Archive for the ‘ Linux’ Category

Fix for Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit crashing caused by Nvidia drivers.

About a year ago I switched from Linux Mint to Ubuntu because I had gone to work for Zend and Zend did not support Mint.

I had been running Ubuntu 12.04  32 bit on a Thinkpad T61 and kept that version because Ubuntu 13.10 comes with Apache 2.4 which was not supported in Zend Server until version 6.3  (Feb 2014)

Having left Zend I though I would upgrade my Linux boxes to 13.10 and installed Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit on my Thinkpad 13.10.

Everything went as expected with the install but actually using Ubuntu 13.10 on my T61 was frustrating.

Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit began crashing a lot !

Click on the Unity Icon – CRASH (well, a bit more than 1/2 the time).

Open lots of Windows in Firefox, CRASH.

After a bit of searching I discovered that there seems to be a universal issue with the default (one source) drivers on Debian based distros and Nvidia graphics sets.

It turns out that Nvidia makes proprietary Linux drivers for their graphics sets as well.

Note: The hard core open source folks will tell you not to use closed source drivers and not to installed from unverified PPA sources.

In my case the steps below not only seems to ave stopped the crashing and increased my graphics performance.

Your mileage may vary.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
sudo apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

Mozilla Apps on Linux from the Community !

I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last six months focusing on HTML5 “apps”. There continues to be profound confusion about defining what exactly an HTML5 “app” is and that’s OK. One of the great things about HTML5 is the wide variety of ways that you can choose to use it.

One of the prospects that I’m most excited about is the ability to create applications with HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript that provide user experiences like that of a natively built apps.

Mozilla has been working on both a “Web Run Time”  to enable this type of development and a Marketplace for really broad distribution of such apps.

As a non-profit organization, Mozilla has limited funds and resources. We don’t have thousands, or even hundreds of software developers in our engineering teams to point at any given problem at any particular point in time.

What we DO have though is a great global community.

The size of our team has required that we not build the entire Web Run Time for all devices at the same time. To start with the largest user share we have focused on Windows and Mac first.

Though I use Windows, Mac, and Linux – I prefer to do my web development on Linux and I’ve missed the apps support on Linux.

My wishes have been answered by Marco Castelluccio. If Marco’s name is familiar to you it may be because he recently won the Mozilla Dev Derby contest for his IndexedDB entry.

Marco, a student, wrote and submitted the Web Run Time support to Firefox for Linux and it’s now available in the Firefox Nightly channel.

How cool is that?! – Real production features submitted by a community member on the same time line as the company’s own code.

Here is what the apps experience looks like on Linux.

First you need to install Firefox Nightly (as of this writing) and you don’t want to do it through the package manager / Nightly PPA as it tends to lag a bit. (If what I just said doesn’t make sense to you – just ignore it. Installation  is simple.

You will net Firefox Nightly for Linux at

Download Firefox NightlyThe size of our team has required that we not build the entire Web Run Time for all devices at the same time. As the largest user share we have focused on Windows and Mac first. Though I use Windows, Mac, and Linux – I prefer to do my web development on Linux and I’ve missed the apps support on Linux.

Download the correct version, extract the files and put them where you want them.

If you double click on the extracted “firefox” binary file it should run (make sure permissions are set to allow execution).

Of course you can create a desktop shortcut or if you are using Ubuntu Unity you can pin Firefox Nightly there as well.

AS of this moment, the Mozilla Marketplace is in a “limited” beta so if you are not a Mozillian of a developer who previously submitted an app you won’t yet be able to get access to the store, but I’ll show you the acquisition process in as seen in Linux with Marco’s code.

When I click Log In I am prompted to authenticate with BrowserID.

BrowserID Log In

Note the message that confirms the Marketplace is not yet open to the general public.

Mozilla Marketplace Opening Soon

Now I’ll use the search feature to find my Round Time app.

Search Timer Apps

Mine is the second one so I’ll click to navigate to the KO Timer page on the Mozilla Marketplace.

When I click on the Install Button I get the permissions prompt.

Marketplace Install Permissions Prompt

When installation is compete I can search for and find the “KO Round Timer” in the application launcher (I’m using Ubuntu)

When I run the app here is what I see.

KO Timer Start Screen

You can also run the same app in Firefox at

Running as an app on Ubuntu I can stick the KO Timer to the Unity Launcher…

KO Timer Stuck to Unity

Progress is a great thing and THANKS to Marco for his awesome work !

