Presenting squid-deb-proxy! Speed up your update downloads!
Are you like me and have multiple Ubuntu machines under one roof? Are you tired of downloading the same update multiple times? Sick of what seems to be duplicate work? Let me introduce you to my little friend... squid-deb-proxy.
Squid-deb-proxy is a new package for Ubuntu 10.04, and it's designed to make your life easier and allow faster updates if you manage more than one Ubuntu machine. Conceptually, squid-deb-proxy consists of two pieces, a client and a server. The server package is "squid-deb-proxy" and the client package is "squid-deb-proxy-client". The "squid-deb-proxy" server package is basically a squid caching server, with an out-of-the box configuration that allows it to cache .deb packages and make them accessible to the local area network. The "squid-deb-proxy-client" package is basically an include file to your standard apt configuration that makes apt aware of the squid-deb-proxy.
To install the server, simply "sudo apt-get install squid-deb-proxy avahi-tools" on the machine that you wish the server to be on. This will install the squid caching server and the avahi (Bonjour) auto-configuration network utilities, and start both servers, so your new caching squid proxy will start broadcasting its availability on your network. Then, a "sudo apt-get install squid-deb-proxy-client" on each Ubuntu 10.04 machine (including the squid-deb-proxy server) will install the apt configuration. You'll want to install the client on the server as well, so whenever the server downloads updates those updates get cached by the squid proxy. This will also allow the server to install already-fetched updates via the proxy.
Once this is done, squid-deb-proxy is transparent to the user. Each machine's apt program will look on the network for a squid-deb-proxy, and if it finds one, it'll pass its requests through that. The proxy will cache any .deb packages that come through it, and make them available for the next update client that needs them. The second client to request these same updates will pull them down from the squid proxy, rather than having to get them from the Internet. You get the benefit of a local repository without the hassle of setting one up!
The beautiful part about the squid-deb-proxy solution is that it is completely transparent. If you have the squid-deb-proxy client installed on your laptop and you choose to download an update while on a business trip, your laptop will grab the updates from the main repository in your sources.list file, since the proxy isn't on that local area network, broadcasting its services via avahi. There's no need to modify your sources.list in any way, because apt becomes proxy-aware automagically. It's really cool stuff.
Bill Childers is the Virtual Editor for Linux Journal. No one really knows what that means.
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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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