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Welcome to the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group

Linux - The Operating System of the 21st Century TM

SVLUG Meeting History

The most recent entries, and upcoming meetings, are on our main meetings page.

Previous Meetings

Date Location Speaker
October 8th, 2019 Hacker Dojo, Santa Clara Drew Moseley,
Technical Solutions Architect, Mender.io project
Topic: A Million Ways to Provision Embedded Linux Images

Embedded Linux is increasingly common, due to explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). There are countless off-the-shelf hardware platforms capable of running embedded Linux, each with its own way to generate and provision images to device storage media.

OpenEmbedded is a popular build system for embedded Linux, and is supported by a wide variety of board manufacturers. This build system will be used to discuss different mechanisms for initial provisioning of a variety of hardware platforms, and demonstrate the most widely used mechanisms for getting a new image onto the board.

This session will also cover related topics such as OTA (over the air) updates, package manager updates, and containers.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Drew Moseley is currently part of the Mender.io open source project to deploy OTA software updates to embedded Linux devices. He has worked on embedded projects such as RAID storage controllers, direct- and network- attached storage devices, and graphical pagers.

He's spent the last 7 years working in Operating System Professional Services, helping customers develop production embedded Linux systems. He's spent his career in embedded software and developer tools, and has focused on embedded Linux and Yocto for about 10 years. He's currently Customer Engineer at Northern.tech (the company behind the OSS project Mender.io), helping customers develop safer, more-secure connected devices. He's has spoken at various conferences, including Embedded Linux Conference, OSCON, Embedded Systems Conference, Texas Linux Fest, and other technology conferences, and worked previously for Mentor Graphics, Red Hat, Intel, and Monta Vista Software.

This meeting is co-sponsored by SFBayLUG meetup & SVLUG, who both owe huge thanks to Sarah Newman for arranging the venue.

Date Location Speaker
June 11th, 2019 Hacker Dojo, Santa Clara Johannes Ernst
Topic: Paradux: Recover from Maximum Personal Data Disaster

Many of the residents of towns wiped out by last year's California wildfires didn't have time to grab their laptops, bring hard disks, or take password-recovery sheets with them. Similarly, what if your favorite cloud services simply kicks you off? Personal data disasters lurk everywhere. If one hits, can you recover your data and passwords?

Paradux is a new scheme (and supporting software) to store your personal data and passwords in several different places that you choose, so that:
  • no third party can read it,
  • there are redundant copies of everything,
  • the effort for you to maintain the scheme is minimal, and
  • you can recover even if you remember nothing.
It does this with help from key-splitting and trusted friends. It applies to personal data, and to credentials. This is a new project: We'd love to tell you all about it, and appreciate all your feedback and help. (N.B.: Johannes has covered this further in a blog post.)

This meeting is co-sponsored by SFBayLUG meetup & SVLUG, who both owe huge thanks to Sarah Newman for arranging the new venue. (Note carefully: We're no longer at Cavium.)
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Johannes Ernst is a German-born entrepreneur and technologist living in Silicon Valley with his family, who has founded a firm named Indie Computing Corp. to help bring products to market that empower everybody to own their own data, to reclaim sovereignty over their lives online, and over the lives of their dependents.

Date Location Speaker
July 25th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Khem Raj,
Distinguished Engineer Embedded Linux, Comcast, Inc.
Topic: RISC-V - Open Source Hardware ISA - New Kid on the Block

RISC-V is a Free and Open RISC Instruction Set Architecture provided under BSD license, unleashing new means of processor innovation with open collaboration, delivering a new freedom of hardware and software design. It's filled with the potential to do what Linux started for the software ecosystem, some 25 years ago, i.e., lighting the open source movement, but for hardware and CPU design and influencing CPU innovation for rest of the 21st Century and beyond. We will talk about the RISC-V ecosystem, and the progress it has made thus far in a short span, from 2010 onwards.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Khem Raj (1, 2) is a Linux architect at Comcast, helping several open source initiatives within the company: He is guiding the company's adoption of open source software, and becoming an active contributor to the open source components used in the RDK settop software stack. One of the most recent projects he has worked on is migrating RDK to an OpenEmbedded/Yocto-based framework for build system and embedded Linux distribution generation. He is also actively working on making the RDK community adopt the RDK framework for future TV settop devices and broadband gateways. He is a Yocto Project advisory board member, and member of the technical steering Committee for the OpenEmbedded project. He is core maintainer for several key pieces in OpenEmbedded framework, including core metadata, toolchains, and SDKs. Prior to Comcast, Khem helped Juniper migrate the Junos operating system to use embedded Linux as the base operating system. Khem is a frequent speaker at conferences, most recently gave a talk at Yocto Developer Day and Embedded Linux Conference in Europe.

Date Location Speaker
June 5th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Om Narasimhan,
Founder and CEO, Bluehatsoft Inc.
Topic: PktPump: A Linux-Based Network Traffic Generator

PktPump is a line of Linux-based network traffic generators capable of generating line rate traffic at 10Gbpsx2, 25Gbps x1, and 40Gbps x1, with packet sizes 64 bytes or larger. There are three parts to PktPump -- the hardware, the agent (PktPumpBE), and the controller (PktPumpFE). While the hardware is Cavium Networks's high-performance Liquid IO II, the agent and the controller run on (separate) Centos 7.3 instances on x86_64. Operation on other Linux flavors are definitely possible, but not yet tested.

We will discuss the general architecture of the controller, agent, and Linux driver. Also, we will go through some of the design decisions and rationale, challenges faced during development/testing, and key objectives such a product intends to achieve -- a portable and low-cost packet generator that does line speed network traffic generation for high-speed networks. Afterwards, a live demonstration of PktPump's capabilities against a Linux box will follow.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Om Narasimhan is founder and CEO of Bluehatsoft Inc., a company specializing in embedded systems, as well as the networking space. He has worked with embedded hardware and software/firmware for 15 years.

Date Location Speaker
May 15th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Drew Moseley,
Customer Engineer, Northern.tech / Mender.io
Topic: Linux-Based IoT: From Prototype to Production

We will discuss some of the considerations engineers should consider when designing a Linux-based connected device. These devices are increasingly common in the Internet of Things. We will discuss hardware, software, security, and how to bring it all together. We will present a demo solution using a Raspberry Pi device, and provide a build environment and instructions for attendees to use on their own hardware.

SVLUG is pleased to co-sponsor this meeting with Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Drew Moseley is currently part of the Mender.io open source project to deploy OTA software updates to embedded Linux devices. He has worked on embedded projects such as RAID storage controllers, Direct and Network attached storage devices, and graphical pagers.

He has spent the last 7 years working in Operating System Professional Services, helping customers develop production embedded Linux systems. He has spent his career in embedded software and developer tools, and has focused on Embedded Linux and Yocto for about 10 years. He is currently a Customer Engineer at Northern.tech (the company behind the OSS project Mender.io), helping customers develop safer, more-secure connected devices.

Drew has spoken at various conferences, including Embedded Linux Conference, Embedded Systems Conference, All Systems Go, and various other technology conferences. He worked previously as a Technical Project Manager and Professional Services Engineer for Mentor Graphics. Previous to that, he worked with Red Hat, Intel, and Monta Vista Software. He was raised in Tampa, FL, and attended the University of Florida.

Date Location Speaker
April 10th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Vadim Tkachenko,
CTO, Percona LLC
Topic: Get the Most Performance from Your MySQL/Linux Server

This talk looks at MySQL running on Linux and InnoDB, one of the most commonly used storage engines, and includes new developments in MySQL 5.7 as well as Percona Server for MySQL. Vadim will discuss how it should be used, and many of the configuration options that help you to get the best performance from your application.

SVLUG is pleased to co-sponsor this meeting with Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Vadim Tkachenko co-founded Percona in 2006, and serves as its Chief Technology Officer. He leads Percona Labs, focusing on tech. research and performance evaluations. His expertise in LAMP performance and multi-threaded programming help optimize MySQL and InnoDB internals to take full advantage of modern hardware. Oracle Corp. & predecessors have incorporated Vadim's patches into mainstream MySQL & InnoDB products.

He co-authored High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition, founded a Web development company in his native Ukraine, and spent two years in the High Performance Group within the official MySQL support team, after receiving a BS in Economics and MS in computer science from the National Technical University of Ukraine.

Date Location Speaker
April 1st, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Arthur J. Williams Jr.,
CTO, Bytecoin Enterprises
Topic: Bytecoin - Linux Inside a Cryptocoin

Have you been frustrated that you can't have cryptocurrencies in your front pocket? Fret no more, because Bytecoins were designed to overcome the deficiencies of Bitcoin, such as their not being physical. Bytecoins are physical coins that you can flip (randomness of heads or tails is even programmable), and you can use then in vending machines (coming soon).

Bytecoins' value are determined by being pegged to the price of Bitcoins - a Bytecoin is fixed at being 11 Bitcoins. Investors realize that 11 is better than 8, or even 10.

The security of Bytecoins is enforced in the new, second-generation, cryptographic signing scheme called the "LintString". People didn't want the weight of a chain, or the cumbersomeness of blocks, in their pockets, so they are using lint and lightweight string instead. Many folks, especially young boys, often have lint and string in their pockets anyway.

Bytecoins are fabricated with two embedded processors. One an ARM processor that runs Linux and a second, new, Light Execution Generation processor for the cryptography. The Chief Architect of Bytecoin specified that the greatest costs in the Bill of Materials for Bytecoin are an ARM and a LEG. Bytecoins are durable and encased in Ytterbium. Why it'll be using Ytterbium will be discussed.

Its noted that the Ytterbium is Free-Trade, Conflict-Free, involves no child labor, and is minted at a special mine near Abuja, the home of the CTO, Arthur J. Williams, Jr, our speaker.

Bytecoins are revolutionary in that they are self-minting! The action of walking around with a Bytecoin in your pocket produces the power required for the Bytecoin to cryptographically mint more Bytecoins! Developers have also tested holding a Bytecoin in your hand and waving it around madly. This does generate Bytecoins at a faster rate. Testing is being done with volunteers in San Francisco where they are directed to flail their arm around wildly. "Those too frail to flail will fail", they are told.

To support the secure communication required of the Bytecoins, a new communication scheme was also developed, in conjunction with the NSA, around the coin and its Byte Media Entropy. The resulting communication mechanism is currently being used throughout the US Federal government, even in the White House, for the most sensitive conversations. For example, when President Trump was recently asked to talk with Bob Mueller, he was reported to have said "Tell Mueller he can Byte ME". The President is also reported to be using the flipping of Bytecoins for important decisions.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Arthur J. Williams Jr. is the CTO of Bytecoin Enterprises. Before founding Bytecoin, Arthur worked in the Federal prison system with the great Dr. Lirpa Loof, and got his start in currencies at the age of 16 in Chicago.

Date Location Speaker
March 7th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Andrew Leak,
Lead Developer, Bugmark
Topic: Bugmark: A Futures Market for Software Issues

Bugmark is an experimental futures market for software issues. Bugmark differs from traditional job-matching systems in that it uses market-generated price signals to direct resources to areas of highest value. The market trades both software fixes and vulnerability disclosures with a single instrument. Trades are recorded on the blockchain, and transactions can be conducted in digital or fiat currency. For Linux sponsors and community members, Bugmark is a simple, streamlined way to incentivize open-source development. For Linux developers, Bugmark gives a new way to earn income. Bugmark is a new project supported by Mozilla, and islooking for additional early adopter sponsors in the Linux community.

SVLUG is pleased to co-sponsor this meeting with Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Andrew Leak is the lead developer for Bugmark, a futures market for software issues. Andrew works as a contract software developer, has long history in Silicon Valley at large enterprise and small startups, and has been a desktop XFCE user for the past 10 years.

Date Location Speaker
February 7th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose cancelled
Topic: No February 2018 lecture. (We had two in January.)

Date Location Speaker
January 31st, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Michael Kerrisk
Topic: Understanding User Namespaces

User namespaces are at the heart of many interesting technologies that allow isolation and sandboxing of applications, for example, running containers without root privileges, and sandboxes for Web browser plug-ins. In this presentation, we'll take a closer look at user namespaces, building up a basic understanding of what a user namespace is, and going on to questions such as: what does being "superuser inside a user namespace" allow you to do (and what does it not allow); what is the relationship between user namespaces and other namespace types (PID, UTS, network, etc.); and what are the security implications of user namespaces? We'll also explore some simple shell commands that can be used for creating and experimenting with user namespaces, in order to better understand how they work. We'll conclude with a brief survey of some use cases for user namespaces.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Michael Kerrisk is a trainer, engineer, and author of The Linux Programming Interface, a widely acclaimed book on Linux (and Unix) system programming. His primary involvement with Linux is in testing, design review, and documentation of kernel-user-space interfaces. After 13 years, 19k commits, 181 releases, and over 400 manual pages written or co-written, he is still the maintainer of the Linux man-pages project. Michael is a New Zealander, living in Munich, Germany.

Date Location Speaker
January 17th, 2018 Cavium, San Jose Louis Imershein,
Principal Product Manager for Data Reduction Technologies, Red Hat
Topic: Inline Dedupe & Compression for Linux Block Storage

Data deduplication and compression can increase the capacity of storage, allowing users make more efficient use of existing storage, and to make new fast storage more affordable. Traditionally, these data-reduction technologies have been available in proprietary storage systems, but more recently they've made their way into open source, with projects such as ZFS and btrfs, as well as with backup-specific applications such as OpenDedupe. Each of these has issues: Either they are resource hogs, or they are designed to address limited use cases. The Virtual Data Optimizer (dm-vdo) is a new open source project from Red Hat that provides inline data reduction for primary storage to the Linux block-storage stack. Its intended for use in active virtualization and/or container workloads, with minimal impact to performance and resources. This talk will introduce dm-vdo, describe how it works, and detail resource requirements & effectiveness for different use cases and performance impact.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Louis Imershein is Principal Product Manager for Data Reduction Technologies at Red Hat. Louis came to Red Hat with 11 years of product management experience in the data reduction software developed by Permabit Technology Corporation, a company that supplied deduplication and compression technology to major storage manufacturers. Red Hat acquired the assets of Permabit in August, 2017.

Date Location Speaker
December 6th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Shrijeet Mukherjee,
VP of Engineering, Cumulus Networks
Topic: Linux in the Core of Critical Networks

This talk will be about the journey, where Linux used to exist at the edge of networks, and was the source and basis of application-level innovation, but stopped at being a network endpoint. It will cover the steps that were needed, the ecosystem that needed to be built, and the features we needed to pay attention to, to make Linux appealing to the enterprise customer and appear in the core of critical networks.

SVLUG is pleased to co-sponsor this presentation with Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Shrijeet Mukherjee is VP of Engineering at Cumulus Networks. He has been intimately involved with Linux kernel networking and open networking initiatives for the last decade. In his past life, he has built high-performance NIC software, storage adaptor software, high-performance graphics drivers, and core OS components.

Date Location Speaker
Nov 1st, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Rob Walker
Topic: MythTV and Kodi Lecture and Demo

MythTV is a free and open source software digital video recorder (DVR) project, distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC/Kodi Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium.

Rob will demonstrate his MythTV and Kodi setup, and show how he's been using it over the years.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rob Walker was introduced to Unix in 1995 has been using Linux since 1997. He has helped other people use Linux at companies like VA Research, Silver Spring Networks, and others. He has been using MythTV off and on since 2006, and Kodi since 2014.

Date Location Speaker
Oct. 4th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Ivan Godard,
CTO, Mill Computing
Topic: Mill CPU Architecture and Inter-Process Communication

This will be the twelfth topic publicly presented related to the Mill general-purpose CPU architecture. It will cover Inter-Process Communication for the Mill CPU architecture family. The talk will assume a familiarity with aspects of CPU architecture in general, and C++ programming in particular.

The Mill is a new general-purpose architectural family, with an emphasis on secure and inexpensive communication across protection boundaries. The large (page) granularity of protection on conventional architectures makes such communication difficult, compared to communication within a protection boundary, such as a function call. As a result, the large granularity has forced communication protocols on conventional architectures into two models: pass-by-sharing (using shared pages), and pass-by-copy (using the OS kernel for files/message passing). Both have drawbacks: sharing requires difficult-to-get-right synchronization, while copy involves kernel transitions as well as the costs of the copy itself.

Part of a long tradition, the standard Linux kernel is monolithic. This means that all application calls for services go across a protection boundary directly to the kernel, which has total read/write access to the application's memory, in fact to all memory in the system. This is the most basic kind of interprocess communication (IPC) across a protection boundary. Clearly this is not the best architecture for security.

In other, more secure, operating systems, including alternative versions of Linux such as SELinux, the operating system is broken up into many individual programs, each running in its own protection domain. Using IPC, an application might make a call to any one of the services, and the services in turn use IPC to talk with each other on behalf of the initial request.

This talk discusses these ideas, and shows how the Mill CPU architecture is uniquely suited as a platform for a more-secure version of Linux that allows for fully limited data sharing in both directions, across a protection boundary, and pays no performance penalty for the tightened security.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Ivan Godard has designed, implemented or led the teams for 11 compilers for a variety of languages and targets, an operating system, an object-oriented database, and four instruction-set architectures. He participated in the revision of Algol68, and is mentioned in its Report, was on the Green team that won the Ada language competition, designed the Mary family of system-implementation languages, and was founding editor of the Machine Oriented Languages Bulletin. He's Member Emeritus of IFIPS Working Group 2.4 (Implementation languages), and was a member of the committee that produced the IEEE and ISO floating-point standard 754-2011.

Ivan is currently CTO at Mill Computing, a startup now emerging from stealth mode. Mill Computing has developed the Mill, a clean-sheet rethink of general-purpose CPU architectures. The Mill is the subject of this talk.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 14th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Lars Kurth
Topic: Xen-Based Technologies, and Best Practices for Managing Security Vulnerabilities

A blend of two talks.

1. We'll cover how the largest production clouds came together through Xen Project to develop an industry-leading open source security process to manage software vulnerabilities effectively, how those vendors collaborated to stop cloud reboots through Live Patching, and how security and CPU vendors collaborated to protect against 0-day vulnerabilities and advanced persistent threats using hardware-assisted virtual machine introspection. Finally, we'll also detail how you can use tools such as CVE Details to assess how secure one open source technology is relative to another, so you don't have to rely solely on security stories from the technology press.

The talk will cover how these technologies work, limitations and challenges remaining, and how they are used in practice, with Xen Project-based product and installation examples. We'll also describe how these technologies affect software vulnerability management processes and system administrators.

2. Hypervisors were once seen as purely cloud and server technologies, but have slowly seeped into embedded space, providing extra layers of security. This discussion will showcase how companies from security vendors to automotive are using open source hypervisors (particularly Xen Project) to secure embedded systems, what challenges they face, and how they have overcome it. We'll also explore what this might mean to IoT at large, and how to get started securing your embedded system with a hypervisor-first approach.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Lars Kurth is a highly effective, passionate community manager with strong experience working with open source communities (Symbian, Symbian DevCo, Eclipse, GNU) and currently community manager for the Xen Project. Lars has 9 years' experience building and leading engineering teams, and a track record of executing several change programs, affecting 1000 users. Lars has 20 years' industry experience in the tools and mobile sector, working at ARM, Symbian Ltd, Symbian Foundation, and Nokia. He has strong analytical, communication, influencing, and presentation skills, good knowledge of marketing and product management and extensive background in C/C++, Java, and software development practices that he learned working as community manager, product manager, chief architect, engineering manager, and software developer.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 11th, 2017, special afternoon session 3:30-5pm Cavium, San Jose Paul E. McKenney
Topic: Beyond the Issaquah Challenge: High-Performance Scalable Complex Updates

Highly performant and scalable techniques such as RCU have been quite successful in read-mostly situations. However, there do come times when updates are necessary. It would be convenient if there were a general update-side counterpart to RCU: Sadly, there isn't, yet. Nevertheless, a number of specialized update-side techniques provide performance and scalability rivaling RCU's. This talk will discuss several of them, and provide an outlook into the future of low-overhead scalable updates.

One technique is the solution to the Issaquah Challenge, put forward at the C++ standards committee meeting in early 2014 at Issaquah, WA. This challenge required a performant and scalable technique to atomically move elements back and forth between a pair of search trees, but without using transactional memory. This talk will cover (in overview) a solution to a more general problem, that of atomically moving groups of elements among a group of several different types of linked data structures, including simple linked lists, hash tables, and skiplists, while still permitting lockless searches before, during, and after this atomic move.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Paul E. McKenney has been coding for almost four decades, more than half of that on parallel hardware, where his work has earned him a reputation among some as a flaming heretic. Over the past decade, Paul has been an IBM Distinguished Engineer at IBM's Linux Technology Center. Paul maintains the Linux kernel's RCU code, to which the variety of workloads present highly entertaining performance, scalability, real-time response, and energy-efficiency challenges. Previously, he worked on the DYNIX/ptx kernel at Sequent, and before that on packet-radio and Internet protocols (but long before it was polite to mention the Internet at cocktail parties), system administration, business applications, and real-time systems. His hobbies include what passes for running at his age, along with the usual house-wife-and-kids habit.

Date Location Speaker
Aug. 2nd, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Meeting cancelled
Topic: Meeting cancelled

SVLUG plans on having two good presentations in September, and just got through having one in late July, so we're taking August off.

Date Location Speaker
July 26th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Dan Malek
Topic: Advanced Data Network Solutions using Linux

The data communication networks within data centers, enterprises, and between offices and data centers have drastically changed over past several years. This presentation will discuss some of the technology implementing these changes. This is about using Linux in network switches, in optical appliances, and for the control plane of networking devices. It's not a tutorial on Linux networking in general.

Details of a several-years-old, commercially successful, intent-based network control platform, based upon Linux, will also be revealed.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dan Malek is a serial entrepreneur and technology consultant.

In his career that has now spanned over 35 years, he has developed or influenced technology in a variety of areas. Mobile devices, consumer electronics, medical technology, aerospace, automotive systems, and data communications are products for which he developed systems and software technology. As an avid embedded Linux developer for nearly 20 years, Dan has contriubted to the Linux kernel and other open source projects to ensure use in real products.

Date Location Speaker
June 7th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Peter Hurley,
Senior Software Engineer, Cisco Meraki
Topic: RCU: Lock-Free Data Structures

RCU has become a primary mechanism for safe, fast, concurrent data access and manipulation in the Linux kernel, accounting for 10% of all kernel "locking", and the key to multi-core scalability in filesystems, networking, IPC, and more. Knowledge of its operation and use is now expected of Linux kernel developers.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Hurley is Senior Software Engineer at Cisco Meraki, and a top contributor to the Linux mainline kernel. Peter helps maintain the TTY, serial, and console subsystems, and has also contributed to core locking, IPC, bluetooth, ARM arch, and more.

Date Location Speaker
May 3rd, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Chip Downing,
Senior Director of Aerospace and Defense, Wind River Systems
Topic: Using Linux in Safety-Critical and Mission-Critical Systems: Lunacy or Reality?

To use more complex software environments, including Linux, in multi-level safety-critical environments is now being enabled by DO-178C certification-ready multi-core hypervisors. This discussion will focus on the ever-increasing use of more-heavyweight OS and application environments on modern multi-core silicon.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Chip Downing heads the aerospace division at Wind River's corporate office in Alameda, and drove the ARINC 653 industry standard into aerospace with VxWorks 653, now standard in the commercial and military aerospace market. He's Chair of the joint industry/government Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE) consortium's Business Working Group Outreach Committee, building integrated modular avionics (IMA) design and deployment efficiencies into next generation open avionics, based on ARINC 653, POSIX, and Linux. A 20-year veteran of embedded computing and pioneer in safety certification for commercial RTOSes, Chip was previously VP of SCADE Global Sales at Esterel Technologies, and led sales, marketing, and consulting groups at Validated Software, OnCore Systems, Mentor Graphics, Qualix Group, Ready Systems, and CENCO, producing DO-178 and other high reliability solutions.

Date Location Speaker
April 5th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Abhijit Paithankar,
CTO and Co-Founder, Accupara
Topic: A Build System's Journey into the Land of Containers

This talk will document the journey of two different build systems into containers.
1. The build system for my app was at first my own dev machine. Then, it was a few virtual machines. Finally, now, it is a few Docker images, and my life is much simpler.
2. The build system for one of our customers started off as a RHEL 6 snowflake. Now, it is a Docker image, and the build engineering team and all developers can focus on their product, instead of dealing with pet infrastructure.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Abhijit Paithankari's professional career spans over 14 years of hard core systems software, storage, networking, and distributed systems. He has played an instrumental role in VMware's core virtualization and storage products, and later in Nutanix's container and virtualization product. He is now cofounder and CTO of Accupara, a build acceleration platform.

Date Location Speaker
March 1st, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Sven-Thorson Dietrich,
Kernel Developer/Systems Architect at Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
and Becca Nitzan, Principal Engineer for Brocade Vyatta SDN, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Topic: Enterprise Networking w/vRouter: R&D & Performance of the Vyatta DPDK Architecture

The Vyatta team has been developing and delivering bleeding-edge, Linux-based software networking technology since 2005. With the proliferation of low-cost 10G Ethernet, the Vyatta router encountered challenges when 10G links were saturated with small packets.

Vyatta R&D began working with the DPDK, which promised to achieve higher throughput and lower latency. This presentation is a synopsis of the router performance gains we have achieved, and the R&D challenges we encountered on the road.

We will walk though our experiences with real-time, driver support, HW considerations on performance such as NIC / NUMA locations, pinning and flows, CPU considerations, as well as roadblocks like broken hardware, broken BIOS, RRMR, and UEFI support, and will close with a look ahead to 100G technology.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sven-Thorsten Dietrich is a Systems Architect at Brocade Communications Systems in San Francisco, and previously was a software engineer at Novell and at MontaVista. He's been known to describe himself as a "Real-Time Linux aficionado."

Becca Nitzan is Principal Engineer for Brocade Vyatta SDN at Brocade Communications Systems in San Francisco, and previously had positions at Juniper Networks, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Date Location Speaker
February 1st, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Dan Cauchy,
General Manager of Automotive, Linux Foundation
Topic: The Future of Open Source Automotive Software

Car hacking continues to be a concern, and high-profile software bugs are on the rise and in the news with alarming frequency. The traditional way of developing automotive software is not working: OEMs are starting to adopt an open source approach, to change the way software is built for cars.

