Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

10May/140

LUGM Meetup @ Pizza Perfect

Posted by Ish

As announced on Facebook earlier this week, we had a LUGM meetup today at Pizza Perfect. Scheduled to start at 11h00 but I woke up late. I end up missing the bus. The next one came 30 mins later & was damn slow on the road. Could I complain? Nope! So, I’d better listen to the Bollywood playlist on Kindle.

Ajay & Jagveer called me and I assumed others reached Pizza Perfect while I was still on way. Indeed, when I reached there around 12h05, a small team already was enjoying lunch with no pizza on the table. Aww! For once, I joined in to have a burger lunch too. A perfect vegetarian burger.

lugm-meetup-10-may-2014-burger

Today’s Geek Team

Jochen Kirstaetter & the kids, Nitin Mutkawoa, Shamsher Khudurun (aka Luffy), Jagveer Loky, Ajay Ramjatan, Ibraahim Atchia, Ashley Babajee, Nayar Joolfoo and me.

We had lunch & discussed random topics till 13h00. Afterwards we looked at the LUGM agenda. We started with handling of membership applications. I had quite a bunch of application forms to hand over. Since the secretary couldn’t make it today and we needed to find a novel method to store member details, Ajay volunteered to do this. I also had to handover membership fees from a few new members to the treasurer, that is Ajay. That made us discuss the future of LUGM as a growing community in Mauritius. We exchanged a few words about MITIA (Mauritius IT Industry Association) and the upcoming ProIT 2014 Conference.

lugm-meetup-10-may-2014-4

Don’t know if it was shooting against sunlight or the rainy weather that got me dark pictures.

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Next we had a lengthy discussion about LUGM website revamp. Ajay proposed having a team assigned with different roles, such as webmaster, maintainer/developer, content writers & editors. Everyone pretty much agreed on this. Initially I didn’t want to be in the web team as I rather wanted to direct resources to the Magazine idea. As it happens though, magazines look like an old-fashioned artifact. I changed my mind and joined the web team. Nayar and Nitin volunteered as well. In fact, Nayar also volunteered to put some energy into reviving the LUGM forum as he has some experience writing plugins for MyBB.

While the discussion was still ON, Nitin & Luffy helped Jagveer load Kali Linux onto his laptop. The new recruit was happy.

Ajay tossed the topic on communication channels. The LUGM mailing list looks like an obsolete tool for communication. I agreed as most of the emails go unanswered or might get a response only weeks after. We discussed on the possibility of automatically posting announcements to various social network channels. As of today we have a Facebook group, a Google plus account and a Youtube channel. We intend to set up Twitter and Linkedin accounts and interconnect them.

We also discussed about revenue possibilities through the LUGM website. Ajay showed us the traffic stats of LUGM website. Our jaws dropped!! Nayar & I, simply couldn’t believe those stats. They’re some great revenue potential for the association and the website revamp could make all this happen naturally. Ronny joined the discussion through Skype and shared his views regarding the website revamp.

lugm-meetup-10-may-2014-5

Lastly, I opened discussion about Ubuntu Mauritius. I explained how it came to my mind putting energy in the Ubuntu Mauritius group which exists since 2011. I’m spending much time working on Ubuntu and CAE Linux (based on Ubuntu 12.04) these days. It makes it easier for me advocating the same and answer questions that are directed towards the project. I could thus help other Ubuntu users & enthusiasts guiding them into bug reporting and doing advocacy on their end. Nayar already has a project that could end up being the first package under ubuntu-mu PPA.

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Meetup ended around 15h30 on a happy note with quite a huge list of tasks ahead.

The post LUGM Meetup @ Pizza Perfect appeared first on HACKLOG.

16Mar/140

LUGM meetup, Software Licensing

Posted by Ish Sookun

Many times on LUGM facebook group we had fierce debates over GPL and BSD-license. Flame-wars sprouted very often, some times even from an innocent status we might have put. Therefore a few weeks ago it was decided that we have a meetup that will ensure clarifying misconceptions regarding software licenses. The date was announced to be 15th March 2014 at the convenience of everybody. Selven & Logan were to talk about Lesser Restrictive Licenses in particular the BSD-license and Ajay volunteered to share his knowledge about the General Public License (GPL), in particular GPLv2.

