KWLUG Meeting: February 1 2010

Installing Linux in 6 Minutes: Automated Installation

Meeting Date

The February 2010 KWLUG meeting will have all of your favorite activities. New attendees are welcome and we'll have informal Q&A from arrival time until the presentation starts at 7pm. Our very own Eric G. will inform and delight us with daring tales of automated installation. Afterwards we'll adjourn to a local restaurant for further discussion and refreshments. There is no fee to attend KWLUG meetings and everybody with an interest in Linux, Free Software, Software Libre, Open Source Software and flightless waterfowl in formalwear are welcome to attend.

NOTE: This meeting will be held at St John's Kitchen 97 Victoria Street North Kitchener, at the corner of Weber and Victoria. Use the door on the left / North side of the building. We meet on the second floor. Doors will open around 6:30pm.

* * *
Eric Gerlach will demonstrate the use of preseeding, PXE booting, local mirrors and other tricks he uses to automate Linux server installations. You will be amazed and delighted by Eric's daring demonstrations of eliminating the mundane aspects of installing a new system while still getting the system you want, the system you need, even the system you deserve. This presentation is suitable for all audiences. If you have ever installed a Linux system, or thought about it, you'll learn something fun.
* * *

The host for this meeting was richard.

KWLUG Meeting: December 7 2009

When you cannot be there... Remote access and collaboration.

Meeting Date

In this presentation I will show how you can remotely access other computers to work as if you were in front of the keyboard or let other people view your desktop or control your computer, even behind firewalls. All using Free software.

The presentation will be at the end user level, showing the practical and hands-on side of it. The presentation is not about explaining the technology, just how to use it.

These are things that I use on daily basis for different purposes, from providing remote tech support to my father that lives in Mexico to using the main home computer when my children are also using it to working from home using the computer at the office to giving presentations remotely and hosting virtual meetings.

This presentation is a teaser of many different technologies and methods that could be full presentations on their own, but with full instructions on how to use each one of them. The technologies presented will include the following

  • SSH (Including reverse SSH)/putty
  • X over SSH
  • VNC (Including reverse VNC and VNC over SSH)/Vino/KRFB
  • NX No machine/FreeNX
  • Remote Desktop (Terminal services)
  • Web conferencing.(OpenMeetings, WebHuddle, DimDim, etc)

I'll do my best to set up a virtual meeting for those of you who cannot attend this presentation in person. I'll confirm if I can do it closer to the scheduled date and if so, post the details.

I've uploaded the presentations to this post and created a series of posts on my blog with more detailed information

VNC (Virtual Network Computing )
Web conferencing
Installing OpenMeetings on Debian Lenny

* * *

The host for this meeting was Raul Suarez.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
RemoteCollaboration.odp 220.69 KB
RemoteCollaboration.pdf 182.82 KB

KWLUG Meeting: November 2 2009

Linux Tools for Monitoring and performance

Meeting Date

This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. It will be held in the Heuther boardroom, which is on the third floor of the building. You'll find the boardroom by going up the to second floor, through the bar and up one more flight of stairs.

Join us at 7pm sharp for the presentation. Or join us as early as 6:30 for conversation and questions before the meeting starts.

We'll adjourn to one of the Heuther dining rooms after the presentation for refreshments and further discussion.

* * *
In this presentation, Khalid will go through various tools and techniques used to analyze performance issues with systems running Linux.

We will cover a bit of everything:
- Status tools
- Debugging/profiling, with an emphasis on performance rather than code debugging.
- Monitoring tools
- Statistics tools

We will examine live systems running the above tools where possible, in order to show real life data ...

KWLUG Meeting: October 5 2009

But I don't want to look at the source code!

Meeting Date

This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. It will be held in the Heuther boardroom, which is on the third floor of the building. You'll find the boardroom by going up the to second floor, through the bar and up one more flight of stairs.

Join us at 7pm sharp for the presentation. Or join us as early as 6:30 for conversation and questions before the meeting starts.

We'll adjourn to one of the Heuther dining rooms after the presentation for refreshments and further discussion.

* * *

Sometimes quick and dirty get the job done. As Perl programmers say "There
is more than one way to do it" and in the case of a finding out why a
program is not doing what you would like to do this is very true. One could
fire up the debugger and dig into the source code but often simpler and
faster methods are available. In the cases where you don't have the source
code these may be all you have. t

Here I will present a certainly incomplete but what I have found to be an
invaluable list of commands and techniques for trouble shooting software of
all kinds under Linux. On other platforms you will find similar commands so
these techniques need not be limited to Linux.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
LUG-talk-Oct-09.tar_.gz 4.71 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, September 14 2009

The Apache Web Server

Meeting Date

This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. It will be held in the Heuther boardroom, which is on the third floor of the building. You'll find the boardroom by going up the to second floor, through the bar and up one more flight of stairs.