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a Linux Foundation Collaboration Project that is bringing together OEMs and suppliers to build a shared platform from the ground-up for in-vehicle infotainment. Dan will detail AGL's latest activities, how AGL and GENIVI Alliance collaborate in diverse areas of open-source auto software, and what lies ahead. He'll cover how developing a common platform, and building an ecosystem & supply chain with one code base, will transform the traditional auto supply chain, reduce fragmentation, improve time to market, and facilitate faster feature development.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dan Cauchy is General Manager of Automotive at Linux Foundation, where he manages the AGL project, an industry effort to build an open-source auto reference platform, backed by the world's leading car manufacturers.

Dan has over 22 years of experience, spanning the automotive, telecom, networking, and mobile business vertical markets. Before his current post, Dan was VP and General Manager of MontaVista's Automotive Business Unit, responsible for auto software strategy, sales, marketing, products, and services. At that time, Dan was also Director of GENIVI Alliance and originated its GENIVI Compliance Program, which he chaired the first three years, leading to the GENIVI Specification, now a widely adopted industry standard. Earlier at MontaVista, he was VP of Marketing and BD, responsible for global marketing strategy.

Based in Silicon Valley, Dan has had wide-ranging startup experience, including as Director of Product Management at Atrica and Director of Architecture and Strategy at BlueLeaf Networks. Dan also held senior management and engineering ositions at Cisco Systems, Newbridge Networks, and Nortel.

Dan earned a B.A. in EE with major in Computer Engineering from University of Ottawa, and owns three patents in routing and networking, with several others pending.

Date Location Speaker
January 4th, 2017 Cavium, San Jose Sanket Agarwal,
Software Engineer, Android Automotive, Google, Inc.
Topic: Car Infotainment Systems and Architectures

Sanket will discuss the hardware architecture of how things come together (i.e., car hardware pieces such as audio DSP, radio, car CAN bus, and finally the infotainment system). It's important to note that infotainment talks to a a lot of pieces but may not be the central system, due to security concerns.

He will cover a few use cases in detail, such as radio or audio, and how we achieve that with an Android-based system. This may include details from way down in the car hardware talking to CAN bus, to some kernel details, to Android HAL, to Android apps.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sanket is an automotive and smart-transportation enthusiast, currently working with Android Auto at Google.

Date Location Speaker
December 7th, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View All of you!
Topic: SVLUG Party

This is the final SVLUG meeting at Symantec. There is now a replacement venue for 2017 being arranged at Cavium in San Jose; thanks, Kevin Dankwardt. Still, we are having a blowout party to celebrate SVLUG's long and illustrious lecture series at Symantec.

If you have Linux hardware or software you'd like to show off, please feel welcome to bring it!

This meeting features all of you. You are SVLUG. Come celebrate. Rick Moen will be bringing homemade pies, some plastic utensils paper plates, and paper towels. It would be really excellent if at least several other members could bring snacks, or soft drinks, or maybe a pizza, or whatever else inspires you as food to share.

Date Location Speaker
November 2nd, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Sarah Newman,
Software Engineer, prgmr.com, Inc.
Topic: Mandatory Access Control and AppArmor

Do you have a program that's phoning home when you don't want it to? Are you afraid you might accidentally make a file public, but can't use file permissions to hide it? Come learn how mandatory access control can help with these and other problems.

In addition to a brief overview of mandatory access control, this presentation will discuss one particular implementation, AppArmor, in detail. AppArmor is enabled by default in Ubuntu Linux and SUSE, but can (in theory) be built and used on any Linux system with a 2.6.36 kernel or newer.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sarah Newman is a software engineer helping with all aspects of keeping prgmr.com, Inc. alive and running, who has been active for many years in SVLUG.

Date Location Speaker
Oct. 5th, 2016 Symantec cafe, Mountain View Mike Cooper,
Founder & CEO of Revocent, Inc.
Topic: Live and Die by Certificates

Certificates are a fundamental component of identity and network security in companies of any size. Learn about Certificates, how they can be used, what benefits they bring, and how you can implement them.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Mike Cooper has 30+ years of development, IT, and management experience in small startups to Fortune 500. He has founded more than 5 technology and consumer companies, and was head of IT at another 3 startups. Mike started as a UNIX developer and System Admin, more than 30 years ago.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 7th, 2016 Symantec , Mountain View Alan Post,
Partner, Green Mars Consulting
Topic: Why can't I get mail? Running a modern mail server.

Email is a method of exchanging digital messages between computer users, using a store-and-forward model. A supermajority of users use one of three email providers: Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. Outside of major service providers, you can host your own email infrastructure with open source software, which still has very compelling advantages. Come hear how, and also why you might or might not wish to.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Alan Post is a partner at Green Mars Consulting, where he focuses on build automation and IT operations. Alan is an avid cycling and enjoys riding the trails near his family farm in Albuquerque's South Valley. This is his first talk for SVLUG.

Aug. 3rd, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Allan Cecil,
President, North Bay Linux User's Group
Topic: How TASBot Exploits Video Game Consoles (DEF CON talk preview)

This will be a preview presentation of an Aug. 5th DEF CON talk. TASBot is an augmented Nintendo R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) robot that can play video games without any of the button-mashing limitations we humans have. By pretending to be a controller connected to a game console, TASBot triggers glitches and exploits weaknesses to execute arbitrary opcodes and rewrite games. This talk will cover how these exploits were found, and explore the idea that breaking video games using Tool-Assisted emulators can be a fun way to learn the basics of discovering security vulnerabilities.

An overview of some of the details that will be described in the talk can be found in an article Allan co-authored in PoC||GTFO journal issue 0x10 (Pokemon Plays Twitch, page 6).
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Allan Cecil (dwangoAC) is President of North Bay Linux User's Group, and acts as ambassador for Tasvideos.org, a Web site devoted to using emulators to complete video games as quickly as the hardware allows. He participates in Games Done Quick charity-speedrunning marathons using TASBot to entertain viewers with never-before-seen glitches in games. By day, he is a senior engineer at Ciena Corporation, working on OpenStack Network Functions Virtualization orchestration and Linux packet performance optimization testing.

July 6th, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Elizabeth K. Joseph
Topic: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus"

Ubuntu 16.04, nicknamed "Xenial Xerus", is the latest Long-Term Support (LTS) release from the Ubuntu community and Canonical, Ltd. Our speaker's talk will be a tour of new features, including disabling of Amazon Search ads by default, replacement of Ubuntu Software Center by the GNOME Software app, replacement of init system with systemd (new since the last LTS release), ability to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen, inclusion of ZFS, and the introduction of Ubuntu Snappy. An update on the progress of Ubuntu on smartphones and tablets will follow, with a demonstration of the first convergence device on the market, BQ's Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet computer / PC.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Elizabeth K. Joseph is a Senior Automation and Tools Engineer at HPE, working on the OpenStack Infrastructure team. She is a former member of the Ubuntu Community Council and co-author of the 8th and upcoming 9th editions of The Official Ubuntu Book. She serves on the Board of Directors of Partimus.org, a San Francisco-based non-profit providing Linux-based computers to area education and low-income housing centers in need.
June 1st, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: The SSD Revolution and Linux

Modern SSDs (Solid State Drives) build using NAND flash storage cells have over the last decade brought about a quiet revolution in both desktop and server computing. Not only are SSDs typically at least ten times faster than similar hard drives, they are uniformly fast at access to reaching all of their storage, they draw almost no power, they run cool, they're tiny, and they have no moving parts. However, to gain their full potential and let you enjoy their full service life, there are Linux-specific usage tricks and tools you should know.

This talk will aim to cover all aspects of how to maximise the SSD benefit, including partition alignment, the kernel's TRIM mechanism, choice of filesystem, the problem of swap space, recommended mount options (and discard mount option vs. batched), which directory trees should and should not be mounted from SSD, what to do with trees that must exist somewhere but you have nothing but SSD storage, non-default kernel schedulers that work better with SSD storage, and how to benchmark, tune, and monitor your SSD drives. If we have time, we'll also discuss shopping and choosing SSDs, and tips for special SSD issues such as how to do a secure disk wipe.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

May 4th, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Paul Scott
Matrix Information Service
Topic: Researching Solutions to Linux Problems

Sooner or later, something will break. You'll try to do something that should be simple, but turns out otherwise. Maybe you just want to try something with your system you've never done before. Or the friend who just installed Xubuntu at your urging yells for help with a problem that you didn't even know was possible. This talk will discuss where to look when things go wrong in Linux.

Learn effective search strategies, online troubleshooting resources, and how to evaluate your search results to find the best information quickly. Impress your friends. Impress yourself. Impress your boss. Become a Linux guru with the power of the Internet.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Paul Scott is a consultant specializing in technical writing and business information research. From his secret lair in Mountain View, he rides the ranges of Silicon Valley, helping clients find the information they need and manage the information they have.

Date Location Speaker
April 6th, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Frank Turner
Topic: VirtualBox: Way Better Than Dual-Boot

Virtualization is a key cutting-edge technology to run multiple operating systems on on one machine, provide bug and security isolation, provision or migrate systems easily, free systems from driver problems, and more. Our speaker will demonstrate VirtualBox, a free-of-charge, very polished, novice-friendly virtualization package now sponsored by Oracle. It's even (almost fully) open source.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Frank Turner is retired from positions in paint chemistry, chemical sales, engineering sales, and real estate. With the preceding experience, it was an obvious career choice to take on computer programming in general and Web page development in particular. He has used Linux distributions since the demise of his beloved Amiga computer, and is currently running Ubuntu 15.04 on a Mac Pro. (That's the old 42 lb "cheesegrater" Mac Pro.) He is a proud supporter of the open source ethic.

Date Location Speaker
Mar. 2nd, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Meeting cancelled, but...
Topic: Meeting cancelled, but...

SVLUG could not line up a speaker in time, so this meeting is cancelled. However, we can strongly recommend an SF Bay ACM meeting the previous day, Tuesday, March 1st, 2016, by Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, entitled "Five Stages of Open Source Volunteering". Further details are on the event page at SF Bay ACM's site.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 3rd, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Eric Wing
Topic: Swift on Linux

Apple, Inc's much-lauded Swift programming language is now available on Linux. Companies like IBM are already eyeing Swift as a potentially great server back-end language, but our speaker wonders about its potential for cross-platform user-facing applications. But for Linux in particular, this runs headlong into what Linus Torvalds himself claims is the main issue that has prevented Linux on the desktop from really happening.

This talk will not be learning how to code in Swift, nor a how-to on getting Swift installed on your system. Instead, this is a look at how one could go about making consumer-class, user-facing binaries on Linux with Swift, using SteamOS and Raspberry Pi 2 (Raspbian) as a laboratory on how this can be achieved. The talk will include looking at how to build Swift from the context of how to manage its dependencies, so it is actually possible to ship stand-alone binaries without dependency package management and root access. Once that is achieved, the talk looks towards the present and future of how cross-platform Swift apps might be developed, and what kinds of apps might be ideal for building in Swift if the right seeds are planted early enough.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Eric Wing is a longtime Mac developer. Feeling he was living too extravagant of a lifestyle of ramen and subsidized bus passes, Eric Wing graduated (kicking and screaming) from the University of California, San Diego with a master's degree in computer engineering, just days before 9/11. In the challenging world that followed, he worked a wide range of jobs in the field, from automated testing on satellite systems, to scientific visualization with a variety of different operating systems and programming languages. In a stroke of genius (actually, it was more likely just a stroke), he figured out how he could work even harder for no money and started working on open-source projects. He has been a contributor to projects such as SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer), OpenSceneGraph, and the Lua/Objective-C Bridge (and its successor LuaCocoa). When he was offered co-authorship of Beginning iPhone Games Development, how could he possibly have refused the idea of even more hard work for virtually no pay? It was a match made in heaven!

Date Location Speaker
Jan. 6th, 2016 Symantec, Mountain View Donn Lee
Topic: Bitcoin: Digital Cash -- The Basics

What is Bitcoin? How does it work? Who controls it? What is mining? Is it possible to counterfeit bitcoin? This introduction will provide you with a basic understanding of the ins and outs of this and similar digital currencies. After this session, you will have enough basics to get some bitcoin and, if you desire, send it to anyone on Earth in seconds.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Donn advises startups and VCs in Internet technologies. Joining Facebook in 2007, he was a senior engineer on the Infrastructure team during hyper-growth of Facebook's systems and networks. Before FB, Donn was a senior engineer at Google during similar architecture, deployment, scaling, and troubleshooting challenges when Google grew from a sole search engine to a portfolio of products. Donn wrote his book Enhanced IP Services for Cisco Networks while working full-time at Cisco Systems, where he was a senior systems engineer. He was awarded Internet Society's Itojun Service Award and Google's EMG Award. Donn has performed over 50 talks at technical conferences across Europe, Asia, US, Canada, and Mexico.

Date Location Speaker
Dec. 2nd, 2015 Symantec, Mountain View Robert Harker
Topic: Using Jenkins to Automate Building, Testing, and Deployment of New Code

Jenkins is a popular Web-based build automation tool, used in agile development and the DevOps movement. Jenkins allows you to define a sequence of build jobs that can be automatically triggered by a git commit. Jenkins provides a dashboard to monitor the status of build jobs. If there is a problem with the build, you can drill down into the build logs to discover the exact error. This allows you to quickly discover the problem, and fix it.

An overview of Jenkins and how it works will be presented. Building and testing of a simple PHP program will be demonstrated.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Robert Harker is a grey beard Linux/UNIX systems administrator and Web farm wrangler. At Yahoo Sports, he was involved in their move to agile development. In Yahoo Sports's move to a DevOps team, he was from the Ops side of the house, championing automation for the deployment process of new code to production. Yahoo Sports used the Jenkins build automation framework to build, package, deploy, and automatically test code in all three of their environments, development, test/staging, and production.

His current interest is the Open Data movement of publishing public government data in a cloud repository that can be analyzed by the public either with Web-based portal tools or via a RESTful API passing data as json text. He is currently working with the County of San Mateo Open Data portal, data.smcgov.org, to publish public data locked into legacy platforms on the Open Data Web site.

Date Location Speaker
Nov. 4th, 2015 Symantec, Mountain View Greg Bruno,
VP of Engineering, StackIQ
Topic: Stacki: Open Source Bare-Metal Provisioning

Stacki is an open source CentOS/RHEL bare metal provisioning tool that can take your servers from bare hardware (or virtual hardware) to working Linux, ready to install applications. Stacki does this at scale, so deploying 1000+ servers is no more complex than deploying one. Once your servers are installed with Stacki, you can augment them with configuration tools like Puppet, Chef, Salt, CFEngine, Ansible, etc.

Along with an introduction to Stacki, Greg will present attendees with a case study of how PayPal uses Stacki in production today.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Greg Bruno is VP of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ. Prior to joining the firm, he co-founded the open source Rocks Cluster Group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, located on the campus of UC San Diego. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCSD, where he researched parallel file systems.

Date Location Speaker
Oct. 7th, 2015 Symantec, Mountain View Nolan Leake,
CTO, Cumulus Networks, Inc.
Topic: Cumulus Linux: Linux for Network Switches

Wouldn't it be cool to have the entire software universe available for Linux servers available on your networking devices? Wouldn't it be cool to reuse your knowledge, scripts, automation tools from your servers on your switches? Cumulus Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution that runs on a wide variety of 1G, 10G, 40G, and soon 100G switches.

Nolan will talk about why the Cumulus Linux team built it, how it works, and what advantages there are to managing your switches like Linux servers.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: A Linux user (and occasional kernel contributor) since 1995, Nolan Leake co-founded Cumulus Networks to replace proprietary network appliances with open Linux systems. Nolan loves systems software, hardware, and high-power rocketry.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 2nd, 2015 Symantec, Mountain View Luke S. Crawford
Topic: OpenLDAP: Single Sign-On Without Sharing Password Hashes

Luke will go over how to set up a Linux system to authenticate off OpenLDAP, including PAM (so you can authenticate to the Linux system itself), the OpenSSH-LPK patch (so you can setup your passwordless SSH logins using LDAP), and setup of Apache httpd's mod_auth_ldap. Luke will also rant about "damn kids" who have to "rewrite the auth stack", and explain how LDAP is "good enough" without being too much work to implement. Properly set up, LDAP is as good as Kerberos with tunneled-cleartext passwords enabled. Not, obviously, as good as end-to-end Kerberos, but that requires client-side support. As our speaker has one day of prep, he'll not be going deep into Kerberos use with LDAP, and will largely ignore Active Directory.

If Luke has time, he'll also cover LDAP's integration with SMTP mail routing and with Django.

This meeting will be co-sponsored by the Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Luke S. Crawford is a long-time computer technician, author, and entrepreneur. With Sarah Newman, he runs prgmr.com, a small company providing Private Servers to the technically adept, and contracting/consulting services to the moneyed.

With Chris Takemura, he wrote The Book of Xen, published by No Starch Press.

Date Location Speaker
August 5th, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: Arduino for Gardening and More

California's record-setting drought has made many ponder smarter ways to use water. Our speaker, whose 1/3 acre suburban lot was hit with a mandatory 36% cut, has been particularly motivated, and is solving that problem with an Arduino-based watering system (OpenSprinkler) and a rushed cutover to drip irrigation.

Our speaker will describe the options for computer-controlled gardening, why he went with OpenSprinkler, tips and pitfalls he learned as a city boy forced to become competent with irrigation gear, and some surprising other uses Arduino home-automation systems can handle at the same time. (Even brown-thumbed apartment dwellers should find some of these ideas useful.)
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
July 1st, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View John Grafton
Topic: Using QEMU & Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) on CentOS 7

Want to test a new Linux distro but don't want to mess around installing VirtualBox or VMware? Chances are you have a hypervisor built right into your Linux desktop that's installable using apt or yum. In this presentation, our speaker will cover the basics of using KVM and how to provision and manage a virtual machine.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: John Grafton is a systems administrator living and working in the South Bay. He cut his teeth on Sun SPARC systems running Solaris in the late nineties while attending University in Ohio. Currently, he administers virtual Linux systems.

Date Location Speaker
June 3rd, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Kevin Dankwardt
Topic: Time on Linux

With a leap second coming up this (adding one more second to the world's day on June 30th, 2015), it is perhaps timely (see what I did, there?) to discuss Linux's handling of the important but oft-ignored problem of keeping accurate time. Timekeeping is vital to security, correct functioning of just about every network protocol, and many other things. Kevin will talk about precision and granularity, a little bit about ntpd (the network time protocol daemon), timers, and the time API in userspace and in the Linux kernel.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Kevin Dankwardt, Ph.D. has been training engineers and administrators in Linux for over twenty years. He is now embarking on consulting and training for Go developers.

Date Location Speaker
May 13th, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Khem Raj,
Embedded Linux Architect, Comcast, Inc.
Topic: Consuming Open Source and Why Work Upstream

This talk will cover general topics around open source consumption in products. How can you work in a scenario where open source forms a major piece of the product offering? What are the concerns and things to keep in focus? How does the open source contribution model work? With the collaborative nature of development strategy developing in modern system development, it's very beneficial to understand the portions that you do not control directly, and how can you work with this model. Khem details why contributing to open source you consume is beneficial instead of holding it.

This presentation will be co-sponsored by the Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Khem Raj (1, 2) is a Linux architect at Comcast, helping several open source initiatives within the company: He is guiding the company's adoption of open source software, and becoming an active contributor to the open source components used in the RDK settop software stack. One of the most recent projects he has worked on is migrating RDK to an OpenEmbedded/Yocto-based framework for build system and embedded Linux distribution generation. He is also actively working on making the RDK community adopt the RDK framework for future TV settop devices and broadband gateways. He is a Yocto Project advisory board member, and member of the technical steering Committee for the OpenEmbedded project. He is core maintainer for several key pieces in OpenEmbedded framework, including core metadata, toolchains, and SDKs. Prior to Comcast, Khem helped Juniper migrate the Junos operating system to use embedded Linux as the base operating system. Khem is a frequent speaker at conferences, most recently gave a talk at Yocto Developer Day and Embedded Linux Conference in Europe.

Date Location Speaker
April 1st, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Daniel Klopp,
Senior Technical Consultant, Taos Consulting
Topic: Docker

Tonight's talk will cover the ins and outs of Linux kernel containers (LXC) and the popular Docker implementation. We'll cover cgroups, hardware abstraction and limitations, security, the "sys" filesystem, and Docker management. This talk should be accessible to both developers and system administrators.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Daniel Klopp is a Unix Practice Leader known for his skills as a Unix SysAdmin and a DevOps consultant. He has theoretical and practical experience with technologies like Docker, Puppet, and Chef. Daniel has conducted trainings in topics including Puppet, Ruby, Python, and Chef. Currently he is a DevOps consultant at GE, focused on automation with Ruby, Chef, AWS, and the continuous delivery process.

Date Location Speaker
March 4th, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Markus Bawidamann
Topic: X2go, the old Linux Terminal Server Dream has Come True!

X2go is the old dream of the Linux Terminal server come true. For years, our featured speaker looked at Windows RDesktop and thought to himself: On Linux, this would be even easier to realize, with X11 being network transparent. But, on Linux, it is a lot more difficult. Why isn't there a very simple-to-use terminal server application that lets me use my server at its full potential? Well, it has arrived with X2go: The software allows you to connect to a Linux server from any OS (Mac / Windows / Linux), use it as a thin client, share printers, folders, screens and resume / suspend sessions. There is no need to create new users, there is no user limit, and it all runs securely over ssh. Not many people in the US seem to know X2go, yet it has been around a long time and is by this time very functional and robust. Our speaker has been using it for probably the last 5 years and relies on it every day. This is a little introduction, with examples of what it can do.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Markus Bawidamann describes himself as "a system administrator with a flair for the unconventional and focus on innovation and the cutting edge".

Date Location Speaker
February 17th, 2015 Symantec , Mountain View Sarah Newman,
Software Engineer, prgmr.com, Inc.
Topic: Ansible: Automation for the Impatient

Ansible is an orchestration and configuration management tool, often compared to Puppet or Chef, but is relatively easy to learn, and requires only ssh and Python. Ansible can also be used locally. By the end of this presentation, attendees familiar with the command line but unfamiliar with Ansible should learn enough to start using its basic features immediately.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sarah Newman is a software engineer helping with all aspects of keeping prgmr.com, Inc. alive and running, who has been active for many years in SVLUG. She last spoke at SVLUG concerning the Linux kernel's Netfilter network-management suite, in June 2013.

Date Location Speaker
January 7th, 2015 Symantec, Mountain View Alison Chaiken
Topic: Systemd: The Modern Linux init System You Will Learn to Love
The controversial systemd has absorbed udev, and purported to replace syslog with the journal daemon. Recent decisions by Debian and Ubuntu to adopt systemd assure its prominence as a Linux init system. Users and sysadmins are predictably horrified. In fact, systemd is winning wide acceptance, our speaker says, because it is simpler, easier to use, and better documented than its competition. Chaiken will describe how to get started with systemd, discuss some problems with it, and perform some simple demos. Attendees should feel free to submit questions and diatribes in advance.
This presentation will be co-sponsored by the Silicon Valley Linux Technology Meetup.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Alison Chaiken is a senior software engineer working in embedded Linux and middleware, and a longtime SVLUG member, who has been our featured speaker twice before, and is always an eagerly anticipated speaker. She was in the recent past a MeeGo Technical Consultant at Nokia Mobility Solutions, and describes herself as 'a recovering physicist', who has computed primarily on Unix since the days of the VAX 11/750. Before her work at Nokia, she worked on pervasive computing projects at HP Labs, then moved to Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to write instrument control and user interface software.

Date Location Speaker
December 3rd, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Kevin Dankwardt
Topic: The Go Programming Language on Linux
The Go programming language "golang" is quickly gaining popularity for a range of applications on Linux. Go programs are fast and powerful when compared to many other options such as Python or Perl or Ruby. Since Go is now often used in a variety of applications, Linux system administrators and developers are likely to come across Go. Let's discuss a variety of features of Go: how they work on Linux, and how Go fits into the usual approaches for system programming on Linux, especially when compared to C. For example, Go applications are statically, not dynamically, linked. What are implications of this?
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Kevin Dankwardt, Ph.D. has been training engineers and administrators in Linux for over twenty years. He is now embarking on consulting and training for Go developers.

Date Location Speaker
November 5th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View James Taylor, System Administrator
Topic: Puppet: In The Beginning (There Was Darkness)
This is an introduction to Puppet (open-source configuration-management software) from someone who is not a Puppet Labs spokesbeing. The presenter says he will will also detail some basic structures that allow a system administrator to put multiple machines into a simple production environment, within minutes of running the Puppet agent.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: James Taylor is a system administrator who has worked for multiple companies here in the Valley. In his current role at Qualcomm, he is using Puppet every day, in order to automate computer builds for various functions.

Date Location Speaker
October 1st, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View A panel of speakers moderated by Kevin Dankwardt
Topic: Panel Discussion about the Shellshock Exploit
Last Wednesday, news outlets broke the story that Stephane Chazelas discovered a vulnerability in the nearly ubiquitous GNU Bash command shell that is used by just about everyone, that is remotely exploitable in many common configurations for anonymous persons to run arbitrary code using Bash's built-in 'function' feature, on Linux and other OSes where Bash is present.

SVLUG's Kevin Dankwardt will moderate a discussion of the bug and its exploit, to cover how the shell vulnerability works, how information about exploitable bugs can be ethically discussed, how to determine whether a system is exposed to Shellshock attack, how to find and audit Bash scripts, how Linux distros and other affected OSes are reacting, remedies through appropriate use of other, less feature-laden Bourne shells such as dash, ash, mksh, and perhaps others, and other related topics.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Kevin Dankwardt, Ph.D. has been training engineers and administrators in Linux for over fifteen years. He does lots of embedded Linux work, among other things. He currently serves as VP of Technology at Open Source Careers. Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi. (Other panelists are invited.)

Date Location Speaker
September 3rd, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Rick Moen, Mark Weisler, & others
Topic: Anecdote Night: Tales from Silicon Valley's Trenches
Over SVLUG's quarter-century, many of us have worked in Silicon Valley's famous and not-so-famous firms using Linux/Unix for infrastructure. We know from discussions over beer that many stories of life in the trenches are utterly hilarious, others just fascinating. This will be an evening to come up to the podium and tell those stories. Two of our regulars will prime the pump with their own stories, but we hope others will prepare for this meeting by writing crib notes for a 5-minute yarn and tell a story you think will entertain us, too. (Please, consider stories without identifying individuals or firms: You want to respect those confidentiality agreements, and not burn any bridges.)
We're also resurrecting a Homebrew Computer Club tradition called Random Access, a portion of the event in which attendees may speak up from the audience and either ask the SVLUG hive mind for help or give us brief news, etc. We ask only that people keep it brief and at least vaguely relevant.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen and Mark Weisler are longtime SVLUG core volunteers. We hope other SVLUG members will also prepare brief anecdotes and join us at the podium.

