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Name: Amit Shah
Member since: 2003-01-31 07:23:08
Last Login: 2010-02-22 09:45:10

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Homepage: http://www.amitshah.net/

Notes:

Interests
* Virtualization (KVM , QEMU)
* Linux
* Free Software
* Debian
* Fedora

Hobbies:
* AudioLink project, which makes managing and searching music on local storage a breeze. It's basically a music cataloger / categorizer and a playlist generator.

Projects

Recent blog entries by amits

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Pune Bidding Again for FUDCon APAC!

When the call for bids for FUDCon APAC 2015 was put out, a few of us huddled together to discuss a bid from India.  We had already organised a successful FUDCon in Pune in 2011, so our initial conversations were around which city to host it in.  Pune won again, just because the number of volunteers available in Pune are more than any other place in India, and Pune has several technical colleges, which makes hosting the event at one of them easier.

This time around, we’re proposing to host the FUDCon at the MITCOE campus, more details in the bid page.

I was very pleased the last time around as an organiser of the FUDCon: everything had gone according to plan, even the 6 parallel sessions were going on schedule, and logistics was taken well care of.  The speakers and visitors were happy with how the event was run smoothly; despite the scale of the event – hundreds of attendees, making it the largest FUDCon ever.

We had extensively documented the planning process – even face-to-face meetings were recorded on etherpads and posted as blog posts.  That exercise was to ensure people who wanted to join in and volunteer anytime weren’t felt left out, and also to serve as useful documentation and platform for people to organise a future FUDCon at a similar scale.

That time has now come again, for us.  As part of our kickstart activities for FUDCon 2015, I went through several blog posts, event reports, and planning details from 2011.  I compiled a list of the most useful ones for the planning process, which I have appended to this blog post.

On voting for Pune again: One of the purposes of planning for a FUDCon is to involve the local non-Fedora community, like students, professors, and professionals.  Pune is fondly known as the Oxford of the East, which signifies it has a lot of education opportunities, and the city is brimming with students.  There are several colleges affiliated to the University of Pune, as well as some independently-run colleges and universities.  This gives us a lot of potential to tap into a huge student pool.

The other goal of planning a FUDCon is to involve the regional community, who know the city, its language, and so on, to pull off a successful FUDCon.  Pune fit the bill perfectly on these two counts.

When we started scouting for locations, we reached out to institutions we had had some contact with: several of us keep doing talks / sessions at events which are hosted with colleges.  One of such talks was delivered by Siddhesh at the MIT college.  He was very impressed with the students there: they already have a FOSS chapter going, the students were genuinely interested in technology and solving problems themselves.  They also use Linux as part of their activities at the college, and a few also use Linux on their personal machines.  As with all things new, there was also a lot of interest in Android and writing apps, but as long as students are actively involved in technology, and doing fun things, we know we’re going to have a very interested gathering for the FUDCon.

So based on this experience, we approached MIT to ask if they were willing to host the FUDCon.  We met with the MIT-COE folks; the HOD of the Comp. Dept., and a few professors.  They were very eager to host the event.  They offered us all kinds of assistance with hosting the event, offering their huge auditorium, and a few classrooms.  The facilities are nice, and we were impressed.  They do not have wireless on campus, but they said they will fix this by the time the event starts!  They wlil also arrange for power extension boards in the auditorium.  All this just in the first meeting, and before we even won the bid!

The professors too showed a keen interest in technology, and what we did as part of the Fedora project.  They asked us what kinds of talks they should expect (we showed them the schedule from the previous iteration), what would they gain from hosting the event — they were concerned we would step in, organise the event, and go away.  We ensured that won’t happen, and that their students will be involved in the organising of the event, and that we would also do a few things we did the last time, like organising FADs to prepare the students and faculty for the kinds of talks and discussions we’ll have at the FUDCon, setting up a local Fedora mirror, etc., and also some more – like introducing more upstream as well as direct Fedora technology.

