Archive for the 'Fedora' category

What’s next in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (part 2)

Here’s the final installment of Bill Nottingham’s series based on the talk he gave at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Find out about the latest and greatest Fedora™ developments… and the future of Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® from this experienced engineer. Missed the first part? Catch up in the archives.

Network handling

Another area that’s shown a lot of improvement since Enterprise Linux 5 is networking, especially for desktop and laptop computers. In Fedora 9, we’ve greatly enhanced NetworkManager, and as a result, have switched to NetworkManager by default for all installs. Some of the features we’ve added to NetworkManager include:

  • MobileBroadband support – NetworkManager now supports configuring access via GSM and CDMA cards for even greater connectivity options.
  • System configuration support – NetworkManager now reads my system configuration , as configured via anaconda or system-config-network. This allows support for things such as static IPs.
  • Multiple device support – NetworkManager will automatically connect to both wireless and wired devices simultaneously. This means that if I disconnect the wired device, I’ll have seamless access through my wireless device, instead of having to wait for it to associate and get an IP address.
  • Connection editing – NetworkManager also includes a connection editor. With this, I can easily configure my wireless network, my mobile broadband connection, or even 802.1x for my wired connection.

» Read more

What’s next in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (part 1)

This is the first in a two-part series from Summit presenter and Red Hat/Fedora engineer Bill Nottingham. It is based on the talk he gave at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Part two will be published later this week.

One of the most-asked questions in the software world is:

“What’s coming in the next release?”

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is no different. You can wait for the beta, and pore over the release notes and the package changelogs. You can corner a product manager at the right moment. But the easiest and best way to get the scoop on what’s coming up in future Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases? Take a look at Fedora.

Fedora, for those that don’t know, is a freely available and distributable Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open-source software. It’s developed globally within the Fedora project community, and is where Red Hat innovates. Read on as we describe some of the innovations in Fedora that will be headed for future Enterprise Linux releases. » Read more

Open source telephony: a Fedora-based VoIP server with Asterisk

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has emerged as a popular technology for modern voice communications. Many organizations have replaced their analog or proprietary digital telephone systems with VoIP-based solutions. This allows the consolidation of telephone services into an existing IP infrastructure. In addition, using IP to host voice services lets the organization leverage existing expertise–while retaining all of the network’s management advantages. Though not without its disadvantages, VoIP provides a compelling option to those looking for a telephone solution.

This article will present a simple VoIP solution using Asterisk, an open source private branch exchange (PBX) product. It will show you how to install Asterisk, configure it using its LDAP backend, and connect to it using the Ekiga software VoIP client and a Cisco 7900 Series VoIP telephone to make calls. » Read more

Video: Fedora Live

Paul Frields (Fedora Project Leader) sits down to discuss the Live USB feature debuted in Fedora 9 with developer Jeremy Katz. See a live demo of the persistant desktop, and find out how to get more involved in the next Fedora release.

Download this video: [Ogg Theora]

NetworkManager: Secret weapon for the Linux road warrior

For years I have envied how easy my Windows- and Mac-based peers had it when traveling with their laptops. They connect to hotspots with ease, get online while I was still logging into root and running some tools. It just wasn’t fair. I wanted an integrated easy-to-use tool that did not require bringing up a shell or logging into root.

I now have that tool in NetworkManager. In this article I will explain what NetworkManager is, what capabilities exist in the tool (in both Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux), and what you can do to extend it to give you more control over your system than before.

What is NetworkManager?

NetworkManager is a software utility that allows a desktop user to manage wired, wireless, modem, WWAN/3G, and VPN network connectivity from a single source. It does not require root access or manual editing of configuration files.

NetworkManager started as a Gnome project and initially appeared in Fedora. It is now supported on multiple desktop environments (Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc.) and in multiple distributions (Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Debian, etc.). NetworkManager uses dbus and hal to provide network status updates to other desktop applications, allowing them to alter their operation based on this information. For instance, if NetworkManager shows the network is offline, then apps like Evolution and Pidgin will put themselves into offline mode andwait for the network to come online. » Read more

How do you get your software into Fedora?

“How do I get our software into Fedora?”

This question has been a common one over the last year, brought to various parts of Fedora and Red Hat from software developers, community managers, and product teams working on open source software for various ISVs. Now that OpenJDK 6 is Java EESE 6 TCK certified, there is an even greater incentive for Java ISVs to get closer to the Fedora way of doing things. If your language has a free and open source implementation, it is probably in Fedora and might already be available in Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL.) For example, take a look at how many Perl modules are available (I count 359 for el5, 236 for el4.)

