Category Archives: Southeast LinuxFest

SouthEast LinuxFest 2014 – Day One

After a crazy cab ride from the train station I arrived at a hotel that is in the general area of SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) but not co-located.  *sigh*  This side of Charlotte isn’t as pedestrian-friendly as it could be.

The first day (Friday) of SELF was pretty good.  I generally stayed close to the security track which included talks on DNSSEC, IPv6, and a history of information security.  All very interesting and, specifically the IPv6 talk, got my head going.  Being a former network guy I hadn’t had to think about the impact and possibilities of IPv6 on enterprise networks and the infrastructure that resides on those networks.  I also learned of a “new” firewall that deserves a closer look.

On the Fedora front, I was able to work on a few Docs Project pieces that needed some collaboration to get straight.  I’m also talking up my thoughts on implementing a process to help manage (and close) security bugs within Fedora.

I’m hoping day two is just as good as today was.

PGP Keysigning Event and CACert Assertion at SELF2014

SouthEast LinuxFest is happening this upcoming weekend.  I offered to host a PGP (I’ll substitute PGP for GPG, GnuPG, and other iterations) keysigning and CACert Assertion event and have been scheduled for 6:30 PM in the Red Hat Ballroom.  Since there is a little bit of planning needed on the part of the participant I’m writing this to help the event run smoothly.

Participating in the PGP Keysigning Event

If you haven’t already, generate your PGP keys.  Setting up your particular mail client (MUA) is more than what I’ll discuss here but there is plenty of resources on the Internet.  Send me ( – signed, preferably encrypted to 0x024BB3D1) the fingerprint of your PGP key no later than 3:00PM on Saturday afternoon.  If you don’t send me your fingerprint by that time you’ll be responsible for providing it to everyone at the keysigning event on paper.  Obtaining your key’s fingerprint can be done as follows:

$ gpg --fingerprint 024bb3d1
pub 4096R/024BB3D1 2011-08-11 [expires: 2015-01-01]
 Key fingerprint = 097C 82C3 52DF C64A 50C2 E3A3 8076 ABDE 024B B3D1
uid Eric Harlan Christensen <>
uid Eric "Sparks" Christensen <>
uid Eric "Sparks" Christensen <>
uid Eric "Sparks" Christensen <>
uid [jpeg image of size 2103]
uid Eric Harlan Christensen <>
sub 3072R/DCA167D5 2013-02-03 [expires: 2023-02-01]
sub 3072R/A9D8262F 2013-02-03 [expires: 2023-02-01]
sub 3072R/56EA1030 2013-02-03 [expires: 2023-02-01]

Just send me the “Key fingerprint” portion and your primary UID (name and email address) and I’ll include it on everyone’s handout.  You’ll need to bring your key fingerprint on paper for yourself to verify that what I’ve written on the paper is, indeed, correct.

At the event we’ll quickly do a read of all the key fingerprints and validate them as correct.  Then we’ll line up and do the ID check.  Be sure you bring a photo ID with you so that we can validate who you are with who you claim to be to the authorities.  People are generally okay with a driver’s license; some prefer a passport.  Ultimately it’s up to the individual what they will trust.

CACert Assertion

CACert is a free certificate authority that signs X509 certificates for use in servers, email clients, and code signing.  If you are interested in using CACert you need to go sign up for an account before the event.  Once you have established an account, login and select “US – WoT Form” from the CAP Forms on the right-side of the page.  Print a few of these forms and bring them with you (I hope to have a final count of the number of assurers that will be available but you’ll need one form per assurer).  You’ll need to present your ID to the assurer so they can verify who you are.  They will then award you points in the CACert system.


If you have any questions about the event feel free to ask them here (using a comment) or email me at

Southeast LinuxFest 2012 Announced

Southeast LinuxFest (SELF) 2012 will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a much better option than Atlanta or wherever the other proposed locations were.  I am excited to see what talks will be offered this year.  I am also thinking of taking the train down the Charlotte.  From Richmond the train goes through the cities of Raleigh, Cary, and Durham, to name a few.  Perhaps we can have a hacking car on the way down!

