Thursday Dec 20, 2012

Top 10 Articles of 2012 Include Oracle Solaris, Linux, Virtualization


That's a 72 Norton Commando fashioned into a cafe racer. named a newer version the #1 bike in the 2012 New York International Motorcycle Show. (I didn't like's picture, so I found a better one from the blog listed as source, above.)

OTN also has an annual top 10. In that post by Bob Rhubart, from OTN's Architect community, six of the top ten technical articles were about technologies of interest to system admins and developers.


#2 - How Dell Migrated from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux

by Jon Senger, Aik Zu Shyong, and Suzanne Zorn

In June of 2010, Dell made the decision to migrate 1,700 systems from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux, while leaving the hardware and application layers unchanged. The people who worked on the migration describe how Dell planned and implemented the migration, including key conversion issues and an overview of their transition process.

#4 - Getting Started with Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2

by Lenz Grimmer

How to update your Oracle Linux systems to the latest version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Switching is easy—applications and the operating system remain unchanged. There is no need to perform a full re-install; only the relevant RPM packages are replaced.

#6 - How to Use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates

by Yuli Vasiliev

This article explains how to use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates in Oracle VM VirtualBox. It is similar to the article that explains how to prepare an Oracle VM environment to use Oracle VM Templates, but it describes how to download, install, and configure the templates within Oracle VM VirtualBox, instead of on bare metal.

#7 - How to Update Oracle Solaris 11 Systems From Oracle Support Repositories

by Glynn Foster

You may already know that you don't have to worry about manually tracking and validating patch dependencies when you update a version of Oracle Solaris 11. This makes updates much easier. Glynn Foster demonstrates how easy it is to update the OS from a support repository, and how to make sure everything went well.

#8 - Tips for Hardening an Oracle Linux Server

by Lenz Grimmer and James Morris

General strategies for hardening an Oracle Linux server. Oracle Linux comes "secure by default," but the actions you take when deploying the server can increase or decrease its security. How to minimize active services, lock down network services, and many other tips.

#9 - How to Create a Local Yum Repository for Oracle Linux

by Jared Greenwald

How to create a local yum repository for Oracle Linux, and configure up2date and yum to install and update packages from the repositories.

More About OTN's Technical Articles

See all system admin- and systems developer-related technical articles published on OTN here.

Interested in publishing an article on OTN? Click here or join the conversation on the OTN Garage Facebook page.

- Rick

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Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

Would You Swim Laps in Lake Baikal?


This is the lake where Yuli Vasiliev's countrymen swim laps.

Yuli is one of my favorite OTN writers not just because he really knows his stuff. Not just because his writing is clear and accurate. And not just because his English is better than the English of most native speakers. Yo, those are all good reasons. But it's the Lake Baikal thing.

Yuli recently wrote two wicked good how-to's about Oracle VM Templates. You should read them. You might gain a gram of Yuli's respect. Two grams, if you can head butt icebergs while you swim.

How to Use Oracle VM Templates

How to prepare an Oracle VM environment to use Oracle VM Templates, how to obtain a template, and how to deploy the template to your Oracle VM environment. Also how to create a virtual machine based on that template and how you can clone the template and change the clone's configuration.

How to Use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates

How to use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates in Oracle VM VirtualBox. Similar to the article above, but it describes how to download, install, and configure the templates within Oracle VM VirtualBox, instead of on bare metal.

Other OTN Technical Articles by Yuli Vasiliev

- Rick

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Monday Dec 17, 2012

The Loneliest Road in America and the OTN Garage


I never told anyone how the image of the OTN Garage on Facebook came to be.

I took the Facebook picture on Route 50 in Nevada, USA, in October of 2010. I was riding from Colorado to Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, so it was probably October. Route 50 is known as "The Loneliest Road in America." There are roads across Nevada that have even LESS traffic, but Route 50 still one. desolate. road.