Date Location Speaker
August 6th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Kevin Dankwardt
Topic: Lesser-Used Bash Features
Bash is a powerful scripting language with arrays, powerful parameter substitution, co-processes, and lots more. Let's talk about features of Bash that maybe you haven't had a chance to use yet, but may find valuable.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Kevin Dankwardt, Ph.D. has been training engineers and administrators in Linux for over fifteen years. He does lots of embedded Linux work, among other things. He currently serves as VP of Technology at Open Source Careers.

Date Location Speaker
July 2nd, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View James Briggs
Topic: "Devops and Release Canaries with Linux, CloudStack and MySQL Cluster"
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: James Briggs is a Programmer/DBA. He has been a member since 1998, and is a contributor to the MariaDB and Perl CPAN open source projects.

Date Location Speaker
June 4th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Don Marti
Topic: Ponies or monkeys? How to choose between containers and VMs for deploying applications.
This talk wll cover "containerizing" an existing application, as well as making VM images for public or private clouds, and what kind of questions to ask to decide where each technology is useful.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Don Marti was editor of Linux Journal for many years and is a Linux expert. He currently works with OSv -- http://osv.io/

Date Location Speaker
May 7th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Jess Males
Topic: SSH: Tips and Tricks
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jess works as a systems administrator in the Bay Area.

Date Location Speaker
April 2nd, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View None
Topic: No meeting, as we did not have a speaker

Date Location Speaker
March 5th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Paul Zander, Bob Smith, and other Raspberry Pi fans
Topic: Raspberry Pi Workshop and Demo. With robots!
See a demonstration of easy-to-use robotic hardware which appears to the programmer as a set of Linux device drivers. Paul and Bob will bring their Raspbery Pi single-board ARM-based computers to demonstrate what they can do. Other Raspberry Pi enthusiasts are welcome to join in.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Bob is a hardware designer and Linux user and programmer. He takes pride in making sure all of his hardware designs have Linux device drivers. Paul is another a hardware engineer. He finds the Raspberry Pi is an amazing improvement over his first computer, which took up most of his workbench. Bob and Paul are long-time SVLUG members.

Date Location Speaker
February 5th, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: How to get screamingly fast performance with Linux
We all know that Linux is considered a high-performance OS, but how do you really make it sing? Rick will go over first the conventional, safe, sane ways to get top performance, and then take a stroll on the wild side with the unconventional, not-at-all-safe, somewhat sanity-challenged methods of getting that last bit of latent speed.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unices since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
January 1st, 2014 Symantec, Mountain View None
Topic: No meeting as this is New Years Day

Date Location Speakers
December 4th, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View Chander Kant and Paddy Sreenivasan
Topic: The Amanda Backup Utility and Zmanda
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Paddy Sreenivasan and Chander Kant are co-founders of Zmanda (which was recently acquired by Carbonite). Zmanda is a provider of backup software based on Amanda - one of world's most popular open source projects. They will discuss features of the open source version of Amanda as well as the Zmanda-supported enterprise edition. They will also discuss their on-the-ground experiences with backup of data to cloud storage, e.g. Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage.

Date Location Speaker
November 6th, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View Jesse Monroy
Topic: Three short talks on a) Data Envelopes for the Open Source Internet of Things, b) The CSS Box Model, and c) How to Give a Lightning Talk
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jesse Monroy was founding president of Silicon Valley BSD User Group, and is currently working in many aspects of Linux.

Date Location Speaker
October 2nd, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: Hardware for Linux
It used to be challenging to buy hardware to run Linux. 21 years of Linux and hardware history have created a few new challenges but mostly improvements, on the whole. With a few handy tricks and a few colourful lessons about hardware past and present, you can enjoy success, good performance, and long-term satisfaction in your choice of computing hardawre. Our speaker will address the traditional server, workstation, and laptop markets but also some of the intriguing areas for use in 'embedded' computing such as DVRs and wireless gateways. (If you elect to use our speaker's guidelines to avoid suckage outside of Linux, we won't tell.)
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL), meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unices since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
September 4th, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View Krishna Raman.
Topic: Red Hat's OpenShift.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Krishna Raman is the community development lead for the OpenShift Origin project. OpenShift Origin is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) which provides a application development and hosting platform that automates the provisioning, management and scaling of applications so that you can focus on writing the code for your business, instead of spending time setting up the stack.

Krishna will give us a dive deep into Origin's internals and architecture. Topics covered include a platform overview of the role Brokers and Cartridges play. We will examine OpenShift's application containers called "Gears" and "Nodes." Finally, we'll look at how some new kernel technologies like network, and pid namespaces are going to be used in OpenShift to provide additional isolation for gears.

Date Location Speaker
August 7th, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View James Briggs and Jesse Monroy
Topic: Multi-core ARM Embedded Linux Development & How to Give Lightning Talks.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: James Briggs develops embedded software on the ARM platform. The ARM processor architecture is used on a variety of devices now including the iPad. Early ARMs powered the Apple Newton PDA in the 1990s and now the Apple System on Chips is used in iPhones.

Jesse Monroy will tell us how to give a Lightning Talk in 5 to 15 minutes. This is a useful skill for any of us, especially if working in the technology sector. Jesse uses open source software in the development of robots.

Date Location Speaker
July 3rd, 2013 Symantec, Mountain View Not applicable
Topic: Meeting cancelled as this is the day before our Independence Day holiday

Date Location Speaker
June 5th, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Sarah Newman
Topic: netfilter
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sarah Newman will tell us about netfilter, one of our important and fundamental network tools. The netfilter software suite, including iptables, provides a table-based system for defining firewall rules that can filter or transform packets.

Date Location Speaker
May 1st, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: Linux Malware
We had it first! Not counting the early Elk Cloner boot sector virus for the Apple II, the very earliest true virus was in fact a Unix one, and computer viruses had already been developed on Unix and become old hat when MS-DOS was just getting started and hadn't even been attacked, yet. The biggest Internet meltdown ever was caused by a 'worm' (program that propagates across networks) targeting BSD Unix.
Our speaker will tour malware's colourful history and put it in perspective of larger security concerns including horrifically bad coding practices in many significant desktop projects and slipshod quality control.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL), meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unices since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
April 3rd, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View John Grafton
Topic: Raspberry Pi Talk and Demo
News of the Raspberry Pi took the geek world by storm in late 2011. Surprisingly, a $35 ARM based computer capable of running a full blown version of Linux caught the attention of ordinary folks and computer insiders alike. So many people wanted to get their hands on one, order wait times measured in months shortly after the initial release. During the first year of its existence, the Raspberry Pi Foundation estimates they sold nearly half a million of the little computers. Thankfully, Raspberry Pi's are now easy to come by and the internet is full of people doing interesting things with them. This talk will cover the Raspberry Pi's short history and briefly touch on the educational genesis of this fascinating device. Then we'll move on to the good stuff:
* Where can you buy an RPi?
* What hardware you need to get started?
* How to install Raspbian Linux.
* What to do with it once Linux is installed.
* How to use RPi as a media center running XBMC.
We will also *attempt* to demo many of the things we talk about.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: John Grafton is a systems administrator living and working in the South Bay. He cut his teeth on Sun SPARC systems running Solaris in the late nineties while attending University in Ohio. Administrating Unix-y systems by day, John enjoys hacking on electronics projects during his off time (accidental burns from his soldering iron occur more frequently than he'll admit to).

Date Location Speaker
March 6th, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: All about Debian. (Well maybe not all about it, but at least why it remains such a strong distro.)
Debian GNU/Linux as the second-oldest Linux distribution and (reportedly) the distro most popular for deploying Web servers has a lot to say for it -- both good and bad. Our speaker has gotten a front-row view of both for the past decade and a half, and will regale us with tales of what's good, bad, and sometimes outright hilarious about this important Linux distribution (and why you should care).
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
February 6th, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Dan Mashal
Topic: Fedora 18 and the rest of the world
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dan Mashal is a contributor to the Fedora project, and is a member of the Packaging, QA, and Ambassador teams. Dan has been running Linux for over 16 years, and works as a system administrator during the day.

Date Location Speakers
January 2nd, 2013 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Jesse Monroy, John Sokol, and Yudhvir Singh Sidhu
Topic: Robot Demonstration and Open Source Health Care System OpenEMR
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: We have two presentations this month. Jesse Monroy and John Sokol of Anybots will demonstrate a robot that they have built using BSD. Yudhvir Singh Sidhu will tell us about using OpenEMR, a Linux-based medical records management system, through his Medigrail organization.
Anybots is depicted here... Anybots
More about OpenEMR here... OpenEMR
More about MediGrail here... MediGrail

Date Location Speaker
December 5th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: Real-World Linux Security
Ever wanted to have a gentle, novice-friendly introduction to Linux security? This is your chance. Speaker Rick Moen is going to start from novice levels only, and give a general and pragmatic guide to Linux security primarily for desktop and casual users who nonetheless would like to have a decent grasp of the basics.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s. Having formerly been a technical employee at several Linux firms (Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and California Digital Corp.) during decades past, he stresses that it's not his fault and he has an alibi.

Date Location Speaker
November 1st, 2012 (note one-time date and day, Thursday) Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Dan Mashal
Topic: Fedora Update Part 2: Fedora 18 and Its New Features
Dan will give us an update on the current Fedora, on Linux, and on our community. Dan will address what is going on globally with Fedora, but also local area plans to contribute code to the Fedora project.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dan Mashal is a contributor to the Fedora project, and is a member of the Packaging, QA and Ambassador teams. Dan has been running Linux for over 16 years, and works as a system administrator during the day.

Date Location Speaker
October 3rd, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Meeting Cancelled
Topic: Meeting cancelled as the scheduled speaker cannot be present.

Date Location Speaker
September 5th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Gwyn Murray, Attorney
Topic: Open Source Software Licensing.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Gwyn Firth Murray is founder and principal of the Matau Legal Group, which offers a broad range of commercial, licensing, and other legal services to both start-up and established companies in the high tech and biotech industries (see www.mataulegal.com). She also is co-founder of Open Bar, Inc., a not-for-profit organization focused on legal rights and responsibilities in the world of open source software (see www.open-bar.org ).

Gwyn has spent over twenty years working as inside and outside counsel to computer hardware, computer software and pharmaceutical companies, including Apple Computer, SGI, and Alza Corporation. Gwyn was the first lawyer to join VA Linux Systems, Inc. (now "Geeknet") as internal counsel, and she served as Vice-President, Legal Services for VA during its first year as a public company. After leaving VA, she went on to become Vice-President and General Counsel of Kanisa Inc., a privately-held software company based in Cupertino, California, before undertaking her own law practice.

Gwyn is a graduate of Stanford University Law School, and also holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. She obtained her B.A. magna cum laude and with distinction in economics from Yale College. Gwyn is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Date Location Speaker
August 1st, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Mark Terranova,
Linux enthusiast and consultant
Topic:Fedora Update
Mark will give us an update on the current Fedora, on Linux and our community. Mark will address what is going on globally with Fedora but also local area plans to contribute code to the Fedora project.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Mark Terranova is a "West Coast Community-Developed-Software guy". Mark has regularly taught many types of computer classes, specialising in the benefits of Linux and cross-platform software.

He has been involved with spreading Ubuntu for a while, having helped organize Ubuntu release parties and other tech events that make it fun - using beer, BBQ, and other ways to create a fun community - and has spent much time in Portland, Oregon working with FreeGeek.org. Their unique style helped him learn how to involve more people in computing.

This knowledge has helped him in his role as co-founder of Gidget Kitchen (GK): "Gidget Kitchen donates computers, generally using Ubuntu, to groups and individuals." GK strives to make modern technology simple, empowering, and easy for everyone to understand. The only requirement is "the ability to play well with others."

Mark blames his interest in technical things and electronics on his father Michael: "He gave me a Commodore 64 and helped me get my amateur radio license (N6TBD) at an early age".

Date Location Speaker
July 4th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Independence Day
No Meeting
Topic: Independence Day
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Celebrate freedom!

Date Location Speaker
June 6th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Johnathan Corgan
Topic: GNU Radio
GNU Radio is a free software toolkit for learning about, building, and deploying software-defined radio systems. GNU Radio is released under the GPL version 3 license.
GNU Radio is a signal processing package, which is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The goal is to give ordinary software people the ability to 'hack' the electromagnetic spectrum, that is, to understand the radio spectrum and think of clever ways to use it.
Please see...
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Johnathan Corgan, from corganenterprises.com, is one of the developers for this project.

Date Location Speaker
May 2nd, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View A Distinguished Panel of Speakers
Topic: Comparative Operating Systems Discussion

Join us for a panel discussion among panelists specialising in current open source Unix systems, including Kevin Dankwardt of K Computing representing Linux; Josh Paetzel, Director of IT at IxSystems, Inc. for FreeBSD; Bryan Cantrill will be talking about the successor to OpenSolaris, illumos, and Joyent's own distro, SmartOS; Charles Forsyth, Technical Director and Co-Founder at Vita Nuova for Plan 9; and possibly others.
Check out our flyer (340 KB PDF).
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Rick Moen, long-time volunteer to SVLUG and veteran system administrator, will be the moderator.

Date Location Speaker
Apr. 4th, 2012 at 5:30 PM (note early start time!) Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Larry McVoy
CEO, Bitmover, Inc.
Topic: BitKeeper: Not dead, just pining

After taking the world by storm by introducing the first distributed SCM, and also launching one of the biggest controversies in the open source world due to its non-compete clause in the EULA, BitKeeper has spent the past few years out of the public eye. Come listen to Larry McVoy, founder and CEO of BitMover, and principal architect of BitKeeper talk about what worked, what didn't and how being in the limelight can help or hinder a company's product. Topics will include starting a company, to VC or not to VC, marketing, open source, pricing, licensing, etc.
McVoy earned BS and MS degrees in Computer Science in 1985 and 1987, respectively, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has been employed by Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics and Google. His work generally included performance enhancements to the various Unix operating systems developed by his employers. While McVoy worked at Sun, he worked on a peer-to-peer SCM system named TeamWare that would form the basis of his later BitKeeper product.
McVoy started working with the Linux project around its 0.9.7 version and developed the LMbench kernel benchmark "to make sure Linux didn't turn into a bloated mess like most commercial Unix offerings". The BitKeeper source control system was also developed and integrated into the Linux development process, but disagreements between McVoy and some members of the community prompted the development of the Linux git tool that eventually superseded the use of BitKeeper for the Linux kernel in 2005.

Date Location Speaker
Mar. 7th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Akkana Peck,
Linux consultant, developer, and author
Topic: Fun with Linux and Arduinos
Arduino is a popular open-source single-board microcontroller, descendant of the open-source Wiring platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board input/output support. The software consists of a standard programming language compiler and the boot loader that runs on the board. Akkana will tell us about using Linux to work with the Arduino. Akkana's talk is especially timely with the recent introduction of Raspberry Pi, a similar single-board microcontroller supporting Linux and Python.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Akkana is a software engineer who recently took time to write "Beginning GIMP" - a book about GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. She is active in Bay Area open source and Linux activities.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 1st, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Anand Babu ("AB") Periasamy
CTO and Co-founder, Gluster

Topic: Petascale Filesystem Architecture - GlusterFS Case Study

GlusterFS clusters together storage building blocks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect, aggregating disk and memory resources and managing data in a single global namespace. GlusterFS is based on a stackable user space design, and can deliver exceptional performance for diverse workloads.

GlusterFS supports standard clients running standard applications over any standard IP network. Users can access application data and files in a global namespace using a variety of standard protocols. No longer are users locked into costly, monolithic, legacy storage platforms. GlusterFS gives users the ability to deploy scale-out, virtualized storage -- scaling from terabytes to petabytes -- in a centrally managed and commoditized pool of storage.

James Briggs attended the meeting and published meeting notes on his blog here, SVLUG: The Story of Gluster

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: As CTO and Co-founder, AB Periasamy sets the vision and strategy for the Gluster product platform. Prior to Gluster, AB served as CTO at California Digital Corporation, where his work led to scaling commodity cluster computing to supercomputing performance. He drove the adoption of cluster computing and GNU/Linux at enterprise data centers, and helped close strategic accounts at CDC. In 2004, AB led development of the world's second fastest supercomputer, "Thunder", for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

AB also serves on the board of Free Software Foundation of India. He is the author / contributor of various other free software projects like GNU FreeIPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface), GNU Garp (Gratuitous ARP Daemon), biosconfig (edit/replicate CMOS parameters), librpci/hdb (RPC interpose for GNU Hurd) and Hymn/PlayFair (iTunes ripper), GNU Freetalk (Scheme-extensible messenger for Jabber, Google talk), and Freehoo (Scheme-extensible messenger for YahooIM). He holds a Computer Science Engineering degree from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India.

Date Location Speaker
Jan. 4th, 2012 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Ben Spade,
Telenovella World
Topic: A Robotic Moderator to Remove Forum Comment Spam

Comment spam is currently a major plague affecting Web sites with any type of submission or comment form facility. Ben Spade, SVLUG's second president, encounters the comment-spam problem daily while operating Telenovelas, a popular discussion forum concerning Spanish soap operas (telenovelas) and East Asian dramas. Ben says: "What is it, where does it come from, and what can be done about it? Can this be done without destroying the visitor's reason to visit the Web site?" Ben will detail his solutions.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Ben Spade worked for a medical computing company from the 1970s to the 1990s, did a stint at Linuxcare, and now has gone into independent Linux consulting. He was SVLUG's second president, and first spoke to SVLUG in 1997.

Date Location Speaker
Dec. 7th, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Tully Foote, Systems Engineer, Willow Garage
Topic: Linux-Based Personal Robotics

ROS (Robot Operating System) provides libraries and tools to help software developers create robot applications. It provides hardware abstraction, device drivers, libraries, visualizers, message-passing, package management, and more.

In building ROS, we use Linux both as a platform and as a model for development. As a platform, Linux provides a great development environment and tools, in addition to well-packaged libraries that are tested and integrated. As a model for development, the open-source community built up around Linux is one of the most productive ways to develop.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: As a Systems Engineer at Willow Garage, Tully Foote is a core developer of the ROS ecosystem. He works on core tools and libraries. Recently he has been focusing on extending the support of ROS and the infrastructure to more platforms and architectures. Previous to working at Willow Garage, he worked on autonomous cars in all three of the DARPA Grand Challenges, first at CalTech and then at UPenn for the Urban Challenge.

Date Location Speaker
Nov. 2nd, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Tomer Shiran
Director of Product Management, MapR Technologies, Inc.
Topic: MapR - the next-generation Hadoop distribution that integrates with Linux

The MapR Distribution for Apache's Hadoop Java-based software framework (for creating data-intensive distributed applications) makes Hadoop dramatically easier, more dependable, and faster. In addition, unlike other distributions, it provides capabilities that allow users to leverage the Linux ecosystem. For example, the MapR distribution includes a read/write storage layer with NFS access, allowing users to mount the cluster and use traditional Linux utilities, ranging from cp and ls to rsync and grep. In this talk, we'll provide an overview of the MapR Distribution for Apache Hadoop and its unique capabilities, as well as a number of interesting use cases from MapR users.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Tomer Shiran is currently MapR Technologies, Inc.'s Director of Product Management. He's previously worked for IBM Research, Microsoft Corporation, HP Labs, and ePassportPhoto.com, and is a graduate of the Technion and CMU.

Date Location Speaker
Oct 5th, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Alison Chaiken
Topic: Automotive: The Next Hot Mobile Platform for Linux

Two of the shipping MeeGo pre-installed products are Chinese cars manufactured by Geely and HawTai. The automotive business model diverges significantly from that of consumer electronics products, giving MeeGo some advantages over Android. The GENIVI automotive alliance has officially designated MeeGo as a supported platform, and several member companies have prototypes based on it. What kind of MeeGo apps are car companies interested in? What reference hardware can they be tested on? Our speaker will describe what's in MeeGo-IVI, and show a simple demo running on the ExoPC.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Alison Chaiken is a senior software engineer working in embedded Linux and middleware, and a longtime SVLUG member, who spoke to us before in February 2010 on "Linux, Android, and Open Source in the Mobile Environment". She was recently a MeeGo Technical Consultant at Nokia Mobility Solutions, and describes herself as 'a recovering physicist', who has computed primarily on Unix since the days of the VAX 11/750. Before her work at Nokia, she worked on pervasive computing projects at HP Labs, then moved to Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to write instrument control and user interface software.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 7th, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View David Stern
Principal Engineer, Roku, Inc.
Topic: Roku embedded-Linux music and video boxes

It's been an exciting year for embedded Linux appliances, and Saratoga-based Roku, Inc., started by ReplayTV founder Anthony Wood, is one of the brightest rising stars. Roku's lead software engineer David Stern will share Roku's Linux story with us. Be sure to bring your business card, as Roku will probably have a couple of Roku's signature video player boxes to give away in a raffle.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: David Stern is the engineer principally responsible for the software embedded in Roku's product line of networked audio and video players, which are all Linux-based. Prior to working at Roku, he served stints at Netfix, and before that at consumer electronics firms D&M Holdings and Openglobe, Inc. He earned his baccalaurate at Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis and his Masters at Indiana University Bloomington, both in Computer Science.

Date Location Speaker
Aug. 3rd, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Stefano Stabellini,
Senior Software Engineer, Citrix R&D
Topic: Xen Support in the Linux Kernel: Upstreaming Efforts and New Developments

Xen reuses many externals of open source projects, Qemu and Linux in particular. During the first years of existence, Xen accumulated a large number of changes to these external projects, but then struggled to upstream them.

In the last couple of years, the Xen community has been trying to remove the dependencies on downstream modifications, and establish better relationships with other open source communities. What is the current status of Xen in relation with other free software projects?

At the same time, Xen development proceeded at a fast pace, and several new features were introduced; this talk will go through one in particular: PV on HVM support in the Linux kernel. Traditionally, Linux has always run on Xen either as a pure PV guest or as a virtualization- unaware guest in an HVM domain. Under the name "PV on HVM", work has been done to make Linux aware that is running on Xen, and enable as many PV interfaces as possible, even when running in an HVM container.


Stefano Stabellini is a Senior Software Engineer at Citrix R&D (formerly XenSource, Ltd.), working on the open source Xen Platform team. He has been working on Xen since 2007, focusing on several different projects, spanning from Qemu to the Linux kernel. He currently maintains libxenlight, Xen support in Qemu, and PV on HVM in the Linux kernel. Before joining Citrix, he was a researcher at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, working on mobile ad hoc networks.

Date Location Speaker
July 6th, 2 011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Michael Hamilton,
Dir. of U.C. Berkeley's Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

Wired Roots: Applications of Wireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring in the Wilds of Mt. Hamilton

Dr. Hamilton will discuss a brief history of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, a 5,000 acre ecological reserve perched upon Mt Hamilton below the Lick Observatory -- and how technologies such as Ubuntu Linux, wireless networks, sensors, and imagers will transform our understanding of ecological processes and interactions of species and the environment. He will conclude with a brief discussion of the San Jose Climate Clock project.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Michael Hamilton is an ecologist, conservation biologist, and the reserve director of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, a unit of the UC Natural Reserve System, located near Mount Hamilton in the Diablo Range, due east of San Jose, California. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1983, and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology and ecology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Michael is one of several founders, a past board member, and currently serves as scientific advisor for the Society for Conservation GIS, an organization with 3000 members worldwide that trains and supports academic and NGO professionals involved in nature protection and conservation biology using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies. His professional activities have taken him throughout the United States and Mexico, and to many continents and countries including Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and French Polynesia.

Date Location Speaker
June 1st, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View John Masci and Alan Weisenburger,
Topic: ATA over Ethernet Technology, Solving the Storage Problem

ATA over Ethernet (AoE) is a network protocol designed for simple, high-performance access of SATA storage devices over Ethernet networks. It is used to build storage area networks (SANs) with low-cost, standard technologies.

Learn about a new storage infrastructure that eliminates bottlenecks such as costly controllers, addresses the right user requirement with the right disk solution, and can scale to petabytes using the same platform, with linear scaling cost and performance.


John Masci is a Solutions Engineer with Coraid. He has worked as a Sr. Solutions Engineer at EMC, and was an integral part in the development of VCE, the joint venture between VMware, Cisco, and EMC.

Date Location Speaker
May 4th, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Jesse Monroy
Topic: RSS-Really Simple Syndication

Jesse told us about how RSS works from the inside out, some of the history and politics around RSS, and how one can "grab" RSS information or publish RSS feeds. Jesse described how the various fields of information in "Web feeds" are used, and how the standards groups have evolved RSS over the years.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jesse Monroy was founding president of Silicon Valley BSD User Group, and currently owns Book and Libros.
April 6th, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View John Sokol
Topic: Content Distribution Networks and Broadcast Video

John gave us a lot of information about his work in content distribution, from the mid-1990s up to the present.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: John has worked on Web content and video broadcast through the Internet since the Internet became open and available for public use, in the mid-1990s.

Date Location Speaker
March 2nd, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Jesse Monroy
Topic: How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot with MySQL

The economy is rough. Jobs are temporary at best. Is this the time to start your own business, or help someone else do it? Is LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) the best route? Or do you see it failing?

One BSD philosophy is "always allow enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot". The speaker demonstrates a working business and support sites, and "how to allow enough rope", showing:

  • What you can do with just the basics
  • How to install MySQL and needed components
  • What other material is available

Some basic scripts will be available.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jesus Monroy was founding president of Silicon Valley BSD User Group, and currently owns Book and Libros.

Date Location Speaker
February 2nd, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Rick Moen
Topic: The Wild, Wild Web: Web Browser Security, Performance, and Privacy

Ever notice that Web page loads are still slow, and your browser still segfaults, despite software improvements? It's not really your fault. Many Web site are now weighed down with spurious content to track and log what you do and where you go, and that's not even counting the outright malware. However, it turns out there are fairly easy measures users can take to fix the situation, get your performance back, and protect your privacy. Rick Moen will detail those, explaining some of the ways the Web went wrong and how to fix them.


