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Audiophile Linux Promises Aural Nirvana

Linux isn’t just for developers. I know that might come as a surprise for you, but the types of users that work with the open source platform are as varied as the available distributions. Take yours truly for example. Although I once studied programming, I am not a developer.

The creating I do with Linux is with words, sounds, and visuals. I write books, I record audio, and a create digital images and video. And even though I don’t choose to work with distributions geared toward those specific tasks, they do exist. I also listen to a lot of music. I tend to listen to most of my music via vinyl. But sometimes I want to listen to music not available in my format of choice. That’s when I turn to digital music.

Having a Linux distribution geared specifically toward playing music might not be on the radar of the average user, but to an audiophile, it could be a real deal maker.

This bring us to Audiophile Linux. Audiophile Linux is an Arch Linux-based distribution geared toward, as the name suggests, audiophiles. What makes Audiophile Linux special? First and foremost, it’s optimized for high quality audio reproduction. To make this possible, Audiophile Linux features:

  • System and memory optimized for quality audio

  • Custom Real-Time kernel

  • Latency under 5ms

  • Direct Stream Digital support

  • Lightweight window manager (Fluxbox)

  • Pre installed audio and video programs

  • Lightweight OS, free of unnecessary daemons and services

Although Audiophile Linux claims the distribution is easily installed, it’s very much based on Arch Linux, so the installation is nowhere near as easy as, say, Ubuntu. At this point, you might be thinking, “But there’s already Ubuntu Studio, which is as easy to install as Ubuntu, and contains some of the same features!” That may be true, but there are users out there (even those of a more artistic bent) who prefer a decidedly un-Ubuntu distribution. On top of which, Ubuntu Studio would be serious overkill for anyone just looking for high-quality music reproduction. For that, there’s Audiophile Linux.
Let’s install it and see what’s what.

Installation

As I mentioned, Audiophile is based on Arch Linux. Unlike some distributions based on Arch, however, Audiophile Linux doesn’t include a pretty, user-friendly GUI installer. Instead, what you must do is download the ISO image, burn the ISO to either a USB or CD/DVD, and boot from the device. Once booted, you’ll find yourself at a command prompt. Once at that prompt, here are the steps to install.

Create the necessary partition by issuing the command:

fdisk /dev/sdX

where X is the drive letter (discovered with the command fdisk -l).

Type n to create a new partition and then type p to make the partition a primary. When that completes, type w to write the changes. Format the new partition with the command:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

Mount the new partition with the command:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

Finish up the partition with the following commands;

time cp -ax / /mnt arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash cd /etc/apl-files

Install the base packages (and create a username/password with the command:

./runme.sh

Take care of the GRUB boot loader with the following commands:

grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sda grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Give the root user a password with the following command:

passwd root

Set your timezone like so (substituting your location):

ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Kentucky/Louisville /etc/localtime

Set the hardware clock and autologin with the following commands:

hwclock --systohc --utc ./autologin.sh

Reboot the system with the command:

reboot

It Gets a Bit Dicey Now

There’s a problem to be found, which is related to the pacman update process. If you immediately go to update the system with the pacman -Suy command, you’ll find Xorg broken and seemingly no way to repair it. This problem has been around for some time now and has yet to be fixed. How do you get around it? First, you need to remove the libxfont package with the command:

sudo pacman -Rc libxfont

That’s not all. There’s another package that must be removed (Cantata – the Audiophile music player). Issue the command:

sudo pacman -Rc ffmpeg2.8

Now, you can update Audiophile Linux with the command:

sudo pacman -Suy

Once updated, you can finish up the installation with the command:

sudo pacman -S terminus-font pacman -S xorg-server pacman -S firefox

You can then reinstall Cantata with the command:

sudo pacman -S cantata

When this completes, reboot and log into your desktop.

The Desktop

As mentioned earlier, Audiophile Linux opts for lightweight desktop environment, Fluxbox. Although I understand why the developers would want to make use of this desktop (because it’s incredibly lightweight), many users might not enjoy working with such a minimal desktop. And since most audiophiles are going to be working with hardware that can tolerate a more feature-rich desktop. If you want to opt to go that route, you can install a desktop like GNOME with the command:

sudo pacman -S gnome

However, if you want to be a purist (and get the absolute most out of this hardware/software combination), stick with the default Fluxbox. I recommend sticking with Fluxbox especially since you’ll only be using Audiophile Linux for one purpose (listening to music).

