Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro focusing on cloud computing, Kubernetes, Linux, containers, and networking

Posts from the Past, May 2018

This month—May 2018—marks thirteen years that I’ve been generating content here on this site. It’s been a phenomenal 13 years, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share information with readers around the world. To celebrate, I thought I’d do a quick “Posts from the Past” and highlight some content from previous years. Enjoy!

May 2017

A year ago, I touched on the topic of using a Makefile with Markdown documents to help streamline the process of generating various output formats.

I also explored the use of custom SSH configurations with SSH bastion hosts and uncovered a very basic (but important) error I’d previously overlooked.

May 2016

Two years ago in May I was using Terraform to build an etcd v2 cluster on OpenStack.

May 2015

Three years ago, I was doing a lot of work in my home lab, automating the setup of physical hosts. That led to a post on a fully automated Ubuntu install, which was also related to this post on using an Apt proxy (via apt-cacher-ng).

May 2014

Four years ago, I shared some useful Markdown tools for OS X. Of those tools, I still use pandoc pretty extensively.

May 2013

Five years ago, I was exploring Open vSwitch (OVS), and wrote some stuff that is still applicable even today. For example, this post on examining Open vSwitch traffic patterns is, in my opinion, core to understanding how OVS works in various configurations (particularly with tunnels).

May 2011

May 2012 was a slow month, so we’ll skip back to May 2011, where I was tackling inaccuracies regarding stretched clusters and long-distance vMotion while also introducing folks to Quicksilver (is this app even still around?).

May 2006

Going way, way back, we come to May 2006—only a year after this site was launched. Twelve years ago, I was exploring the automation of Active Directory security groups and the automation of Active Directory account maintenance. I guess I’ve been exploring automation for longer than I thought!

Here’s hoping you enjoyed this little trip back into the archives. Maybe you found something useful you can still put to use!

DockerCon SF 18 and Spousetivities

DockerCon SF 18 is set to kick off in San Francisco at the Moscone Center from June 12 to June 15. This marks the return of DockerCon to San Francisco after being held in other venues for the last couple of years. Also returning to San Francisco is Spousetivities, which has organized activities for spouses, significant others/domestic partners, friends, and family members traveling with conference attendees!

Registration is open right now, so hurry on over and sign up for one or more activities. What’s that—you’re wondering what’s been planned? Here’s a quick overview:

  • The activities kick off on Tuesday, June 12, with a tour of Monterey and Carmel. I must admit I’m a bit jealous; I’d love to have the opportunity to visit Cannery Row and see the canneries that inspired John Steinbeck. Join this tour and you’ll have that opportunity! This is a full-day activity, leaving the InterContinental at 8pm and returning around 7pm that evening. Lunch is included, of course.
  • On Wednesday, June 13, Spousetivities has arranged for private transportation to the Sonoma Valley for some wine tastings! You’ll visit a couple different wineries and get to enjoy lunch in Sonoma. This event will wrap up back at the InterContinental around 6pm (departs from the same location at 8:30am).
  • Finally, on Thursday, June 14, is a tour of the city and a trip to Muir Woods. Participants will leave the InterContinental at 8:30am and get to see all the major highlights of San Francisco before having lunch in Sausalito followed by a trip to Muir Woods. The tour will return to the InterContinental around 5:30pm.

Pricing for all these events has been drastically reduced thanks to support from Docker (kudos to them for sponsoring work/life balance!). Thanks to their financial support of Spousetivities, participants save between $125 and $175 per activity compared to retail pricing. Participants can save even more by using the new 3-day discount pass, which provides access to all three days of activities at a phenomenal discount (only $300 for all three days!).

All activities will depart from and return to the InterContinental Hotel.

It’s quite possible that these activities will sell out, so don’t wait—head on over to the registration page and sign up sooner rather than later.

Manually Installing Firefox 60 on Fedora 27

Mozilla recently released version 60 of Firefox, which contains a number of pretty important enhancements (as outlined here). However, the Fedora repositories don’t (yet) contain Firefox 60 (at least not for Fedora 27), so you can’t just do a dnf update to get the latest release. With that in mind, here are some instructions for manually installing Firefox 60 on Fedora 27.

These instructions assume you have a dnf-installed version of Firefox (typically Firefox 59) already installed on your Fedora system. These steps should allow you to upgrade your Fedora system to Firefox 60:

  1. Download the Firefox 60 archive (typically named firefox-60.0.tar.bz2 or similar) onto your Fedora system. You can do this with your already-installed version of Firefox, but be sure to close/quit Firefox before proceeding with the rest of the instructions.
  2. Make a copy of /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop; you’ll use this later.
  3. Remove the version of Firefox installed from the Fedora repositories with dnf remove firefox. This will remove the firefox.desktop file you copied in the previous step (which is why you copied it somewhere else).
  4. Use bunzip2 to decompress the downloaded Firefox 60 archive. This will leave you with a plain .tar file:

    bunzip2 firefox-60.0.tar.bz2
  5. Extract the archive into your /opt directory:

    sudo tar -C /opt -xvf firefox-60.0.tar

    This will create a firefox directory underneath the /opt directory. (You can modify this as desired to install Firefox 60 into a different location.)

  6. Edit the saved copy of firefox.desktop (from step 2) and replace the “Exec=” lines with the correct path to the new Firefox 60 binary (if you’re following these instructions, the correct path will be /opt/firefox/firefox).

