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MUUG Monthly Meetings for 2016-16

Please note our new meeting location: 1M28 Manitoba Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

September 8, 2015: Spacewalk

This month, Wyatt Zacharias presented Spacewalk, an open source systems management tool. Spacewalk allows administrators to deploy, manage, configure, and monitor their enterprise Linux hosts. Spacewalk also provides update management, security scans, and more.

Before the break, as this month's RTFM topic, Adam Thompson (filling in at the last minute for our previously scheduled speaker) talked about the jps(1) and jstack(1) commands, for listing processes running in the same (JDK-based) JVM environment, and for showing the stack trace of each thread in a process running in JVM. Adam also briefly mentioned the jmap(1) and jhat(1) commands, for producing a core dump of a running JVM process, and analysing the heap of such a dump.

October 13, 2015: Process Accounting and Log File Management

This month, Adam Thompson and Wyatt Zacharias co-presented. Adam talked about classic UNIX process accounting, focusing on the lastcomm(1) and sa(8) commands. Wyatt then talked about managing logs using cronolog(1), a very simple but effective tool for dividing log files into convenient chronological chunks, with minimal disruption to running services.


In the RTFM segment this month, Rob Keizer talked about Homebrew (brew(1)). Homebrew is the easiest and most flexible way to install the UNIX tools that Apple didn't include with OS X.

November 10, 2015: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana

Robert Keizer presentated Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. The presentation focused on running these systems in a production environment. Elasticsearch is a highly available NoSQL distributed database which is primarily used for real-time and deep searching. When used in conjunction, these systems provide a very robust and feature-complete solution for enterprise log management.

Rob went through setting up and installing all three systems, as well as provided an overview and example of these systems.


For this month's RTFM, Gilbert Detillieux talked about the getcap(8) and setcap(8) commands, used to control Linux capabilities(7) as an alternative to using setuid-root binaries. This provides a safer way of allowing unprivileged users to execute operations normally requiring root permission.


Plus, this month's meeting was the MUUG annual general meeting, which included the election of the MUUG board of directors for the 2015-2016 year (by acclamation), and also a vote on a motion to ammend the MUUG by-laws, removing the age restriction on membership.

December 8, 2015: Zenworks: The Other CM

Heard about ZENworks but never really seen it? In this month's presentation, Katherine Scrupa discussed her trials and tribulations with Novell's Configuration and Systems Management suite. We learned how to control the behaviour of software bundles, which bugs and gotchas to watch out for, and discovered new features in the 11.3 version of ZCM.

Round-table, Mingling and Munchies

As 2015 drew to a close, MUUG continued our recent tradition of turning the December meeting into more of a social event. We had the usual round-table session, followed by a presentation, and then some time for mingling, eating, and drinking.

Winnipeg Harvest Food Drive

Also as in previous years, we combined our pot luck with a food drive for Winnipeg Harvest.

January 12, 2016: Logstash Revisited

This month, Paul Sierks gave us an in-depth look at Logstash, which was briefly mentioned and demoed at the November meeting, when Rob Keizer presented it in the context of Elasticsearch and Kibana.


In the RTFM segment this month, Wyatt Zacharias showed us qrencode(1), which can be used to create QR code image files to encode URL's or other text.

February 9, 2016: Wireless Theory and Regulations

Wyatt Zacharias did a presentation on wireless theory and regulations, and how they pertain to the average user. Wyatt broke down the basic units and calculations related to wireless networks and how they can be used by an unlicensed user.

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


In the RTFM segment this month, Adam Thompson discussed performing snapshot backups using a variety of methods, including lvm(8) snapshots, particularly in their use for quick rollback.

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

March 8, 2016: Thunderbird

Brad Vokey presentated on Thunderbird, a free, open source, cross platform email, news, and chat client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Brad focused on how to customize Thunderbird with extensions (and other little known features) to take this email client into power user territory.

Topics included the extensions: Keyconfig, Nostalgy, QuickFolders, Quicktext Pro, Signature Switch, Xnote, and Expression Search. Brad also briefly covered tags, message filters, search folders, and other built-in tricks to help reduce the time you have to spend on email each day.

New Segment: Daemon-Dash

MUUG is proud to announce a new segment that has been dubbed: Daemon-Dash. The idea behind Daemon-Dash is to have a quick 15-25 minute presentation on a daemon, and dive right into the meat of the content. DD's will forgo the usual introductory theory and use cases, instead showing users how to start using the daemon right away.

Daemon-Dash: dnsmasq

For our first ever Daemon-Dash segment, Paul Sierks presented dnsmasq. Geared towards small networks, Dnsmasq provides DHCP, DNS, and TFTP services. Written in C, it features a small CPU and memory footprint making it suitable to run on just about anything, such as a home router. It has been adopted by some distributions which have it configured as a DNS cache. Other use cases include BOOTP and PXE network booting.

April 12, 2016: GNUPlot

Brian Lowe presented gnuplot, a powerful mathematical graphing and charting program. In constant development for the past thirty years, gnuplot is a mature command-driven program capable of producing presentation-ready charts and graphs. Brian showed some of the more impressive 2D and 3D graphs gnuplot can produce, and a couple of practical charts he's used the program for.

Daemon-Dash: NFS

In this month's Daemon Dash segment, Adam Thompson demonstrated simple, common use cases for NFS (Network File System) sharing.

May 10, 2016: Now in 3-D! (Double Daemon Dash)

In this case we mean that this meeting featured a Double Daemon Dash (DDD) instead of one DD and one regular presentation:

In Wyatt's Daemon-Dash segment, he presented the Squid caching proxy server daemon. Squid is a full featured proxy daemon with support for http, https, and ftp. Wyatt will show the quickest way to have Squid up and running on a new server, and how to keep it secure.

Paul Sierks presented on DavMail.

"Our Survey Says..."

Many of our MUUG members responded to our online survey, and the results are now in. Have a look at the survey report.

June 14, 2016: Gentoo

Eric Raine presented on the Gentoo Linux Distribution. Differences in installation from Ubuntu were covered. Also covered was how to configure installation of packages and update.

Gentoo is a free operating system based on either Linux or FreeBSD that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need.

RTFM: Terminal Control Commands

Due to a recent influx of new and novice members, Trevor Cordes did an RTFM instead of a daemon dash this month. The topic was something every *NIX user should master: terminal control commands (e.g. ^Z and ^L) and rudimentary job control. These little dual-key presses will streamline your terminal sessions and make you more efficient. You'll wonder how you ever got by without them!

July 2016: No meeting this month

August 2016: No meeting this month

Please note our new meeting location: 1M28 Manitoba Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

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