RHCE Certification Articles (continued)…


I mentioned in my previous post on this subject that I had 5 more objectives yet to cover. The articles for those objectives have now been added to the website.

That completes the set!

The articles for both exams are available here. I also have a page listing the objectives for both exams, with links to each of my articles that cover them.

Now I just have to find the time to prepare for and sit the exams… :)



UltraEdit on Fedora 18…


I was using UltraEdit 3.3 on Fedora 17 with no problems. After the upgrade to Fedora 18 it continued to work fine. Then I noticed there was a newer build of 3.3 on the IDM website, so I downloaded and installed it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I guess it was a later build for Fedora 17, not a new Fedora 18 build.

I dropped the guys at IDM an email and they did a new build straight away and it worked fine. This build is available from the website now.

It’s nice when people write cool apps and back them up with good service when you need help!



Fedora 18 : The winner is MATE (so far)…


I’m a few days into Fedora 18 and I think I’ve come the the conclusion that the desktop that best suits *me* is MATE. The journey to this point has been a rather long and meandering one. Let’s cut it short and start at GNOME2.

  • GNOME2 : I was happy and all things were good.
  • GNOME 3 (GNOME Shell) : When it became the default Fedora window manager I went with the flow and stuck with it for a few months. At the time I thought it was OK. I even wrote some posts saying I kinda liked it. After a while it started to get on my nerves and I switched.
  • LXDE : That lasted about 10 minutes. Nuff said!
  • XFCE : I stuck with this for quite a few months. It’s very simple and very quick. There are a few rough edges, but nothing that really made me squirm.

Once I installed Fedora 18 I felt like I needed a change. A quick return to GNOME3 convinced me that I now truly hate it.

  • Cinnamon : The first impression was very good. It’s not officially “supported” on Fedora, but is in the repo. The Fedora version seems a little buggy, which is where the problems began. I started trying to arrange my desktop and stuff just didn’t work. I have a feeling that Cinnamon may end up being my desktop of choice in the future, but for now I’ll have to pass for something that works properly on Fedora.
  • KDE : I’ve had brief dalliances with KDE over the years. The people who love it seem almost fanatical. Every time I’ve tried it, it has driven me nuts. I had made a decision that Fedora 18 was probably going to be the version where I become a KDE fan. Two days was all I could take. I don’t know what it is about KDE, but I can’t handle it. It is by far the prettiest window manager. I look at it and I feel like I want to use it. Trouble is, when I start I feel like it is getting in my way. I can’t really put my finger on it. It just isn’t for me.
  • MATE : So we come full circle. MATE is a fork of GNOME2. I read something recently that says it uses most of the plumbing of GNOME3, but has the “traditional” GNOME2 feel.  I installed it and it felt like coming home. After a few months of being out in the cold, MATE was a hot fire, a pair of warm slippers and plate of beans on toast with a bit of cheese on top. Fantastic! My desktop is very simple and functional. The interface does not get in my way. It’s not going to make Linux the desktop of choice, but I think a lot of long time Fedora users will try it and like it.

I understand that open source is all about choice, but it seems such a shame that we have so many talented people all working on different window managers, none of which quite hit the mark. It just makes you wonder what could happen if they all worked together. Of course, it would never happen, but you can dream…

If I’m honest, OS X is better than any of these interfaces. I think Windows 7 probably is too. The bonus with having your interface dictated to you is you just get on with things and make do. The Linux desktop is definitely a case of “Freedom is slavery“. Being the Linux fan I am, I will just have to continue being a slave…

I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, so when next week I’m telling you Windows 8 is awesome, so be it. :)



Fedora 18 : Upgrading from Fedora 17…


I’ve just got to the end of a real upgrade of a Fedora 17 server to Fedora 18. The basic process goes like this.

  • Download the Fedora 18 ISO.
  • Update your current Fedora 17 system by issuing the “yum update” command and restart once it is complete.
  • Install the “fedup” package. “yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install fedup”
  • Run the fedup command pointing it to the Fedora 18 ISO you downloaded. “fedup-cli –iso /home/user/fedora-18.iso –debuglog=fedupdebug.log”
  • Check for errors in the log and correct if found.
  • Reboot the machine and select the “System Upgrade” option from the Grub menu.
  • Wait!

The system came up OK after this, but there are some gotchas. The first thing I did on completion was to run a “yum update” and lots of things were broken. Why? Well, after a lot of messing around and manually updating individual packages I finally figured out:

  1. Google Chrome, Skype and VirtualBox were all holding on to F17 versions of packages so yum was not able to update them.
  2. I also had a bunch of packages from the RPM Fusion repository that seemed to confuse things. If you are using that repository I suggest you manually update it using these commands.

    wget http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-18.noarch.rpm
    rpm -Uvh rpmfusion-free-release-18.noarch.rpm

  3. The dropbox repository is failing, so add “enabled=0” to the “/etc/yum.repos.d/dropbox.repo” file.

So IMHO, when you are going to do an upgrade, I would advise to remove any packages that didn’t come from the Fedora repository before starting, or be prepared to spend a few hours cleaning up afterwards. If I had stuck to just packages from the Fedora repository I think the upgrade would have been seamless. As it is, it was a bit of a pain, but now it’s all good.