In addition to the FUDCon, we also have planned to host one FAD (or a Fedora meetup, focussed on one topic) per month.  We’ve done a few of those at the Red Hat Pune office, but we plan to go to colleges for the next ones.  We also mentioned we could host such events at their colleges if they have interest.  They were eager to host such events too.

Overall, we felt MIT-COE and us would have a great time organising the FUDCon together.  It was really easy to decide on the venue based on these discussions.  The only point which we had to have some discussion around was the timing of the event – Mar-Apr is exam time for the colleges, and that wouldn’t have been ideal.  We went with June 2015 as a month when we all would be able to participate better.  The students will be fresh after a (almost) month-long vacation.Another encouraging thing with scouting for locations was that there were several colleges that showed interest in hosting the FUDCon, as well as the smaller events.  We can’t host the FUDCon at those venues, but we can surely host the smaller events (and the upcoming release party) at these locations.  I’m sure we’ll get quite a few people (students + faculty) involved with Fedora and FOSS technology if we go through with our plans.

This post is already too long; I will save the rest for later (and for others to chime in).  As promised earlier, these are the links (in reverse chronological order) with information that will help organising a large FUDCon:
http://opensource.com/life/11/12/fudcon-pune-making-conference

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/11/fudcon-pune-day-1/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/fudcon-pune-2011-one-day-left/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/11/quotable-quotes-and-videos-from-fudcon-pune-2011/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/11/gearing-up-for-fudcon-pune-2011-day-2/

http://pjps.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/fudcon-pune-2011-2/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/10/fudcon-pune-money-notes/

http://www.shakthimaan.com/posts/2011/11/12/fudcon-pune-badges/news.html

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/10/fudcon-pune-2011-f2f-meeting-minutes-13-oct/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/10/fudcon-pune-planning-f2f-minutes-4-oct-2011/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/09/fudcon-pune-f2f-planning-minutes-sep-27-edition/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/fudcon-india-sep-20-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/fudcon-india-sep-13-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/fudcon-india-sep-06-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/fudcon-india-aug-23rd-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/fudcon-india-aug-9th-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/fudcon-india-aug-2nd-2011-face-to-face-meeting-minutes/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/07/fudcon-india-f2f-planning-meeting-minutes-jul-26-2011/

https://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/fudcon-planning/2011-July/002521.html

http://mether.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/fudcon-pune-2011-now-open-for-sponsorship-requests/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/07/fudcon-india-2011-f2f-meeting-2/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/07/fudcon-india-planning-weekly-meetings/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/07/first-fudcon-india-meeting/

http://log.amitshah.net/2011/07/fudcon-apac-2011-pune-nov-4-6/

Syndicated 2014-12-11 06:42:30 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

24 Nov 2014 (updated 24 Nov 2014 at 11:27 UTC) »

Upgrading to Fedora 21

The Fedora Project will soon put out its 21st release.  I’ve been running the pre-release bits for a while now, here are a few observations:

  • Upgrade from Fedora 20 to Fedora 21 via ‘fedup‘ was fast on my SSD disk, and there were no blockers after the reboot – minimal downtime!
  • Bug 740607 – evince no longer can switch to prev / next pages using the buttons or the ctrl+up/down keyboard shortcuts
  • Bug 740608 – gnome-shell’s calendar display overflows from the box if the number of calendar entries are more than some number; the box is always fixed in size.
  • Bug 739991 / Bug 730128 – gnome-terminal doesn’t pass alt+<n> to applications running inside the terminal if there isn’t a tab with that <n>.  This is the most serious regression for me; breaks several workflows for me: my irssi session as well as non-irssi terminals I use for work.  A surprising thing I found out after filing this report is there’s no way to open a closed bug report on gnome bugzilla, which means if some decides the bug isn’t going to be fixed, there’s no option to get new information back on the developers’ radar.
  • Bug 1163747 – memleak in upowerd

The workarounds[1] listed[2] earlier[3] are still in effect for things to work to my liking.