Join us at 7pm sharp for the presentation. Or join us as early as 6:30 for conversation and questions before the meeting starts.

We'll adjourn to one of the Heuther dining rooms after the presentation for refreshments and further discussion.

* * *
Khalid Baheyeldin of, Inc, will lead us through an in depth trip for the Apache web server, including:

  • Overview of the HTTP protocol that powers the entire world wide web
  • Overview of Apache, history, license, who uses it, popularity
  • Installation of Apache
  • Configuration details for apache
  • Overview of some commonly user Apache modules
  • Being dynamic (CGI, FastCGI, inline)
  • Tips of security
  • Discussion, questions, comments

If you want specific Apache related topics covered, please contact Khalid.

Note: The slides from the presentation can be downloaded in PDF format from Presentation: Apache Web Server, KW Linux Users Group.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, August 10 2009

Syslog servers and log parsing

Meeting Date

NOTE: This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. It will be held in the Heuther boardroom, which is on the third floor of the building (go up the second floor, through the bar and up one more flight of stairs).

Computers generate a lot of logs. Sometimes the logfiles contain useful information or warnings about your computers, routers, printers and other devices on your network. Reading and understanding all those logs can quickly get overwhelming, but a syslog server can help.

In this presentation Paul will discuss his experiences setting up a syslog server using rsyslog, tenshi and SysLogAgent:

  • rsyslog is an update to the syslog daemon that is packaged by default in Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu
  • tenshi is a log analysis and summarization program
  • SysLogAgent allows you to read logfiles and events from Windows machines and send them to a syslog server

The presentation will cover the principles of syslog servers, some tricks for configuring and debugging them, and some limitations and "future work".

UPDATE: Here are the slides (in PDF format) and slide sources (in LaTeX format) used for the presentation.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, July 6 2009

LAMP Stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/Perl/PHP/Ruby(!)/...

Meeting Date

NOTE: The meeting location for this month has changed. This month's meeting will be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. We are meeting in the Boardroom beginning at 7:30.

Khalid will tell us about the LAMP stack, the basis of oodles and oodles of websites that distract and upset us.

Here is a proposed outline of the talk. Should be 1.5 hours or so.

- What is LAMP
- Why LAMP
- Some applications running LAMP (Drupal, Joomla, Zope/Plone, Django)
- Some sites running LAMP (Slashdot, Digg, ...etc.)
- The L we all know and love
- The A and alternates (lighttpd, ngnix)
- The M (MyISAM, InnoDB)
- The Ps (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby [not a P!]) Focus more on PHP
- Installing LAMP
- Different ways of running PHP
- Performance considerations
- Security considerations

Note: The presentation slides are attached in PDF format below. Thanks to all who attended.
* * *

The host for this meeting was kbahey.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: June 1 2009


Meeting Date

OpenLayers makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page. It can display map tiles and markers loaded from any source. MetaCarta developed the initial version of OpenLayers and gave it to the public to further the use of geographic information of all kinds. OpenLayers is completely free, Open Source JavaScript, released under a BSD-style License.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, May 4 2009

Where is my money going? Using Gnucash to track it

Meeting Date

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
... GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses.

I'll show you how to create accounts, how to import transactions from your bank, Do transfers and generate reports.

GnuCash has a special place for me as it was my epiphany to the value of Open source:

I bought Quicken in 1998 and used it until 2003 when I got a new computer. When I tried to reinstall Quicken it asked me to register. To my surprise the registration didn't work anymore. The URL no no longer existed. The only option was buying the newest version. Needless to say, 5 years of personal expenses records were locked and out of reach unless I forked up the money.

I had "played" with Linux on and off since the early days as a nice curiosity but not until then it did sink what Freedom really means.

Yes, Quicken still has nicer graphics and maybe some advanced features, but putting it on the balance against owning my own data, freedom certainly wins.
* * *

The host for this meeting was acant.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
GnuCash-Presentation-and-samplefiles.tgz 284.72 KB


Yes please!

May I request special emphasis upon setting up the chart of accounts right, the first time, for effective reports/ing. Particularly with an eye to employment / self-employed expense tracking. e.g. Business GST vs. personal GST vs. all business expenses - how to track / report / sum efficiently and effectively.