I think I will have a little rest before trying another. :)



Update: I just did an upgrade to another machine. By taking my own advice and cleaning up first it was really easy. :)

Fedora 18 and Oracle 11gR2…


After several abortive attempts I finally got hold of Fedora 18 last night. Those mirrors are getting a real battering at the moment. :)

The first job was to do a basic installation.

I’d seen a few things written about the new installer, not all of which were positive. IMHO the installation was a really nice experience. It is very different to previous installers, which probably freaks some people out, but I think it works really well.

Once the installation is complete it’s pretty much business as usual. You’ve got newer versions of most of the packages, but to be honest I don’t really focus to much on that. I just keep doing “yum update” every few days and work with what I’ve got. :)

One thing that did take me by surprise is how much a hated GNOME Shell. I’ve written several times in that past that I thought it was OK. It was my default environment for quite a few months, but after spending an extended period on XFCE at home and Windows XP at work, I can safely say that I seriously don’t get GNOME Shell. Fortunately, Fedora 18 comes with a whole host of window managers including GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Cinnamon and MATE, so I’m sure you’ll find something there that you can work with.

The next job was to see if Oracle would install on it.

Every time I do this I think to myself it’s going to be the last time. It’s far more sensible to use a VM and install the database on a supported distro. Oracle Linux is free and a supported platform, so messing around with installs on a non-supported distro, like Fedora, really doesn’t make sense. Maybe this will actually be the last time. :)

So what next? I’ve got some physical servers running Fedora 17 as the host OS which will have to be upgraded. I think I’m going to play around with Cinnamon and MATE before I do that. If they don’t work for me it’s back to plain and simple XFCE for my window manager. :)



RHCE Certification Articles…


Just before I started my current job I was planning on doing the RHCSA and RHCE exams for a bit of fun. In preparation for that I started to write the revision notes for each of the exam objectives. I got to the end of the RHCSA exam objectives, then my plan kind-of stalled, what with starting the new job etc.

Over the Christmas holiday I got some time to start the notes for the RHCE exam. If anything, the syllabus for this exam is a little simpler as many of the sections follow the same basic format. This full list of RHCE exam objectives includes the links to all the articles I’ve written to cover the objectives. There are still 5 to complete, but hopefully I’ll get those done soon.

The new articles I wrote include:

Some of the existing articles on the site got some changes to reflect other objectives, including:

Remember, these articles are targeted specifically at the exam objectives, rather than trying to provide everything you need to know about the subject. In my opinion, some of the exam objectives are rather too simple, missing out the more interesting and useful features of the software. In some cases I’ve added some extra information beyond the objectives, marking it as not part of the exam, or linked or other articles that give some ideas of other uses.

Once I finish the next batch of articles, I guess I should consider sitting the exams. I’m pretty confident I could get through them now if I had access to my notes, but in the exam you just have “man”  and “info” pages, so I would have to commit some of the stuff to memory to get through them. Although I’ve been using Linux for over a decade, the fact I don’t do system administration on a daily basis means some of the more obscure tasks aren’t committed to memory.

It would be nice to get the articles finished and exams done before Oracle 12c is released, or I will be distracted for a while learning all that stuff. :)



UltraEdit 3.3 for Mac/Linux…


I’m now rockin’ UltraEdit 3.3 on my MacBook Pro and Linux boxes at home. A previous announcement suggested by this version the Mac and Linux versions would have caught up with the Windows version from a functionality perspective. I’m not sure if that’s true, but they are close enough for me.

The latest Windows versions is 18.20, which I use at work, but home is where the real magic happens. :)




Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 on my Nexus 7…


I turned on my Nexus 7 last night and it asked if I wanted to upgrade to Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean). The install was pretty quick and went through with no dramas.

I’m not all that interested in the whole Android thing. To be honest, I can’t even be bothered to check the change log. It’s just an enabling technology for me, not something I’m passionate about. What I can say it that it has finally fixed the home page swivel issue. In case you hadn’t heard, the Nexus 7 automatically orientates the screen to whichever way you are holding it, except for the home page which always stays in portrait mode. Not any more. Finally it too can swivel.

I was never sure why this screen didn’t act like all the others, but it seems Google has responded to the criticism and sorted it.



Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Installation…


I did an EM Cloud Control 12cR2 installation at work yesterday. The database repository was on HP-UX and the middle tier was installed on RHEL 5.8. The installation was pretty much the same as the 12cR1 version. Over the next few days I’ll be testing out some of the features to decide if we can move across to it permanently.

Today I did two run throughs of single server installations on Oracle Linux 5.8 and 6.3. There are a couple of minor differences, but nothing to worry about. You can see what I did here:

The installations are a little small, so they are not too fast, but it’s good enough to test things out.



Update: It’s been a while since I used the 12c version, so I’ve had to relearn a few simple things. I thought I might as well write the down in case it helps others.

UltraEdit 3.2 on Mac and Linux…


I’m now rockin’ UltraEdit 3.2 on Mac and Linux…

This is the version that is meant to bring the Mac/Linux version in line with the Windows version as far as functionality is concerned. I’m not sure that is the case, but it’s getting ever closer. It certainly does everything I need it to do now. :)