Blogrotate #5: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Posted in: Technical Track

Hi all, and welcome back to blogrotate. It’s been a busy week here at Pythian which reduced the amount of time I had for cruising the news, so this weeks edition will be a short one. Here’s a few of the stories that tweaked our interest this week.

Operating Systems

The Machine SID Duplication Myth
is an article on the Microsoft Technet blog by Mark Russinovich. It goes through an in depth explanation of what SID’s are used for, and notes that Sysinternals has officially retired the NewSID utility as of Nov 03, 2009. This is of particular interest to anyone who created desktops and laptops via saved images as NewSID was a staple utility after the machine was imaged to ensure it did not conflict with other machines on the network.

Michael Larabel published some CentOS 5.4 vs. OpenSuSE 11.2 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks on the Phoronix site. I was suprised to see that CentOS beat the others on the majority of tests run, at least in part due to issues with the ext4 filesystem that both SuSE and Ubuntu use as their defaults.

Over at the Computerworld blog, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes about 5 Reasons why Ubuntu 9.10 is better than Windows 7. I agree with most of what he says, but generally Linux is still not an easy conversion for a die hard Windows user. It sure did spark a huge amount of debate in the commentary.

Mandriva Linux 2010 is out. Check out the release information and feature set at the Mandriva blog site. I’ll have a closer look at this if I ever get the time.


In the world of hard drives the trend has always been to bump up the amount of bits the drive can hold to combat the constant increase in data size. Another way of dealing with this could be deduplication of data which should reduce the amount of storage required for the same information. Could a hard drive dedupe data has more on this subject.


Ryan Paul writes HTTPS, SSL attack vector discovered; fix is on the way. This vulnerability was discovered by Marsh Ray and Steve Dispensa from security company PhoneFactor but not publicized pending a fix. There is a temporary workaround from the OpenSSL team, hopefully it’ll be resolved quickly.

Not long after Windows 7 was released, John Leydon at The Register writes that Naked Win 7 still vulnerable to most viruses. He’s reporting on testing done by the Sophos security firm which showed that 7 out of 10 of the malware tested still managed to run in the default configuration. So even if you upgraded to Windows 7 you still need to run that anti virus.

Even Linux is not safe from security threats (nothing ever is IMHO). Bug in latest Linux gives untrusted users root access by Dan Goodin gives you the details. Patches for RedHat linux are already out, keep your system up to date to make sure you get the patch as soon as it’s available.


Red Hat takes on VMware with server virtualization solution by Ryan Paul discusses RedHat‘s newest foray into the virtualization market with their solution called Enterprise Virtualization for Servers. This solution uses RedHat’s recently acquired KVM and is prominent in the recent RedHat Enterprise Linux 5.4 release.

So as not to be left out, Cisco, EMC, and VMware join hands and plunge into cloud with their new joint venture called Acadia. You can also read more about this in Cisco, EMC, VMware & Intel Form Acadia.

In the “I totally called it” department

I mentioned in a recent version of this blog that Microsoft was backing a Family Guy episode. I said at the time that I did not see how they could funny it up, apparently Microsoft could not see it either. Joe Fay gives us the skinny in Microsoft drops Family Guy like a hot deaf guy joke. Apparently the humour was not in keeping with the clean, family friendly image that Microsoft wants to convey. Seriously? I suggest someone at Microsoft watch any of the Seth McFarlane shows before signing on with him. I am guessing it was not a matter of foul language however, expletives are an occupational hazard when using Windows.

Til next time, keep your cache full and your swap empty.

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About the Author

Brad is just a guy, you know? I fought my way up in the world tooth-and-nail. Starting in broadcasting and music to travel to computer support to development of mid size xBase programs. Finally I settled into the wonderful world of system administration where I have honed my skills doing many diverse tasks. I started using Solaris in the mid 80's and built my first Linux system on a 386 using 30-some floppy disks and never looked back.

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