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Red Hat

Review: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0

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Red Hat
Reviews

My experiment with RHEL 8 got off to a rough start. Going through the on-line registration process produced some errors and ended up with me getting the wrong ISO which, in turn, resulted in some confusion and delays in getting the distribution installed.

Things then began to look up as RHEL 8 did a good job of detecting my system's hardware, registered itself without incident and offered good performance on physical hardware. I was particularly pleased that the distribution appears to detect whether our video card will work well with Wayland and either displays or hides Wayland sessions in response. I did have some trouble with the GNOME Classic Wayland session and GNOME Shell on X.Org was a bit sluggish. However, the Classic session on X.Org and GNOME Shell on Wayland both worked very well. In short, it's worthwhile to explore each of the four desktop options to see what works best for the individual.

The big issues I ran into with RHEL were with regards to software management. Both GNOME Software and the Cockpit screen for managing applications failed to work at all, whether run as root or a regular user. When using the command line dnf package manager, the utility failed to perform searches unless run with sudo and occasionally crashed. In a similar vein, the Bash feature that checks for matching packages when the user types a command name it doesn't recognize does not work and produces a lengthy error.

There were some security features or design choices that I think will mostly appeal to enterprise users, but are less favourable in home or small office environments. Allowing remote root logins by default on the Workstation role rubs me the wrong way, though I realize it is often useful when setting up servers. The enforced complex passwords are similarly better suited to offices than home users. One feature which I think most people will enjoy is SELinux which offers an extra layer of security, thought I wish the Cockpit feature to toggle SELinux had worked to make trouble-shooting easier.

I was not surprised that RHEL avoids shipping some media codecs. The company has always been cautious in this regard. I had hoped that trying to find and install the codecs would have provided links to purchase the add-ons or connect us with a Red Hat-supplied repository. Instead we are redirected through a chain of Fedora documentation until we come to a third-party website which currently does not offer the desired packages.

Ultimately, while RHEL does some things well, such as hardware support, desktop performance, and providing stable (if conservative) versions of applications, I found my trial highly frustrating. Many features simply do not work, or crash, or use a lot of resources, or need to be worked around to make RHEL function as a workstation distribution. Some people may correctly point out RHEL is mostly targeting servers rather than workstations, but there too there are a number of problems. Performance and stability are provided, but the issues I ran into with Cockpit, permission concerns, and command line package management are all hurdles for me when trying to run RHEL in a server role.

I find myself looking forward to the launch of CentOS 8 (which will probably arrive later this year), as CentOS 8 uses the same source code as RHEL, but is not tied to the same subscription model and package repositories. I am curious to see how much of a practical effect this has on the free, community version of the same software.

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Servers: SUSE, Red Hat/IBM and Kubernetes/Containers

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Red Hat
Server
SUSE
  • SuSE storage spins-up Ceph

    Open source software platform company SuSE has announced SUSE Enterprise Storage 6, a software-defined storage solution powered by Ceph technology.

    Many would argue that storage on its own is snorage (i.e. enough to send you to sleep), but software -defined storage does at least drive us forward into the realm of the software developer.

    By way of a reminder, software -defined storage is a way of managing data storage resources and functionality that is essentially uncoupled from (i.e. has no underlying physical dependencies) the actual hardware resources that offer up the amount of storage being used.

  • IBM Open Sources Razee CD Tool to Support Mega Kubernetes Scaling

    IBM open sourced its Razee continuous delivery (CD) tool that allows developers to manage applications in their Kubernetes-based cluster deployments. The move also continues to bolster IBM’s push into the Kubernetes space.

    Razee consists of two parts: Kaptain, which are components that handle the multi-cluster deployments; and RazeeDash, which is basically the control panel.

    The Kaptain component within Razee provides a pull-based deployment model that supports self-updating clusters. This helps in generating inventory and scripts that describe actions for each cluster or each application running in a Kubernetes environment.

  • Red Hat Open Sources 3scale Code

    Red Hat has completed open sourcing the API management software of 3scale, the company it bought in June 2016 for an undisclosed sum, saying it has been working on the project for the past three years.

    The company’s full code base has been released under the permissive Apache Software License (ASL) 2.0 licence, with the open sourcing process “much more than throwing code over the wall”, Red Hat said.

    In a short post by the company’s David Codelli on Thursday, he noted: “When Red Hat acquires 3scale it was only a matter of time until it would be open sourced in some fashion. “But the process isn’t instantaneous.”

  • Digital Ocean’s Kubernetes service is now generally available

    Like any ambitious cloud infrastructure player, Digital Ocean also recently announced a solution for running Kubernetes  clusters on its platform. At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe in Barcelona, the company today announced that Digital Ocean Kubernetes is now generally available.