Run Firefox Daily and make the web better! – Ubuntu Install Steps.

If you are any kind of a techie you run some pre-release software.

Since joining Mozilla I’ve been amazed at how much work gets done by such a small group of people.

One of the ways this happens is that the Open Source community helps and not just by writing code. Testing new features and filing bugs is vastly important too.

Plus, you get to use the latest and greatest features.

As a truely Open Source project, the daily build (actually the NIGHTLY builds) of Firefox are available each day.

You can download the Nightly Firefox Builds HERE

Downloading the Firefox Nightly Builds

The Mac and Windows builds give you installers but, as Linux wizzards know, Linux works a bit differently.

The easier way to do it is to open a Terminal window and use the following three separate commands.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-trunk

Then you can use the automatically installed launcher to run Firefox Nightly.

Launch Firefox Nightly Build

Tada !

How to set up Ubuntu Linux for Android Development

I’ve been developing cross platform apps using HTML5 for deployment across Desktops, Tablets, and Phones. Lots of interesting apps can be built without talking to the hardware but sooner or later, we always want to go deeper. Mozilla is working Won an exciting “Web Runtime” ( read more here ) and there is a version of Firefox for Android.

Though I don’t want to build native Android Apps, I do want to get under the covers and experiment with building the Open Web Apps runtime components (it’s so cool working for an organization where EVERYTHING we build is open source and available for download WHILE it’s being developed.)

Since I hit a couple of snags getting things set up I though I’d share the steps that I used in the hopes that it would help someone else who is just getting started.

Though there are good commercial Java / Android Development tools available, the standard is to use Eclipse and the ADT, so that’s what I’ll be setting up in the steps below.

Eclipse is itself a Java App. On my Ubuntu machine the default Java Runtime was OpenJDK which is not recommended for running Eclipse.

So the first thing that we want to do is make sure that we have our Ubuntu system up to date, the latest version of the Java run-time and JDK installed and our Ubuntu box configured to use the Sun versions by default.

Start by opening up a terminal window.

If you are brand new to Ubuntu you can find any application (including apps you haven’t yet installed) by using the Unity Launcher Bar

The Ubuntu Unity Task Launcher

  1. Click on the Ubuntu App Button on the top.
  2. Start typing the name of the application you are looking for.
  3. If it appears in Installed Apps – click to run it. If it appears in available apps, install it.

Terminal will be installed. Click on it to run.

sudo apt-get update

Enter your password when the sudo command in the terminal prompts you for it.

Leave the terminal window open when the command completes.

Next run upgrade.

sudo apt-get upgrade

Now we need to get the Java JDK

You can install it from your open terminal:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

The command above installs only the JDK. I wanted to make user everything Java was installed on my machine and up to date to avoid problems with unresolved dependencies later on so I ran this command:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-bin sun-java6-jre

sudo sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-source

You can run them all at once but I broke them up for formatting here on my blog.

Now we want to check and confirm that Java and the JDK / Java Compiler installed and being used are the latest. This is necessary because you can have as many different versions installed on your machine but only one will be the default.

java -version

javac -version

And you should see something like this.

Check Java Versions on Ubuntu

Check Java Versions on Ubuntu

If some other version appears (like the Open JDK) then you can change the default by running this command and choosing the version that you just installed.

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Once done, we need to instal lthe Adroid SDK.

Get it here :

Downloading the Android SDKDownloading the Android SDK

You can decompress the files and place them in a location that makes sense for your Linux usage.

I put mine in /usr/apps/android-sdk

We also want to add the Android SDK to our shell path.

To do this, open a Nautilus instance (File Explorer) and navigae to your Home directory.

/home/joesstagner” in my case.

Then use the menu to select View->Show Hidden Files

Ubuntu Show Hiden FIles

Ubuntu Show Hiden FIles

Find the .bashrc file and open it with the text editor of your choice.

Append the following line, changing the entry to reflect the location that you chose for the Android SDK

export PATH=${PATH}:/home/apps/android-sdk/tools

Save and close the file.

Now we can install Eclipse.

There are two ways that you can do this – but the important part is that you install “Eclipse for Java Developers“.

If you install the bare bones version of Eclipse you may find yourself in dependency hell when you try to set Eclipse up for Android.

You can download Eclipse for Java from

Download Eclipse for Java

Download Eclipse for Java

In my case I will use Ubuntu’s synaptic package manager to install Eclipse.

