MkLinux—Linux Comes to the Power Macintosh
Despite being distributed by Prime Time Freeware, MkLinux is not yet ready for prime time. As already noted, many people have had problems right from the start, being unable to even boot from their drives. Sources at Apple say this problem will be solved by the time you read this article, but if you're considering purchasing a new drive, you will want to check whether the one you're considering has been used successfully by someone else before spending money on it.
Video support in the first Developer's Release is a bit sparse. Only on-board video and the HPV card are supported, and this has caused some problems with people who have “AV” Macintosh systems.
Floppy drives and, more unfortunately, serial output, are not supported with this first release. Thus, while you can play around with networking if you have access to Ethernet, those of us who connect to the Internet via PPP will have to wait a bit. The lack of serial support also limits printing options.
On the SCSI bus, only hard drives and CD-ROMs are supported at the moment. The release notes say other devices, such as the Iomega ZIP drive, have not been tested, but I have not gotten mine to work, and I know of no one on the Internet who has.
Finally, as with any developer's release, your mileage may vary with respect to getting various programs and systems working. For example, while I have not gotten Emacs to work, I know of several people who've had no problem with it. On the other hand, Apple's own Errata, as of May 25, mentions a problem regarding a shell script that will cause you to be logged out the first time you log on as root; I have never encountered this problem.
However, the MkLinux teams at Apple and OSF got a lot of things right. The installation procedure (assuming you have a MkLinux-friendly drive) is one of the smoothest installations I've ever been through for a software package of this size. Considering this is a developer's release, it has been remarkably stable. While there have been some surprises, usually either some work-around has been developed or the situation is put right on the “to-do” list by the Apple/OSF teams.
According to Michael Burg at Apple, MkLinux will go through at least one more developer's release, scheduled near the end of the summer, before the Reference Release is distributed in September. The MkLinux world has proven that it moves as quickly as the Intel Linux world, with updates and patches appearing on Apple's FTP site ftp://ftp.mklinux.apple.com/pub/) on a weekly basis. According to a schedule that Michael Burg released to the Internet in early June, most of the bugs and omissions from DR1—such as video console and driver issues, SCSI driver bugs, and the lack of serial support—should be solved and implemented by the time you read this article. PCI bus support is scheduled for the Reference Release with support for the PPC 603e platforms coming some time in autumn.
After autumn, what's next? To a large extent, like any Linux, that depends on us. Apple and the OSF have released the full source code for this project to anyone who wants it, respecting the spirit that has guided Linux since Linus Torvalds first released it. Some Intel Linux hackers have wondered whether there is enough of a critical mass of MkLinux programmers to keep the project alive. Based on the beginnings of the community that has come alive around this first developer's release, I don't think we'll disappoint our Intel brethren.
The Macintosh is a computer which, through its eleven years of life, has inspired a lot of love and dedication. With MkLinux, we have the opportunity, as the saying goes, to “fall in love all over again.”
Richard Kinne (firstname.lastname@example.org) is using the MkLinux project to re-acquaint himself with the Unix operating system after having been exiled to VAX/VMS-land for ten years. He works as the User Services Consultant for the State University of New York at Morrisville. When not writing or hacking with his significant other, he enjoys Star Trek, Babylon 5 and playing with his cats.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide