Friday Nov 22, 2013

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - November 22, 2013

Happy Friday, folks, hope you had a great week.

Today, we've got a great video for you that describes the Oracle Linux and Oracle VM implementation at dcVAST:

We'll see you next week with a Thanksgiving week (here in the US!) edition of the Friday Spotlight.

-Chris 

Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

Learn to Install, Configure, Maintain, Update, and Secure Linux

Linux system administration skills are much sought after in the workplace. To take full advantage of the innovations, performance and scalability of Oracle Linux while building your system administrator knowledge, taking training from the experts.

You can attend live, instructor-led training from your own office through live-virtual classes, choosing from a selection of events on the schedule to suit different timezones.

Alternative, you can travel to an education center for an in-class event. Below is a selection of the in-class events already on the schedule.

In the 5-day Oracle Linux System Administration course, you learn how to install, configure, maintain, update and secure Linux.

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 London, England

 16 December 2013

 English

 Manchester, England

 27 January 2014

  English 

 Reading, England

 12 May 2014

  English 

 Milan, Italy

31 March 2014

 Italian

 Rome, Italy

 10 February 2014

 Italian

 Warsaw, Poland

 9 June 2014

 Polish

 Bucharest, Romania

 20 January 2014

 Romanian

 Ankara, Turkey

 12 January 2014

 Turkish

 Istanbul, Turkey

 16 December 2013 

 Turkish

 Casablanca, Morocco

 16 December 2013

 English

 Muscat, Oman

 2 March 2014

 English

 Johannesburg, South Africa

 17 February 2014

 English

 Tunis, Tunisia

 31 March 2014

 French

 Jakarta, Indonesia

 9 December 2013

  English 

 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 25 November 2013

 English

 Makati City, Philippines

 9 December 2013

 English

Singapore 

 25 November 2013

  English 

 Bangkok, Thailand

 24 February 2014

 English

 Melbourne, Australia

 16 December 2013

 English

 Sydney, Australia

 30 January 2014

 English

Mississauga, Canada

 24 February 2014

 English

 Ottawa, Canada

 28 April 2014

 English

 Belmont, CA, United States

 10 February 2014

  English 

 Irvine, CA, United States

 12 May 2014

 English

 San Francisco, CA, United States

 13 January 2014

 English

 Chicago, IL, United States

 14 April 2014

 English

 Roseville, MN, United States

 10 February 2014

 English

 Edison, NJ, United States

10 March 2014 

 English

 Columbus, OH, United States

14 April 2014 

 English

 Caracas, Venezuela

13 January 2014  

  Spanish 

In the 3-day Oracle Linux Advanced System Administration course you go further by learning to manage and allocate resources, and identify and diagnose performance problems.

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 Jakarta, Indonesia

 28 January 2014

 English

 Bangkok, Thailand

 2 December 2013

 English

 Melbourne, Australia

 8 January 2014

  English 

 Sydney, Australia

 29 January 2014

 English

 San Francisco, CA, United States  

6 January 2014

 English

 Roseville, MN, United States

 25 November 2013

 English

 Edison, NJ, United States

 28 May 2014

 English

 Columbus, OH, United States

20 January 2014 

 English

 Irving, TX, United States

 16 April 2014

 English

 Reston, VA, United States

17 February 2014  

 English

 Caracas, Venezuela

24 February 2014  

 Spanish

For more information about the Oracle Linux system administration curriculum, to register for an event, or to request an additional event, go to http://oracle.com/education/linux.

Prove your Linux system administration expertise by taking the Oracle Linux OCA certification exam.

Friday Nov 15, 2013

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - November 15, 2013

Happy Friday!

Our spotlight this week is on a fantastic video that you might not have noticed because it was published just before Oracle OpenWorld 2013, and there was so much information being generated by us that it might have slipped by you. But this video is really worth taking a look at. In it, Oracle's Lenz Grimmer explains all about Linux Containers:

(Click to head over to YouTube and watch the video): 

See you next week!

