How to recover from a lost Kerberos password for admin

December 8th, 2012

Ever lost your password for the admin principle on your Linux Kerberos server? It is quite easy to recover by just setting a new one.

You just need to log in to your KDC and proceed as follows:

[root@ipa1 ~]# kadmin.local
Authenticating as principal admin/admin@EXAMPLE.COM with password.
kadmin.local:  change_password admin@EXAMPLE.COM
Enter password for principal "admin@EXAMPLE.COM": 
Re-enter password for principal "admin@EXAMPLE.COM": 
Password for "admin@EXAMPLE.COM" changed.
kadmin.local: q
[root@ipa1 ~]#

Now enter kinit to get a Kerberos ticket.

Have fun :-)

    Migrating from CentOS6 to RHEL6

    December 8th, 2012

    There are different tutorial on the net how to migrate from RHEL to CentOS but almost no information about the other way round. It is quite simple and at the end of the day you have only Red Hat Packages installed.

    you need to copy the following packages from a Red Hat medium and install them:

    yum localinstall \
    rhn-check-1.0.0-87.el6.noarch.rpm \
    rhn-client-tools-1.0.0-87.el6.noarch.rpm \
    rhnlib-2.5.22-12.el6.noarch.rpm \
    rhnsd-4.9.3-2.el6.x86_64.rpm \
    rhn-setup-1.0.0-87.el6.noarch.rpm \
    yum-3.2.29-30.el6.noarch.rpm \
    yum-metadata-parser-1.1.2-16.el6.x86_64.rpm \
    yum-rhn-plugin-0.9.1-40.el6.noarch.rpm \
    yum-utils-1.1.30-14.el6.noarch.rpm \
    sos-2.2-29.el6.noarch.rpm \
    

    Then you need to remove the centos release package and install the Red Hat release package:

    rpm -e centos-release-6-3.el6.centos.9.x86_64 --nodeps
    yum localinstall redhat-release-server-6Server-6.3.0.3.el6.x86_64.rpm
    

    Now it is time to register your system at RHN with rhn_register

    After the successful registration you need to replace all CentOS packages by the RPMs provided by Red Hat:

    yum reinstall "*"
    

    To be sure there are no new configuration files to take care of run the following:

    yum install mlocate.x86_64
    updatedb
    locate rpmnew
    

    Go through the list and check if there is some configuration work to do

    Update your machine to the latest and greatest versions of packages and reboot your machine

    yum -y update && reboot
    

    Query the RPM database for leftovers from CentOS:

    rpm -qa --queryformat "%{NAME} %{VENDOR}\n" | grep -i centos | cut -d' ' -f1
    

    There are some problematic packages which has “centos” in its name, i.e yum and dhcp

    rpm -e yum --nodeps
    rpm -ihv yum-3.2.29-30.el6.noarch.rpm
    

    At the end, you have the previously installed kernel packages left. Keep them as a backup, they will be automatically uninstalled after two more kernel updates.

    Is the procedure supported by Red Hat? No it is not supported.

    Will the converted machine be supported after this procedure? Well, officially it is not supported, but if there are no traces of CentOS on the machine…

    Have fun :-)

      Kernel 3.5.3 partially broken for virtualization

      October 3rd, 2012

      Some time ago, Fedora 17 got a Kernel update to 3.5.3-1. Since then, PXE booting virtual machines does not work anymore. It seems that it has not been fixed in the upstream Kernel, but only the 3.5 series of Kernels is affected.

      A bug has been filed, but no fix is available. The only solution for now is to stick to Kernel 3.4.5-2. I’ve checked the Fedora annouce mailinglist, looks like there have been no grave bugfixes since then.

      The bug only hits when you use PXE boot virtual machines with qemu-kvm. The virtual machine gets just paused, to find out the reason for it, you need to have a closer look to /var/log/libvirt/libvirtd.log. There you can read: “KVM: entry failed, hardware error 0x80000021“.

      Someone proposed to use the emulate_invalid_guest_state=y parameter to the kvm_intel module, but according to a Ubuntu bugreport it fails too, but differently.

      Hopefully a bug fix will be made available soon.

      Having fun? Well, could be worse, could be better.

