...making Linux just a little more fun!

News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff

News Bytes


Selected and Edited by Deividson Okopnik

Please submit your News Bytes items in plain text; other formats may be rejected without reading. [You have been warned!] A one- or two-paragraph summary plus a URL has a much higher chance of being published than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@linuxgazette.net.

News in General

lightning boltIDC: IT Turning to Linux in Economic Downturn

A recent market survey conducted by IDC (and sponsored by Novell) reveals a surge in the acquisition of Linux as the worldwide recession deepens. More than half of the IT executives surveyed will accelerate Linux adoption in 2009. Specifically, more than 72 percent of respondents say they are either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009, with more than 68 percent making the same claim for the desktop.

The study surveyed more than 300 senior IT executives spanning manufacturing, financial services, and retail industries across the globe, as well as government agencies. The number one motivation executives gave for migrating to Linux was economic and related to lowering ongoing support costs.

"The feedback gleaned from this market survey confirms our belief that, as organizations fight to cut costs and find value in this tough economic climate, Linux adoption will accelerate," said Markus Rex, general manager and senior vice president for Open Platform Solutions at Novell. "Companies also told us that strengthening Linux application support, interoperability, virtualization capabilities and technical support will all fuel adoption even more."

Additional key survey findings include:

  • 67 percent of respondents stated that interoperability and manageability between Linux and Windows is one of the most important factors when choosing an operating system.
  • The retail industry showed the greatest potential for acceleration in Linux adoption with 63 percent of respondents planning an increase on the desktop and 69 percent considering the same on the server. The government sector lagged.
  • Almost 50 percent of respondents plan to accelerate adoption of Linux on the desktop, especially for basic office functions, technical workstation users, and higher education/K-12.
  • Nearly half of respondents stated that moving to virtualization is accelerating their adoption of Linux. Eighty-eight percent of recipients plan to evaluate, deploy or increase their use of virtualization software within Linux operating systems over the next 12-24 months.
  • From a regional perspective, Asia/Pacific is the most bullish on increasing Linux adoption, as 73 percent of respondents said they would increase deployments on the server and 70 percent on the desktop. In the Americas, 66 percent of respondents said they are either evaluating or have already decided to increase adoption of Linux on the desktop and 67 percent on the server.
  • The economic crisis has had the biggest effect on the Americas, and in financial services and government. More than 62 percent of respondents said that their budget has been cut or that they are only investing where needed.

The research conducted in February 2009 showed 55 percent of respondents had Linux server operating systems in use, 39 percent had Unix server operating systems in use, and 97 percent had Windows server operating systems in use. Respondents were pre-screened via demographics screeners and completed the survey online. Novell was not involved in recruiting, and respondents did not need to be Novell customers.

An IDC white paper summarizing the survey findings can be found at http://www.novell.com/idc.

lightning boltSun Microsystems Unveils Open Cloud Platform

At its CommunityOne developer event in mid-March, Sun Microsystems showcased its Sun Open Cloud Platform. Sun previewed plans to launch the Sun Cloud, its first public cloud service targeted at developers and startups, and to provide public APIs.

Sun is opening its cloud APIs for public review and comment, so that others building public and private clouds can easily design them for compatibility with the Sun Cloud. Sun's Cloud API specifications are published under the Creative Commons license, which essentially allows anyone to use them in any way. Developers will be able to deploy applications to the Sun Cloud immediately, by leveraging pre-packaged VMIs (virtual machine images) of Sun's open source software, eliminating the need to download, install and configure infrastructure software. To participate in the discussion and development of Sun's Cloud APIs, go to http://sun.com/cloud.

At the core of the Sun Cloud will be the first two services - Sun Cloud Storage Service and Sun Cloud Compute Service - which will be available this summer. Customers will be able to take advantage of the combined benefits of open source and cloud computing via the Sun Cloud to accelerate the delivery of new applications, reducing overall risk and quickly scaling compute and storage capacity up and down to meet demand. Sun is leveraging its extensive portfolio of products, unparalleled world-class professional services and extensive expertise in building open communities and partner ecosystems to deliver the Sun Cloud. Sun will also take the technologies and architectural blueprints developed for the Sun Cloud and make them available to customers building their own clouds, ensuring interoperability among clouds.