-Chris 

Tuesday Nov 12, 2013

Join us for Live Oracle Linux and Oracle VM Cloud Events in Europe

Join us for a series of live events and discover how Oracle VM and Oracle Linux offer an integrated and optimized infrastructure for quickly deploying a private cloud environment at lower cost.

As one of the most widely deployed operating systems today, Oracle Linux delivers higher performance, better reliability, and stability, at a lower cost for your cloud environments. Oracle VM is an application-driven server virtualization solution fully integrated and certified with Oracle applications to deliver rapid application deployment and simplified management. With Oracle VM, you have peace of mind that the entire Oracle stack deployed is fully certified by Oracle.

Register now for any of the upcoming events, and meet with Oracle experts to discuss how we can help in enabling your private cloud.

Nov 20: Foundation for the Cloud: Oracle Linux and Oracle VM (Belgium)

Nov 21: Oracle Linux & Oracle VM Enabling Private Cloud (Germany)

Nov 28: Realize Substantial Savings and Increased Efficiency with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM (Luxembourg)

Nov 29: Foundation for the Cloud: Oracle Linux and Oracle VM (Netherlands)

Dec 5: MySQL Tech Tour, including Oracle Linux and Oracle VM (France)

Hope to see you at one of these events!

Monday Nov 11, 2013

Announcing Spacewalk Support for Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Customers

Over the years, customers migrating to Oracle Linux have asked for options to provide a transitional solution for their existing system management tools (such as Red Hat Satellite Server) while evaluating and planning migrations to Oracle's Enterprise Manager, which is offered at no additional charge with Oracle Linux Support Subscriptions.  Based on this request, we are pleased to announce support for the open-source community project, Spacewalk, which is the basis for both Red Hat Satellite Server and SUSE Manager.  Effective today, customers with Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Support subscriptions have access to a fully supported Spacewalk build which can be setup to easily manage Oracle Linux systems.  

Spacewalk support for Oracle Linux requires Oracle Linux 6, x86_64 for the server and provides support for Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6 (x86, x86_64) clients.  This solution requires Oracle Database 11g Release 2 as the  supported database repository for Spacewalk with Oracle Linux.  Customers may use an existing Oracle database license or they may begin by downloading a 30-day trial license from eDelivery.  Customers with Oracle Linux Basic and Premier subscriptions will automatically have access to the channel hosting the supported build.  Please review the release notes for further instructions.

Oracle Enterprise Manager is still the recommended enterprise solution for managing Oracle Linux systems and we want to provide the easiest transition path for our customers.  We are excited to offer this solution to our Oracle Linux customers while they plan and implement their migration to Oracle Enterprise Manager. 

Friday Nov 08, 2013

Oracle Linux Tips and Tricks: Using SSH

Out of all of the utilities available to systems administrators ssh is probably the most useful of them all. Not only does it allow you to log into systems securely, but it can also be used to copy files, tunnel IP traffic and run remote commands on distant servers. It’s truly the Swiss army knife of systems administration. Secure Shell, also known asssh, was developed in 1995 by Tau Ylonen after the University of Technology in Finland suffered a password sniffing attack. Back then it was common to use tools like rcp, rsh, ftp and telnet to connect to systems and move files across the network. The main problem with these tools is they provide no security and transmitted data in plain text including sensitive login credentials. SSH provides this security by encrypting all traffic transmitted over the wire to protect from password sniffing attacks.

One of the more common use cases involving SSH is found when using scp. Secure Copy (scp) transmits data between hosts using SSH and allows you to easily copy all types of files.

The syntax for the scp command is:

scp /pathlocal/filenamelocal remoteuser@remotehost:/pathremote/filenameremote

In the following simple example, I move a file named myfile from the system test1 to the system test2. I am prompted to provide valid user credentials for the remote host before the transfer will proceed.  If I were only usingftp, this information would be unencrypted as it went across the wire.  However, because scp uses SSH, my user credentials and the file and its contents are confidential and remain secure throughout the transfer. 