You can find and run the Synaptic Package Manager using the technique referenced above.

Install Eclipse with the Synaptic Package Manager on Ubuntu

Install Eclipse with the Synaptic Package Manager on Ubuntu

Note that I installed both Eclipse and Java development components.

Now we are ready to download and install the Eclipse plugin for Android Development.

1. Start Eclipse, then select Help -> Software Updates….
2. In the dialog that appears, select the Available Software tab.
3. Click Add Site…
4. Enter the Location:

Note: It’s probably better to use https for the download but I had problems in doing so.

Add the Android Developer Tools to Eclipse

Add the Android Developer Tools to Eclipse

Then select the tools :

Add ADT - Select Tools

Add ADT - Select Tools

Click next until you get to the EULA and agree to it (click yes)

Eclipse will download and install the ADT.

Installing the Android Developers Kit - ADT

Installing the Android Developers Kit - ADT

You may see a warning that the code to be downloaded is unsigned.

ADT Unsigned Security Warning

ADT Unsigned Security Warning

I chose to install anyway.

When everything is installed, Eclipse will prompt you to re-start Eclipse.

Restart Eclipse

Restart Eclipse

When you restart, Eclipse may ask you about updating the Android SDK

Eclipse Add Reference to Android SDK

Eclipse Add Reference to Android SDK

Eclipse will ask you a couple of permission questions – say yes.

When it’s all done we can select New -> Project

New Android Project in Eclipse

New Android Project in Eclipse

Now we’re ready to start building an Android App !

60 Days as a Linux user by a recovering Windows Guy.

I wasn’t sure that I’d ever write this post, but many folks have asked my to blog about my Linux choices so here it is.

I’ve always been a bit of an OS junkie. I Loved CP/M, DOS, OS2, NeXT, etc. and I’ve been a Linux user for well over a decade, but I’ve never used it as my primary machine. If whatever I was using for fun didn’t live up to my needs I could always just switch over to my Windows machine.

In the decade that I spent at Microsoft, and even before, Microsoft got Desktop Windows right in very other release. Windows 98 was super, Windows ME was a dud. Windows XP was awesome, Windows Vista sucked. Windows 7 was really solid, Windows 8 looks….  well, I don’t think the trend is in any jeopardy.

When I joined Mozilla I quickly noticed that nearly everyone uses a Mac. Mozilla is a quintessential Open Source organization and you probably think that makes Mozilla anti-Microsoft. That was what I expected and it’s what Microsoft thinks and says about Open Soucers. On my first day at Mozilla the I.T. guys asked me “Do you want a Mac or a Win 7 Lenovo”?

I ended up with one of each. First I got an i7 Macbook Air. It’s a great piece of hardware and I love it’s feel and it’s battery life but I’m really not a OS/X lover. Since I’ll be building a good amount of guidance for ASP.NET developers I got a Lenovo W520 as well. When I received the machine it was running the Windows 8 Developer Preview but I upgraded to Windows 7

Still,  I really wanted to find out if I could be happy doing all my daily business on a Linux machine.

So, I backed up my office machine (a T61P that I purchased myself) and installed Ubuntu 11.10.

It’s been my primary machine since I started at Mozilla two months ago and I have to say that I’m surprised at how painless the transition has been. I have not HAD to use my Windows box for ANYTHING in that 60 days.

Here’s my desktop.

Ubuntu was very easy to install on my Thinkpad and I kept the default Gnome theme and found a dark wallpaper that I liked.

The big trick to learning to like Linux is to commit to stick with it. There are so many cool features in Linux itself and the applications, but learning them takes time. Many things are more “techie” than in Windows, which can mean they’re more powerful but can also mean there is a greater learning curve.

For example, my Dad could probably be happy using Ubuntu if he only had to install software from the Ubuntu marketplace or event the Synaptic Package Manager but if he needed to install something manually (as I’ll write about shortly) and have to open a shell or a Nautilus instance as super user, figure out permissions and run programs without clicking on them, well those things would probably be a show-stopper.

For me, I’m slowed down a bit as I’m doing certain things for the firs time, but I’m getting the hang of it. It’s certainly less frustrating to me than getting around in Windows 8 Metro.

But let’s talk tools.

All of the software that I’m going to talk aboiut below is available either in the Free Ubuntu Software Center or through the optional Synaptic Package manager. (Unless I specify otherwise.)