        Upgrading RHN Satellite 5.4.1 to 5.5

        September 23rd, 2012

        Red Hat has released RHN Satellite version 5.5. It is a release that is mainly a bug-fix release, but has some interesting new features as well. Here comes a brief guide how to update your RHN Satellite to the latest version. It is not a official guide, so if you trash your Satellite, it is not my fault…

        Preparation
        As always, before you upgrade the RHN Satellite, you need to order a new certificate. Open a Support case at Red Hat and tell them you need a new certificate for Version .5.5.

        You also need to download the ISO file for the upgrade as the packages are only available in the software channel after the upgrade and activation. You can download the ISO at Red Hats download site. Of course you need to choose the architecture that matches your environment. Note that there is only one ISO available for each architecture, not two as it was before. The ISO comes with the embedded database. If you need to use an external database, use the --external-db parameter with install.pl

        Ensure you have a working backup of your database before starting with the upgrade. Do this as follows:

        su - oracle
        db-control backup /your/back/up/directory
        db-control verify /your/back/up/directory
        

        A backup of your /etc/rhn directory is also a good idea, just for the case something is going wrong: cp -rp /etc/rhn /etc/rhn-$(date +"%F")

        Ensure your database has enough free table space left. For the DATA_TBS and the UNDO_TBS it should be at least 1Gbyte, better are 2Gbyte. The following example shows an example:

        [root@rhns ~]# su - oracle
        -bash-4.1$ db-control report
        Tablespace                  Size    Used   Avail   Use%
        DATA_TBS                   16.1G   12.6G    3.5G    78%
        SYSAUX                      500M  182.6M  317.3M    37%
        SYSTEM                      400M  254.1M  145.8M    64%
        TEMP_TBS                   1000M      0B   1000M     0%
        UNDO_TBS                    3.9G  474.7M    3.4G    12%
        USERS                       128M     64K  127.9M     0%
        -bash-4.1$ 
        

        You can grow the table spaces if needed by fire db-control extend UNDO_TBS.

        It is also very important to have enoght free space in the /rhnsat filesystem, db-control gather-stats needs some extra space. At least 2 Gbyte to be on the safe side.

        Having a look to the official upgrade guide is strongly recommended.

        First you need to loop-back mount the ISO image and cd into the mountpoint:

        [root@rhns ~]# mount satellite-5.5.0-20120911-rhel-6-x86_64.iso /mnt -o loop
        [root@rhns ~]# cd /mnt
        [root@rhns mnt]# 
        

        Next step is to install the rhn-upgrade package.

        [root@rhns mnt]# yum -y install rhn-upgrade
        Loaded plugins: product-id, rhnplugin, subscription-manager
        Updating certificate-based repositories.
        Unable to read consumer identity
        Setting up Install Process
        Resolving Dependencies
        --> Running transaction check
        ---> Package rhn-upgrade.noarch 0:5.5.0.16-1.el6sat will be installed
        --> Finished Dependency Resolution
        
        Dependencies Resolved
        
        =====================================================================================================
         Package         Arch       Version               Repository                                    Size
        =====================================================================================================
        Installing:
         rhn-upgrade     noarch     5.5.0.16-1.el6sat     redhat-rhn-satellite-5.4-server-x86_64-6      38 k
        
        Transaction Summary
        =====================================================================================================
        Install       1 Package(s)
        
        Total download size: 38 k
        Installed size: 0  
        Downloading Packages:
        rhn-upgrade-5.5.0.16-1.el6sat.noarch.rpm                                      |  38 kB     00:00     
        Running rpm_check_debug
        Running Transaction Test
        Transaction Test Succeeded
        Running Transaction
          Installing : rhn-upgrade-5.5.0.16-1.el6sat.noarch                                              1/1 
        Installed products updated.
          Verifying  : rhn-upgrade-5.5.0.16-1.el6sat.noarch                                              1/1 
        
        Installed:
          rhn-upgrade.noarch 0:5.5.0.16-1.el6sat                                                             
        
        Complete!
        [root@rhns mnt]# 
        

        The package contains documents and scripts to help you with the upgrade. They are located in the directory /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade. Read those documents carefully before proceeding with the upgrade.

        Upgrading
        Lets do it… run the installer script with the --upgrade parameter, bold red letters are interactive input.

