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openSUSE Education Li-f-e 13.1 x86_64 with UEFI boot support

January 21st, 2014 by

openSUSE Education Li-f-e 13.1 x86_64 with UEFI boot support is now here. Create bootable USB stick using dd_rescue, dd or Imagewriter GUI, select UEFI USB at boot device selection and make sure that GRUB2-EFI is selected under Bootloader in final installation summary screen. Select normal GRUB2 for legacy boot(machines without UEFI boot support).

Li-f-e x86_64 is mostly identical to i686 edition, selection of packages and versions will differ a bit.

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Announcing openSUSE Education Li-f-e 13.1

December 17th, 2013 by

Get Li-f-e from here : Direct Download | Torrents | Metalinks | md5sum

openSUSE Education community is proud to bring you an early Christmas and New Year’s present: openSUSE Education Li-f-e. It is based on the recently released openSUSE 13.1 with all the official online updates applied.

We have put together a nice set of tools for everyone including teachers, students, parents and IT administrators.  It covers quite a lot of territory: from chemistry, mathematics to astronomy and Geography. Whether you are into software development or just someone looking for Linux distribution that comes with everything working out of the box, your search ends here.

Edit: We now also have x86_64 version supporting UEFI boot available for download.

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Hongkong OpenStack Design Summit

November 13th, 2013 by

So last week many OpenStack (cloud software) developers met in Hongkong’s world expo halls to discuss the future development and show off what is done already.

Overall, I heard there were 3000 attendees, with 800 being developers or so. That sounds like a large number of people, but luckily everything felt well-organized and the rooms were always big enough to have seats for all interested.

The design sessions were usually pretty low-level and focused into one component, so it was not easy for me to make useful contributions in there. The session about read-only API access (e.g. for helpdesk workers and monitoring) and about HA were most useful to me.

In the breakout rooms were interesting sessions by many large OpenStack users (CERN, Ebay, Paypal, Dreamhost, Rackspace) giving valuable insights into what people expect from and do with a cloud. Many of them are using custom-built parts, because the plain OpenStack is still not complete to run a cloud. SUSE Cloud ships with some such missing parts (e.g. deployment and configuration management), but most organisations seem to run their own at the moment.

Cloudbase was there telling about their Hyper-V support that we integrated in SUSE Cloud.
Apart from the 6 SUSE Cloud developers there were several local (and one Australian) SUSE guys manning the booth.

Overall it was quite some experience to be there (in such an exotic and yet nice place) and listen and talk to so many different people from very different backgrounds.

xtrabackup for MySQL

October 14th, 2012 by

If you run data-driven applications like me, you are probably already running some kind of backup and have plans for disaster recovery. I hope you are not still using SQL dumps?

I have been using Percona XtraBackup professionally for MySQL backups for a while now. Especially if your database access is highly transactional you will find it useful that you can get consistent non-blocking, non-purging backups while continuing to serve transactions. Who wants downtime anyway?

Under the hood the software will take a dirty copy of the InnoDB tablespaces on disk, and extract binary logs required to bring all of these to a specific point in time, or rather LSN, using a patched version of the mysqld binary. The preparation / restore requires applying the binary log to the files which results in MySQL tablespaces and binary log files equivalent to how they would have been with a clean MySQL shutdown.

Mixing transactional with non-transactional database engines is possible if you are willing to accept some blocking time while backing them up. If you are using MySQL replication, you can also use this to create a new slave from either a master or to clone a slave from another without downtime of either.

The upgrade to the 2.0 series adds, among other things, parallel IO and parallel compression. This requires a new streaming file format xbstream in addition the previous tar. Think of it as a tar with multiple input pipes.

I added the xtrabackup package to openSUSE, it is available in the server:database project (repo, SLE 11) right now and will also be part of the next openSUSE release.

Remember that these are only tools. Love your data and protect your business. A copy is not a backup. A backup that isn’t monitored for success is not a backup. A backup that is not proven to restore successfully is barely a backup.

Contact me if you need help setting this up.

