Monthly Archives: July 2015

Ubuntu Jam at the University of Mauritius

Operating systems are simply tools to do a job...

And therefore, I have to admit that even though I use Microsoft Windows on a daily base to earn my living, I'm also using Linux since almost two decades on various machines. Together with different types of virtualisation I actually do not care whether an OS is running on bare-metal or inside a virtual machine. And given the computing power of recent machines it's not a question after all anymore. Given this little insight, let's directly hop into the Ubuntu Jam event from February 2015.

Saturday is usually the time the children are on tour with me and so why not take them to the University of Mauritius and have some fun together. Also, they know quite a number of folks of the Linux User Group of Mauritius, too. When we arrived at the campus it was actually simple to get a proper parking - just speak to the security guys around POWA, they are actually very friendly and willing to help. ;-)

Next, we had to look for those Linux geeks and penguins... Near the cafeteria they said, as if I know where the cafeteria is. Frankly, it was on our direct way to ask a group of students. Even though they gave us a strange but curious look, they were really glad to help and we managed to be around in time. Well, even too early... Anyway, enough time to get our gear in place. Even though that my dear son was more busy with his Nintendo DS than a Linux-driven laptop but hey that's absolutely fine. He's already geeky enough. Actually, later on - I don't know he managed it - he was gaming on someone else's Android smartphone.

Disclaimer: I won't be accountable for any hacks and root kit installations on your device that he's going to do!

So better keep your smartphone under your control. Anyway, it seems that the phone owner and my son had a good time checking out some gaming apps. This gave me a bit of liberty to show my older laptop running on Xubuntu 14.10, to answer a couple of Xfce4 related questions and to advertise the Developers Conference. Yes, I keep a git clone on that machine, too - actually running on different TCP ports on Apache and nginx simultaneously. Geeky style... 

Lots of hardware and software during the Ubuntu Jam - and the choice of tools covered a wide range...
Lots of hardware and software during the Ubuntu Jam - and the choice of tools covered a wide range...

Despite some light spray of rain, we had a great time during the Ubuntu Jam at the University of Mauritius (UoM)
Despite some light spray of rain, we had a great time during the Ubuntu Jam at the University of Mauritius (UoM)

Thanks to the vicinity of the UoM cafeteria it was a no-brainer to just get inside and grab some drinks and food for the lunch-break. Quite surprisingly, they also offer power drinks and other selections. Now, again well fed and still ambitious to handle Linux questions, I managed to get some exchange with Ish, Nirvan, Nadim, Pritvi and others regarding the organisation and ideas for the DevCon. Even though that there was a slight spray of rain, it seems that we all had a good time on the campus and I'm looking forward to attend the next Linux Jam - maybe then on openSUSE Leap or other distributions.

I’am officially a Google security supplier !


Security Services

Last night, I got the confirmation that I am officially recognized as a Supplier of Security Services for Google, the Internet Search Giant :)


What does this mean for Internet Security

I will be working more closely on Internet Security by focusing on key Open Source projects, and this effort will be sponsored by Google. Needless to say, I'm very excited ! I look forward to building a more secure Internet, that benefits not only the Google, but also Mauritius, as we are also heavy consumers of products that are heavily powered by Open Source Software: Android, gmail and quite a few others.

Collaborative efforts

By working together, as a team, we can strengthen the foundation of Today's Internet, so that we avoid another Heartbleed. I look forward to not only work on code, but also with different people spread across the globe and who speak different languages. There's something beautiful in Open Source: Despite our divergent opinions, we are able to work together. I believe that our strength comes from our ability to readjust ourselves to an increasingly hostile Internet.

Google Security Supplier, am excited for this new adventure! :)


openSUSE Leap

Earlier I wrote about about openSUSE:42 and explained the particular branch will include core SUSE Linux Enterprise code. There was a long debate on the openSUSE mailing list to find a suitable name. On 25 June 2015, Rainer Fiebig sent the following to the list:

But excitement and attention is what you need to get to have an impact in the
crowded markets of today. And the product’s name is the best place to start.

Therefore, my suggestion would be

openSUSE Leap

like in “leap forward”, “quantum leap” or “…but …giant leap for mankind”
(or at least for a chameleon, that is ;-)

Following (service-) releases might be named “openSUSE Leap 1.1″, “Leap 2″
etc. Each release a leap.

The associations that “leap” evokes are obvious. Marketing could spin a nice
story around it. And the press would have something to play with.


openSUSE-13.2-smallThe name Leap got its notoriety and overtook earlier suggestions like Oak and Rock n Roll. That’s it! On 2 July 2015, Richard Brown, the openSUSE Board Chairman announced the decision to keep the name openSUSE Leap :-)

The post openSUSE Leap appeared first on HACKLOG.

23:59:60, the cyberisland and the leap second that we forgot

The US is busy planning for the leap second transition

Please see my previous blog post if you are not familiar with the leap second issue.

The US has a document for "Best Practices" (URL: which has been published by the Department of Homeland Security. I'm going to quote a few sections from it: Sponsored by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in coordination with the United States Naval Observatory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the USCG Navigation Center, and the Nation al Coordination Office for Space - Based Positioni ng, Navigation and Timing . This product is intended to assist federal, state, local, and private sector organizations with preparations for the 30 - June 2 015 Leap Second event.

Below the introduction part of the document are a list of well detailed steps to prepare for the transition for the leap second that will occure on the 30th of June.

Meanwhile in Mauritius

I immediately went to look for the same information for Mauritius. My first choice is the Mauritius Standards Bureau. Looking at the relevant pages show nothing about Time (url:

My 2nd choice is thus CERT-MU, which is the Mauritian equivalent of CyberSecurity, expecting to find a document for "Best Practices" for the Leap Second. Result of the search on CERT-MU website : Zero.

At this I start wondering what could be impacted by leap second in Mauritius. Websites crashes have been reported when previous leap seconds were added. Quote from a website: Sites such as Reddit, Gawker, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Yelp crashed after a "leap second" was added to the universal clock in order to keep up with the Earth's rotation. So, A few critical websites might crash. This is important to everyday users.

Other problems ?

Wikipedia says that: Older versions of Motorola Oncore VP, UT, GT, and M12 GPS receivers had a software bug that would cause a single timestamp to be off by a day if no leap second was scheduled for 256 weeks. How many companies are relying on GPS for their operation: Car fleets, Car drivers, boats, and people with smartphones, and The Amadeus airline reservation system was disrupted for more than two hours which affects plane fights.


Important information such as leap second transition should have been available on CERT-MU website so that people and organizations can better prepare themselves, and avoid disruptive problems across the Mauritian Infrastructure.