Rick Moen is a longtime senior system administrator and member of SVLUG's Web Team, who also runs nearby Linux user group CABAL, meeting at his and his wife's house in West Menlo Park, and has been fooling with various Unixes since the 1980s.

Date Location Speaker
January 5, 2011 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Micah Cowan
Topic: GNU Wget

GNU Wget is a utility to retrieve content from Web servers. It supports downloading via HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, the most popular TCP/IP-based protocols used for Web browsing.

Its features include recursive download, conversion of links for offline viewing of local HTML, support for proxies, and much more. It appeared in 1996, coinciding with the boom of popularity of the Web, causing its wide use among Unix users and distribution with most major Linux distributions. Written in portable C, Wget can be easily installed on any Unix-like system, and has been ported to many environments including Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, OpenVMS, MorphOS, and AmigaOS. It has been used as the basis for graphical programs, such as GWget for the GNOME Desktop, KGet for the KDE Desktop, and VisualWget for MS-Windows.


Micah Cowan was maintainer of Wget between mid-2007 and early 2010. His talk will discuss:

  • What is Wget?
  • My history with Wget
  • How to use Wget
    • Restartable downloads
    • Website archiving/recursive downloads
    • Fine-grained controls over which links to follow
    • Content conversions for local browsing
  • Wget shortcomings
  • Lessons learned while maintaining Wget
  • Issues unique to maintaining a GNU project

In addition to having maintained GNU Wget for a time, Micah Cowan also briefly co-maintained GNU Screen (the terminal multiplexer), and is the current maintainer and author of GNU Teseq. Other interests include digital typography, the Japanese language, video games, piano music, and his wife and three children.

Date Location Speaker
December 1, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Quim Gil, Nokia
Topic: The Foundations of the MeeGo Project

MeeGo is a mobile platform founded by Intel and Nokia under the auspices of The Linux Foundation. The MeeGo project aims to become a mainstream platform deployed in handsets, netbooks, tablets, and other mobile form factors. Let's look at the seeds for MeeGo success: an open project participated in by multiple players, a standard Linux stack made of brilliant upstream projects, an architecture optimized for Intel/Atom and ARM processors, the regular free software platform development model, and a Qt environment targeted to mobile application developers.


Quim Gil works at Nokia as MeeGo advocate. He is co-coordinator of the MeeGo Community Office, and he focuses on marketing and outreach activities through http://meego.com/. A professional journalist some time ago, he started a small Web development cooperative in Barcelona in 1995, and then a small free-software cooperative in 2003. After a short period fully dedicated to the GNOME project, in 2007 he joined Nokia and the Maemo team in Helsinki. He lives in Old Mountain View, now.

Date Location Speaker
November 3, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Greg Lindahl
Topic: Blekko, a new Web search engine

Blekko is a new Web search engine, currently in closed beta, offering more-focussed searching using "slashtags", tagging criteria used to refine queries, filtering search results efficiently to the specific sites of actual interest. Blekko will also offer the ability to change the way results are stored, plus an open, public Web-crawling and rank data policy. Greg's talk will focus on Map/Reduce done better, NoSQL database.


Greg Lindahl is CTO at Blekko. He was previously a founder at PathScale, where he was the architect of the InfiniPath low-latency InfiniBand HCA, used to build tightly-coupled supercomputing clusters. Prior to PathScale's founding in 2001, Greg worked on commodity Linux clusters at HPTi, including the 1999 Forecast Systems Lab system, which was the first time a Linux cluster won a conventional supercomputing procurement. Greg started using Linux in 1996, while working on the Legion "grid" distributed OS project at the University of Virginia, and you can trace the history of his Linux laptop usage from the guides he's written at linux-on-laptops.com and tuxmobil.org.

Date Location Speaker
October 6, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Carl Albing
Topic: BASH 4.x New Features

Think you know a lot about bash? Wish you did? Don't know more than a few basics of shell scripting? Wondering why people still use the command line? (Did you know bash runs on the iPhone?) Have you seen the latest features in bash 4.0 and 4.1? Here's something for everyone, by the guy who wrote the book on bash. (OK, one of the guys, who wrote one of the books - O'Reilly's bash Cookbook). Come and enjoy an evening of tech tips and top 10s, how tos and how not tos. It promises to be a real bash!


Carl Albing writes software for some of the biggest and fastest computers in the world. A software engineer for Cray, Inc. and an independent consultant, he is comfortable programming with C, Java, bash, and much more. Carl is co-author of two books, one on Java development on Linux and his latest, the O'Reilly "bash Cookbook" (now in its third printing).

A software consultant, manager, analyst, and programmer with an amazing breadth of software experience, Carl has worked with companies in the US, Canada, and Europe. He has worked for large companies and small startups, in technical as well as in managerial and marketing roles. Carl's software products, past and present, involve the design and development of distributed computing software, medical image processing applications, compilers, medical devices, Web-based factory floor automation, and more.

Date Location Speaker
September 1, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Doug Judd

Hypertable is an open source, high performance, distributed database modeled after Google's Bigtable. It differs from traditional database technology in that the design emphasis is on scalability on commodity hardware, as opposed to support for ACID transactions and the relational model. Hypertable supports massive sparse tables of data, sorted by a single primary key, a design that has proven well-suited for scalable Web 2.0 applications. This presentation will include an architectural overview, demo of the system, performance studies, and some details of Baidu's deployment. Due to a mix-up, this presentation did not occur on the scheduled date and is being rescheduled.


Doug Judd has two decades of software engineering experience, primarily in the area of distributed computing and information retrieval.

He joined Inktomi's Web Search division in 1997 where he held both engineering and management positions. During his five year tenure, he designed and developed large-scale distributed systems, including significant pieces of the crawling and indexing software. Doug later joined Kosmix, Inc., where he built Web crawler and scaled it to a billion documents.

Doug earned a B.S. in Computer Science from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1992, and holds four patents in search technology.

Date Location Speaker
August 4, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View John Terpstra
Topic: Samba

SMB/CIFS networking project has been making great strides in features and enterprise integration, notably integration into Active Directory and OpenLDAP environments, and management via the webconfig interface. Our speaker will update us on the status of the Samba3 and Samba4 branches, including a live demonstration of Samba3's integration into a cutting-edge Linux network and gateway distribution called ClearOS, providing a packaged business platform for small/medium businesses with distributed offices. We'll hear of experiences gained from deployments of Samba and OpenLDAP in sites with up to 4200 users and multiple offices. Focus of the presentation will be on showing that open source solutions don't need to be difficult to use and deploy, and that with proper implementation they can offer a compelling business opportunity.


John H. Terpstra is CEO/President of PrimaStasys, Inc., a company that mentors Information Technology companies and facilitates profitable changes in practices. John is also CEO of Fabuluss Software, Inc., a company working to popularize next-generation desktop productivity enhancements.

He is a member of the formation committee of the Desktop Linux Consortium, and a long term member of the Samba Team.

John is a well known contributor and visionary in the open source community, with a very active commercial focus. He a member of the Open Source Software Institute Advisory Board. He has worked with the LSB, Li18nux (now OpenI18N.Org), and is best selling co-author of The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide. He has other books in production.

John has worked with The SCO Group (previously Caldera, Inc.), and TurboLinux, Inc., in VP-level positions. Prior to moving to the USA in 1999, John founded and managed Aquasoft Pty Ltd. (Australia) for 10 years. He has a Graduate Diploma in Marketing (with Credit) from UTS Australia, and an Applied Science Certificate in Chemistry from QUT (Australia).

Date Location Speaker
July 7, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Randall Hyde
Topic:Not Your Father's Assembly Language

Just as high-level languages have evolved over the past 50 years, so has assembly language. Alas, assembly language has been unfairly demonized by software engineers whose main experience with assembly language was in a college or university assembly language course, being taught with an assembler whose feature list came straight from the 1960s. This talk will discuss why assembly language is still relevant, and will describe a more modern implementation of assembly language (HLA - the High Level Assembler), emphasizing the portability aspects of HLA.


Randall Hyde is the author of Write Great Code, Volumes 1 and 2 (No Starch Press) and the co-author of MASM 6.0 Bible (The Waite Group). He has written for Dr. Dobb's Journal, Byte, and various professional journals. Hyde taught assembly language at the University of California, Riverside for over a decade.

Date Location Speaker
June 2, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Sam Bowne
Topic: Hijacking Web 2.0 Sites with SSLstrip and Slowloris

Many Web sites mix secure and insecure content on the same page, as does Facebook. This makes it possible to steal all the data entered on such a page easily, using Moxie Marlinspike's SSLstrip tool. Sam will explain and demonstrate this attack.

Slowloris is a very new layer 7 denial-of-service attack created by RSnake that stops Apache Web servers completely with very low bandwidth -- one packet every 2 seconds. The Apache developers were notified of this vulnerability, and decided it was unimportant and not worth patching. Sam will explain and demonstrate this attack, and discuss various ways to protect your Apache HTTPd servers.

Complete instructions, so that anyone can easily set up both these attacks on their own machines, will be discussed.


Sam Bowne has been teaching computer networking and security classes at City College of San Francisco since 2000. He has given talks at DEFCON and Toorcon on Ethical Hacking, and taught classes and seminars at many other schools and teaching conferences.

Date Location Speaker
May 5, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Owen DeLong,
DeLong Consulting
Topic: IPv6 Essentials for Linux Administrators
This session will cover an introduction to IPv6 and the basics of configuring IPv6 on Linux systems. This matter is increasingly significant to Linux users as supplies of legacy IPv4 addresses approach exhaustion, and the ongoing transition accelerates.

Owen DeLong is an IPv6 Evangelist for Hurricane Electric, the leading IPv6-ready Internet Service Provider. He's also an elected member of the ARIN Advisory Council and is a senior backbone engineer with more than 25 years of industry experience. Owen has significant operational experience with IPv6 at Hurricane and from running his own fully dual-stacked multi-service network for DeLong Consulting. In his spare time, he's a commercial pilot and teaches SCUBA diving and CPR/First Aid courses. Owen can be reached at owen at delong dot com.

Date Location Speaker
Apr. 7, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Akkana Peck

Topic: Featherweight Linux

Slow is the new black! The "netbook" craze, with machines like the ASUS Eee family, has raised a lot of interest in small and relatively slow hardware. Even if you don't have a shiny new netbook, what about that older laptop sitting in your closet... that one that you stopped using because it was too slow? Maybe you've wondered if there's a way to bring that old hardware back to life?

This talk will cover ways of configuring a modern Linux distribution such as Ubuntu to run efficiently on slow CPU, low-memory machines. You'll see how you can get big performance gains from areas such as:

  • speeding up the boot process
  • options for lightweight window managers
  • performance tools that can help you find bottlenecks
  • tuning your kernel
  • finding lightweight alternatives to big applications

Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and writer who has been involved with open source for roughly two decades, contributing code to Mozilla/Firefox, GIMP and a variety of other projects. She's also the author of "Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional" and has written an assortment of tutorials for Linux Planet and other sites, including her own site.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 3, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Alison Chaiken

Topic: Linux, Android, and Open Source in the Mobile Environment

Mobile operating systems based on Linux range from full implementations of GNU/Linux like Intel/Nokia's newly announced MeeGo collaboration, to platforms like Palm's WebOS and the Google/Open Handset Alliance's Android, which contain little which is familiar to Linux users beyond the kernel. In addition, Nokia has open-sourced Symbian, which is not based on Linux at all. How "open" and "free" are these operating systems, and what challenges and opportunities do they present to developers and users? Android is winning the battle for market share, but does not have familiar facilities like X11 or even most of libc. In response, the Replicant Project has undertaken to create a GPLed operating system for the HTC G1 Dream phone.

Alison Chaiken is a recovering physicist who has computed primarily on Unix since the days of the VAX 11/750. She worked on pervasive computing projects at HP Labs, before coming to Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to write instrument control and user interface software.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 3, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View David Weekly

Topic: Infrastructure Memes: How Spreadable Concepts Can Create and Empower Communities

The Internet enables ideas about how communities can self-organize to spread rapidly and globally, along with the infrastructure required to power a group, enabling "freely franchiseable" models like LUGs, BarCamps, DevHouses, hackerspaces, etc. In this sense, the infrastructure for the community is communicated as an idea virus, or meme - a sort of cultural "grey goo". Maintaining a sufficient consistency of the idea such that global community "identity" is coherent is a challenge, leading to discussions of Community Marks and other novel forms of trademark. Models vary wildly in this level of control, from the Catholic Church through TEDx and all the way through those who self-label as "anarchists". These models often lead to friction with existing, slower-moving establishments such as governments, to whom these forms of organization are alien and subversive. Examples and mild historical perspective will be provided; the talk hopes to at the least to stir discussion about effective ways to spread positive community concepts.

David Weekly (1, 2) is the founder and chairman of PBworks, an innovative host for business collaboration. He was graduated as a President Scholar from Stanford U. in 2000 with a BS in Computer Science, and has worked for such institutions as Harvard Physics, MIT Lincoln Labs, Stanford Graphics, atWeb, Legato, and There.com. David wrote the first layman-level description of MP3 in early 1997, reverse-engineered the Napster protocol in an evening, and was a finalist in the ACM International Programming Competition. David lives in a Hillsborough mansion with five others and throws periodic all-night hackathons called SuperHappyDevHouse, there. He is also a Founding Director of Hacker Dojo, a Mountain View-based non-profit community center for coders and thinkers.

Date Location Speaker
Jan. 6, 2010 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Mark Terranova

Topic: Ubuntu Linux

Mark Terranova will be giving a talk about what is new in Ubuntu Linux's newest release - version 9.10 AKA Karmic Koala, and about the upcoming 10.4 "Lucid Lynx" release due out in April. He will also speak some about his experiences with local tech stuff.


Mark Terranova is a "West Coast Community-Developed-Software guy". Mark has regularly taught many types of computer classes, specialising in the benefits of Linux and cross-platform software.

He has been involved with spreading Ubuntu for a while, having helped organize Ubuntu release parties and other tech events that make it fun - using beer, BBQ, and other ways to create a fun community - and has spent much time in Portland, Oregon working with FreeGeek.org. Their unique style helped him learn how to involve more people in computing.

This knowledge has helped him in his role as co-founder of Gidget Kitchen (GK): "Gidget Kitchen donates computers, generally using Ubuntu, to groups and individuals." GK strives to make modern technology simple, empowering, and easy for everyone to understand. The only requirement is "the ability to play well with others."

Mark blames his interest in technical things and electronics on his father Michael: "He gave me a Commodore 64 and helped me get my amateur radio license (N6TBD) at an early age".

Date Location Speaker
Dec. 2, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Richard Sharpe

Topic: SCST, a SCSI Target Framework for Linux

There are two main SCSI Target Frameworks available in Linux: SCST and STGT. STGT performs the majority of its functions in userland, and has limited target-mode driver support. SCST, on the other hand, has very extensive in-kernel support, and has target mode driver support for FiberChannel, SAS, iSCSI, Infiniband, and so forth.

Richard Sharpe will present information on how to build and install SCST, as well as how to code device handlers and target-mode drivers using SCSI LLDs like scst_local, the Marvell SAS target driver. He will also talk about implementing a virtual tape library using SCST.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Richard Sharpe is a member of the Samba Team, and has written a number of dissectors for Wireshark/Ethereal. He is currently a Senior Software Engineer at Data Robotics, where he writes Linux device drivers. He also supports scst_local.

Date Location Speaker
Nov. 4, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Rescheduled

The originally scheduled speaker for this meeting turned out to be unavailable, such that the meeting was cancelled and the presentation postponed to a future date subject to speaker's availability.


Date Location Speaker
Oct. 7, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Vadim Kurland

Topic: Firewall Builder
Firewall Builder is a GUI firewall configuration and management tool that helps both network administrators and hobbyists carry out policy-based management tasks considerably more sophisticated than are possible by simple Web-based tools. It is cross-platform and vendor-neutral.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: In addition to being author of Firewall Builder starting in 1999, Vadim Kurland is a longtime network engineer for various Silicon Valley companies. Before that, he worked in software development and ISP operations. He is currently working full-time on Firewall Builder as project founder and owner of NetCitadel, LLC.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 2nd, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Brendon Baumgartner

Topic: Zabbix as Your Sidekick
Zabbix is an open source server/client network and host-monitoring system. During this presentation, you'll learn how to architect, deploy, and make practical use of Zabbix. In addition, you'll get information on best practices, examples of how Zabbix helps with troubleshooting applications, and more.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Brendon Baumgartner is currently President of NetCal Consulting; an IT consulting and outsourcing services company. He is also an all-around avid Linux and open source enthusiast. His past careers involved consulting and deploying enterprise commercial products such as MicroMuse NetCool, BMC Patrol, SMARTS, and HP OpenView.

Date Location Speaker
Aug. 5th, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Eddy Mulyono
Topic: ".rpm .deb .ebuild .tgz OMG!" - the state of packaging across Linux OSes

Eddy will be looking at the current state of packaging across distros (Ubuntu, Gentoo, rPath), lessons learned, and what's next.


"opythonista, djangonaut, ubuntero, catholic choir-boy."

Eddy currently works as a lab engineer at Cisco Systems, was educated at Universitas Bina Nusantara in Jakarta, Indonesia, and California State University East Bay, and is a resident of Hayward.

Date Location Speaker
July 1st, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Luke S. Crawford, Prgmr.com.
Topic: Xen: A View from the Trenches

This talk is a light overview of virtualization technologies with a more in-depth look at Xen, given by and targeted towards the hands-on system administrator. Topics will include:

  • Virtualization and consolidation: Buzz aside, what are my choices for consolidation, and what are the trade offs between the different virtualization technologies, and consolidating without virtualization?
  • Virtualization and server management: What tools does virtualization enable that can make the sysadmin's job easier?
  • What about virtualization can make the sysadmin's job harder? How many of these benefits can I get without shared storage? If I do have shared storage, what added benefits can virtualization give me?
  • Overview of the Xen hypervisor and device architecture: What does the sysadmin need to know, and how to get good I/O performance out of a virtualized system?
  • Protecting and fairly allocating resources: How to give people what they are paying for? We will go over the sysadmin-level details of fairly allocating RAM, CPU time, network bandwidth, and disk bandwidth, in environments where users are not always cooperative, and where some virtual servers should be allocated more resources than others.


Luke S. Crawford has been working with Xen in a production environment since late '05, renting virtual private servers to people from all over the Internet at Prgmr.com.

He has also spent significant time with larger corporations, helping to virtualize the corporate environment. Luke and Chris Takemura are nearing completion of The Book of Xen, to be published by No Starch Press in September 2009.

Date Location Speaker
June 3rd, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Allison Randal, O'Reilly Media
Topic: The Parrot Virtual Machine

Parrot is a register-based virtual machine, developed in C and intended to run a variety of dynamic languages efficiently, starting with but not at all limited to Perl 6, using just-in-time compilation for speedy operation and minimum overhead. Serendipitously, it's ended up being small, efficient, and flexible enough for most interpreted languages. It also recently reached production status.


Allison Randal is a linguist, software developer, chief architect for the Parrot virtual machine, Perl Foundation Board member, coauthor of Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials, Second Edition and of some of the Perl 6 Synopses, and editor of various O'Reilly books on dynamic languages including Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving and Programming PHP. She also serves as Program Chair for O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, and is employed by O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly and Associates).

Date Location Speaker
May 6th, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Akkana Peck
Topic: GIMP Demystified

Akkana Peck will demonstrate tips, tricks, and techniques for using GIMP to improve your digital photographs and Web images, and to create cool art projects such as greeting cards. She'll also demonstrate some of the new features in GIMP 2.6.


Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and the author of the book Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional. She has been an open source software developer for some 20 years, as well as a longtime member of the GIMP community, and has contributed to GIMP, Mozilla, and an assortment of other projects. Her Web site is http://shallowsky.com/.

Date Location Speaker
April 1st, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Ed Cherlin
Topic: Digital Textbook Design, Licensing, and Consequences

Earth Treasury and partners are starting to create digital textbooks. In the past, most such efforts have either been PDFs or software of very limited utility. How can we create more powerful learning materials on the base of software in Sugar on the OLPC XO and other Linux platforms? What licenses should we use? What is the impact of Freely licensed learning materials? Who is writing these digital textbooks?


Edward Mokurai Cherlin has been a mathematician and computer scientist, a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, a Buddhist monk, a high-tech market analyst, a tech writer, a Free Software development manager, and a serial NGO founder. His two most recent NGOs are the Open Voting Consortium (Founding Member), and Earth Treasury (Founder). Earth Treasury has set itself the task of creating an informed network of networks including a billion children, along with their teachers, family, and friends, for economic growth, social development, and world domination of Free Software.

Date Location Speaker
March 4, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Kyle Rankin
Topic: Where'd my Files Go? - A Guide to the Modern Ubuntu Distribution

While you might not be able to tell at a cursory glance, much has changed behind the scenes on a modern Ubuntu system, from what you might be used to if you have used Linux for years. For example, did you know Ubuntu is phasing out the System V init? That you can't loopback-mount the initrd? In this talk, Kyle will discuss the current changes Ubuntu is making to what we might consider the traditional Linux system. There's a little something for everyone on the talk: For Linux newcomers who are curious about what's under the hood, Kyle will cover the traditional and modern boot process, including how init works, and follow up with a guide to where important files are in Ubuntu. For the experienced Linux user, Kyle will show you how (and why) things have changed, and where you can look now when you want to, for instance, change the default runlevel on an Ubuntu system.


Kyle Rankin is a systems architect for Quinstreet, Inc., the current president of the North Bay Linux Users Group, the author of Knoppix Hacks, Knoppix Pocket Reference, Linux Multimedia Hacks, and Ubuntu Hacks, and has contributed to a number of other O'Reilly books. Kyle is also a columnist for Linux Journal, and has had articles featured in PC Magazine, TechTarget, and other publications.

Date Location Speaker
February 4, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Christian Einfeldt
Topic: Digital Tipping Point

The Digital Tipping Point is a documentary film that will explore how the culture of sharing is spilling from the world of open source / free software Software into the broader global culture. All video collected for the film is available from the Digital Tipping Point Video Collection at the Internet Archive under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license.


Christian Einfeldt is an attorney in private civil practice in San Francisco, and producer of the upcoming documentary "The Digital Tipping Point".

Date Location Speaker
January 7, 2009 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Sarah Manley

Topic: An Introduction to OpenStreetMap, an open source map of the world

OpenStreetMap is an open source project to collaboratively map the entire world. OpenStreetMap is both free and Free, allowing open access to geodata. There are over 70,000 participants in OpenStreetMap worldwide, and community members are using the data to create a variety of maps, such as opencyclemap.org and openrouteservice.org. The project's volunteers are working to increase participation here in the US. This presentation will focus on the past, present and future of geodata, OpenStreetMap goals, as well how people can get involved.


Sarah is the community ambassador for OpenStreetMap in the Bay Area. As community ambassador, she works to engage a wider range of participants in OpenStreetMap, by organizing mapping parties, speaking engagements, and collaborations with community groups. She is also working to develop a curriculum using OpenStreetMap's data and tools.

Date Location Speaker
December 3, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Tom Belote,
Topic: Wireless Mesh Networking

As a grad student at SJSU, Tom worked on Wireless Mesh Networking and Mobile Ad Hoc Networking. The talk will compare solutions like OLSR and Microsoft's sorta open-source Mesh Connectivity Layer (though it doesn't run on Linux). He will discuss why WDS is not sufficient and a mesh protocol is needed, and discuss the lack of openness thus far in 802.11s even though it is included in the OLPC, as well as other, lesser-known security issues.


After getting his BS in Computer Science at UCSC in 2003, Tom Belote has already had a distinguished career: systems administration and software development for Premier Consulting, Tarantella, Cryptine Networks, EmailLabs, and Digisense, followed by his current job as software engineer at Untangle, Inc. His expertise lies in a number of areas: ActiveDirectory integration, network gateway access and security, Java, ExtJS, JSON-RPC, PHP, and Ruby on Rails.

Date Location Speaker
November 5, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View James Gosling,
VP and Sun Fellow, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Topic: Question and Answer

Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. Dr. Gosling has been one of the best-known software developers of the current age. Come to get his views on multiprocessor support and virtual machines, in which areas he was a pioneer, the Java programming language, which he invented, and more.


James Gosling received a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, Canada in 1977. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1983. The title of his thesis was "The Algebraic Manipulation of Constraints". He has built satellite data acquisition systems, a multiprocessor version of Unix, several compilers, mail systems, and window managers. He has also built a WYSIWYG text editor, a constraint based drawing editor and a port of the 'Emacs' text editor to Unix systems. At Sun, his early activity was as lead engineer of the NeWS window system. He did the original design of the Java programming language and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine.

Date Location Speaker
October 1, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Bill Ward

Topic: Perl Scripting Tips and Techniques

If you find yourself performing rote tasks on a large number of files, consider writing a script to do your work for you. Whether you're updating a directory full of symbolic links, or making bulk edits to a group of text files, or any other tedious manual task, there is a myriad of opportunities on Linux for automation via scripting in languages such as Perl. In this talk, Bill will review some useful tips and basic Perl scripting techniques for automating tasks under Linux, revealing key aspects of the Perl language and features such as regular expressions, along the way. Learn how to identify and install Perl modules, including using your Debian or RPM packaging system to keep them up to date. No prior Perl knowledge is required.


Bill Ward has been programming in Perl since 1993 in the system administration and Web development fields. He has been teaching Perl since the late 1990s, first at De Anza College and later as his own company, Bay View Training. He also works at Oracle, as a software architect in the Infrastructure Systems Development group. He was the founder of PenLUG in 2003. His company is offering Perl training classes open to the public in October in Sunnyvale, CA, and in November in Plano, TX, and he is available for private Perl coaching or on-site training classes.

Date Location Speaker
September 3, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Luke S. Crawford and his sidekick Chris

Topic: Xen: A View from the Trenches

Using Xen to provide Virtual Private Servers to anyone who can pay $5/month.


Chris is a recent graduate, occasional Xen consultant, and itinerant writer. Currently he's biking about the Bay Area doing the occasional bits of documentation, Web design, and programming, in search of the perfect sofa. Luke has been working with virtualization since before it was cool, selling virtual servers based on FreeBSD jails before diving headfirst into Xen. He currently works as a consultant, helping a local Fortune 1000 company virtualize hundreds of servers. His many interests include virtualization, market inefficiencies, pervasive computing, novel input devices, anti-spam systems, IPv6, SAN storage, and ESD protection. (Luke firmly believes that static discharge blew up the Hindenberg. It could happen to you too.)

