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,
NBLUG’s first meeting was on June 9, 1998. For the last 20 years we’ve been hosted for free at O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, CA. An era is coming to a close as the O’Reilly media building has been sold and the new owners are requiring all groups to provide commercial insurance to continue meeting in 2019. NBLUG is not a legal entity and thus as a group we do not have any legally recognized status to acquire such insurance, our meager cashbox balance notwithstanding. Therefore, the purpose of this meeting is to discuss meeting location options and any possible costs for 2019 and beyond.
This is not a normal NBLUG talk; this is a time for all members new and old to gather possibly for the last time at O’Reilly and discuss the future. The NBLUG board has already met and agreed that any proposals should be put up for a general vote from all attending members in accordance with NBLUG’s bylaws. If we are unable to find a solution going forward with O’Reilly this meeting can also be used as a time to convey our thanks to the staff of O’Reilly Media for all of their support over the years in whatever forms the group finds appropriate.
All are welcome to attend this open meeting and contribute to the discussion. This talk will not be streamed due to the nature of the discussion and will start promptly at 7:30.
Linux Journal Magazine was founded in 1994 and coincided with the release
of Linux 1.0. It has been around for most of the history of Linux and has
seen the FOSS community grow and change from that point up to now. The
Linux and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community is not the same as
it was in 1994 and this change contributed to Linux Journal’s death in
December 2017 and the overall loss of momentum in the Free Software
movement. This talk will tell the story of Linux Journal’s death and
resurrection and what it says about the changes in the FOSS community and
what those changes mean for the future of Free Software.
Please stick around after the talk for the yearly NBLUG elections.
Nominations are now open and can be made on the talk list.
Most of us are familiar with interactive image editors like Paint and Photoshop. Fewer people are familiar with the batch tools that can be used from the command line.
These non-interactive tools allow images to be processed in bulk from scripts, or converted automatically in a server. In classic Unix tradition, many can be chained together to create complex workflows.
This talk will include a high-level introduction to the ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick tool suites, and a brief overview of several tools with complimentary functionality.
The systemd system manager has been adopted by most popular Linux distributions, but it can be a difficult system to understand without any background. This talk will provide a practical introduction aimed at users and system administrators. We will discuss how systemd models the world, teach it how to run a service, and take a look at everyday tasks like customizing existing services and inspecting logs.
Linux (and Unix generally) is known for being far more secure than Windows. But is this true? Is there such a thing as Linux Malware? There is, and in this talk I’ll present a brief overview of the history of Linux/Unix malware, worms, trojans and viruses. I’ll cover how they spread, what the current outbreak landscape looks like today, where it’s likely to head in the future and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Don’t assume that just because you’re not running Windows that you’ve done everything you need to do! If you’ve got a machine on the net, you could be contributing CPU cycles and bandwidth to a botnet. Get informed, take some simple precautions and ensure that you’re not part of the problem.