    With this release, the company is also bringing the latest Kubernetes release (1.14) to the platform, and developers who use the service will be able to schedule automatic patch version upgrades, too.

  • Serverless and containers: Two great technologies that work better together

    Cloud native models using containerized software in a continuous delivery approach could benefit from serverless computing where the cloud vendor generates the exact amount of resources required to run a workload on the fly. While the major cloud vendors have recognized this and are already creating products to abstract away the infrastructure, it may not work for every situation in spite of the benefits.

    Cloud native, put simply, involves using containerized applications and Kubernetes  to deliver software in small packages called microservices. This enables developers to build and deliver software faster and more efficiently in a continuous delivery model. In the cloud native world, you should be able to develop code once and run it anywhere, on prem or any public cloud, or at least that is the ideal.

Fedora 31 Planning To Upgrade To RPM 4.15 For Faster Builds, Other Improvements

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Red Hat

RPM 4.15 is due out this year as the latest RPM4 update and Fedora 31 is planning to make prompt use of RPM 4.15 given its new/improved features.

RPM 4.15 is expected to provide faster build performance, a dynamic build dependency generator, experimental chroot operations for non-root users, improved ARM detection, and a whole lot of fixes.

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More Fedora: Sirko Kemter: Khmer Translation Sprint 3

Rob Szumski’s Keynote and Abby Kearns Interview at CloudNativeCon & KubeCon

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Linux
Red Hat

Fedora: Bodhi 4, Packit and More

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Red Hat
  • Bodhi 4.0.0 released

    After about 5 months of development time, the Fedora Infrastructure team has finally tagged Bodhi 4.0.0. This is a major release with many backwards incompatible changes, and results in a simpler codebase which should ease future development and maintenance.

  • Packit – auto-package your projects into Fedora

    Packit (https://packit.dev/) is a CLI tool that helps you auto-package your upstream projects into the Fedora operating system. But what does it really mean?

    As a developer, you might want to add or update your package in Fedora. If you’ve done it in the past, you know it’s no easy task. If you haven’t let me reiterate: it’s no easy task.

    And this is exactly where packit can help: with just one configuration file in your upstream repository, packit will automatically package your software into Fedora and update it when you update your source code upstream.

    Furthermore, packit can synchronize downstream changes to a SPEC file back into the upstream repository. This could be useful if the SPEC file of your package is changed in Fedora repositories and you would like to synchronize it into your upstream project.

    Packit also provides a way to build an SRPM package based on an upstream repository checkout, which can be used for building RPM packages in COPR.

    Last but not least, packit provides a status command. This command provides information about upstream and downstream repositories, like pull requests, release and more others.

    Packit provides also another two commands: build and create-update.

  • Niharika and Divyansh: Improving modular packages and container security

    This post is the fourth and final introduction to the Fedora Summer Coding interns Class of Summer 2019. In this interview, we’ll meet Niharika Shrivastava and Divyansh Kamboj, who are working on projects to improve Fedora module metadata and add additional security hardening to containers, respectively.

  • [Fedora] FPgM report: 2019-21

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week.

    I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

Fedora 30 Workstation review - Smarter, faster and buggier

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Red Hat

Fedora 30 is definitely one of the more interesting releases of this family in a long-time. It brings significant changes, including solid improvements in the desktop performance and responsiveness. Over the years, Fedora went from no proprietary stuff whatsoever to slowly acknowledging the modern needs of computing, so now it gives you MP3 codecs and you can install graphics drivers and such. Reasonable looks, plus good functionality across the board.

However, there were tons of issues, too. Printing to Samba, video screenshot bug, installer cropped-image slides, package management complications, mouse cursor lag, oopses, average battery life, and inadequate usability out of the box. You need to change the defaults to have a desktop that can be used in a quick, efficient way without remembering a dozen nerdy keyboard shortcuts. All in all, I like the freshness. In general, it would seem the Linux desktop is seeing a cautious revival, and Fedora's definitely a happy player. But there are too many rough edges. Well, we got performance tweaks after so many years, and codecs, we might get window buttons and desktop icons one day back, too. Something like 6/10, and definitely worth exploring.

I am happy enough to do two more tests. I will run an in-vivo upgrade on the F29 instance on this same box, and then also test the distro on an old Nvidia-powered laptop, which will showcase both the support for proprietary graphics (didn't work the last time) and performance improvements, if they scale for old hardware, too. That's all for now.

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Red Hat and the rise of RHEL

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Red Hat

If the success of the open source company Red Hat can be ascribed to one thing, it's the Enterprise Linux operating system that it releases

The company recently unveiled the general release of the latest version, RHEL 8, and it serves as a bellwether for how software development has changed over the years.