LibreOffice, which is a fork of OpenOffice, comes installed by default on Ubuntu. I used Microsoft Office every day and frequently talked to folks about how Microsoft Office was better than OpenOffice. MS Office is more polished and the individual tools in the suite each have more features than their free and open alternatives but much to my surprise, I haven’t missed anything. I use Writer (Word) and Impress (PowerPoint)  every day. Writer’s formatting features took a little getting used to but I’ve made the transition with relative ease. I’ve used Calc (Excel) as well, but not for anything serious so I can’t relay speak to how it compares to Excel.


Life runs on email. Lots of folks at Mozilla use GMail but I like desktop clients. While there are many email clients on Linux to choose from, I quickly narrowed down my list to three choices and now use two programs daily.

Here are the three on my short list.

Evolution is probably the best known Linux email client and it is a fine one, though configuration is a but kludgey.

Mozilla Thunderbird is my favorite email client and I use it, along with the Lightening Calendar plug-in on Windows.

On Linux, however, manual installation is a pain and the release channel for Ubuntu lags behind a bit. As of this writing the Linux release version of Thunderbird (7.01) is incompatible with the latest version of the Lightening Calendar plug in. I’m still using Thunderbird on Linux though, but not with the Lightening plug-in.

I like the display better than any of the other options but have to switch back and forth to see my calendar.

The Zimbra Desktop is one I hadn’t heard of until I started at Mozilla. Zimbra is made by VMWare. The Zimbra Desktop is a free alternative to Microsoft Outlook and there are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. They also make an Open Source alternate to Microsoft Exchange Server. Since Mozilla uses the Zimbra Mail Server, the Zimbra Desktop client works very well.

Since the current version of Thunderbird and the Lightening Plugin aren’t in sync at the moment I’m using the standalone Mozilla Calendar Application “Sunbird”.

Dev Tools

Of course my browser is Firefox but one of Firefox’s comparative strengths has always been it’s developer features and available developer extensions. The Firebug and YSlow extensions to Firefox are standards in my Web Developer’s toolbox on any platform.

Now for the Editor / IDE argument.

If I coded 10 hours a day and didn’t build guidance for other developers I’d probably just use EMACS. But I don’t code 10 hours a day and I do build guidance for others so I’ve just never gotten good enough at EMACS to be really productive.

That has made me an IDE guy. What I use every day depends on what I’m doing. I’ve used all the greats.

  • Aptana Studio
  • Netbeans
  • Komodo
  • Eclipse
  • Zend Studio

They are all good and I continue to use them but right now I’m doing HTML5 / JavaScript work and experimenting with NODE.js

Though I like, and still often use, Aptana, my daily use HTML/JavaScript dashboard is JetBrains WebStorm. Right now it’s on sale for $35 and there is a 30 day trial. I paid $69 and find it well worth the money.

Here’s a snapshot of it fired up.

CSS editing was a worry point for me. I’m very partial to the TopStyle CSS Editor.

Just for fun I tried installing Topstyle, which is a Windows program, on Linux.

Ubuntu (Linux) has an optional component called Wine. With Wine you can install many native Windows programs and run them on Linux.

I was able to install and run TopStyle without any problems, but I did also find a good native CSS Editor For Linux – CSS Ed.

CSS Ed is free and installable via the Ubuntu Software Center.

Read the rest of this entry »

Selecting and Installing JavaScript Developer Tools for Linux

Choosing an editor or IDE for development is a personal thing, like choosing a car. What is a perfect ride for one person offers no interest at all to another. Personally, I was never happy with only one car and usually want different ones in the garage so that I can choose the one that most closely matches my mood or the kind of driving that I need to do.

Some folks like the help and tooling of a fully integrated environment like Visual Studio. Others like the hardcore elitism of EMACS or Vi. I’m a pragmatist, I like tools that just help me get the job done.

For right now I’ll focus on tools for the client side of web development. Here’s what I’ve chosen. All of these tools are free. There is one commercial application that I’ll add at the end because I think it’s worth the money.

jEdit is a good general programmer’s editor with syntax highlighting support and, though it’s feature rich, it doesn’t get in your way while you’re writing code.

jEdit is written in Java and so it runs on Linux. Mac and Windows. I especially like the rich plug-in repository where i can get and add all kinds of specific features that I’m interested in.

You can install jEdit via the Ubuntu Software Center.

And you can get plug-ins here –

Though jEdit is a great general purpose programmer’s editor, I tend to like something with HTML specific features when doing HTML work.