Sun is leveraging several technologies to make its Sun Cloud incredibly easy to use - from deploying applications to provisioning resources. At the core of the Sun Cloud Compute Service are the Virtual Data Center (VDC) capabilities acquired in Sun's purchase of Q-layer in January 2009, which provide everything an individual or team of developers needs to build and operate a datacenter in the cloud. The VDC provides a unified, integrated interface to stage an application running on any operating system within a cloud, including OpenSolaris, Linux or Windows. It features a drag-and-drop method, in addition to APIs and a command line interface for provisioning compute, storage and networking resources via any Web browser. The Sun Cloud Storage Service supports WebDAV protocols for easy file access and object store APIs that are compatible with Amazon's S3 APIs.

Sun announced that leading partners and key advocates for cloud standards are supporting its goal to deliver an open cloud platform. Cloud Foundry, RightScale and Zmanda are three of the many cloud application providers, cloud management solution providers, Service Providers and cloud consulting companies partnering with Sun. Eucalyptus, an open source infrastructure for implementing cloud computing, is also supporting Sun's approach to drive standards-based, open source cloud platforms and applications, enabling users to integrate with other platforms and services.

To view the CommunityOne event webcast live at 9 am ET, go to http://sun.com/communityone. It will also be available on-demand.

To register for the Sun Cloud Early Access program, go to http://sun.com/cloud

lightning boltLPIC-3 Enterprise-level "Security" Exam

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI),has launched their new "Security" exam elective for their LPIC-3 certification program effective March 1, 2009. The LPI-303 "Security" exam is the second elective available in the organization's enterprise-level LPIC-3 certification program for Linux professionals.

The LPIC-3 certification program consists of a single "Core" exam (LPI 301) which focuses on skills in authentication, troubleshooting, network integration and capacity planning. This "Core" certification can be supplemented by existing speciality electives in "Mixed Environments" (LPI-302) and "Security" (LPI-303). Additional speciality electives are planned for release in "High Availability and Virtualization", "Web and Intranet", and "Mail and Messaging". Detailed information on the LPIC-3 program, exam objectives, tasks and sample questions can be found at http://www.lpi.org/lpic-3.

lightning boltEclipse Announces First Release of Swordfish, a Next Generation ESB

At the EclipseCon conference in April, The Eclipse Foundation announced the first release of Swordfish, a next-generation enterprise service bus (ESB) that provides the flexibility and extensibility required by enterprises to successfully deploy a service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy. Swordfish is based on the OSGi standard and builds upon successful open source projects, including Eclipse Equinox and Apache ServiceMix.

Swordfish provides the features and extensible framework required by enterprises and system integrators to customize their ESB to meet the specific needs of an enterprise. These features include:

  • Support for distributed deployment, which results in more scalable and reliable application deployments by removing a central coordinating server.
  • A runtime Service Registry allows services to be loosely coupled, making it easier to change and update different parts of a deployed application. The Registry uses policies to match service consumers and service providers based on their capabilities and requirements.
  • An extensible Monitoring Framework manages events that allow for detailed tracking of how messages are processed. These events can be stored for trend analysis and reporting, or integrated into a complex event processing system (CEP).
  • A Remote Configuration Agent makes it possible to configure a large number of distributed servers from a central configuration repository without the need to touch individual installed instances.

"We are developing Swordfish to meet the requirements we experienced deploying large scale SOA applications at Deutsche Post and other large enterprises," explained Ricco Deutscher, CTO of Sopera and a member of the Eclipse Runtime Project Management Committee. "Using Equinox and OSGi, we are able to provide the flexible and extensible architecture required for SOA deployments to be successful."

"Last year we announced a strategy to provide open source runtime technology based on Equinox and OSGi," remarked Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. "The first release of Swordfish is a great example of the progress that is being made to develop our runtime technology portfolio. Over the next year I expect we will see more interesting runtime technology built at Eclipse."

The first release of Swordfish 0.8 will be available for download the first week of April from http://www.eclipse.org/swordfish/.

lightning boltPulsar Mobile Group formed by Eclipse

In March, the Eclipse Foundation announced Pulsar, a new industry initiative to define and create a standard mobile application development tools platform. The initiative is led by Motorola, Nokia and Genuitec. Other participating members include IBM, RIM and Sony Ericsson.