        [root@rhns mnt]# ./install.pl --upgrade
        * Starting the Red Hat Network Satellite installer.
        * Performing pre-install checks.
        * Pre-install checks complete.  Beginning installation.
        * RHN Registration.
        ** Registration: System is already registered with RHN.  Not re-registering.
        * Upgrade flag passed.  Stopping necessary services.
        * Purging conflicting packages.
        * Checking for uninstalled prerequisites.
        ** Checking if yum is available ...
        There are some packages from Red Hat Enterprise Linux that are not part
        of the @base group that Satellite will require to be installed on this
        system. The installer will try resolve the dependencies automatically.
        However, you may want to install these prerequisites manually.
        Do you want the installer to resolve dependencies [y/N]? y
        * Applying updates.
        * Installing RHN packages.
        Warning: yum did not install the following packages:
        	geronimo-specs-compat
        * Now running spacewalk-setup.
        * Setting up Oracle environment.
        * Setting up database.
        ** Database: Upgrading the database server to latest Oracle 10g:
        ** Database: This is a long process that is logged in:
        ** Database: /var/log/rhn/upgrade_db.log
        *** Progress: ##############################################################
        ** Database: Setting up database connection for Oracle backend.
        ** Database: Testing database connection.
        ** Database: Populating database.
        ** Database: Skipping database population.
        * Setting up users and groups.
        ** GPG: Initializing GPG and importing key.
        * Performing initial configuration.
        * Activating RHN Satellite.
        ** Certificate not activated.
        ** Upgrade process requires the certificate to be activated after the schema is upgraded.
        * Enabling Monitoring.
        * Configuring apache SSL virtual host.
        Should setup configure apache's default ssl server for you (saves original ssl.conf) [Y]? y
        * Configuring tomcat.
        ** /etc/tomcat6/tomcat6.conf has been backed up to tomcat6.conf-swsave
        ** /etc/tomcat6/server.xml has been backed up to server.xml-swsave
        Reversed (or previously applied) patch detected!  Skipping patch.
        1 out of 1 hunk ignored -- saving rejects to file web.xml.rej
        * Configuring jabberd.
        * Creating SSL certificates.
        ** Skipping SSL certificate generation.
        * Deploying configuration files.
        * Update configuration in database.
        * Setting up Cobbler..
        cobblerd does not appear to be running/accessible
        Cobbler requires tftp and xinetd services be turned on for PXE provisioning functionality. Enable these services [Y]? y
        cobblerd does not appear to be running/accessible
        This portion of the RHN Satellite upgrade process has successfully completed.
        Please refer to appropriate upgrade document in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade
        for any remaining steps in the process.
        [root@rhns mnt]# 
        

        Now some database actions are needed. Make sure your Satellite is stopped and only the database is running:

        rhn-satellite stop
        service oracle start

        You need to create schema statistics:

        su - oracle
        -bash-4.1$ db-control gather-stats
        Gathering statistics...
        WARNING: this may be a very slow process.
        done.
        -bash-4.1$ 
        

        Now it is time to upgrade the database schema

        [root@rhns mnt]# spacewalk-schema-upgrade
        Schema upgrade: [satellite-schema-5.4.0.19-1.el6sat] -> [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1.el6sat]
        Searching for upgrade path: [satellite-schema-5.4.0.19-1] -> [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1]
        Searching for upgrade path: [satellite-schema-5.4.0.19] -> [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13]
        Searching for upgrade path: [satellite-schema-5.4.0] -> [satellite-schema-5.5.0]
        Searching for upgrade path: [satellite-schema-5.4] -> [satellite-schema-5.5]
        The path: [satellite-schema-5.4] -> [satellite-schema-5.5]
        Planning to run spacewalk-sql with [/var/log/spacewalk/schema-upgrade/20120922-132500-script.sql]
        Hit Enter to continue or Ctrl+C to interrupt: Enter
        Executing spacewalk-sql, the log is in [/var/log/spacewalk/schema-upgrade/20120922-132500-to-satellite-schema-5.5.log].
        The database schema was upgraded to version [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1.el6sat].
        [root@rhns mnt]# 
        

        Now it is time to activate your RHN Satellite to be able to receive updates for the Satellite and running satellite-sync

        [root@rhns ~]# rhn-satellite-activate --ignore-version-mismatch --rhn-cert=/root/rhns-cert55.cert 
        RHN_PARENT: satellite.rhn.redhat.com
        [root@rhns ~]# 
        

        To rebuild the search index please run service rhn-search cleanindex

        [root@rhns ~]# service rhn-search cleanindex
        Stopping rhn-search...
        rhn-search was not running.
        Starting rhn-search...
        [root@rhns ~]# 
        

        Before restarting the RHN Satellite, check if any updates are available for it.
        yum -y update

        Afterward, please check if there is another database schema update available. If the output looks as following, you are safe.