  7. Copy the edited firefox.desktop file (from the previous step) back into /usr/share/applications.

And that’s it! You should now be good to go with Firefox 60 on your Fedora 27 system. If you run into any problems or have any additional questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.

One Week Until Spousetivities in Vancouver

Only one week remains until Spousetivities kicks off in Vancouver at the OpenStack Summit! If you are traveling to the Summit with a spouse, significant other, family member, or friend, I’d encourage you to take a look at the great activities Crystal has arranged during the Summit.

Here’s a quick sneak peek at what’s planned:

  • On Monday, May 21, Spousetivities attendees will enjoy a tour of the highlights of Vancouver (including things like Stanley Park, Gastown, Chinatown, and Granville Island Public Market), followed by fun at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. (If for no other reason, you’ll want to attend this to see Crystal face her fear of heights and suspension bridges!)
  • On Tuesday, May 22, Spousetivities is off to Whistler Village. Along the way, see wonderful sights like Howe Sound, Britannia Beach, and Shannon Falls. Then you’ll get to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola up to Squamish for an adventure-filled time.
  • On Wednesday, May 23, the activities wrap up with a wine tour. This will include tastings at three beautiful wineries and a lovely picnic lunch at one of the venues.

All of these tours includes private transportation, and the pricing for each of the events is reduced by about 25% from retail pricing. Participants can save more money by using the all-new Full Event Discount Pass, which gets entry to all three activities at an additional discount. Check out the Spousetivities registration page for more details and pricing, or to sign up.

Technology Short Take 99

Welcome to Technology Short Take 99! What follows below is a collection of various links and articles about (mostly) data center-related technologies. Hopefully something I’ve included will be useful. Here goes!


  • David Gee makes the connection between coffee and network automation. No, really. It’s worth reading.
  • Matt Oswalt, one of the co-authors of our recently-released network automation book from O’Reilly, recently tackled the topic of running Kubernetes with Tungsten Fabric (formerly known as OpenContrail). A network engineer using AWS and CloudFormation? Yep, get used to it folks—it’s where the industry is headed.
  • Vince Power provides a high-level overview of some of the key principles underlying Kubernetes networking.


Sorry, I don’t have anything for you. Feel free to send me links you’d like me to consider for inclusion in the next Tech Short Take!


Cloud Computing/Cloud Management

  • Trond Hindenes shares a bit on how his company is using Traefik as a Kubernetes ingress controller for both internal and external traffic.
  • Typhoon, which describes itself as a “free and minimal Kubernetes distribution,” has announced support for Typhoon on Fedora Atomic systems.
  • I haven’t tried it yet, but Click looks somewhat interesting.
  • You may have noticed that Rancher Labs recently announced the GA of version 2.0 of Rancher. Check out the announcement blog post for more details.
  • Alen Komlien discusses the idea of a Kubernetes descheduler. My take: “static” scheduling that occurs at the start of a pod’s lifecycle is useful (and Kubernetes is doing reasonably well here), but “dynamic” scheduling that accounts for a greater portion of the pod’s lifecycle and the infrastructure underneath it is even more powerful. This is a lesson VMware learned years ago with Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).
  • This is a pretty in-depth article (to me, at least), but it did help me better understand Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and the role of controllers in Kubernetes.

Operating Systems/Applications

  • Robert Paprocki of Kong discusses how to design a scalable rate limiting algorithm, then proceeds to show how the Kong API gateway could be used to implement such an algorithm.
  • As the use of APIs for everything increases, API tools like Postman become ever more useful—like this example of using Postman to audit AWS infrastructure.
  • Thomas Graf explains why the Linux kernel community is replacing iptables with BPF. He gives a great overview of BPF along the way, so if you’re unfamiliar with BPF this may be a good read.
  • This practical introduction to container terminology by Scott McCarty has a decidedly “Red Hat” feel to it, but is otherwise useful for folks who are new to the container space and need some terminology defined for them.
  • Brendan Burns uses the term “serverless” in a slightly different way than it is commonly used; in this article, he seems to use the term to refer primarily to “container-as-a-service”-type offerings—like Azure Container Instances (ACI) or AWS Fargate—instead of the more common link to functions-as-a-service. Along the way, he explains the virtual kubelet project as well, so if you’re unfamiliar with that effort this article will help.


Nothing this time around, but I’ll see what I can find to include next time!


  • Nigel Poulton’s quick review of gVisor (see his thoughts here) confirms my prediction some time ago that the lines between “VMs” and “containers” will continue to blur, and that we’ll see a spectrum of isolation options emerging. Which isolation option should you use? Well, that will depend on what you’re trying to achieve, right? Right?
  • William Lam discusses the new MAC learning functionality present in vSphere 6.7 which addresses some of the overhead of nested ESXi configurations.

Career/Soft Skills

  • Last week while at Interop ITX, I chatted with Keith Townsend regarding my recent career shift. If you’ve been wondering about why I made this shift, give the video of our chat a look, and then feel free to hit me up on Twitter.
  • And speaking of career shifts, you might find Massimo’s recent introspection of his first 6 months at AWS to be informative as well.

OK, that’s it for now. As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you have questions or suggestions for links I should consider including in future Technology Short Takes. Here’s hoping you found something helpful!

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