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Contrary to popular perception, many open source vendors are making money, even growing in size, revenue, installed base, and influence. Their secret? The dual license, a business model that allows software makers to provide commercial software licenses for a fee, while simultaneously providing free software to a broader community. Industry analyst and longtime Linux watcher Stacey Quandt explains how it works.
From caller ID to long distance, anything your phone can do, Asterisk can do better - and cheaper. Asterisk, an open source telephony project, greatly reduces the cost of traditional telecommunication technology and operation, and moves Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) into the mainstream. If you own a telephone, heed the call to Asterisk.
Six years ago, Oracle announced support for Linux, perhaps singlehandedly sparking the widespread adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Today, Oracle's Linux market share is growing by leaps and bounds, backed by the elegance, scalability, and low cost of Linux application clusters. In this hands-on guide, discover how easy it is to get Oracle up and running on virtually any Linux distro.
Every so often, something truly magical appears and changes the universe forever. Recent marvels like wireless and digital content are just two examples that come to mind. Each changed our expectations of what's possible.
Software patents -- more than copyright laws, commercial software companies, and uninformed legislators -- are the biggest threat to the future of free software. While software patents have only been issued regularly in the United States since about 1982 (after Diamond v. Diehr), and guidelines for granting software patents weren't established by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) until 1996, software patents are now granted by the USPTO at the rate of nearly 30,000 per year, or over 15 percent of all patents issued.
Let me introduce you to my friend Steven Shaw, or "Fat Guy," as he likes to be called. Fat Guy lives in New York City, is a lawyer, and over the last three or four years, has cultivated a second career as a professional food writer -- and a damn good one, too. At 32, Fat Guy was one of the youngest men to win the James Beard Award for Food Journalism.
When using Linux in a business environment, it's important to monitor resource utilization. System monitoring helps with capacity planning, alerts you to performance problems, and generally makes managers happy. So, in this month's "Tech Support," let's install Cacti, a resource monitoring application that utilizes RRDtool as a back-end.
Why would you want to give a program more than one name? How can you move quickly through the filesystem like Star Trek's Enterprise jumping through a "worm hole"? What good are multiple views of the files in a directory? You'll see these things and more, as we look into Linux filesystem links.
When MySQL 4.0 was released, it included a host of new features. We've already discussed MySQL 4.0 several times in Linux Magazine, but the query cache only received a brief mention in the September 2002 "LAMP Post" column (available online at http://www.linux-mag.com/2002-09/lamp_03.html). And since the query cache is disabled by default, there's a good chance you've not stumbled across it yet.
Is there any multimedia software that Linux users love to hate more than RealPlayer? RealPlayer's bad interface, proprietary and poor-sounding codecs, and overall poor support for Linux have irked many a Penguinista. But in an effort to appease and appeal to the growing horde of Linux users, Real open sourced its server software in 2002, followed by its client software, RealPlayer.
Last month's column looked at the basics of generating RPMs, including the format of the all-important .spec file. In theory, those principles should be enough to let you create .spec files and RPMs for a number of purposes. In practice, however, RPM generation is complex enough that some examples are sure to help. So, this month's column presents two examples: creating a non-program RPM and creating a program RPM.
Last month's "Extreme Linux" introduced MPI-2, the latest Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard. MPI has become the preferred programming interface for data exchange -- called message passing -- for parallel, scientific programs. MPI has evolved since the MPI-1.0 standard was released in May 1994. The MPI-1.1 standard, produced in 1995, was a significant advance, and the MPI-2 standard clarifies and corrects the MPI-1.1 standard while preserving forward compatibility with MPI-1.1. A valid MPI-1.1 program is a valid MPI-2 program.
In the previous three articles, I introduced my templating system of choice, the Template Toolkit (TT). Since those articles were intended as overviews, I didn't have much space to go into meaty examples. So, in this article, I'll look at how I'm using TT every day to help me manage the Stonehenge Consulting web site (http://www.stonehenge.com).
It's been fun being a columnist here at Linux Magazine, but when a full-time job as senior editor at my old publisher comes knocking, I have to answer. But before before I bid you a fond farewell, let me pull out my battered crystal ball and take a look at Linux ten years down the road.
One of your primary responsibilities as system administrator is communicating with the system users. You need to make announcements, such as when the system will be down for maintenance, when a class on some new software will be held, and how users can access the new system printer. You can even start to fill the role of a small local newspaper, letting users know about new employees, RIFs, births, the company picnic, and so on.
While it may not produce as bloody a match as the once-epic struggle between Microsoft and Sun did, JBoss Inc. and Gluecode Software Inc. are squaring off for a tussle over which of their open-source alternatives is more superior to proprietary J2EE-based middleware from IBM, BEA Systems Inc. and other vendors.
Five years ago, I.B.M. established a Chinese software development lab, which today has 500 engineers working on Linux projects alone. (I.B.M. is the leading corporate supporter of Linux, a free operating system that is an alternative to Microsoft Windows.) Warning: this is a business article looking at this corporation's global goals and methods, where Linux plays a decidedly subsidiary role!
Analysts from the Yankee Group said that corporations using Linux in their IT environment should review the terms and conditions of each of their individual licensing contracts with legal counsel to determine if they have adequate indemnification coverage. In the absence of indemnification or specific indemnification provisions, corporations could be the target of an intellectual property lawsuit - forcing them to use their own money and resources for their defense.
Firefox and Thunderbird represent that I call "transitional applications", Linux programs that run on other operating systems (eg: Windows) thereby offering an equivalent for users who haven't yet switched to Linux. Let's face it, change is difficult for people. As with any dangerous addiction, quitting cold turkey isn't easy which is why there are products like nicotine gum and the patch -- these are a smoker's transitional applications. So it is with moving from Windows desktops to Linux desktops. Quite honestly, a move to Linux isn't nearly as difficult as some would have you believe and most people will find themselves at home very quickly, but sometimes it helps to pave the way by introducing some Linux familiarity to the Windows desktop . . . and saving yourself a small fortune in the process.
Last week, Part 1 covered the basic configuration for a Debian FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) server. Today we'll configure the client installations--network server settings, what software is going to be installed, and the client boot methods. FAI supports network booting, which is fast and easy when it works. FAI also supports booting the clients from FAI boot diskettes.