Tag: Linux

SUSE appoints first UK top tier reseller

hqdefaultOpen source player SUSE has appointed its first top tier reseller giving the UK and Ireland job to Securelinx.

The Dublin-based firm was named SUSE’s first Solution Partner in the UK&I. According to a statement it got the job because of its acute understanding of the market and a deep technical expertise.

By getting to Solution Partner level, Securelinx gets deal registration incentives for new business but also access to campaigns and other marketing tools. It is also seen as a feather in the cap that will provide differentiation with other suppliers in the market.

Securelinx has been working with SUSE since 2003 and has built up a team of enterprise server certified engineers and has made sure it lined up its skills behind key technologies, SUSE Storage, SUSE Manager and OpenStack.

Danny Rowark, SUSE regional director EMEA West at SUSE said that Securelinx had a rich history of delivering enterprise-grade open source solutions and innovations to customers, and has continuously tracked, adopted and leveraged advances in open source technology.

“It’s an impressive track record and we know that Securelinx will continue to help its customers deliver innovation and value via SUSE technology as a SUSE Solution Partner,” Rowark said. Securelinx’s managing director Brian Farrell said that it had a deep appreciation and knowledge of open source.

“Working closely with SUSE across all these emerging technical solution areas made joining the SUSE Partner Program a very logical fit for Securelinx. The program enabled our abilities across multiple disciplines to be measured and recognised, ultimately leading us to achieve our Solution Partner accreditation”, he said.

“We are very pleased with the level of executive support we received from SUSE management. Reaching the grade of Solution Partner means that we are not just a technically certified organisation, but also one that is commercially grounded within SUSE’s local market approach. Already, we see new opportunities opening up that will lead to increased revenues for both parties and even better results for our combined customers”,  he added.

Microsoft teams up with Red Hat

redmondMicrosoft and Red Hat have announced a partnership that will help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility deploying Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure.

Vole is offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.

Redmond and Red Hat are also working together on common enterprise, ISV and developer needs for building, deploying and managing applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider. This will enable customers to run their Red Hat Enterprise Linux applications and workloads on Microsoft Azure.

Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will be able to bring their own virtual machine images to run in Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure customers can also take advantage of the full value of Red Hat’s application platform, including Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat JBoss Web Server, Red Hat Gluster Storage and OpenShift, Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service offering. In the coming months, Microsoft and Red Hat plan to provide Red Hat On-Demand — “pay-as-you-go” Red Hat Enterprise Linux images available in the Azure Marketplace, supported by Red Hat.

Customers will be offered cross-platform, cross-company support spanning the Microsoft and Red Hat offerings in an integrated way, unlike any previous partnership in the public cloud. By co-locating support teams on the same premises, the experience will be simple and seamless, at cloud speed.

Red Hat CloudForms will work with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manager, offering Red Hat CloudForms customers the ability to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected to be added in the next few months, extending the existing System Center capabilities for managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Developers will have access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, jointly backed by Microsoft and Red Hat. Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be the primary development and reference operating system for .NET Core on Linux.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise division said the move will be a powerful win for enterprises, ISVs and developers.

“With this partnership, we are expanding our commitment to offering unmatched choice and flexibility in the cloud today, meeting customers where they are so they can do more with their hybrid cloud deployments — all while fulfilling the rigorous security and scalability requirements that enterprises demand.”




Ubuntu is the cloud king

cloud 2Ubuntu is more than twice as popular on the Amazon cloud as all other operating systems combined, according to a new analysis.

According to the Cloud Market which looked at operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Ubuntu has approximately 135,000 instances. In second place is Amazon’s own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 54,000. Windows is third with 17,600 instances.

By dominating AWS, Ubuntu is the most popular cloud Linux.

Ubuntu has been available on HP Cloud, and Microsoft Azure since 2013. It’s also now available on Google Cloud Platform, Fujitsu, and Joyent.

Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is also putting considerable efforts behind OpenStack for the private and hybrid cloud. Indeed, Canonical has also worked with Microsoft to bring Windows Server to OpenStack and with Oracle to bring Oracle Linux to the Ubuntu take on OpenStack.