Fluxbox uses an incredibly basic interface. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and a menu will appear (Figure 1).

From that menu, you won’t find a lot of applications (Figure 2).

That’s okay, because you only need one—Cantata (listed in the menu as Play music). However, after the installation, Cantata won’t run. Why? Because of a QT5 problem. To get around this, you need to issue the following commands:

sudo pacman -S binutils sudo strip --remove-section=.note.ABI-tag /usr/lib64/libQt5Core.so.5

Once you’ve taken care of the above, Cantata will run and you can start playing all of the music you’ve added to the library (Figure 3).

Worth The Hassle?

I have to confess, at first I was fairly certain Audiophile Linux wouldn’t be worth the trouble of getting it up and running … for the singular purpose of listening to music. However, once those tunes started spilling from my speakers, I was sold.

Although the average listener might not notice the difference with this distribution, audiophiles will. The clarity and playback of digital music on Audiophile Linux far exceeded that on both Elementary OS and Ubuntu Linux. So if that appeals to you, I highly recommend giving Audiophile Linux a spin.

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

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The Telecom Industry Has Moved to Open Source

The telecom industry is at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution. Whether it’s connected IoT devices or mobile entertainment, the modern economy runs on the Internet.

However, the backbone of networking has been running on legacy technologies. Some telecom companies are centuries old, and they have a massive infrastructure that needs to be modernized.

The great news is that this industry is already at the forefront of emerging technologies. Companies such as AT&T, Verizon, China Mobile, DTK, and others have embraced open source technologies to move faster into the future. And  LF Networking is at the heart of this transformation.

“2018 has been a fantastic year,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking at Linux Foundation, speaking at Open Source Summit in Vancouver last fall. “We have seen a 140-year-old telecom industry move from proprietary and legacy technologies to open source technologies with LF Networking.”

Read more and watch the complete interview at The Linux Foundation

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Make Container Management Easy With Cockpit

Learn how to use Cockpit for Linux administration tasks in this tutorial from our archives.

If you administer a Linux server, you’ve probably been in search of a solid administration tool. That quest has probably taken you to such software as Webmin and cPanel. But if you’re looking for an easy way to manage a Linux server that also includes Docker, one tool stands above the rest for that particular purpose: Cockpit.

Why Cockpit? Because it includes the ability to handle administrative tasks such as:

  • Connect and manage multiple machines

  • Manage containers via Docker

  • Interact with a Kubernetes or Openshift clusters

  • Modify network settings

  • Manage user accounts

  • Access a web-based shell

  • View system performance information by way of helpful graphs

  • View system services and log files

Cockpit can be installed on Debian, Red Hat, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Ubuntu. Here, I will focus on installing the system on a Ubuntu 16.04 server that already includes Docker.

Out of the list of features, the one that stands out is the container management. Why? Because it make installing and managing containers incredibly simple. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to find a better container management solution.
With that said, let’s install this solution and see just how easy it is to use.

Installation

As I mentioned earlier, I will be installing Cockpit on an instance of Ubuntu 16.04, with Docker already running. The steps for installation are quite simple. The first thing you must do is log into your Ubuntu server. Next you must add the necessary repository with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cockpit-project/cockpit

When prompted, hit the Enter key on your keyboard and wait for the prompt to return. Once you are back at your bash prompt, update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get get update

Install Cockpit by issuing the command:

sudo apt-get -y install cockpit cockpit-docker

After the installation completes, it is necessary to start the Cockpit service and then enable it so it auto-starts at boot. To do this, issue the following two commands:

sudo systemctl start cockpit
sudo systemctl enable cockpit

That’s all there is to the installation.

Logging into Cockpit

To gain access to the Cockpit web interface, point a browser (that happens to be on the same network as the Cockpit server) to http://IP_OF_SERVER:9090, and you will be presented with a login screen (Figure 1).

A word of warning with using Cockpit and Ubuntu. Many of the tasks that can be undertaken with Cockpit require administrative access. If you log in with a standard user, you won’t be able to work with some of the tools like Docker. To get around that, you can enable the root user on Ubuntu. This isn’t always a good idea. By enabling the root account, you are bypassing the security system that has been in place for years. However, for the purpose of this article, I will enable the root user with the following two commands:

sudo passwd root sudo passwd -u root 

NOTE: Make sure you give the root account a very challenging password.