        [root@rhns ~]# spacewalk-schema-upgrade
        Schema upgrade: [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1.el6sat] -> [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1.el6sat]
        Your database schema already matches the schema package version [satellite-schema-5.5.0.13-1.el6sat].
        [root@rhns ~]# 
        

        As a verification that the upgrade is fine, run a satellite-sync to sync some new content and update a registered server. If you have more than one Satellite, run a ISS (Inter Satellite Sync) for proofing its functionality.

        Troubleshooting
        If something goes wrong with the database update, before reverting to a backup, first check the Oracle alert file /rhnsat/admin/rhnsat/bdump/alert_rhnsat.log to figure out what went wrong. Another good place to have a look at are the trace files located in /rhnsat/admin/rhnsat/udump

          How to get a RTL2832U based DVB-T stick working on Fedora 17

          September 16th, 2012

          This week I bought a no-name DVB-T stick with the risk to not getting it working with Linux. The device contains a RTL2832u chip which seems to be quite common according to this list. The price tag was just €14, so I was taking the risk.

          First experiments shown that there is no chance to get it running on Fedora 17. After digging deeper I figured out that someone wrote a driver and published it on github.

          Later on, I figured out that there is a driver also available in upstreams 3.6rc Kernel. Unfortunately the Kernel shipped with Fedora 17 does not support the device yet.

          Steps to do

          Ensure you have installed the kernel headers package that match your running kernel version. If not, run yum -y install kernel-headers. The package dvb-apps will help you to set up the channels later on, install it with yum -y install dvb-apps

          Getting and compiling the kernel module

          git clone https://github.com/tmair/DVB-Realtek-RTL2832U-2.2.2-10tuner-mod_kernel-3.0.0.git
          cd DVB-Realtek-RTL2832U-2.2.2-10tuner-mod_kernel-3.0.0/RTL2832-2.2.2_kernel-3.0.0/
          make && make install
          

          Afterwards you need to scan your DVB-T stick for stations and put it into mplayers channels file. In /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/ you will find the right setting the region you are living. For me de-Berlin is the right one.

          scandvb /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/de-Berlin -o zap >> ~/.mplayer/channels.conf
          

          Now you are ready to watch digital terrestrial TV on you Fedora box. mplayer "dvb://Das Erste" does the job.

          A more comfortable player is kaffeine which has features like EPG (electronic Program Guide), recording facilities etc. It comes with KDE.

          Have fun!

            How to transfer files to the Google Nexus 7

            September 9th, 2012

            It looks like a silly question, but it is not. The device does not support USB Mass storage, but some stuff called MTP. Unfortunately it does not work as expected with Linux.

            The first try was to yum -y install libmtp.x86_64 libmtp-examples.x86_64 and mount the device with fuse: mtpfs /mnt. However, it seems it is not mature enough yet to use it.

            If you just want to put some sound files on to your device, Amarok works pretty fine. But what if you want to put some i.e Movies on your device?

            The only quick solution I figured out was to use adb with comes with the Android SDK. As root do the following:

            yum -y install android-tools.x86_64
            adb start-server
            for i in /home/user/Movies/*; do
              adb push $i /sdcard/Movies
            done
            

            As you can read on the Wikipedia Article about Media Transfer Protocol it is a standard described by Microsoft and originally designed for managing photographs on cameras.

            The idea behind it is that every operating system comes with its own file system(s) and when using USB Mass Storage, the common filesystem is FAT32. As you may know, FAT32 has some limitations. Unfortunately there is no other common file system available.

            In the case of Linux users, it would be perfect to have USB Mass Storage support, because the file system used is ext4, also on the pseudo sdcard storage built in into the device.

            The “successor” of FAT is called exFAT and is Microsoft proprietary and thus out of question for the next 20 years (Software Patents). There, the standardization organisation have completely failed to establish a free and open standard as a common file system suited for applications such as USB-Sticks, Smart Phones and others.

            I have no clue how many software patents are related to MTP. I hope there are not any at all, so every operating system vendor can implement it as it seems to get the standard for such devices. Currently, the only “native” support for MTP comes with Windows Media Player. There is some software available for MacOS X provided by Google, and the FUSE implementation for Linux which I call experimental.

            I’m sure someone would now bring in the argument that sound and movies can be accessed from the “cloud”. Well sure, but UMTS is too slow and too expensive for HD-Movies, WLAN is – at least in Europeen Hotels – even more expensive. The only way to store media is locally, at least for nomads like me.

