Posts Tagged ‘Ubuntu’

Installing OpenXenManager on Ubuntu

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

OpenXenManager is a nice graphical environment for managing the Xen virtualization environment. You still need to use QEMU or virt-install/virt-manager to manager domains themselves, but OpenXenManager takes some of the guessing games out of things. Having said that, xm is still the way to go for the most part.

Before you install OpenXenManager, you’ll need svn, which isn’t baked into a default Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 installation. We’ll just use apt-get to build subversion and some python frameworks required for openxenmanager:

sudo apt-get install subversion
sudo apt-get install python-glade2 python-gtk-vnc

Next, grab openxenmanager using subversion:

svn co https://openxenmanager.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/openxenmanager openxenmanager

Hop into your openxenmanager trunk and fire it up:

cd openxenmanager/trunk
./openxenmanager

Now you have a GUI for managing domU. Good luck!

Apple Education Licensing for Microsoft’s Active Directory

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We have recently had a number of requests for licensing for Active Directory environments running Apple and Linux client computers. There seems to be a bit of a debate about whether or not you need one CAL (Client Access License) for each user or device in the environment, if the devices are Apple or Linux computers. The cause for the confusion seems to be Microsoft’s External licensing. External licensing only applies to computers that are not part of your network, but instead are outside of the network (e.g. coming in over a WAN). It can be frustrating because I’ve had multiple customers tell me that different resellers and even Microsoft sales reps will give them different answers, and that’s been going on for years. I’ve spent a good amount of time with the Microsoft licensing desks, our Partner reps and a number of others to figure out the correct answer.

Licensing CALs for onsite systems can be done in a couple different ways:

  • Per-Device: Each computer that is bound to Active Directory receives a CAL
  • Per-User: Each user that uses a computer that is bound to Active Directory receives a CAL

In an environment where there are many users per device, then per-device licensing is always going to be cheaper (unless of course there are more devices than users, which wouldn’t make sense in a many to one environment). In a one-to-one environment where users come and go (e.g. by transferring between schools), but the number of computers remains somewhat static, per-device licensing still works out better as it simplifies license allocation.

Per-User CALs for education environments typically run around $1 USD per CAL for students. Per-User CALs for educators that work in the environment and are bound in that same environment typically run around $8 USD per CAL. If the systems aren’t bound, then licensing is only based on users that access file and print services, or other services; however, this becomes a bit of a challenge to calculate unless you reactively look at triggers that can be generated. But because most environments now use Active Directory binding on client systems, the CALs end up becoming one-to-one about as quickly as the computers become one-to-one.

But you should most definitely not take this article as being the rules set in stone. There are a number of scenarios that can change the licensing situation (most of them have to do with not binding clients or running computers that are offsite and/or employee owned). Contact Microsoft’s licensing desk using the contact information here, or contact a reseller like 318 for more more information.

Will the future require CALs? In an increasingly iOS and Android world, there are a few issues to sort out in many environments (e.g. IIS vs. AD licensing). This has so far ended up being in a case-by-case basis. 318 is a Microsoft reseller and can help you through these complex licensing issues, if you need it. Please feel free to contact your 318 Professional Services Manager, or sales@318.com if you would like more information.

Ubuntu 8.04 Released

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

ubuntulogo1.pngUbuntu 8.04 is now available – the first major release since 7.10. Code named Hardy heron, 8.04 will look familiar to long-time Ubuntu users. But under the hood, 8.04 sports a new kernel (2.6.24-12.13), a new rev of Gnome (2.22), improved graphical elements (such as Xorg 7.3), a spiffy new installer (Wubi), the latest and greatest in software, enhanced security and of course more intelligent default settings. The build is free to download the desktop version from ubuntu.com.

The new Ubuntu installer comes with a new utility called Wubi. Wubi can run as a Windows application, which means that Windows users will be able to more easily transition and learn about Ubuntu. Wubi can perform a full installation of Ubuntu as a file on a Windows hard drive. This means that you no longer need to install a second drive or perform complicated partitioning on an existing drive. When you boot up Ubuntu the system reads and writes to the disk image as though it were a standard drive letter, much like VMWare would do. Ubuntu can also be uninstalled as though it were a standard Windows application using Add/Remove Programs.

The new application set is solid. Firefox 3.0 comes pre-installed. Brasero provides an easier interface for burning CDs and DVDs. PulseAudio now gets installed by default (which is arguably a questionable decision but we found it worked great for us). The Transmission BitTorrent client is now included by default. Vinagre provides a very nice and streamlined VNC client for remote administration (although the latency for remote users is still a bit of a pain compared to the Microsoft RDP protocol). Inkscape has always been easy to install and use, but the popular Adobe Illustrator-like application it now comes bundled with Ubuntu.

In order to play nicer in the enterprise, the security infrastructure of Ubuntu has also had a nice upgrade. The Active Directory plug-in is provided using Likewise Open (unlike Mac OS X which sees a custom package specifically for this purpose). There is a new PolicyKit which provides policies similar to GPOs in Windows or MCX in Mac OS X. The default settings in 8.04 are also chosen with a bit more of a security mindset. New memory protection is built into 8.04, primarily to make exploits harder to uncover and prevent rootkits. Finally, UFW (uncomplicated firewall) is now built into the system to make firewall administration more accessible to the everyday *nix fan.

Network Administrators will be impressed by the inclusion of many new features. KVM is included in the Kernel and lib-virt and virtmanager are provided to make Ubuntu a very desirable virtualization platform. iSCSI support provides more targets with which to store those virtual machines and also expanded storage for those larger filers (eg – using Samba 3). Postfix and Dovecot provide a standardized mail server infrastructure out of the box. CUPS in 8.04 now supports Bonjour and Zeroconf protocols as well as the solid standbys of SMB, LPD, JetDirect and of course IPP. Those building web servers will be happy to see Apache 2, PHP 5, Perl, Python and Ruby on Rails (with GEM) and of course Sun Open JDK (community supported). If you need the database side of things there’s MySQL, Postgresql, DB2 and Oracle Database Express.

However, if you are just starting out keep in mind that Ubuntu Server does not come with a windowing system by default – so beef up those command line skills sooner rather than later! We are also still waiting for a roadmap for integrating much of the more Enterprise or Network-oriented packages. For example, we now have the PolicyKit and a solid Active Directory client. But how do we push out en masse the policies that we want our users to have post imaging?

So if you use Ubuntu or are interested in getting to know the Linux platform then 8.04 is likely a great move. It’s solid, stable and much improved over 7. It’s easier to migrate, virtualize and work in. The developers should be proud!