Jeff Jaffe’s Thoughts on Hack Week

I just read Jeff Jaffe’s thoughts on hack week. For those of you that don’t know who Jeff is, he is the CTO of Novell. He offers some insight into “What is it, why did we do it, what was the reason for the timing, and what did we learn?” on his blog.

Jeff Jaffe’s hackweek blog entry


Hackweek at Novell,

This is a really cool idea that Nat came up with. The idea is that all the Linux engineers in the company stop what they are doing for a week and get to work on whatever they want. Kind of like a google thing but for a whole week. Unfortunately, there a some big things that have to get taken care of otherwise I would be joining them this week even though I don’t have those mad elite hacking skillz. Hopefully the next time around I’ll be able to participate. In the announcement there is the link to the website which has pictures and videos already. Hopefully some really cool stuff comes out of this. You can also add your ideas and contribute from your own desk from the website.

Here is the announcement for the event from Nat on the openSuSE announce list:

Hi everyone,

At Novell we’ve been planning a special internal event that will run
this week, from June 25th to 29th. We’re calling it Hack Week.

During Hack Week, our entire Linux engineering team — hundreds of
people — will be working on whatever Linux or open source projects
interest them. Everyone will work alone or in teams, on existing open
source projects or new ideas of their own. No one will tell them what
or what not to do — it’s a free week for free hacking, driven by
individual passion.

To make it easier for our hackers to find and publicize their projects,
we’ve created an Idea Pool web site where we’ve all spent the last
couple of weeks sharing ideas and finding collaborators. This web site
is open to the public here:

Although this is a Novell event, we’re running it with full
transparency. You’ll be able to follow our progress and projects on the
Idea Pool web site, either with the blog on the front page where we’ll
post videos from our seven main engineering sites[1], or by watching
individual project pages.

We invite you to participate where you can. If you’d like to help with
a project, feel free to add a comment to the discussion section of the
page and volunteer your support.

We hope that you’ll at least enjoy watching Hack Week progress. If it
is successful, we hope to run it again sometime soon, with even more
participation from the community.

If you’re interested in following along, you might check the following
sites first:

-Hack Week Overview:


-Idea Pool code of conduct:

-Flickr pool:

During the week, we’ll use the channel #opensuse-hackweek on for general discussion (project-specific discussion
will find its own venue). Hope to see you there!

Happy hacking,

[1] Beijing, Bangalore, Prague, Nuernberg, Boston, Provo, Portland are
the main sites


Enterprise Network Configuration

Your enterprise network is large and complex, and probably relies on numerous connected endpoints. This requires you to design your own DNS server or a custom DNS server implementation. You also need to set up your own DHCP server (if you plan to run many nodes on the same LAN), and you probably need to create a RADIUS server for authentication purposes.

On an average enterprise network, your network may have as many as 20,000 endpoints. Your network is complex and includes routers, switches, and possibly even routers/firewalls. A custom DNS implementation might need to connect to multiple external DNS servers, and your Internet service provider (ISP) may need a DNS server on your network to route requests for web sites. The RADIUS server is the “brain” of the whole system, and it can’t run without access to the network, the network is your only connection. When you create RADIUS servers, you need to take care of securing your RADIUS server with RADIUS credentials. By default, RADIUS uses plain text credentials to log on the server, however you can easily make it more secure by using RADIUS SSL certificates. Let’s go through the process of how to create SSL certificates, also there are some applications you can get online as Fortiweb to protect your networks, and you can look at this website to learn more about this.

How to create an SSL certificate:

Create a new Windows domain

Logon to a RADIUS server to use it

Click on “Tasks”

Click on “Certificates”

Click on “Add a domain controller”

Enter the password for the domain admin account Click on “Next” Click “Next” Click on “Finish” When prompted, enter the domain name and click “Next”. When prompted, enter the password for the RADIUS server Click “Next” When prompted, enter the password for the RADIUS server Click “Next” When prompted, enter the certificate and click “Next”. When prompted, enter the server name and click “Next”. When prompted, enter the RADIUS server and click “Next”. When prompted, enter the RADIUS server and click “Next”. When prompted, enter the RADIUS server name and click “Next”.

The system will verify that the certificate is correct and issue a RADIUS response to the user.

Important: As a user, you should log on to the RADIUS server using the root account and use a RADIUS username and password for authentication. If you use a RADIUS username and password, you will have to log on using the RADIUS authentication mechanism, typically via Telnet or SFTP. You can also set up a RADIUS server in an Active Directory domain, and then configure your RADIUS server in that environment to use the root account.

Note If you configure RADIUS for your organization with the RADIUS server in a domain environment, you can create a RADIUS server in that domain using Active Directory Users and Computers. The RADIUS server will be configured as the default RADIUS server for your domain. You can then configure RADIUS in your application server by selecting Configure RADIUS in RADIUS Server Configuration, then using the default RADIUS server as the RADIUS server for your application server.


Job at Novell

Well… I didn’t get a chance to post earlier, but as of last Tuesday I started working for Novell as part of the Novell Virtualization Team. I’m really excited because the position is part of the QA department testing XEN. There is tons of information to learn though and almost a bit overwhelming, but none the less its going to be a lot of fun. I’ve finally been able to install and run a virtualized OS. My first was SLES 9 just a couple days ago. We are using an updated SLES 10 and seems to be working really well so far. I even installed a couple windows versions. As I’m still learning, I’ve only install and updated the guest OSes. Hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll be able to start doing some cool things with the guests. Some of the servers that we are testing on are really cool. I think all of them are at least 2 processors(AMD or Intel) that have 2-4 cores each and tons of memory. From just messing with it, I can’t wait to play with it some more.


Interview with Novell

I just had an interview with Novell yesterday. It was probably the most fun that I have had at an interview. They had me interview with three different people. The person that contacted me and first interview me is the manager over the virtualization platform team. The second is a developer and the third is in charge of QA. It was a lot of fun talking to them as each are really smart at what they do. In the end I think it would be a great oppurtunity to work there in the virtualization department. I’ll update my blog once I find out.



I have completely redone my domain. I’m not on a newer server and my email is taken care of by the great google. My new server is running suse 10.2. Not that changing a server should really make a difference in whether I post more or not, but maybe I’ll post more 🙂 Beyond that there isn’t much of interest with the host/server changes. I mainly wanted to get a post up so that there was something to see.