Fedora anticipated this attention from ISVs when it created the EPEL project. In EPEL, package maintainers can branch any software and it’s dependencies for a special repository that provides Fedora packages for specific versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

In one move, Fedora created a new and unique repository that has a compelling pathway for contributions. Fedora’s EPEL has a niche amongst repositories — be like Enterprise Linux. Focus on security updates and bug fixes to packages, not rebasing to the latest from the upstream project. This makes it possible for a contributor community to maintain nearly 1500 EPEL packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and nearly 3000 EPEL packages for Enterprise Linux 5. Some of these packages may get branched for an Enterprise Linux update.

The answer to the how do I? question comes to this:

  1. Follow the well established guidelines for packaging software for Fedora
  2. If you are an ISV of any size, connect with the ISV special interest group
  3. Once you have packages in Fedora, they are ready for EPEL. Request a branch

Along the way, you have an opportunity to grow a community around the open source software that matters the most to you. Getting software in to Fedora means a six to eighteen month jump on the Enterprise Linux beta. You can develop your software along with the operating system it runs on, and you may be able to help influence how other parts of Fedora are created.

(Edited to change “Java EE” to “Java SE”; OpenJDK 6 is Java SE compliant.)
(Edited to fix link to ISV SIG)

Java in Fedora, first

For those of us who slept through the month of June, the OpenJDK 6 stack in Fedora was certified as TCK compliant. Meaning it can carry the “100% Java(TM)” moniker. Rich Sharples has a nice write-up (with a second part answering the blogosphere):

In June, 2007 – Red Hat launched the IcedTea project with the goal of making OpenJDK usable without requiring any other software that is not free. That in turn would allow OpenJDK to be included in Fedora and other Linux distributions without restrictions. The IcedTea Project made use of previous work developed under the GNU Classpath Project which had been independently driving towards a free and open implementation of the Java class libraries.

This week [19 June 2008 – ed.] the IcedTea Project reached an important milestone – The latest OpenJDK binary included in Fedora 9 (x86 and x86_64) passes the rigorous Java Test Compatibility Kit (TCK). This means that it provides all the required Java APIs and behaves like any other Java SE 6 implementation – in keeping with the portability goal of the Java platform. As of writing, Fedora 9 is the only operating system to include a free and open Java SE 6 implementation that has passed the Java TCK. All of the code that makes this possible has been made available to the IcedTea project so everyone can benefit from the work.

At another point in his article, Rich mentions that we can expect to see this Java SE 6 in an update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. The packages are already available from Fedora’s Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, the source for the packages that Red Hat engineering is going to QA/test and build for the Enterprise Linux 5 update.

Open source systems management: Two conferences, two talks

I had the privilege of giving not one but two talks at the Red Hat Summit–both about open source systems management topics. A good deal of this content was also shared with a different audience at FudCON–the Fedora Users and Developers Conference. This was a great trip to Boston, and a fantastic chance to talk with users, administrators, and developers of all types.

The first talk I had a part in was Func, which I co-presented with Adrian Likins. Func, as mentioned before in Red Hat Magazine, is an API for controlling lots of nodes for arbitrary systems management tasks. It is ideally suited for replacing legacy SSH infrastructure as well as building new network applications that require secure network communications infrastructure.

We gave an overview for folks that hadn’t heard of Func before, and showed off several examples of things you can do with the Python API. Interest in Func is growing, and lots of folks are using it in ways we hadn’t originally intended (which is, of course, the idea). » Read more

Writing policy for confined SELinux users

Last month, I wrote about confining the user with SELinux. I explained that–as of Fedora 9–SELinux supports the concept of the confined user and comes with 5 confined user types defined.

  • guest_t – Terminal login, nosetuid, nonetwork, noxwindows, noexec in homedir
  • xguest_t – X Windows Login and terminal login, nosetuid, nonetwork, noexec in homedir
  • user_t – X Windows Login and terminal login, nosetuid, noexec in homedir
  • staff_t – X Windows Login and terminal login, nosetuid except sudo
  • unconfined_t – Full login, able to run with almost all privs as with SELinux disabled.

These confined users are a great starting point, but what if you want to create a confined user with different privileges? » Read more

FUDCon report from the Fedora Project Leader

FUDCon comes on the heels of the Red Hat Summit, with many of the speakers and developers doing double-duty. Even Red Hat’s CEO showed up for both events. Did you miss out? Never fear, there’s always another FUDCon coming up, and the Fedora Project Leader is happy to give you the report from this one.

From FUDCon Boston, June 20, 2008:

The Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) is in full swing on its second day. We have another full day of exceptional hacking taking place on the third floor of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Just as the Red Hat Summit is drawing to a close downstairs–winding up with a half-day of sessions and panels–we’re just now kicking into high gear. This has been an exceptional way to introduce open source customers to the larger ecosystem behind the products they love, and the community that powers Fedora, the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. » Read more