F12 Beta on Lenovo T400s

October 20th, 2009 alert

I just gave the freshly released F12 Beta (Gnome x86_64 LiveCD install) a quick try on the very new T400s. Works very well out of the box, congratulations to everyone who worked on making this happen!

Working: ethernet, wifi, DP, Fn-keys (backlight, suspend, volume, battery, screen lock, wifi), suspend on lid close, dock

Not working: Fingerprint Reader (no surprise in newer Lenovos), Fn-key to hibernate (suspends instead)

Not tested: Bluetooth, eSata, microphone mute key, on Dock: 2x DP and 2x DVI, eSata

Will probably give the F12 Beta installDVD a try tomorrow.Posted in Fedora4 Comments »

Safe exams with Fedora

October 6th, 2009

Dear Lazyweb,

At our university professors tend to stop doing paper and pencil based exams and do them online (i.e. web based) instead. For this purpose we need a safe environment which allows browsing a certain site (i.e. the server on which the exam is) only. Additionally people should be able to bring their own laptop, boot some liveUSB/liveCD/PXE system and start the exam.

That system MUST:
– Be Fedora based 🙂
– Disallow the user to do any network traffic except to that one server (on ports 80/443 only) – the system itself should of course be able to do DHCP, DNS,  et al.
– Disallow any networking over anything but Ethernet
– Disallow access to any local storage (HDDs, SSDs, USB-keys/-disks)
– Disallow the user to run anything but Firefox (even when Firefox prompts to open anything) – or a more secure gecko based browser(?)
– Use matchbox-window-manager
– Have as little software as necessary
– (Be easily update-/upgradeable)

This does not have to be 100% secure (well, not possible anyway) but as secure as possible without doing really nasty or time consuming stuff. After all the students sign some paper after the exam to confirm that they did not cheat.

Anyone ever done something like that? Any ideas, pointers, help is welcome and much appreciated!

I guess SELinux is the best way to limit the user that much. I think xguest does some of the above, but not all. Not sure if we can use sandbox (-X) for our purpose. But I never did anything like that and wouldn’t even now what to start with and how to best do something like that.

Maybe it would be enough to just throw away some udev rules, not provide any application but Firefox and use iptables.

Oh, and what’s the best way to bring all this onto a live media? What tools are nowadays used to easily create some custom live system? We’re not sure yet whether we’ll use liveUSB/-CD or PXE (or both?) so this should work for all. No need to make it installable, tho! :)Posted in Fedora4 Comments »

First time in Amsterdam

July 12th, 2009 —

Dear Lazyweb,

Next week, I’ll visit Amsterdam together with my fiancee for the first time. We’re really looking forward to that trip but one thing we’re not yet clear about and that’s where we hope to get yourr help:

What things should we absolutely see/do in Amsterdam? They should be free or cheap I guess. Oh, and really only Amsterdam – no nearby places or whatever…well, there might be exceptions.

Your tips/help in this matter is much appreciated!Posted in FedoraMe, me, me!Out there3 Comments »

RFC: Contributions to the Fedora Project

June 8th, 2009

Dear Planet Fedora,

Back in 2008, we planned the FAD EMEA 2008 and needed some extra money. To raise this, I contacted persons I knew from companies that use mainly OpenSource/Fedora to earn their money. This was a successful idea, as Puzzle ITC from Bern, Switzerland donated as a notable amount.

To drive this further and allow (or rather help) Ambassadors to raise money from companies willing to give something back, I set up a wiki page regarding this matter. Soon, this was not about cash only but about any sort of donation/contribution. I also presented that idea to the attendees of the FAD EMEA 2008 (and to some random people in #fedora-ambassadors) and the feedback was totally positive. It was then decided that it’d be a good idea to invite every project/SIG/whatever within the Fedora Project to add their ideas/needs.

Unfortunately, I didn’t push this any further since then. But it’s time to do something!

So, please take the time to read the draft of my input so far. Note that it’s only about Ambassadors so far (and is in their namespace, too). But I think you can get the idea and most of this can be rewritten for the whole of Fedora Project. Also, there’s already a generic ‘contribute‘ page – but there’s not lot on it.

