Going Tesla


This week I’ve ordered a Tesla Model 3 – Long Range (AWD). I’m going full electric. Main reason for this is that, as a business owner, you have to pay a tax addition for private use of your business owned vehicle. For normal cars this is 22% of the retail price, so about 350 Euro netto a month. For EV vehicles, this amount is only 4% (22% for all above 50k catalogus price). So it will save you about 52% in taxes paid.

While my main interest was actually a Kia e-Niro, delivery times for this vehicle exceed about one year. Tesla is more expensive but has many advantages. The Supercharger network for example, with very reasonable electricity pricing (25 cents/kWh). But also the larger range. Advertised with 560km the real range should be about 300 km if you drive 130 km/h on the highway.

Delivery should be somewhere end of september. Yes. That’s 5 weeks after the initial order. I don’t know how Tesla manages this but no other car vendor is able to deliver this fast.

Update 18-sep: Delivery is planned for Saturday 21 september. Meanwhile I’m busy changing the electricity network at home to prepare to switch from a single phase (230 Volts, 35A) to 3-phase (400 Volts, 25A) connection to the grid.

CentOS 8 almost ready


While Red Hat released RHEL 8.1 beta last month, the guys at the CentOS project finished building the packages and done the Q&A. It’s now time to release CentOS 8. I guess the ISO’s are available end of this month as well as the repositories.

If you can’t wait for CentOS 8 and need to start your RHCSA or RHCE study and have a home-lab, I’d suggest to create a free Red Hat Developer account. This gives you access to 1 Metal or a 12 VM license.

Update 14-sep: The CentOS team will focus on building the 7.7 packages first due to the larger customer base. After that, they will release CentOS 8.0.
Update 18-sep: CentOS 7.7 seems available. The CentOS website displays 24-sep as release date for CentOS 8.0.

Red Hat Linux 7.7 Beta released


While I’m still waiting for the CentOS 8 build, Red Hat released Enterprise Linux 7.7 this week as beta version. So far, the most important change is support for Python 3. Other changes include:

  • The Samba package is rebased to version 4.9.1
  • SSSD now fully supports sudo rules stored in AD
  • The gcc-libraries are rebased to version 8.3.1
  • Spectre V2 mitigation changed from IBRS to Retpoline
  • The bind package is rebased to version 9.11
  • NetworkManager now supports VLAN filtering on bridge interfaces
  • NetworkManager now supports configuring policy routing rules
  • The nss packages are updated for Firefox 60 ESR
  • SCAP Security Guide supports Universal Base Image
  • The chrony package is rebased to version 3.4
  • The tuned package is rebased to version 2.11
  • The web console (cockpit) is rebased to version 191
  • The firewalld package is rebased to version 0.6.3

These services are now available in Technology Preview:

  • Containerized Identity Management server
  • Setting up IdM as a hidden replica
  • DNSSEC (finally!)
  • Use of AD and LDAP sudo providers
  • Wayland desktop
  • pNFS block layouts
  • kexec to update running kernels
  • YUM4, since Python 3 is now supported
  • USB 3.0 support for KVM guests

The complete release notes can be found here on the Red Hat website.

Ansible 2.8: Let’s –become


Last week, Red Hat released Ansible 2.8. One of the major changes is the new become facility, which will deprecate many former sudo functions.
The deprecated CLI arguments for –sudo, –sudo-user, –ask-sudo-pass, -su, –su-user, and –ask-su-pass have been removed, in favor of the more generic –become, –become-user, –become-method, and –ask-become-pass. Check your ansible.cfg and start using the new syntax.Other (minor) changes:

Other changes I might check out:

Check out the complete Ansible 2.8 porting guide on this website.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 released


Today, Red Hat released Enterprise Linux during a press-conference on the annual Red Hat Summit in Boston, MA. RHEL8 is available for download now. The first (upgrade) training is available to.

Red Hat is changing RHCE


Yesterday, Red Hat announced changes in the RHCE certification. As of RHEL8, the RHCE exam will include many parts of the EX407/Ansibe exam, since automation is getting more and more important. Current RHCE’s can recertify before the current RHCE (EX300) exam retires in June 2020.

More information can be found in this blogpost on the Red Hat website.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta


Yesterday, Red Hat released a beta of version 8 of their Enterprise Linux. Amongst others, changes are TLS1.3 support, Python 3+, yum is replaced by DNF and others. You can download your free copy via the Red Hat Developer program here.

The SCL repository is moved to ‘Application Streams’. No more hassle in /opt, etc. It will integrate much better into the Operating System and replace standard binaries if wanted.

RHEL8 is targeted to release somewhere in May, 2019.