Pulsar will support major mobile development environments such as JavaME, mobile Web technologies, and native mobile platforms.

Instead of requiring mobile developers to use a variety of software development kits (SDKs) to develop their applications for different handset manufacturers, Pulsar will define a common set of Eclipse-based tools in a packaged distribution that will inter-operate with the various handset SDKs. This will enable developers to stay within one familiar development environment while creating mobile applications that target multiple device families.

The Pulsar initiative will focus on four areas:

  • The creation of the packaged distribution called Eclipse Pulsar Platform;
  • A technical roadmap to advance the capabilities of the platform;
  • A set of best practices which includes documentation and test suites; and
  • Education and outreach to drive adoption of Pulsar with mobile application developers.

The first release of Pulsar Platform is expected to be available at the end of June 2009 and will be part of the Eclipse Galileo annual release.

lightning boltOpen Source AWS Toolkit for Eclipse available now

The AWS Toolkit for Eclipse was announced at a keynote presentation at EclipseCon 2009. This is a new plugin for Eclipse, targeted for Tomcat or other application servers running in the Amazon cloud. Support for Glassfish, JBoss, WebSphere, and WebLogic will be coming.

The AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, based on the Eclipse Web Tools Platform, guides Java developers through common workflows and automates tool configuration, such as setting up remote debugger connections and managing Tomcat containers. The steps to configure Tomcat servers, run applications on Amazon EC2, and debug the software remotely are now done seamlessly through the Eclipse IDE.

The new plugin requires Java 1.5 or higher. The Eclipse IDE for Java Developers 3.4 is recommended. Find more info here: http://aws.amazon.com/eclipse/

Conferences and Events

TechTarget Advanced Virtualization Roadshow
March - December 2009, various cities
ESC Silicon Valley 2009 / Embedded Systems
March 30 - April 3, San Jose, CA
USENIX HotPar '09 Workshop on Hot Topics in Parallelism
March 30 - 31, Claremont Resort, Berkeley, CA
Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco
Co-presented by O'Reilly Media and TechWeb
March 31 - April 3, San Francisco, CA
STPCon Spring
March 31 - April 2, San Mateo, CA
Linux Collaboration Summit 2009
April 8 - 10, San Francisco, CA
Black Hat Europe 2009
April 14 - 17, Moevenpick City Center, Amsterdam, NL
MySQL Conference & Expo
April 20 - 23, Santa Clara, CA
RSAConference 2009
April 20-24, San Francisco, CA

The 6th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design & Implementation (USENIX NSDI '09) will take place April 22–24, 2009, in Boston, MA.

Please join us at The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers for this symposium covering the most innovative networked systems research, including 32 high-quality papers in areas including trust and privacy, storage, and content distribution; and a poster session. Don't miss the opportunity to gather with researchers from across the networking and systems community to foster cross-disciplinary approaches and address shared research challenges.


IDC Virtualization Forum
April 23, Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco, CA
SOA Summit 2009
May 4 - 5, Scottsdale, AZ
RailsConf 2009
May 4 - 7, Las Vegas, NV
STAREAST - Software Testing, Analysis & Review
May 4 - 8, Rosen Hotel, Orlando, FL
EMC World 2009
May 18, Orlando, FL
Interop Las Vegas 2009
May 19 - 21, Las Vegas, NV
SouthEast LinuxFest

The SouthEast LinuxFest will hold its first annual conference at Clemson University on June 13, 2009.

The SouthEast LinuxFest is a community event for anyone who wants to learn more about Linux and Free & Open Source software. It is part educational conference, and part social gathering. Like Linux itself, it is shared with attendees of all skill levels to communicate tips, ideas, and to benefit all who use Linux/Free and Open Source Software. LinuxFest is the place to learn, to make new friends, to network with new business partners, and most importantly, to have fun! It is FREE to attend. Please see our website for details and speakers.