Although I have seen stranger things while riding along Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway, I still run across notable oddities every time I ride Route 50. Like the old man with a bandolero of water bottles jogging along the side of the highway in the middle of the day, 50 miles from the closest town. First ultra-marathoner I'd seen in action. He waved at me. Or the dozen Corvettes with California license plates driving toward me, all doing the speed limit in the middle of nowhere because they were being tailed by half a dozen Nevada state troopers. #fail.

I don't remember which town I was in, but I noticed the building when I stopped at the gas station. While standing there pouring fuel into the Harley, the store caught my eye. So I pulled the bike in front and walked inside. The owner is a little old lady, about 100 years old. Most of the goods she had on the shelves looked like they had been placed there during WWII. She was itty bitty and could barely see over the counter, but she was so happy when I bought a bar of Hershey's chocolate that she gave me a five cent discount.

I took a few pictures and, when I got back, Kemer Thomson, who sometimes blogs here, photoshopped the OTN Garage and Oil Change signs onto it.

The bike is a 2009 Road King Classic with a Bob Dron fairing and a Corbin heated seat. The seat came in handy when I rode home over Tioga Pass. The Road King is a very comfy touring bike with a great Harley rumble. I'm kinda sorry I sold it.

When I stopped for fuel about 75 miles down the road at the next town, I peeled back the chocolate bar. It had turned into powder. Probably 50 years ago.

- Rick

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Monday Dec 03, 2012

December 3 is Stephanie Choyer Day

I don't answer Stephanie Choyer's email just so I can enjoy her French accent when she calls.

"Reek! Reek! Why do joo not answer my eemails?"

Without the French, life on Earth would be so much poorer. No, they don't bring to the party any motorcycles that grow chest on your hair, and the Citroen is such a frightening study in Automobile design that I don't dare climb inside one. But they have French architecture. French sidewalks. French villages. The French Alps. Grenoble. French cheese. French wine. And that glorious French accent.

If I were French, I'd spend all my time enjoying being French. Which makes the work that Stephanie does day in and day with our hard-edged technologies and stubborn technologists so admirable.

Oracle Solaris 11 Resources for Sysadmins and Developers

The page in the link above represents the work of many people, but it was Steph who rounded them up. And it wasn't easy. I know, because I ran and hid from her on many, many occasions. But she was tireless.

"Reek. Reek. Why have you not published Glynn's article? Pleeeease, you must!"

Remember when tech companies gave you a simple choice? You could either read the 27,000 pages of documentation or a double-sided data sheet. Which will it be, pal? Then they started writing white papers. 74 pages of excellent prose did a beautiful job of explaining why the technology was fantastic, but never told you how to use it. Well, have you taken a look at these?

How-To Technical Articles for System Admins and Developers

Now you can get wicked excited about a cool technique described in a 74-page white paper, and find a technical article that shows you exactly how to use it.

The wicked smart marketing folks on the Oracle Solaris team wrote them, but it was Steph who bribed them with a Cabernet or beat them over the head with a baguette until all that work was finished and posted on OTN.

There are songs about French wine, but not about French vintners. There are songs about French cities, but not about French bricklayers. About French sidewalks, but not about the French policemen who keep them safe. As far as I know, there are no songs about OTN, but if there were, they would probably neglect to mention Steph.

Which is why today, Dec 3rd, we celebrate Stephanie Choyer Day. We dedicate this day to our relentless, hardworking, tireless, patient and friendly French colleague with the delightful accent. If I knew how to speak French, I'd say "Thanks for all you do" in French. But I don't speak French. And I don't trust online translations. I'd probably wind up saying "My left foot yearns for curdled milk." So here it is in plain old English:

Thank you, Stephanie.

psssst! about that documentation and those white papers ...

In case you haven't noticed, the Oracle Solaris doc team has done some pretty cool things with the Solaris docs. And those white papers are interesting reading, well worth setting aside some time. Because with Solaris, as you know, it's not just about getting by with a rudimentary grasp of the basics. It's about the amazing stuff savvy sysadmins and developers can do when they really understand it. Find them here:

- Rick

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Logan Rosenstein
and members of the OTN community


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