Friday, September 09, 2011

Happier OpenSuse Days

This week we scheduled, installed and rebooted OpenSuse 11.4 with the 3.0.4 kernel. We broke the infamous rule of technology and also changed from the kernel-desktop to desktop-default; which means now that it's working beautifully we are not 100% sure which of the two issues resolved the problem. If one had more hours, we'd prove or disprove both theories but at this point we are going to enjoy the success and just move ahead. We've used both kernels on other servers and both have worked fine. Previously on this new server disk performance was terrible after user loads increased and now it's absolutely blazing in speed. Even with 40+ users, avant-window-navigator is starting to open in about 3 seconds even over remote display. You can barely even notice that 40 concurrent people are working -- in other words it's working as I would expect from Linux. I have solicited our users for more beta testers and hope to get us in the 50-60 mark by next week.

Other updates:

No NX updates this week to test, so I'm going to re-install and tinker with the current beta to see how it works on our new Wifi network. Still have those performance ideas in my head, waiting for the new Linux client updates in order to test them.

A few Evolution patches to test were received from Novell. They were compiled for SLED 11 SP2 which is not yet released. So I built a quick server with old hardware and tested them. The patches were not entirely satisfying, but at least now we know their status. Emailed results back to the developers.

We have a requirement for our first Java applet to work with PULSE, which I have never done before. A quick Google indicates it's possible, possibly via the Alsa layer. Time to tinker and better understand how this all works. Right now the sound from Java is very nicely trying to play on the server in the computer room. :)

I spent a little time hacking on the new Support Portal software and adding features that are useful to me (and others). It's now much easier to search for users and display their departments and to search by departments. With many hundreds of employees, it's almost impossible to keep them all straight. Next up, I'm going to write some quick code to keep track of what's in /usr/share/applications/*.desktop and log which users are clicking on which applications and how often. All of our icons pass through two common shell scripts (one for Windows, one for Linux) and it's going to be very easy to just write out data when they are clicked. This will allow us to better understand applications that can be removed from the network because no one is using them anymore.

Started to look at upgrading MoinMoin from 1.8 to the 2.0 (beta) release. Lots of libraries that need to be upgraded, and will require an operating system upgrade as well. Downloaded OS 12.1 (beta as well) for review and testing. Technology churn really keeps us employed, right?

Happy Weekend.


Rodney said...

Hi Dave, I'm curious about why you are considering upgrading MoinMoin to 2.0. According to their web page, the release is more suitable for developers who are willing to lose features in return for the a shiny new architecture. I have been thinking about upgrading from 1.5.9, but worried that it's a pita for no gain. Cheers, Rodney

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