Apparently, 53 percent of all production OpenStack clouds are running Ubuntu. CentOS is far in the back with 29 percent.

Red Hat does better than expected

red-hatRed Hat has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by being able to stick to its profit forcast, despite the US dollar shooting through the roof.

Red Hat predicted it would make a profit for the first quarter that matched analysts’ estimates despite warning on a strong dollar hurting its revenue.

Red Hat shares were up five percent in after-market trading after the company’s profit beat the average analyst estimate for the eighth straight quarter.

The company also said a $500 million share buyback program will replace an existing $300 million programme.

Red Hat gets nearly half its revenue from international operations and expected to suffer from the US dollar’s strong gains. HP, Microsoft and IBM had estimated a significant impact from the dollar’s gains.

The company, whose customers include Adobe and Verizon, forecast an adjusted profit of $469 million-$474 million for the first quarter.

Red Hat also forecast a revenue of $1.99-$2.02 billion for the full year. Analysts were expecting  revenues of $2.02 billion.

The company’s billings revenue was $688 million in the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected $646.2 million.


Open saucy Microsoft puts Azure on Ubuntu

Every silver has a cloudy liningMicrosoft has released its Azure hosted service so that it can run Linux.

Microsoft showed off a preview of Azure HDInsight running on Ubuntu and the makers of the open saucy gear Canonical claims that it is a recognition that Ubuntu is great for running Big Data solutions.

For those who came in late, Azure HDInsight, is Microsoft’s Apache Hadoop-based service in the Azure cloud. It is designed to make it easy for customers to evaluate petabytes of all types of data with fast, cost-effective scale on demand, as well as programming extensions so developers can use their favourite languages.

The big idea is that people that already use Hadoop on Linux on-premises like on Hortonworks Data Platform, because they can use common Linux tools, documentation, and templates and and now they can extend their deployment to Azure with hybrid cloud connections.

It is not all one way traffic.  Canonical has Juju which  is a Cloud Orchestration tool. This is the result of years of effort to optimize Big Data workloads on Ubuntu. This will mean that Azure will effectively gain access to this.

Intel is open source king

Intel Q4_14_ResultsThe once famous proprietary chipmaker Intel is set to become the largest contributor to the open sauce Linux.

A report from the Linux Foundation said Intel was the largest corporate sponsor of new contributions to the Linux computer operating system.

This means that Intel has replaced some top notch software companies, having made more than 10,000 more changes to Linux Kernel.

It makes sense, Linux plays a significant role in computers integrated inside communications networks and industrial equipment, which are vital segments for Intel.

Doug Fisher, who heads Intel’s software group, is also on the board of the Linux Foundation he said that Intel wants to explore new markets through its chips by integrating it in wearable computing, connected appliances and mobile technologies. Intel has hired several thousand software developers to assist in developing new features for Linux.

Intel has made $350 million in revenue during 2014 by using a component of the IT infrastructure it supplies, according to the company’s annual IT business review.

The report suggested Intel is exploiting IT services in a better way like data analytics and collaboration tools for “optimized business workflows and [to] unlock new insights” to generate millions of dollars of new revenue.

Dell releases new Linux XPS 13

Dell-XPS-13-2015-14Tin box shifter Dell  is bringing the latest version of Ubuntu to its top-of-the-line Precision M3800 workstation laptop and the latest model of the Dell XPS 13 .

Dell’s top-of-the-line Precision M3800 workstation laptop is available with Ubuntu Linux 14.04.

Dell’s Director of Developer Programmes Barton George wrote in his blog that programmers had been asking for a bigger, better officially supported Ubuntu Linux developer laptop.

The Precision M3800 came about from a combination of the efforts of Dell software engineer Jared Dominguez and enthusiastic user support.

George stated that the Ubuntu-powered Precision M3800 developer edition’s comes with preloaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the next generation of the world’s thinnest and lightest true 15-inch mobile workstation a starting weight of 1.88kg and a form factor that is less than 0.71 inches thick

The lap top comes with a fourth generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, professional grade NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16GB of memory.  It will have a 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) screen option

The only thing that Dell could not shove under the machine’s bonnet was Thunderbolt 2 which could not be supported out of the box.