            Having fun? Not really…

              PAM and IPA authentication for RHN Satellite

              August 12th, 2012

              If you have a larger installation on your site, you may wish to have a single source of credentials not only for common system services, but for your RHN Satellite too.

              This will show you how to configure your RHN Satellite Server to use PAM with SSSD. SSSD, the System Security Services Daemon is a common framework to provide authentication services. Needless to say that IPA is supported as well.

              Assumptions:

              • You have a RHN Satellite running on RHEL6
              • You have an IPA infrastructure running (at least on RHEL 6.2)

              Preparations
              First you need to install the ipa-client on your satellite:

              yum -y install ipa-client
              

              And then join the server to your IPA environment:

              ipa-client-install -p admin
              

              Configuring PAM as follows:

              cat << EOF > /etc/pam.d/rhn-satellite
              auth        required      pam_env.so
              auth        sufficient    pam_sss.so 
              auth        required      pam_deny.so
              account     sufficient    pam_sss.so
              account     required      pam_deny.so
              EOF
              

              Configure the RHN Satellite
              Your Satellite now needs to be aware that there is the possibility to authenticate users with PAM against IPA.

              echo "pam_auth_service = rhn-satellite" >> /etc/rhn/rhn.conf
              

              If you have users in your IPA domain with usernames shorter than five characters, you will need to add one more line to be able to create the users in RHN Satellite:

              echo "web.min_user_len = 3" >>   /etc/rhn/rhn.conf
              

              After this change, restart your RHN Satellite

              rhn-satellite restart

              Configuring users
              Now you can log in to your RHN Satellite with your already configured admin user and select the checkbox “Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM)” on existing users and/or new users.

              Things to be considered
              It is strongly recomended to have at leat one user per organization (ususally a “Organization Administrator”) plus the “RHN Satellite Administrator” not having PAM authentication enabled. Despite of the easy implementation of redundancy with IPA, this is important for a fallback scenario when your IPA environment has some service interruptions due to mainenance or failure.

              SSSD caches users credentials on the RHN Satellite system, but this is only true for users logged in at least once. The default value for offline_credentials_expiration is 0, which means no cache time limit. However, depending on your organizations scurity policy this value can vary. Please check the PAM section in /etc/sssd/sssd.conf

              Further documents to read

              One year in Berlin, one year at Red Hat

              July 1st, 2012

              In March 2011, I signed my contract with Red Hat and moved from Zurich to Berlin, as posted here in April 2011.

              After one year it is time for a review of my “new life”. At once, a lot of things changed in my life: New Country, new City, new Appartment, new Job. Quite a lot of stuff.

              At my former job, I had a notice period of three months which gaves me some time for the planing of the move. A lot of burocracy was waiting for me, both in Switzerland and in Germany.

              Getting an appartment
              The first challange was to get an appartment in Berlin. I went to Linux Tag 2011 in May to have a look to quite a few appartments. It was not that easy as I was told from different people. Gentrification is not only a problem in Zurich, but also in Berlin.

              The chicken and egg problem. In order to get an appartment, you need a “Schufa-Auszug”, a paper that “certifies” your creditability. Usually it is only possible to get this paper when beeing a resident in Germany. How to get a resident without an appartment when you need a Schufa-Auszug to get an appartment when you need a residency in Germany and therefore need a Schufa-Auszug?

              So I went to a Schufa-Shop and it took me 30min of explaining the clerk that the processes at real estate brokers ar completly idiotic but I need the paper. So I finally got the Schufa-Auszug with my old address in Zurich.

              Finally I was able to sign a contract with a land lord. The appartment and its location is very nice and very close to the excellent public transport (although, Berliners grumble about the S-Bahn trains, it is excellent compared .i.e to Munich).
              As you can see in the picture, it is close to Alexanderplatz, the new City center of Berlin, just two underground train stations away to the west. Two underground stations to the east, and I find myself in the Party Neighborhood (Kiez in Berlin-Speak) at Simon-Dach-Strasse. Walking south, crossing the Spree river and I find myself in the vibrant Berlin Club scene.

              A special feature of the appartment is the roof top terrace where neighbors meet for partying. Quite uncommon for Germany: There are washing machines available, so I dont need to buy one. Also quite uncommon in Germany: The appartment has a kitchen, no hassle to buy the stuff.