First finding: When creating a default RHEL8 Virtual Machine in VMware with the RHEL8 profile, UEFI is selected. The installer will not run. Change this manually to BIOS to continue.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 Beta


Red Hat just released version 7.6 Beta of their Linux distribution. Amongst others, new features are:

  • Available updates are now shown in the Web Console (cockpit)
  • New FIPS compliant ciphers are available
  • The CephFS kernel client is now fully supported
  • XFS now supports modifying labels on mounted file systems
  • The ipset comment extension is now supported
  • firewalld rebased to version 0.5.3
  • RPM now provides Audit events
  • cockpit rebased to version 173
  • DNSSEC available as Technology Preview in IdM
  • Containerized Identity Management server available (Technology Preview)
  • Wayland available as a Technology Preview
  • kexec fast reboot as a Technology Preview
  • USBGuard enables blocking USB devices while the screen is locked (Technology Preview)
  • YUM 4 available as Technology Preview
  • USB 3.0 support for KVM guests
  • Python 2 has been deprecated
  • Ansible moves from the Extras to the Ansible channel
  • Sendmail has been deprecated. Use Postfix
  • Btrfs has been deprecated

The complete Release Notes can be found on the Red Hat website.

Cleanup old brew packages


Here is how to save lots of space after multiple brew updates.

r2d2@starfighter:~ $ brew cleanup

Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/go/1.9.3… (7,652 files, 294.0MB)
Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.14_2… (6,344 files, 87.6MB)
Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/kubernetes-cli/1.9.2… (172 files, 65.3MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Caches/Homebrew/go-1.9.3.high_sierra.bottle.tar.gz… (89.4MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Caches/Homebrew/kubernetes-cli-1.9.2.high_sierra.bottle.tar.gz… (14.9MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/wget… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/go… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/awscli… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/sqlite… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/imagemagick… (64B)

==> This operation has freed approximately 551.2MB of disk space.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 Beta


Red Hat just released version 7.5 Beta of their Linux distribution. Amongst others, new features are:

  • Integration of Ansible Automation with OpenSCAP
  • Compliance improvements with PHP/NTP and bonding;
  • The introduction of Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO)
  • Enhanced usability of the Cockpit administrator console
  • Windows Server 2016 domain levels are supported for trust
  • OpenLDAP is now compiled with the OpenSSL library
  • Samba is rebased to version 4.7.1
  • Kernel 4.14 brining support to ARM processors

The complete Release Notes can be found on the Red Hat website.

VMware IT Academy to change


VMware has informed academies worldwide that they will no longer be able to offer classes through Continuing Education programs as of July 31, 2018.  Additionally, VMware is not going to allow academies to teach the official Install, Configure and Manage and/or Optimize and Scale classes as of July 31, 2018. This includes the cheap option to get your VCP mandatory training via Stanly Community College (SCC), as written down before.

A new VCA level course that will fulfill the class requirement for VCP certification will be available via an option in our curriculum program.  More details will be available later this year. But already known is that prices will go up fast. For SCC this means  $918.25 for out of state students, whilst the current pricing is around $185.

SCC is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible and excellent IT training.  We regret that the changes VMware is making to the program increase student costs and limit course availability.  If you use VMware products in your environment and are not happy with the changes VMware has made to the VMware IT Academy program, we suggest you inform your Dell/EMC/VMware representatives of your dissatisfaction with the changes.

SCC will offer two more courses, one starting in March and the other in May. Add yourself to the waiting list on this website if you were planning the (VMware approved) VCP training via Stanly.

New VMware home lab


I’ve updated my VMware home lab. Until now, I’ve used 2 Mac Minis with 16 Gbyte memory each and an Intel i5 as processor. The Mini’s had local SSD storage and a Synology NAS (DS1815+) for shared storage. Some disadvantages were the lack of multiple NICs and the limited memory per host. The new lab is build on top of these parts:

  • Intel NUC 7 with Kaby Lake i5 processor
  • 32 Gbyte (2×16) DDR4 SODIMM Memory
  • 240 Gbyte Samsung 960 M2 SSD, NVMe ready
  • 1 Tbyte Seagate hard-drive, 2,5″, 7200 RPM
  • DeLOCK USB 3.0 gigalan Adapter (asix chipset)

The lab requirements were:

  • VMware vSAN and NSX ready
  • Also usable for Hyper-V, RHEV, etc.
  • Multiple Gigabit NICs
  • Low power consumption (!)
  • Total price below €800 ($1000) per node

I was in doubt between the faster i7 or this i5 NUC, but since one of the requirements was that a node should cost less than $1000 the i7 was out of reach. This 3-node setup is still about €2.500 ($3000) in total. For the same reason (pricing), the new HP Microserver Gen.10 was no option, tough you get more cores, NIC’s, M2 slots, disk-slots and PCIe expansion slots for your money.

To use the 2 extra NIC’s with ESXi custom drivers are needed. But since the on-board NIC and storage-controller are not on VMware’s HCL, I needed to create a custom image anyway. The issue about the NIC drivers is written down here, here and here.

Licensing is done via de VMUG Advantage licensing program. Enough to do for the next weekend…


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