This was because Dell’s Ubuntu factory only ships Ubuntu LTS releases it could not ship with official Thunderbolt support.

“However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support. We plan to be working with Canonical to re-certify the Precision M3800 with official Thunderbolt support,” he wrote.

It will be $50 less than the corresponding Windows configuration.


Ubuntu gets snappy with the internet of things

frog-mouth-crocodile-blair_42596_990x742The Linux OS maker Canonical wants to extend its Ubuntu Snappy Linux technology to power the Internet of Things.

Ubuntu is best known as a popular Linux operating system for servers, cloud and desktops. Now Canonical is tweaking Ubuntu to power embedded devices and IoT.

The key to this is apparently the Snappy Ubuntu Core technology. Snappy Ubuntu Core was first announced on December 10, 2014, as a cut down version of Ubuntu.

Snappy was supposed to be a cloud technology but has been seen as a wizard thing to run embedded devices.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, said that the use of Snappy could improve the security, reliability, and efficiency of update mechanisms and help to isolate apps from one another.

This fixes a problem with IoT that its operating systems are harder to upgrade – which makes them insecure.

Shuttleworth said that Snappy updates can be delivered as smaller, more efficient transactional updates. It also has an update rollback feature, which can enable an application to be reverted if the update is unsuccessful for some reason.

He said that Snappy has very efficient bandwidth usage, making it ideal for IoT embedded devices. With

Shuttleworth told eWeek that Canonical could deliver an update for something like a Heartbleed or Shellshock vulnerability, completely independently of the lawnmower control app that would come from the lawnmower company.

With IoT, anything and everything can be connected to the Internet, even potentially a lawnmower, and it is usually up to the vendor to provide patches for any security issues.

To help capitalize on the IoT opportunity, Canonical now has an entire Internet of things division within the company.

While it sounds grandiose that we have a whole Internet of things division, this is an extremely efficient repurposing of the technology we already have,” Shuttleworth said.


Linus Torvalds rejects calls to be nice

torvaldsThe creator of Linux,  Linus Torvalds, has been explaining his comments to a New Zealand conference about having to be nice.

Torvalds shocked the conference when he fielded  a question from Nebula One developer Matthew Garrett that accused Torvalds of having an abrasive tone in the Linux kernel mailing list. “Some people think I’m nice and are shocked when they find out different,” Torvalds said in response. “I’m not a nice person, and I don’t care about you. I care about the technology and the kernel—that’s what’s important to me.”

Apparently this was deeply shocking as apparently open sourcers secretly believed that Torvalds really loved them and they were heart broken.

Torvalds sent a lengthy statement to Ars Technica  responding to statements he made in Auckland, New Zealand earlier that day about diversity and “niceness” in the open source sector.

“What I wanted to say [at the keynote]—and clearly must have done very badly—is that one of the great things about open source is exactly the fact that different people are so different,” Torvalds wrote via e-mail.

“I think people sometimes look at it as being just ‘programmers,’ which is not true. It’s about all the people who are more oriented toward commercial things, too. It’s about all those people who are interested in legal issues—and the social ones, too!”

Torvalds then seems to have made matters worse by daring to point out that Open Source is not a religion and you don’t need to have faith.

“‘Open source’ as a term and as a movement hasn’t been about ‘you have to be a believer.. It’s not a religion. It’s not an ‘us vs them’ thing. We’ve been able to work with all those ‘evil commercial interests’ and companies who also do proprietary software. And I think that was one of the things that the Linux community (and others—don’t get me wrong, it’s not unique to us) did and does well,” he said.

He sent a second e-mail to Ars about the topic of “niceness”.

“I don’t know where you happen to be based, but this ‘you have to be nice’ seems to be very popular in the US,” Torvalds continued, calling the concept an “ideology.”

Torvalds lambasted the “brainstorming” model of having a criticism-free bubble to bounce ideas around.

“Maybe it works for some people, but I happen to simply not believe in it… I’d rather be really confrontational, and bad ideas should be [taken] down aggressively. Even good ideas need to be vigorously defended.”

He admitted that maybe it was just because he liked arguing and was not a huge believer in politeness and sensitivity being preferable over bluntly letting people know your feelings.

