Spotlight on Linux: Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze"
Debian is a bit unique in the Linux world. It's one of the most respected projects, it's one of the oldest distributions, and it is one of the most versatile systems. Debian comes in more architectures and more installation methods than most any other. It offers one of the widest selections of software available. In fact, it's often referred to as the Universal Operating System. It took two years, but version 6.0 finally emerged to what many say would say was worth the wait.
This release brings lots of updates to its software stack. These include goodies such as KDE 4.4.5, Xfce 4.6, LXDE 0.5.0, X.Org 7.5, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, GIMP 2.6.11, IceWeasel 3.5.16, GCC 4.4.5, and Linux 2.6.32. Other changes include a total free (as in freedom) kernel; all proprietary code has been removed (as much as possible), although much of it is still available to install separately. The installer has been streamlined and is believed to be friendlier and now includes support for ext4 and Btrfs. Although for those with both SATA and older ATA drives might find booting the new install challenging when using non-Debian bootloaders. If using the new DVD, a plethora of software is installed at boot.
Debian comes in a variety of install methods. One can install from one or more traditional CDs, a network install image, USB, or the new cornucopia DVD. Debian can also be installed on wide range of machines from the common AMD and Intel 32-bit and 64-bit desktops and laptops, to ARM and MIPS embedded devices, SPARC, Itanium, PowerPC, and more. This release even brought 32-bit and 64-bit kFreeBSD versions. There are several "Blends," or customized versions, as well. Debian Accessibility, Debian Science, and Debian Multimedia are a few.
To many, Debian is the perfect server OS. Its rock steady stability, timely updates, and easy package management are just a few of the positive characteristics. Debian may do some things a little differently than other distributions, but once learned, Debian is almost out-of-the-box ready and practically self-sustaining.
Desktop operation isn't much different. Rock solid stability, timely updates, and easy package management are top reasons Debian is used on a large number of desktops and laptops. This release brought a new theme that has received mixed reviews. Most seem to like the space motif, while a few others say it's too child-like. No matter, Debian ships with a number of alternative theme elements.
APT on the commandline is fast and efficient, but Debian ships with an attractive, easy-to-use, click and install Software Center. Those that prefer the bleeding edge over stability can always use the Testing or Unstable branches; although it's not recommended for inexperienced users. One drawback for new users is having to install multimedia support themselves. Debian does ship with Gnash Flash movie player with which some site may not work or work very well. But otherwise, it would be hard to go wrong with Debian GNU/Linux, one of the oldest distributions still in development.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
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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- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
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