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

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!

Installing GitKraken on Fedora 27

GitKraken is a full-featured graphical Git client with support for multiple platforms. Given that I’m trying to live a multi-platform life, it made sense for me to give this a try and see whether it is worth making part of my (evolving and updated) multi-platform toolbelt. Along the way, though, I found that GitKraken doesn’t provide an RPM package for Fedora, and that the installation isn’t as straightforward as one might hope. I’m documenting the procedure here in the hope of helping others.

First, download the latest release of GitKraken. You can do this via the terminal with this command:

curl -LO

Extract the contents of the GitKraken download into its own directory under /opt using this command (you can use a different directory if you like, but I prefer to install third-party applications like this under /opt):

sudo tar -C /opt -xvf gitkraken-amd64.tar.gz

This will extract everything into /opt/gitkraken.

Next, you’ll create a symbolic link to an existing library to fix an error with GitKraken when running on Fedora (this is documented here):

sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib64/

Once this is done, you could just run /opt/gitkraken/gitkraken from the Terminal and GitKraken would fire up.

However, you may find it easier to create a desktop launcher for GitKraken. Before you do that, download an icon for the app (there is no icon file distributed in the download). One suggested icon can be found here; just copy that image into /opt/gitkraken and make note of the filename you use (for the purposes of this article, I’ll assume it’s named icon.png. Yes, I know, I’m very creative).

Now create the file /usr/share/applications/gitkraken.desktop and put these contents into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Graphical Git client

If you named the icon you downloaded something other than icon.png, be sure to adjust the “Icon=” line in the file accordingly. Save that file and within a few moments you should have a GitKraken desktop launcher ready to roll.

A couple additional notes of which to be aware:

  • GitKraken requires that you create a GitKraken account or link GitKraken to your GitHub account. This is an annoyance, but fortunately a minor one.
  • I noted that GitKraken has some issues connecting to GitHub, GitLab, and other online services with a very generic and non-descriptive error. I haven’t yet found a workaround for the issue.


The source for the gitkraken.desktop, the suggested icon, and other useful information was taken from this GitHub Gist.

Recent Posts

An Updated Look at My Multi-Platform Toolbelt

In early 2017 I posted about my (evolving) multi-platform toolbelt, describing some of the applications, standards, and services that I use across my Linux and macOS systems. In this post, I’d like to provide an updated review of that toolbelt.


Technology Short Take 98

Welcome to Technology Short Take #98! Now that I’m starting to get settled into my new role at Heptio, I’ve managed to find some time to pull together another collection of links and articles pertaining to various data center technologies. Feedback is always welcome!


List of Kubernetes Folks on Twitter

Earlier this morning, I asked on Twitter about good individuals to follow on Twitter for Kubernetes information. I received quite a few good responses (thank you!), and I though it might be useful to share the list of the folks that were recommended across all those responses.


Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

As part of the transition into my new role at Heptio (see here for more information), I had to select a new corporate laptop. Given that my last attempt at running Linux full-time was thwarted due primarily to work-specific collaboration issues that would no longer apply (see here), and given that other members of my team (the Field Engineering team) are also running Linux full-time, I thought I’d give it another go. Accordingly, I’ve started working on a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th generation). Here are my thoughts on this laptop.


The Future is Containerized

Last week I announced my departure from VMware, and my intention to step away from VMware’s products and platforms to focus on a new technology area moving forward. Today marks the “official” start of a journey that’s been building for a couple years, a journey that will take me into a future that’s containerized. That journey starts in Seattle, Washington.


Technology Short Take 97

Welcome to Technology Short Take 97! This Tech Short Take marks the end of an era (sort of); it’s the last Tech Short Take published while I’m a VMware employee (today is my last day; see here for more details). But enough about me—let’s talk some tech! This Short Take may be a bit longer than some, so buckle up.


Time to Evolve

I first started getting into VMware around 2003, possibly earlier (I can’t recall exactly when it was). I remember thinking that VMware’s impact on the industry was going to be significant, and I wanted to be part of this industry change. I was right—virtualization like what VMware offers has fundamentally changed the industry. However, just as technology evolves, technology careers must evolve as well. Specifically, my technology career must change and grow. It’s time to evolve.


Interop ITX, Dell Technologies World, and Spousetivities

Spousetivities will be present at two additional events this year—in fact, these events are only about 6 weeks away! Both Dell Technologies World and Interop ITX are in Las Vegas the last week of April (both starting April 30), and Spousetivities is running events for both conferences.


Technology Short Take 96

Welcome to Technology Short Take 96! Ahead, lying in wait, is a unique collection of links, articles, and thoughts about various data center technologies. Browse if you dare…OK, so I’m being a bit melodramatic. It’s still some good stuff here!


Recent Changes in my "Learning Tools" Repository

A couple years ago, I created a “learning-tools” repository on GitHub with the goal of creating environments/tools that would help others learn new technologies. At first, the contents of the repository were almost exclusively leveraging Vagrant, but over time I’ve extended the environments to also leverage Ansible and to use tools such as Terraform. Over the past month or so, I’ve made a few additional (albeit relatively minor) updates that I also wanted to share.


Looking Ahead: My 2018 Projects

For the last six years or so, I’ve been publishing a list of projects/goals for the upcoming year (followed by a year-end review of how I did with those projects/goals). For example, here are my goals for 2017, and here’s my year-end review of my progress in 2017. In this post, I’m going to share with you my list of projects/goals for 2018.


Technology Short Take 95

Welcome to Technology Short Take 95! This Short Take was a bit more challenging than normal to compile, given that I spent the week leading up to its publication visiting customers in Europe. (My travel schedule in Europe is also why it didn’t get published until Saturday instead of the typical Friday.) Nevertheless, I have persevered in order to deliver you this list of links and articles. I hope it proves useful!


Some Tools to Help Learn Kubernetes

Kubernetes is emerging as the clear leader in the container orchestration space. This makes it an important technology to know and understand. However, like other distributed systems, learning something like Kubernetes can be challenging due to the effort involved in getting Kubernetes up and running. It’s not about learning to set up Kubernetes (although that comes in time); at first, it’s about understanding what Kubernetes does and how to use Kubernetes. In this post, I’ll share some tools to help learn what Kubernetes does and how to use Kubernetes.


Technology Short Take 94

Welcome to Technology Short Take 94! Ready for another round of links, articles, and thoughts on data center technologies? (Who knows, maybe I’ll throw a rant or two in there.) OK, enough rambling…here’s the good stuff!


Running OVS on Fedora Atomic Host

In this post, I’d like to share the results of some testing I’ve been doing to run Open vSwitch (OVS) in containers on a container-optimized Linux distribution such as Atomic Host (Fedora Atomic Host, specifically). I’m still relatively early in my exploration of this topic, but I felt like sharing what I’ve found so far might be helpful to others, and might help spark conversations within the relevant communities about how this experience might be improved.


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