August 6 Meeting Report

We had another great meeting on Thursday, August 6th, 6:30 PM with 10 in attendance. Ed Works led off the first 45 minutes in showing his little Acer netbook running Jolicloud (www.jolicloud.com) which is based on Ubuntu 9.04. Jolicloud model is to bring "cloud computing" to the desktop and appears to be planning on becoming a subsription service at some point as it is a business and not an community of open source developers. A French company, they just obtained 4.3 million funding from the French investment community. Read more... While it's Ubuntu heritage is evident, the desktop consists of a very attracive menu consisting of applications, folders, and places, looking much like what is found on a smart phone. Even with the software in the Alpha stage, it looked very stable and ran fast on the little netbook. As part of the demonstration, Ed showed a video sharing site (http://www.vimeo.com) where you can share and view high resolution videos, far superior to Youtube. Installation process is that you first have to get an invitation from the company which gives you permission to download the image which has to be copied to a bootable USB (wiping out anything on it), and then using the USB drive, install to the netbook. Full instructions can be found at http://www.jolicloud.com/community. Clint then spent the next hour demonstrating a liveDVD based on Zenwalk/Slackware 12.2 called Slampp 2.0, a simple home server which is admistered completely using webmin. Clint led off with a laundry list of everything (http://slampp.abangadek.com/info/) that is included in this almost 2 GB distribution which includes a complete desktop environment and a very complete graphics, programming, networking, and server system for use in the home network. You can a quick view of some of what is installed as a website and available on the server by opening the "default" home page (http://localhost) which is an application called fileNice and displays the contents of the webserver home directory where folders exist for cacti, codeigniter, gallery (photo), mail, phpmyadmin, prado and support file directories. Slampp is distributed as a "Simple Home Server System" that you can run from the DVD although Clint recommended installing to hard disk. Installation notes: The current version, slampp-2.0-zw-dvd.iso, has a couple of minor issues. The developer is advising that one waits for the 2.0.1 version to be released, which he had hoped to do this Monday, the 10th. Release date for 2.0.1 has been delayed, check back here for the actual release date. He let me take 2.0.1 for a test spin and I found a number of problems so he is going to go back through the update to determine what went wrong. Currently, there is only one real major bug with the 2.0-zw release currently available for download which is the due to a bad bitmap, the hard disk install will not complete succesfully but there is an easy fix as follows: You need to download the attached file (login required). Drupal will not upload a .bmp file so after you download the attachment, you need to rename it back to splash.bmp. The fix is to copy it to /mnt/sda1/boot/ replacing the one that is there. (/mnt/sda1 should be where the installation to hard disk should be mounted which you would have selected during the installation process; If you chose some other mounted partition for the installation, then copy the file there to /boot/ directory). Complete the fix by then running LiloFix. The other minor issue which I mentioned during the meeting is to stop the firewall at the command line with the "/etc/rc.d/rc.Firewall stop" This will allow you to access all the server services including shares from other computers on your home network. Continuing the meetingn notes, while not a lot documentation is found on the Slampp website (http://slampp.abangadek.com/info/), documentation resource include the Zenwalk user guides found at http://www.zenwalk.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=20 and the free 284 page Slackbook 2.0 Linux Essentials for Slackware found at http://www.slackbook.org/. During the presentation, Clint touched on many of tools for using SLAMPP including Webmim and several GUI tools as well a brief visit to the command line where he showed how to back up a samba config directory using the command at the /etc prompt "cp -rp samba samba.bak" stessing the importance of copying configuration directories before making changes just in case things get messed up in using the GUI and web based configuration tools like Webmin, SWAT, and the GUI Network tool GADMIN-SAMBA. At the close of the meeting, Clint booted up the Zenwalk 6 liveCD Desktop and showed what was available there including the documenation on the desktop for Zenwalk. http://www.zenwalk.org/. One person asked about a learning too at the close of the meeting, I feel that perhaps Zenwalk may meet that need, given the resource websites I mention in the preceeding paragraph. Buyt one thing to be aware of, while liveCD's are nice, they have limitations in being able to save your work and system configuration. It is best to do an install to your hard drive. Zenwalk 6 LiveCD does not include the ZenInstaller. I recommend that you download the Zenwalk Gnome Edition at http://www.zenwalk.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=54 for installation to your hard drive. I mentioned a fairly new Italian "linux" distribution called openmamba at the meeting which was interesting because of its shear size, almost a 3 GB DVD for installation, and a "complete" desktop with multimedia support. I was finally able to download that DVD after several attempts. It is a "complete" desktop capable of playing commercial DVD's and other multimedia sources however, this distribution is best described as something new, something borrowed, something blue. As an example Firefox is stll in the 2.0.x track, OpenOffice is 2.0.x. I tried burning a DVD with it using a very attractive K3B, a coaster was born. Given the alternatives such as LinuxMint7, there are no compelling reasons to go to this distribution. Even the development (programming) environment was very limited. It is an RPM based distro claiming compatibility with other RPM based distros such as RedHat. Next Meeting is September 3rd in the Computer Lab of the Boise Public Library, Capital Blvd, across from Julie Davis Park. Clint called for meeting suggestion but none were forthcoming so the agenda is currently open.