Archive for the 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux' category

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

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

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

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 virtualization on HP DL585: AMD Barcelona with Rapid Virtualization Indexing

This article is a follow-up to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 utilizes nested paging on AMD Barcelona Processor to improve performance of virtualized guests.

With new hardware releases, customers are faced with situations in which they want to take advantage of increased speeds but are forced to stay on older hardware because their operating environments are not supported on the newer hardware. Virtualizing their operating environment helps them get past this issue. Virtualization also helps them:

  • Consolidate hardware to
  • improve utilization
  • reduce floor space requirements
  • reduce power consumption
  • Take advantage of hardware speed up without having to upgrade the software environment
  • Reduce downtime for upgrades
  • Create development and test environments
  • RHEL 5 virtualization lets customers virtualize their existing systems and take advantage of the benefits mentioned above. » Read more

    Now open: Red Hat Network Satellite 5.1.0

    With this announcement at the Summit, Red Hat® Network® enters a new, more open era. We caught up with Mike McCune from the RHN team, and he sent us this quick run-down of the new release and the project’s decision to go open source.


    Responsible for 1,000 systems? One hundred systems? Ten? If so, you likely have processes in place for maintaining these systems, if only to preserve your sanity! Perhaps you have custom ssh scripts to command the systems remotely, or maybe you have your own yum repositories to maintain software patches critical to your systems. If the burden of maintaining these systems causes you a headache or your needs go beyond the methods you use today, Red Hat has tools available to make your life as a system administrator easier. » Read more

    Run-levels: Create, use, modify, and master

    The phone rings. You pick it up, and it is the recruiter for your dream job. Your palms begin to sweat as the technical interview starts.

    “You want to know the run-levels for Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® or Fedora®?” You pause, thinking. “Well, I use Linux every day, and I know single user mode is level 1…”. You stammer a bit, and say you’re drawing a blank for the rest. The recruiter thanks you in that “sorry” tone-of-voice, and hangs up the phone.

    Let’s cross that question off the recruiter’s list forever. (Sorry, recruiters.) In this article, we cover how to create, use, modify, and ultimately master run-levels. Bookmark this page with your favorite bookmarking service, and rest easy about ever missing that interview question again.

    Of course, there are more reasons to know about run-levels than just to pass an interview. Interacting with run-levels is quite useful once you get used to it. In this article we are going to cover the basics, and then go beyond that to create our own run-level that we write a script against. » Read more

    How to get OpenJDK 6 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

    What’s funny is, the instructions are shorter than the title of this post.

    1. Install the Fedora Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository files:
      su -c "rpm -Uvh"
    2. Install the OpenJDK 6 package:
      su -c "yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk"

    Read more about how to use EPEL. Fedora EPEL is a community run project to bring Fedora packages to Enterprise Linux users when the package is not included by Red Hat in an Enterprise Linux release. Read more on the Fedora EPEL wiki pages, including links to package view (i386, x86_64, ppc) per EPEL version (4, 5 to correspond with Enterprise Linux versions.)

    Tips and tricks: How do I check the software integrity on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5?

    There is an integrity checking software called AIDE shipped by Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5. AIDE provides some general strategy for implementing integrity checking to detect the intrusions when they have occurred. » 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