Foss.in

Foss.in/2007 is over and I’m back home. The slide deck on my kvm talk is now available.

This was the first time I went to foss.in and I really liked the experience. More than the talks, it’s the corridor discussions and meeting up with people that’s really the most interesting part. The place was full with people who have contributed immensely to the software I use everyday, and I couldn’t let go of such an opportunity to go and thank them personally. I definitely missed thanking everyone, so I think I’ll go there next year to make up for that. Danese Cooper gets my vote for the best talk: Trekking with White Elephants. It’s a great way to learn how to go about contributing to open source and years of experience in getting the management knowledgeable about free software. I’ve learnt these lessons myself through all these years and I’m sure young people out there will benefit a lot from these tips. (I will update the link once I get access to the final slides)

My talk on KVM turned into a demo session for KVM and explaining merits of the approach as opposed to Xen, as a few people in the audience had already used Xen and they wanted to know why KVM is different or better. Too bad, since I was hoping there would be contributors who would have liked to know how KVM actually works.

I wasn’t also too happy with the scheduling of the talks: there was a gcc talk in parallel with a kernel talk and a filesystem / distributed computing talk in parallel with another kernel talk. To make matters worse, Thomas Gleixner’s talk on the RT patches was added later in the same time slot as I was to speak.

Rusty has to be the most entertaining kernel hacker; in his inimitable style, he provided a grand finale to the event meant to encourage contributors to the FOSS community. He got me up on stage along with James Morris to speak about how we got involved with FOSS and the kernel.

The Linux kernel folks at IBM LTC Bangalore swore they wouldn’t let me go away easily and asked me to visit their office where people would ask me all sorts of questions on KVM. That was a very nice session that I had; they’re mostly interested in the power management and migration issues on kvm, and that got me pretty kicked, as I’m extremely interested in the power management and Green issues of late. Though I couldn’t answer most of the questions related to power management, I’m sure the kvm-devel list can help.

Moreover, quite a few people came up to me and asked about my work on the kernel and kvm and that was quite encouraging.

I’m sure I also caused inconvenience to people at the sponsor stalls asking them in what ways their company contributed to foss software. Most of them were there just to attract talent. I’m hoping the FOSS enthusiasts don’t stop contributing once they’re in those big companies.

Making Wireless Work from the Command Line

There’s an amazingly horrible piece of software that manages network connections on KDE: knetworkmanager. And with my recent upgrade to Kubuntu Gutsy from Feisty, it has been behaving as wildly as only a chimp could.

So I decided to simply not use it. There are a few workarounds, like deleting all entries from /etc/network/interfaces (on any Debian-based system), except the one for the localhost and then restarting knetworkmanager. It worked for me till I suspended and resumed.

So what I do instead is this (make sure you have entries in /etc/network/interfaces for eth0, eth1, etc. from the backup file in case you tried the workaround).

[If eth1 is your wireless interface]

$ sudo iwlist eth1 scan
< shows a listing of all available wireless networks found >

$ sudo iwconfig eth1 essid “name”

[where name is the name of the wireless network you want to connect to]

Another step to get a DHCP IP assigned might be needed.

$ /etc/init.d/networking restart

This should be possible even with restarting the dhcp, but I’m not sure which one yet.

Done!