“I understand that other people are driven away by cursing and crass language when it all gets a bit too carried away.” But he thinks that the open source movement might simply need more “people who are good at mediating rather than just asking developers to calm their own tone or attitude.

Open sorcerers praise Microsoft’s change of heart

8246ad6f-df76-4aa3-98e5-3667af1d35fbMicrosoft is making huge gains into the hearts and minds of the Linux community, only a few years after describing it as software cancer.

‎Executive Director at Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin wrote in Linux.com  that Microsoft moves to open sourcing the server side .NET stack and expanding it to run on Linux and Mac OS platforms were important.

“All developers will now be able to build .NET cloud applications on Linux and Mac. These are huge moves for the company and follow its recent acknowledgement that at least 20 percent of Azure VMs are running Linux,” Zemlin wrote.

He said that these sorts of changes made everyone keenly aware of how much the software business has transformed over the last decade.

Microsoft is redefining itself in response to a world driven by open source software and collaborative development and is demonstrating its commitment to the developer in a variety of ways.

A few years ago Microsoft was among the top 20 corporate contributors to the Linux kernel. It participates in the open SDN project, OpenDaylight, and the open IoT effort the AllSeen Alliance. This year Microsoft joined the Core Infrastructure Initiative focused on funding critical open source projects running the world’s infrastructure.

While Zemlin did not agree with everything Microsoft does the new Microsoft is a different organisation when it comes to open source.

Today most software is built collaboratively and open source development accelerate’s technology, which is why competition today is so fierce and things move faster than ever before.
Microsoft understands that today’s computing markets have changed and companies cannot go it alone the way they once did, Zemlin said. He didn’t seem to mention that Microsoft makes a bundle of money out of Linux and hardware and the like.

Poettering attacks Linux’s “you know who”

lennartpoettering-620x411The open source movement fails to attract new members because its existing membership base is populated by a******** with few social skills led by Linus Torvalds who sets a poor example, according to a Linux expert.

Lennart Poettering,  a Red Hat engineer and one of the creators of the controversial systemd system, penned a rant on his bog which was worthy of Linus Torvalds and ironically blamed Torvalds for a lot of the problems.

“Open Source community is full of a******s, and I probably more than most others am one of their most favourite targets. I get hate mail for hacking on Open Source. People have started multiple ‘petitions’ on petition web sites, asking me to stop working (google for it). Recently, people started collecting Bitcoins to hire a hitman for me (this really happened!). Just the other day, some idiot posted a ‘song’ on YouTube, a creepy work, filled with expletives about me and suggestions of violence. People post websites about boycotting my projects, containing pretty personal attacks,” he steamed.

Systemd was adopted by most major Linux distributions, including Debian, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and Ubuntu, but there is still a lot of hate against it.

Poettering blames a lot of the nutcase problems on a circle that plays a major role in kernel development, and first and foremost Linus Torvalds himself.

“Torvalds is considered a role model, but he is quite a bad one. If he posts words like “[specific folks] …should be retroactively aborted. Who the f*ck does idiotic things like that? How did they not die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?” (google for it), then that’s certainly bad,” steamed Poettering.

Poettering said he finds it “particularly appalling” that Torvalds regularly defends this approach and advertises this as an efficient way to run a community. He said that it was not just Torvalds, but a certain group of people around him who use the exact same style, some of which semi-publicly dream up the best ways to kill Poettering.

All this means that if anyone is going to get interested in Linux they are going to need a thick skin to deal with the high A*rsehole count in the community.  He thinks most normal humans can’t be bothered.




Attackers quick to Bash Linux

linuxAttackers have been quick to exploit the Shellshock Bash command interpreter bug and a botnet that is currently trying to infect other servers.

Italian security consultancy Tiger Security’s Emanuele Gentili said the “wopbot” botnet is active and scanning the internet for vulnerable systems, including at the United States Department of Defence.

The botnet runs on Linux servers, named “wopbot” that uses the Bash Shellshock bug to auto-infect others, he said.

It has so far been used to launch a distributed denial of service attack against servers hosted by content delivery network Akamai, and is aiming for other targets, Gentili said.

The malware has conducted a massive scan on the United States Department of Defence internet protocol address range on port 23 TCP or Telnet “for brute force attack purposes,” he said.