[user1@test1 ~]# scp /home/user1/myfile user1@test2:/home/user1
user1@test2's password: 
myfile                                    100%    0     0.0KB/s   00:00

You can also use ssh to send network traffic and utilize the encryption built into ssh to protect traffic over the wire. This is known as an ssh tunnel. In order to utilize this feature, the server that you intend to connect to (the remote system) must have TCP forwarding enabled within the sshd configuraton. To enable TCP forwarding on the remote system, make sure AllowTCPForwarding is set to yes and enabled in the /etc/ssh/sshd_conf file:

AllowTcpForwarding yes

Once you have this configured, you can connect to the server and setup a local port which you can direct traffic to that will go over the secure tunnel. The following command will setup a tunnel on port 8989 on your local system. You can then redirect a web browser to use this local port, allowing the traffic to go through the encrypted tunnel to the remote system. It is important to select a local port that is not being used by a service and is not restricted by firewall rules.  In the following example the -D specifies a local dynamic application level port forwarding and the -Nspecifies not to execute a remote command.  

ssh –D 8989 user@remotehost.com -N

You can also forward specific ports on both the local and remote host. The following example will setup a port forward on port 8080 and forward it to port 80 on the remote machine.

ssh -L 8080:farwebserver.com:80 user@remotehost.com

You can even run remote commands via ssh which is quite useful for scripting or remote system administration tasks. The following example shows how to  log in remotely and execute the command ls –la in the home directory of the machine. Because ssh encrypts the traffic, the login credentials and output of the command are completely protected while they travel over the wire.

[user1@test1 ~]$ ssh user1@test2 'ls -la'
user1@test2's password: 
total 24
drwx------  2 user1 user1 4096 Sep  6 15:17 .
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root   root   4096 Sep  6 15:16 ..
-rw-------  1 user1 user1   12 Sep  6 15:17 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1   18 Dec 20  2012 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1  176 Dec 20  2012 .bash_profile
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1  124 Dec 20  2012 .bashrc

You can execute any command contained in the quotations marks as long as you have permission with the user account that you are using to log in. This can be very powerful and useful for collecting information for reports, remote controlling systems and performing systems administration tasks using shell scripts.

To make your shell scripts even more useful and to automate logins you can use ssh keys for running commands remotely and securely without the need to enter a password. You can accomplish this with key based authentication. The first step in setting up key based authentication is to generate a public key for the system that you wish to log in from. In the following example you are generating a ssh key on a test system. In case you are wondering, this key was generated on a test VM that was destroyed after this article.

[user1@test1 .ssh]$ ssh-keygen -t rsa
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa): 
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
7a:8e:86:ef:59:70:ef:43:b7:ee:33:03:6e:6f:69:e8 user1@test1
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|                 |
|  . .            |
|   o .           |
|    . o o        |
|   o o oS+       |
|  +   o.= =      |
|   o ..o.+ =     |
|    . .+. =      |
|     ...Eo       |
+-----------------+

Now that you have the key generated on the local system you should to copy it to the target server into a temporary location. The user’s home directory is fine for this.

[user1@test1 .ssh]$ scp id_rsa.pub user1@test2:/home/user1
user1@test2's password: 
id_rsa.pub                 

Now that the file has been copied to the server, you need to append it to the authorized_keys file. This should be appended to the end of the file in the event that there are other authorized keys on the system.

[user1@test2 ~]$ cat id_rsa.pub >> .ssh/authorized_keys

Once the process is complete you are ready to login. Since you are using key based authentication you are not prompted for a password when logging into the system.  

[user1@test1 ~]$ ssh test2
Last login: Fri Sep  6 17:42:02 2013 from test1

This makes it much easier to run remote commands. Here’s an example of the remote command from earlier. With no password it’s almost as if the command ran locally.

