01. May 2017 · Comments Off on The REAL reason we use Linux · Categories: Commentary, Linux

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We tell people we use Linux because it’s secure. Or because it’s free, because it’s customizable, because it’s free (the other meaning), because it has excellent community support…

But all of that is just marketing bullshit. We tell that to non-Linuxers because they wouldn’t understand the real reason. And when we say those false reasons enough, we might even start to believe them ourselves.

But deep underneath, the real reason remains.

We use Linux because it’s fun!

It’s fun to tinker with your system. It’s fun to change all the settings, break the system, then have to go to recovery mode to repair it. It’s fun to have over a hundred distros to choose from. It’s fun to use the command line.

Let me say that again. It’s fun to use the command line.

No wonder non-Linuxers wouldn’t understand.

The point with us Linux fans is – we use Linux for its own sake. Sure, we like to get work done. Sure, we like to be secure from viruses. Sure, we like to save money. But those are only the side-effects. What we really like is playing with the system, poking around, and discovering completely pointless yet fascinating facts about the OS.

There are three main reasons Linux is so much fun:

1. Linux gives you complete control

Ever tried stopping a process in Windows and the OS wouldn’t let you? Ever tried deleting a file – and you couldn’t? Even though you had admin rights?

Linux lets you do anything. That’s the great benefit of usually logging in as user. If you login as the root, the OS assumes you know what you’re doing. Once you become root, everything is allowed.

2. Linux isn’t widely used

This is a paradox. We often complain Linux isn’t more widely used. But that’s one of the reasons we use it. It gives us a feeling of being a special clique. Like we’re better than “those ignorant masses”.

If Linux becomes widely used, we’ll probably switch to something else. Or at least develop an obscure distro that only we will use. Because, let’s face it, we want to feel special.

3. Linux is free (as-in-speech)

We can get the source code for all our applications. If we want to know how a certain part of the OS works, we can. This lets us tweak and play with our systems. And we absolutely loo-o-o-ve tweaking our system.

Of course we can’t tell non-Linuxers we use Linux because it’s fun – they’d stick us into a mental asylum quicker than you can say “antidisestablishmentarianism”. So we’ll keep telling them the false yet plausible reasons for using Linux. But deep inside, we’ll know the real reason we use Linux.

And maybe, just maybe, next time someone asks me why I use Linux, I’ll flash a huge smile and answer: “Because using Linux is FUN!”

My latest article Build your own DNS name server on Linux, has been posted on Opensource.com. This is the second article in my series on DNS name services.

Published yesterday, April 6, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted on my Linux-DataBook website, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 7, 2017.

My latest article, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), has been posted on Opensource.com. This article talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted on my Linux-DataBook website, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 6, 2017.

I will be presenting the talk, SystemV startup vs systemd at All Things Open on Monday, October 19th at 3:25pm. I do not yet know which room I will be in, but that should be available on the schedule when you get to the conference.

systemd is a controversial replacement for the init daemon and SystemV start scripts that is now used by many important distributions. My presentation will cover some of the differences between these two startup systems as well as some basic usage information needed by anyone getting started with systemd.

I hope to see you there.

For a number of reasons, I am closing down the business entity known as Millennium Technology Consulting LLC effective immediately.

I will continue to maintain my DataBook® web site, where I post technical information for Linux system administrators and end users. If you are looking for help with Linux and other Free Open Source Software (FOSS), I post information here that – for me at least – was difficult to find or that took me a lot of time to discover through experimentation.

Because that business subsidised the operation of this web site, that source of financial support is no longer available. So, if you find this web site useful, I ask you to consider supporting it by donating so that it may continue to exist.

Thank you.

06. October 2012 · Comments Off on “Linux Servers and Advanced System Administration” Class Status · Categories: Linux, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC, Training

The advanced class I have been working on for over a year is nearly ready. This unique class, entitled, Linux Servers and Advanced System Administration covers a wide range of advanced topics in a manner never seen in other courses.