SouthEast LinuxFest – Day 3

Southeast LinuxFest Day Three started off with a… headache.  Not a hangover but one of those random migraines that I’ve been trying to ward off with medications.  It wasn’t debilitating but it was annoying enough to keep me out of the Puppet Labs class.

I was able to hack on the Fedora Documentation Guide a bit more and visit with some other Fedorians before they left for the airport or the Failvan.  I talked with Jim and his wife (sorry, I’m horrible with names) from Sudo Make Coffee for a while (they are both entertaining people).  Joat and I decided to leave a little early so after syncing all my documentation repositories and my email (thank you offlineimap) we headed out on the open road, Virginia-bound.

On the way home I was able to tinker with the Documentation Guide more but was having problems with Publican building the chapter I was working on.  Headache and fatigue hid the problem from my view so after activating the MiFi I committed the code to git and requested help on the Docs list.

We arrived back in southeastern Virginia just in time for the storms to come in and start dumping rain.  Funny enough, it rained just long enough for me to exit Joat’s car, grab my stuff, and make it into my truck.  Then, of course, it stopped raining allowing me to make it most of the way home without seeing another drop.  Go figure.

Hope everyone made it home unscathed and perhaps everyone can catch up on their lost sleep.  I will be doing the same in about five minutes as I’m sure I have a full day planned for tomorrow.

Thanks to the SouthEast LinuxFest staff and volunteers for making yet another successful, educational, and entertaining conference (you can go to sleep, now, David).  I certainly hope to be in attendance next year.  Next up, Ohio Linux Fest!

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Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

SouthEast LinuxFest – Day 2

Day two at SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) began way too early as I had not received enough sleep.  Of course this is a Linux conference; who really gets enough sleep during these things?

Ben had already setup the Fedora table in the conference area of the hotel so I helped with answering the questions of passers-by and handing out the F14 media that no one really wanted because “didn’t you just release F15?”.  Of course we had just released F15 a couple of weeks before but the media that had been ordered had decided to vacation in Salt Lake City at a UPS distribution center.  Ben had checked and noticed that it was on the way but he was wary as to if it was going to arrive before we left.  Luckily the hotel called him around 10AM to say that UPS had just delivered a box for him at the front desk and F15 media was put on the table for everyone to procure.  I was able to snag a few copies of each DVD (32-bit installation, 64-bit installation, and the cool new multi-desktop 32/64-bit live DVDs) for my LUG (TWUUG).

There were several talks I wanted to attend.  One was “Intro to Puppet” as I have high hopes of installing several VMs at home that I want to not have to individually manage and with the number of servers at work continuing to increase perhaps I can learn something that I can use to make my life easier there as well.  After the introduction I have to say that I really like what Puppet does and I hope to work with it at home in hopes that I wll become competent enough to roll it out at work.  Only problem is that you have to build your servers from scratch with Puppet as it won’t go out to an existing server and help bring them under control.

Another great talk was given by Thomas Cameron of Red Hat.  The topic was SELinux (one of my favorite tools in Linux) and he did an excellent job explaining how to make SELinux work for you instead of fighting you.  I’m going to have to see if my notes make any sense as he was throwing so much information that was note worthy and I’m sure there is no order to my writing.

I find that keynote speakers are always very interesting and entertaining to listen to so I try not to miss their talks.  Spot kept this tradition up with his talk on how we all fail a little and how we can get better when working with FOSS projects (his talk was derived from a blog post he made in May of 2009).  Tom, I only have one word to say to you about your presentation… Cloud!

The rest of the day was spent talking with users and contributors, getting ideas for my next big project, and answering questions that people had about Fedora, documentation (Linux and Fedora), and just generally socializing.  Around supper time a gang (or is it a flock?) of us ventured out on the streets and descended upon “A Taste of Spartinburg”.  After realizing that none of us really had enough cash to get more than a sampling of food we turned our attention to one of the nearby restaurants.  An Irish pub was selected and after putting two long tables together we consumed food and beverages before heading back out on the streets.