              Preparing the move
              The usual stuff like getting rid of old stuff and putting the rest into moving boxes is straight forward, as well as finding the movers. More complex is the coordination of the due dates for all the stuff.

              Paper work part one
              Since Switzerland is not in the customs union of the EU, it adds more complexity. I need two papers: The stamped registration form of Berlin, and the stamped levaing form of Zurich.

              Getting the first form is straight forward: Just do a online-reservation at the registration office (Meldeamt at Bezirksamt), getting there and walk out after 10 minutes. Myth busted: German bureaucracy is always complex

              The latter one cost a shitload of money. You get it from the Zurich tax office, but only if you pay the guesstimated taxes upfront, in cash!. Of course this means you need to fill out a lot of forms upfront, what an annoyance. Myth busted: Swiss bureaucracy is alwas easy.

              The next task was then to get a health insurance. Since a lot of Germans are living in Switzerland, I just some good advices upfront, easy stuff. Now it was time to cancel all contracts such as Internet access, mobile phone contract, insurances and getting new contracts in Berlin.

              Emigration
              I had a early start at Red Hat, so I left Switzeland on 26th of June, went to a training in Farnborough, UK spending the weekend in London and getting straight to Munich for another training and finally arrived in Berlin on 05. July 2011. In fact I was homeless for 1.5 weeks, sleeping in hotels. The first two days my furniture has not yet arrived, sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag.

              Paperwork part two
              Soon after the registration in Berlin, I got my tax payer ID number. I also needed to fill out a form with a rather complex title “Antrag auf Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug” (something like application for a certificate for the income tax deduction). I needed to show up at the Finanzamt (Tax Office) and unlike the forms title suggests, it was painless.

              Another important task was the application for change my Swiss driver license into a German one. The pitfall is that one needs to apply in the first six months after immigration or to jeoppardize the whole licese. Well I had to wait more than two months to get the license exchanged.

              Assimilation
              Left wing politicians do not like the word. From my point of view, foreigner should assimilate them reasonably. For me that was very easy since Switzerland and Germany has a lot in common. The same political and cultural values and – for northern Swiss people – the same language (well, kind of). Of course I needed to adapt my German getting rid of typical helvetisms which are not understood in Germany or understood in the wrong way which can annoy some Germans.

              In meantime I got assimilated even better: I watch soccer matches ;-)

              The foreigner
              Everyone is a foreigner, nearly everywhere (unknown quote). So yes, I’ living as a foreigner now.

              Almost everyone welcomed me in Berlin and other German cities where I was working and I quickly got new friends. The average German is generally more open minded and cosmopolitan than the avarage Swiss (especially when comparing Berlin with Zurich)

              When I’m looking back to Switzerland and see how some people treat Germans: Its a shame! I wish that this mind will change in Switzerland and Germans are treated the same friendly way as I’m treated in Germany.

              Living in Berlin
              The crazy thing about my working contract with Red Hat is: I got offered to be based on a choice of four locations where Red Hat has offices: Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Berlin. I have already visited the first three cities multiple times, but I was never in Berlin before, just heared its a nice city. Well, Munich is beatiful but expensive and the Airport is only reachable by air. Stuttgart is a bit boring, Frankfurt hmm… So I was taking the risk and choose to move to Berlin without much knowledge about the city.

              Well, I’m now living in Friedrichshain, just north of Kreuzberg.

              Berlin is cool! I mean: Really cool! I guess you can not find any other europeen metropolis which offers a greater diversity of culture, food and of course people. Going to clubs in Berlin on weekends is a delight. You can find clubs for almost every style of music.

              Culinary: Well, the Currywurst and Döner Kebap was invented in Berlin, but this are not the real highlights. In the Simon-Dach-Kiez as well as near Alexanderplatz one will find restaurants with food from allover the planet. Thai, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Italian… you will find them all. There are even Swiss restaurants, but I never made it yet.

              Public transport: Awesome! A S-Bahn train every two to five minutes, same applies to underground trains. During the weekends, S- and U-Bahn are operating the whole night, without any idiotic night-surcharge, and of course there is a train every approx. 15min. From my point of view the public transport in Zurich looks like a really bad (but expensive) joke.

