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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 Beta Released

RHEL 5.2 beta has been released. Red Hat engineers backport many of the new features from later kernels to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 kernel, such as support for new hardware and virtualization enhancements. This provides Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers with important new capabilities while maintaining stable application interfaces -- so that applications continue to run after new updates are installed. And, of course, it’s always worth repeating that updates, which are released about twice a year, are included with every Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription.

This will give our you a chance to see what your systems will be running later this year. You can grab beta version from RHN.

=> Press Release : Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 Beta

Mihai Criveti has published a list for digital forensics work. This page is worth bookmark:

Computer Forensics is a science and an art. And to perform it, you need tools to identify, acquisition, preserve and analyze data in a clean, safe, non-destructive manner. Lots of tools. Everything from data acquisition to virtualization and steganalysis.

A list of more or less free tools (mostly open source or freeware, but I have included some relevant commercial products) no digital forensics expert should be without

=> Digital Forensic Tools: Imaging, Virtualization, Cryptanalysis, Steganalysis, Data Recovery, Reverse Engineering

RHEL 5.1 has been released. Redhat announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1, with integrated virtualization. This release provides the most compelling platform for customers and software developers ever, with its industry-leading virtualization capabilities complementing Red Hat's newly announced Linux Automation strategy. It offers the industry’s broadest deployment ecosystem, covering standalone systems, virtualized systems, appliances and web-scale "cloud" computing environments.

Besides supporting Linux virtual machines, RHEL 5.1 will also support Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and the forthcoming Windows 2008, Crenshaw said. RHEL 5.1 uses Xen for its virtualization.

How do I upgrade to RHEL 5.1?

Login as the root user and simply type the command to fetch all updates via RHN:
# yum update
Depend upon your network condition and software configuration it may take anywhere between 5-20 minutes. Once completed, just reboot the server:
# reboot
Verify that everything is working fine:
# netstat -tulpn
# netstat -nat
# tail -f /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /path/to/apps/log

Community driven enterprise CentOS Linux users should expect update soon too. You can apply above commends to upgrade your CentOS box.

One of our regular reader asks:

I'm using CentOS Linux 5 server. How do I set up Xen on Linux ? How do I install guest VPS oses such as Fedora or Windows 2000 or Debian Linux inside XEN?

Xen is a free open source software virtual machine monitor for Intel / PowerPC architectures. It is software that runs on a host operating system and allows several guest operating systems to be run on top of the host on the same computer hardware at the same time (just like VMWare software). Luckily Installing and managing XEN is quite easy under CentOS 5 Linux.

Login as the root and type the following commands:
# yum install xen virt-manager kernel-xen
# chkconfig xend on
# reboot

Make sure you boot CentOS server using XEN kernel.

How do I install NetBSD / any Linux distro / Windows 2000 inside XEN?

Simply use gui tool called virt-manager:
# virt-manager &

CentOS XEN Virtual machine manager

CentOS XEN Virtual machine manager

Now just follow on screen instructions to setup new guest operating systems (VPS oses). virt-manager is Xen Management Consoles software. It can perform the common tasks of administering a Xen host such as configuring, starting, monitoring and stopping of Xen guests oses. Please note that above instructions also works on

  • RHEL 5
  • Fedora Linux 7

Installing CentOS 5.3 guest using the Internet

virt-install is a command line tool for provisioning new virtual machines using the "libvirt" hypervisor management library. Type the following command to install CentOS v5.3 64 bit as guest operating system in /vm:
# mkdir /vm
If you are using SELinux, enter:
# semanage fcontext -a -t xen_image_t "/vm(/.*)?"
# restorecon -R /vm
# ls -dZ /vm

Above will provide security context of Xen images. Finally, install CentOS 5.3 using the Internet mirror:
# virt-install \
--paravirt \
--name webserver01 \
--ram 512 \
--file /vm/webserver.nixcraft.com.img \
--file-size 10 \
--nographics \
--location http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/5.3/os/x86_64/

Above will CentOS as a paravirtualized Xen guest, with 512 MB of RAM, a 10 GB of disk, and from a web server, in text-only mode. You need to just follow on screen instructions.

Fig.01: Centos Xen Virtualization Installation

Fig.01: Centos Xen Virtualization Installation


Once installed you can use xm command to list, start, stop and manage xen vps:
# xen list
Attach console to domain / guest called webserver01:
# xm console webserver01
See xm command cheat sheet.

Installing CentOS 5.3 guest using DVD

Install a CentOS guest, using LVM partition, virtual networking, booting from the host CDROM, using VNC server/viewer (insert DVD into drive):
# virt-install \
--connect qemu:///system \
--name mailserver
--ram 500 \
--file /dev/HostVG/mailserver.cyberciti.biz \
--network network:default \
--accelerate \
--vnc \
--cdrom /dev/cdrom

Note you need qemu and virt-viewer installed on the host system.

Installing Fedora guest using DVD iso image stored on hard disk

Install a Fedora Linux, with a real partition (/dev/sdc), using a local DVD ISO image:
# virt-install \
--name www2 \
--ram 1000 \
--file /dev/sdc \
--network bridge:eth1 \
--cdrom /tmp/fedorabootdvd.iso

Further readings:

Solaris 10 update 8/07 has been released and available for download. From the announcement page:
The latest update of the Solaris OS helps customers alleviate common enterprise problems such as virtualization, resource management, and system performance. Solaris delivers built-in investment protection and new technologies that are even better suited to data intensive environments where price and performance are driving factors:

New updated features

=> Solaris Containers for Linux Applications and integrated support for Logical Domains
=> Update to the performance-optimized and cost-effective PostgreSQL open-source database software.
=> Ability to run multiple independent network stacks on one system
=> Networking and DTrace technology enhancements

Best of all, it's free to download and use. The only thing customers pay for are the support and services, which range in scope and price to suit the needs of individual developers and companies of all sizes.

Download Sun Solaris 10 UNIX CD / DVD ISO

=> Visit official site to download Solaris ISO images.

Arun Singh shows us how to create shared storage on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 using OCFS2 (Oracle Cluster File System v2 for shared storage) and Xen Virtualization technology. Enterprise grade shared storage can cost you lots of money but here no real expensive shared storage used. The information provided here works with real shared storage as well:

This paper is to help you to understand the steps involved in creating shared storage without using expensive shared storage. Using this information you can create shared storage used by all xen guest OS and Host, avoiding copying of files between guest OS's. Hope you will find this paper useful.

You can easily port instructions to Redhat or any other Linux distro without a problem. You can also use Redhat's Global File System (GFS) too. We often use Fibre Channel or iSCSI, devices for GFS shared storage.

Creating shared storage on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 using Xen and OCFS2 [novell.com]

On a related note there is also article about creating a highly available VMware Server environment on a Debian Etch system.

Download OpenSuse Linux 10.2

Download OpenSuse

Update: Download latest OpenSuse Linux version 10.3.

I know most of us tired of answering questions about the Microsoft-Novell deal.. but OpenSuse Linux 10.2 is here....

openSUSE is a community project, sponsored by Novell, to develop and maintain SUSE Linux components (such as YaST).

Some of the Good application included:
* AppArmor: gives certain applications rights based on how they run and interact with the environment.
* YaST: a system management application
* Xen: virtualization software
* The KDE and GNOME desktop environments and many more

It's available for download on http://download.openSUSE.org in x86, x86-64, and ppc versions - via ftp from our mirrors and bittorrent.

Read more at OpenSuse mailing list...