Chris and Luke work together on a Xen hosting venture at prgmr.com testing out new and interesting technologies on a flock of patient guinea pigs. Their motto is "we don't assume you're stupid."

Date Location Speaker
August 6, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Adam L. Beberg,
Stanford University
Topic: From 325,000 Internet hosts to 1,600 cores on a card, and back again

Technological and sociological issues on the scale of a 325k volunteer node system like Folding@home. The upcoming infrastructure to take to tens of millions of nodes with integrated storage - Storage@home on Cosm. Issues in the design and tools for handling kilo-core systems (SMP, Cell, GPU and beyond) without going insane while maintaining portability and future-proof libraries - Thalweg.

In other words... how to write a vectored multi-core clustered distributed system run by random people on the Internet that gets science done, and other random musings.


Adam L. Beberg has been building distributed systems since 1990. He founded Mithral Communications & Design in 1995, which is the home of the Cosm distributed computing tools. In 1997 he was a founder and president of distributed.net until 1999, during which RC5 was cracked once and DES was cracked twice - the second time in 22 hours with the additional help of the EFF's Deep Crack. In 1999 he met Vijay Pande and collaborated on Folding@home, leading to the use of Cosm as the network library in Folding@home. He was also honored as one of MIT Technology Review's TR100 top young innovators of 1999. He has worked and spoken extensively in the areas of distributed computing, storage, and computer security. With a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, he has been at Stanford since 2004 working on a PhD in Vijay Pande's lab working on next generation distributed computing methodologies, after which he will find a nice day job in academia and start his epic quest for tenure.

Date Location Speaker
July 2, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Javier Cardona,
CEO of cozybit, Inc.
Topic: open80211s

IEEE Task Group S is currently defining a new 802.11 amendment to provide mesh networking services at the MAC layer. open80211s is an open-source implementation of this emerging standard, supported in the mainline kernel since 2.6.26. This talk will provide an overview of the mesh networking protocol, implementation details, capabilities, limitations, and future improvements. The second half of the presentation will include a hands on tutorial on how to use the mesh on common laptops. Note: Attendees are requested to please bring their Linux laptops with wireless chipsets compatible with the Zydas zd1211rw or Broadcom b43 drivers, to participate in a demo of open80211s mesh networking. Helpful links: 1, 2, 3


Javier Cardona is the CEO of cozybit, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in the field of wireless communications. Javier co-founded the company in 2004 to create a place where Linux engineers could fully develop their technical abilities and have a life too. Thanks to cozybit, a large number of electronic devices, from children's laptops to digital pens, can talk to each other. Prior to that, Javier developed embedded software for over ten years, in France, US, UK, and Switzerland, for a wide range of applications, from industrial safety to wireless networking. Javier holds a Telecommunications Engineer degree from UPC, and a Master of Engineering from Alari, Switzerland.

Date Location Speaker
June 4, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Alan DuBoff

Topic: Update on OpenSolaris interworking with Linux, *BSD, and Virtual Box

In June's meeting, Alan DuBoff of Sun Microsystems spoke on the new release of OpenSolaris, formerly known as Project Indiana. In addition, Alan also discussed some of the open source software currently being developed between Sun and the communities. Such software includes Virtual Box, OpenOffice, MySQL, and Xen/Xvm. Alan gave us live CDs of OpenSolaris, so we can try it out! Thanks Alan and Sun!


At the time of the talk, Alan worked in the Solaris x86 IHV/OEM group, where he worked with both hardware and software vendors, as well as with the OpenSolaris community with part of his time. Alan has been working at Sun Microsystems for close to five years. Prior to working at Sun, Alan was a lead engineer on the Kerbango Internet Radio project, one of the early adopters of Monta Vista Embedded Linux.

Alan worked at VA Linux Systems (and VA Research before that ;-), where he wrote and maintained the backend of their order/entry system for about 1.5 years. He worked on WebVan for a year before going to VA, and has been a consultant around Silicon Valley for close to 15 years, working at many large companies. Alan has been consulting to the high tech industry for more than 25 years.

Alan founded and is President of the Silicon Valley OpenSolaris User Group (SVOSUG), which meets in Santa Clara, CA, at the Sun Microsystems Santa Clara Campus. He has run user groups with IBM, Microsoft, and Heathkit in the past, as well as being a long standing member in the BayLISA, SVLUG, Debian, and BSD communities. He has given presentations at LISA conferences, as well as OSCON, JavaOne, and SunNetwork.

Alan is currently involved in a project to port Flask / type_enforcement to OpenSolaris with a project called Flexible Mandatory Access Control (FMAC). This is the technology used in SELinux for Madatory Access Control (MAC).

Date Location Speaker
May 7, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Alex Honor
ControlTier, Inc.
Topic: CTL, a cross-platform command-management framework

CTL is a command-dispatching and control system for networks, coded in Java 1.5 (with 1.4 coming) and transported over SSH2 via JSch, supporting the Apache Bean Scripting Framework and Ant with support for multiple implementation languages. It also cooperates with Jobscenter for scheduled command execution, Reportcenter for report logging and reporting, and Design Workbench for an integrated model of all controller definitions.

slides for Alex's talk are available.


Alex Honor is a developer and open-source project-leader for ControlTier Software. Alex has been designing and implementing automation and administration solutions for over 15 years. He was head of architecture and system engineering at E*trade, where he led the scaling of infrastructure from one app on 3 nodes to dozens of apps across thousands of nodes in multiple datacenters. Alex has held engineering and operations management positions in government and startups always focussing on distributed systems. His current focus is on CTL, a next-generation automation framework, for system and application administration. Alex also provides design consulting to ControlTier's SaaS and ecommerce customers to automate their online operations.

Date Location Speaker
April 2, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View James Burgett

Topic: Alameda County Computer Resource Center (ACCRC)

The Alameda County Computer Resource Center (ACCRC) is a non-profit organization that provides free electronics recycling. James spoke on the topic of giving computers to the needy through the diversion of machines from the waste stream, and the difficulty of placing free hardware in a world that was trained to expect zero-sum economic behavior. ("If it's free, then something must be wrong with it".)

He discussed the recent installfest (350 machines assembled), including lessons learned and plans for future fests.

James Burgett founded ACCRC to essentially make money off equipment that other people thought was obsolete garbage. Thirteen years later, he has reformatted, refurbished, and donated thousands of computers to folks who might not ever have the chance to own one.

The ACCRC offers workshops on how to refurbish and reuse junked equipment, and how to install and use the open source Ubuntu Linux OS, which is free for all.

Saving valuable equipment from the landfill, James explained, is not exactly profitable for the California Electronics Recycling Initiative, which encourages recyclers to mine and grind parts rather than refurb for reuse.

We learned why the ACCRC motto is "Obsolescence is Just a Lack of Imagination."


James Burgett is the founder and Executive Director of the ACCRC.

Date Location Speaker
March 5, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Dan Kegel,
Zumastor contributor and release manager for WINE 1.0
Topic: Zumastor-better snapshots and remote replication for Linux filesystems

Ever wonder why people use fancy commercial file servers instead of plain old Linux? Two big reasons are: LVM snapshots don't scale well, and rsync replication doesn't scale well. Zumastor is a GPL'd effort to solve both problems; it consists of a device mapper target that handles efficient volume-level snapshotting of filesystems, and a userspace app that handles efficient replication of volume snapshots to remote machines. Dan Kegel described Zumastor in some detail, then walked us through how to set up a pair of Zumastor servers, before our very eyes. Read zumastor.org's excellent howto, and try it yourself!


Dan Kegel is another one of those Unix curmudgeons who learned how to design and program computers back when 8-bit processors were new, and still thinks vi is cool. He got root in '82. He is now happily employed at Google, recently helped get Photoshop CS2 running on Linux by improving WINE, and was elected release manager for WINE 1.0 at Wineconf '07.

Date Location Speaker
February 6, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Kyle Rankin,
Senior System Administrator and Author
Topic: Knoppix Hacks at the intermediate and advanced levels

Kyle is the author of Knoppix Hacks published by O'Reilly. Many of us use Knoppix as a live CD (or DVD) for rescue and administrative purposes. In this meeting, Kyle showed us some intermediate and advanced uses of Knoppix, including remastering.


Kyle works as a senior system administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area, and writes books and articles on Linux.

Date Location Speaker
January 2, 2008 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Adar Dembo and Elliot Lee,
VMware, Inc.
Topic: The Open Virtual Machine Tools Project

Do you run Linux in a virtualized environment? Do you experience performance and usability issues when doing so? If you answered yes, then the Open Virtual Machine Tools project can help.

The project is a collection of several kernel and user space components that dramatically improve the overall user experience for Linux and Unix guests.

We will describe how these components work together to provide several interesting features like drag-n-drop, clipboard sharing, improved network and graphics performance etc. Through this talk, we hope to connect with several users (both new and existing) as well as unearth new ideas and contributors to the project.


Adar Dembo is a Senior Member of Technical Staff at VMware Inc. and the lead developer on the open-vm-tools project. He has enjoyed his brief forays into the Linux kernel and would like to become more active in the kernel community.

Elliot Lee has worked with open source since before it was open source, and helped start the GNOME and Fedora projects. He currently works as a software engineer at VMware, where he's helping ramp up the open-vm-tools project and develop cool new virtualization technologies.

Date Location Speaker
December 5, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Strata R. Chalup,
author and consultant
Topic: Best Practices for Helpdesk and Ticket Systems

Does your ticket system follow the 3 laws of entropy? You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game? As the lolcats say, "You're doing it wrong". A bit of restructuring your helpdesk and ticket process can support your need for staffing, reveal problem areas in your infrastructure or support process, and win you powerful allies in engineering and sales. Closing tickets is only the tip of the iceberg. A well-run helpdesk effort also includes good ticket granularity, priorities customized for your organization, maintainance and upgrade support in the queue, regular reporting, and providing proactive services. Most of these practices work well with virtual helpdesks as well, allowing them to be leveraged for open source projects as well as enterprise workgroups.


Strata R. Chalup started administering VAX Ultrix and Unisys Unix in 1983 in Boston, founded Virtual.Net in 1993, and spent the dot-com years building complex internet services for clients like iPlanet and Palm. She is a well-known instructor at Usenix and LISA conferences, and joined Tom Limoncelli and Christina Hogan as a co-author for the 2nd edition of "The Practice of System and Network Administration", published August 2007.

Date Location Speaker
November 7, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Dirk Morris,
Topic: Untangle: a productivity appliance

Untangle is a GNU/Linux appliance with functionality in the following areas: Spam Blocking, Web Filter, Protocol Control, Security, Virus Blocker, Spyware Blocker, Phish Blocker, Intrusion Prevention, Remote Access, Remote Access Portal, and OpenVPN.

The presentation showed how Untangle has been developed to be much more efficient than simply assembling individual applications to accomplish these networking functions. Untangle CDs were given to all who attended, about 65 people.

We raffled books from one of our sponsors, O'Reilly, and complimentary admittance to the Pearson Google Web Toolkit conference taking place in downtown SF, Dec 3-6.

slides for Dirk's talk (warning: 10MB PowerPoint) are available.


Dirk Morris is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Untangle, and visionary behind the Untangle Gateway Platform.

Prior to Untangle, Dirk was Chief Architect at Akheron Technologies, where he invented the patent-pending High Bandwidth Transparent Vectoring used in the company's proxy firewall engine. He has also held positions as lead engineer at VerticalNet and H.L.L.C. Consulting, developing Java-based distributed monitor and intrusion detection systems.

Earlier in his career, Dirk worked on survivability simulations at CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team), the renowned, federally-funded Center for Internet security operated by Carnegie Mellon University.

Dirk earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Date Location Speaker
October 3, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Ulrich Drepper,
Red Hat
Topic: CPU Memory and Caches

One underestimated and misunderstood problem of programming in general, and parallel programming in particular, can have a dramatic effect on performance: CPU memory and caches. This talk gave an overview of how memory actually works, how caches are used, the associated costs, and a few tips for using memory and caches more efficiently. This presentation accompanied the paper concurrently published by Linux Weekly News.

Ulrich showed how improper use of memory can yield performance compromises, sometimes resulting in several orders of magnitude worse performance.


Ulrich Drepper is one of the early Linux users. He has maintained C libraries for the last 12 years, and currently works for Red Hat, where he looks after all kinds of low-level technology.

Date Location Speaker
September 5, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Tapio Tolvanen,
Senior Software Specialist - Architect for Nokia Multimedia's Convergence Products
Topic: The Ultimate Linux Handheld and Its Software Development Platform, maemo

In this presentation, Tapio taught us about the Nokia Internet Tablets, from both a hardware and software perspective.

We heard an overview of the Internet Tablet OS operating system's architecture and features, as well the secrets of the application development platform. For developers, this was a good overview to maemo, and a jumping-off point to starting work with maemo. The 770 and 800 platforms were discussed, as well as a roadmap for future development.


Tapio Tolvanen is currently a Senior Software Specialist - Architect for Nokia Multimedia's Convergence Products. Tolvanen has been defining architectures and guiding the development of several applications, creating engaging and compelling Internet experience on Nokia's first open source-based platform, maemo. Prior to this, Tolvanen has been developing several applications and products on Nokia's platforms, including Series 40, S60, and Maemo in Europe, Asia and the U.S.A.

Date Location Speaker
August 1, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Cricket Liu,
Vice-President of Architecture, Infoblox.
Topic: Securing Internet Name Servers

In this presentation, Cricket discussed the types of threats name servers on the Internet are regularly exposed to, including cache poisoning ("pharming") and denial of service attacks. He described ten steps administrators can take to secure their Internet-connected name servers. His presentation is available on the Infoblox Web site.


Cricket Liu is author for O'Reilly and Associates of all of the publisher's books about the TCP/IP Domain Name System, including the seminal volume DNS and BIND, DNS on Windows NT, DNS on Windows 2000, DNS on Windows Server 2003, and the DNS & BIND Cookbook. As the latest step in a distinguished career, he is serving as VP of Architecture at Infoblox, a company that specializes in appliances that offer network services, including DNS and DHCP.

Date Location Speaker
July 11, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Richard Sharpe,
Data Robotics, Inc.
Topic: Drobo, the World's First Data Robot

Richard Sharpe will introduce Data Robotics's Drobo, the world's first data robot. Drobo is a USB storage device that allows users to mix and match up to four SATA drives of different sizes, and allows for easy upgrading, all while protecting the user's storage. After a demonstration of its capabilities, he will then talk about how a Drobo can be used with open-source operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD.

The management protocol that allows a host to interact with Drobo will be explained, plus strategies for dealing with the fact that Drobo changes size will be suggested in the context of Linux.


Richard Sharpe is a software engineer at Data Robotics, Inc. Prior to Data Robotics, he worked at Mu Security and Panasas. He has also been active in the open-source arena, having been involved with both Samba and ethereal (now wireshark).

Date Location Speaker
June 6, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Robert Bays,
Chief Technology Officer
Topic: Introduction to the Vyatta Open Source Router

Robert's talk will cover why Vyatta was created, what services the community has access to, and an introduction to building routers and third party integration.


Robert has been working in the networking industry since 1994. Prior to joining Vyatta, he was CTO at InfiniRoute Networks, providing optimized long-haul VoIP transit to international long distance providers. InfiniRoute was the genesis of a merger with his previous company, Proficient Networks, where he was co-founder and held the role of Chief Scientist, designing Internet route optimization technology. Before joining Proficient, Robert held Senior Network Engineer roles at Telegis and Digital Island.

Date Location Speaker
May 2, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Curt Wetzel,
Technical Trainer, Barracuda Networks
Topic: Firewall, Spam Filters, and Load Balancers

The talk will center on Barracuda Networks's delivery of network appliances to the market, company background, trends in threats, new spam management techniques, predictive sender profiling, and Barracuda's products.


Curt started running Linux in 1998 on his personal computer so he could program on his own time. At first, he was just looking for a cheap compiler, and free was great by his standards. He quickly learned about the freedom aspect of open source software, and has been a strong proponent ever since.

Curt has been with Barracuda Networks since 2004. He was graduated from Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington with concentrations in mathematics, physics, and computer science.

Date Location Speaker
April 4, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Aron Sogor,
Co-Founder, BuniSoft
Topic: Meldware Communication Suite

Aron will introduce Meldware Communication Suite, an open source, multi-platform groupware package for Linux. The presentation will give an overview of Meldware, its mail server, calendar server, webmail, and Web calendar, as well as its administration GUI.

The talk will cover technical details, including Meldware's flexible e-mail storage using any RDBMS or file system, and integration between the calendar server and popular clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Novell Evolution, and even Microsoft Outlook. The talk will wrap up with a demo, a brief description of the Buni.org communication software development community, and a call to action for better protocol standards in e-mail and scheduling.


Aron Sogor has served as lead engineer for variety of projects for companies in the telecommunication sector, including Vodafone and Windriver Systems.

In the past, he presented on subjects such as the open source development model and the Meldware Communication Suite at JavaOne, JBoss World, and AjaxWorld. He has also published on the subject of integrated personal information management at ITNG. He started using Linux in 1996, and has been an addict ever since then.

Date Location Speaker
Mar. 7, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Seth Schoen,
Staff Technologist, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Topic: DRM as a Threat to Free Software

Seth will talk about how digital restrictions management (DRM) and related legislative and regulatory measures are excluding free software from interoperating lawfully with a new generation of commercial media products, and providing a pervasive excuse for hardware manufacturer secrecy. He will give updates on recent DRM developments, and discuss why even people who know how to break DRM should be concerned.


Seth Schoen has served for six years as EFF's first-ever Staff Technologist, bridging the technology and legal worlds. Prior to this, he wrote the so-called "DeCSS Haiku" to protest movie industry lawsuits against DVD decryption software. He has used Linux and free software since 1995, and has attended a variety of industry DRM meetings on three continents. He worked on EFF's successful challenge to the Broadcast Flag regulation.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 7, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Sameer Verma,
San Francisco State U.
Topic: VoIP and the Asterisk PBX

This presentation will cover the design of VoIP for a small-business scenario. It will cover configuration and use of AstLinux, a custom Linux distribution centered around Asterisk, the open source PBX (private branch exchange). It will cover configuration and use of AstLinux using a bootable CD and a USB Flash key. Time permitting, there will also be a demos of the CentOS-based Trixbox Linux distribution, which supports many additional features such as logging, billing, CRM, etc.


Dr. Verna is Assistant Professor of Information Systems in the IS Dept. at San Francisco State University, where he has been teaching a course in "Managing Open Source" for the last couple of years, and operates the useful news/comments site http://opensource.sfsu.edu/. He is also a frequent speaker at Linux conferences worldwide.

Date Location Speaker
January 3, 2007 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Edward Cherlin

Topic: The One Laptop Per Child Initiative

The MIT $100 laptop being made and marketed by One Laptop Per Child (laptop.org) is the center of the largest charitable and human rights programs in history, and the largest Free Software project focused on education. Ed will briefly describe the planned hardware and software, and then talk about the way the program is intended to work, how you can join in, and some of the likely results. Questions and suggestions are welcome.


Edward Cherlin is a generalist and activist who has organized an anti-spam organization, led development of free APL software, and won a Korean classical music contest as a Peace Corps Volunteer. When he wrote a guide to the Internet almost fifteen years ago, there were three questions he couldn't answer: 1. How to get rid of spam; 2. How to display all the languages on the Web correctly; 3. How to get the rest of the world on the Net. Now that we have answers, Ed feels like a character in a John Brunner novel.

Date Location Speaker
December 6, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Ewa Matejska

Topic: The Eclipse Plug-In Framework and C/C++ Development Tools

The Eclipse Development Environment is an extensible open-source toolkit and integrated development environment, written in Java, for rich-client development in C++, Java, and over a half-dozen other languages (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Lua, and more) via its well-developed plug-in mechanism. Ewa will discuss the community ecosystem and resources for Eclipse plug-in development, and then will demonstrate use of that plug-in framework and the popular Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tools) kit on Linux.


Ewa Matejska is a Sr. IDE Engineer at PalmSource and a committer to the Eclipse DSDP (Device Software Development Platform) project. She has been involved with the Eclipse community for the past two years, and is currently working on the Eclipse-based Access Linux Platform Development Suite.

Date Location Speaker
November 1, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Michael Snyder

Topic: GDB, the GNU Debugger

The GNU Project's "GDB" is the standard source-code debugger. It's portable across all Unix-like platforms, and supports coding in many programming languages. It permits tracing and altering of program execution, monitoring/modification of variables, calling functions independently of the program's normal behaviour, and even remote debugging via a client/server mode. There are a number of (optional) graphical and other front-ends (including Eclipse, subject of our December talk), and add-ons such as detectors for memory leaks.

Michael will give an omnibus view of GDB -- how it works, how to get the most use from it, and a bit of what it's like to work on a publicly maintained open source software project.


Michael Snyder is an active member of the public GDB maintainer's group. He has worked on debuggers for 15 years, and on GDB for ten; first at NeXT, then at Cygnus, Red Hat, and currently at PalmSource.

Date Location Speaker
October 4, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Bill Mamoin,
CTO, Ingres Corporation
Topic: Ingres RDBMS for Linux

The topic will be the re-birth of Ingres to the open source community — along with the technical details behind Ingres and what makes it* different from other RDBMSes in the open source market. Bill will also review what Ingres Corp. is doing with Linux, and its efforts to make developing on an open source stack easier.


Bill Mamoin is Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Engineering for Ingres, having arrived with 20 years' experience with Oracle database architecture management. Most recently, he served as VP in Oracle's Server Technologies division, where he was responsible for its collaboration software, including content services and records management.

For more than ten years, he led Oracle's work in data security, including pioneering work within the US and international ISO bodies, along with scalability work on Oracle 7 and 8 releases that helped achieve record database scalability measures.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 6, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Bob Smith, Graham Phillips, and Bill Pierce

Topic: Linux Appliance Design

Join us as the authors of No Starch's upcoming book "Linux Appliance Design" describe the components used in the book's sample appliance. The talk will focus on what each appliance component does, why you might want the component in your appliance, how the component ties to the other components, and how to install can configure the component.

Topics to be covered in the talk include:

  • Appliance architecture
  • Run-time access: How to talk to a running daemon
  • logmuxd: How to use logging to respond to events
  • An AJAX-powered Web interface
  • Framebuffer and LIRC interfaces
  • A sample front-panel interface
  • A command-line interface
  • An SNMP interface

You can preview the book and its sample appliance at the book's Web site: www.linuxappliancedesign.com


Bob Smith, Graham Phillips, and Bill Pierce are authors of the upcoming No Starch book Linux Appliance Design. Bob was the founder of Venturi Wireless, and has over ten years of experience with embedded Linux. Bob currently works for PalmSource.

Graham's area of expertise is user interface design for embedded systems. He designed the AJAX-based Web interface for Laddie, the book's project.

Bill is currently a lead software engineer at Electronics for Imaging (efi.com), where he works on control software for printer controller appliances. Before joining EFI, Bill spent 11 years as an embedded systems engineer at BAE Systems.

Date Location Speaker
August 2, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Jack Lo
VMware, Inc.
Topic: Virtualization and Virtual Infrastructure


Jack Lo is Sr. Director of R & D at VMware. Jack manages the VMware virtual machine group, which is responsible for the virtual hardware platform across VMware's products. Prior to joining VMware, Jack was at Transmeta Corporation for 5 years, where he held several engineering management positions, the most recent being Director of Software Engineering. Jack received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Washington in 1998, and B.S./M.S. degrees in computer science from Stanford University.

Date Location Speaker
July 5, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Stephen Lau
Solaris Kernel Developer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Topic: Sun's OpenSolaris Project

OpenSolaris, which was launched on June 15, 2005, is Sun Microsystems's flagship Unix operating system for its entire product line from small systems to large clusters, and is fully under a genuine open source license, CDDL, a variant of the Mozilla Public License. In that sense, OpenSolaris serves as the Fedora to Sun's Solaris OS; new Solaris versions will be based directly on it, but it's also fully available for third-party distributions such as Schillix, Belenix, and Nexenta GNU/OpenSolaris. Stephen will talk about OpenSolaris's development, status, and prospects for the future.


Stephen Lau is an expatriate Englishman now living in the Bay Area, who, after studying high-performance computing in San Diego, has spent the last few years working for Sun Microsystems as part of the OpenSolaris kernel development team, and occasionally getting away to enjoy the outdoors or watch football (the real, World Cup variety), in which category he's a Manchester United fan, and hopes to build an HDTV MythTV box for home, this summer. He's also been working to convert Sun from its proprietary Teamware source-control management tool to Matt Mackall's phenomenally successful open source SCM, Mercurial.

Date Location Speaker
June 7, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Val Henson,
Topic: Cambridge Study on Factors Excluding Women from Open Source, plus a quick summary of Linux filesystems

Free software is so important to the EU that it funds many anthropological studies of the free software community. Val Henson will present the results of the latest study, this one focused on discovering why women make up about 30% of commercial software developers but less than 2% of free software developers in the EU. The study reveals some aspects of the free software culture that not only drive off potential contributors, both men and women, but also reduce the quality of the resulting software. As a bonus feature, Valerie will also present a brief guide to selecting and tuning Linux file systems.


Val Henson gets paid to hack the Linux kernel by Intel. She works in many areas of operating systems, including memory management, networking, and file systems and was one of the key architects of ZFS, the new Solaris file system. She has published several papers and helps organize conferences such Ottawa Linux Symposium, FREENIX, and USENIX General Technical conference. She has been a leading member of LinuxChix since 2001 and is actively involved in encouraging women in computer science. In her spare time, she hikes and travels extensively.

Date Location Speaker
May 3, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Mike Machado
Topic: SageTV Media Center software

SageTV LLC offers an innovative "SageTV Media Center" PVR/media center solution on both PCs and TVs, and supporting multiple tuners, networking, intelligent recording, rich interactivity, and high-quality display on even low-cost systems. The PC version was released first on MS-Windows and now on Linux, where it benefits from Linux's superior "always-on" operating characteristics and ground-up focus on network support. (Also, unlike many competitors including TiVo, SageTV's products so far store their data in accessible, freedom-friendly, non-DRM-obscured MPEG-2 format — though the firm is obviously caught in the crossfire of commercial interests, and some accomodations to Hollywood seem likely.) CEO Machado will demonstrate Media Center, describe his firm's experience bringing it to Linux, and solicit feedback on how it can be made even better.