By the way, the page is intended 1) to contact companies we know are using Fedora/RHEL to ask for their kind contributions and 2) to point companies asking us how they can help to a big list of ways to do so. The result should be, that no company can say ‘there’s no acceptable way for us to contribute to the Fedora Project’, just because there’s so many ways!

I therefore request for two things:

  1. Do not edit or move the draft page (or generate another site out of it) just yet! I’d like to collect all the inputs, organize that a bit, discuss it further were necessary and then set up another draft.
  2. Bring in your comments! Does your team need ‘manpower’, ‘paying a bill’ or ‘money donations’ from (potential) contributors, too? Do you have anything else a contributor could help you with? Is there anything else that shouldn’t be forgotten about?

I welcome all your comments – by comment to this post, by e-mail (red at fp.o) or in person (e.g. during LinuxTag 2009 or FUDCon EMEA in Berlin, at FrOSCon or at OpenExpo).Posted in FedoraNo Comments »

Rebel Marketing

May 22nd, 2009

I wonder if we should create a ‘rebel’ group within the Fedora contributors’ community. They do things Ambassadors and Marketing likely wouldn’t.

First idea goes like this: a small group of some ‘rebels’ walks through a train with lots of people with laptops (e.g. intercity between Bern and Zurich). Everyone sitting in that train with a laptop in front of himself get a Fedora LiveCD (i.e. thrown on his keyboard without any further comment).

Whenever that group sees someone already running Fedora (not necessarily easy to detect when walking by), that person gets a Fedora t-shirt or another Fedora-branded nice-to-have thing.

(this is not really a serious post, but why not do it anyway? – more ideas welcome, anyway)Posted in Fedora5 Comments »

Fedora 11 Beta release

March 31st, 2009

Jesse Keating announced the marvelous: Fedora 11 Beta is available for download. Time to spread the word…and the ISO files of course. Looks like those torrents are pretty popular in already….

F11 Beta torrents in Transmission

F11 Beta torrents in TransmissionPosted in FedoraNo Comments »

Fedora contributors at Red Hat’s summits

February 17th, 2009

Are you a Fedora contributor? Are you going to either the Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit 2009 in Malta or to the Red Hat Summit 2009 in Chicago, IL – or maybe even both?

If so, add your name to the appropriate page(s) in the Fedora wiki and fellow contributors will be able to see that you’re going too! This enables everyone to plan the travel together or to schedule a beer with a fellow.

Update: Thanks to heffer both links are now correct.Posted in Fedora1 Comment »

FOSDEM – Day 2

February 12th, 2009 —

A bit delayed, a short report of day 2 at FOSDEM.

I’ve been visiting the first two CentOS talks that day which were really useful and I wasn’t bored a single minute. I didn’t even wander off into daydreams and that’s really rare when I have to listen >30min to a talk, particularly in the mornings. In other words: Fabian Arrotin and Dag Wieers have been doing a great job! During his 1h talk slot, Dag even found the time to demonstrate his small application that made the wiimote a cordless presenter much like the one from Logitech. Actually, it’s in a very early state (he wrote in during the previous night,  while a python version seems to be around for a longer time already) but has all features of the Logitech model – except for the laser pointer, of course.

Later that day I visited the talk on Cobbler and Koan which was a good mix of theory and practice. The live-demo showed us how easy it really is to use Cobbler while the theory showed us how easy it should be actually. Oh, wait…the slides and the demo made the same statements – that it’s easy to use. Normally either the slides or the demo make it looking very complicated (which might be the reason why most people only show one of both). Not this time – that must either mean that the statements made are true or that they lied at us and tricked us. But living in the greater FOSS community we know that they would have no use to do the latter and that we could verify their statements for free whenever we want to. Obviously, it *is* really easy to use. I even tested it at the beginning of the week and I can fully confirm their findings…

Well, shortly after that talk, it was time to go back home. All afternoon long there were people making the impression that they have to leave soon – much too early will that event end and some of the people even had to leave early. So whenever you met someone, they started to say goodbye already or asked whether you’ll still be there after the talk they’re going to visit. Later that afternoon I had to catch the bus too, which brought me straigt to the Central Station where I got on the train to the national airport. The flight back was fine and short, too. While I was waiting for my baggage to get ready to be claimed I even met Georg Greve from FSFE. I’ve also seen him during  FOSDEM but we’ve never really had time to say more than just ‘hi’, well knowing that our offices in Zurich are only about 100m apart. After some small talk we had our baggage and left to catch our girlfriends and take the next train home.