The day comes and I reach Ebène around 11h45. While the meetup itself should start at 13h00, I had enough of time ahead to have lunch & chat with UoM Computer Club folks I happened to meet at Ebène InterMart Foodcourt. Around 12h45 I went to Ebène Accelerator where the meetup was hosted. Ronny had reached by that time too, having a cigarette puff in the parking lot. He greeted me & asked about my phone as it seemed Ajay was calling me and I didn’t answer. I checked and yes, I could see the missed-calls from Nadim, Ajay and Ronny. We went inside the Orange Tower. Nitin had reached too. I explained Ronny a little bit about the concept of Ebène Accelerator as a business incubator. We then went to get the meeting room ready. A short while later others came.

Who showed up?

Nitin Mutkawoa, Ronny Reddi, Ajay Ramjatan, Avinash Meetoo, Pravesh Gaonjur, Selven Cheenaramen, Nalinee Rengenchetty, Sherven Chinamoothoo, Yunus Aumeeruddy, Ibraahim Atchia, Saamiyah Peerun, Ubeid Jamal Ahmad, Nadim Attari Bundhoo, Kishan Bhugul, Loganaden Velvindron, A. Jodarsen (Chelon), Pritvi Jheengut and me.

Since we didn’t have a projector, which I assumed we would as there always is one at Ebène Accelerator, Selven & Logan tried to arrange for the same. In the meantime Ajay opened discussion about Corsair Hackers Reboot. He went through the tasklist I published on the 1-week brainstorming event I created on facebook. We described the event’s structure & aim, especially to those who didn’t attend earlier meetups and wanted clarifications. Corsair Hackers Reboot was initially proposed by Pritvi while I suggested we have a Linux Installfest beginning 2014. We then blended both and kept the name Corsair Hackers Reboot. The idea behind the event is to introduce hacking (as in White Hat), that’s why the term Corsair is used. Secondly, with support ending for Windows XP we aimed to propose Linux distros and BSD as alternatives, therefore the term reboot is used.

We finalised the date of the event to be 19th April 2014 and divided tasks in four categories :

  • Hacking competition
  • Installation festival
  • Demos
  • Mini talks

I will draft the same and share on the 1-week brainstorming event page.

After this first dicussion, Selven & Logan brought the projector. They set up everything. Unfortunately some folks had to leave early. The rest of us were eager for the licensing talk. It started with Selven’s presentation on Lesser Restrictive Licenses. He went through his slides and gave us an overview of the MIT, Apache and BSD licenses. He laid emphasis mostly on the different versions of BSD licenses, explained the clauses in simple terms and elaborated on the use and inclusion in our code. While going through each license, Selven listed software that are released under those licenses. He stressed much on the simplicity and clarity of the BSD license, to which most of us agreed.

Logan on the other hand presented the Legal Risks of FSF Licenses. His presentation was mainly on the ambiguity of FSF licenses, in particular GPLv3. He quoted the words of various developers and cited cases that involved different interpretations of the GPL clauses.

At this moment everyone in the audience was involved with questions and especially Ajay with GPL clarifications. We agreed on the fact that GPLv3 is complicated and might not be suitable to a real world. However, GPLv2 seems to be fine so far. No wonder why many stayed on GPLv2. At some point it came to my mind that the Free Software Foundation tried addressing too much through one license, ending up making it complicated. Weeks ago when the discussions started, that was when I peeked into a few clauses of GPLv3 and wrote about Tivoization.

While meetup seemed like never-to-end we had to stop the discussion some time after 16h30. Nadim had done a great job shooting the whole discussion. I copied the video files on my laptop.

I thank everyone for attending the meetup and participating in the discussions. Thanks to Ronny for some of the snaps and Nadim for video-shooting.

15Feb/140

LUGM meetup – Presentations

Posted by Ish Sookun

We had one of the much awaited LUGM meetups today. This meetup comprised of two presentations:

  • New features brought in OpenSSH v6.5, by Loganaden Velvindron
  • What if .mu was in Mauritius?, by S. Moonesamy

It was held at Ebène Accelerator, Orange Tower, Ebène. I reached earlier, got time to have my lunch and a while later Logan came. We were having a general chit-chat when Pawan came. He passed his driving test today, that was great to hear.