Should you want to revert this change, you only need issue the command:

sudo passwd -l root

With other distributions, such as CentOS and Red Hat, you will be able to log into Cockpit with the username root and the root password, without having to go through the extra hopes as described above.
If you’re hesitant to enable the root user, you can always pull down the images, from the server terminal (using the command docker pull IMAGE_NAME where IMAGE_NAME is the image you want to pull). That would add the image to your docker server, which can then be managed via a regular user. The only caveat to this is that the regular user must be added to the Docker group with the command:

sudo usermod -aG docker USER

Where USER is the actual username to be added to the group. Once you’ve done that, log out, log back in, and then restart Docker with the command:

sudo service docker restart

Now the regular user can start and stop the added Docker images/containers without having to enable the root user. The only caveat is that user will not be able to add new images via the Cockpit interface.

Using Cockpit

Once you’ve logged in, you will be treated to the Cockpit main window (Figure 2).

You can go through each of the sections to check on the status of the server, work with users, etc., but we want to go right to the containers. Click on the Containers section to display the current running contains as well as the available images (Figure 3).

To start an image, simply locate the image and click the associated start button. From the resulting popup window (Figure 4), you can check all the information about the image (and adjust as needed), before clicking the Run button.

Once the image is running, you can check its status by clicking on the entry under the Containers section and then Stop, Restart, or Delete the instance. You can also click Change resource limits and then adjust either the Memory limit and/or CPU priority.

Adding new images

Say you have logged on as the root user. If so, you can add new images with the help of the Cockpit GUI. From the Containers section, click the Get new image button and then, in the resulting window, search for the image you want to add. Say you want to add the latest official build of Centos. Type centos in the search field and then, once the search results populate, select the official listing and click Download (Figure 5).

Once the image has downloaded, it will be available to Docker and can be run via Cockpit.

As simple as it gets

Managing Docker doesn’t get any easier. Yes, there is a caveat when working with Cockpit on Ubuntu, but if it’s your only option, there are ways to make it work. With the help of Cockpit, you can not only easily manage Docker images, you can do so from any web browser that has access to your Linux server. Enjoy your newfound Docker ease.

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New Ports Bring Linux to Arm Laptops, Android to the Pi

Like life itself, software wants to be free. In our increasingly open source era, software can more easily disperse into new ecosystems. From open source hackers fearlessly planting the Linux flag on the Sony Playstation back in the aughts to standard Linux apps appearing on Chromebooks and on Android-based Galaxy smartphones (Samsung’s DeX), Linux continues to break down barriers.

The latest Linux-related ports include an AArch64-Laptops project that enables owners of Windows-equipped Arm laptops and tablets to load Ubuntu. There’s also a Kickstarter project to develop a Raspberry Pi friendly version of Google’s low-end Android 9 Pi Go stack. Even Windows is spreading its wings. A third-party project has released a WoA installer that enables a full Windows 10 image to run on the Pi.

Ubuntu to Arm laptops

The practice of replacing Windows with Linux on Intel-based computers has been around for decades, but the arrival of Arm-based laptops has complicated matters. Last year, Microsoft partnered with Qualcomm and to release the lightweight Windows 10 S on the Asus NovaGo convertible laptop and the HP Envy x2 and Lenovo Miix 630 2-in-1 tablets, all powered by a Snapdragon 835 SoC.

Reviews have been mixed, with praise for the longer battery life, but criticism about sluggish performance. Since the octa-core, 10nm fabricated Snapdragon 835 is designed to run on the Linux-based Android — it also supports embedded Linux — Linux hackers naturally decided that they could do better.

As reported by Phoronix, AArch64-Laptops has posted Ubuntu 18.04 LTS images for all three of the above systems. As noted by Liliputing, the early release lacks support for WiFi, on-board storage, or hardware-accelerated graphics, and the touchpad doesn’t work on the Asus NovaGo.

The WiFi and storage issues should be solved in the coming months and accelerated graphics should be theoretically possible thanks to the open source Freedreno GPU driver project, says Phoronix. It’s unclear if AArch64-Laptops can whip up Ubuntu builds for more powerful Arm Linux systems like the Snapdragon 850 based Samsung Galaxy Book 2 and Lenovo Yoga C630.

