Linux Blog

Linux Certifications

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:27 am on Saturday, July 12, 2008

I made a tweet yesterday about how once every so often I get obsessed with certifications. Even though I normally get around to studying let alone sitting the test. I was wondering if this is a problem for any one else. Certifications to me are so tempting, but finding the time to actually do it is another thing. If there is an multiple choice exam for a certification given time any one can take the test, so why isn’t every one qualified?

I can’t speak for every one but I know why I don’t hold as many certifications as I would like.

1) Money
Firstly money comes into play. Even if you self study, buy books or from reading free certification guides and objectives online you still have to pay for the exam. This is a big factor when coming to get certified. Even if sponsorship from an employer or other organization is available this can still be a problem.

2) Time
I for one do not like to fail exams, therefore I like to study to make sure I’ll pass. Making the time needed to study for an exam is often a challenge. Things come up which distract me from studying, or scheduling an exam.

3) Return
This is one of the major reasons for obtaining a certification. Whats in it for me? After all why am I going to get a certification if it is no benefit to me. The return on some certifications is not measurable. Its hard to look into the future and say,
“Wow, it was a good job I got Linux+ certified”
When or if the time comes for a job change certification’s are a great tool, even if they are not well respected in the industry. For example take MCSA and LPIC, if a systems administrator holds just one of these certifications and is applying for a position that requires Linux and Microsoft experience, their chances of getting assessed for the position by human resources would be less than the chances of one who has both. I also think that the return is a major reason I don’t hold more certifications. If everyone knew that taking an exam would be of great benefit who wouldn’t study and sit an exam?

Some people say that most certifications are a waste of time, but I don’t think that they are if all of the above factors are reasonable. Any one else have thoughts?

iPhone SSH Client – Update

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:35 am on Friday, July 11, 2008

I decided not to go ahead and purchase an iPhone just yet. What that means is I will not have a need for a SSH client. Once I get an iPhone its my first thing to do. The client would probably be released for free, or with optional support / donation.

So,  if there are any companies or organizations that need an iPhone SSH client, consider sponsoring the development in the form of an iPhone. In return I will give the community a free SSH / SCP client and that the donor free lifetime support.

This post is an update to: http://www.thelinuxblog.com/iphone-ssh-client/

The New Gentoo

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:23 am on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I don’t keep up with releases of new Linux distributions really. If I did then I probably wouldn’t have time to write on this blog, but I noticed that Gentoo was released on Sunday the 6th of July (http://www.gentoo.org/news/20080706-release-2008.0.xml) I’ve never been a big Gentoo guy, I’ve dabbled with it but it never really caught my attention. I think it may be time for me to revisit Gentoo, at least in a virtual environment to check it out again. I do have a need for a small footprint, easy to maintain and expandable operating system. I have been using Slackware for simplicity and small footprint, but it is not the easiest to maintain or expand. Gentoo on the over hand can be configured well, updates easily and is pretty expandable through portage and emerge. The only thing that concerns me is the compile time, often the reason I want a minimal installation is for a project that has to run on less than adequate hardware. Using Gentoo rather than another distribution could be a problem since it seems like it takes for ever to install by copying and extracting files, let alone compile them.

Anyhow, have fun with the new Gentoo!

BSOD Humor

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:36 am on Monday, July 7, 2008

Had a great time yesterday, a friend of mine came over. After dinner he was looking at some t-shirts since an advertisement had distracted him from his initial IMDB search. Some how this made him decide he wanted to make my desktop background a BSOD. I’m a big fan of the BSOD screensaver, and think its funny, whats even funnier is he figured out how to change my background on KDE (although it’s not that hard)

I saw the BSOD with the horrible background just staring at me. It was the classic, “there was an error processing your error”. I never see such things on my Linux box, I’m more used to failed reboots from failing to compile a kernel feature, so jokingly I click on the message box while laughing:

“Why won’t this go away”

Some people find humor in other peoples agony, this is why the TV series (and movies) Jackass do so well. I find humor in BSOD’s and hope that other Linux admin’s do to. But having a BSOD on your Linux box that’s not a screen saver is quite annoying, its like “Gates strikes back”

Here’s a poster I found amusing the other day:

Credit http://www.joyoftech.com/Billy Gates



Adding a service in Fedora

Filed under: Shell Script Sundays — TheLinuxBlog.com at 2:08 pm on Sunday, July 6, 2008

This week on Shell Script Sundays I’ll show you how to add a service to Fedora. This is very useful if you don’t happen to use yum for every service you want to run, and xinetd doesn’t really work for you.