Mike Machado is CEO of SageTV, provider of the award winning SageTV Media Center software for Linux and Windows. SageTV is working to bring powerful, affordable, and reliable PVR/Media Center capabilities to the latest consumer electronics and IPTV embedded set-tops and connected devices, as well as Media Center-focused PC hardware.

Previously he was VP Technology at Software.com, provider of scalable and reliable carrier-class e-mail and webmail software to ISPs, Web portals, and mobile telephone messaging providers. Prior to that, Mike was founder / CEO of Mobility.net, likewise providing webmail software to ISPs and Web portals.

Date Location Speaker
Apr. 5, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Kevin Jameson,
Co-founder, Codefast, Inc.
Topic: Automating Software Builds

Automated software processes are an important part of your software project infrastructure: They are the scripts and programs that perform checkouts, software builds, regression tests, release packaging processes, code branch health checks, and other such automated file manipulations. Although programmers have traditionally created automated processes using manual craft labor, it is now possible to generate and execute such processes using automated smart process generators & scalable execution systems, with essentially no human labor. Because human errors are removed from the system (along with human labor), process error rates drop dramatically; product cycle times speed up accordingly.

E.g., during a five-month period (Nov. 2004 to Mar. 2005), Codefast's developers made 7,688 check-ins to a code base of 1M lines of C, running on 20 platforms, and had zero build failures on Codefast's GNU Linux platform. Zero build failures equates to perfect six-sigma build-process quality. This talk gives highlights of Codefast's story, summarizing Production Automation concepts, goals, solutions, and results; it gives Codefast's conclusions and expectations for the future. Attendees will be able to pick up a free copy of Kevin Jameson's second, easy-to-read book Software Lifecycle Automation, at the presentation.


Software-productivity researcher Kevin Jameson has spent almost 25 years researching and implementing smart, automated software systems to improve software-development team productivity. Kevin was the original founder of Codefast in Canada, before the company was re-formed as a Silicon Valley VC-backed company; he's currently responsible for the technology vision of modern Codefast products. Kevin has authored two books in the field: Multiplatform Code Management (O'Reilly, 1994) and Software Lifecycle Automation (2004). He's written numerous technical articles and papers, spoken at various international software conferences, and authored more than 25 USA and Canadian patents and patents-pending in the field of software lifecycle automation. Kevin has a bachelor's degree in general science, and a master's degree in software engineering from the University of Calgary.

Date Location Speaker
Mar. 1, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Paddy Sreenivasa,
AMANDA Project
Topic: AMANDA Backup Software

AMANDA is a popular open-source backup and archiving package. AMANDA uses native tools, and can back up a large number of machines running various versions of the Linux, Unix, or Microsoft Windows operating systems. This talk will discuss the state of AMANDA, and also new project developments. For more information, please see http://wiki.zmanda.com/.


Paddy Sreenivasan is a core AMANDA developer, working at Zmanda, Inc.

Date Location Speaker
Feb. 1, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Arno Puder,
San Francisco State University
Topic: XML11 - An Abstract Windowing Protocol for Creating AJAX Applications

This presentation introduces XML11, an abstract windowing protocol inspired by the X11-protocol develop by MIT. XML11 is an XML-based protocol that allows asynchronous UI updates of widgets to an end-device. To overcome high-latency connections, XML11 allows migration of application logic to the end-device. The prototype implementation of XML11 runs in any standard Web browser without Java capabilities on the client-side, and replaces AWT/Swing on the server-side. This also allows us to expose legacy AWT/Swing applications as Web applications.

Ultimately, XML11 can be used for writing AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications without requiring any JavaScript knowledge. The prototype implementation of XML11 is released under the GPL and available at www.xml11.org.


Arno Puder received his masters and Ph.D. in computer science, and is currently working as an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University. He is one of the founders of the MICO CORBA implementation. His special interests include distributed systems, middleware architectures, and ubiquitous computing environments.

Date Location Speaker
Jan 4, 2006 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Henry Jen

Topic: JXTA

JXTA technology is a set of open protocols allowing any connected device on a network, ranging from cell phones and wireless PDAs to PCs and servers, to communicate and collaborate in a P2P manner. JXTA peers create a virtual network where any peer can interact with other peers and resources directly, even when some of the peers and resources are behind firewalls and NATs, or are on different network transports.


Henry Jen is a Sun Microsystems engineer working on the JXTA project.

Date Location Speaker
Dec. 7, 2005 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Micah Dowty, Bill Kendrick, and Andrew Chant
Topic: An SVLUG Member Project Revue

This month, we'll have multiple short presentations by SVLUG members about projects they use or are involved in.

  • Micah Dowty will be presenting "CIA: A real-time window into the open source world".
  • Bill Kendrick will be presenting the "State of Tuxpaint".
  • Andrew Chant will be presenting "SSH/SSL/GPG/DES/RSA/AES/WTF? Demystifying commonly used security protocols and encryption", and hold a PGP/gnupg key signing at the end. (Important: Participants should read keysigning procedures in advance.)
Nifty of the Month:
Margaret Wendell will be reviewing Prentice Hall's book Linux Desktop Garage
, and demonstrate some GNOME desktop tips and tricks.


Date Location Speaker
Nov. 2, 2005 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Fabrizio Capobianco

Topic: Sync4j

The Sync4j Project is an open source initiative to deliver a complete mobile application platform implementing the SyncML protocol. SyncML defines a standard way to synchronize data and remotely manage devices. Sync4j has more then 10,000 downloads per month (as of March 2005).


Fabrizio Capobianco is CEO of Funambol, the company behind Sync4j. Prior to getting involved in open source, he founded two startups (the first Web company in Italy, back in 1995). At the end of 1999, Fabrizio moved to Silicon Valley, where he started working for Tibco Finance, as Director of Brokerage Systems. Since 2000, Fabrizio has had a monthly column in the magazine Wireless. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Date Location Speaker
October 5, 2005 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Patrick McGovern,
Topic: Splunk Server

Splunk, based in San Francisco, makes a Web-based AJAX-enhanced search engine that allows system administrators and programmers to search all their incoming log files in real time (any type of log files: Sendmail, Cisco, MySQL, syslog, etc.) with a Google-like interface. It's a powerful tool to allow people to 'see' inside their systems as they are running.


Prior to joining Splunk, Patrick McGovern managed SourceForge.net for five years for VA Software / OSTG.

Date Location Speaker
Sept. 7, 2005 Symantec (formerly Veritas), Mountain View Kyle Rankin

Topic: Knoppix Technical Talk


Kyle Rankin of NBLUG is author of Knoppix Hacks for O'Reilly and Associates. As such, he's eminently qualified to give a technical talk for SVLUG about this wildly popular live CD distribution, and its use to troubleshoot, repair, upgrade, disinfect, and generally be productive without relying on the installed system or overwriting that system with Linux itself.

Date Location Speaker
August 3, 2005 Veritas, Mountain View Christian Hammond,
GNUpdate Project and Gaim
Topic: Galago, desktop notifications, IM

Galago is a desktop presence framework, designed to transmit presence information between programs. To put it in simpler terms, it takes information on who is online and their away/idle states from an instant messenger (such as gaim) or other similar programs and lets other programs (such as Ximian's Evolution) to make use of it.

The advantage of such a framework is that it brings your programs closer together. When you receive an e-mail from a friend who is in your buddy list, you'll be able to immediately tell their online status, for example.

Galago is desktop-neutral, and will in time provide easy to use widgets for Gtk+ and Qt applications. Currently, Gtk+ widgets are available in our Subversion repository under the module name libgalago-gtk. Qt widgets will be available in time.


Date Location Speaker
July 6, 2005 Veritas, Mountain View Atul Tulshibagwale,
CEO, Trustgenix, Inc.
Topic: Federated Identity Management

Federated Identity Management allows individuals to use the same identification to sign on to the networks of more than one enterprise, in order to conduct transactions.

Partners in such a system depend on each other to authenticate and vouch for their users, without needing to adopt the same tools for directory services, security, and authentication.

The Liberty Alliance Project (http://www.projectliberty.org/ ) is the only open body working to address the technical, business, and policy challenges surrounding identity and Web services. The Alliance is made up of over 150 members representing a variety of industries from around the world, maintains an open membership policy, and collaborates with other standards bodies.

LAP's specifications for FIM and Web services are built on open protcols, and are device and platform agnostic.


Atul Tulshibagwale is co-founder and CEO of Trustgenix, Inc., a leading provider of standards-based Federated Identity Management software. Mr. Tulshibagwale is a recognized industry expert on secure Web payment, authentication, and privacy technologies for wired and wireless networks. Prior to founding Trustgenix, Mr. Tulshibagwale was a technology leader for five years at VeriSign, where he developed several digital identity and payment products, including Qualcomm BREW "3G Code Signing" Services, GoSecure! for Microsoft Exchange; the Personal Trust Agent; and Personal Trust Service. Previously, Mr. Tulshibagwale was co-founder of Entevo, an Internet security software firm that was acquired by BindView Corporation. He was also a supercomputing expert at the Indian Center for the Development of Advanced Computing. He holds an M.Tech in Computer Science from University of Pune, India.

Date Location Speakers
June 1, 2005 Veritas, Mountain View Bill Weinberg,
Topic: OSDL, Linux in the Marketplace, and the Linux Kernel Development Process

Mr. Weinberg provided an introduction to the Open Source Development Lab, its initiatives (Carrier Grade Linux, Data Center Linux, and Desktop Linux), an update on how Linux is doing in the marketplace, and insight into the Linux kernel development process. He closed with a call to action — how SVLUG can members work with the OSDL and participate in their initiatives and lab activities — and has kindly provided SVLUG with a copy of his lecture slides.


Bill Weinberg brings over 18 years of open systems, embedded, and other IT experience to his role as Open Source Architecture Specialist and Linux Evangelist at the Open Source Development Labs, where he participates in OSDL initiatives for Carrier-Grade, Data Center, and Desktop Linux.

Prior to OSDL, Bill was a founding team-member at MontaVista Software, and helped establish Linux as a favored platform for next-generation intelligent device development. In his extensive and varied career, Bill also worked at Lynx Real-Time Systems, Acer Computer, and Microtec Research.

Today Bill is known for his writing and speaking on topics that include Open Source licensing, international adoption of Linux, embedded/real-time computing, application porting/migration, and Linux-based consumer electronics and handheld applications. He is a regular contributor periodicals such as E.E. Times, Applied Computing, LinuxUser, Elektronik, and Embedded Systems Europe, and has been a featured speaker at Intel Developer Forum, ESC, and LinuxWorld.

OSDL — home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux — is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of IT industry leaders, OSDL is a non-profit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world.

OSDL's founding members are IBM, HP, CA, Intel, and NEC. It's currently made up of 75 members from more than 10 computing industry segments.

Date Location Speaker
May 4, 2005 Veritas, Mountain View Steve Hargadon

Topic: K12LTSP - Linux Terminal Server Project

The Linux Terminal Server Project is an add-on package for Linux allowing numerous low-powered "thin client" terminals to connect to a Linux server. Applications then run on the server, while accepting input and displaying output on the thin clients. An office or computer lab can be constructed using one powerful server and many inexpensive thin clients — old PCs, for example. Configuration and upgrades are then centralized at the server, rather than distributed to numerous expensive desktops.

K12LTSP, a popular solution for schools with limited budgets, is a distribution of Linux based on Red Hat Fedora and the LTSP packages. Steve Hargadon recently completed an installation of K12LTSP at a charter school in Hawaii, and is currently working with the Canadian government to install thin client labs in 2,000 schools in Kenya, Africa.


Steve Hargadon has recently completed installations of K12LTSP in schools in Hawaii, California, Utah, and Illinois. He is currently working with the Canadian government to install thin client labs in 2,000 schools in Kenya, Africa. His company, Hargadon Computer, Inc.,* also sells K12LTSP pre-installed servers and refurbished (recycled) workstations at www.technologyrescue.com.

Date Location Speaker
April 6, 2005 Westin Santa Clara / Santa Clara Convention Center, ballrooms C & D
Donald Becker,
CTO, Penguin Computing
Topic: Linux Clustering

Donald Becker, Chief Scientist of Scyld Software and CTO of Penguin Computing, has consistently challenged conventional wisdom — from the early days of his Beowulf Project at NASA through to the creation of Scyld as a commercial entity and the introduction of the Scyld Beowulf distribution. By upsetting expected beliefs, Donald has maintained a continuum of innovation in the Linux arena that continues to address unmet needs today. Ten years ago, it was widely believed that only custom--esigned vector architectures could solve supercomputing problems.... Along came Beowulf, which solved such problems using a connected cluster of commodity systems, based on Linux — at a time when many who had not explored Linux either ignored it or grouped it with other "toy" systems. In fact, at the first cluster systems conference in 1997, the widely held belief was that Microsoft held the future of all software in its hands. Fast forward to 2000, when Scyld introduced a prototype of a Unified Cluster System, which completely changed the approach to building clusters by using a full installation only on a master node, with compute nodes running only applications. Donald's talk will look back on this history of challenging conventional wisdom, and how it has contributed to the startling growth in Linux clustering; and he'll also offer a glimpse of a future where, he believes, clustering will be the natural evolution of the computing ecosystem.


Donald is an internationally recognized operating system developer, and the original inventor of Beowulf. In 1999, he founded Scyld Computing and led the development of the next-generation Beowulf cluster operating system, which is the cornerstone for commodity-based high-performance cluster computing. Prior to founding Scyld, Don started the Beowulf Parallel Workstation project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Don's work in parallel and distributed computing began in 1983 at MIT's Real Time Systems group. He is known throughout the international community of operating system developers for his contributions to networking software, and as the driving force behind beowulf.org. He is the co-author of How to Build a Beowulf: A Guide to the Implementation and Application of PC Clusters. With colleagues from the California Institute of Technology and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he was the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society 1997 Gordon Bell Prize for Price/Performance. Don holds a B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Date Location Speaker
March 2, 2005 Cisco Building 9 in North San Jose
Steve Martensen,
Senior Messaging Specialist, Scalix Corporation
Topic: Scalix Server

Scalix produces a Linux e-mail server that supports shared scheduling and advanced e-mail features, delivering desktop-grade productivity to users running Outlook and/or popular browsers such as Mozilla, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Scalix's messaging server can run side by side with both mainstream proprietary systems, such as Microsoft Exchange, and open source applications, bridging the two worlds and integrating with a company's existing IT infrastructure.


Steve Martensen is Senior Messaging Specialist at Scalix. He has been in the messaging industry since 1991, first working for Lotus Development on cc:Mail, then on to Lotus Notes, then focusing for several years on messaging migration, and now at Scalix for the past two years. He wrote and developed the Exchange to Scalix migration process.

Date Location Speaker
February 2, 2005 Cisco Building 9 in North San Jose
Mark C. Langston

Topic: The GoSSIP Project

GOSSiP (Gossip Optimization for Selective Spam Prevention) is a distributed, peer-to-peer reputation management system. It tracks the behavior of e-mail senders, and shares senders' reputations among participating mail servers. These reputations may then be used by mail servers as part of a comprehensive program to combat unwanted e-mail.


Mark C. Langston has been doing systems administration for more than 10 years. In that time, he has worked for small groups and huge companies. He has worked in academia and industry, for startups and long-established companies, and for salaries ranging from below-subsistence to obscene in size. He's worked his way from the most junior of technical employees to Chief Technical Officer and corporate board member. He is on the advisory committee for the Linux Professional Institute certification, and is an active member of SAGE and USENIX.

Date Location Speaker
January 5, 2005 Cisco Building 9 in North San Jose
Dror Harel,
VP Product Management, Qlusters, Inc.
Topic: Linux data center management


Dror Harel came to Qlusters with over 14 years of experience in managing the development of innovative software products. Before joining Qlusters, Dror held a senior product management position at Sanctum, Inc., where he drove development of the company's security software products. Previously, Dror had been Vice-President of Quality and Product Integration, and Vice-President of Product Management at Veon, where he oversaw the development of Web authoring and interactive multimedia products. When Veon was purchased by Philips (Royal Philips Electronics) in 2001, Dror assumed a senior position on their audio/video streaming product management team.

Prior to his civilian experience, Dror served eleven years in the Israeli defense force, eight of them as Commander of an elite R&D unit.

Harel holds a Computer Science and Economics degree from Tel Aviv University.

Date Location Speaker
December 1, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Valerie Henson
Topic: A review of UNIX file systems, and LinuxChix

Valerie will give a review of UNIX file systems, focussing on Linux file systems, the evolution of file system design, and various approaches to solving the problems of performance, consistency, and recovery.

Valerie will also briefly discuss LinuxChix, a community for women in Linux. The membership ranges from novices to experienced users, and includes programmers, system administrators, technical writers and people who just like Linux.


Valerie Henson works at IBM as a Linux kernel developer, and has served on program committees for FREENIX, the USENIX Technical Conference and Ottawa Linux Symposium. Most recently she worked on ZFS, a new file system for Solaris. Valerie became interested in women in computing after wondering where all the other female Linux kernel developers were.

Date Location Speaker
November 3, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Gordon Kruberg
Founder & CEO, gumstix, Inc.
Topic: gumstix low-cost Linux devices
gumstix, Inc. creates the world's smallest commercially available Linux boards and computers. Their devices are based on Intel's PXA255 processor with Xscale technology (also used in high-end PDAs and smartphones), measure only 20mm x 80mm x 8mm -- the size of a stick of gum and cost as low as $109. gumstix boards provide GPIO pins, serial ports, USB 1.1 client, an MMC flash memory card slot, and an I2C bus. Theirs are among the first single-board computers (SBCs) shipping with the new Linux 2.6 kernel, with its fully pre-emptible, multi-threading capabilties.


Date Location Speaker
October 6, 2004 Cisco Building 9
John Ousterhout
Founder and CEO, Electric Cloud
Topic: 10-20x Faster Software Builds
Almost all software projects with more than a few dozen developers are plagued by slow builds that sap productivity, extend release schedules, and impact product quality. Parallel builds offer the potential of significant speedups, but previous attempts at parallelizing builds have had only modest success, primarily due to the lack of complete dependency information. In this talk, I will present the architecture of Electric Cloud, a gmake-compatible build system that uses clusters of inexpensive servers to run massively-parallel builds. The key to the Electric Cloud approach is that it deduces dependencies on-the-fly by monitoring file accesses during the build, so that it knows when it is or isn't safe to run build steps in parallel. I will also describe other aspects of the system, such as its versioning network file system and its use of peer-to-peer protocols for moving file data efficiently. Finally, I will compare Electric Cloud to other approaches, such as distcc.


John Ousterhout is Founder and CEO of Electric Cloud. He is the creator of the Tcl scripting language, and is also well known for his work in distributed operating systems, high-performance file systems, and user interfaces. Ousterhout's prior positions include Founder and CEO of Scriptics Corporation (acquired by Interwoven), Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, and Professor of Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley. He received a BS degree in Physics from Yale University and a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Ousterhout is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has received numerous awards, including the ACM Software System Award, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the U.C. Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Date Location Speaker
September 1, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Bernard Golden
Chief Executive Officer, Navica
Topic: Succeeding with Open Source
Bernard Golden is Chief Executive Officer of Navica, a consulting firm offering open source strategy, implementation, and training services. Bernard is an accomplished high technology executive, with over twenty years experience in starting and building world-class organizations. He has previously served as a Venture Partner for an international venture fund and has been Vice-President and General Manager in a number of private and public software companies, including Informix, Uniplex Software, and Deploy Solutions.


Golden is a frequent speaker and writer on Information Technology topics, and has contributed to or been featured in major industry publications such as InfoWorld, eWeek, LinuxWorld, SDTimes, Computerworld, O'Reilly LAMP, Open Enterprise Trends, Enterprise Architect, and IEEE Software. He is the author of Succeeding with Open Source (Addison-Wesley, August 2004), which has been has been described as presenting "some of the most valuable, practical advice I have seen on how to transform use of open source software from an accidental process into a powerful strategy for gaining an edge on the competition" (Terry Bollinger, author of the MITRE Corporation study "Use of Free and Open Source Software in the U.S. Department of Defense"), and a book that "walks you through every step of the evaluation process, and provides vital insights into the risks and benefits of making the open-source decision" (Kevin Bedell, Editor-in-Chief, LinuxWorld magazine).

Date Location Speaker
August 4, 2004 Cisco Building 9
John H Terpstra
CTO/President, PrimaStasys, Inc.
Topic: Samba and the Back Office
Linux has gained a significant share of the back office market. Samba helps Linux-based servers to interoperate with Microsoft Windows servers, with few barriers. Samba is also found on large Solaris, HPUX, and AIX systems, where it bridges the gap between the Windows world and the UNIX world. In this presentation, John will review the forces that shape Samba's adoption into he back office, the support systems available, as well as the role of other key open source applications in this important area.


John H Terpstra is CTO/President with PrimaStasys, Inc. He works with businesses to realign information technology practices with business goals. He is a member of the formation committee of the Desktop Linux Consortium, a long term member of the Samba Team (a major Open Source project), and a well known contributor and visionary in the open source community with a very active commercial focus. He is a member of the Open Source Software Institute Advisory Board. He has worked with the LSB, Li18nux (now OpenI18N.Org), and the LPI — and is a best selling author of :

  • The Official Samba-3 HOWTO & Reference Guide, ISBN: 0131453556
  • Samba-3 by Example, ISBN: 0131472216
  • Hardening Linux, ISBN: 0072254971
  • OpenLDAP by Example, ISBN: 0131488732

John has worked with The SCO Group (previously Caldera Inc.) and TurboLinux Inc., in VP-level positions. Prior to moving to the USA in 1999, John founded and managed Aquasoft Pty Ltd (Aust.) for 10 years. He has a Graduate Diploma in Marketing (with Credit), UTS Aust. and an Applied Science Certificate in Chemistry, QUT (Aust.).

Date Location Speaker
July 7, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Jim Ready
CEO, MontaVista Software
Topic:Open Source Linux and MontaVista Software: Next-generation Software Engineering
[July 2004 meeting pictures] In this presentation, MontaVista CEO and industry pioneer Jim Ready offers detailed insight into applying Open Source technology and practices to the embedded marketplace. In particular, Jim shows how MontaVista Software leverages the disruptive nature of Open Source Linux to service the evolving, highly connected nature of intelligent devices and the economics of the OEMs that build them. To support his theses, Jim will delineate the challenges faced in managing and adding value to the rapidly evolving Linux OS, and the core engineering philosophies and processes that help a company like MontaVista to meet those challenges and to thrive. Finally, Jim will put MontaVista's business history and record of strong growth in context, and share his vision for the future of his company, of the embedded systems marketplace, and of how Linux will continue to reinvent how intelligent devices are conceived, developed, and marketed.


(from his bio at mvista.com) James Ready, with over 25 years of technical and entrepreneurial experience, is a recognized authority in the embedded systems and real-time software industry. Co-founder of Ready Systems, he pioneered the development of the first commercially viable, real-time operating system (RTOS) product - the VRTX real-time kernel. Ready Systems, founded in 1980, merged with Microtec Research in 1993, went public in 1994, and was acquired by Mentor Graphics in 1995. During this period, James served as Ready Systems' President, and as chief technical officer (CTO) at Microtec/Mentor. James founded MontaVista in 1999 to provide the Linux operating system to the embedded systems market, and to offer embedded-system expertise to the open source Linux community. Jim got his BA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971 and his MA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976.

Date Location Speaker
June 2, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Tom Fulton
Senior Systems Engineer, Novell/SUSE Linux
Topic:An Introduction to Snort in a Linux Environment
Snort is an Open Source Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS). A NIDS picks up where a firewall leaves off, inspecting traffic for known attacks and anomalous patterns. It was described in an article on LinuxSecurity.com by Dave Wreski and Christopher Pallack as "a 'lightweight' NIDS in that it is non-intrusive, easily configured, utilizes familiar methods for rule development, and takes only a few minutes to install."


Tom Fulton is a Senior Systems Engineer for Novell/SUSE Linux in San Jose. Tom is also an SVLUG member, and joined the SBAY Speakers Bureau, which schedules speakers for SVLUG, BAFUG, PenLUG, and LUGoD, at the time he signed up to speak. He originally made this Introduction to Snort IDS presentation at Novell's Brainshare conference, and has been presenting the topic to several user groups. He will also talk about Snort IDS at the High Technology Crime Investigation Association in Washington DC, in September.

Date Location Speaker
May 5, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Chander Kant
President, LinuxCertified
Topic : Linux On Laptops - Adventures in mobile Linux computing
Over the past few years, Linux has become dominant server operating system for various applications, such as file and web serving. While Linux continues to make further in-roads at the high-end, the desktop space is now beginning to emerge. Technologies and business dynamics seem to be in place for an explosive growth of Linux on the desktop. Another recent trend has been emergence of laptops as the key desktop platform. Year 2003 was the first year when new laptops outsold new PCs. So, will Linux leapfrog the PC and find its home directly on the laptop? This presentation will discuss the current state of support for Linux on laptops. We will discuss the challenges — what works, what can be made to work, and what does not work. We will consider pros and cons of various technologies — hardware, kernels, distributions etc., in making of a productive Linux laptop.


Chander Kant is founder and president of LinuxCertified, Inc, a leading provider of Linux laptops, training, and services. Chander has been involved with the technology and business sides of Linux in many different projects. As a key member of the open-source community, he is very enthusiastic about enabling Linux as a mainstream operating system. Prior to founding LinuxCertified, Chander was Director of Business Development at VERITAS software, where he was responsible for high-availability clustering products. Chander was also involved in architecting high-performance Linux compute servers at SGI. Chander is a co-author of "Linux Compute Clusters", an on-going open-license book.

Date Location Speaker
April 7, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Larry Rosen
General Counsel and Secretary of the Open Source Initiative
Topic : Q&A on legal issues affecting Open Source
Mr. Rosen is well-known for providing legal support and leadership for the Open Source Initiative, the non-profit organization which maintains the Open Source Definition for the community. He'll discuss current legal issues that affect open source, and host a Q&A discussion.


