|By Ibrahim Haddad||
|August 31, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
For this issue, I'm going to talk with long-time Linux author Mark Sobell. Mark's first Linux book came out in 1996, when Linux was in its infancy. In this interview Mark discusses Red Hat's Fedora Core 2 version of Linux and his experiences writing Linux books.
LWM: I know you've written a lot of books. When did you write your first one?
MGS: My first book, A Practical Guide to the UNIX System, was published in 1982. At that time it was one of three or four books on UNIX. Since then, I've written a number of books on System V and BSD UNIX, databases, Solaris, and three books on Linux.
LWM: How does A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux, Second Edition differ from the previous edition?
MGS: Good question. We've come a long way since 1982. Today, technical bookstores have whole sections dedicated to UNIX and Linux. The audience has matured and I've tried to keep up. The most significant change is that today many readers want to set up servers on Linux. For those readers, I spent last winter writing chapters covering Apache, Samba, DNS/BIND, OpenSSH, NIS, sendmail, FTP (vsftpd), OpenSSH (ssh, scp, and sftp), and NFS. Because security is such a big issue, I also added a chapter on iptables so that readers would be able to set up firewalls to protect their servers.
Another important difference is that the first edition had two CDs, and they were Publisher's Edition CDs. I don't know if your readers are aware, but Red Hat sells publishers CD masters for inclusion in books and these CDs don't have everything that is available when you download Red Hat's ISO image files. With Fedora Core 2, Red Hat has gone to four CDs, so if you go to fedora.com and download the ISO image files, you end up with four files that you can burn four CDs from. My publisher, Prentice Hall, has been good enough to allow me to include these four CDs, straight from fedora.com, in the book. I think my book is the only one with these CDs.
Also, this is the first time I've covered two operating systems in one book. Although they are very similar, my book points out the differences between Fedora Core 2 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In addition, I've added two chapters that cover the installation of both operating systems.
LWM: Can you please explain to our readers what differentiates Fedora Core from Red Hat Enterprise Linux?
MGS: Fedora is free, as in free beer, and you have to pay for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a stable release that's intended for corporate customers who are willing to trade bleeding-edge technology for stability and longevity. Fedora is Red Hat's test bed. A new version is released about every six months with all the latest software and features. For example, Fedora includes the Linux 2.6 kernel, while Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses a 2.4 kernel. Similarly, Fedora includes Samba 3, while Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses Samba 2. I imagine that the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will include the 2.6 kernel and Samba 3.
LWM: What about the battle between the command-line interface and the graphical interface? Which one is better?
MGS: That's really a matter of preference. Someone using Linux in an office will probably want to use the KDE or GNOME graphical interface because that is what they are used to and it's easier to use in most cases. The real question is what does a system administrator use? Red Hat has been improving its GUI system administrator tools. By the way, in Fedora Core 2, the names of the tools have all been changed from redhat-config-* to system-config-*; same tools, different names. As I said, these tools are getting pretty good. Personally, I prefer to use vi and edit the various files by hand. Although I cover the graphical system administration tools in the book, I do go into quite a bit of detail about the files and how to configure the system and servers using the configuration files.
LWM: What is one of the most interesting things you learned while writing this book?
MGS: That's hard; I learned a lot. I like writing books for the same reasons I like teaching. Both force you to dig into the material and understand it to a depth not required if you are just using it. The two things that stand out in my mind are DNS/BIND and OpenSSH. I never realized how distributed the DNS database is, nor how the in-addr.arpa domain for reverse-name resolution actually works. Although I have used ssh for quite a while, I didn't realize how simply elegant it is and how it uses the various keys to authenticate systems and ensure the privacy of data transmitted over the Internet.
LWM: Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
MGS: It has been said a million times before, but "Have fun!" There is so much going on in Linux today, so many new tools and features, that you cannot help but find something you would like to use, create, or improve. I've just started using gphoto2, which comes with Red Hat Linux, to download and store my digital photographs. Just browse through the Main menu to find all sorts of graphical, audio, and Internet tools. And don't forget about the Linux games. You can search on "Linux games" or just go to www.happypenguin.org for a pretty complete collection.
Mark G. Sobell is president of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He is the author of many best-selling UNIX and Linux books and has more than 25 years of experience working with UNIX and Linux. His most recent book is A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux, Second Edition: Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, published by Prentice Hall. Go to www.sobell.com for more information on Mark Sobell's books.
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Sep. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 532
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Sep. 30, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 5,345
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Sep. 30, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 443
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Sep. 30, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 412
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
Sep. 30, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,449
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Sep. 30, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 735
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 30, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,899
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Sep. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,522
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Sep. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,137
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Sep. 30, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,370
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Sep. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 713
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,828
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Sep. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 426
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,589
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,664
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Sep. 30, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 416
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,021
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 594
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your ...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,259
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,679