Firstly there are three main parts to a Fedora service script. Start, Stop and Restart. They are pretty much self explanatory, but you don’t have to worry about the restart action since all it does is stop’s and then starts the service.

Without further ado here is the script:

#!/bin/bash
#
# Fedora-Service Update notification daemon
#
# Author:       TheLinuxBlog.com
#
# chkconfig:    1000 50 50
#
# description:  This is a test Fedora Service \
#               Second line of the fedora service template.
# processname:  FedoraTemplate
#
RETVAL=0;
 
start() {
echo "Starting Fedora-Service"
}
 
stop() {
echo "Stopping Fedora-Service"
}
 
restart() {
stop
start
}
 
case "$1" in
start)
start
;;
stop)
stop
;;
restart)
restart
;;
*)
echo $"Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
exit 1
esac
 
exit $RETVAL

Now that you have a template for the script, you will want to modify it for your service. You need to keep the header at the top. This is how the Fedora Knows about your service. The three numbers indicate what order the scripts should start up and shut down in. The first seems to be a identification number and the other two are the startup and shutdown order. These can be adjusted depending on when you want the service to start up.Once you are done modifying the script put the script in /etc/init.d/

To make sure it works you can call it with service using the following actions:

service start
service stop
service restart

If all of the actions work, you are ready to add the service to the system. If you use the setup command as root it seems to do this step for you, but if you just want to add the service quickly without bothering to scramble through configuration menu’s you can do the following:

chkconfig --add [script name]

If you want the service to start automatically at boot up you can use ntsysv. For more information read my post on Managing Services on Fedora

Keeping your Firefox Bookmarks Synced

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:37 am on Thursday, July 3, 2008

Keeping your FireFox bookmarks synced between multiple computes is a great concept. We sync everything else from e-mail to contacts to music so why not keep our bookmarks in a central location? In this post I’ll describe the method I’ve been using without any problems for the past three months or so. Feel free to contribute how you achieve the same thing. The only requirement for me is that the bookmarks be cross platform, so I can log into any sort of machine that runs FireFox and view my bookmarks.

I looked into using sshfs to sync my bookmarks folder also, but this seemed like a lot of work. So I decided to scout out the online bookmarking services. There are the big ones like del.icio.us, Google bookmarks and then countless other smaller ones. The major ones looked promising, so it was difficult to choose one. The deciding factor for me was the actual FireFox plugin its self. The GMarks plugin for FireFox seems to be very stable and simple to use. It works well on Windows, Linux and MacOSX. It has an export feature and is based off of the Google Bookmarks service so I don’t have to worry about losing my bookmarks.

Check out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2888 for more information and screenshots.

Managing Services on Fedora

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fedora is a great desktop system, it has a pretty good services manager called service. It can be used to turn on, off and restart most services that run on the system. Should you want to manage running services all you have to do is type:

service[service name] [stop | start | restart]

If you don’t know the service name it can normally be found by issuing the –status-all switch. Doing so will output a long list of services so you may want to grep it or use a pager such as less:

 [root@linux-blog ~]# service --status-all | less
 
[root@linux-blog ~]# service --status-all | grep snmp
capi not installed - No such file or directory (2)
JAVA_EXECUTABLE or HSQLDB_JAR_PATH in '/etc/sysconfig/hsqldb' is set to a non-file.
snmpd is stopped
snmptrapd is stopped

While service is a great utility to manage services it does not stop them from running at startup. To manage services that start up when you boot you can use a handy little dialog script called “ntsysv”:

[root@linux-blog ~]# ntsysv

This will give you a nice dialog which is intuitive and similar to those of text based installers. Select the services you want to start up and then tab over to OK. I turn a lot of services off that I don’t use, if you’re unsure of what you need, try stopping it with the services command first and see if anything breaks. If after test it works well just turn it off.

Since I don’t use SELinux on my development machine, I always turn off setroubleshootd. I used ntsysv to stop it from starting at bootup and if I need it I can use the service command to start it.

Here is a screenshot of ntsysv in action:

managing services with ntsysv on Fedora

« Previous Page