(excerpt from his bio at rosenlaw.com) Lawrence E. (Larry) Rosen is both an attorney and a computer specialist. As an attorney, Larry's specialty is technology, but he is also a skilled litigator and negotiator, and is a legal advisor to individuals and companies throughout the world. He also has extensive experience teaching computer programming, and has been a department and product manager in the computer and communications industries.

Larry is very involved in the open source community. He is the general counsel and secretary of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and served as its executive director. OSI reviews and approves major open source licenses, several of which were written by Larry. OSI manages and promotes the Open Source Definition for the good of the community, specifically through the OSI Certified open source software certification mark and program. Larry often publishes and speaks around the world on open source licensing and patent issues.

Date Location Speaker
March 3rd, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Guido van Rossum, creator of Python

Topic: An introductory talk about Python
An Introductory Talk about Python


Guido van Rossum is the creator of Python, one of the major free scripting languages. He created Python in the early 1990s at CWI in Amsterdam, and is still actively involved in the development of the language.

In 1995, he moved to the US; first to work for CNRI in Reston, VA as a researcher, then for Zope Corporation as Director of PythonLabs, and, since 2003, after a move to the SF Bay Area, for Elemental Security.

His home on the Web is http://www.python.org/~guido/.

Date Location Speaker
February 4th, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Bruce Moxon, Manager, Vertical Markets, Panasas

Topic: Cluster Computing Data Management: Experiences and Best Practices

As Linux cluster computing continues its high rate of adoption, more and more organizations are faced with data management challenges posed by emerging distributed computing approaches. Large-scale cluster and grid computing approaches are based on the ability to decompose a compute workload into thousands or millions of tasks, each of which is executed independently (or almost independently). This strategy requires the creation and management of data partitions and replicas that are used by the compute nodes. Management of these partitions and replicas poses a number of operational challenges, especially in large cluster and grid computing environments, and in environments where core datasets change regularly.

This presentation will identify and explore these challenges, and will present solutions drawing on common approaches used in implementing "high throughput" applications. Examples will draw from multiple disciplines, including life sciences, earth sciences, and government and commercial applications.


Bruce Moxon is the Vertical Marketing Manager at Panasas, a high performance, next-generation storage networking company, where he works with customers, industry experts, and hardware and software partners to help Panasas deliver on the promise of shared storage cluster computing solutions for high throughput applications. Mr. Moxon's experience in high performance computing and very large database (VLDB) systems affords him a unique perspective critical to the success of these data-intensive solutions. He recently architected, designed, and implemented a high throughput computational pipeline and analytical data warehouse for Perlegen Sciences' 100+ TB human genome variation (SNP) repository. Mr. Moxon also teaches Bioinformatics and Computer Science courses at the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension program.

Date Location Speaker
January 7th, 2004 Cisco Building 9
Peter Thoeny, Windriver

Topic: Web Collaboration with TWiki
Wiki is an emerging web-based technology that enables teams organize and share content in an organic and free manner. TWiki is a Wiki tailored for corporate use, allowing groups to schedule, manage, document, and support their daily activities. TWiki is an open source collaboration platform developed in large part by our speaker, Peter Thoeny, who explains in his talk "Web Collaboration with TWiki", what it is, how it is used, and how you can get involved.


Peter Thoeny - Peter@ThoenySTOPSPAM.com, software developer with over 15 years experience, with interests in corporate collaboration, Web technology and UI design. Peter is the author of the open source collaboration software TWiki, managed the project over the last four years. Peter was graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He lived in Japan for 8 years working as an engineering manager for Denso, the largest auto electric parts supplier in Japan. Now Peter is in the Silicon Valley for 5 years, managing the Engineering Operations group at Wind River.

Date Location Speaker
December 3rd, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Paul F. Kunz, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)

Topic: Bringing the Web to America

On 12 December 1991, Paul Kunz installed the first Web server outside of European SLAC. Today, if you do not have access to the Web, you are considered disadvantaged.

Before it made sense for Tim Berners-Lee to invent the Web at CERN, there had to a number of ingredients in place. Paul will present a history of how these ingredients were developed, and the role the academic research community had in producing them. In particular, he will address the roles played by big science, including high energy physics, in giving us the World Wide Web and the Internet as we know them today.


Paul Kunz received his Ph. D. from Princeton University in 1968, and first went to CERN that year to do an experiment as a member of the Saclay group. In 1971, he went on to Michigan State and worked on one of the first experiments at Fermilab. He joined SLAC in 1974 where he has been ever since.

In the late 1970s, Dr. Kunz invented the 168/E emulators and the concept of event processing via parallel processor farms. Dr. Kunz has been a pioneer amongst physics colleagues in adopting new computer technologies. Examples include his move to UNIX and object-oriented programming over ten years ago. Lately, he has been giving a course, "C++ for Particle Physicists," a course that has now been held fifty-one times all over the world for more than 1700 students.

Date Location Speaker
November 5th, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Wim Coekaerts, Oracle's Linux guru

Topic: Cluster Filesystem Design on Linux

An in-depth look at a cluster filesystem for Linux designed for database operations and the future direction of the project to move towards designing a general-purpose cluster filesystem. Including a demo and a description on how to set up a homebrew cluster for real cheap using Firewire storage.


Wim Coekaerts is Director of Linux Engineering Corporate Architecture for Oracle Corporation. His group looks at how Linux needs to evolve and how Oracle can contribute to ensuring large enterprise companies can adopt it quickly. Within Oracle's "Linux kernel group," Mr. Coekaerts is involved in prototyping and doing research in clustering technologies in Linux as well as single node features.

Date Location Speaker
October 1st, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Guy Sotomayor, Platform Architect at Digeo, Inc

Topic: Moving Linux Into The Living Room Takes Some Moxi

Guy Sotomayor, Platform Software Architect at Digeo, will demonstrate Digeo's Moxi Media Center. Moxi is a Linux-based super set-top box that incorporates a wide range of capabilities such as DVR (Digital Video Recorder), HDTV, Internet/router/firewall/gateway capabilities, DVD playback, the management of music playlists from your CDs and computer, and digital photo viewing. Also, through one simple menu, the consumer can access all this entertainment throughout the home.


Guy Sotomayor is a platform architect at Digeo, Inc. Guy manages the system software and build teams, and is chiefly responsible for the development of Linux OS for an embedded platform and the tools to support it.

Date Location Speaker
September 3rd, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Rob Barret, IBM Almaden Research Center

Topic: System Administrators are Users, Too

Most human-computer interaction work has focused on end users of computing systems. Another important class of computer users, however, is the cohort of administrators who design, build, maintain, and troubleshoot computer systems. These highly-expert users are vital for the operation of our "e-everything" world, yet little effort has gone into studying their work and developing tools that help them be effective. This is especially important because the labor associated with operating large computational systems is increasingly outstripping the cost of the technology itself.

Our research group is performing a series of ethnographic studies of system administrators in their work environments. This presentation will include results from these studies, as well as information developed at a CHI2003 workshop on system administration as users; this workshop brought together researchers, developers, and practitioners from industry and academia.

From this group and from our own work, a consistent set of paradoxes is beginning to emerge. First, tremendous effort has gone into the design of powerful GUI tools for system administration. Many tools have been developed and validated with established user-centered design methodologies. Yet field studies repeatedly find system administrators ignoring these tools and falling back on the standard command shell and least-common denominator tools such as 'grep' and 'vi'. Second, system administration is a highly collaborative activity, with a heavy dependence on instant messaging, email, telephone, and face-to-face interaction. Yet system administration tools rarely include collaboration aids, instead seemingly assuming that these workers toil away silently and alone. Third, effective operation and problem resolution requires an accurate mental model of how the system functions. "Situation awareness" theory dictates that a model starts with sensory input, develops with mental comprehension, and results in predictions of system behavior. Yet, large-scale systems have few and un-integrated sensing mechanisms, and are too complex for any single person to comprehend, resulting in unpredictable behavior.

This presentation will illustrate each of the three paradoxes with examples from field experience, and offer suggestions for how the HCI community can move forward to resolve them.


Rob Barrett is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center in California, where he works in the Services Research group that aims to bring value from human-computer interaction research to the IBM Global Services organization. His current work focuses on the user experience of system administration and human aspects of autonomic computing. Previous work includes an intermediary approach to designing Web applications, optimization of pointing devices, track-following servo systems for tape data storage, and atomic-scale imaging. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University and has earned masters and bachelors degrees in physics, electrical engineering and theology. He has over 40 refereed publications and 16 patents in fields ranging from applied math to physics and computer science.

Date Location Speaker
August 6th, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Jay Beale, Lead Developer of the Bastille project

Topic: Locking down systems with Bastille Linux - an introduction for users, sysadmins, and programmers

Bastille Linux hardens an operating system by deactivating unused programs or functionality, tweaking security-related settings, and employing other standard "tricks" like chroot prisons to block or contain attacks. Bastille currently locks down five Linux distributions, HP-UX and Mac OS X. This talk will introduce Bastille and explore how it can be easily extended to include new functionality, requiring only minimal knowledge of Perl. In the process of understanding how Bastille works, we'll discuss and demonstrate what actions Bastille takes on a sample system. This talk should prove useful to non-programmers who want to understand how to harden an operating system by hand or with automated tools. It will definitely be useful to Perl programmers who wish to extend Bastille.


Jay Beale is a security specialist focused on host lockdown and security audits. He is the Lead Developer of the Bastille project, which creates a hardening script for Linux, HP-UX, and Mac OS X, a member of the Honeynet Project, and a core participant in the Center for Internet Security. A frequent conference speaker and trainer, Jay speaks and trains at the Black Hat and LinuxWorld conferences, among others. A senior research scientist with the George Washington University Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute, Jay makes his living as a security consultant through Baltimore-based JJBSec, LLC, reachable via www.jjbsec.com.

Jay writes the Center for Internet Security's Unix host security tool, currently in use worldwide by organizations from the Fortune 500 to the Department of Defense. He maintains the Center's Linux Security benchmark document, and, as a core participant in the non-profit Center's Unix team, is working with private enterprises and US agencies to develop Unix security standards for industry and government.

Aside from his CIS work, Jay has written a number of articles and book chapters on operating system security. He is a columnist for Information Security Magazine and previously wrote a number of articles for SecurityPortal.com and SecurityFocus.com. He authored the Host Lockdown chapter in 'Unix Unleashed,' served as the security author for 'Red Hat Internet Server' and co-authored 'Snort 2.0 Intrusion Detection.' Jay's currently finishing the Addison Wesley book, 'Locking Down Linux.'

Formerly, he served as the Security Team Director for MandrakeSoft, helping set company strategy, design security products, and pushing security into the third largest retail Linux distribution. He now works to further the goal of improving operating system security. To read Jay's past articles and learn about his past and future conference talks, take a look at his site at www.bastille-linux.org/jay.

Date Location Speaker
July 2nd, 2003 Cisco Building 9
David Bryson, Embedded Linux Engineer

Topic: Strong Cryptography in the Linux Kernel: Discussion of the past, present, and future
In 2.5, strong cryptography was incorporated into the kernel. This inclusion was a result of several motivating factors: remove duplicated code, harmonize IPv6/IPSec, and the usual crypto-paranoia. This talk will cover the history of the Cryptographic API, its current state, what kernel facilities are currently using it, which ones should be using it, plus future applications including: hardware and assembly cryptography drivers, hardware random number generation, and filesystem encryption.

David is a Bay Area native and a Linux user since kernel 2.0.32(1998). He has written documentation and contributed code to the 'International Kernel Patch' (also known as CryptoAPI) as well as a widely used HOWTO 'The Linux CryptoAPI: A Users Perspective.' David has also spoken at several academic and technical conferences about cryptography on Linux. Currently he works as an embedded Linux engineer in the Bay Area, while writing drivers for the 2.5 kernel Cryptographic API.

Date Location Speaker
June 4th, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Bill Kendrick, President, Linux Users' Group of Davis

Topic: Sharp's Zaurus PDAs

The Zaurus line of PDAs from Sharp Electronics are powerful Linux-based handheld computers. Sporting fast CPUs and lots of RAM, dual expansion slots, built-in keyboard, and Java runtime environment, they are capable of handling a wide range of tasks: Addressbook and calendar; Web browsing; 3D video games with stereo sound; MP3 and video playback; voice recorder; Apache Web server with MySQL database; remote desktop control with VNC.

Bill Kendrick has ported a number of games to the Zaurus, and created the Unofficial Zaurus FAQ. He's currently president of the growing Linux Users' Group of Davis, near Sacramento.


Bill Kendrick is an open source software developer living in Davis, California, where he's the president, public relations officer, and webmaster of the local 350-member Linux Users Group.

He has written about 20 games for Linux and other platforms — his most recent being 'Tux Paint', a drawing program geared towards young children. Bill created, but hasn't had the time recently to maintain, the "Unofficial Zaurus FAQ." He is active in numerous online communities.

Date Location Speaker
May 7, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Adam Bertsch, Sony Computer Entertainment

Topic: Linux for PlayStation(r) 2
So what is this Linux for PlayStation(r) 2 kit, anyway? What do I get, what can I do with it, and how do I use it? What sort of cool stuff are other people doing with the kit? Where do I get more information and who can I talk to? We'll learn the answers to these questions and then allow the talk to go wherever the group wants to take it. Live demos will be available, and there will be an opportunity for hands-on experience depending on interest after the talk.


Adam Bertsch is a Sr. Systems Administrator at Sony Computer Entertainment, America. Adam is responsible for the Linux kit Web site in the United States and Canada, as well as evangelism for the Linux kit. Adam also pushes Linux within the corporate culture at SCEA, and works with the Research and Development group in a more traditional sysadmin capacity. Adam came to SCEA from VA Linux Systems in 2001, where he was a member of the Professional Services team working with security, high capacity/availability servers, and SourceForge(tm).

Date Location Speaker
April 2, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Jim Reese, Chief Operations Engineer, Google Inc.

Topic: Scaling the Web: An Overview of Google (A Linux Cluster for Fun and Profit)
How to build an Internet search engine that indexes several terabytes of data, over 3 billion Web documents, and serves it up at a rate of thousands of requests per second. (Hint: Start with a farm of 10,000+ Linux servers). The technology behind Google: company overview, search parameters and results, hardware and query load balancing, Linux cluster topology, scalability, fault tolerance, and more.


Jim Reese joined Google in 1999 as employee No. 18. Since that time, Jim has played a key role in managing the hardware and network infrastructure development to support Google's growth. Specifically, Jim directed the expansion of Google's server farm and network from 300 machines to the current number of more than 10,000. To manage all of these machines, Jim implemented a highly automated system for remotely administering and monitoring the entire cluster. Jim also contributed to optimizing Google's network to transfer the terabytes of data involved in the search engine index. Prior to joining Google, Jim worked as a neurologic and computer consultant for SRI International. At SRI, he helped to develop software for qualitative analysis of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of the human brain.

Jim received a BA in biology from Harvard and an MD from Yale medical school. In addition to having been a singer and guitarist in a number of bands that have released several CDs, Jim is a trained neurosurgeon.

Date Location Speaker
March 5, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Seth Schoen: EFF

Topic: The Empire Strikes Back: Constraining Free Software Development

The astonishing success of free software systems in changing the face of the computer world — in under twenty years — has led many free and open source software advocates to see our movement as an unstoppable force. Created around the same time as the Macintosh, the GNU system has been said to have a comparable market share, even though it was largely created by volunteers. Apache has not just a plurality but even a majority of the Web server market, and Linux adoption continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

These successes in market share, corresponding successes in mind share, and a robust, growing, and increasingly sophisticated developer community can make the free software world look like a force of nature. Some unwary advocates now see the triumph of free software as a foregone conclusion, or an inevitability.

"Historical inevitability" is no more reasonable in engineering than it has been in other contexts. Free software has been viewed from the outside as an anomaly (or, sometimes, as a threat). It is increasingly the focal point of political struggles, and it is too early to say what the outcome of those struggles will be. I will review the story of the DVD Wars, the broader debates over copyright policy, current regulatory initiatives. I will also discuss new technologies such as software-defined radio and trusted computing, and emphasize that free software's future is far from assured.


Seth Schoen is one of the lead developers of the LNX-BBC rescue system (formerly the Linuxcare Bootable Business Card). He worked as a Senior Linux Consultant at Linuxcare for two years; he has also been an intern at Toronto Dominion Bank and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His long-time interest in civil liberties led him to his current position as Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco. He has been active in the Bay Area free software community since he moved to the Bay Area in 1997 from Massachusetts.

Date Location Speaker
February 5, 2003 Cisco Building 9
Moshe Bar
Tel Aviv University, United Nations ICTP, Qlusters, Democritos
Topic: openMosix: Kernel-Level Linux Clusters
As clusters are expanding from their traditional HPC (High Performance Computing) domain into business applications, single-system-image clusters are gaining fast in importance. openMosix has in a very short time gained thousands of installations around the world and enjoys an enthusiastic and strong developer community. In this talk, Moshe Bar will explore the internals of openMosix, the technology's application fields and sample uses.


Moshe Bar is the former co-project manager of MOSIX and the current project manager of openMosix. He has authored several books on the Linux kernel and clustering, and is co-author with Karl Fogel of the classic CVS book "OpenSource Development with CVS". Moshe has been a senior monthly columnist at Byte for the last four years, and wrote regular kernel columns in the past for Linux Journal and other publications. In 2001, Moshe Bar became CTO of Linux clustering start-up Qlusters, Inc. Moshe has a M.Sc and Ph.D. in computer science, and teaches advanced operating systems topics at Tel Aviv University and at the United Nations Atomic Agency's research institute ICTP, in Triest, Italy. He is furthermore a permanent researcher at the Italian National Institute of Particle Physics.

There was no January meeting in 2003. Enjoy New Year's Day.

Date Location Speaker
December 4, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Charles Samuels and Roland Krause
Topic: Rapid Development of Linux Desktop Applications

In this presentation, we will explore the development infrastructure that the K Desktop Environment (http://www.kde.org/) offers to novice programmers and expert software engineers.

Special emphasis is placed on the use of advanced software management tools, such as the KDevelop IDE.

The use of modern user interface development libraries such as Qt is demonstrated.

The presentation aims to give an overview of the fascinating possibilities the K Desktop Environment provides for programming desktop applications under Unix.


Charles Samuels is a KDE core developer, he is the author and maintainer of the KDE multimedia player Noatun. Charles works as a Software Engineer in Cupertino.

Roland Krause is a KDE power user and has contributed some code to the KDevelop IDE. Roland is a Senior Research Engineer in Los Altos.

Date Location Speaker
November 6, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Hans Reiser
Topic: Reiser4

Reiser4 is the fastest Linux filesystem (except when it crashes; it is also the newest;-) ), performing 50-100% faster than ReiserFS V3. It performs all filesystem operations as atomic transactions, and creates a foundation for a general-purpose atomic transaction kernel API. It is built on a plug-in-based infrastructure that makes it feasible to implement security attributes as just files with particular file features selected. It is highly scalable, due to the use of per-node locking in its balancing operations. Like version 3, it stores small files space efficiently (packing them using database-like tree algorithms), but its performance is much higher when it does so.

Microsoft is switching its focus from the browser to the filesystem, and is folding database and search engine functionality into the filesystem. Reiser4 is designed to serve as the storage layer in the Linux effort to counter that move, and, well, the performance of that layer is looking pretty good so far compared to NTFS.

Reiser4 employs dancing trees rather than balanced trees, and rejects the BLOB approach, which may make the talk of interest to database specialists.


Architect of Reiser4, ReiserFS.

Date Location Speaker
October 2, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Peter Ryser, Xilinx Inc
Topic: Linux on Programmable Hardware

Loadable modules made Linux configurable at run-time, a few years ago. Now, the hardware and, especially, the on-chip peripherals are following. The Virtex-II Pro FPGAs have up to four IBM 405 processor cores and up to 24 multi-gigabit transceivers integrated within their user-programmable logic fabric. This allows for very high flexibility, for system architects to integrate the on-chip peripherals they need in the most optimal way.

Peter is responsible for the embedded Linux project on the Virtex-II Pro FPGAs. Together with MontaVista, he integrates the device drivers for custom on-chip peripherals into the Linux kernel source tree. The main focus of his work is to bring together the high flexibility of the Linux operating system with the high versatility of the Virtex-II Pro architecture.

As part of his talk, Peter will explain how the hardware inside the FPGA device can be upgraded even after deployment, and how hardware functionality, similar to the Linux kernel modules, can be loaded or replaced at system run-time.

Peter will bring a ML300 Reference Platform running MontaVista Linux natively on the Virtex-II Pro FPGA. All the peripherals like Ethernet, UARTs, PS/2 for mouse and keyboard, TFT display and touchscreen are implemented as soft peripherals within the FPGA. As a fun application, Quake can be played on top of X11. The ML300 board serves both as a reference design and also as a development platform.


After graduating in 1994 from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Peter spent a few years at the Institute of Computer Systems of the same university in researching and prototyping Switcherland, an interconnected computing infrastructure based on switches and serial high-speed links offering scalability, guaranteed bandwidth, and QoS characteristics. After a short intermezzo at Elektrobit AG in Switzerland, he moved to the USA and joined Xilinx in late 2000. He is responsible for embedded software within the Systems Engineering Group, with a focus on embedded Linux and software tools for different platforms.

Peter got into Linux at a time when you needed a large pile of floppy disks to install a distribution, and kernel version numbers started with a zero. Being merely a user and administrator of his own Linux systems, he always liked the idea of having source code available for pure interest, and also as a source for adding additional device drivers to the Oberon operating system.

Aside from work, Peter likes to explore California together with his family. He plans to visit all the US states in the next few years — that means only 44 more to go.

Date Location Speaker
September 4, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
David Masten - President of Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society http://www.erps.org
Topic: Teaching Penguins to Fly - Gimzocopter the VerticalTake-off and Landing Demonstrator

The spec says "flexible, embedded, scales well, reliable, and your budget is whatever you can personally afford". Linux on a x86-based embedded system just happens to fit nicely...

Gizmocopter, a hovering rocket guidance software test platform, was a winner of the first Embedded Linux Journal design contest. http://gizmocopter.org

David Masten will be discussing the design and implementation of this Linux-based semi-autonomous flight control system. Several specific areas will be addressed, including; embedded hardware companies' binary drivers, the decision to go with a general purpose OS, how not to lead a software project, and real-time patches for Linux.


David Masten is a systems and networking administrator by day and a rocket mechanic nights and weekends. He is currently serving as President of the Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society, Inc. a non-profit research and educational group working on inexpensive launch vehicles.

David started playing with computers in 1982 with an Apple II and BASIC, and has since gone through many platforms and is now a happy Linux and BSD user. He has occasional delusions of finishing his Mechanical Engineering degree and getting a P.E. in aerospace engineering.

When he is not in front of a computer or building rockets, David can be found flying airplanes, studying economics and politics, or hiking.

Date Location Speaker
August 7, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Christine Hogan, Consultant, co-author of "The Practice of System and Network Administration"
Topic: Scheduled Maintenance Windows

As Linux continues its march into mission-critical use within major corporations, Linux systems administrators are being called upon to provide ever-increasing levels of reliability and uptime. A standalone Linux box already exceeds these metrics compared to most other operating systems. A heterogeneous infrastructure of mixed Linux and UNIX machines provides more challenges, and even Linux needs to be shut down now and then...

Scheduled maintenance windows are needed for certain disruptive tasks, such as redesigning your authentication architecture or moving your data center. This talk looks at how to prepare for and execute such scheduled maintenance windows. It covers why maintenance windows are useful, and what impact they have on running a site. It gives examples of maintenance windows at small and large sites. How to perform scheduled maintenance at high-availability sites is also covered.


Christine Hogan has worked in system administration for more than 11 years. Her experience includes academic institutions, Silicon Valley start-ups and large companies. She specializes in security, networking and project management. She co-authored the book "The Practice of System and Network Administration" and runs her own consulting company. She currently lives in London, UK.

Date Location Speaker
July 3, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
John Ray Thomas, Borland Software Corporation
Topic: Linux Rapid Application Development
John Ray Thomas will discuss the benefits of combining Rapid Application Development techniques with C++ to more quickly and reliably build complex Linux application solutions. This session will cover component based programming and the PME (Property Method Event) driven development model and how to combine these modern techniques with C++.

John Thomas is a product manager, rapid application development solutions, for Borland Software Corporation. After several years in developer support for Borland C++ products, Thomas was named product manager in January 2001 for rapid application development solutions. He is primarily responsible for defining Borland's next generation Linux products.

Thomas is a dedicated C++ programmer and has developed a wide range of applications for several operating systems. He particularly enjoys 3d graphics, games programming, and writing business applications.

Date Location Speaker
June 5, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Sam Clanton, NASA Ames Research Center
Topic: NASA Linux Research
Sam's work in building an airborne embedded Linux spectrometer control system was featured on the cover of the March/April 2002 Embedded Linux Journal -- the ER-2 photo.

Sam is a researcher in Computational Sciences / Atmospheric Sciences at NASA Ames, where he is involved in a number of Linux-based projects. His current work is mainly in EEG pattern recognition and real-time data processing for brain-computer interface projects taking place at the NASA Ames Neuroengineering lab.

Sam will talk about the use of Linux as a part of the research projects that he has been a part of at NASA, what he is up to inside and outside of the space agency, and where a relative newcomer/outsider to the Linux community thinks this Linux thing is going.


Sam is a recent graduate from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. He is currently serving a year-long stint at NASA Ames, before he begins work on an as-yet-unnamed technological development nonprofit he is co-founding in South America. In the future, he is most probably going to go to medical school.

Sam got into Linux in college as a result of dissatisfaction in not being able to really control his own computer, or understand what it was actually up to, with closed-source systems. He views Linux as the natural choice for research, and he believes that if more scientists were to view a computer as a highly developed and tunable rack of custom data acquisition and processing equipment, a lot of new imaginative and effective research could be done.

Aside from work, Sam has been an avid rugby player for most of his adult life. He also enjoys mountain biking and hanging out in really nasty bars. At one time in his life, he was fluent in Japanese and had plastic pants.

Date Location Speaker
May 1, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Pete Kisich and Pat Pejack, 3ware, Inc.
Topic: Switched Storage for Linux
Founded in 1997, 3ware, Inc. applies network packet switching to PCI ATA/IDE storage controllers, and is working on Serial ATA and iSCSI technologies.