Developers are now shouldering more operational responsibilities, which is largely due to the rise in the use of containers. This enables teams to use microservices to build applications. With RHEL 8, Red Hat has also placed container tools such as Buildah, Podman and Skopea directly into the operating system.

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Red Hat, Fedora and SUSE/OpenStack

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Red Hat
Server
SUSE
  • Rook-Ceph storage Operator now on OperatorHub.io

    We are excited to announce the addition of the Rook-Ceph storage Operator to OperatorHub.io. Operators are design patterns that augment and implement common day one and day two activities with Kubernetes clusters, simplifying application deployments and empowering developers to focus on creation versus remediation. The Rook-Ceph Operator is an upstream effort that Red Hat is leading and is using as part of its work towards Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.

    Developing and deploying cloud-native applications at scale can be complex and challenging. The new Rook-Ceph storage Operator is designed to automate the packaging, deployment, management, upgrading, and scaling of Ceph clusters that provide persistent storage to stateful applications as well as infrastructure services (logging, metrics, registry) in Kubernetes clusters. The release of Rook’s Ceph Operator augments Kubernetes scheduling with a complement of stateful storage services including block, filesystem and object storage.

  • Red Hat Satellite 6.4.3 has been released

    Red Hat Satellite 6.4.3 is generally available. The main drivers for the 6.4.3 release are a Request for Feature Enhancement (RFE) for capsule syncing control as well as general stability fixes.

    The capsule syncing control feature enables the user to have control over when capsule syncs occur. Traditionally the capsule sync occurs automatically after a content view is updated, but some customers may want more granular control over when the synchronization occurs. Satellite 6.4.3 introduces a new setting in Administer —> Settings —> Content —> Sync Capsules after Content View promotion.

  • Contributors are Empowered When They Know the Process

    There is a saying in the legal profession that you should never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. Despite how this sounds, it is actually a rule most people follow in life. This is the source of that feeling you get when you’re too scared to raise your hand and ask a question. In Open Source we need to make sure that contributors feel like they already “know” the answers, so they will feel confident in making the request.

    As a university lecturer, I always encouraged my students to first think about what they thought the answer was and then ask the question. In some cases, I encouraged them to actually write down what they thought the answer was. In this way, they could judge both their skills and their ability to grow based on what the answer turned out to be. It created an additional feedback loop.

  • Alisha and Shraddha: Positive feedback loops in Fedora

    This post is the second introduction to the Fedora Summer Coding interns Class of Summer 2019. In this interview, we’ll meet Alisha Mohanty and Shraddha Agrawal, who are both working on Fedora Happiness Packets to promote positive feedback loops in the Fedora community.

  • The OpenStack User Survey is now open

    The 2019 OpenStack User Survey is now open and waiting for your input. Whether you’re a user of OpenStack, or an operator utilising it to power your offerings, the OpenStack Foundation (and the rest of the community) want to hear about your usage.

    2018 saw the 11th OpenStack User Survey unveiled at the Berlin OpenStack Summit, giving some fantastic insight into how and where people are using OpenStack across 63 different countries. Usage in Asia surged dramatically in 2018, with 48% of respondents based in that continent, with Europe 2nd at 26% and North America 3rd with 20% of respondents.

HP Linux Imaging & Printing Drivers Now Supported on Ubuntu 19.04 and Fedora 30

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Linux
Red Hat
Ubuntu

The HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.19.5 software release is now available with support for a plethora of new HP printers, among which we can mention HP LaserJet Enterprise M507n, HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn, HP LaserJet Enterprise M507x, HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dng, HP LaserJet Managed E50145dn, HP LaserJet Managed E50145x, and HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M528dn.

The HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M528f, HP LaserJet Enterprise Flow MFP M528c, HP LaserJet Enterprise Flow MFP M528z, HP LaserJet Managed MFP E52645dn, HP LaserJet Managed Flow MFP E52645c, HP Color LaserJet Managed E75245dn, HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M751n, HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M751dn, and HP PageWide XL 3900PS MFP printers are also now supported by HPLIP.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 Benchmarks On AMD EPYC - Big Speed-Ups Over RHEL7

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Red Hat

Since the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 at the start of May we've been running various benchmarks of this latest enterprise Linux platform. Our tests to date have been with Intel Xeon hardware where it's been performing well and a nice speed-up over RHEL 7 with modern Xeon Scalable CPUs. Similarly, AMD EPYC is also much faster with RHEL 8.0 thanks to the much newer Linux kernel, compiler, and other software updates.

AMD EPYC screams on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 compared to RHEL 7.6. The modern AMD server platform performs much better thanks to the GCC 8.2 compiler replacing the older GCC 4.8 compiler that came well before any Zen support. The Linux 4.18 kernel is also a blessing for newer AMD (and Intel/IBM/ARM) hardware compared to the heavily-patched Linux 3.10 kernel of RHEL7. RHEL 8.0 also shifted over to the MQ-Deadline scheduler for SATA SSDs compared to the non-MQ deadline scheduler and the plethora of upgraded packages compared to RHEL7 also means a big deal for performance at large.