<code><br><br><FONT COLOR="#997e33"><FONT SIZE=2><FONT FACE="Arial">&copy; B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication, in whole or in part, permitted.</FONT></code>

Law library and GNUcash

I have been using GNUcash at work to track the subscription expenses by vendor and publication.
I can give a brief overview of how I use it and why.

John Kerr | Guelph Ontario

KWLUG Meeting: Monday April 6 2009

iSCSI a new path to your data

Meeting Date

How much disk space do you have? And how much disk space do you need? If you're like me the answers are "not enough" and "more". Our digital age has lead to increasing use of disk space to hold media of all kinds. Our photo album is the computer, our video library is also there and our file cabinet is slowly creeping onto that disk as well. It's all precious data that just continues to grow and grow.

Managing data is becoming a common need for today's households and a burden for companies. It needs to be more simple and less expensive and more reliable than before.

iSCSI is a technology that shares disk devices over Ethernet. Disks shared using iSCSI appear as block devices to clients and can be treated as such. This flexibility in providing disk space to systems is what has been used for years in very expensive corporate data centres. iSCSI is bundled with Linux so this same technology is right at your fingertips.

iSCSI is not a file system, it's a device sharing protocol that has significant possibilities. Imagine all the computers in your house booting from a single disk, without any special O/S requirements.

The presentation starts with a discussion of what iSCSI is and where it can be useful. You'll see real-time demonstrations setting up iSCSI. And you'll be tempted with discussions of advanced configurations.
* * *

The host for this meeting was john.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
KWLUG iSCSI.odp 526.25 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday March 2 2009

Asterisk on Embedded Devices

Meeting Date

NOTE: We're back to the old location for this meeting. We are NOT meeting at 58 Queen.

Due to logistical problems we are holding March's meeting in the usual location, 43 Queen Street South.

Also note that the parking situation has changed. The back lot behind 43 Queen is closed, so you can't park there for free after 6pm any more.

Doors open at 6:30pm. Discussion and camaraderie will be had.

Presentation starts promptly at 7pm.

This much-anticipated, long-awaited presentation is certain to be standing room only. Arrive early!

* * *
The OpenWRT project provides the firmware to turn compatible devices including many WRT-series Linksys and Asus WL-series wireless routers into fully-programmable, GNU/Linux operating environments. We use this feature to convert an ASUS WL500g Premium (V.1) wireless router into a Voice over IP (VOIP) gateway using the Asterisk packages provided in the current OpenWRT distribution, Kamikaze.

After a brief overview of VOIP systems in general and setup of the hardware, details to be covered will include: Installing and configuring the Asterisk application to make and receive calls from the VOIP provider Unlimitel, configuring extensions with soft-phones, VOIP phones, ATA-connected telephones and WiFi VOIP clients and setting up voicemail with recorded prompts.

Additional topics to be covered as time allows may include: Voicemail to E-mail, call-forwarding, menu-driven multiple extensions, remote extensions, performance issues with simultaneous VOIP and data transfer, WAN connection options for the router and other unannounced surprises.

Talk details can be found on the wiki
* * *

The host for this meeting was LPaniak.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday February 2 2009


Meeting Date

We're trying a new location for the February meeting.

Please note this as we don't want anybody to miss out, just because we've run across the street.

We have The Working Centre at 58 Queen booked for at least February and March. This is "across the street" from the usual location. No change to the time. Join us.

Doors open at 6:30pm. Discussion and camaraderie will be had.

Presentation starts promptly at 7pm.

* * *
Nagios is a well-established network monitoring system that tracks the health of network infrastructure and sends out alerts when things go wrong.

Andrew Cant will share his breathtaking story of implementing Nagios at his workplace, and will dazzle us with by explaining its features and capabilities.
* * *

The host for this meeting was acant.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday January 5 2009

Lightweight/Tiling Window Managers

Meeting Date

Window managers? Are those the folks who put the fancy clothes on the mannequins down ant the mall?

Not in this case. In computer terms a window manager provides a way for programs to appear on graphical desktops and share decorations for things like check boxes and select lists.

Kyle Spaans will introduce us to several tiling window managers, a subset of the overall window manager kingdom.

* * *
*Cough* Is X making your computer slow? Perhaps moving away from the the "desktop environment" is your solution.

This will be a presentation about tiling window mangers, particularly StumpWM, xmonad, and perhaps dwm if the presenter (our very own Kyle Spaans) can take some time to learn it.

This presentation will consist of quick and dirty demos on how to use and configure these kinds of window managers, and a discussion of their pros and cons. Honorable mention may be made of Fluxbox and FVWM.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday December 1 2008


Meeting Date

These days users expect web content to be dynamic and responsive but at the same time development platforms for these applications seem to be either cumbersome, heavy and proprietary or both.