By using ATA drives in place of SCSI drives, storage costs are significantly reduced while 3ware's StorSwitch architecture increases the performance beyond that of the Ultra SCSI 160. Recently, with the introduction of 160GB drives from Maxtor, 3ware has broken the terabyte limit on a single 64 bit PCI card. This, coupled with 3ware's open source Linux driver, allows Linux system builders to create multi-terabyte systems for under a penny per MB, while getting the performance and features (such as hot swap and hot spare) users have come to expect in more expensive SCSI and Fibre Channel solutions.


Pete Kisich, Sr. Systems Engineer

Pete Kisich has over 10 years experience in system engineering and storage architecture. Previous to 3ware, he was Manager of the Platform Engineering group at Wells Fargo Bank. As a Sr. Storage Architect at StorageNetworks, Pete was part of the team which built the largest Global Storage Infrastructure in the world. He has worked extensively in SAN, NAS, and iSCSI storage networks in enterprise environments.

Pat Pejack, Sr. Applications Engineer

Pat has over 12 years experience in RAID and I/O Storage applications and technology. Previous to 3ware, Pat was a Sr. Field applications engineer at Adaptec where he gained over 10 years experience in RAID, SCSI, Fibre Channel, ATA, and Firewire storage applications.

Date Location Speaker
April 3, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Larry Wall
Topic: An Evening with Larry Wall
"There's more than one way to do it"; rather than lock in a topic for this evening, we're expecting evolution. Possible discussion includes but is not limited to Perl 6 and Parrot, X10 home automation, community collaboration in software development, and the physics of language itself. Expect an open, relaxing, and intriguing evening with a broad-minded and wonderful guy. (No, Larry didn't write this.) ;-)

Larry Wall is the creator of Perl, patch, and the rn newsreader. He is a linguist in human as well as machine languages, reads classical Greek, and studied these as well as Chemistry and Music at Seattle Pacific University, U.C. Berkeley, and U.C.L.A. He has worked with Unisys, JPL, Netlabs, and Seagate, as well as O'Reilly, working with a wide range of technologies from discrete event simulators to spacecraft.

Date Location Speaker
March 6, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Nile Geisinger and Alex Ledin, dLoo, Inc., Petaluma, CA
Topic: SpringBox

For the past two years dLoo has been developing a new way of creating and sharing open source software. The result is a project called SpringBox.

Before the Web, information was trapped in proprietary databases and couldn't be linked together. The Web overthrew that model, and replaced it with a model in which information was public and linkable. These two traits made the value of the information available online grow exponentially.

Today, open source software is trapped on individual computers and can't be linked together. SpringBox makes it possible to build networks of software out of distributed units of code that live on the Internet. With SpringBox, open source developers can post code publicly in discrete units, like web pages, and other developers can create new discrete units of code that link to those units. In this way, SpringBox enables a Web of Software.

We believe SpringBox has the potential to do for open source software what the Web did for online information. Our presentation will discuss SpringBox, this new unit of code (the Symbol) and the way that Symbols can be used to construct an extensible Linux software environment.


Alex Ledin is the COO of dLoo and has contributed to the technology of SpringBox. In prior work, Ledin has contributed to large public engineering projects and developed electric vehicles. Ledin is a graduate of UC Davis with majors in Electrical Engineering and Political Science. In his spare time he enjoys restoring old cars, playing classical piano and jazz saxophone, and traveling.

Nile Geisinger is CTO of dLoo and the creator of SpringBox. Before working at dLoo, Geisinger worked at TimeDance and the Advanced Development Center at Ricoh. Geisinger is also a graduate of UC Davis with majors in Computer Science and Philosophy. In his spare time, Geisinger writes statements about what he does in his spare time. He doesn't expect to finish.

Date Location Speaker
February 6, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
David Mackie and Bill May, Cisco Systems

The objective of MPEG4IP is to remove barriers to streaming that exist because of companies who "embrace and extend" common standards -- and in doing so, break them. By comparison, MPEG4IP is being developed in consideration of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance specification for inter-operable streaming technologies.

MPEG4IP is an SDK available on SourceForge that includes an MPEG4-based encoder, decoder and server from which developers can create their own streaming solutions. Originally developed for Linux, MPEG4IP has been ported to FreeBSD, BSD/OS and Mac OS X by supporters.

MPEG4IP is not a Cisco product; However, Cisco developers started the project over a year ago by aggregating and enhancing existing open-source code, and creating new libraries.


Both speakers are Technical Leaders at Cisco Systems' Technology Center. The Technology Center focuses on development of new technologies and markets. Both have the MPEG4IP project as their primary job focus.

Bill May has over 15 years of industry experience and has held several positions during his eight years at Cisco. He has been involved in IOS as a developer in WAN and Infrastructure, was a Manager, and has worked on the IP/TV product. Prior to that he was in the telecommunications industry at companies such as T-Com, Cohesive Networks and Timeplex.

David Mackie has been working on standards-based streaming media for the past five years, and has 15 years industry experience. He has lead a variety of R&D projects centered around Internet technologies at such companies as The Wollongong Group, Bridge Communications, Network Computing Devices, FTP Software, Open Market, Books That Work, Precept Software, and now Cisco Systems.

Date Location Speaker
January 2, 2002 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Steve Traugott, Infrastructures.Org
Topic: Automating Linux Infrastructures
Steve Traugott is a pioneer in the area of automated administration of clusters and enterprise systems; his "Bootstrapping an Infrastructure" paper at the 1998 LISA conference helped lay the groundwork. Steve will cover the concepts and terminology of automated systems administration -- why automate, what components you need, the role of gold servers, CVS, LDAP, kickstart, makefiles that run at boot, tools like cfengine, file replication, and related subjects. He'll also talk about technologies like ARK/Arusha, ISconf and others on the horizon.


Steve Traugott helped launch the term "Infrastructure Architecture" in the systems administration community, and has campaigned for industry acceptance of this "SysAdmin++" career track for the last several years. He is a consulting Infrastructure Architect, and publishes tools and techniques for automated systems administration. His deployments have ranged from New York trading floors, IBM mainframe UNIX labs, and NASA supercomputers to web farms and growing startups.

Steve is also an active developer on CPAN, and is author of the IPC::Session, Mail::TieFolder, and IS::Init modules. He has long held a deep interest in improving organizations and human relations through the use of current communications technologies. He and his wife Joyce have recently founded TerraLuna.Org, a small volunteer group working to develop a trust model and codebase for non-hierarchical organizations.

Date Location Speaker
December 5, 2001 Cisco Building J (not 9)
Michael Ang - Itinerant Hacker

Topic : Building Applications with Mozilla and XPCOM

Biography : Michael Ang is a former Netscape software developer who first started working on the "Mozilla Classic" code base in 1998. While at Netscape he worked on the JavaScript interpreter, the XPIDL compiler and XPConnect. His activities since then include kernel/device driver hacking for the PA-RISC Linux port and continued involvement with Mozilla.
The output of the Mozilla project is not just a browser; it's also a complete, cross-platform application framework. At the core of this framework is XUL, a user interface description language that allows UI described in XML to be combined with application logic coded in JavaScript. Complex applications can be built using JavaScript together with scriptable XPCOM components that provide access to such tasks as network communications, file I/O and manipulating cookies. This talk will provide an overview of how to write a complete application inside Mozilla, with particular focus on how to create reusable XPCOM components.

Date Location Speaker
November 7, 2001 Cisco Building 9
Martin Hellman
Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering - Stanford University
Topic : The Evolution of Public Key Cryptography

Biography : Martin Hellman was a researcher at IBM's Watson Research Center, an assistant Professor at MIT and Professor and Professor Emeritus at Stanford.
He is best known for his invention, along with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography. He also co-edited the book "Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking" with Professor Anatoly Gromyko of Moscow.

Date Location Speaker
October 3, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)

Max Lanfranconi
Senior Product Manager, OpenOffice.Org

Topics will include:
  • Infrastructure requirements and current implementation (Collab.net, Akamai, mailing list, projects, Issuezilla)
  • OpenOffice.org and StarOffice: two different approaches to an individual productivity suite for Linux
  • OpenOffice.org: a technical pitch (Rationale, History, data, architecture, tools needed and so forth)


Max Lanfranconi is Senior Product Manager for Openoffice.org at Sun Microsystems, responsible for providing technical expertise to the Sun and CollabNet teams as well as the OpenOffice.org community in building the Open Source office suite.

Lanfranconi has held several positions at Sun since joining in 1998, including Senior Systems Engineer and Software Product Marketing Manager in Italy. Before joining Sun, Lanfranconi has been for 10 years with Banca Popolare di Bergamo, where he was involved in several R&D projects inside the IT department of the bank.

Date Location Speaker
September 5, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)

David Bryan and Cheung Tam
Senior Software Engineers, Vovida
Topic : VOCAL, an Applications Layer for Voice Over IP

Vovida.org is a community site dedicated to providing a forum for open-source software used in datacom and telecom environments. Its project VOCAL (Vovida Open Communication Application Library) aims to hasten the adoption of voice over IP in the marketplace. The software modules in VOCAL include a SIP-based Redirect Server, Feature Server, Provisioning Server, Policy Server and Marshal Proxy along with protocol translators from SIP to H.323 and SIP to MGCP. The talk briefly overviews the Vovida.org site and provides details of the VOCAL software.

David Bryan has ten years of software development experience and holds a bachelor's degree in physics, and master's in computer science.
Cheung Tam has seven years of software development experience and holds a master's degrees in electrical engineering.
They are part of the original team of developers of the VOCAL software.

Date Location Speaker
August 1, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Lands)
Mark C. Langston
Chief Technical Officer - Taos ( The SysAdmin Co.)
Topic : Definition of systems administration

Biography : Mark C. Langston is the Chief Technical Officer of Taos - The SysAdmin Company, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. He has been administering Unix systems of various flavors and the networks that connect them for approximately 10 years. He is a member of the SAGE Certification Policy committee and the Linux Professional Institute's Advisory Council. He holds a master's degree in experimental cognitive psychology from the University of Chicago.
There was no July meeting in 2001. Enjoy Independence Day.
June 6, 2001 Cisco Building 9
Jon Callas
The Effect of Anti-Circumvention Provisions on Security

Jon Callas is a premier figure in the world of Internet security. He produced RFC 2440 (the IETF standard for OpenPGP), created the architecture for a unified PGP and X509 certificates, and has worked to get PGP software available worldwide. His current passion is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its effects on security, testifying before the U.S. Congress in 1998. He's now Director of Software Engineering at managed security monitoring company Counterpane; prior to that, he was one of the kernel developers for the VMS operating system at DEC, founder of meeting-software company World Benders, CTO at Network Associates, and Senior Scientist at Apple Computer (where he was known as the company's "Security Czar"). He still runs Linux on the 486 box he bought for the 1.0 release.

Date Location Speaker
May 2, 2001 Cisco Building 9
Dave Taylor
The Effect of Anti-Circumvention Provisions on Security

Mobile Linux
Dave Taylor is a technical staffer at Transmeta and formerly President of Crack.com, programmer at ID software where he helped write Doom and Quake and ported them to Linux.
The topic will include (but not limited to) how to use Mobile Linux with some example applications in desktop and mobile toys. (Dave also writes: "If you get bored, we can drift to a discussion of embedded games, Linux games, CMS, Crusoe stuff, girls, clothing, controlled substances, etc.")

Date Location Speaker
April 4, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Land)
Karl Fogel
The Effect of Anti-Circumvention Provisions on Security

Karl Fogel is a software collaboration specialist with CollabNet and full-time developer on the Subversion project to replace CVS.
Since Karl couldn't make to the meeting, two gentle men from CVS talked about how Subversion picks up where CVS left off and implications for Linux specifically -- such as using Subversiion to create a Linux version of the BSD 'ports tree' package distribution mechanism.
They showed some cool demo as well and answered a lot of questions. It was fun!!!!.

Date Location Speaker
March 7, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Land)
Peter Popovich, RBL Principal Investigator
MAPS - Mail Abuse Prevention System
The Effect of Anti-Circumvention Provisions on Security

How to depend yourself against spamming? How to prevent your system from becoming the launch pad by spammers? What is RBL(Realtime Blackhole List), DUL(dialup Users List) and RSS(Relay Spam Stopper) all about? What is your rights to defend against your system resources from being used by spammers? All goodies.!!

Date Location Speaker
February 7, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (Vineyards conference center, the Numbered Land)
[picture of Eric Allman] Eric Allman, CTO of Sendmail
Eric will be describing the Sendmail Filter API cheerfully known as "Milter".

Date Location Speaker
January 3, 2001 Cisco Building 9 (note, we returned to the land of Alphabet)
Joe Little and Luke Howard of Open-IT.Org

Date Location Speaker
December 6, 2000 Cisco Building J (the Alphabet Lands, Gateway Conference Center)
Fred Finster of NEC and Mike MacDonald, CTO of A Cool Computer Science Company
Our guests spoke on porting linux to an embedded NEC chipset.

Date Location Speaker
November 1, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Cindy Cohn, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Date Location Speaker
October 4, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Darryl Ramm, VM Ware

Date Location Speaker
September 6, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Nate Oostendorp of Perl Monks, everything2, and everything.slashdot.org

Date Location Speaker
August 2, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Bart Decrem and Ramiro Estrugo

Date Location Speaker
July 5, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Simon "Horms" Horman
High Availability Solutions Under Linux

Simon Horman is a developer at VA Linux Systems, working on load balancing and high availability projects. Prior to this he was the senior technician at Zip World, an ISP in Sydney, Australia. He moved to Zip World after a stint at Open Systems Integrators where he implemented the network management system for the Optus cable TV network. For his honours thesis in computer science at the University of New South Wales he worked on using genetic algorithms to schedule the university examinations timetable. His main interest are computer networks and in particular how this makes information accessible to people.

Date Location Speaker
June 7, 2000 Cisco Building 9
Andrea Arcangelli
Kernel Developer

Date Location Speaker
May 3, 2000 Cisco Building J
Resmus Lerdorf
Using PHP under Linux

Date Location Speaker
April 1, 2000 Cisco Building 9
(half of) Vineyards Conference Center
Steve Giles
Free and Open Network Management Software

We are leading a revolution in enterprise management! No more...

  • closed, proprietary architectures
  • two-year waits for the next release
  • exorbitant pricing and expensive consultants
We are building the world's best enterprise management system and giving it away free and open. If you have ever thought "I can do this better!" come join us and together, we will do it better.

Steve is Chief Technologist at OpenNMS.org, is a certified OpenView and IT/O consultant and has taught OpenView Basics and Advanced OpenView to over 2000 students. Steve resigned his post at HP in 1992 (after 10 years) to pursue independent consulting and co-formed Onion Peel Software in 1994.

Date Location Speaker
March 1, 2000 Cisco Building 9
(half of) Vineyards Conference Center
Greg Herlein
Internet Telephony, Linux, and the OpenPhone Project

Greg Herlein, Project Director for Internet Telephony at Quicknet Technologies, will demonstrate a Linux-based Internet telephone call, and discuss the technologies involved. His talk will include an overview of the voice compression codecs and how they apply in Open Source projects, and go into detail about the most common signalling and audio protocols used today. Finally, he'll describe the goals and status of the OpenPhone Project and how other interested developers and users can contribute.

Greg Herlein has used Linux since 1994 to build out networks for business, data acquisition, scientific exploration, and fun. He's put Linux systems on remote mountain tops, on research ships at sea, and in more boring corporate settings. Greg was a key player in the process of Quicknet open sourcing their Linux drivers.

Date Location Speaker
February 2, 2000 Cisco Building 9
(half of) Vineyards Conference Center
Marc Merlin
All You Ever Wanted To Know About Passwords

Everything you ever wanted to know about Unix passwords:

  • how they're crypted
  • how they're cracked
  • how to choose virtually uncrackable passwords
  • what the alternatives are

Schooled in Paris and bearing years of sysadmin experience, Marc Merlin works at VA Linux Systems, happily under the auspices of Taos Mountain.

The slides of the talk can be found here

Date Location Speaker
January 5, 2000 Netscape Cafeteria
Building 22

North San Jose
Donnie Barnes from Red Hat

Donnie spoke about how things are going with Red Hat, what they're focusing on improving, and so on. Your Web Content Coordinator arrived late to this meeting; if anyone has a better review paragraph, please send it to the web staff using the footer link.

Date Location Speaker
December 1, 1999 Netscape Cafeteria
Building 22

North San Jose
Peter Anvin
Linux Loaders

Peter discussed Genesis, a work in progress that will analyze your hardware and create an optimized kernel on the fly. (Loaders means things like lilo, milo, syslinux, loadlin, etc., not installers like Red Hat)

He works in covert operations at Transmeta, and is the author of syslinux and auto-fs.

Date Location Speaker
November 3, 1999 Cisco Systems
Vineyards Conference Center (Bldg 9)

North San Jose
Jerry Peek
Why Use a Command Line Instead of a GUI?

SHORT DESCRIPTION: As Linux gets GUI-er, you might be surprised at how much faster and more powerful the plain old command line (with a "%" or "$" prompt) can be in many cases. When should you type instead of clicking? Jerry will dip into UNIX philosophy and history and also will show lots of examples.

BIO: Jerry Peek is the lead author of "UNIX Power Tools" and other O'Reilly books. He has used UNIX since 1981. He's now an instructor and course developer at Scriptics Corporation. (But he won't say much about Tcl.)

Date Location Speaker
October 6, 1999 Cisco Systems
Vineyards Conference Center (Bldg 9)

North San Jose
John Ousterhout, of Scriptics
Integration Applications, Scripting Languages, and Tcl

A fundamental shift is occurring in the way applications are developed. Whereas in the past most applications were developed from scratch, in the future most applications will be developed by integrating existing components, devices, applications, and protocols. Scripting languages such as Tcl and Perl are ideally suited to integration applications; as a result they have been rising rapidly in popularity. In this talk I will discuss the integration revolution and explain the technical reasons why scripting languages are better suited to integration applications than system programming languages such as C++ or Java. I'll provide an overview of Tcl, discuss how this all relates to Linux, and argue that Tcl will play a major role in XML and other important future developments.

Date Location Speaker
September 1, 1999 Cisco Systems
Vineyards Conference Center (Bldg 9)

North San Jose
Jeremy Allison, of SGI
Windows NT: A UNIX Perspective

Download the slides in Applix Graphics or in tar.gz package of HTML formats.

It's the OS we all love to hate, but what is it really like? Is it bad, or just different? In this talk, Jeremy Allison, one of the lead developers on Samba, gave a quick tour of some of the features and design of Windows NT that that UNIX users find bizzare or strange, and give a perspective gained in serveral years of porting POSIX programs to NT and also during the course of getting Samba to interoperate with it.

NEW! Download the slides in Applix Graphics or in tar.gz package of HTML formats.

location: Cisco Systems' Vineyards Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
August 4, 1999 Cisco Systems
Vineyards Conference Center (Bldg 9)

North San Jose
Larry McVoy, of Bitmover
Bitkeeper: The Next Generation Version Control System

Date Location Speaker
July 7, 1999 Cisco Systems
Vineyards Conference Center (Bldg 9)

North San Jose

Daryll Strauss
Topic: Linux High-End Video

Daryll described Linux' path so far From Titanic to 3D. He was the software manager of Digital Domain, which did the effects for Titanic using Linux. Since then he has also supported the 3Dfx hardware implementation under Linux. His diverse set of skills includes device drivers, 3D hardware, and high level rendering; his diverse set of hobbies includes volleyball, watching films, video games, and exploring technical problems. His goal is to make Linux into a 3D workstation usable in the production of special effects.

attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
June 2, 1999

Geoff "Mandrake" Harrison of Enlightenment discussed the Linux Desktop. This is like saying "Robert Oppenheimer will discuss explosives". Mandrake has been working on a number of interesting technologies, including

  • XFree 4.0
  • Xinerama - A multi-heading system for X that allows for screen spanning.
  • Enlightenment, the one true desktop.
He runs the latest code on his laptop, and let it compile in background while showing us the latest theme and effects.
location: Cisco Systems' Vineyards Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
May 5, 1999

Rob Farber spoke about Scalable Linux Commerce and Content Sites.

The Open Source mindset is critical for developing highly scaleable sites in a legacy free environment. The limitations of trying to drag a legacy system onto the web are greater than just the limitations of the code -- they can hinder new perspectives on content and information management. This is presented in light of experiences launching one of the first Linux powered eCommerce sites in September 1997, as well as more recent sites.

That might sound pretty dry but it wasn't.

location: Cisco Systems's Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
April 7, 1999

Brian Behlendorf, one of the leaders of the Apache group, the world's most popular web-server, discussed design decisions, the module structure, some interesting tricks, and planned improvements to the internals of Apache.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
March 3, 1999

"Running an Effective Linux User Group"

...included people active in setting up LUGs across the country. More people might have attended if posted signs had not been taken down before the meeting began...

location: LinuxWorldExpo, San Jose Convention Center
attendance: 100

Date Location Speaker
February 3, 1999

Dr. Marshall Kirk McKusick described the history of Unix at Berkeley, a significant amount of UNIXTM System V history, and all about the little devil *BSD fans know as their mascot.

location: Cisco Systems's Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
January 6, 1999

Jim Dennis, the Security Guru, Answer Guy columnist for Linux Gazette, and longtime SVLUG member spoke of "the twelve steps to ensure a secure Linux system". Actually, we weren't keeping count. Jim is the head of Starshine Technical Services and has a book for Linux system administrators coming out later this year from Macmillan.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
December 2, 1998

Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, creator of the GNU C Compiler (GCC), and a long-time advocate of free software spoke about history, philosophy and current issues in free software. ("Free" in this context means freedom, not necessarily a reference to price.)

location: Netscape Bldg 22 cafeteria, Mountain View
attendance: 400

Date Location Speaker
November 4, 1998

Eric Allman, author of Sendmail, spoke about Sendmail, Inc's Open Source business model and the evolution of Sendmail, which is the #1 mail transport software on the Internet.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
October 7, 1998

Phil Hughes, publisher of Linux Journal, shared some current developments with Linux and of his insights about where Linux might be going.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 200

Date Location Speaker
September 2, 1998

Paul Vixie spoke about the history and current developments with the Internet Software Consortium and future plans for his Open Source "BIND" nameserver software, used on almost all domain name servers on the Internet. "Vix", as he is known on the Net, also talked about results achieved from the anti-spam effort that he leads.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 200 (standing-room only in 1/4 room configuration due to scheduling error)

Date Location Speaker
August 5, 1998 "Networking in Linux 2.2":

David S. Miller spoke about networking changes in Linux 2.2, specifically TCP/IP. Many performance improvements and the situations that led to their development were presented.

David S. Miller is considered one of the three most important Linux kernel developers (along with Alan Cox and Linus). David was largely responsible for both the Sparc port to Linux and UltraPenguin (an optimized port for UltraSparc).

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
July 1, 1998 "Editor Wars":

Mitch Wyle, maintainer of Vim, and Ben Wing, maintainer of XEmacs, spoke about their editors histories and future directions. Comments on our mail list after the meeting indicate that the only loser was "pico", as Mitch's and Ben's descriptions of powerful features convinced some people to switch to a real editor.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 250

Date Location Speaker
June 3, 1998

Larry Wall, creator of the Perl language (a fourth-generation programming language which has the dominant position in web server-side software and Unix system administration), spoke about how he currently uses Perl, including automating his house.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 450

Date Location Speaker
May 6, 1998

Tim O'Reilly, Founder and President of O'Reilly & Associates, had recently served as moderator for the Open Source Summit and spoke about his vision for Open SourceTM software.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 400

Date Location Speaker
April 1, 1998

Marc Andreessen, Netscape founder and VP of Technology, spoke (on the day following the Netscape browser source release) about Mozilla's role in the Open SourceTM software community, and vice versa. Also speaking was Tom Paquin, manager of Netscape's Mozilla group. This turned into a media event as well, with many reporters present in the audience and many mentions of the SVLUG meeting in the international electronic media. Netscape-chartered buses took people after the meeting from Cisco in San Jose to the "Mozilla Party" in San Francisco.

See "Andreessen Sees Mozilla-Linux Upset Of Windows", media coverage at TechWeb. Or "Silicon Valley Tea Party" at Time.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 425

Date Location Speaker
March 4, 1998 SVLUG 10th Anniversary Meeting
photo: Linus photo: record attendance photos by John Beale

Linus Torvalds, the original author of Linux, spoke about what he's currently doing in the area of symmetric multiprocessing support for the Linux kernel, and answered questions about current Linux 2.1 development status. See the article about this meeting from the June Linux Journal and Linux Gazette.

Also at the meeting, Dan Kionka was presented with a plaque in appreciation of his service as president of SVLUG (orginally the PC-Unix SIG) from 1988 to 1997.

See "A Finnish Subversive's Plan to Overthrow Windows", a tongue-in-cheek article by Tom Abate, San Francisco Examiner.

location: Cisco Systems' Gateway Conference Center, North San Jose
attendance: 500

Date Location Speaker
February 4, 1998

Bruce Perens, coordinator of the Debian Linux Distribution, spoke about Linux and free software in General. And...

Eric Raymond spoke about his paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", which contains experiments and observations about what has made Linux successful, and had just been identified as the inspiration for Netscape's decision to release its browser source code.

location: Cisco Systems' Baypointe Training Facility, North San Jose
attendance: 100

Date Location Speaker
January 7, 1998

H Peter Anvin spoke about his "autofs" kernel-based automounter for Linux.

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

Date Location Speaker
December 3, 1997

Ian Kluft spoke about Linux's role in the SBAY.ORG community network. His presentation is available online at http://www.sbay.org/svlug-1997-12/

The 1998 presidential election was also held at this meeting. Ben Spade was elected President and Chris DiBona was elected Vice President.

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

Date Location Speaker
November 5, 1997

Ben Spade spoke about using your Linux box as a gateway to the Internet.

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

Date Location Speaker
September 3, 1997

Jeremy Allison spoke about the Samba 1.9.17 release.

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

Date Location Speaker
August 6, 1997

Damian Ivereigh spoke about the print servers at Cisco Systems, which use Red Hat Linux, Samba and some in-house software to make a reliable printing system that has been deployed at Cisco sites worldwide.

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

Date Location Speaker
July 2, 1997

Hans Reiser spoke about the ReiserFS file system for Linux. His presentation is available online at http://idiom.com/~beverly/reiserfs.html

location: First & Trimble Carl's Jr meeting room, North San Jose
attendance: 50

We'll fill in more as we look them up in our records.

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