On the facebook event page we had 30 RSVPs. However, I felt less people will make it today since there was a LAN Gaming event at University of Mauritius. Most probably UoM Computer Club folks wouldn’t make it. Anyway, 19 people showed up, that was great already.

Who made it today?

Neha Gunnoo, Darshini Seeburn, Nitin Mutkawoa, Pritvi Jheengut, Nadim Attari, Ajay Ramjatan, Selven, Chelon, Wasima Damree, Pawan Babooram, Avinash Mayaram, Ashley Babajee, S. Moonesamy, Thomas C, Shamsher Khudurun, Irfaan Coonjah, Fei Tan, Loganaden Velvindron and me.

13h30, we started with the first presentation. OpenSSH 6.5 features, by Logan. He briefed us about the project, OpenSSH and a little bit about OpenBSD. Logan gave us an insight on where OpenSSH is used and why it is favored over Telnet.

S. Moonesamy (SM) added a couple of quickie information which prompted a question & answer session. Especially when both explained the role of IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in assigning numbers & standardizing Internet stuffs. Simply said, IETF folks strive to engineer the Internet as we know it.

Back to the presentation Logan continued explaining new security features. He talked about Edward Snowden’s revelations and weakened crypto algorithms into the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards. He talked about a new private key format, called Ed25519 and the ChaCha20 cipher. For those who were having trouble grasping this part, SM & Ajay gave a brief explanation about ciphers. Simply said, a cipher allows encryption of plain text data. However, Ajay highlighted that this does not guarantee data can’t be intercepted. It can be, but the obtained data is encrypted and pretty much unusable. Logan gave a small demo on generating keys using Ed25519 and how to connect using chacha20-poly1305 cipher. Among other new features is sandboxing support around pre-authentication part of the code. This however uses the Capsicum API which right now is available only in FreeBSD. Logan informed us work is being done to port Capsicum to Linux, which would enable Linux users to benefit from OpenSSH sandbox features in the near future. In the endnote, Logan stressed a few words on donation to the OpenBSD project.

SM started by showing us a map of .mu servers around the world. He then showed us a slide containing information about loading time of a .mu page that wasn’t hosted in Mauritius. He compared that with websites hosted locally. Yes, there was a huge difference. His presentation was very much interactive in a way that involved everyone in the conference room. When he tossed about the online news websites, it seemed like everyone had something to add. Yup, something fun to add. Many of my comments never showed up on the news websites, my emails went unanswered. I wasn’t surprised to hear that I’m not the only one though. SM’s aim was not just to bring a topic about page loading speed, but having the .mu infrastructure locally would also contribute in lowering the price of the .mu domain. He showed us a table comparing prices of different TLDs (Top Level Domain). Whoop! .mu shines above with Rs 2,000 / year. I shouted I initially got my .in domain for Rs 90. Ajay then tossed the topic on DNSSEC and they briefly explained the technicality behind.

The debate on .mu was interesting and it involved participation of the audience as a whole. SM highlighted the importance of having technicians, admins, engineers & decision makers in the Mauritius Internet Users mailing list that he created. He hasn’t made the list public yet as it’s still in a kind of brainstorming phase where people are expressing the difficulties, issues and discussing about possible solutions.

Meetup finished on a happy-ending-note, with people willing to join & discuss further about bringing .mu to Mauritius.

Meetup finished on a happy-ending-note, with people willing to join & discuss further about bringing .mu to Mauritius.

Oh! Wait… I forgot the fun part. In the previous meetups we expressed the need of recording presentations. Nadim, Ajay and Pawan made it happen this time by providing the necessary gadgets. Once the videos are processed they should go on LUGM YouTube Channel.