Liliputing notes that Arm Linux lovers can also try out the Linux-driven, Rockchip RK3399 based Pinebook laptop. Later this year, Pine64 will release a consumer-grade Pinebook Pro.

Android Go to Raspberry Pie

If you like a double helping of pie, have we got a Kickstarter project for you. As reported by Geeky Gadgets, an independent group called RaspberryPi DevTeam has launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a version of Google’s new Android 9 Pie Go stack for entry-level smartphones that can to run on the Raspberry Pi 3.

Assuming the campaign meets its modest $3,382 goal by April 10, there are plans to deliver a usable build by the end of the year. Pledges range from 1 to 499 Euros.

The project will use AOSP-based code from Android 9 Pie Go, which was released last August. Go is designed for low-end phones with only 1GB RAM.

RaspberryPi DevTeam was motivated to launch the project because current Android stacks for the Raspberry Pi “normally have bugs, are unstable and run slow,” says the group. That has largely been true since hackers began attempting the feat four years ago with the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Raspberry Pi 2. Early attempts have struggled to give Android its due on 1GB RAM SBC, even with the RPi 3B and 3+.

The real-time focused RTAndroid has had the most success, and there have been other efforts like the unofficial, Android 7.1.2 based LineageOS 14.1 for the RPi 3. Last year, an RTAndroid-based, industrial focused emteria.OS stack arrived with more impressive performance.

A MagPi hands-on last summer was impressed with the stack, which it called “the first proper Android release running on a Raspberry Pi 3B+.” MagPi continues: “Finally there’s a proper way to install full Android on your Raspberry Pi.”

Available in free evaluation (registration required) and commercial versions, emteria.OS uses F-Droid as an open source stand-in for Google Play. The MagPi hands-on runs through an installation of Netflix and notes the availability of apps including NewPipe (YouTube), Face Slim (Facebook), and Terminal Emulator.

All these solutions should find it easier to run on next year’s Raspberry Pi 4. Its SoC will move from the current 40nm process to something larger than 7nm, but no larger than 28nm, according to RPi Trading CEO Eben Upton in a Feb. 11 Tom’s Hardware post. The SBC will have “more RAM, a faster processor, and faster I/O,” but will be the same size and price as the RPi 3B+, says the story. Interestingly, it was former Google CEO Eric Schmidt who convinced Upton and his crew to retain the $35 price for the RPi 2. The lesson seems to have stuck.

Windows 10 on RPi 3

As far back as the Raspberry Pi 2, Microsoft announced it would support the platform with its slimmed down Windows 10 IoT, which works better on the new 64-bit RPi 3 models. But why use a crippled version of Windows for low-power IoT when you could use Raspbian?

The full Windows 10 should draw more interest, and that’s what’s promised by the WOA-Project with its new WoA-Installer for the RPi 3 or 3B+. According to Windows Latest, the open source WoA (Windows on Arm) Installer was announced in January following an earlier WoA release for the Lumia 950 phones.

The WoA Installer lets you run Windows 10 Arm 64 on the Pi but comes with no performance promises. The GitHub page notes: “WoA Installer needs a set of binaries, AKA the Core Package, to do its job. These binaries are not not mine and are bundled and offered just for convenience…” Good luck!

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Linux Kernel Maintainer Summit

Linux Kernel Maintainer

September 12, 2019

Corinthia Hotel Lisbon

1099-031 Lisbon

Portugal

The Linux Kernel Maintainer Summit brings together the world’s leading core kernel developers to discuss the state of the existing kernel and plan the next development cycle. This is an invite-only event.

Linux Kernel Summit technical tracks are offered at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019 and are open to all LPC attendees. More information, including how to register, will be available in the coming months.

Learn more

Click Here!

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Xen Summit

The ​Xen Project ​Developer ​and ​Design ​Summit ​brings ​together ​the ​Xen ​Project’s ​community ​of ​developers ​and ​power ​users ​for ​their ​annual ​conference. ​The ​conference ​is ​about ​sharing ​ideas ​and ​the ​latest ​developments, ​sharing ​experience, ​planning, ​collaboration ​and ​above ​all ​to ​have ​fun ​and ​to ​meet ​the ​community ​that ​defines ​the ​Xen ​Project.

Learn more

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Ampersands and File Descriptors in Bash

In our quest to examine all the clutter (&, |, ;, >, <, {, [, (, ), ], }, etc.) that is peppered throughout most chained Bash commands, we have been taking a closer look at the ampersand symbol (&).

