Enterprise Unix Roundup: Send in the Clones Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Mar 10, 2005


Main     In Other News     Recent Updates     Tips of the Trade

In Other News

» Novell's Open Enterprise Server (OES) product is now shipping. OES is a hybrid of NetWare's management tools and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Prices for the offering range from $530 for an upgrade of an existing five-user license to $18,400 for a new license that supports 100 users. A competitive upgrade program that covers most of Novell's competition, including Windows from NT 4.0 forward and Red Hat's Enterprise Server offerings, puts the price of the software in the same range as an upgrade to an existing Novell license.

» Novell also announced the availability of SUSE Linux 9.3. When Novell bought SUSE last year, it kept its toe in the desktop market by allowing the traditionally end-user friendly SUSE Personal and Professional distributions to continue development.

The latest release maintains that traditional desktop focus, stressing the inclusion of some of the newest end-user software (KDE 3.4, GNOME 2.10, and OpenOffice 2.0), a desktop search tool called "Beagle," and enhancements to WiFi, Bluetooth, and PDA support. Services such as Apache, Samba, and DNS also got some play in the announcement.

Of interest to enterprise users is support for Novell's XEN virtualization technology and the addition of GroupWise Instant Messenger support to the mix.

Availability in the United States is set for mid-April.

» A key installment in the Linux epic involves Linus Torvalds wanting a real Unix he could run on his 386, so the minor ripple that passed over the Web when he told a reporter his new platform is a dual 2GHz G5 Macintosh because "Power and x86-64 are ... the two most relevant" architectures was understandable. TerraSoft was probably happy for the tacit endorsement. During the past few years, running Linux on a Mac has become less of a novelty thing to do on old hardware and more a reasonable utilization of the PowerPC architecture and its strengths. With IBM pushing Power harder, Linux-on-Power will become only more reasonable.

» IBM announced it has installed the largest Linux-based IT system in Spain. The deployment involves a new healthcare system in the Spanish region of Extremadura referred to as the "Jara Project." Big Blue describes the project as "one of the most revolutionary in the history of European healthcare, with an aim of giving some 14,000 doctors and medical professionals in the poorest region of Spain, 24 hour, 7 days a week access to information from any health area."

Recent Updates

  • OpenSSH was updated to version 4.0 this week. The release announcement included quite a few changes, and the md5 sum it listed for the portable (non-OpenBSD) version of the software was erroneous: Get the correct one from the follow-up announcement. OpenSSH t-shirt updates are pending.

  • The Squid caching proxy has been updated to version 2.5 STABLE 9. It includes bugfixes and a security update.

  • Also related to Squid, several distributors updated their packages to address a potential DoS vulnerability: TurboLinux, Ubuntu, Conectiva, and SCO UnixWare.

  • The vsftfpd secure FTP server has been updated to version 2.0.2. It addresses one issue with SSL-secured connections, introduces a shift to GPG-signed source packages, and includes some cleanup in the documentation.

  • The Orion application server was updated to version 2.0.6 (experimental). The changelog notes fixes to a dozen bugs.

Tips of the Trade

IMAP servers are becoming more popular and for good reason: They enable users to maintain server-side mail organization that overcomes POP's limitations without a lot of awkward workarounds. But as IMAP servers grow in popularity and functionality, migration becomes an issue. The University of Washington IMAP server that "just worked" when you first rolled IMAP out in your organization might not be scaling so well now. Or maybe you prefer some of the security enhancements found in Cyrus' implementation or Courier's performance.

Two pieces of freely available software solve the IMAP data migration problem: Mailsync and iSync.

Of the two, Mailsync is trickier to build, since it depends on a working (and locatable) installation of the UWash c-client library, which is part of UW's IMAP package.

c-client isn't built the way users familiar with the GNU toolchain tend to prefer, so if your distributor doesn't include c-client development and binary packages, read the installation instructions carefully.

Once you've completed a build of the c-client source and are configuring Mailsync, take note of the directory where c-client is built and include it in the configure options for Mailsync, with something like:

./configure --with-c-client=/usr/local/src/imap/c-client

You don't need to install c-client to use it to build Mailsync: You just need the compiled source tree.

Mailsync can synchronize between both IMAP and Maildir stores.

iSync (not to be confused with the Apple product of the same name) is less difficult to build than Mailsync, but the documentation is a little more sparse, and it requires more experimentation to get things working.

Another benefit of these packages: They sync IMAP stores fairly quickly, which means you can use them to create a local copy of remote IMAP folders if you're on a slow or erratic network connection. This is helpful for laptop users and remote workers who want IMAP's flexibility without paying a penalty for network latency or nonavailability. mutt fans in particular should take notice of this.

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