. I look forward to going there again next year, it was a nice event.
Monday, January 12. 2009
My colleague Joerg Moellenkamp stepped up and established the HHOSUG - a local OpenSolaris User Group here in Hamburg, Germany. It has a web-home with discussion forums on Xing.com. Our first physical meetup will take place on Wednesday, 4th of February, 17:45. We will meet in the the meeting rooms at Sun's Hamburg offices (Nagelsweg 55, 20097 Hamburg). If you plan to attend, please RSVP here. We have the following topics on the agenda:
Luckily, Wednesday is usually the day that I am in the office anyway, so I'll just stick around. I look forward to meeting many fellow OpenSolaris fans there
Saturday, December 20. 2008
While VirtualBox is available as a downloadable OpenSolaris package from the download page at virtualbox.org, I find it much more convenient to use the Package Manager GUI or pkg on the command line to install and update packages.
Sun provides a VirtualBox IPS package (and some others like Flash Player) from a separate "extras" repository. However, you need to obtain a key and SSL certificate before you can access this repository, which are available for free from https://pkg.sun.com/register/ after logging in with your Sun Online Account.
Once you obtained and installed these files in /var/pkg/ssl (detailed instructions are provided on the download page), you can add this repository as another "authority" and start looking at what packages are provided:
$ pfexec pkg set-authority \
So there is not that much to download by now - some additional Java packages and the Flash plugin for Firefox. There is no package for VirtualBox 2.1.0 yet, but I hope this will be updated soon...
Saturday, November 15. 2008
As noted in my previous blog posting, I manged to revive my old Logitech TrackMan Marble FX on Linux (openSuSE 11.1b4), using a Serial-to-USB dongle with a Prolific PL2303 chip. But I also use OpenSolaris on my Laptop quite frequently (currently testing the upcoming 2008.11 release), so I investigated if it would be possible to enable the trackball there as well.
Luckily, the Driver Manager listed the plugged in adapter and the correct driver (usbsprl) was loaded already. Now the real challenge was finding out which device node to use. Some research revealed that the driver actually comes with a manual page , which indicated that /dev/term/0 was the correct device name.
Lo and behold, I copied the InputDevice section from my Linux xorg.conf file into the OpenSolaris one, replaced the Device parameter with the appropriate one and restarted the X server. Immediate success! Now I can enjoy using my most favourite input device on OpenSolaris as well.
Wednesday, November 12. 2008
I recently installed the last release candidate version of OpenSolaris 2008.11 (ISO image available from here) and I am happy to note that the audiohd driver now supports the Intel soundchip (82891H) in my Lenovo Thinkpad T61 out of the box! This was one of the glitches I observed with 2008.05. In general, I am very impressed by the OpenSolaris driver support for this particular laptop - everything except for bluetooth is supported now. On the downside, suspending to RAM still fails for me, but I have not looked into this very deeply yet.
But what good is a working sound driver, if you don't have apps that produce sounds? Be default, the media players included in the distribution lack support for most codecs, e.g. MP3 or video formats. This is not much different from most Linux distributions, as these codecs are usually protected by patents or proprietary licenses which require the user to install these separately. Here are some hints on how to enable better multimedia support on OpenSolaris.
If you want full multimedia support and an choice of video players/codecs, you should add the Life With Solaris (LWS) package repository to the package manager:
$ pfexec pkg set-authority -O http://pkg.lifewithsolaris.jp:10000/ pkg.lifewithsolaris.jp
You will now be able to choose a new package repository from the dropdown list, which allows you to select players and codecs for download/installation. The packages will be installed in /opt/LWS, so you need to add /opt/LWS/bin to your $PATH, if you want to start the applications from the command line. But the packages will create menu entries for the GNOME desktop as well.
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