Course on free software servers architecture - First session - Presentation - Intro to free software - Free software and system administration


On 25th of March of 2011 was the first session of the course on free software servers architecture by libresoft. I took the decision to participate to deepen my knowledge about webservers and all the parts that are still a mistery to me. I want to learn more server administration tasks using exclusively free software. I don't usually take non-free options into consideration when choosing software but in the field of servers free software is also the most popular.

In the presentation I felt there was a special interest on virtualization and what current tools might bring into the subject.

This first part was presented by Gregorio Robles. He talked about the investigation group Libresoft, the university URJC, Madrid on rails (initiative by the citi hall to promote new technologies) and general features of free libre software. Apart from pointing out the technical advantages of free software but also about how is a new paradigm and the philosophy around it. Might seem a little redundant if you already attended some similar talks.

Slides: Libresoft and Free software

After that José Castro presented the main sessions of the course, the structure, evaluation criteria and main communication channels like IRC, the hashtag #casul for twitter or the moodle site for the course. We also received a reference book UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook.

Slides: Intro

In this last part Miguel Vidal emphasized the strong relation between free software and system administration. From a desktop user point of view it might seem that proprietary software is quite prominent but in server environments the most competitive and trusted platforms are free software. At this point we focus more on the technical advantages of being able to study, modify and redistribute code including also some perceived disadvantages. It was compelling the part about GUIs that might seem comfortable at the beginning but when you try to automatize or change architecture underneath they are a bit troublesome.

He ended with some advice about how to promote free software and the attitude that a sysadmin has towards his job refering mainly on documentation, incidents, policy and procedures. Sadly we had no time to go over the ethics of a sysadmin an the community around it.

Slides: sysadmin

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