The North Bay Linux Users’ Group is a computer users serving the San Francisco North Bay and surrounding areas.
We strive to promote Linux, Free Software, Open Source, open standards, and to generally have a good time by hosting social events that educate, allow members to share ideas and knowledge and to build friendships.
We hold regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month with a selected topic presented by a guest speaker.
Meetings and membership are free and open to the public.
Please sign up for the announce mailing list to receive notifications of upcoming events, or join us on the talk mailing list or in IRC to get help with Linux.
I am looking at upgrading or replacing my old tired servers. One possibility is to replace them with small, nimble, low power systems. I have experimented with a Raspberry Pi, a converted “Thin Client” and a “Mini PC”. All three of these would fit in a shoebox with room for a dozen more. (I’ll bring the shoebox to the meeting for show-and-tell). A stack of them would use about as much power while running as an old server tower uses when it is turned off. I’ll talk a little about my major use of these servers (implementing land in the Open Simulator game) but I’ll talk mostly about my trials and tribulations of getting Ubuntu to run on these small but powerful computers. I know just enough about Linux system administration to be dangerous to myself, so if someone jumps up at the meeting to tell me how stupid I am and how I did everything wrong, I will be overjoyed to hear the correct way to set these up.
Following the presentation we will hold our annual elections.
Nominations are currently open on the talk list.
Ever had a system die and then have to piece together what was running on it?
Have need to setup a new system in the cloud, or locally that’s just like (or only similar to) an existing system?
You have a need for “Infrastructure as Code”.
Robert Thille will give an overview of the various software systems for managing a few or a fleet of systems and focus on using Ansible for managing a system or two for personal use.
Yes, this title has been used before but it’s probably still true; JACK is something that most people honestly don’t know but have possibly heard about. Think of JACK as the most powerful audio routing tool you’ve ever seen. When combined with other tools like Ardour it can be a powerful multitrack recording companion. You can connect MIDI devices in unique ways and make a virtual piano with QSynth.
This talk is specifically targeted at users who are unfamiliar with JACK and Digital Audio Workstations but includes some fun advanced topics as I’ll be bringing an 18 channel Behringer XR18 sound board and some other fun toys to show off how it works with JACK. This talk will primarily be focused on a live demo with ample Q&A opportunities.
NixOS is a fully declarative Linux distribution. All system state is precisely described by a handful of configuration files that can be easily backed up or duplicated across machines. The packaging system features fully atomic upgrades and rollbacks, and allows multiple versions of a package to coexist.
A fantastic talk from a local speaker was just on the cusp of being announced when the speaker fell ill. What to do? Why, come hang out and chit chat in the lunch room instead of course — our old standby lightning talks and hackfest returns for a second month in a row out of necessity. Stay tuned for next month’s talk announcement which should be solid and thanks for the flexibility.
Lightning Talks: Have something you would like to present, but don’t have enough material for a full talk? Here’s your chance. Talk about anything Linux related.
Hackfest: Bring your hardware or software project to get help with it or just to show it off. A mix of free tech support, show-and-tell, and idle chat.
You could reasonably call cloud services the crowning achievement in the world of Free and Open Source software. Linux and Free and Open Source software killed proprietary UNIXes in bare metal data centers and went on to dominate cloud services to such a point that it has even caused Microsoft to completely change their stance and embrace Linux and Free and Open Source software or risk the future of Azure and arguably the future of their company.
Yet in many ways, this dominance has also bred complacence in the community. On top of all of those Linux instances are many proprietary services, abstraction layers and APIs that make cloud services easy to use for developers, but also turn them into the largest-scale proprietary operating system on the planet, where the network is the computer. Left unchecked, this proprietary operating system has the potential to undo the achievements Open Source software has made in the past two decades.
The FOSS community has seen this “network is the computer” pattern before with Sun Microsystems and Solaris—a proprietary UNIX operating system that administrators ultimately loaded up with GNU software and free software services before deploying to the data center. Instead of Linux images running your dynamic Rails application or Docker container you ran CGIs in Apache and portable Java apps in Tomcat. Instead of disposable instances you had hot-swappable CPUs and RAM. Instead of S3 you had NFS. Expert users would use well-documented but proprietary CLI tools and libraries to interact with the OS and manage their free software processes. Yet in the end, administrators were subject to the roadmaps, whims, pricing structures, expensive hardware, and overall vendor lock-in from Sun. For all of Sun’s talented engineers and sophisticated hardware and software, the freedom and values from Linux and Free and Open Source software combined with low-price commodity hardware ultimately dominated the server room.
This talk is part history lesson and part rallying cry. Proprietary OSes and services aren’t dead, they just morphed into the cloud. By remembering why Linux was important in the age of Solaris, we can apply those lessons to cloud services before their proprietary APIs and vendor lock-in risk undoing the freedom, open standards, and overall progress our community has made over the last 20 years.
You may have heard of Docker — it’s a popular tool for building containers.
But what’s a container, and why would you want one? We’ll survey the
landscape, disambiguate the terminology, and discuss some use cases. Join
us as we ascend the slope of enlightenment.
Please note that this meeting takes place at a new location and time.
TL;DR: Sonic is now hosting NBLUG at their campus at 7 PM on the 2nd Tuesday of every month in 2019 — stay tuned for an announcement for January.
As we initially announced in November and discussed at the December general meeting, O’Reilly sold their building and we were unable to work out terms to allow us to continue meeting there. The NBLUG board received a generous offer from Crypo Rights (which leases office space in the same building) to host us under their umbrella but after further discussion with our O’Reilly contact it became clear that the landlord explicitly requires each group to carry insurance which is the same reason O’Reilly themselves can’t host us themselves under their umbrella. It appears either option would require NBLUG to be merged in and/or have a representative in the room at all times which was prohibitive given the other options we received.
In a public vote during the NBLUG December general meeting it was unanimously agreed that we would accept an offer from Sonic if they made one. We have now received an official written offer from Sonic covering 2019 and the NBLUG board has voted to accept their offer. We have additionally adjusted our official start time to be 7 PMPST to better accommodate everyone but per our bylaws we will continue to meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
We will be meeting in a large room that serves as their break room. NBLUG will need to obtain a portable projection screen but the space appears to be adequate in all other ways including fantastic Sonic internet access. We will need to work out details regarding the gate and parking. The current intent is to hold a welcome to Sonic “meet the space” get-together with low commitment for the first meeting as we work out the details. I will unfortunately miss any January 8th meeting that is held as I am out of town (showing games in Linux using libTAS at the GamesDoneQuick.com charity speedrunning marathon this week, but I digress). Because I will be unavailable our Vice President, Robert Thille, will be picking up a keycard for Sonic and will be organizing the details of the first meeting assuming one can be held. Please stay tuned for an official announcement from him for the January meeting.
I’d like to again thank Sonic for their generous support and I’d like to thank everyone in NBLUG for the patience as we worked through the long process of researching our options and finalizing details. I know it was at times frustrating waiting with so few details available while we obtained final permission from Sonic and I appreciate everyone’s understanding.
Thanks to everyone who assisted us in the search for a new location and here’s to a year of growth in 2019,