Tag Archive for 'Novell'

Goodbye Novell, Hello VMware

I’ve been severely neglecting this site the past several months with everything going on.  Moving is about my least favorite thing on earth, and as if that wasn’t enough, I resigned from Novell at the end of December to take a job at fast-growing virtualization giant VMware.  Leaving Novell was something I agonized over for many months, but when the VMware opportunity came along, I just couldn’t turn it down.  Novell was a great place to work, and the company was very good to me over 8-plus years.  I will miss many of my former colleagues.

My job at VMware is similar – I’m a Senior Systems Engineer, but now focused exclusively on working with Chicago area customers, which is nice.  No more airline or hotel status after this year!

It’s been an interesting transition so far – down to the little things like switching from GroupWise to Outlook and Exchange, which I’ve never used in a company before.  After 3-4 years of running exclusively a Linux desktop, I’m now having to learn how much Windows sucks all over again.  I’m working on that part – I think I’ll either switch back to SLED, or take the Mac plunge.

You’ll probably see my posts focusing more on VMware and virtualization now, and less on Linux, although I’m proud to say I’m still running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 at home.  Of course, it’s now virtuallized by VMware ESX Server 3.5.  More on that later.

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Novell and Microsoft

I have to say I was as shocked as anyone when word started leaking out yesterday that Novell (NOVL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were set to announce some sort of alliance. After watching the webcast it seems to fit very well with what Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian has been all about since he came to Novell. Ted Haeger makes that exact point in his post this morning.

What really bothered me this morning were all the posts and articles I read that treated this news like an unwelcome religious development. Many in the open source community really do treat their devotion like a religion, instead of thinking about what makes sense from a technology or (God-forbid) business point of view.

Groklaw‘s headline was “Novell Sells Out.” The most common reaction on sites like Slashdot and Technocrat was “Guess I better find a new Linux distribution.” Some of these zealots seem to hate the idea of any ties between Linux/open-source and the commercial world. They are living in a dream world, and if they want to dump Novell/SUSE in favor of a more purely communistic distribution, so be it. We won’t miss them.
I can only hope that this does not reflect the view that our customers will have – I have to believe that they will welcome this as a positive. As Novell has said for quite some time, mixed-source environments are the reality in the IT world today. Making that easier on customers is a good thing, right?

Personally, I’m just looking forward to seeing how this pans out. The advantages for projects like Samba, Mono, and OpenOffice are easy to imagine. Michael Meeks at Novell does a good job of describing what’s happening in the OpenOffice space, and answers some questions that community members are already asking. I really liked his perspective on this deal.

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Logitech MX Revolution in Linux

Update: Froese has written a tool to control the wheel-click behavior. See comment #6 below.

I picked up a Logitech MX Revolution mouse, sort of unsure of whether I could get all its functions working under SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

The mouse is nice, and lends itself quite well to xgl and compiz. The only portion I haven’t been able to get working yet is the thumb-wheel (xev shows keyboard events o [ and Enter). It looks like an upgrade to X.org 7.1 or 7.2 is required to fix that, as a number of users have reported in the comments below.
In case anyone is interested, here is what I had to do to /etc/X11/xorg.conf to get the rest of it working, including the tilt wheel, the search button, and the two thumb buttons.

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier   "Mouse[1]"
Driver       "evdev"
Option       "Device" "/dev/input/event4"   # cat /proc/bus/input/devices
Option       "Name" "Logitech MX Revolution"
Option       "CorePointer"
EndSection

The “Device” bit may be different for you – type cat /proc/bus/input/devices and look for the two Logitech sections, which will be something like this:

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=046d Product=c51a Version=4101
N: Name="Logitech USB Receiver"
P: Phys=usb-0000:00:1d.0-2/input0
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input4
H: Handlers=mouse2 event4
B: EV=7
B: KEY=ffff0000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=143

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=046d Product=c51a Version=4101
N: Name="Logitech USB Receiver"
P: Phys=usb-0000:00:1d.0-2/input1
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input5
H: Handlers=kbd event5
B: EV=f
B: KEY=c0002 400 0 0 1 f80 78000 6639fa d84157ad 8e0000 0 0 0
B: REL=40
B: ABS=1 0

The line we are interested in is Handlers, but notice the device registers as a keyboard and a mouse. Make sure you choose the one for the mouse, which is “event4″ in this case.

The last thing you need to change in xorg.conf is make sure any of your other pointing devices are still working. I have the Logitech as Mouse[1], and the touchpad and pointing stick on my ThinkPad T60p ast Mouse[2] and Mouse[3] respectively. You should not have to modify those sections except to make sure there are no name conflicts.

Finally, my ServerLayout section looks like this:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier   "Layout[all]"
InputDevice  "Keyboard[0]" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice  "Mouse[1]" "CorePointer"
InputDevice  "Mouse[2]" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice  "Mouse[3]" "SendCoreEvents"
Option       "Clone" "off"
Option       "Xinerama" "off"
Screen       "Screen[0]"
EndSection

After all these steps, everything should work on the mouse except the Search button. The thumb-wheel is generating keyboard events (the o, [, and Enter keys), which currently makes it useless. I haven’t figured out how to deal with that. The two thumb buttons are mouse buttons 8 and 9, which I have mapped to some things in compiz.
The search button was pretty easy for me, although it works a little differently than it would under Windows. On a Windows machine, you can highlight some text, click the search button, and it will open your favorite search engine and search for that text.

With SLED 10, we have Beagle, which I thought would be a better use of the button anyway. However, clicking the button won’t submit any search terms – just open the search tool.
The search button is actually treated as a keyboard button, with keycode 122. What you need to do is map this to a keysym, so that you can use that symbol to define an action under keyboard shortcuts. The way I did that was to add the following to $HOME/.Xmodmap:

keycode 122 = XF86Search

You also may or may not have to add the following to your Gnome session startup:

/usr/X11R6/bin/xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap

You can see the current key mapping by typing “xmodmap -pk” in a terminal, and looking for keycode 122.
After restarting X, you can run xev in a terminal, and test pushing the search button. You should see the key symbol XF86Search in the output. All that remains is to map that key symbol to your desired action. Since I am using compiz-quinn, I used compiz settings manager (csm) to add a custom command to run /usr/bin/beagle-search. Then I specified the XF86Search key to execute that command.

If anyone knows how to get the thumb wheel working correctly, let me know!

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Back in Provo…again…

I’m beginning to feel like I live here – I was here last week Wednesday through Friday, then was on a 6am flight this morning to come back. We flew right over the Novell campus, which was a first for me (below is a bad Treo picture of it).

Provo Campus

It is pretty here this time of year, and it got up to about 70 degrees today, which was great.

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