Semantic Technology Conference
June 14 - 18, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA
HP Tech Forum 2009
June 15 - 18, Las Vegas, NV
Velocity Conference 2009
June 22 - 24, San Jose, CA
SharePoint TechCon Boston
June 22 - 24, Cambridge, MA
Gartner IT Security Summit 2009
June 28 - July 1, Washington, DC
Cisco Live/Networkers 2009
June 28 - July 2, San Francisco, CA
OSCON 2009
July 20 - 24, San Jose, CA

Distro News

lightning boltRed Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 Beta

Red Hat is now testing the beta release of RHEL 4.8 (kernel-2.6.9-82.EL) for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 family of products

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 is in development and the implemented features and supported configurations are subject to change before the release of the final product. The beta CD and DVD images are intended for testing purposes only. Benchmark and performance results cannot be published based on this beta release without explicit approval from Red Hat.

While 'anaconda' upgrade option upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.7 to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 beta, there is no guarantee that the upgrade will preserve all of a system's settings, services, and custom configurations. For this reason, Red Hat recommends a fresh installation rather than an upgrade. Also note that upgrading from beta release to the GA product is not supported.

Red Hat is moving GCC4 from Tech Preview to supported but notes that GCC4 in Enterprise Linux 4 is not fully ABI compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Applications compiled on the older version, Enterprise Linux 4, are expected to continue to work on the newer version 5 as long as they use libraries that are also supported on Enterprise Linux 5 (either directly or via compatibility libraries).

RHEL 4.8 is available to existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers via RHN. Installable binary and source ISO images are available via Red Hat Network at: https://rhn.redhat.com/network/software/download_isos_full.pxt.

lightning boltPre-Orders OpenBSD 4.5 Available Now

The OpenBSD project's upcoming release, version 4.5, is now available as a pre-order ($50.00 + shipping). Scheduled for May 2009, OpenBSD 4.5 will ship with a large number of new features and broad hardware support, including x86, Sparc, ARM and PowerPC CPUs.

Among the software inclusions are:

  • Gnome 2.24.3.
  • GNUstep 1.18.0.
  • KDE 3.5.10.
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • MySQL 5.0.77.
  • OpenOffice.org 2.4.2 and 3.0.1.
  • PostgreSQL 8.3.6.

For more information please see the OpenBSD 4.5 features page, here: http://openbsd.org/45.html.

Software and Product News

lightning boltOracle Middleware Pack for Eclipse Now Available

During EclipseCon, Oracle announced it is providing Java developers with new tools, including the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, a free component of Oracle Fusion Middleware. Included in the Enterprise Pack is an Oracle WebLogic Server Plug-in, Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tools, and Spring and Web Service tools to reduce development complexity for Java and database applications.

In addition to the WebLogic Server Plug-in, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse Release 11g adds new features, including:

  • The ability for Eclipse developers to configure, develop and test JAX-WS and JAXB services in Java with EJB3 and XML integration.
  • Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) Workbench for Java Persistence API (JPA), which makes work with relational data in Java easy. The Workbench can generate and edit JPA entities, annotate existing classes, work with relationships and map datatypes.
  • EclipseLink support - the ORM Workbench supports EclipseLink and other JPA providers.
  • Spring IDE Project and Spring code generation wizards to easily work with Spring Beans and generate Spring DAO from existing JPA Entities.
  • Editors and Wizards for common WebLogic Server descriptors to decrease the effort developers spend making configuration changes.
  • Oracle Database Tools, making it easier to work with relational data in Java.

An Eclipse Foundation Board Member, Oracle has a long history of participation in the Eclipse community. Oracle currently leads several Eclipse-based projects including JavaServer Faces (JSF) Tools, Dali JPA Tooling, Eclipse Data Tools Platform, and EclipseLink (derived from Oracle TopLink).

"It is great to see Oracle expanding on its Eclipse tools strategy and further contributing to the community," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse foundation. "The Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g release provides a nice complement to the work they are doing in the Web Tools Platform Projects, which includes the Dali project, the JSF tools project, the Java EE tools project, and the EclipseLink project."