[user1@test1 ~]$ ssh test2 'ls -la'
total 32
drwx------  3 user1 user1 4096 Sep  6 17:40 .
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root   root   4096 Sep  6 15:16 ..
-rw-------  1 user1 user1   12 Sep  6 15:17 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1   18 Dec 20  2012 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1  176 Dec 20  2012 .bash_profile
-rw-r--r--  1 user1 user1  124 Dec 20  2012 .bashrc

As a security consideration it's important to note the permissions of .ssh and the authorized_keys file.  .sshshould be 700 and authorized_keys should be set to 600.  This prevents unauthorized access to ssh keys from other users on the system.  

An even easier way to move keys back and forth is to use ssh-copy-id. Instead of copying the file and appending it manually to the authorized_keys file, ssh-copy-id does both steps at once for you.  Here’s an example of moving the same key using ssh-copy-id.The –i in the example is so that we can specify the path to the id file, which in this case is /home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

[user1@test1]$ ssh-copy-id -i /home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.pub user1@test2

One of the last tips that I will cover is the ssh config file. By using the ssh config file you can setup host aliases to make logins to hosts with odd ports or long hostnames much easier and simpler to remember. Here’s an example entry in our .ssh/config file.

Host dev1
Hostname somereallylonghostname.somereallylongdomain.com
Port 28372
User somereallylongusername12345678

Let’s compare the login process between the two. Which would you want to type and remember?

ssh somereallylongusername12345678@ somereallylonghostname.somereallylongdomain.com –p 28372

ssh dev1

I hope you find these tips useful.  There are a number of tools used by system administrators to streamline processes and simplify workflows and whether you are new to Linux or a longtime user, I'm sure you will agree that SSH offers useful features that can be used every day.  Send me your comments and let us know the ways you  use SSH with Linux.  If you have other tools you would like to see covered in a similar post, send in your suggestions.

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - November 8, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone!

This week, I want to highlight a really wonderful resource, the Oracle Linux Wiki on wikis.oracle.com. You can find a lot of in-depth technical information there and it’s probably worthy of a bookmark to check in on occasionally.

One of my favorite types of content on the wiki is the do it yourself hands on labs. We do these at in person events like Oracle OpenWorld and also online for our Virutal SysAdmin Days, and those are great because you can get real-time assistance if you have any questions. But, if you’re eager to learn more about Oracle Linux and don’t want to wait for one of those events, you can step through these labs in your own time. All of the information you need is on the wiki.

We’ll see you next week!
-Chris

Thursday Nov 07, 2013

PARTNER WEBCAST : Nimble SmartStack for Oracle with Cisco UCS (Nov 12)

You are invited to the live webcast with Nimble Storage, Oracle and Cisco where we will talk about the new SmartStack solution from Nimble Storage that features Oracle Linux, Oracle VM and Cisco UCS products.

When : Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Panelists:
Michele Resta, Director of Linux and Virtualization Alliances, Oracle
John McAbel, Senior Product Manager, Cisco
Ibby Rahmani, Solutions Marketing, Nimble Storage

SmartStack™solutions provide pre-validated reference architectures that speed deployments and minimize risk. All SmartStack solutions incorporate Cisco UCS as the compute and network infrastructure.

In this webinar, you will learn how Nimble Storage SmartStack with Oracle and Cisco provides a converged infrastructure for Oracle Database environments with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. SmartStack, built on best-of-breed components, delivers the performance and reliability needed for deploying Oracle on a single symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) server or Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) on multiple nodes. 

Register today 

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - November 1, 2013

Happy Friday!

I hope you were able to catch our webcast "Why Choose Oracle Linux for your Oracle Database 12c Deployments" earlier this week so you could ask questions of our experts in real-time. But if you didn't, or want to share the content with your colleagues, the on-demand version is our Friday Spotlight this week.

Watch now: Why Choose Oracle Linux for your Oracle Database 12c Deployments

We'll see you next week!

-Chris

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