Last time, we saw how you can use & to push processes that may take a long time to complete into the background. But, the &, in combination with angle brackets, can also be used to pipe output and input elsewhere.

In the previous tutorials on angle brackets, you saw how to use > like this:

ls > list.txt

to pipe the output from ls to the list.txt file.

Now we see that this is really shorthand for

ls 1> list.txt

And that 1, in this context, is a file descriptor that points to the standard output (stdout).

In a similar fashion 2 points to standard error (stderr), and in the following command:

ls 2> error.log

all error messages are piped to the error.log file.

To recap: 1> is the standard output (stdout) and 2> the standard error output (stderr).

There is a third standard file descriptor, 0<, the standard input (stdin). You can see it is an input because the arrow (<) is pointing into the 0, while for 1 and 2, the arrows (>) are pointing outwards.

What are the standard file descriptors good for?

If you are following this series in order, you have already used the standard output (1>) several times in its shorthand form: >.

Things like stderr (2) are also handy when, for example, you know that your command is going to throw an error, but what Bash informs you of is not useful and you don’t need to see it. If you want to make a directory in your home/ directory, for example:

mkdir newdir

and if newdir/ already exists, mkdir will show an error. But why would you care? (Ok, there some circumstances in which you may care, but not always.) At the end of the day, newdir will be there one way or another for you to fill up with stuff. You can supress the error message by pushing it into the void, which is /dev/null:

mkdir newdir 2> /dev/null

This is not just a matter of “let’s not show ugly and irrelevant error messages because they are annoying,” as there may be circumstances in which an error message may cause a cascade of errors elsewhere. Say, for exapmple, you want to find all the .service files under /etc. You could do this:

find /etc -iname "*.service"

But it turns out that on most systems, many of the lines spat out by find show errors because a regular user does not have read access rights to some of the folders under /etc. It makes reading the correct output cumbersome and, if find is part of a larger script, it could cause the next command in line to bork.

Instead, you can do this:

find /etc -iname "*.service" 2> /dev/null

And you get only the results you are looking for.

A Primer on File Descriptors

There are some caveats to having separate file descriptors for stdout and stderr, though. If you want to store the output in a file, doing this:

find /etc -iname "*.service" 1> services.txt

would work fine because 1> means “send standard output, and only standard output (NOT standard error) somewhere“.

But herein lies a problem: what if you *do* want to keep a record within the file of the errors along with the non-erroneous results? The instruction above won’t do that because it ONLY writes the correct results from find, and

find /etc -iname "*.service" 2> services.txt

will ONLY write the errors.

How do we get both? Try the following command:

find /etc -iname "*.service" &> services.txt

… and say hello to & again!

We have been saying all along that stdin (0), stdout (1), and stderr (2) are file descriptors. A file descriptor is a special construct that points to a channel to file, either for reading, or writing, or both. This comes from the old UNIX philosophy of treating everything as a file. Want to write to a device? Treat it as a file. Want to write to a socket and send data over a network? Treat it as a file. Want to read from and write to a file? Well, obviously, treat it as a file.

So, when managing where the output and errors from a command goes, treat the destination as a file. Hence, when you open them to read and write to them, they all get file descriptors.

This has interesting effects. You can, for example, pipe contents from one file descriptor to another:

find /etc -iname "*.service" 1> services.txt 2>&1

This pipes stderr to stdout and stdout is piped to a file, services.txt.

And there it is again: the &, signaling to Bash that 1 is the destination file descriptor.

Another thing with the standard file descriptors is that, when you pipe from one to another, the order in which you do this is a bit counterintuitive. Take the command above, for example. It looks like it has been written the wrong way around. You may be reading it like this: “pipe the output to a file and then pipe errors to the output.” It would seem the error output comes to late and is sent when 1 is already done.

But that is not how file descriptors work. A file descriptor is not a placeholder for the file, but for the input and/or output channel to the file. In this case, when you do 1> services.txt, you are saying “open a write channel to services.txt and leave it open“. 1 is the name of the channel you are going to use, and it remains open until the end the line.

If you still think it is the wrong way around, try this:

find /etc -iname "*.service" 2&>1 1>services.txt

And notice how it doesn’t work, notice how errors get piped to the terminal and only the non-erroneous output (that is stdout) gets pushed to services.txt.

