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Updated: 14 min 39 sec ago

How Linux came to the mainframe

Wednesday 11th of September 2019 07:01:00 AM

Despite my 15 years of experience in the Linux infrastructure space, if you had asked me a year ago what a mainframe was, I'd be hard-pressed to give a satisfying technical answer. I was surprised to learn that the entire time I'd been toiling away on x86 machines in various systems administration roles, Linux was running on the s390x architecture for mainframes. In fact, 2019 marks 20 years of IBM's involvement in Linux on the mainframe, with purely community efforts predating that by a year.


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4 open source cloud security tools

Wednesday 11th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

If your day-to-day as a developer, system administrator, full-stack engineer, or site reliability engineer involves Git pushes, commits, and pulls to and from GitHub and deployments to Amazon Web Services (AWS), security is a persistent concern. Fortunately, open source tools are available to help your team avoid common mistakes that could cost your organization thousands of dollars.


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Kubernetes literally everywhere, smoking hot Java, and more industry trends

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 02:45:00 PM

As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.


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How to draw vector graphics with Scratch 3

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 07:03:00 AM

Scratch is a popular visual programming language for creating video games and animations. It also features a vector drawing tool that anyone can use to create unique game assets and art.

Scratch 1.0 was written in Smalltalk, an extremely hackable programming language that allowed users to peek behind the scenes of the software. It was popular across platforms and was even forked by the Raspberry Pi Foundation for extended support.


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Layering security throughout DevOps

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

The DevOps movement has changed how we integrate and publish our work. It has taken us from slow, sometimes yearly, release cycles to daily (or even hourly, in some cases) releases. We are capable of writing code and seeing our changes in production almost instantly. While that can give our customers and us a warm and fuzzy feeling, it can also provide an opening for malicious attackers.


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Get your business up and running with these open source tools

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 07:01:00 AM

After serving as a CIO in higher education and government for nearly nine years and in senior IT leadership positions for most of my 20-year career, I decided to change gears. I had always found the most joy in coaching, advising, and mentoring IT leaders. At various CIO roundtable events and CIO forums, I often helped new CIOs and IT directors "get their feet under them," and I decided I wanted to do more of that.


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Lesson plans for an open education

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

Students everywhere are returning to school this season. But to what kinds of schools are they returning?

Are their classrooms organized like industrial-era factory floors, built around ideals like mass standardization and tailored for maximum efficiency? Or do they look more like agile, networked learning communities?

Are they listening passively from the back of the room? Or are they collaboratively shaping what and how they learn as their teachers connect their lessons to projects and contexts outside the classroom?


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Getting started with the Linux tac command

Monday 9th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

The tac command is essentially the cat command, but its purpose is to concatenate files in reverse. Like cat, it has a convenient fallback mode to print to standard output (STDOUT) if no output file is provided, making it one of those commands that are more often used as a lazy pager—like less and more—than the function it is named for.


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4 to-do list managers for the Linux desktop

Monday 9th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

Ah, the humble to-do list. When used badly, it becomes a source of stress and a trigger for procrastination. When used well, the to-do list can help you focus on what you need to do, when you need to do it.

There are a few ways to keep a to-do list. You can use pen and paper. You can run a command-line to-do list manager. Or, you can use a to-do list on your desktop.


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How to use GNOME Boxes' snapshot capability

Monday 9th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

In the first article in this series about GNOME Boxes, I explained how to get started with the virtualization application, and in the second article, I described GNOME Boxes' remote access capabilities. Here in the third installment, I will cover GNOME Boxes' snapshot functionality, which is a useful way to preserve data quickly.


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How to change the color of your Linux terminal

Friday 6th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

You can add color to your Linux terminal using special ANSI encoding settings, either dynamically in a terminal command or in configuration files, or you can use ready-made themes in your terminal emulator. Either way, the nostalgic green or amber text on a black screen is wholly optional. This article demonstrates how you can make Linux as colorful (or as monochromatic) as you want.


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How to open source your academic work in 7 steps

Friday 6th of September 2019 07:01:00 AM

Academic work fits nicely into the open source ethos: The higher the value of what you give away, the greater your academic prestige and earnings. Professors accomplish this by sharing their best ideas for free in journal articles in peer-reviewed literature. This is our currency, without a strong publishing record not only would our ability to progress in our careers degrade, but even our jobs could be lost (and the ability to get any other job).