Though there are many HTML editors available for Linux and most of them are free, most of them lack any specific support for HTML5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Running Windows Programs on Linux – a tutorial.

Though I’m a long time Linux user, it’s only been a few weeks since I went “cold turkey” and made Linux my primary operating system. LibreOffice has been serving me just fine for all my document work, I’m running much of my daily task work with Google and Thunderbird with Lightening as serving my email and calendar needs just fine.

I’ve found many great development tools too. But, there has been just one Windows application that I have really missed. TopStyle – the CSS editor.

There is a pretty good CSS tool installable from the Ubuntu software center, CSSEd Editor, and for folks with good visual design skills it’s probably plenty powerful enough but TopStyle has a first rate visual preview and didn’t find a way to do that in CSSEd.

So, I broke down and installed TopStyle on Linux.

Yep, TopStyle is a Windows program and I’m running Linux.

To solve this problem we will use WINE to run TopStyle on Linux. “Wine” is a translation layer for Linux running on Intel x86 machines that is capable of running Windows applications. Note that this is not an emulator, so performance is good, but Wine won’t let you run 100% of the applications out there. You can read more about Wine [ HERE ]

Lets walk through getting my Windows program (TopStyle 4) installed and running on Ubuntu Linux.

First, I’ve copied the TopStyle installer to my Linux desktop.

When I double-click on the .exe file to run it I get the following dialog.

You can see that Linux, by default, doesn’t understand the Windows executable file format.

To install Wine, start up the Ubuntu Software Center and enter the word “wine” into the search box.

You will select and install the package “Microsoft Windows Compatibility Layer (meta package).
Read the rest of this entry »

Trying Linux for Windows Users – A visual tutorial.

I was an “Open Source” guy at Microsoft so it only made sense that I did some of my development on Linux.

Many folks have emailed me since leaving Microsoft and joining Mozilla with questions about my decision. While I do intend to blog about my “logic” sometime in the weeks to come, I wanted to invite my readers to join me in zooming up my Open Source skills.

Mozilla provided me with a Mac Book Air and a Samsung Android Tablet, both of which I love, but for web development, I’m going with Linux.

Why ?

Contrary to some popular belief, OS/X is not Linux under the covers. People also say it’s FreeBSD under the covers but I don’t think that is accurate either.

OS/X is based on the Mach Kernel which grew out of NeXTSTEP from which it inherited UNIX-ish bits from FreeBSD and OpenBSD. [ read more ]

The significant majority of apps on the web run on Linux. I’ve hosed sites on Centos for many years and found it to be fast, stable, and very cost effective.

It make’s sense to do your development on the technology that is as close as possible to your deployment stack.

I don’t like the “boxed” web stacks like WAMP or MAMP and I don’t like the way OX/S obscures the OS (again, just for web development purposes.)

Of course there are MANY Linux distros (distributions) to choose from. For production servers my choices are :

  • Red Hat REL when the solution domain required an on-demand support option.
  • CentOS what it does not.

But, for my development desktop I like a little more feature “wiz”. My hard core Open Source buddies will all remind me that “real men use Debian”, but, I’m a pragmatist. What’s more, two of my “other” favorite distros are built on top of Debian.

If you’re new to Linux you may wonder why such a thing matters to you. Well, there are two very popular “packaging strategies” for Linux applications.

  • Red Hat .rpm files
  • Debian .deb files

Both are popular but it seems to me that the .deb format is more current, probably due to the popularity of Ubuntu.   is a great site where you can track the relative popularity of the various Linux distributions. Note that the two most popular (right now ) are Ubuntu (which is built on Debian) and Mint (which is in turn built om Ubuntu). The latest version of Ubuntu came out with a new desktop style called Unity which had been received with mixed reviews and that seems to have resulted in a surge in the popularity pf Mint. It’s really a matter of preference and it’s easy to run Ubuntu without running the new Unity style desktop.

For Windows users moving to Linux, one thing that is a bit of a convenience on Mint is that Mint Linux pre-configures “Wine” and an application installer for Wine. Wine makes it possible to run many (but not all) Windows application on Linux.

Of course, you can also run Wine (and therefore many Windows applications) run on Ubuntu, but for getting started Mint makes it just a little bit more straight forward.

I run both Ubuntu and Mint. In fact I never sell old PCs so I have almost every popular distro running somewhere in my office.