That is because Bash processes every result from find from left to right. Think about it like this: when Bash gets to 2&>1, stdout (1) is still a channel that points to the terminal. If the result that find feeds Bash contains an error, it is popped into 2, transferred to 1, and, away it goes, off to the terminal!

Then at the end of the command, Bash sees you want to open stdout as a channel to the services.txt file. If no error has occurred, the result goes through 1 into the file.

By contrast, in

find /etc -iname "*.service" 1>services.txt 2>&1

1 is pointing at services.txt right from the beginning, so anything that pops into 2 gets piped through 1, which is already pointing to the final resting place in services.txt, and that is why it works.

In any case, as mentioned above &> is shorthand for “both standard output and standard error“, that is, 2>&1.

This is probably all a bit much, but don’t worry about it. Re-routing file descriptors here and there is commonplace in Bash command lines and scripts. And, you’ll be learning more about file descriptors as we progress through this series. See you next week!

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Gain Valuable Kubernetes Skills and Certification with Linux Foundation Training

Quick, what was the the most dominant technology skill requested by IT firms in 2018? According to a study from job board Dice, Kubernetes skills dominated among IT firm requests, and this news followed similar findings released last year from jobs board Indeed. The Dice report, based on its available job postings, found that Kubernetes was heavily requested by IT recruiters as well as hiring managers. As SDX Central has reported: “Indeed’s work found that Kubernetes had the fastest year-over-year surge in job searches among IT professionals. It also found that related job postings increased 230 percent between September 2017 and September 2018.”

The demand for Kubernetes skills is so high that companies of all sizes are reporting skills gaps and citing difficulty finding people who have the required Kubernetes and containerization skills. That spells opportunity for those who gain Kubernetes expertise, and the good news is that you have several approachable and inexpensive options for getting trained as well as certified.

Certification Options

Certification is the gold standard in the Kubernetes arena. On that front, last year The Cloud Native Computing Foundation launched its Certified Kubernetes Application Developer exam and a Kubernetes for Developers (LFD259) course ($299). These offerings complement the Certified Kubernetes Administrator program ($300). CNCF, working in partnership with edX, also offers an Introduction to Kubernetes course that is absolutely free, and requires a time commitment of only two to three hours a week for four to five weeks. You can register here, and find out more about Kubernetes Fundamentals (LFS2580) and Developer courses here.

The Kubernetes Fundamentals course comes with extensive course materials, and you can get a free downloadable chapter from the materials here. For those new to Kubernetes, the course covers architecture, networking setup and much more. If you are new to Kubernetes, you can also find a free webinar here, where Kubernetes Founder Craig McLuckie provides an introduction to the Kubernetes project and how it began when he was working at Google.

“As Kubernetes has grown, so has the demand for application developers who are knowledgeable about building on top of Kubernetes,” said Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. ”The CKAD exam allows developers to certify their proficiency in designing and building cloud native applications for Kubernetes, while also allowing companies to confidently hire high-quality teams.”

According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation: “With the majority of container-related job listings asking for proficiency in Kubernetes as an orchestration platform, the CKAD program will help expand the pool of Kubernetes experts in the market, thereby enabling continued growth across the broad set of organizations using the technology.”

December’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon conference in Seattle was a sold-out event that has now ushered in a wealth of free Kubernetes-focused content that you can access. In fact, more than 100 lightning talks, keynotes, and technical sessions from the event have already been posted online, with more information here.

You can watch many videos from KubeCon on YouTube. You’ll find videos sharing basics and best practices, explaining how to integrate Kubernetes with various platforms, and discussing the future of Kubernetes. You can also get hear talks in person at these upcoming conferences:

KubeCon Barcelona, May 20-23

KubeCon Shanghai, June 24-26

KubeCon San Diego, November 18-21

Kubernetes is spreading its reach rapidly for many reasons, including its extensible architecture and healthy open source community, but some still feel that it is too difficult to use. The resources found here—many of them free—will help you move toward mastery of one of today’s most compelling technology architectures.

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5 Streaming Audio Players for Linux

As I work, throughout the day, music is always playing in the background. Most often, that music is in the form of vinyl spinning on a turntable. But when I’m not in purist mode, I’ll opt to listen to audio by way of a streaming app. Naturally, I’m on the Linux platform, so the only tools I have at my disposal are those that play well on my operating system of choice. Fortunately, plenty of options exist for those who want to stream audio to their Linux desktops.