Photo highlights

11Jan/140

Geek Team ethusiastic as ever

Posted by Ish Sookun

2014, and we had our first LUGM meetup. Nadim & I discussed it earlier on facebook and he proceeded with the event page creation. Didn’t know how many people might show up, so we set the location place to be Pizza Perfect. By Wednesday we had more than 20 people coming, I thus contacted Pizza Perfect & asked them to reserve three tables.

Saturday comes & the day starts by me waking up late, nothing new. The bus to P. Louis was slow on the road but I could not complain. I instead continued listening to some Coke Studio music I downloaded the day before. Nadim & Kamal called me, I informed them I was on the way.

I reached Pizza Perfect around 12h30 I think, didn’t check the time. As I was walking towards the entrance I met Nayar, inside Nadim & Yasir were already having lunch. We were still discussing about how to arrange the tables and geeks started showing up. Woohoooo! 2014 LUG Meetup starts well.

Who made it today?

Nadim Attari, Karsten Schwegmann, Yannick Labonne, Radha Chamburn, Jules (Cr0p) Giovanni, Avinash Mayaram, Nitin Mutkawoa, Kamal Shewnarain, Yasir Auleear, Kishan Bhugul, Yunus Aumeeruddy, Shamsher Khudurun, Ibraahim Atchia, Azra Futloo, Pritvi Jheengut, Nirvan Pagooah, Irfaan Coonjah, Ajay Ramjatan, Nayar Joolfoo and Ish Sookun.

That makes us 20 attendees for 2014’s first LUGM meetup.

While some were still on way, others were munching burger, having pizza & shooting sporadic topics. Oh wait… Nadim did a formal introduction of LUGM, then somewhere I hijacked his speech, started talking LUGM, took a leap to induction in companies, went through the hell of dress code policies, security policies regarding cloud services & how to bypass them and finally I landed somewhere I don’t recall. A nice ride indeed, however I wonder how many followed.

Nadim gives a brief intro of LUGM.

Azra brought her laptop as she was having issues installing OpenNebula on Ubuntu. I told her I’ll have a look. Didn’t know she installed it on VMware (which I don’t like) and Windows 8, I guess by the look. Anyway, I had a quickie at her first VM, everything seemed rightly done (according to the official manual). The real heck was coming with the Hypervisor. Unfortunately, we were having Internet connection issues. Though the VM was on NAT, it wouldn’t get any connection. I was a bit lazy to troubleshoot further & of course the Windows interface kinda discouraged me. Instead, I told her I’ll setup the Hypervisor in VirtualBox and send her the VDI. I already installed OpenNebula while testing earlier. Just needed to finish a couple of settings to get it to work.

Next, I shot the topic of the day: Corsair Hackers Reboot

I asked Pritvi to do an introduction. He explained the meaning of Corsair (as in Corsair Pirates) and how it aligns with Installfests that we intend to do this year. Discussion was getting a good flow & I proposed we organize it within Bagatelle Mall for increased public visibility. Well, visibility would be guaranteed but other issues could crop up; like getting the support/approval from Bagatelle Mall management, power outlets etc. If we pulled in computer shops as partners there still could be some conflict-of-interest. At that time, Mr. Madhub, an entrepreneur himself, and owner of Fortune Way Shopping Mall (Centre de Flacq) overheard our discussion. He was interested with the whole idea and offered us a 10,000 sq.ft Hall at Fortune Way Shopping Mall, where we can organize the event. Sounded nice, besides Flacq houses a huge population of IT Users & students.

Pritvi, the mastermind behind Corsair Hackers Reboot.

Cr0p, Jules.

Ajay continued discussing a couple of stuffs with Mr. Madhub while I was munching my pizza & making GNU noise. In today’s agenda I had mentioned something about gears to donate. Actually, this idea was brewing up since last year when I realised how much un-used computer gear I had (processors, hard drives, keyboards etc). Thought I could donate them to folks badly needing those. Then I said why not sharing this idea with LUGM folks, if others have un-used gears too, we could instead build a whole system loaded with GNU\Linux and donate the same. Many liked the idea and Kishan volunteered to formalize the whole thing.

Kishan (front), Yunus, Nayar, while Ajay explains.