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More in Tux Machines

Running Deep Learning Models On Intel Hardware? It's Time To Consider A Different OS

Firstly, Intel has done extensive work to make the Xeon family of processors highly optimized for AI. The Intel Xeon Scalable processors outsmart GPUs in accelerating the training on large datasets. Intel is telling its customers that they don’t need expensive GPUs until they meet a threshold. Most of the deep learning training can be effectively done on CPUs that cost a fraction of their GPU counterparts. Beyond the marketing messages and claims, Intel went onto prove that their deep learning stack performs better than NVIDIA GPU-based stack. Recently, Intel published a benchmark to show its leadership in deep learning. Intel Xeon Scalable processers trained a deep learning network with 7878 images per second on ResNet-50 outperforming 7844 images per second on NVIDIA Tesla V100. Intel’s performance optimization doesn’t come just from its CPUs. It is delivered by a purpose-built software stack that is highly optimized at various levels. From the operating system to the TensorFlow framework, Intel has tweaked multiple layers of software to deliver unmatched performance. To ease the process of running this end-to-end stack, Intel has turned to one of its open source projects called Clear Linux OS. Clear Linux project was started as a purpose-built, container-optimized, and lightweight operating system. It was started with the premise that the OS running a container doesn’t need to perform all the functions of a traditional OS. Container Linux, the OS developed by CoreOS (now a part of Red Hat) followed the same philosophy. Within a short span, Clear Linux gained popularity among open source developers. Intel kept improving the OS, making it relevant to run modern workloads such as machine learning training jobs, AI inferencing, analytics and edge computing. Read more Also: Intel Core i9 9900KS Allowing 5.0GHz All-Core, Icelake News Coming This Week

Games: Pathfinder: Kingmaker, MidBoss, CorsixTH, Railway Empire and Unbound: Worlds Apart

  • The RPG 'Pathfinder: Kingmaker' is getting a free Enhanced Edition update next month + new DLC
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker, the party-based RPG from Owlcat Games and Deep Silver is going to expand with a free Enhanced Edition and another DLC. They say it's going to include plenty of "gameplay-enriching content additions" along with the usual quality of life improvements to existing features, new abilities and ways to build your character, a new Slayer class, new items and weapons, improved balance especially in the beginning and last two chapters, an improved kingdom management system, an increased variety to the random encounters on the map and so on.
  • MidBoss, the unique body-snatching roguelike turns 2 with a big sale and future plans details
    MidBoss is a game we've covered here numerous times, mainly due to how unique it is. You take down enemies, take their body and it's pretty amusing. The developer, Kitsune Games, has supported Linux rather nicely and now that MidBoss is over two years old they've decided to put it on a big sale. Not just that, they've also announced a fancy sounding DLC that's coming along with a free update for everyone. The DLC will have brand new pixel-art for all of the monsters, which will include idle animations for them too so the DLC should make the game look a lot more interesting. Also being added in the DLC is a "randomizer mode", to make repeated runs in the game vastly different.
  • FOSS game engine 'CorsixTH' for Theme Hospital update 0.63 is out
    The first major release for the FOSS game engine in some time, CorsixTH 0.63 is out following the recent release candidate build. CorsixTH might not be "finished" but it's incredibly playable and does provide a better experience (mostly) over running the original Theme Hospital.
  • Railway Empire has another update and it's off to France in the latest DLC out now
    There appears to be no stopping this train, Railway Empire continues to see plenty of post-release support and extra optional content. Firstly, the latest "Community Update" is out taking feedback from (you guessed it) the community of players. They've introduced modding support to DLC scenarios, increased the total number of trains and stations you can have, new tooltips, you can skip the current music track using the new "P" hotkey, the train list will actually show problems employees have, new train list filtering options, train speed reduced if they're missing supplies and lots of other nice quality of life updates.
  • A Linux version of the mind-bending multi-dimensional 'Unbound: Worlds Apart' will come at release
    Unbound: Worlds Apart from Alien Pixel Studios is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, this hand-crafted puzzler looks like it could melt my mind with the portal system.

Linux 5.2-rc2

Hey, what's to say? Fairly normal rc2, no real highlights - I think most of the diff is the SPDX updates. Who am I kidding? The highlight of the week was clearly Finland winning the ice hockey world championships. So once you sober up from the celebration, go test, Linus Read more Also: Linux 5.2-rc2 Kernel Released As The "Golden Lions"

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Linux Gaming News Punch, Open Source Security Podcast and GNU World Order