For more info, visit:
* http://blogs.oracle.com/devtools/
* http://java-persistence.blogspot.com/
* http://blogs.oracle.com/gstachni/

lightning boltLinpus Shows Instant-on Netbook At CeBIT

Linpus Technologies, a leader in the field of Linux solutions for low cost notebooks, netbooks and nettops, announced its entry into the fast boot product market with a sneak preview of the new version of its flagship product, Linpus Linux Lite.

To achieve fast boot-up and launch of applications for Linpus QuickOS, Linpus engineers set out to leverage their expertise in fine-tuning and maximizing software performance for less powerful hardware platforms in the netbook market. With QuickOS they redefined functionality for the product and striped away unnecessary libraries.

Also included is a customized virtual engine to read, edit and save Windows files and also run popular multimedia, productivity, and gaming software while running Linpus Linux Lite.

"The netbook market requires operating system solutions that are rich, powerful, yet lightweight and fast," said Warren Coles, the marketing director for Linpus."Our work on the Acer Aspire One and since with the Moblin project taught us that much could be done at the software level to decrease boot-up time."

lightning boltItemis Extends Eclipse EMF Modeling Capability

Itemis is releasing the new development of TMF-Xtext for inclusion in the next version of Eclipse in June 2009, and piloting the new EMF-Index project. Both of the projects were discussed in sessions at EclipseCon 2009: "Next generation textual DSLs with Xtext" and "Managing Big Ecore Models with EMF Index".

TMF-Xtext which will be released in the next version of Eclipse in June 2009. With Xtext, very simple so-called domain specific languages (DSLs) can be created. This open-source framework is part of the Eclipse Modeling Project and is being further developed by the itemis employees in the Textual Modeling Framework (TMF).

Itemis also is woking on the new Eclipse project, EMF-Index, for the creation of scalable modeling. The EMF-Index is a key element for the use of a large number of models in a working environment and enables a quick search for model elements.

For more info, go to: http://www.itemis.com

lightning boltInstantiations Releases WindowBuilder Pro v7.0 for Eclipse

Instantiations, has released version 7.0 of its market-leading WindowBuilder Pro Java graphical user-interface (GUI) builder. WindowBuilder Pro includes powerful functionality for creating user interfaces based on the popular Swing, SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit), and GWT (Google Web Toolkit) UI frameworks. This product won an Eclipse Technology Award at EclipseCon in March for Best Commercial Eclipse-Based Developer Tool.

WindowBuilder Pro is a bi-directional Eclipse GUI builder with drag-and-drop functionality and automatic Java code generation. The product includes a visual design editor, wizards, intelligent layout assistants, localization and more. WindowBuilder Pro component products include Swing Designer, SWT Designer, and GWT Designer.

"It has been impressive to see the continued growth and popularity of WindowBuilder Pro," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "Instantiations continues to deliver high quality, innovative tools for the Eclipse platform that help developers utilize Eclipse more effectively, and we're pleased with their continued support of Eclipse."

Updates in v7.0 include UI Factories, a convenient way to create customized, reusable versions of common components, improved parsing using binary execution flow, a new customization API for third party extensibility, Eclipse Nebula widgets integration (SWT), Swing Data Binding, JSR 295 (Swing), and full support for GWT-Ext widgets and layouts (GWT).

WindowBuilder Pro v7.0 is available for $329 USD with a traditional software license that includes 90 days of upgrades, maintenance and technical support. Product upgrades are available at no cost to customers with current support agreements. Download full-feature trial evaluation software from http://www.instantiations.com/prods/docs/download.html.

Instantiations is a founding member of the Eclipse Foundation and the Smalltalk Industry Council. The company is also a major contributor in the Smalltalk language market with its VA Smalltalk.

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

Deividson Luiz Okopnik


Deividson was born in União da Vitória, PR, Brazil, on 14/04/1984. He became interested in computing when he was still a kid, and started to code when he was 12 years old. He is a graduate in Information Systems and is finishing his specialization in Networks and Web Development. He codes in several languages, including C/C++/C#, PHP, Visual Basic, Object Pascal and others.

Deividson works in Porto União's Town Hall as a Computer Technician, and specializes in Web and Desktop system development, and Database/Network Maintenance.

Howard Dyckoff

Bio picture

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks.

Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at blogspot.com from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.

Copyright © 2009, Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 161 of Linux Gazette, April 2009