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The Story Behind The Largest Distributor Of The Linux Operating System

Interesting read and I wasn't aware of some of the facts behind the open-source entrepreneur Bob Young. From the BBC article:

Bob Young is a self-confessed contrarian with a strong desire to change the world by allowing people to share and collaborate. The approach has served him well and has helped turn the Canadian into a multi-millionaire. Bob YoungFrom the outset, his software company Red Hat bucked the trend set by the big players like Microsoft which stubbornly guarded every line of code and charged whopping fees to maintain it.

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Linux Proves – The Best Things In Life Are Free

They say - there's no such thing as a free lunch. But, Linux and FOSS software can be used to start, run and grow your business for, you guessed it, free. February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper. Reducing costs and stronger interoperability with Windows were listed as the two top issues in a new survey of IT managers.
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mount forcedirectio: Disable Linux CIFS / NFS Client Caching

If your network is heavily loaded you may see some problem with Common Internet File System (CIFS) and NFS under Linux. By default Linux CIFS mount command will try to cache files open by the client. You can use mount option forcedirectio when mounting the CIFS filesystem to disable caching on the CIFS client. This is tested with NETAPP and other storage devices and Novell, CentOS, UNIX and Red Hat Linux systems. This is the only way to avoid data mis-compare and problems.

The default is to attempt to cache ie try to request oplock on files opened by the client (forcedirectio is off). Foredirectio also can indirectly alter the network read and write size, since i/o will now match what was requested by the application, as readahead and writebehind is not being performed by the page cache when forcedirectio is enabled for a mount

mount -t cifs //mystorage/data2 -o username=vivek,password=myPassword,rw,bg,vers=3,proto=tcp,hard,intr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,forcedirectio,llock /data2

Refer mount.cifs man page, docs stored at Documentation/filesystems/cifs.txt and fs/cifs/README in the linux kernel source tree for additional options and information.

How To Get Financing (VC Funding) For Open Source / Linux Project

MySQL, Red Hat and many other open source projects made good amount of money by supporting and creating world class software. But, how do you get venture capital - financing to grow businesses based upon open source ideas? If you are opening an open source software / hardware based business, read this getting started article about VC funding.

VC Funding

According wikipedia:

A venture capitalist (also known as a VC) is a person or investment firm that makes venture investments, and these venture capitalists are expected to bring managerial and technical expertise as well as capital to their investments. A venture capital fund refers to a pooled investment vehicle (often an LP or LLC) that primarily invests the financial capital of third-party investors in enterprises that are too risky for the standard capital markets or bank loans.

Venture capital is most attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and are too immature to secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering. In exchange for the high risk that venture capitalists assume by investing in smaller and less mature companies, venture capitalists usually get significant control over company decisions, in addition to a significant portion of the company's ownership (and consequently value).

Here in India VC funding reached to US $6.5 billion at the end of 2007. Most VC firms in India are either divisions or subsidiaries of Silicon Valley funds. They are primarily centered in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.

Keith Ward has published an interesting article about getting funds for your small project:

So, you've got the greatest open source idea since Firefox. It's guaranteed to be bigger than TCP/IP. All you need now is some scratch to get your project off the ground. Given the genius of your idea, you're sure you'll have to beat off potential investors with a stick. If you think that's reality, I've got some subprime mortgages to sell you. Getting venture capital (VC) to fund your business is hard work, even if you have a commercial product to sell. The degree of difficulty ratchets up many times if you're an open source developer. It can be done, but it takes such single-minded focus that getting turned down multiple -- maybe even dozens -- of times won't faze you.

=> How to get VC investment for your open source

Critical Red Hat Enterprise Linux Kernel Update

Red Hat issued an update version of Linux operating system core called kernel that plugs various security holes for RHEL 5.x. This update has been rated as having important security impact. All users are advised to upgrade kernel package.

Security fixes:

a) A missing capability check was found in the Linux kernel do_change_type routine. This could allow a local unprivileged user to gain privileged access or cause a denial of service. (CVE-2008-2931, Important)

b) A flaw was found in the Linux kernel Direct-IO implementation. This could allow a local unprivileged user to cause a denial of service. (CVE-2007-6716, Important)

c) Tobias Klein reported a missing check in the Linux kernel Open Sound System (OSS) implementation. This deficiency could lead to a possible information leak. (CVE-2008-3272, Moderate)

d) a deficiency was found in the Linux kernel virtual filesystem (VFS) implementation. This could allow a local unprivileged user to attempt file creation within deleted directories, possibly causing a denial of service. (CVE-2008-3275, Moderate)

e) A flaw was found in the Linux kernel tmpfs implementation. This could allow a local unprivileged user to read sensitive information from the kernel. (CVE-2007-6417, Moderate)

Bug fix

a) A kernel crash may have occurred on heavily-used Samba servers after 24 to 48 hours of use.

b) On certain systems, if multiple InfiniBand queue pairs simultaneously fell into an error state, an overrun may have occurred, stopping traffic.

c) With bridging, when forward delay was set to zero, setting an interface to the forwarding state was delayed by one or possibly two timers, depending on whether STP was enabled. This may have caused long delays in moving an interface to the forwarding state. This issue caused packet loss when migrating virtual machines, preventing them from being migrated without interrupting applications.

How do I update my kernel?

Login as root and type:
# uname -mrs
# yum update
# reboot
# uname -mrs

Red Hat / CentOS Linux 5.x: Perl Performance Bug Fix Available

Perl version supplied with RHEL has bug, which will result code running at least 100 times slower than expected speed. Now, Red Hat updated perl packages that fix a performance issue. Earlier only solution was installing your own perl under /usr/local or other location. This fix will now take care of performance penalty.

Perl is a high-level programming language commonly used for system administration utilities and Web programming.

These updated packages fix a large performance degradation. This issue was most noticeable when using "bless" and "overload" combinations, as well as when using the Perl DBI modules.

Users of perl are advised to upgrade to these updated packages, which resolve this issue.

How do I update perl under RHEL / CentOS Linux?

Type the following command
# yum update

RedHat Bought Qumranet's Virtualization including its KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine)

Red Hat paid approximately $107 million in cash for Qumranet, a privately held company. Now, Red Hat positioned to deliver comprehensive, reliable and open virtualization to Linux and Windows servers and desktops.

Red Hat today announced the acquisition of Qumranet, Inc. The acquisition includes Qumranet's virtualization solutions, including its KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform and SolidICE offering, a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which together present a comprehensive virtualization platform for enterprise customers. In addition, in connection with the deal, Qumranet's talented team of professionals that develop, test and support Qumranet solutions, and its leaders of the open source community KVM project, will join Red Hat.

According wikipedia:

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a Linux kernel virtualization infrastructure. KVM currently supports native virtualization using Intel VT or AMD-V. A wide variety of guest operating systems work with KVM, including many flavours of Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, Haiku, ReactOS and AROS Research Operating System.

Red Hat Advances Virtualization Leadership with Qumranet, Inc. Acquisition