Archive for the 'documentation' category

Introducing Pylons: A hacker’s web framework

Python has a good reputation for tasks like systems programming, network programming, and scripting, but Python for the web is becoming red hot. Part of this has to do with the very popular web framework Django, that was developed at a newspaper to help quickly create Content Management Sites. . Another reason is that Google App Engine–Google’s Cloud Computing offering for developers–only exposes a Python API.

If you are new to Python Web Development, then I’d recommend Django, as it is ideal for building CMS-type applications, social networking websites, and blogs. On the other hand, If you want a hacker’s framework, you might want to give Pylons a look.

Please note: By hacker, I am referring to the kind of hacker Eric Raymond refers to when he writes, “Becoming a hacker will take intelligence, practice, dedication, and hard work. Therefore, you have to learn to distrust attitude and respect competence of every kind. Hackers won’t let posers waste their time, but they worship competence — especially competence at hacking, but competence at anything is valued.”

Ok, so what problem does a hacker’s framework solve that a framework like Django doesn’t? According to some of the Pylons developers, their framework is geared to solve 80/20 problems. Most people—80% of people–want to build blogs, and CMS-type applications. And for that 80%, Django works just great. Of course, the other 20% is where Pylons comes in to play as a “hacker’s framework.” » Read more

From camera to website: Building an open source video streamer

YouTube is a very popular web service that allows people to share video content online. Although YouTube and other streaming video websites satisfy many users, you may have reasons to create your own streaming video website. Perhaps you work for a company that wants a more professional face on their media. Or, you may want more control over exactly how your videos are presented.

I am a soldier in the U.S. Army, currently deployed to Afghanistan. I wanted to be able to share videos with my family from away from home. I wished to maintain my privacy and have better control over my audience. Whether you wish to share videos for educational purposes, share screencasts for documenting software features, or simply entertain, this article will show you how to set up a streaming video website using open source software.

This technique outlines acquiring a video stream from a digital video camera, processing the video stream to the distribution format, and creating a website that will stream the video to users. » Read more

Fedora 9 and Summit preview: Confining the user with SELinux

This one’s a two-fer! Dan Walsh covers the evolution of SELinux from Fedora 2 all the way to the upcoming Fedora 9 launch. Find out how it started and how user access controls will grow in the newest release. As a bonus, this is also a preview of Walsh’s scheduled talk at the upcoming Red Hat Summit. Want more? Check out the schedule of talks and register–and we’ll see you in Boston.


When SELinux was first developed, the goal was to confine as many system processes as possible to the least amount of privilege required. Fedora 2 was released with SELinux policy that confined users as well as system processes. We quickly realized that SELinux policy was not mature enough to handle a modern mainstream desktop operating system. After a quick redesign of the policy, we created “targeted” policy, replacing the previously named “strict” policy. The goal of targeted policy was to “target” certain processes in the operating system for confinement and leave the rest of the processes “unconfined.” » Read more

How to populate content on a disconnected Red Hat Network Satellite server

Note: This article assumes that you are already familiar with Red Hat® Network (RHN) Satellite server and its applications.


Red Hat Network Satellite server allows users to locally host subscribed content from Red Hat Network and custom content in user-managed channels. An example configuration could include a server syncing content updates directly from RHN, while another mission-critical server could be disconnected from the external network, yet still receive updates via manual syncing. In the latter case, these offline servers must be manually updated regularly. Since content updates cannot be synced directly from, RHN Satellite provides two options for our users:

1. Channel dump ISOs hosted on RHN, per Satellite release.

2. RHN-Satellite-Exporter tool running locally on a RHN Satellite server » Read more

ISO approval: A good process gone bad

Contributing author: Jonathan Robie

You may have read our background article about ODF and OOXML and why Red Hat believes OOXML should not be approved as an ISO standard. This time, we focus on how the standardization process has been compromised at ISO.

ISO’s JTC-1 directives were designed to provide a fair, consensus-based way to design standards that are portable, interoperable, and adaptable to all languages and cultures. The OOXML proposal has suffered from two basic problems: (1) voting irregularities, and (2) the use of a fast-track process for a complex, new, large specification that has not received adequate industry review. The resulting specification was driven almost exclusively by one vendor, has not achieved industry consensus, and has had thousands of issues logged against it, largely due to issues involving implementability, portability, and interoperability. Although resolutions have been proposed for many of the issues that have been raised, there is virtually no time to review these resolutions to determine whether they fix the problems. And the voting irregularities have raised serious issues with the fairness of the process. » Read more

Python for Bash scripters: A well-kept secret

Hey you, ya you! Do you write Bash scripts?

Come here, I have a secret to tell you.

Python is easy to learn, and more powerful than Bash. I wasn’t supposed to tell you this–it’s supposed to be a secret. Anything more than a few lines of Bash could be done better in Python. Python is often just as portable as Bash too. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any *NIX operating systems, that don’t include Python. Even IRIX has Python installed. » Read more

Book review: Fedora 7 Unleashed


Have you ever had deja vu? I re-read books on occasion, because I like them, and every once in a while I’ll re-read a book that I think I’m reading for the first time. Then I’ll sit there with this twisted-up look on my face, wondering why all the words seem so familiar. Then I remember when and where I saw them last.

I’ve been reading the new Fedora™ 7 Unleashed book by Andrew and Paul Hudson, and I’ve had that feeling several times. So I’ve made my face and wracked my brain, trying to figure out how I’ve read this before. The answer? I read Fedora Core 6 Unleashed and Fedora Core 5 Unleashed before that. » Read more

ODF: The inevitable format

In 1999, a scientist wanted to look at some data from soil samples collected on Mars in 1975 by the Viking lander. He wanted to test a theory about detecting the existence of Martian bacteria and microbes–in other words, finding life on Mars. The scientist thought he would find what he needed on a NASA website somewhere, but it wasn’t that easy. The original data had been misplaced, and when the huge magnetic tapes that stored the data were found, they were “in a format so old that the programmers who knew it had died.” Someone finally found a ream of paper printouts propping a door open and humanity’s understanding of the universe expanded a bit more. » Read more

GPL v3 Q&A with Luis Villa

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Free Software Foundation finally ratified and released the new version of the GPL at the end of June. This marks the newest chapter in the history of one of open source (and free) software’s oldest and most venerated licenses.

Want to read every word of the long and complicated terms and conditions? Have at it. Prefer a brief explanation of its basic talking points? Then you’re at the right article. We happen to know a guy who knows a lot about this stuff–his name is Luis Villa, and he’s hacked on a few Linux projects in his day. Like Evolution PIM, the GNOME 2.0 release (in collaboration with Sun), and the Novell and Ximian desktop projects. And now he’s going to law school. The perfect cross-section for license-explaining. » Read more

Video tip from RHCEs: Use Linux and OpenVPN to create a secure tunnel

Download this video: [Ogg Theora]

Video by Colby Hoke. Produced by Julie Bryce and Jim Haverkamp.

We bring the advice of experts straight from San Diego to your desktop.

Red Hat Summit 2007 collected hundreds of Linux users all in one place–many of them experienced Red Hat Certified Engineers® (RHCE). And somewhere between all those smart people walking around–and our video crew shooting footage–the idea for some video tips was born.

This tip is from Richard Ray. Look for more in the coming weeks.

The information provided in this article is for your information only. The origin of this information may be internal or external to Red Hat. While Red Hat attempts to verify the validity of this information before it is posted, Red Hat makes no express or implied claims to its validity.