Gentili said Tiger Security had contacted UK provider M247 and managed to get the wopbot botnet command and control system taken down from that network.

The botmaster server for wopbot, which is hosted by US network Datawagon, is still distributing malware.

He thinks that the wopbot botnet will grow like topsy as it can infect more than 200,000 zombies in an hour or so.

The ‘Shellshock’ remotely exploitable vulnerability in the Bash Linux command-line shell was discovered yesterday, with researchers warning of its potential to become larger than the severe Heartbleed OpenSSL flaw uncovered earlier this year.

Millions of Apache webservers around the world could be at risk if their common gateway interface (CGI) scripts invoke Bash. The malware can also recruit Apple gear into the botnet without too many problems.


Linux security Bashed

linuxA remotely exploitable vulnerability in Linux has been found and it could be really nasty for those who depend on the operating system.

Stephane Chazelas, who found the vulnerability, has named it CVE-2014-6271, but has been dubbed Shellshock by those who like their viruses to be a little more like a Marvell super-villain.

The flaw is in Bash, which supports exporting shell variables as well as shell functions to other bash instances. It has been a feature of Linux for a long time.

Web applications like cgi-scripts may be vulnerable especially if calling other applications through a shell, or evaluating sections of code through a shell.

The problem is fixed by upgrading to a new version of bash, replacing bash with an alternate shell, limiting access to vulnerable services, or filtering inputs to vulnerable services.

However it could be a while before word gets out that bash is vulnerable and a lot of Linux systems are vulnerable.

Security experts say that this vulnerability is very bad and it will be a race to get systems upgraded before someone has a working exploit.

Tod Beardsley, engineering manager from Rapid7, said it was difficult to write a “bash bug” exploit, but not impossible.

“It’s quite common for embedded devices with web-enabled front-ends to shuttle user input back and forth via bash shells, for example — routers, SCADA/ICS devices, medical equipment, and all sorts of webified gadgets are likely to be exposed,” he said.

Torvalds still dreams of desktop Linux

torvaldsLinus Torvalds told his open saucy mates at  LinuxCon that he still wanted to see Linux running on the desktop.

Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere, but asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next.

According to eWeek Torvalds replied that he wanted to see it on the desktop. However, that was not really a kernel problem but an infrastructure one. He said that he thought that Linux will get there one day.

While this was more in the future, Torvalds said that one of Linux’s biggest problems was kernel code bloat was also addressed as Linux is now being run in small-form-factor embedded devices.

Torvalds said he’d love for Linux to shrink in size “We’ve been bloating the kernel over the last 20 years, but hardware has grown faster,” he said.

One of the big successes for Linux on small-form-factor devices in recent years has been the rise of the Raspberry Pi device; the mini-computer, he said.

Linux was also being held back by the fact that some Linux kernel code has only a single maintainer and that can mean trouble when that maintainer wants to take time off.  He said that at good setup that is now used by the x86 maintainers is to have multiple people maintaining the code.

He added that things have improved with ARM as a result of using multiple maintainers.  In the bad old days when Torvalds used to do ARM merges, he wanted to shoot himself and take a few ARM developers with him.

“It’s now much less painful and ARM developers are picking up the approach.”


Munich mulls Microsoft agreement

munich-agreemnetThe poster child for open sauce goodness, the German city of Munich, might be thinking of abandoning the plan and going for Microsoft.

According to the German newspaper Süddeutsche, deputy mayor Josef Schmid says the city is considering the move because users miss the functionality that Voleware had.

For example, users are cross they do not have an integrated contact, calendar and email application. Süddeutsche claimed that Munich has set up an external email server to allow the City’s mobile devices to send and receive messages.

These are not little complaints either, in fact they are so bad that the city council will create an expert panel to assess the performance of its chosen software.

Schmid is quoted as saying that if the panel recommends a return to Microsoft, he will not say no.  Of course they could always pay someone to write a more integrated mail programme for them.

Munich decided to go with Linux back in 2004 and spend about 10 years installing it, however it is at the desktop level were Linux still has to make much impact, unless you count Android.

It is also bad news for the British government which also recently has issued an order moving towards desktop Linux.