14 April 2013

openSUSE 12.3 cheap edition

Cheap Fujitsu Siemens
The brand new (actually not that new at this point), openSUSE 12.3 has just been released (maybe a bit over a month ago). And it is time we take a look at it. I'm not in a position to just re-install my computer whenever I feel like it, so I'm still using the "broken" 12.2 ! But I'm about to migrate my development efforts from a virtual machine on to some real hardware. I bought a refurbished Fujitsu Siemens desktop that has a Pentium 4 CPU @ 3.2 GHz and 1GB of DDR2 memory. It is enough for any play with PHP situation, and costs me about 50$. So, I'm awesome!

Happens to the best of us!
Unfortunately it will be a headless box in the corner so no gnome 3 rant this time. Although I have already seen gnome 3 in 12.3 and it looked good in a VirtualBox. The install process is sort of the same as the previous version. But my install DVD failed to burn properly, so I get a repo error. To avoid throwing disks away just copy the install image on a thumb drive. For more info on that go buy a thumb drive and look at the instructions at http://en.opensuse.org/Live_USB_stick#Download_DVD_ISO ! Or you can be lazy and just use the Disk Utility to restore the iso file on to a USB drive as if it was a recovery image or something, although this seems not to be too good for the thumb drive itself. But. They are also cheap so...

Since this is a server install there isn't much to comment on. As you have read in my other posts(if you have read my other posts), Linux isn't a server OS it is THE server OS. But there are two things that get me excited, OpenStack and MariaDB.

OpenStack is a cloud thing and there isn't much of a cloud to be had in a P4 $50 system. But a review of this release would be incomplete without mentioning it so lets at least cover the basics. If you know what hosting is than you can easily understand how the cloud concept has revolutionized it. Say you sell hosting. Your first client want's to host a WordPress blog with you. You take a Windows Server Machine and you setup IIS with PHP. Then you install filezilla server and give him access to the document root folder. Then the client calls you and says: "Are you retarded?"! Then you hire a 17 year old high school drop out (always the best) to install generic whichever Linux on the server and the next morning the blog is live. Then you get client number two who wants to host an opencart e-store.  Systemiche administratormaister 1996, configures Apache to work with two virtual hosts. Now the blog and the store are sharing resources on the same system. Say the blog has just published a review of the new (not so new) openSUSE and people are just flooding to read it expecting the author to call it "a bag mixed with dead rats and a pedophile". So the high work load causes both the blog and the store to become unavailable. Causing your clients to lose a bunch of money and to sue you and now you are in jail and your family is living on the streets. Good job. A better idea would be if you had 3 systems running your cloud infrastructure so that you could have the two clients in separate virtual machines that can dynamical have resources reallocated to them when needed so that none of the running services become under-resourced. And even if one of the systems dies you can have the other two pickup the workload so that you don't have to go to court. Cloud is the only way to have 99% availability. Plus if your website explodes and becomes very popular it can just have resources from a pool of resources available in the cloud infrastructure. Now that you know what a cloud is (moar or less). OpenStack is a collection of software systems that can turn a room of computers into a hive-mind that will destroy humanity or serve web pages in an efficient and scalable way. Some of the components were available in the previous release but with 12.3 opensuse now has the complete stack ready to use, straight from the repo thus making it a ready to go data-center solution.

Once upon a time there was an office suite that was free and open. But then some people who history will remember as "The Assholes", decided that they will re-license the free and open office suite into a commercial product. And then the fork came as if out of nowhere and now there is a free and open office suite that has replaced the old free and open office suite that now nobody wants to use although it is still free and open. And now history has repeated itself (more or less) and we are replacing MySQL community database server with MariaDB. As you have probably heard before MariaDB is a drop in replacement to MySQL. And it really is so much so that if they didn't tell us they have changed it many of us would have never noticed. I have been playing around with it and besides the prompt "MariaDB [mysql]>", there is nothing that different. If you look at this MariaDB primer (primer???) you will notice that you are using the mysql tools with the new database daemon. wordpress didn't realize that it is working with MariaDB, and I don't think any other CMS would.

mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 5.5.29-MariaDB, for Linux (x86_64) using readline 5.1
Connection id: 10
Current database: mysql
Current user: root@localhost
SSL: Not in use
Current pager: less
Using outfile: ''
Using delimiter: ;
Server: MariaDB
Server version: 5.5.29-MariaDB-log Source distribution
Protocol version: 10
Connection: Localhost via UNIX socket
Server characterset: utf8
Db     characterset: utf8
Client characterset: utf8
Conn.  characterset: utf8
UNIX socket: /var/run/mysql/mysql.sock
Uptime: 12 min 11 sec
Threads: 1  Questions: 31  Slow queries: 0  Opens: 0  Flush tables: 1  Open tables: 26  Queries per second avg: 0.042
So... Yeah! Although I hope somebody makes a new MySQL Workbench program that doesn't deny remote management if root ssh login is disabled.

So actually nothing to report about the new openSUSE. This is the fourth version since I started using it and it is nothing if not consistent, as in getting consistently better and better. There is E17 to talk about on the desktop side but it is early days so I will probably come back to it when we look at 13.1 In order to avoid over criticizing it.