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HowTos

Running GNOME in a Container

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GNOME
HowTos

Virtualization has always been a rich man's game, and more frugal enthusiasts—unable to afford fancy server-class components—often struggle to keep up. Linux provides free high-quality hypervisors, but when you start to throw real workloads at the host, its resources become saturated quickly. No amount of spare RAM shoved into an old Dell desktop is going to remedy this situation. If a properly decked-out host is out of your reach, you might want to consider containers instead.

Instead of virtualizing an entire computer, containers allow parts of the Linux kernel to be portioned into several pieces. This occurs without the overhead of emulating hardware or running several identical kernels. A full GUI environment, such as GNOME Shell can be launched inside a container, with a little gumption.

You can accomplish this through namespaces, a feature built in to the Linux kernel. An in-depth look at this feature is beyond the scope of this article, but a brief example sheds light on how these features can create containers. Each kind of namespace segments a different part of the kernel. The PID namespace, for example, prevents processes inside the namespace from seeing other processes running in the kernel. As a result, those processes believe that they are the only ones running on the computer. Each namespace does the same thing for other areas of the kernel as well. The mount namespace isolates the filesystem of the processes inside of it. The network namespace provides a unique network stack to processes running inside of them. The IPC, user, UTS and cgroup namespaces do the same for those areas of the kernel as well. When the seven namespaces are combined, the result is a container: an environment isolated enough to believe it is a freestanding Linux system.

Container frameworks will abstract the minutia of configuring namespaces away from the user, but each framework has a different emphasis. Docker is the most popular and is designed to run multiple copies of identical containers at scale. LXC/LXD is meant to create containers easily that mimic particular Linux distributions. In fact, earlier versions of LXC included a collection of scripts that created the filesystems of popular distributions. A third option is libvirt's lxc driver. Contrary to how it may sound, libvirt-lxc does not use LXC/LXD at all. Instead, the libvirt-lxc driver manipulates kernel namespaces directly. libvirt-lxc integrates into other tools within the libvirt suite as well, so the configuration of libvirt-lxc containers resembles those of virtual machines running in other libvirt drivers instead of a native LXC/LXD container. It is easy to learn as a result, even if the branding is confusing.

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today's howtos

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today's howtos

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Becoming friends with NetworkManager

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Software
HowTos

Have you ever been surprised when your Linux host automatically configures your network? If so, there is a good chance that NetworkManager was responsible. NetworkManager is one of the most widespread network configuration daemons in Linux distributions. If you want to know more and learn how to control it, continue reading.

However, do you instead disable NetworkManager, and wonder why your preferred Linux distro isn't using the old IP tools as the default network configuration method? Do you think NetworkManager is "just for WiFi?" Well, this blog post is for you, too. Leave behind prejudice and give this tool a fair chance by following along for a few minutes. I bet you’ll make peace, and maybe even become friends, with NetworkManager.

In this article, I show you why NetworkManager is a good choice for many scenarios (including both the command line and the GUI). Next, I’ll explain this tool's characteristic (and often misunderstood) underlying philosophy. And finally, I’ll highlight a few commands every user should know to take full control of NetworkManager.

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More in Tux Machines

Librem 5 August Update

We are preparing everything for the Librem 5 to be delivered soon, and its software will focus on the most critical applications a phone needs: calls, messages and web browsing. There are supporting projects that will be delivered too, like GNOME Settings, the shell, GNOME Initial Setup, and GNOME Contacts. So without further ado, let’s take a tour through the software we will deliver–as well as some other applications that have seen some major changes. Read more

low-memory-monitor: new project announcement

I'll soon be flying to Greece for GUADEC but wanted to mention one of the things I worked on the past couple of weeks: the low-memory-monitor project is off the ground, though not production-ready. low-memory-monitor, as its name implies, monitors the amount of free physical memory on the system and will shoot off signals to interested user-space applications, usually session managers, or sandboxing helpers, when that memory runs low, making it possible for applications to shrink their memory footprints before it's too late either to recover a usable system, or avoid taking a performance hit. It's similar to Android's lowmemorykiller daemon, Facebook's oomd, Endless' psi-monitor, amongst others Read more Also: New Low-Memory-Monitor Project Can Help With Linux's RAM/Responsiveness Problem

IBM: Kubernetes/OpenShift, OpenPOWER, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Developers

  • Red Hat Integration delivers new Kubernetes Operators and expands data integration capabilities with latest release

    We are pleased to announce the Q3 release of Red Hat Integration, which brings us further in our alignment around Red Hat OpenShift as the platform of choice for developing and deploying cloud-native applications across hybrid cloud environments, as well as helping customers get their integrations up and running easier and faster. As modern IT continues its rapid evolution, it becomes important that the cloud-native solutions supporting this transformation keep pace, enabling IT organizations to truly benefit from this constant innovation. To help customers take full advantage of this, we've updated, tested and certified every single component in Red Hat Integration with the latest version of OpenShift: Red Hat OpenShift 4.

  • The Linux Foundation Announces New Open Hardware Technologies and Collaboration

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that the OpenPOWER Foundation will become a project hosted at The Linux Foundation. The project includes IBM’s open POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and contributed Source Design Implementations required to support data-driven hardware for intensive workloads like Artificial Intelligence (AI). OpenPOWER is the open steward for the Power Architecture and has the support of 350 members, including IBM, Google, Inspur Power Systems, Yadro, Hitachi, Wistron, Mellanox, NVIDIA, and Red Hat. The governance model within the Linux Foundation gives software developers assurance of compatibility while developing AI and hybrid cloud native applications that take advantage of POWER’s rich feature set and open compute hardware and software ecosystems. As the demand rises for more and more compute-intensive workloads like AI and in-memory analytics, commodity systems vendors have struggled with the looming predictions of the end of Moore’s Law. Central processing units (CPUs) may no longer handle the rising demands alone, and data-centric systems are built to maximize the flow of data between CPUs and attached devices for specialized workloads. By hosting OpenPOWER at The Linux Foundation, a cross-project, cross-community collaboration, it will accelerate development of hardware and software to support data-centric systems, by making it available to a growing global audience. “The OpenPOWER community has been doing critical work to support the increasing demands of enterprises that are using big data for AI and machine learning workloads. The move to bring these efforts together with the worldwide ecosystem of open source developers across projects at The Linux Foundation will unleash a new level of innovation by giving developers everywhere more access to the tools and technologies that will define the next generation of POWER architecture,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

  • Raptor Computing Systems Planning To Launch New ATX POWER9 Board With OpenCAPI

    In addition to the news out of the OpenPOWER Summit in San Diego that the POWER ISA is going open-source and the OpenPOWER Foundation becoming part of the Linux Foundation, Raptor Computing Systems shared they plan to launch a new standard ATX motherboard next year that will feature OpenCAPI connectivity. Built off the successes of their Talos II high-end server motherboard and lower-cost Blackbird desktop motherboard designs, there is apparently a new motherboard design for POWER9 being worked on that could launch in early 2020.

  • Why you should be developing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    With a $0 Red Hat Developer membership, you get access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) at no cost. We have downloads available for RHEL versions starting as far back as 7.2, and as current as RHEL 8.1 Beta. The subscription costs nothing, and there are no additional costs for any of the software or content we make available through the program.

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