Fedora Frog 1.0-11.0.0 released

This Bash program provides the Linux administrator an easy way to install applications not installed by default during a Fedora Core installation procedure, and applications that are not part of the standard distribution. It also tweaks some configuration items. Additional repositories are required beyond the normal Core, Updates, and Extras, and they can be added using Fedora Frog as well. Frog installs media players such as RealPlayer, Mplayer, VLC, Kaffiene and Xine. It also installs Thunderbird, Firefox, GNUCash, Adobe Reader and Yumex, and some things specifically for System Admins such as chkrootkit. Fedora Frog is currently supported on Fedora 10 and 11. Support for all previous versions of Fedora has been removed.

The latest version of Fedora Frog can be downloaded at https://sourceforge.net/projects/fedorafrog/

Fedora Frog Update

For those of you who are users of my Fedora Frog program, I am currently working on an update that will add support for Fedora 10 and 11 and remove support for all previous versions of Fedora. I am revising the list of packages that it installs because some of the older packages are no longer needed or in some cases have not been updated in a long time so are no longer relevant. In other cases I am adding packages that are now available through the new RPMFusion repositories. I hope to finish this major update within two weeks.

If you are not familiar with Fedora Frog, it provides the Linux administrator an easy way to install applications not installed by default during a Fedora installation procedure, and applications that are not part of the standard distribution. Additional repositories are required beyond the normal Fedora, and Updates. These additional repositories are automatically added using Fedora Frog as well.

When these updates are complete, Fedora Frog will be available for download from Sourceforge at https://sourceforge.net/projects/fedorafrog/. Previous versions of Fedora Frog are and will continue to be available there. Unfortunately some functions may not work because many of the repositories are no longer valid or the packages have been removed from the repositories. Use those old versions at your own risk.

DataBook® Troubleshooting Documents

I have recently finished adding some new documents to the Troubleshooting section of the DataBook for Linux Administrators. This includes some general troublesooting tips as well as some information on troublesooting ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI) problems. Be sure to refer to this latter section on EMI problems if you are experiencing otherwise unexplainable and unresolvable symptoms.

Announcing the Formation of Millennium Technology Consulting LLC

I would like to announce that I have now started my own company, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC. We use Free Open Source Software (FOSS) to  save money, improve security and extend the life of existing computers for small to medium sized businesses. Open Source Software is high quality, and it is more secure and much better supported than most proprietary restricted software.

We provide Linux Consulting and Open Source Consulting services in the Raleigh Durham and RTP area of North Carolina.

Check us out and see how Millennium Technology Consulting LLC can help your business.

Fedora 10 Installation Problems

I have now installed or upgraded to Fedora 10 on all but one of my computers. Some go very easily and others not so much. Today I upgraded the server that runs my email and all of my web sites including this one. It was not so easy. I was able to resolve the problems but it was not straightforward.

The symptoms were that I could ping the box but SSH would not work in either direction, I could not login to the GUI but I could login to the virtual consoles. For details on how I fixed this see the article “SSH and YUM Don’t Work After Fedora 10 Installation”. The root cause of this problem was that one critical RPM package was not installed during the upgrade.

The point is that I have had several problems during upgrades to Fedora 10 from Fedora 8, and a couple when just doing a basic install. Almost all installations failed to work correctly until all updates were installed. So be sure to install all updates to a Fedora 10 installation or upgrade before attempting to do productive work.

Fedora 10 — Almost Done

Having skipped Fedora 9, particularly KDE 4.0 and its related applications, as being not ready to use in any type of production environment, and noting that was stated by the developers of KDE 4.0, I find that Fedora 10 is very close.

When Fedora 10 became available in December 2008, I installed it in a Sun xVM VirtualBox session and played with it there for a few days. It suffered from none of the problems I noted in my review when I first tried Fedora 9. I was able to login, use the applications I needed under KDE 4.1 and found only a few minor annoyances.

I then installed it on an older Dell notebook on which it worked fine. So yesterday I took the plunge and upgraded my primary workstation and that is working very nicely as well.

I will post a more complete review on this site as I have a bit of time to log my experiences.

Kickstart Article Published in Linux Magazine

An article I co-authored with Bruce Garland, a co-worker at Cisco Systems, has been published in the June 2008 hardcopy issue of Linux Magazine. The article has just (August 2008) been put up on the Linux Magazine web site at:


Here also is a link to the article on this DataBook® web site Complete Kickstart.

Beware of Foxconn Motherboards

Foxconn is a motherboard manufacturer that is deliberately programming their BIOS to crash non-Microsoft operating systems, especially Linux.

Here is the link. Read for yourself and check out the disassembled BIOS code that this user found.


Software Patents Ruled Invalid by PTO

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has basically ruled that software patents are invalid. This invalidates many patents by many companies, including those patents with which Microsoft sought to bludgeon the Linux ecosystem.

The ruling is particularly good news for the Open Source community. It makes it clear that Open Source software is, in general at least, free and clear of any issues having to do with software patents.

The Patent Law Blog, PatentlyO, has a long article bemoaning this ruling, but it is very interesting in that it discusses many of the issues that have concerned Open Source advocates for some time.

Read the text of the article, The Death of Google’s Patents?

Notes on the Organization and Completeness of the DataBooks

You may notice that some of the sections of these books are only partially completed, and certainly there are entire sections and chapters that are missing from these books. In fact “The DataBook for Linux Administrators” is barely even begun.

I have found in the past, when writing “The DataBook for OS/2”, that writing about things I experienced recently is much easier than writing about things that are more distant. If I have a problem that I work on and solve today, I will likely write it up and stick it in the book where it makes the most sense. For other things I just have to suck it up and do the writing. I will get around to it sometime.

The organization of these books may change as they grow and evolve. And as they grow, it may seem to you that the growth is haphazard and makes little or no sense. Over time the Table of Contents will fill out and the overall content will be far more complete that it is as of this writing.

Welcome to the new DataBook Web Site

A few weeks ago the original DataBook® website computer crashed beyond the possibility of repair, which is actually pretty cool since it had been up and running since 1995. Old backups were not able to be restored and so I needed to start over. This web site is the new DataBook web site.

From now on this web site will be primarily targeted to Linux.

Although the entire book DataBook for OS/2 has been lost, I will try to recreate it as time permits. I expect this to be a long and tedious process, so don’t look for much progress any time soon. If you have a specific request for some OS/2 data, please leave a comment and I will add that particular piece as quickly as I can research it and type it in.

DataBook is a registered trademark of David Both.