Microsoft has developed its own Linux

The rumor of Microsoft working on its own Linux distribution has been going around for a while.  Now it’s confirmed by Microsoft themselves:

The Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) is our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches. It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux. ACS allows us to debug, fix, and test software bugs much faster. It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our datacenter and our networking needs.

The distribution is not for sale or download, but purely for use in their Azure cloud infrastructure.  The Register looks at this in detail.

I guess, Mahatma Gandhi was right:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Conference : Freedom and Technology

announcement (english)

There is going to be a Free Software / Open Source conference “Freedom and Technology” this Saturday, October 3rd (18:00-21:00) in Cyprus University of Technology, in Limassol, Cyprus.  Organizers are the same people you know from the Ubuntu CY community.  I’m going to do a talk titled “The practical guide to Open Source participation”.  Slides will be linked here after the talk.

See you there.

Five Linux-Ready, Cost-Effective Server Control Panels


Five Linux-Ready, Cost-Effective Server Control Panels” reviews 5 some alternatives to cPanel, which, they say, is rather expensive.  My beef with cPanel is not the price, but the technical merit.  Even though I love the fact that it is written in Perl, I don’t agree with its “let me handle everything” approach.

cPanel installs all the software that it helps to manage.  This might be a “so what” issue for most people, but not for me.  I like my servers clean.  And I want to utilize the tools that already come with my server – RPM, yum/dnf, etc.  Control panels can help with routine, but when something breaks, I should be able to go to the config files and deal with the problem using the distribution’s recommended ways.  cPanel, unfortunately, breaks that.  It downloads sources, applies patches, locally compiles things, and has its own layout for configuration files.  That’s too much mess for me.

I haven’t used any of the other control panels reviewed in the article (I usually prefer the command line way), but I hope they aren’t as intrusive and abusive as cPanel.  Sometimes control panels are useful for providing a bit of help to non-technical users (create mailbox, change email password, backup the website, etc), but if they are as needy as cPanel, thanks, but no thanks.

Replicant – fully free Android distribution


Replicant is a fully free Android distribution running on several devices, a free software mobile operating system putting the emphasis on freedom and privacy/security.

Found via a mention in the Slashdot interview with Richard Stallman.

Custom Single Sign-On with Nginx and Auth Request Module

In a recent project I crashed into a wall.  At least for a couple of days that is.  The requirement was to integrate the Request Tracker (aka RT) installation on CentOS 7 server with Nginx to a client’s company single sign-on solution.  Which wasn’t LDAP.  Or Active Directory.  Or anything standard at all – a complete homegrown system.

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