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Surveillance camera solutions

From: Dan Lyke 
So I've been asked to put together a quick and dirty solution to some
surveillance needs in the inlaw household, like "Order it off Amazon
Prime today, configure it there at their house on Friday" sort of

This is basically "record interactions between helpers and
mother-in-law to prove to father in-law that mother-in-law's dementia
is beyond what can be handled within the house". Thus  I expect that
the situation in the inlaw household will resolve itself within half a
year or so, and then I'd like to re-purpose those devices to other

I have a netbook I could re-purpose to this. I was thinking drop a 1TB
SSD into that and get a pair of WiFi cameras, but the state of control
software has changed since the last time I looked at this, and I don't
know about usability vs cameras that can just record to an SD and who
could read that SD and...


Anyone of you guys ever use Asciidoc and the subsequent tools?

From: Lynn Dixon 
I am wanting to dig into Asciidoc pretty hardcore and learn it quickly, so
I figured I would poll the collective to see if anyone has any good
learning materials like primers and such.

Alot of the teams at Red Hat use it for documentation and I need to get
"schooled up" on it.

Here are the links I have so far:

XVFB - Virtual Frame Buffer

From: Mike Harrison 

Not directly related to a thread, but we we chatting about GUI’s on servers. Sometimes, some program requires one to run, even though it really should not. 

I’ve had good luck with XVFB, 

Like if I want to run a VPN system (IKE) that has a bogus GUI requirement, I run:

/usr/bin/xvfb-run  /usr/bin/ikec -r 208.x.x.x -a

Which makes that program think it is in a GUI. Even when it’s not. 

From the manual; 

  "Xvfb is an X server that can run on machines with no display hardware and no physical input devices.  It emulates a dumb framebuffer using virtual memory.”

It’s a useful tool in your arsenal.   

Headless VM Server

From: asg 
I=E2=80=99m building a new VM server and want to try to use Ubuntu and =
KVM. Can anyone recommend a good web-based KVM manager?


Stephen Haywood
Owner: ASG Consulting

Automating Updates

From: Nick Smith 
Hey Chugalugers!

Here is what im working with:
I have lots of SLES 11 and 12 machines and a couple Ubuntu and CentOs
machines and the "Other" OS I need to centrally manage and update.

I have to accomplish this with free tools, so tools like SUSE Manager and
SCCM are out of the question.

What I would like to have is a centralized place where i can kick off
updates across all my servers, I have SMT for SLES and WSUS for Windows, so
most of the updates are stored locally on the network and the servers are
configured to look at those servers for updates.

Im not a developer and dont play one on TV, so im hoping I can figure
something out without having to deep dive into Ruby or Python or whatever
Puppet and Chef are written with. One option ive found that looks promising
is SaltStack. Can this be accomplished with SaltStack? If so, is anyone
else doing this with good results? Configuration management would be nice,
but not the primary goal of this project. It would also be nice to get some
centralized reporting as to what servers havnt been updated or need to be
updated. TheForman looked interesting but it looked puppet heavy as well.
It doesnt look like Spacewalk (open source satellite) will do what i need,
or work with all the OS's i need it to.

Trying to automate the update process of all these servers and cut down on
the time needed for updates.

Not a huge environment, a little over 150 VMs, almost evenly split between
linux and windows.
What are you guys using to accomplish this?

Thanks for the suggestions.

Nick Smith
nick at nicksmith dot us