After returning to the hotel Jared and I decided that hacking on some documentation was more our speed.  Deciding to resurrect the Documentation Guide we wrote up an outline, attempted to pull anything useful from the previous guide that was many years old, and started populating the chapters.  Somewhere around one o’clock in the morning we decided that we had done enough damage and headed to bed.  It was probably a good thing as reviewing what I had written showed that I was mostly asleep during the last few sections of text.

SELF Day Two was definitely productive and is why I enjoy going to these conferences.

Southeast LinuxFest – Day 1

Day 1 of SELF was quite busy.  Several Fedorians met for a FAD to discuss FUDCon finances.  Ideas were hammered out and Max or Jared or … should be posting details on that later.

After the finance talk, Jared and I got together and started hashing out a framework on the new Fedora Cloud Guide (git).  This guide will be out later this weekend with at least a framework.

I attended Paul’s talk on PyGObject.  Since Python is on my to-do list I was quite interested in the discussion.  Paul explained in great detail how to use PyGObject to create the UI (it’s XML!) for a Python program and how to hook it into your code.

Later, more discussion regarding Docs processes were had.  Working to integrate a QA process into the Docs products has always been an important task that I’ve wanted to see implemented and I’m hoping that this weekend’s discussions, and those on the Docs list, will lead to a formal QA process.

Later in the evening I met up with several friends and hung out.  The social aspect of these conferences shouldn’t be minimized as I generally get more ideas during these discussions than at any other time.  My only problem with these social contacts is that I rarely have time to take this information and put it into products within a sane amount of time.  I’ll try to do better, though.

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Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Southeast LinuxFest – Day 0

Joat and I left Virginia around 1PM, this afternoon, and made the drive down to Spartinburg for Southeast LinuxFest.  Officially starting on Saturday, we came down a little early for classes that are happening on Friday and the FAD that I’ll be participating in.  I’m also hoping to get some face time with some Fedorians as well.

Not much happening tonight so I’ll write more about what’s happening tomorrow.

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Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

FAD (Hackfest) @ SELF – Day 2

I was able to attend many talks during the second day of SELF and here are some of the information I gleamed from the discussions.

The speaker on IPv6 was from ARIN.  He was quite upfront with the situation regarding IPv4 addresses.  In short, we should run out of IPv4 addresses by the beginning of 2011.  At the beginning of 2010 there were 10% of all the available IPv4 addresses remaining.  By the beginning of June that number had shrunk to just over 6%.

One of the bigger concerns is that server hosting companies need to have IPv6 up and running so that clients coming from the IPv6 network can gain access to the servers.  Since IPv4 and IPv6 are mutually exclusive hosts need to have both.

Here are some links that you might be interested in if you want to know more about IPv6:

Fedora, Not just another pretty Linux
Our fearless leader, Paul, did a great presentation on Fedora.  There were lots of people in attendance and Paul showed them what Fedora was all about.

FOSS Statistics
Another great Fedorian, Ian talked about his plan to open up the log files of Fedora to the public (after being cleaned of personally identifiable information).  Allowing anyone to pull this data and use it to create their own statistics will mean that anyone can use the information to try to find cause and effect on their own.

Secure Virtualization
Dan Walsh from Red Hat gave a very good talk on secure virtualization and how SELinux is helping to keep the bits from ending up in the wrong place.  There’s no way I could write about everything that Dan said because every time I hear him talk my brain starts to percolate with all kinds of ideas and documenting all those would be extremely difficult.

One thing that he did talk about that was very cool was the sandbox program.  You can create your own sandbox that has no access to anything in your home directory and can even be limited to not having access to the network!  So you can truly work in an environment without worry that the program you are testing will get out of hand.

The last talk of the day was about DNSSEC.  Very informative with the latest information on the rollout.   The talk was short and sweet but to the point.

After all the events the Fedorians assembled and headed out on the town in search of supper.  A little Thai restaurant was selected and everyone ate their fill.  We returned to find the SELF party in full swing with Dual Core providing the music!

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Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.