If you’re a developer using Windows (or any Windows user) you probably don’t want to just wipe out your Windows box and re-pave it with Linux, so I thought I’d help folks get started in a way that doesn’t require you to give anything up or take any risks. (Or pay any money.)

In the tutorial below I’ll walk you through setting up Ubuntu on Windows inside a virtual machine.

This will not cost you a penny. Just a few gigabytes of disk space.

NOTE : I do NOT suggest you try this with Microsoft’s free  VirtualPC. Recent versions of the Linux Kernel have problems in MS-VPC. This has been true for years and is a known issue that Microsoft has not fixed. (Which sort of makes sense as their Virtualization products are intended to virtualize their operating systems, though Microsoft’s server virtualization options do provide some level of Linux support.)

The good news is that VMware now offers a free desktop option for personal use. (There are Free Open Source options as well.)

Click on the link below to view the rest of this post and read the tutorial that will walk you though setting up an Ubuntu Linux Virtual PC…..

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Expanding Interoperability to Community Linux

This morning Microsoft announced that, with immediate effect, it will support Windows Server2008 R2 Hyper-V running CentOS, a popular Linux distribution for hosters. This was the number one requirement for interoperability that we heard from that community.

“This development enables our hosting partners to consolidate their mixed Windows and Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V; reducing cost and complexity, while betting on an enterprise class virtualization platform. I want to thank the Microsoft Open Source Technology Center for the work they have done with the community to make this possible,” Sandy Gupta, a general manager in Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, said in a blog post.

Gupta will also be delivering a keynote address at the opening day of the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco today. During the keynote he, along with his colleague Fabio Cunha, will demonstrate the cross-platform architecture of Microsoft’s Private Cloud.

“We will show implementation that supports multiple hypervisors and delivers a platform for the transformation of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure into an automated mixed source Cloud infrastructure. Fabio will show demos of various cross-platform capabilities of System Center Operations Manager, System Center Orchestrator, and also how customers can use a single pane of glass to deploy patches and updates across Windows and Linux Servers,” Gupta said.

You can read the full announcement here at the “Openness at Microsoft” blog.

This is just another example of how Microsoft continues to work on becoming more open in how we develop solutions; work with the open source communities; and how we’re making mixed source solutions a reality for businesses as they transition to the Cloud.  You can read more on work being done towards cloud computing from this week’s TechEd conference in Atlanta.

But there’s more to be done, especially as we think about the evolution of Cloud architectures and the growth of IT in emerging markets.

“We like to think that we have a mature IT ecosystem today, but in many ways, it is still in its infancy and there is a lot more scope of IT Automation is the promise of the cloud. Technologies continue to emerge and evolve. Innovation cycles are becoming shorter. Businesses are increasingly dependent on, and demanding of, their IT resources. There are many challenges – and opportunities – ahead of us. Competition is healthy, but collaboration will be the tide that raises all boats,” Gupta said.

Linus Torvalds: Microsoft Hatred is a Disease

I’ve been doing “Open Source” stuff for a decade, but I work at Microsoft (They don’t call me Misfit for nothing.)

There are a few folks in the so called Open Source Community that viscerally HATE Microsoft. Personally I consider this a chosen form of stupidity.

I love working at Microsoft and I love many of our products, and I dislike some of the others.

I love and use many non-Microsoft products, and hate others.

But I do so based on the products attributes.

Lest we forget what the original Open Source thing was all about,

Linux Magazine reports on some interesting Linus Torvalds comments…

I’m a big believer in “technology over politics”. I don’t care who it comes from, as long as there are solid reasons for the code, and as long as we don’t have to worry about licensing etc issues.

I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.

There are ‘extremists’ in the free software world, but that’s one major reason why I don’t call what I do ‘free software’ any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.”

There is not a single word here that I can disagree with. While I think it’s perfectly acceptable to for the Free and open source community to be a little more vigilant when it comes to Microsoft’s forays into this world, the outright blind hatred is nothing but a detrimental force that holds the Free and open source community back.


I agree that it’s driven by selfish reasons, but that’s how all open source code gets written! We all “scratch our own itches”. It’s why I started Linux, it’s why I started git, and it’s why I am still involved. It’s the reason for everybody to end up in open source, to some degree.

So complaining about the fact that Microsoft picked a selfish area to work on is just silly. Of course they picked an area that helps them. That’s the point of open source – the ability to make the code better for your particular needs, whoever the ‘your’ in question happens to be.