The topics covered in this course (still subject to change) will be:

 Administrative Tools  WordPress and MySQL
 IPTables  MailMan
Network Configuration  SAMBA
SendMail  CUPS
SpamAssassin  SELinux
MIMEDefang  Building RPMs
Apache Web Server

But it is how the class is structured as much as the specific subjects covered that makes it unique. Most classes that cover these subjects do not cover all of them, and they do not treat them as a part of an integrated whole system. The Linux Servers and Advanced System Administration class treats these as parts of a unified whole

By the end of the class each student will have a fully working Linux system with a firewall; a name server with forward and reverse zones; a DHCP server; an email server with integrated anti-spam; two working web sites with one a static HTML site and the other a complete WordPress site with a MySQL back end; A MailMan mailing list server; A VNC server; NFS and Samba shares. The student will also learn to build RPM packages.

In addition, students will learn advanced aspects of some of the system commands covered in my Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration course, as well as some interesting new commands that can be used for advanced system administration tasks and problem determination.

I expect this course to be ready for a test class in December of 2012. It will be held in my Raleigh, NC, training facility. The exact date is still a bit uncertain but, at this time, I expect it to be the first week of December.

The class will normally cost $2995. There will be discounts available for that session because it will be a test class. As always, the additional $500 discount for TriLUG members will apply. Please contact Millennium Technology Consulting LLC for details.

26. June 2012 · Comments Off on Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration Class Rescheduled · Categories: Linux, Training

I have rescheduled the session of my Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration class for the new dates of July 9 through 13, 2012. This class will be run at my class room in Raleigh, NC.

The cost is $2495 for this highly reviewed class. There is a $500 discount for members of TriLUG (Triangle Linux User Group); you must present your membership card or ID to take advantage of this offer.

Please contact me to sign up now.

On February 7, the Raleigh, NC, City Council passed an Open Source Government Resolution that promotes the use of open source software and open data.

By placing Free Open Source Software (FOSS) on the same footing as commercial, proprietary software in the purchasing process, the City Council has taken a step forward to ensure that the best software for any purpose is available. Whether Open Source or Proprietary software is used, the citizens of Raleigh will know that their interests are best served.

With only a few exceptions, there is Open Source Software available to meet nearly any need of city government. From straightforward desktop applications to medical applications and emergency services, there is FOSS available—in many cases, free for the download.

What is FOSS?

I love this analogy and stole it from the article, How to get your city to pass an open government policy  at OpenSource.com.

FOSS, Free Open Source Software, is like chocolate chip cookies. Would you rather have a cookie, or the recipe so you can bake more yourself? Of course you would rather have the recipe. At least I would. But then I can bake cookies.

With the recipe I can bake them exactly like my mother did without changing the recipe. If I want, however, I can add nuts, or use whole wheat flour, or add oatmeal, or make any one of a number of other changes.

The same is true of Free Open Source Software. By using FOSS I can download applications I want and make as many copies as I want. If I don’t like how some aspect of the program I have downloaded works, or just think I can make it better, I can download the source code (recipe) and add or change a few lines of code (change the recipe) and recompile (bake) it. Now the code will be more suited to my own needs (taste better).

The only thing left to do is to share the new recipe with the rest of the world, which is one of the great things about Open Source. Everyone can benefit from the changes I have made.

You don’t need to be a baker to enjoy great chocolate chip cookies. Neither do you need to be a programmer to be able to use great Open Source Software. But if you are a baker or programmer, you can make changes as you desire and your skills allow. I could not create a chocolate chip cookie recipe from scratch, but I can take someone else’s recipe and make a few minor changes to it. So that is what I do—with chocolate chip cookies and with some software.

08. January 2012 · Comments Off on Linux Class Schedules set for Q1, 2012 · Categories: Linux, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC

My Company, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC, has set its Linux training schedule for the First Quarter of 2012. We will be presenting one session of our highly acclaimed “Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration” class each month.

Classes are set for the following dates:

  • January 23-27, 2012
  • February 13-17, 2012
  • March 12-16, 2012

Please refer to the Millennium Technology Consulting LLC Training Page for complete schedules and prices.

I have had my Toyota Prius for 10 years this past April. I am very happy with it. This news makes me even happier because future Toyotas of all models will use embedded Linux for the onboard control and entertainment systems.

See http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/72867.html for the details and an interesting Top Ten List.