September 10 meeting - So, You Think You Want to Start an Open Source Business


NOTE - There was some concern that our speaker might not be able to make it on Thursday night, but we have confirmed that the presentation will proceed as originally planned. - Alan Porter, 9/8 10pm

In 2002, Tarus Balog took a leap of faith by leaving his steady day job and taking over the management of a software package called OpenNMS. He has managed to slowly grow his business by providing support for this open source package, and by following the mantra "spend less than you earn".

Tarus will share his experiences with open source business, how it is viewed by customers, competitors, contributors and leeches.

And if you've got this lingering feeling that you could participate in the open source world and make it your full-time profession, Tarus has plenty of advice. Come join us for an unforgettable talk.

Time: 7:00pm Thursday, September 10 Place: Red Hat HQ Directions:

Pizza and drinks are free. We'd like to thank Tarus Balog and The OpenNMS Group for their generous sponsorship of this month's meeting.

There is no charge for attendance or membership. Donations are always welcome.

August 13 meeting - Drupal


Our very own Allen Freeman will be discussing Drupal, a very popular content management system (and if you're reading this notice, then you're seeing an example of it in action).

Find out how to set it up, what it can do, why you'd want to use it.

(1) Design a web page using Drupal. (2) ??? (3) Profit!

July 9 meeting - The Semantic Web


Please join us as Phillip Rhodes gives us a glimpse into the future of the internet - the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web is the name given to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's vision for the next generation of the World Wide Web. On today's web, most data is provided in a format which is easy for humans to understand, but which computer programs have trouble understanding. This makes it difficult for us to program computers to perform useful, time-consuming tasks for us, using data retrieved over the Web.

As the Semantic Web vision unfolds and more data is provided in "structured data" form, it will become increasingly easy to develop programs which can appear to act much more intelligent in terms of how they interact with the web and with each other. This will provide the potential for a huge surge in productivity as we enable computers to perform lower-value tasks for us, freeing people to focus on tasks which require human creativity.

We are still a long way from the kind of "Artificial Intelligence" that we have seen in science-fiction programmes and movies, but the Semantic Web moves us forward in our evolution of adapting technology to simplify our lives.

June 11 meeting - Unbreaking Linux Audio


Daniel Chen is a Master of the Universe. No, not like "He-Man". He contributes significant time to the Ubuntu project, helping make audio applications and infrastructure "just work". This is a huge undertaking, since there are so many sound card drivers and so many audio frameworks that have come and gone over the years. This work has earned him the title of MotU from the Ubuntu team.

Dan will give us an idea of how audio works in Linux (visualize: spaghetti). And he'll share tips and tricks on making audio applications work seamlessly... or, at least with less frustration than before.

Dan is part of the TriLUG diaspora, who frequently graced our presence in years past, but who now only return when bribed with free pizza and the chance to speak in front of the crowd. Let's give Dan a big homecoming welcome.

May 14th meeting - LinuxDNA


Tyler McAdams has been researching ways to fine-tune systems to run extremely fast. He is involved with a global project called "LinuxDNA", which aims to optimize the binaries which run on a machine, with special emphasis on the kernel. His team employs a compiler from Intel that is very good at producing optimized code for the x86 family of processors.

Bonus points if you can tell which distro Tyler likes to run (see below).

Come hear Tyler tell his secrets and his war stories about making Linux run FAST.

You guessed it... it's Gentoo.

March 12th meeting - Geographic Information Systems


WHAT: March TriLUG meeting WHEN: Thursday, March 12th, 7:00pm WHERE: Red Hat HQ, NCSU Centennial Campus MAP:

This month, our very own Doug Newcomb will give us an introduction to the fascinating world of Geographic Information Systems. It's the ultimate form of representing the world around us using computers. Literally, we're mapping out our entire planet for use online.

We've all used Google Maps and Mapquest. But have you heard of the collaborative effort at [1] to produce a complete map of the world, entirely from user-contributed data?

Closer to home, we might use the local land records web sites: Wake County IMAPS [2], Durham GIS web [3] or the Chatham County GIS [4]. See how open source software and free-license data fit into these systems (or not).

And now, consumers with TomTom GPS's can share map updates with other users using TomTom Home "map share" [5]. Again, people helping people, correcting the data that they know about best, close to their homes.

On Thursday night, Doug will tell us about a variety of GIS projects, both commercial and open source, with proprietary and open sources of map data.

See you all there.


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

April 9th meeting - Lightning Talks


The April meeting will be a chance for members to share tips and tools with each other, in the form of "Lightning Talks". Each speaker will be given 10 minutes to discuss an indispensable tool to the group, including time for questions. Bring your ideas, and be ready to "share and enjoy".

So you think you've been rooted...


Since we had a break-in on pilot recently, I thought I would bring up a couple of points.


First of all, it appears that what happened to pilot was that a vulnerability in "RoundCube", a fancy web mail package, was exploited by a script that installs a "bot" (part of a botnet).

As far as I can tell, no files or emails were damaged. Everything appeared to be intact. It looks to me like it was just talking to a lot of other machines via an IRC channel (and that's how we noticed it).

The bot was running as user 'www-data'. So technically, we were not 'rooted'... we were 'apache-ed'.


But since we have had a break-in, it makes me think of what damage could have been done.

Personally, I was thinking about my SSH keys. On any semi-public machine like pilot, I encrypt my SSH keys with a passphrase (see "ssh-keygen -p"). So if someone were able to read my private key in ~porter/.ssh/id_rsa, all they would get was a load of DES-encrypted bits. In this case, it's doubtful that they could have read the file, since it has 700 perms.

But if an attacker had read these files, and if my key were not encrypted, then now would be a good time to go onto all my other accounts and make sure that my TriLUG SSH key was not listed in the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys files. This would keep one break-in from leading to a series of break-ins. This is left as an exercise for the paranoid reader.

As it stands, it looks like your SSH keys were never at risk. At least not from the bot... remember that myself and the other sysadmins can read these files. So the extreme paranoid users (you know who you are) might want to look into SSH key passphrases.


I also wanted to make a note here that our unofficial policy on backups is that users are responsible for backing up their home directories (and now that your mail is stored in ~/Maildir, that means email, too). We currently do not back up /home. Remember, we're a group of volunteers, and we're doing "best effort" service. We try, but we're not guaranteeing anything.

I am VERY happy that we did not lose anything in this latest incident.

In the meantime, I am making daily backups of everything EXCEPT /home. And I am also entertaining the idea of putting a larger disk on dargo so we can back up /home, too. Donations are gladly accepted.



The Linux Users Group of the Triangle. Serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and RTP.


Our monthly meetings are hosted by:

Dr. Warren Jasper

Hosting Sponsor

Hosting for TriLUG's infrastructure is provided by:


3D Printed "TriTuxes" provided by:
Brian Henning