Run X2go thin-client using kiwi-ltsp

September 27th, 2012 by

Recently, came across x2go packages maintained by Jan Engelhardt for openSUSE and other distributions on open build service. As openSUSE Education Li-f-e has great LTSP integration thanks to KIWI-LTSP, I decided to check out how x2go can fit in with this existing thin-client computing solution.

“x2go is an open (GPL/AGPL) source “server based computing” project. Combining the advantages of existing systems it features ease of use, performance and scalability. x2go provides you with access to your desktop – from within your own network and via the internet. x2go is not limited to particular hardware, it supports a variety of devices and architectures.” -from their website.

Some of the features/benefits of x2go that are not available on LTSP are:

* Remote login from within local lan and internet from any OS
* Session persistence, you can disconnect session from one client and continue where you left off from any other client
* Low bandwidth usage
* Session sharing with other users
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Announcing the release of openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 12.2

September 14th, 2012 by

openSUSE Education team once again presents Li-f-e (Linux for Education) built on hot new openSUSE 12.2 including all the post release updates. As always this edition of Li-f-e comes bundled with a lot of softwares useful for students, teachers, as well as IT admins of educational institutions. Apart from stable versions of KDE and Gnome, Cinnamon is also available.Sugar desktop suite makes a comeback thanks to the work of Xin Wang packaging it. Li-f-e also give full multimedia experience right out of the box without having to install anything extra. The live installable DVD iso stands at 3.3G as an incredible array of softwares from open source world are available on it, we have not just bundled them in, but have tried to integrate it with the distribution to give everything a seamless feel.

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Testing LTSP on openSUSE 12.2

August 23rd, 2012 by

With openSUSE 12.2 almost here, we have been working hard to get LTSP experience on this release better than ever. Thanks to the power of KIWI and some great scripting by Alex Savin, KIWI-LTSP has a lot of new features and improvements.

Here is how to get started:

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How to peek into remote isos

July 17th, 2012 by

When people want to provide a collection of files, they sometimes choose to do so by providing a .iso image file. But if you only want to look what files are in there or only need a few files, e.g. kernel and initrd for PXE-booting, you still had to download the whole thing to loop-mount it.

But you don’t have to anymore. Because modern web servers support delivering only parts of a file (using the “Range” header field), that allowed me to implement curlwwwfs that mounts remote HTTP directories into your local filesystem. And then you can use fuseiso on top to access the actual content within the .iso. All without root access.

This is how it works:

First you have to install the required packages (replace 12.2 with your version of openSUSE (or if you use a different Linux distribution, do git clone git://github.com/bmwiedemann/curlwwwfs and “make install” in there)):

zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/bmwiedemann/openSUSE_12.2/home:bmwiedemann.repo

zypper in curlwwwfs fuseiso

# Then you start it:

mkdir mnthttp mntiso

curlwwwfs http://zq1.de/bootcd mnthttp &

ls -la mnthttp/

fuseiso mnthttp/bmwinux-8.2-040808.iso mntiso

cat mntiso/isolinux/isolinux.cfg

# and later you clean it up with

fusermount -u mntiso

fusermount -u mnthttp

CLI to upload image to openstack cloud

April 18th, 2012 by

I work on automatic testing of one of our products that creates other projects.
And because there is a lot of clouds everywhere I want to use them too. We
have internally an OpenStack cloud (still Diablo release). So I need to solve
automatic uploading of images built in the Build Service. Below I describe my working version.

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new package postgresql-plr. Get the power of R inside your postgreSQL database

March 30th, 2012 by

I’m pleased to introduce you to a new available package for postgreSQL database.
The R procedural language extension developed by Joseph E Conway.

R Procedural Language for PostgreSQL

Introduction

PL/R is a library which allow you to add the power of R statistical engine in your database.
This article will show you how to add it and basic usage on a 12.1 installation.
(The package is also available for 11.4)

Become familiar with the project and how it can help you.
The homepage project : www.joeconway.com/plr/

We admit here, that you are able to manage a posgreSQL server instance, and have already one running.
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