New book deal with Apress

At the end of October, I signed a contract for a book deal with Apress publishing. My book is tentatively titled, “The Linux Philosophy for System Administrators.” My intention is for it to be the book that I wish I had when I started as a System Administrator (SysAdmin) many years ago.

Apress specializes in books for IT professionals, developers, and technical communities around the world. I am pleased to be associated with them in this effort.

I will post more information over the coming weeks and months in order to let you know more about the book itself and to keep you abreast of our progress. I do not currently have a publication date but I think it will be sometime in the second half of 2018.

Website has a new theme

I have made a significant change in the look of the Linux DataBook web site. I found This new “Magazine-Basic” theme on the free WordPress themes site. After making a few simple configuration changes to the theme, installing my Linux header image, and a couple other minor changes, it is ready for use.

This new theme is clean, easy to read, and easy for me to work with as the admin and sole author. I like its simplicity, and it also handles code segments better than my previous theme so that they are easier to read and don’t run off the right edge.

Thanks for visiting!

Fedora 27 arrives

Fedora 27 was officially released yesterday, November 14, 2017.

Today I downloaded it and upgraded one of my VMs from Fedora 25 to Fedora 27. That went very well, so I upgraded my main workstation. That went well, too and I am using that workstation to write this post.

It took about 3 hours to do the upgrade using the dnf upgrade plugin. I have written a script that does all the work so I just run that and check up on it later. This upgrade procedure has worked well for the last four  version upgrades.

I have only played – er experimented – with F27 for a few minutes but I will try to write a bit more about it soon.,

Read the announcement here:  https://fedoramagazine.org/announcing-fedora-27

Fedora 26 Released

Fedora 26 was released July 11 and I have already upgraded several of my computers with it. My initial impressions are mainly very positive. This is not intended to be a complete or intensive review, just a quick record of my first encounters with it.

I have successfully upgraded five of my eight hosts since yesterday morning. Of the ones that have not yet been upgraded, one, a very old and slow EeePC is still in process, I have not started one, and one encountered a problem during the upgrade. The successful upgrades were easy and even though one encountered a problem during the upgrade, restarting the upgrade after adding more space to /usr and /var resolved that problem. You do use LVM so you can do that, too, when required, don’t you?

As for how it looks and works – most of the changes are under the hood and can’t be seen on the desktop. Except for the new default wallpapers, of course. One of those new wallpapers is an animated one of leafless trees on a blue and white wintry background that changes dark to light and back to dark as the day progresses. Some of the major under the cover changes are a new version of GCC, and new versions of Goolang and Python.

Fedora 26 is distributed in three main options, Workstation, Server, and Atomic host. It also comes in several additional spins that are created and supported by special interest groups such as Fedora Labs, and the Python Classroom.

Read the announcement here: https://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-26-is-here/

Or just go ahead and download it here: https://getfedora.org/

Fedora Spins are located here: https://spins.fedoraproject.org/

How to upgrade your system BIOS using FreeDOS

This article is now available here, on this site.

I recently upgraded a couple older computers with new processors that were faster and had more CPUs than the previous ones. I discovered that it was necessary to upgrade the motherboard BIOS before the new Intel processors would work. I don’t use or even have Windows so any upgrade procedures using that was a no-go from the start. Nor do I have an old version of DOS. I also wanted to perform this BIOS upgrade using open source software.

Google helped me find my answer. I used FreeDOS to upgrade my system BIOS. Read about it here on Opensource.com.

Introduction to the Linux EXT4 Filesystem

This article is now available here, on this site.

The EXT filesystem has been the default filesystem for many Linux distributions for many years. EXT2 was the first filesystem I encountered when I first started with Linux 20 years ago. It is robust and works well in almost every mainstream application environment. The EXT4 filesystem is the latest incarnation of this line of filesystems and brings even more speed and reliability to the table.

My latest article at Opensource.com is an Introduction to the Linux EXT4 filesystem. It covers the history of Minix, the EXT predecessor, as well as the evolution of EXT to where it is today.

Testing hardware for Linux compatibility using a Live USB stick

Ever go into a store that sells computers and try to pick out a computer that will work with Linux? Short of reading a review that mentions Linux compatibility or finding a compatibility list – most of which are completely out of date – there is little real information out there on hardware compatibility with Linux.

That is not to say that compatibility is a major problem these days because it certainly is not. Most computers will work just fine with Linux, but there are some bits of hardware that may still cause problems. Laptops tend to be more proprietary than desktop workstations, so testing them before you purchase is more of a necessity because they tend to use less compatible devices.

My latest article on Opensource.com is about Testing Linux hardware compatibility with USB sticks. It shows you one method for creating a bootable Live USB stick that you can use to test computers in a retail store. My article gives you my experiences along with those of another intrepid tester here in Raleigh, NC, and some tips for in-store testing.

 

My second article in the DNS series on Opensource.com – Build your own DNS name server on Linux

My latest article Build your own DNS name server on Linux, has been posted on Opensource.com. This is the second article in my series on DNS name services.

Published yesterday, April 6, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted here, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 7, 2017.

My latest article on Opensource.com – Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS)

My latest article, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), has been posted on Opensource.com. This article talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted here, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 6, 2017.

Problems with JetPack 4.8

If you are using WordPress and have JetPack installed, do not under any circumstances install JetPack 4.8 at this time. JetPack 4.8 causes significant problems. It apparently prevents loading of all plugins and prevents the site from working.

I reverted back to JetPack 4.7.1 which resolved the problem.

I will post an update to this story when there is a fix available.