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First CentOS 8 server live

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I’m busy with the first CentOS 8 web server. Since I use DirectAdmin to make my live easier when it comes to hosting some websites the supplier of this web-based admin interface still has the Alpha-tag on the software. The main reason to be ready for CentOS 8 obviously is support for TLS1.3, which is a requirement for upcoming features like QUIC and http/3 support in the near future, making websites faster.

With the switch to CentOS 8 I’m also test-driving LiteSpeed as web server replacement for Nginx which is currently the frond-end used for Apache. And Apache is still needed for .htaccess and mod_rewrite support. I hope LiteSpeed (OpenLiteSpeed in this case) can replace both Apache and Nginx as a web server.

With these upgrade I’m also enabling DNSSEC extensions for the main domains used by the server, DNS and mail. The domain aklmedia.nl is already signed and IPv6 is enabled again. Due to some problems with my home provider I had to temporarily disable support in order to be able to access my own servers.

Bye Franz, Welcome Station

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Earlier I wrote about the all-on-one messenger app Franz. I really liked the application, but unfortunately the developer is going way too commercial. The latest Franz version looks like a 1997 spareware application. So it was time to say goodby and goodluck.

There are multiple alternatives which I’ve tried. The best one is Station. It’s completely free, supports 500+ applications and as a bonus it has 1Password integration for those who use this as password manager. Now hope this developer isn’t going nuts and going to ask 6 euro/month.

Going Tesla

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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