links for 2008-12-11

11 12 2008
  • For some time I have been making Windows builds of libvirt available and, frankly, it was a real chore. I needed a Windows virtual machine to do it. But Windows is so frustrating to use and maintain: it doesn't come with any of the tools such as shells or version control that we are used to, and because I was only doing builds once a month or so I'd go back to it and find something had gone wrong that would require maintenance or even reinstallation.
  • Scott Handy, IBM's vice president of Linux and open source, said that the patent protections included in the Novell-Microsoft deal are unnecessary. "We aren't sure what Microsoft's intentions here are, but IBM has long asserted that we don't see the need for this coverage," Handy said. "To our knowledge, there has never been a patent suit against Linux, and it is our view that legal claims, if they exist, should be settled without involving end-user customers."

    Handy said that Microsoft is trying to create "fear, uncertainty and doubt" around Linux because it poses a competitive threat.

  • It is sometimes forgotten that GNU/Linux is more than just a desktop operating system. Linux, being a well-engineered kernel, is used extensively and also funded for its important role in several different areas of computing. One needs to look for evidence of growth not only in desktops. Judgment must be based on multiple areas where GNU/Linux gains traction. This ought to cover some disruptive trends that are yet to be reckoned with.
  • Five major Linux supporters are backing a new company whose goal is to acquire patents and offer them royalty-free in order to extend open source operating systems worldwide.

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) launched today with undisclosed financial backing from IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony, according to the companies.

    The company's members said they would create an enterprising new model where patents are shared royalty-free "to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux operating system or certain Linux-related applications."

  • The last time we looked in-depth at HDMI support on Linux was last December when talking about HDMI with the ATI Catalyst Linux driver. Since then there has been improvements in a number of drivers for different hardware. In this article we have a brief overview on the status of HDMI support in the Intel, NVIDIA, and ATI Linux drivers.
  • Machines like Linutop can make a rather neat mini server which you can use to host virtually any application base on the LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP). The problem is that turning Linutop (or any machine for that matter) into an application server involves setting up the required servers (e.g., Apache and MySQL), manually modifying configuration files, and tweaking application settings. Fortunately, the BitNami service provides a more straightforward way to install a number of LAMP-based applications on your machine.
  • The magic SysRq key is a key combination in the Linux kernel which, if the CONFIG_MAGIC_SYSRQ option was enabled at kernel compile time, allows the user to perform various low level commands regardless of the system's state using the SysRq key. It is often used to recover from freezes, or to reboot a computer without corrupting the filesystem.
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