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MUUG Monthly Meetings for 2022-23

Please note our current meeting location: In light of the current concerns over COVID-19 and the risk of infection, and current directives from the University of Winnipeg, MUUG meetings will take place online (typically using BigBlueButton) until further notice. Meeting link will be provided on the home page, prior to meeting start time.

September 13, 2022: RTFM Duo

This month, we had a couple short RTFM-style presentations: First, Brad Vokey presented on bpytop/btop++. Next, Trevor Cordes (who normally prefers working quietly behind the scenes on coding or newsletter editing) presented on configuring rsyslog to suppress annoying log messages.

Bpytop - a Python port and continuation of bashtop(1)

This month Brad Vokey gave us a quick demonstration of byptop, as well as its new sibling, btop++. Bpytop is a colorful, efficient, responsive, terminal resource monitor that shows usage and stats for your processor, memory, disks, network and processes. Written in Python by the original author of bashtop, the author claims it is faster and much better supported. (Btop++ is essentially a rewrite in C++.) Add some bling to your original old top(1) command!

Fighting the PHPower with rsyslog

Help! The new PHP8 has made normal, everyday scripting practices an error on screen or in the logfiles. Fight the power and reclaim your PHP sanity using rsyslog and its filtering options. But beware, rsyslog itself is a minefield of inexplicableness. Trevor Cordes led us on a quick and easy path to victory over PHP, and any other daemon you may disagree with!

Trevor has made his presentation slides, as text files in a .tar.bz2 archive, available online.

Date change: October 18, 2022: Tracking Aircraft with an RTL-SDR and a RaspberryPi

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, is a modern aircraft safety system that broadcasts an aircraft's identification and position data to other aircraft and ground stations. Using an off-the-shelf RTL-SDR receiver and a RaspberryPi, we can decode these messages to track aircraft in our vicinity. Wyatt showed how to install the dump1090 software used to decode the messages, and the different third-party aggregation sites that collect ADS-B information to provide real-time flight tracking around the world, notably FlightAware.com (with its PiAware software) and ADSBexchance.com.

November 8, 2022: MediaWiki Backups

Kevin McGregor presented one possible way to back up and restore a MediaWiki site using common Unix and Linux tools for local use or disaster recovery.

RTFM: micro(1)

Brad Vokey gave us a quick demo of micro. Micro is a terminal-based text editor that aims to be easy to use and intuitive, while also taking advantage of the full capabilities of modern terminals. As the name indicates, micro aims to be somewhat of a successor to the nano editor by being easy to install and use, but also aims to be enjoyable to use right from the start, with modern universal keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl-S, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-Z etc.).


Plus, this month's meeting was the MUUG annual general meeting, which included the election of the MUUG board of directors for the 2022-2023 year (by acclamation, again this year).

December 13, 2022: Round-Table, Lightning Talk, and Pot Luck

MUUG was happy to announce an in-person pot-luck event!

We continued (or resumed) the tradition of making the December meeting more of an informal, social gathering. The meeting was hosted by Skullspace, which allowed for some mingling between members of MUUG and Skullspace, as well as a chance for MUUG members to get a tour of Skullspace and their various maker-space tools. We were serenaded with holiday music on button accordion, thanks to Mark Jenkins, as we mingled. We also simulcast the live round-table and lightning talk on YouTube for those that couldn't attend in person for any reason, whether snow, or sleet, or illness.

Lightning Talk: MUUG Online Lore & History

This month, our server committee also showed off some quick LibreNMS stats and history of our latest MUUG Online 8.0 server, which is western Canada's largest and fastest open source software mirror.

January 10, 2023: The Taming of journald Continues

In his last presentation, Trevor Cordes showed us how to use syslog with journald, and filter out unwanted log lines. However, those bazillion unwanted lines being filtered out are still being written to disk, causing major wear and tear on your precious, limited-life SSD! In this follow-up presentation, Trevor discussed minimizing SSD writes and wasted space by using the journald RAMdisk and size-limiting options.

RTFM: nmap(1)

Wyatt Zacharias gave a quick overview of some of the basic features of nmap.

Date change: February 7, 2023: CheckMK

Alberto Abrao presented CheckMK, a great platform for monitoring various IT infrastructure components. It has powerful tools to monitor all different kinds of devices that comprises a regular Enterprise IT environment. Agents are available for Linux, *nix (AIX, Solaris), *BSD, Windows, VMware, AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, Docker, among others. These can be easily enhanced with plug-ins for custom functionality. It also allows for the monitoring of devices that support SNMP.

Easy to get started with, but packed with features and infinitely customizable, CheckMK is an excellent choice for the monitoring of any IT environment.

Date change: March 7, 2023: KVM without a GUI - Have you lost your head?

Linux KVM (Kernel-Based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux, using hardware accelerated virtualization extensions to provide near physical performance. New users of KVM may find the command line interface daunting and difficult to understand. Even the majority of KVM tutorials online rely on the GUI to do the initial installation and setup of your virtual machines, but what if we don't have a GUI? As Linux admins, we are accustomed to doing most of our work in a remote terminal, most of our servers don't even have a keyboard or monitor plugged in, and are located in remote data centers. In this presentation, Wyatt Zacharias presented the basics of how to use the libvirtd/KVM command line tools to create and setup a new virtual machine from scratch.

Wyatt has made his presentation slides, in PDF and PPTX format, available online.

Date change: April 4, 2023: Steam Decks and Steam Desks

This month, we went for a foray into Linux gaming, presented by Chris Audet. Chris discussed Valve's Steam Deck, and similar handheld computers. He also covered some notable gaming Linux distros, such as Lakka, and ChimeraOS.

RTFM: termdown - turn your terminal into a countdown timer (or stopwatch)!

For this month's RTFM, Brad Vokey gave us a quick demonstration of some of the features of termdown, a python countdown timer for the terminal which he has used in the past to count down the MUUG virtual meeting breaks.

Date change: May 2, 2023: Ansible AWX

"AWX provides a web-based user interface, REST API, and task engine built on top of Ansible." In this presentation, Alberto Abrao showed how to set it up, and basic usage.

Date change: June 6, 2023: Using BTRFS Deduplication to Consolidate 90 Hard Drives

This month, Chris Audet provided a brief overview of BTRFS deduplication, as well as demonstrate a practical application - a large HDD consolidation being planned for later this year.

July 2023: No meeting this month

August 1, 2023: MUUG 2023 BBQ, 6:30pm

MUUG had another summer BBQ and everyone was invited! For the second year in a row MUUG hosted another BBQ event, but this time at Assiniboine Park! Burgers, hot dogs, and pop were provided by MUUG, with guests invited to bring their own food to share with others and their own beverages as well. We had 17 people show up, which is our best turn-out for a BBQ in many years. Thanks to all who came!

Please note our current meeting location: Fortress Software Inc., 350 Keewatin St -- Unit #2

The meeting room will be open by 7:00 pm, with the actual meeting starting at 7:30 pm. If driving, enter the lot using the most north east entrance and drive around to the south west corner of the building. You can use any of the free, ample, and safe parking spots that say "reserved" in front of units #1 through #4 before entering unit #2. Bus stops #30814 and #30880 (route 77) are only 150 meters away. The last bus leaves for Polo Park at 10:15 pm and for Garden City at 10:31 pm. Logan Ave. bus routes #19, #26, and #27 are a 600 meter (8 minute) walk to the south.

MUUG meetings also take place online (typically using BigBlueButton) for those who can't be there in person. Meeting link will be provided on the home page, prior to meeting start time.

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