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Interviews

Open Source is driving disruption in technology: Interview with Nithya Ruff of SanDisk

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Interviews
OSS

Nithya A. Ruff is the director of SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office. The company recently joined The Linux Foundation and we met up with her at LinuxCon to understand SanDisk’s plans for Linux and Open Source.

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There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius

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Interviews
OSS

MySQL was once the most popular open source database (it still is), but it’s popularity and deployment is declining under the ownership of Oracle. The founder of MySQL Michael Widenius “Monty” was not happy when Oracle announced to acquire MySQL through Sun Microsystem. He created MariaDB, an open source, drop-in replacement of MySQL, which is gaining popularity lately.

It’s not only become the default database of the leading open source operating systems, but is also replacing MySQL at WikiMedia and other major organizations and companies. Recently SkySQL merged with MariaDB’s parent company Monty Program Ab, increasing its developer force. We reached out to Monty to talk about the changing database landscape. Read on…

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Interview with GNU remotecontrol

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GNU
Interviews

GNU remotecontrol is a web application serving as a management tool for reading from and writing to multiple IP enabled heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) thermostats, and other building automation devices. While various IP thermostat manufacturers have offered web portals exclusively for their users to remotely access and adjust the settings of individual thermostats, they do not provide a unified management tool for multiple thermostats. The goal of GNU remotecontrol is to provide this management tool for individuals and companies alike.

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How Amazon Web Services Uses Linux and Open Source

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

Amazon Web Services first launched in 2006 with one instance and one operating system: Amazon Linux. The cloud computing giant has since expanded to offer customers the option of running on more than 30 instance types and more than 10 operating systems, but Linux, Xen and other open source projects remain the core technologies behind AWS.

“We view open source as a companion to AWS's business model,” said Chris Schlaeger, director of software development at Amazon Web Services and managing director of the Amazon Development Center Germany GmbH.

Schlaeger, who leads the team that develops Amazon’s cloud computing service, EC2, as well as Amazon Linux, will give a keynote presentation at CloudOpen Europe, Oct. 13-15 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Here he discusses how AWS uses Linux, the Amazon Linux operating system, the company's new development offices in Germany, and what he'll cover in his keynote presentation.

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Raspberry Pi-powered in-car computer project shifts up a gear

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Development
Linux
Interviews

After watching classic TV shows such as Knight Rider and Street Hawk in his youth, IT professional and Raspberry Pi enthusiast Derek Knaggs was inspired to create a low-cost in-car computer using a Raspberry Pi.
The Pi sits in the centre console of his Ford Focus, wired to the display of an Xtrons DVD player (optional) as well as two TFT screens in the rear headrests. Control is via a Xenta wireless keyboard with mouse touchpad, while a smartphone can be used as a wireless hotspot to give the Pi an internet connection on the move.
Having recently added a reverse camera to his already top-notch project, we caught up with Derek to learn more about it…

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Matthew Garrett's Advice on Hardware, Linux Kernel Careers, and Fruit Flies

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Linux
Interviews

The most popular questions posed to Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett during his Reddit AMA this week related to kernel hacking and hardware issues. But Garrett, a senior security engineer at Nebula, answered frankly on a variety of subjects that ranged from technical issues in the kernel, to his workstation setup, to how to kill fruit flies and why he likes the movie Hackers. Here is a digest of some of the more kernel-related questions and answers (plus a fruit fly question, for more flavor.)

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Benjamin Kerensa on Firefox OS & Internet Freedom

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Interviews
Moz/FF

According to the Mozilla Developer Network, Firefox OS is an open source mobile operating system based on Linux, open web standards and Mozilla’s Gecko technology.

But there’s more to it that that: Firefox OS is about reinventing what mobile platforms can be, about pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the Web on mobile and about enabling entirely new segments of users to come online with their smartphone at various levels of participation, from users to developers.

Mozilla's Benjamin Kerensa
Benjamin Kerensa, Mozilla’s Early Feedback Community Release Manager.
Earlier this week, I took some time to talk with Benjamin Kerensa, the Early Feedback Community Release Manager for Mozilla, to discuss Firefox OS and the community around it.

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Earning a living from open source software

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Interviews
OSS

Nitish began sharing his stories with us on open source in May this year. Then, he wrote another one in June and July. In his first article, he explained how to write secure code using Open Web Application Security Project guidelines. Next, Nitish compared three giants in open source content management—Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress—based on these criteria: installation time and complexity, plugin and theme availability, ease of use, and customization and upgrades. Lastly (for now), Nitish shares his thoughts on Andriod's rise to popularity in the hearts of million through open source.

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The Linux Setup - Stefano Zacchiroli, Former Debian Project Leader

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Interviews

Stefano is my great white whale. I’ve been trying to interview him for years, so I was very excited when he was able to make some time for this. He’s a Debian user, as you might expect from a former Debian Project Leader. Stefano also has a lot of nice things to say about GNOME Shell. And mutt users will want to check out his software list, as there’s a lot of nice Emacs integrations in there.

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How Elizabeth Joseph Became a SysAdmin on HP's OpenStack Infrastructure Team

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Linux
Server
Interviews

Before Elizabeth Joseph began her career as a system administrator, she was a hobbyist who attended a lot of Linux Users Group meetings in her hometown near Philadelphia. Now she's an automation and tools engineer at HP, working on the OpenStack infrastructure team and recently co-authored the latest revision of The Official Ubuntu Book.

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Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed. Read more

Make Gnome 3 more accessible for everyday use

Gnome 3 is a desktop environment that was created to fix a problem that did not exist. Much like PulseAudio, Wayland and Systemd, it's there to give developers a job, while offering no clear benefit over the original problem. The Gnome 2 desktop was fast, lithe, simple, and elegant, and its replacement is none of that. Maybe the presentation layer is a little less busy and you can search a bit more quickly, but that's about as far as the list of advantages goes, which is a pretty grim result for five years of coding. Despite my reservation toward Gnome 3, I still find it to be a little bit more suitable for general consumption than in the past. Some of the silly early decisions have been largely reverted, and a wee bit more sane functionality added. Not enough. Which is why I'd like to take a moment or three to discuss some extra tweaks and changes you should add to this desktop environment to make it palatable. Read more

When to Use Which Debian Linux Repository

Nothing distinguishes the Debian Linux distribution so much as its system of package repositories. Originally organized into Stable, Testing, and Unstable, additional repositories have been added over the years, until today it takes more than a knowledge of a repository's name to understand how to use it efficiently and safely. Debian repositories are installed with a section called main that consists only of free software. However, by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list, you can add contrib, which contains software that depends on proprietary software, and non-free, which contains proprietary software. Unless you choose to use only free software, contrib and non-free are especially useful for video and wireless drivers. You should also know that the three main repositories are named for characters from the Toy Story movies. Unstable is always called Sid, while the names of Testing and Stable change. When a new version of Debian is released, Testing becomes Stable, and the new version of Testing receives a name. These names are sometimes necessary for enabling a mirror site, but otherwise, ignoring these names gives you one less thing to remember. Read more

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