Not surprisingly the open source world has an alternative called

According to the web site:
"OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software."

This platform allows to create rich dynamic web applications and deploy them as Flash or DHTML.

The architecture for the whole system is very sound, allowing it to integrate seamlessly with backend server applications.

I discovered this platform recently but I'm of the idea that the best way to learn something is by trying to explain it to someone else as it forces me to really understand it.

The proposed agenda would be:

  • Introduction
  • Description of the platform with examples (show case)
  • Setting up the environment
  • Hands on tutorial (Simple example)
  • Where to go for more

I've attached the demo material along with the impress presentation

File Attachments

Attachment Size
OpenLaszloPresentationAttachments.tgz 507.42 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 03 November 2008


Meeting Date

KWLUG meeting are free to attend for any and all with an interest in Free and Open Source Software. Presentation starts at 7pm, doors open at six. Join us.

* * *
The mighty Kiwi returns! Perhaps our longest-absent regular, Kiwi makes his triumphant return in fine style by presenting pfsense in all of its fire-wally goodness. Do not miss this presentation.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 06 October 2008

What's that noise? A history of sound on *nix and Linux

Meeting Date

Ontario Linux Fest 2008 is coming up fast. And we have our regular monthly KWLUG meeting.

Doors open at 6pm, meeting starts at 7pm sharp. Join us!

* * *
From the era where the only sound a computer would make was the terminal beep character to modern sound server technology, I will touch on it all from a historical perspective in a short amount of time. Whenever I am talking about something that is still of relevance to the average Linux user I will pause and discuss the details of its function and the basics of configuration. The presentation will wrap up with a couple of complete examples of useful sound hardware/software configurations for typical (and at least one not so typical) home and business/educational uses.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 08 September 2008

Introduction to OpenStreetMap

Meeting Date

Shouldn't Labour Day be the beginning of the New Year? The kids are back to school. There is finally a break in the humidity. The leaves are about to turn.

Doors open at 6pm, presentation starts at 7pm, sharp! Join us.

* * *
OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them; the project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

An introduction to the Who, What, Where, Why of OSM will be followed by a demo of the steps in collecting, categorizing and contributing data to OSM.

This topic was originally presented at HOSUG on 12 December 2006.
A modified and extended version of this topic was presented to Toronto Mapping Weekend attendees at Linuxcaffe 17 - 18 February 2007.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 11 August 2008

Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing

Meeting Date

Boy, is it hot in here or is it just the eight core server?

* * *
A slide show and talk about white hat Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing - how to bring more traffic to your site via online marketing through the search engines.

This will be a relatively non-technical presentation demonstrating techniques that will get you higher rankings and bring in more traffic. Suitable for technical folks, as well as site owners with less technical knowledge looking to bring in more traffic to their site.

Presenting on two areas:
1) Search Engine Marketing. Specifically how to run a successful Pay Per Click (PPC) Google adwords campaign. Adwords are the Sponsored Links shown in Google searches. I'll show you how to set up and manage a campaign, how technical people can write better ads than any advertising specialist and how to compete in competitive areas.

2) Search Engine Optimization. This section will discuss white hat ways to promote your site in the search engines. Specific techniques will be discussed. I'll break this presentation out into the following general areas:
- history of the search engine rankings. What used to work, still works, and what doesn't work anymore. This will provide the foundation of how to determine what search engines want and will provide some direction on the differences between white hat and black hat (where black hat means 'outside the search engine guidelines', not illegal or cracker techniques which is how black hat is used outside the search engine community). Also some background on pagerank and trustrank.
- how people search. This will show us how to target search terms and allow us to discover untapped, uncompetitive sources of converting traffic.
- On page optimization. This will be a brief discussion on specific things to change on your site that help your rankings. Technical level will be a rough understanding of HTML.
- off page optimization. Factors that affect your rankings that aren't actually on your website.
- step by step guidelines on how to make your website an authority. The premise is not to figure out Google's algorithm. Instead I'll outline how to create an authority site that the smart folks at Google will want to rank because it makes their search engine results better for the end user.

I optimized my first site about 5 year s ago. 5 years later, without any further work, the site is still ranking well. It's lasted through many algo changes intended to get spammy sites out of the search engine rankings. Using the right approach and by giving the search engines what they want you can build sustainable traffic through top rankings - on a website the search engines *want* to rank. And you can do it without resorting to technical loopholes or spammy techniques.