Yasir Auleear

Some left early and by 15h30 the rest of us continued with brainstorming for Corsair Hackers Reboot event. We listed things to be done and activities that could be taken up by each of us. The event picture was getting clearer in our minds. Great, seems like we gonna have fun time ahead.

We paused shortly after 16h00. It was time to go home.

Photos, courtesy of Yasir Auleear.

9Nov/130

Linux meetup – Geek talk around a pizza

Posted by Ish Sookun

The past week having worked till 01h00 I wasn’t in good shape to attend Linkbynet Openday. I pinged others informing I’ll come directly to PR School of Management & Education (PRSME) for the Linux Meetup.

Neha, Darshinee and Pawan had been to the Openday in the morning. I heard they got lost around in Quatre Bornes while looking for PRSME. Ahaan! We have Google Maps for such situations folks.

Natasha & Avinash on the other hand were waiting for me at UoM. I met them a little before noon and we moved to PR School of Management & Education. By then the lost penguins had found their way & they were sitting in the cozy conference room. A quick introduction & we started talking about Linkbynet Openday; how it happened etc. It was interesting to note a lot had changed there. Natasha & Avinash didn’t stay for long.

Other geeks joined us gradually. In all these folks showed up today : Avinash Seetaram, Natasha Fokeer, Pawan Babooram, Neha Gunnoo, Darshini Seeburn, Abdallah Yashir, Avinash Mayaram, Nitin Bachraz, Hasvin, Yuram Venkatiah, Nitin Mutkawoa & me.

Nitin Mutkawoa was the last to join us & he lost his way too while bringing Pizza & Coke for us. Oh! Hunger was almost killing me.

Which topics were on menu?

Earlier on the facebook event page I published the topics as still brewing. Well, today when we started discussions there were 2 things I tossed on table.

How can we (Mauritians) help & contribute to openSUSE or other FOSS projects?

Around 3 years ago I joined the openSUSE project as an ambassador. I told folks how it all started and what are the different channels through which we can help the project; like marketing (advocacy), content writing (wiki/blog), graphic design, and development (bug-reporting, coding etc). We don’t need to be experts but simply be passionate by stuffs in which we’re skilled.

Those who wish to connect & help the openSUSE team can ping me any time or send your query to the corresponding mailing list.

Cinnamon 2.0 running on openSUSE 13.1 RC2

Since the past few days I was hacking around to get Cinnamon work on openSUSE 13.1. It’s now working. I demoed a Cinnamon session with the Void theme.

To install Cinnamon on openSUSE 13.1, do as follows:

sudo zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Cinnamon:/Factory/openSUSE_13.1 Cinnamon  
sudo zypper ref Cinnamon  
sudo zypper in -t pattern "Cinnamon Desktop Environment"  

Yuram has been learning new stuffs too. He showed us how he’s been using vmstat and free commands to get details about memory usage on Solaris & RHEL servers at our workplace. He nicely explained us about swap usage. Hope to see more of it showing up on his blog. We also had some ps and dmesg fun!

Hasvin came for the first. He introduced himself and told us about his graphic designing work. It would be nice to see him showcasing his graphic genius in the coming meetups.

Nitin Bachraz gave us some insight on recruitment of Unix/Linux engineers. He shared some tips that should boost the confidence of freshers. He emphasized on stress management & gave us examples on how things should be dealt within the work environment. It was also great to have a Database Administrator among us today. Yes, Abdallah is a DBA at Spoon Consulting. He shared some of his experiences as both a DBA & coder. Nitin Mutkawoa shared the news of Blackout OS, an upcoming Linux distro for pen-testers.

Pawan asked us about the use of echo command. He found it a bit silly that a command just returns the argument you passed it. His doubt was cleared when we showed him the usage of echo in a Bash script :) I was happy though to see that Pawan has progressed in his Linux learning. He’s become quite comfortable with the command line & he surprised us when he answered Yuram about using top to analyze CPU & memory usage. Good going little penguin!

In the end, we all had our fun time with geek chats & pizza munching.

Photos, courtesy of Pawan Babooram.

We thank Shaleena Callichurn, CEO of PRSME, for providing the facility to hold our Linux meetup. We also thank Rishen Armoogum for his presentation on PRSME’s aim & research programs.

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