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Introduction to monitoring with Pandora FMS

Friday 6th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

Pandora Flexible Monitoring Solution (FMS) is all-purpose monitoring software, which means it can control network equipment, servers (Linux and Windows), virtual environments, applications, databases, and a lot more. It can do both remote monitoring and monitoring based on agents installed on the servers. You can get collected data in reports and graphs and raise alerts if something goes wrong.


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Building CI/CD pipelines with Jenkins

Thursday 5th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

In my article A beginner's guide to building DevOps pipelines with open source tools, I shared a story about building a DevOps pipeline from scratch. The core technology driving that initiative was Jenkins, an open source tool to build continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.


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10 pitfalls to avoid when implementing DevOps

Thursday 5th of September 2019 07:01:00 AM

In companies of every size, software is increasingly providing business value because of a shift in how technology teams define success. More than ever, they are defined by how the applications they build bring value to their customers. Tickets and stability at the cost of saying no are no longer the key value of IT. It's now about increasing developer velocity by partnering with the business.


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Introducing the guide to 7 essential PyPI libraries and how to use them

Thursday 5th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

Why is Python so beloved by programmers? It's open source. It's compatible with a variety of operating systems. It's readable for beginners. And it's powerful enough to use for developing complex applications. But best of all is its large community, making it easy to find a solution to whatever problem you’re having. This community is the reason we have such a large, diverse range of software packages available in the Python Package Index (PyPI) to extend and improve Python and solve the inevitable glitches that crop up.


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Environment variables in PowerShell

Wednesday 4th of September 2019 07:02:00 AM

Environment variables are global settings for your Linux, Mac, or Windows computer, stored for the system shell to use when executing commands. Many are set by default during installation or user creation.

For instance, your home directory is set as an environment variable when you log in. How it looks in PowerShell depends on your operating system.

On Windows:


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A guide to human communication for sysadmins

Wednesday 4th of September 2019 07:01:00 AM

Not too long ago, I spoke at a tech event in the Netherlands to an audience mostly made up of sysadmins. One of my topics was how sysadmins can increase the value they deliver to the organization they work for. I believe that among the most important factors for delivering value is for everyone to know the overall organization's priorities and goals, as well as the priorities and goals of the organization's development teams.


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Geeks in Cyberspace: A documentary about Linux nerds and the web that was

Wednesday 4th of September 2019 07:00:00 AM

"We invented blogging, we invented podcasting, we invented the LIKE button…"

Rob Malda is only half-joking when he makes these claims in the closing minutes of my new documentary, Geeks in Cyberspace. Together with his friends Jeff Bates, Nate Oostendorp, and Kurt Demaagd, Malda helped usher in our present age of social media, inventing now-familiar conventions that we use every day on Reddit, Wikipedia, Facebook, and elsewhere.


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Humbleness key to open source success, Kubernetes security struggles, and more industry trends

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 02:00:00 PM

As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.


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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

The community-led renaissance of open source

With few commercial participants, early free software and open source communities were, by definition, community-led. Software was designed and created organically by communities of users in response to their needs and inspiration. The results, to a degree nobody predicted, were often magical. First-generation open source businesses like Red Hat emerged to respond to these needs. They combined the best of both worlds: the flexibility and control of raw open source with the commercial support that enterprises depend on. These new open source businesses found their opportunity by adding the missing—but necessary—commercial services to community-led open source projects. These services would be costly for organizations to provide on their own and potentially even more costly to do without. One early leader of that era, Cygnus Solutions, even adopted the counter-intuitive tagline "Making free software affordable." But back then, it was always overwhelmingly clear: The commercial vendors were in service of the community, filling in around the edges to enable commercial applications. The community was the star, and the companies were the supporting cast. Read more

Election fraud: Is there an open source solution?

Can open source technology help keep our elections honest? With its Trust The Vote Project, the Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Institute is working on making that a reality for elections in the United States and around the world. The project is developing an open, adaptable, flexible, full-featured, and innovative elections technology platform called ElectOS. It will support all aspects of elections administration and voting, including creating, marking, casting, and counting ballots and managing all back-office functions. The software is freely available under an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-recognized public license for adoption, adaptation, and deployment by anyone, including elections jurisdictions directly or, more commonly, commercial vendors or systems integrators. Read more

Meld is an excellent file and folder comparison tool for Windows and Linux

Ever had two sets of the same files and folders and couldn't decide which one to retain? It may take a long time to actually open each to verify the one that's recent or the one you need; while dates associated with the files may help, they won't all the time as they don't tell you anything about the actual content. This is where file comparison tools can be time-savers. Meld is an open source file comparison tool for Windows and Linux for exactly that purpose. Read more