Does anybody complain when hardware companies write drivers for the hardware they produce? No. That would be crazy. Does anybody complain when IBM funds all the POWER development, and works on enterprise features because they sell into the enterprise? No. That would be insane.

So the people who complain about Microsoft writing drivers for their own virtualization model should take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves why they are being so hypocritical.

It’s always refreshing to hear someone level-headed discuss issues like this. I guess this is also the reason why, after so many years, Linus is still the undisputed benevolent dictator of

Replacing high-end Unix with enterprise Linux? Not so fast.

I thought this article at LinuxWorld was interesting [ Click HERE to Read ].

“Some customers are finding that they have a place for both and that Linux isn’t necessarily an economic no-brainer”

Now before the SlashDot army starts to spam the MisfitGeek, I’m a LONG TIME Unix guy and Linux user.

I just hate buzzword jockeys that churn popular phraseology to support their emotional argument without qualified data to back it up !

Updating my Centos 5.2 System to use PHP 5.2.6

I’m working on my demos for ZendCon and updating a PHP Chat application built on the Microsoft Ajax Client Libraries and the PHPMSAJAX codeplex project.

Since I want to use a JSON serializer and PHP 5.2 has one built in, I wanted to upgrade the default PHP version on CentOS (5.1) to 5.2.

To do this, I needed to install from an alternate repository maintained by “Remi” .

He has a repository for many distros, but since I’m updating CentOS, I used the RedHat ES5 repository.

Here are the commands you need to run.



rpm -Uvh remi-release-5*.rpm epel-release-5*.rpm

Ater these steps the .rpm(s) are you your system but that not installed and active.

To “install” them do this…..

yum –enablerepo=remi update php

PHP 5.2.6 should now be installed.

Check by running this command in a console.

# php -v

The output should indicate the latest version of PHP.

To see the results from phpinfo(); you’ll probably have to restart Apache. (Or at least I did.)

ReactOS – What’s the point ?

The GPL dudes have invented a new Operating System.


I especially get a kick out of how it’s a complete rip-off of Windows, but their web site has a bunch of dialog protecting their Trademark !

I know that a small but ridiculously loud minority in the Open Source community have nothing better to do with their energies than to hate all that is Microsoft, but really, what’s the point.

If a guy runs Ubuntu on his laptop and Centos on his server, I get it! Working at Microsoft doesn’t make me stupid. I have a box I se every day that runs Linux and I have a MacBook Pro that I use every day too. (Though if I had to pick only one OS it would still be Windows)

I get why Linux is fun. How does that thing work? Crack the code! I want a good custom phone screening system, no problem, I’ll write a custom filter for Asterisk.

But if you want / need to run Windows Applications or Windows simply makes the most business sense for you, why would you want to use a “not as good” clone ?

If you wanna use Linux use a real Linux – if your gonna use Windows – use a REAL Windows !

Linux Losing Market Share to Windows Server

eWeek Says that Linux is Losing Market Share to Windows.

Click HERE to read the article.

Great set of tips for installing Linux in Virtual PC

Several Distro Specific Links Here:

Red Hat EL Here:

Linux System Clock Issue in VPC:

Installing Ubuntu 6.10 in a Virtual PC

I’ve never benn a big fan of virtualization, Id rather just have twice as much hardware 

But since I’ll be spending most of the time between now and July on the road, I thought I’d revisit VirtualPC again, especially now that the 2007 version is out and there is a free desktop version.

Since I’m working on some interop demos, I started with trying to install Ubuntu. WHile LInux installer hardware detection generally sucks, for native installations I’ve found Ubuntu’s HD logic to be very good.

My first try installing Ubuntu 6.10 on VPC 2007 wasn’t so good.

There ius a problem that has to do with the boot splash and 16 pixel vs 24 pixel

I found this workaround in a Ubuntu blog and it works like a charm:

Step 1: Boot Live CD, press F6 (Other Options)
Step 2: Go near the end of the line and remove the word splash, then press Enter.
Step 3: After Ubuntu 6.10 boots, Press Crtl-Alt-F1 to get to a command line interface.
Step 4: Type in the following command to reset defaultdepth from 24 to 16:

sudo sed -e ‘s/DefaultDepth.*24/DefaultDepth 16/g’ -i /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Step 5: Press Ctrl-Alt-F7 to return to the Ubunto Desktop.
Step 6: Press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to reload the Ubunto Desktop.
Step 7: Graphics are now properly adjusted, and you can perform an installation under VPC.