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Ask Shadowman: Web 2.0

by Shadowman

Shadowman would like to be the first to welcome you to the exciting new world of Web 2.0. Isn’t it, like, totally awesome?

Want to track Shadowman’s every move via RSS? Now you totally can! Want to have a public dialogue with Shadowman, unencumbered by the virtual prison of email? No problem. Just leave a comment below and wait for Shadowman to react. Maybe Shadowman will answer you, and you will share an enlightening and delightful conversation with him. Or maybe Shadowman won’t answer, leaving you to wonder if you are being deliberately ignored. Or maybe Shadowman will delete your comment entirely! It’s a crapshoot. But it’s a Web 2.0 crapshoot.

People fear change, though. Shadowman respects this, so we’ll all take this Web 2.0 thing nice and slow. Once we’re all settled in, Shadowman will kick it into gear. He will fully Ajax his Rails for you. He will define your folksonomies with a mashup of tag clouds. And then, if you’re lucky and very clever, maybe he’ll buy you a T-shirt.

Of course, the old ways still have their charms. If you’ve got a question that you’d like Shadowman to answer, you can always just ask him.

Ratay asks:

Shadowman, I just updated my RHEL4 system using up2date. It installed an updated kernel. It says to reboot to test the new kernel. The reboot doesn’t do it for me… Should I be typing the tab key during bootup to stop in grub and see the new kernel that was installed? It doesn’t show up. There’s no /boot/grub.conf file on the system. The /etc/grub.conf link is broken. What’s the deal??? Am I booting off a hidden partition or something? Your help would be greatly appreciated oh wise one.

To which Shadowman replies:

Shadowman loves his readers, and helps them when he can, but sometimes he wonders how helpful he can actually be. Doing tech support via email is a lot like rebuilding a car’s engine via the tailpipe. So if the following advice isn’t the least bit helpful, Shadowman won’t be surprised. But it may help somebody.

The first thing that Shadowman questions is whether up2date *actually* installed a new kernel at all. A lot of people don’t realize that, by default, up2date will *not* install new kernels. There’s a knowledgebase entry that talks about this.

If Shadowman had to guess — and since he’s got .01 percent of the necessary diagnostic information, he does have to guess — he’d guess that the kernel update failed, for some reason you failed to notice, and consequently the new kernel isn’t showing up in grub because there isn’t a new kernel available. Running rpm -q kernel is another surefire way to tell.

As far as the /etc/grub.conf link being broken, I have no idea. Maybe a qualified Red Hat support person could give you a better answer. You’re entitled to talk to one of those Red Hat support people; that’s what your paying for. Because you are paying, right? Of course you are.

Dean P. asks:

It’s too bad that some folks use this space to rant, but what can you do… I’m looking forward to the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. What cool Shadowman things can we look for under the hood?

To which Shadowman replies:

First of all, if you thought the ranting was bad before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Now that the hordes can respond directly and publicly to each and every one of Shadowman’s idiocies, you can probably expect to see some truly quality rants.

As far as “cool stuff under the hood” for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5… well, it all depends on your definition of cool, doesn’t it?

Some people think that virtualization is insanely cool. Shadowman’s friends who do QA for a living have always loved virtualization; the ability to conjure a virtualized test system out of thin air is mindblowingly cool, especially if building that test system takes you an hour otherwise. It’s only cool if it works, though, so the virt gnomes are still busy tinkering.

But really, Shadowman is a sucker for the pretty spinny things. AIGLX and Compiz are extremely cool. Look, wibbly wobbly windows effects! Look, the screen spins when you switch from console to console!

More coolness: it’s based on a distribution called Zod. Muwahahaha! Tremble, Earthlings, for Zod will soon be Enterprise Ready! Whereupon he will change his name to something more suitably businesslike.

Hey, decide for yourself what’s cool. Read the release highlights for Fedora Core 6. That may be the coolest thing of all: transparency. We’ve been building the components of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 in public for two years now; if there are any surprises at this point, it’s only because you haven’t been paying attention. Save the surprises for Christmas morning.

Prads asks:

How does Shadowman work on any case and what is required for a person to be a detective?

To which Shadowman replies:

Shadowman googles, Prads. Shadowman googles like a madman.

8 responses to “Ask Shadowman: Web 2.0”

  1. Ed Man says:

    Greetings oh omnipotent one. I figured with a look into that crystal ball you might be able to provide at least a little glimpse of the answer I’m after.

    After much time spent searching I’m unable to find a list of /currently produced and available/ scanners , preferably USB based that will work with RHEL or Fedora.

    While there’s loads of lists showing scanners that work, 99.99% of them aren’t currently available. Can you point me at least to somewhere that has such a thing ?


  2. Máirín Duffy says:

    Hi Ed Man,

    The best list for Linux-supported scanners is the xsane project’s list, available here:


    The scanner I use with RHEL and Fedora right now is the Canon LiDE 30 – it worked out-of-the-box for me, I just plugged in the USB cable (no separate power cable, yay!) and it just worked when I went to the scanning interface in the Gimp. It’s a very thin and sleek scanner. Canon no longer makes the LiDE 30, but it looks like the updated version the LiDE 60 is also supported by xsane and is available new on amazon:


    Hope this helps!

  3. Shadowman says:

    Hey Mo… you’re stealing Shadowman’s thunder, there! How can Shadowman look all smart in future columns if you just up and answer people’s questions? Especially the easy ones?

    Clearly, it’s gonna take Shadowman a little while to figure this whole “participation by the masses” thing out.

  4. Ed Man says:

    Yo Máirín Duffy … I can verify the LiDE60 does indeed work, but it’s also soon to be gone I think replaced by the LiDE70 [ not sure if it will work ]

    The LiDE60 is a cute little scanner, no power cord required, scans pretty fast, decent resolution, and “It Just Works” no drivers or sillyness required. Take that Redmond!

    Thank you very much for the insight. Reviewing the sane-project site many of those scanners listed there are no longer available either, the LiDE60 is listed.

    Maybe ShadowMan would like to do a piece on how to find late model USB devices for sane-project that are actually available and share it with the world! rock on RedHat. My Sony digital camera and cam-corder “just work” too ..

    Ed Man

  5. David-Paul Niner says:

    Just downloaded and am presently in the process of installing a RHEL 5 server. According to your docs, we should now use the genkey command to generate ssl certs. I just bought the development subscription which doesn’t seem to entitle me to any official support — but I just thought I’d let you know that, despite having all the proper packages installed I still don’t have the genkey utility on my system as described in the documentation (or the corresponding ssl directories under /etc/httpd/conf, either).

    I can generate the files by hand, but I thought I’d let you know about it as I’m certain I’m not the only programmer out there trying to do web development on this otherwise-awesome platform.


  6. Vipin Varghese says:

    Dear Shadowman,

    I am planning to buy a Canon iR3045. I want to know whether RHEL-3, RHEL-4 will work in this machine?

  7. tirath says:

    Dear Shadowman,

    Micrsoft’s Steve Ballmer is coming after RedHat with the same IP issues they armed SCO with, that linux and other GPL’ed software contains there IP property? Isn’t there any law in the USA that requires a legal individual to specify exactly what IP property is being pirated and by which individual?

    What is; firstly, Shadowman’s personal view; and secondly, The Offical RedHat press release?

  8. PDX Guy says:

    Web 2.0 this Web 2.0 that. Im tired of them. To many cant keep and dont have the time.