I believe I’ve never said anything about our booth during my FOSDEM posting, let me change that. The booth was really nice looking, as usual. The new ‘four foundations’ posters are really cool but I also still like the old message and posters, too. Thanks to Joerg Simon to print those posters and for bringing them along! Thanks also to the people setting up the booth. The Fedora people standing at out booth were doing a great job (sorry, that I didn’t really do something at the booth this time!) but for me it didn’t really fit to FOSDEM. Feels a bit strange to have marketing-talks at a developers meeting. Also, thanks to all the people from other projects and the organizers of FOSDEM for making this such a great event!Posted in FedoraNo Comments »

FOSDEM – Day 1

February 8th, 2009

It’s actually day 2 right now, but the day has only just begun and I’m siitting in the Fedora/CentOS devroom where I’ll listen to some CentOS related talks. But for now, let me give you a quick update on day 0 and a short review of day 1.

On day 0, I arrived at the airport and headed to the train station on the -1 level. I quickly bought a ticket and asked for directions – but they weren’t able to help. This brought me to the only map of the public transportation networrk of Brussels available. Already standing there looking very puzzled were Spot and Sebastian. I had a quick look at the map too and after that we were now 3 guys looking puzzled and wondering how we’ll ever find the hotel.

Well, after some time we made our way. With lots of guesswork and a bit extra way. Anyway, let me tell you something about Brussels that hit me in the face when I first got here (I expected a somewhat more modern city like Berlin or London): 1) The trains are crap. 2) The train stations are terrible (except the Bruxelles-Luxembourg one and, I was told, the south station). 3) It’s impossible to get a ticket for the public transportation until after you used it – i.e. after you arrived in the center. 3) The tram network is fine, unless you don’t know what it looks like where you want to get out (no information anywhere).

On the upside, we have a great hotel – I’ve been told it’s the best in Brussels. But because of their weekend offer, we actually pay less than friends of us in ‘cheaper’ hotels. The metro is just fine and the busses or okay but there’s far too many of them to figure out which one you take best.

We’ve been in the ‘Drug Opera’ for dinner twice and it’s a good service, great price and a fair price. That’s how I like my dinners in foreign cities. I had ostrich there and it was perfectly cooked. The beers & such were pretty pricy, though.

Oh, by the way, I cancelled the planned sightseeing on day 0 because…well, let’s just say there’s not much worth a sight. Some churches are pretty beautiful and the Grand Place is nice, too. But aside from that (and some modern EU buildings), the city is mostly bad state.

Well, for day 1 I was mostly at the booth, sometimes in a talk and often wandering around a bit. I bought three t-shirts that I liked and I’ve been in need of some new shirts anyway. The one for FOSDEM 2009 cost EUR 25.- which is actually not the price for the shirt but the minimum donation to get a shirt for free. The two FSFE shirts cost EUR 18.- each.

In the evening we didn’t know how to get back to the hotel which resulted in a journey with tram, metro and by foot. It’s been taking a bit long but we’ve know what trams and metros here are like which sure is good to know for the next time. After we’ve dropped of our backpacks we went to the city with bus (not only because it’s been the only kind of public transportation we did not yet use).

We then had dinner and later some beers in different places. ixs turned up with a nice local lady at some point – well, local in terms of ‘living here for work for some time already’. I’ve had some chitchat with her and learned some things about Brussels, Belgium and the EU, for which she’s working. I also learned that the rooms in our hotel normaly cost EUR >500.- while we only paid EUR 79.- (or 89.- with breakfast). Looking at the room rates at the receipted this morning (when checking out) showed us that the normal price is indiccated with EUR 845.-(!)

Okay, Fabian Arrotin’s talk on CentOS has just begun – I’ll close it here.Posted in FedoraNo Comments »

Seeding Fedora 11 Alpha

February 6th, 2009

Even before the Fedora 11 Alpha release was announced, I started downloading and seeding it over bit torrent. The download was pretty quick, the upload too. Within 16h I uploaded 74.7GB with top speeds >10MB/s. Currently, there’s not enough peers to reach this speed, so it’s only at about 200KB/s.