Archives For Linux

SteamOS – Installation

Terrence T. Cox —  January 16, 2014

Following up on our first article on SteamOS, we are going to talk about the more manual installation method. The first, larger install image, is completely automated, assuming it likes all the equipment on your system. It seems that the smaller method we are going to talk about today is more flexible on what exactly it will support. It is also more interactive so we will cover what you can expect and what you have to run manually to get things going!

Requirements and Download
Let’s recap quickly our requirements for SteamOS and Download the version we need:

Directly from their site here, the system requirements for a “DIY” Steam box are as follows:

  • Processor: Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • Memory: 4GB or more RAM
  • Hard Drive: 500GB or larger disk
  • Video Card: NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon!)
  • Additional: UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

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SteamOS – Introduction

Terrence T. Cox —  December 27, 2013

With the recent announcement and subsequent beta release of SteamOS, we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the new operating system and what it means to the community. As part of a short series of articles, we are going to introduce the operating system and its requirements, talk about the installation and configuration as it stands today (December 2013) and then where it is supposed to go. Finally, once released in 2014, we will talk both about the Steam Devices that are sold in channel as well as the official SteamOS with game streaming and game controllers. Let’s get started!

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Amazon VPC has come along way since it was first introduced. For those who are not familiar the Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), it allows us to provision our own section of the cloud. Here we can manage our own routing tables, subnets, internal static IP addresses as well as create VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections to our VPC. Now that Amazon VPC has evolved, it’s good practice to always put our instances inside of a VPC. This can present somewhat of a problem if you already have EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and RDS (Relational Database Service) instances running outside of a VPC. Running our database instance inside of a VPC allows our instance to run on a private network and not open to the internet. Outside of a VPC, your database server is open to the general internet/public, which is a huge security issue.

If you’re looking for a “nitty gritty” detail course on Amazon Web Services and Amazon VPC you can view our AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level course module over at The Linux Academy. Now, we can get started.

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Like all things in life, a beginning. As we have covered many technical and practical topics in Linux on this site over the past year or so, it occurred to us that perhaps we needed to pause and go back to the beginning. So that is exactly what we have done.

Announcing…
As most of you that are regular visitors to this site know, we not only write about Linux (opinions, tutorials and reviews) but we offer comprehensive training that can take anyone from a complete “Linux newbie” to someone who is prepared for their Linux Professional Institute Certification Exam as well as a career in the industry.

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Ubuntu continues to push the envelope and aggravate the community with each new release. In this newest version, there aren’t any “Unity” type changes to the UI, but one of the more controversial changes in recent memory is just about ready for prime time as they change the underlying Window Manager to “Mir”. Let’s take a quick look at that and some of the other changes from version 13.04 to 13.10.

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Oracle, Oracle, Oracle… why oh why did you buy Sun just to kill off Java? Sigh… As much as we might like to punt completely when it comes to Java in general, a large number of corporations have server and applications that are built on it. In fact, as a language, I love Java and have been using it since the pre-release version was called “Oak”. Since we need to run “real” Java and not the incomplete attempt to include a re-engineered JVM to avoid the non-open source licensing Oracle Java, we need to talk about how to replace it on a system that is running OpenJDK. So let’s have a go at it below.

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Once again we find ourselves in the unenviable position of bailing out one of our Windows friends/family/acquaintances/business associates or other assorted persons. Although we don’t have their particular day to day challenges, we do often find that we are the “go to” person when they have issues. Heaven forbid, we may have even had our own issues with our Windows partition/drive (after all, we have to game sometime and despite the efforts of Steam, Linux just isn’t a gamer’s dream yet). Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios that may come up that we can fix with our handy Linux distribution and some of the NTFS partition recovery tools at our disposal.

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Installing Linux on the desktop has largely become a “no brainer”. The installation routines of all major distributions have really matured to the point where you literally answer a few basic questions (a little more involved than Windows, but not much) and then you have a fully functional Linux desktop. However, that ease of installation has come with a bit of a price. Installing your system with the defaults can limit your flexibility when it comes layout and segregation (for backups). Today we will talk about some of the options for laying out your desktop storage a bit more “old school”.

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Space elevator cable rising from Mars in the town of Sheffield, as depicted by Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars. Made with GIMP by Ludovic Celle.

Space elevator cable rising from Mars in the town of Sheffield, as depicted by Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars. Made with GIMP by Ludovic Celle.

Graphic artist Ludovic Celle has been an open source convert for about 10 years. His first step was trading in Windows for Unbuntu. A couple years after that, transitioned from programs like Sketchup and Photoshop to an open source arsenal of Blender, Inkscape, and GIMP. His artwork is proof of the unsung creative muscle of open source software.

In 2007, Celle read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars and has been compelled to create images about the book ever since. He primarily uses images from Wikimedia Commons of deserts and mountains for these photo manipulations. Fourteen of his Red Mars images are currently on exhibit at the central library in Grenoble, France. The images are large ranging in size from 40 cm (15 in) to 140 cm (55 in) wide, with a photomosaic, made from 588 images, that is 240 cm (94 in) wide. With images so large it can be easy to miss some of the smaller details like Mars settlers walking through vast deserts, people in the windows of bamboo habitats, and the buildings that populate the domed settlements.

 

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Amazon Web Services has done nothing short of disrupting the traditional data center paradigm. Large corporations to small startups are testing, prototyping, and sometimes flat out converting large scale data centers to Amazon Web Servers. Running applications on Amazon Web Services isn’t exactly the same as running them in traditional hosting environments. In some ways it feels the same and in others it feels, well, incredibly better.

With AWS we can build our applications on top of a scaleable and elastic, fault tolerant infrastructure that helps react automatically to any change in demand for your app. Here is the most common misconception of the cloud, it’s not magical. It doesn’t just “do everything for you”. You still need to build on it, code it, automate it, configure it, network it, and everything else. You just do it differently now. To help prepare organizations and individuals for this process, Amazon recently announced a certificate program called AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to sit in on this exam and pass it on the first try. Without breaking any NDA’s I agreed to while taking the exam, I’m going to attempt to help you “prepare” for the exam. After reading several other posts on the internet, I notice that they are pushing you disproportionately towards services such as VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Lets see if we can’t clear a few things up and help you prepare for this exam.

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