              Long distance high speed ICE Trains are also awesome. Berlin-Hamburg (approx 300km) in 1:39h. Zurich-Geneva (approx 300km) in 2:43h

              home sickness
              The first few weeks have been very hard for me. Yes, I had home sickness. I left all my friends in Switzeland and I miss the beautiful old towns of Zurich and Winterthur as well as the mountains. What I really miss is the “third dimension”, it is all flat here, the highest elevation in Berlin are the Müggelberge (Berg means mountain, what a fool) with 114,7m above sealevel. Before I left Switzerland I was not aware about how beautiful the Alpes are, it was just a matter of course to always have them in sight.

              In the last 12 months I have been visiting Switzerland three times. I have enjoyed those trips, visting my old frieds, having a BBQ country side and strolling trough the old towns of Winterthur and Zurich.

              Whats the better country for a living? Germany or Switzerland?
              This is a question I hear all the time. My answer is always the same: Neither of them are better, those countries are just different, but not that much.

              My job as Senior Linux Consultant at Red Hat
              When Red Hat approached me, I first was surprised, then I got a contract and I got it very fast :-)

              It is a very interessing and challenging job. As a consultant I’m visiting a lot of customers to help them with particular technologies in their projects. Every customers has its own processes and infrastructure, so I need to adapt very fast.I also travel a lot, customers are usually located in central europe, mostly in Germany. Somethimes it happens that I can travel a bit further, for example, my customer engagement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was an impressive experience.

              Travelling means to see a lot of different locations, that makes it even more interessting. The drawback is being only at home for the weekends.

              At the end of the day, Red Hat was the best that could happen to me, a open source guy. Lots of nice and very competent and open minded collegues in a international team and the possibility to always get in touch with the latest and greatest technology in the open source world.

              Having fun? Yes, sure…

                FUDCon 2012 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

                April 4th, 2012
                FUDCon 2012 Kuala Lumpur

                FUDCon 2012 Kuala Lumpur

                Since I’ll be in Kuala Lumpur anyway, I take the chance to visit the upcoming FUDcon (Fedora User and Developer Conference) which will take place May 18th to 20th at the Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation. I dont know yet if I can be there all three days, but at least days 2 and 3.

                I’m really glad to meet the Fedora people from another continent. I’ve been visiting Malaysia back in 2009, it is a very beautiful country with nice people. So this time my visit is different, combining vacation and some nice Linux stuff.

                Looking at the list of talks, it will be interessting to join those sessions. Unfortunately it is too late for me to prepare a talk. The only thing I miss is the annoucement of a social event, maybe I have overseen it?

                See you there… Have fun!

                  Retrospection to FOSDEM 2012 Brussels, Belgium

                  February 6th, 2012

                  This year I made it, It was my first time at FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting. I was amazed about the crowd of people and the amount of talks. It was simply impossible to visit all interesting lectures, because lots of them has been held in parallel.

                  It was also a pleasure to meet again all those people I know from the open source communities. The Friday beer event was very nice, as well as chatting with people between and after the lectures.

                  From my pint of view, the most important talks have been the inside views to oVirt and the presentations about the Deltacloud project. It was also important to get more informations about Aeolus . Most of the for me important talks are bound to cloud and/or virtualization projects. This is because I’ll hit those project sooner or later on my job as Linux consultant.

                  Lessons learned
                  I’ll try to get to Fosdem 2013 if time allows. But next time I’ll be better prepared for the inconveniences of the venue.

                  • If the weather will be the same as this year, three layers of clothes are not enough, in some auditoriums the temperatures have been close to the freezing point.
                  • If it is heavily snowing, touch screens of smart phones are going berserk, navigation not possible, taking a old style navigation device with me as well a paper city-map
                  • If you wait for the bus, you need to wave hands if the bus approaches or it will simply pass you and letting you wait for another 20 min at -15°C
                  • Having a hotel near “Gare Central” is a big plus, it is near the Delirium Cafe where the Friday beer event happens as well as on the route of Bus Nr. 71 to ULB
                  • SMS messages in Belgium obviously have usually a delay of a few hours and are not reliable, calling friends costs much more but does the job
                  • Mobile internet access is not always reliable in Belgium, since I dont know the city very well, I’ll take a off-line navigation Phone with me (my old Nokia E72)

                  A huge thank you
                  I would like to thank all the volunteers who organized the event and made it an unforgettable event, as well as the countless speakers sharing their knowledge with the world

                  Upcoming events
                  The next upcoming interesting events in Europe:

                  • Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2012 March 17th and 18th
                  • LinuxTag 2012 in Berlin (my new home town) May 23th to May 26th.

                  If I missed an event to mention here, let me know.

                  Have fun!