Discovering RedHat Enterprise Linux

I am a Windows guy so when it comes to Linux, I am a complete newbie although I’ve been exposed to a few RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 5 x86_64 tasks related to Oracle database administration. I’ve played around with Ubuntu and Fedora but I find it hard to adapt since I’m so used to Windows environment. Earlier this month, I was invited to attend a free half a day RedHat Workshop conducted by ECS Pericomp. I’ve dealt a few software purchase with them and so far I’ve been satisfied with their level of service.

ECS Pericomp is located in Kota Damansara. I had to hustle the peak traffic jam, I am puzzled of why is it that during the fasting month of Ramadan, the road traffic are more congested than usual. Maybe I was driving on the wrong route. Anyway, I arrived there slightly late and the presentation started:

I must say that ECS ICT Berhad is quite big. They have a list of smaller companies within their own premises. My company is way smaller than them.

Mike Lai is the Technology Specialist at ECS Pericomp. I really admire his presentation style because I think he loves to share stuff instead of selling.

Some brief explanation about what Open Source is all about.

Some of the software development milestone related to RedHat.

Some of the tools and features of RHEL. Mike continued to share that a lot other organization clone the RedHat to become their own, one is example is the Oracle Linux where the OS are fine tune with Oracle products.

Now this is what the entire workshop is all about, “Virtualization”. I’ve been exposed to virtualization ever since the creation of Virtual PC. From there, I moved on to VirtualBox and read a little bit about VMWare. It is really an interesting topic to learn and implement. I have a couple of ideas I wanted to experiment since my company has its own small data center and the aging servers are really hard to manage. Now comes the best part, demo:

In the demo, Mike showed how he actually makes a live migration. The Virtual Machine (VM) used is Windows XP. He opened a text file and without saving it, created an exact copy of the VM and launches it. The exact opened text file appears sort of like a clone. Of course this is no surprise for people who have been familiar with Virtual PC such as myself. However, the web-based virtualization tool used reminded me of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute EC2 I’ve been playing around 2 months ago.

As much as I marvel all this new cool technology, conveying the virtualization idea and practical issues is something to work on. Overall, this workshop benefited me well enough thanks to ECS.

Trying Out Ubuntu

I can’t remember where I stumbled upon ubuntu but I wasn’t really aware about their existence. Because of the bottleneck of broadband internet connection, I was put off from the idea of downloading Ubuntu which is based on Linux OS. So, on the 5th of May 2007, I requested a Ubuntu 7.04 (Fiesty Fawn) CD. At first I couldn’t believe that they are ship out those CD for free. However, I proceed to filled the form anyway.

Yesterday afternoon or 18 days later, I found this package inside my mailbox:

ubuntu shipped to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Inside the package is this:

ubuntu CD and stickers

It’s a CD package along with a few stickers of ubuntu. I am always excited to get something new so I tried my new OS immediately:

ubuntu on ashrufzz PC

I don’t want to install ubuntu yet on my PC, so I’m using the Live CD feature to try it out. So far, I’ve spent a couple of hours exploring this fantastic operating system. It detects all my computer hardware including my Wireless USB stick. I tried surfing the internet using my 4 days year old Maxis Wireless Broadband connection and it worked better than Windows. I’m still editing my review about my Maxis Wireless Broadband I just got last Sunday beside doing a couple of more testing. I’ll post my outcome shortly.

Here’s a screenshot of my ubuntu desktop:


I just love the desktop GUI and there is so much features and softwares bundled together that I become ecstatic about this OS. I’ll try and write something about my discovery in my next posts. Here comes the hard part, I’m still trying to figure out whether I should install dual boot-up (ubuntu and Win XP) or just use Virtual PC 2007 to install ubuntu under Windows environment. I’m a Windows user since the DOS era which later on followed by Windows version 3.1, Windows 95/98/NT/XP so it’s kind of hard to get used to something that we are not accustomed to. Oh well, I need to back-up all my files first before deciding anything.