In fact, Linux offers a number of solid offerings for music streaming, and I’ll highlight five of my favorite tools for this task. A word of warning, not all of these players are open source. But if you’re okay running a proprietary app on your open source desktop, you have some really powerful options. Let’s take a look at what’s available.

Spotify

Spotify for Linux isn’t some dumb-downed, half-baked app that crashes every other time you open it, and doesn’t offer the full-range of features found on the macOS and Windows equivalent. In fact, the Linux version of Spotify is exactly the same as you’ll find on other platforms. With the Spotify streaming client you can listen to music and podcasts, create playlists, discover new artists, and so much more. And the Spotify interface (Figure 1) is quite easy to navigate and use.

You can install Spotify either using snap (with the command sudo snap install spotify), or from the official repository, with the following commands:

  • sudo apt-key adv –keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 –recv-keys 931FF8E79F0876134EDDBDCCA87FF9DF48BF1C90

  • sudo echo deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list

  • sudo apt-get update

  • sudo apt-get install spotify-client

Once installed, you’ll want to log into your Spotify account, so you can start streaming all of the great music to help motivate you to get your work done. If you have Spotify installed on other devices (and logged into the same account), you can dictate to which device the music should stream (by clicking the Devices Available icon near the bottom right corner of the Spotify window).

Clementine

Clementine one of the best music players available to the Linux platform. Clementine not only allows user to play locally stored music, but to connect to numerous streaming audio services, such as:

There are two caveats to using Clementine. The first is you must be using the most recent version (as the build available in some repositories is out of date and won’t install the necessary streaming plugins). Second, even with the most recent build, some streaming services won’t function as expected. For example, with Spotify, you’ll only have available to you the Top Tracks (and not your playlist … or the ability to search for songs).

With Clementine Internet radio streaming, you’ll find musicians and bands you’ve never heard of (Figure 2), and plenty of them to tune into.

Odio

Odio is a cross-platform, proprietary app (available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows) that allows you to stream internet music stations of all genres. Radio stations are curated from www.radio-browser.info and the app itself does an incredible job of presenting the streams for you (Figure 3).

Odio makes it very easy to find unique Internet radio stations and even add those you find and enjoy to your library.
Currently, the only way to install Odio on Linux is via Snap. If you’re distribution supports snap packages, install this streaming app with the command:

sudo snap install odio

Once installed, you can open the app and start using it. There is no need to log into (or create) an account. Odio is very limited in its settings. In fact, it only offers the choice between a dark or light theme in the settings window. However, as limited as it might be, Odio is one of your best bets for playing Internet radio on Linux.

Streamtuner2

Streamtuner2 is an outstanding Internet radio station GUI tool. With it you can stream music from the likes of:

  • Internet radio stations

  • Jameno

  • MyOggRadio

  • Shoutcast.com

  • SurfMusic

  • TuneIn

  • Xiph.org

  • YouTube

Streamtuner2 offers a nice (if not slightly outdated) interface, that makes it quite easy to find and stream your favorite music. The one caveat with StreamTuner2 is that it’s really just a GUI for finding the streams you want to hear. When you find a station, double-click on it to open the app associated with the stream. That means you must have the necessary apps installed, in order for the streams to play. If you don’t have the proper apps, you can’t play the streams. Because of this, you’ll spend a good amount of time figuring out what apps to install for certain streams (Figure 4).

VLC

VLC has been, for a very long time, dubbed the best media playback tool for Linux. That’s with good reason, as it can play just about anything you throw at it. Included in that list is streaming radio stations. Although you won’t find VLC connecting to the likes of Spotify, you can head over to Internet-Radio, click on a playlist and have VLC open it without a problem. And considering how many internet radio stations are available at the moment, you won’t have any problem finding music to suit your tastes. VLC also includes tools like visualizers, equalizers (Figure 5), and more.

The only caveat to VLC is that you do have to have a URL for the Internet Radio you wish you hear, as the tool itself doesn’t curate. But with those links in hand, you won’t find a better media player than VLC.

Always More Where That Came From

If one of these five tools doesn’t fit your needs, I suggest you open your distribution’s app store and search for one that will. There are plenty of tools to make streaming music, podcasts, and more not only possible on Linux, but easy.