Everything else seems to be working reasonably fine so far, no further regressions.  I am tempted to give KDE a try again, though!

Syndicated 2014-11-24 05:39:33 (Updated 2014-11-24 10:32:55) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

My talk at the CentOS Dojo Pune 2014

I spoke at the CentOS Dojo in Pune yesterday on new features available in CentOS release 7.0 since the 6 release.  Slides are available here: What’s New in Virtualization.  The event was organized by the Pune GNU/Linux Users Group (PLUG) for the CentOS project.

My talk was scheduled as the last talk of the day.  I was already quite tired by the time the talk started, and was totally exhausted when it finished.

There were about 30 people attending, with some of them having already used KVM.  There were quite a few questions related to KVM and how it compares to other hypervisors, and about features supported by KVM.  I was happy with the interaction, as well as the questions I received.  It showed a nice interest towards virtualization and KVM.

Also nice to see that some were using virt-manager, oVirt, etc., already.  I couldn’t always answer everything related to the higher levels, but pointed people at bugzilla for bugs and the mailing lists for questions.

Syndicated 2014-11-23 09:02:49 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Speaking at the CentOS Dojo, Pune

I’ll be speaking about KVM, progress since EL6, and other virt stuff at the CentOS Dojo in Pune this Saturday, 22nd November.  If you’re in Pune, feel free to register and drop by!

Syndicated 2014-11-17 09:56:30 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Fedora Activity Day: Security I

Last Saturday a few of us gathered to work on Fedora Security.  This FAD (Fedora Activity Day) was the second in recent times held in Pune, after the testing FAD held in August.

Security FAD

The goal of the FAD was to get introduced to the newly-formed Fedora Security Team, pick up a few bug reports that were tagged as security-relevant bug reports, and triage them.  Fixing the bugs wasn’t part of the agenda, as actually pushing package updates needs one to be a provenpackager or the maintainer of the package.

We were assembled at the Red Hat Pune office.  I took a shot at transcribing PJP’s intro talk on the #fedora-india IRC channel, and a couple of people joined remotely in the triaging activity, which was quite nice to see.

The FAD wiki page had all the relevant information on how to go about triaging the bugs, so it was all quite straightforward from there.

I got a bit bored by just going through bug reports, without much “action” happening — it depended on the bug we selected on whether we just needed to set needinfo? on the assignee of the bug, or actually check progress of packages upstream, whether a patch was available, etc.  I just looked through bugs which looked relevant to virtualization, and then wanted to look at different ways to contribute.

PJP suggested looking at some fuzzers, and actually running them.  He pointed me to Radamsa as an example.  That does look like a good tool to generate some random input to programs, and see how they behave under unexpected input.  I didn’t actually get to run it, but now have an idea on what to do when I feel bored again.

While reading about Radamsa, I also thought a bit on how to fuzz qemu.  Nothing concrete came up, but one thought is to send weird stuff from guests to the host, by way of weirdly-formatted network packets (to test virtio-net or other net device emulations), or block device requests (to test virtio-blk / virtio-scsi / ide / ahci).  That’s an idea for a side project.

There also was a Docker meetup running at the same time at the office, so I dropped in there a couple of times to see what they were upto.  The organizers had split the session into talks + hackathon; and both were very well-attended.  In my lurking there, I overheard what Kubernetes is about, and a few terminologies it introduces into the tech world: minions and pods.  I’m sure we’re going to run out of words in the English language to re-purpose to technical usage very soon.

The FAD was originally supposed to happen in September, but got delayed to November.  For the next installation of Fedora-related activities, we may do an F21 release party along with a few user talks.  Regular FADs should resume in January, I suppose.

Syndicated 2014-11-03 18:28:12 (Updated 2014-11-03 18:29:12) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

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