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Submission + - compromized ( 2

JoeF writes: There is a note posted on the main page, that has been compromised earlier this month:
"Earlier this month, a number of servers in the infrastructure were compromised. We discovered this August 28th. While we currently believe that the source code repositories were unaffected, we are in the process of verifying this and taking steps to enhance security across the infrastructure."

The note goes on to say that it is unlikely to have affected the source code repositories, due to the nature of git.

Comment Re:Especially if they are training developers (Score 1) 141

Two OSL staff have created and taught a system admin course at OSU: The content is available under Creative Commons.

We're actively working with the EECS faculty to incorporate both system administration and open source topics into the course offerings.

Comment Re:Heh, they aren't admins (Score 5, Insightful) 141

I beg to differ. I've been a sysadmin for 15 years. The professionalism and quality of the work done by the students here at the OSL is quite often indistinguishable from many of the people I've worked with over the years. Many of the people working on our hosted projects can't tell whether they're working with our professional staff or student workers.

We teach them to be sysadmins. They may not be sysadmins when they come to us, but they sure as hell are professional sysadmins when they leave.

Comment Re:single point of failure? (Score 4, Interesting) 141

I work for the OSU OSL.

Actually, we're more than a mirror. While mirroring is a major part of the services we provide, we also provide hosting for many projects' core infrastructure - Apache, Linux Foundation, Drupal,, etc. Google is a major supporter of the OSL because we provide a place for projects whose needs have outgrown the more "off-the-shelf" structured hosting provided by Google Code or Sourceforge and need a more customizable environment.

As to the single point of failure concern - I disagree for several reasons:

  • We are not funded by the university. The OSL's activities are funded almost entirely by donations (both personal and corporate) and agreements with the projects we host. While we are all university employees, our wages are not paid using university dollars. Also, as part of the administrative computing organization at the university (as opposed to part of an academic department), the OSL falls under the university's CIO instead of a dean or department. The financial independence and organizational structure provides us with a significant amount of autonomy and insulation from the vagaries of university politics.
  • OSU President Ed Ray has stated time and time again that the role of a land grant university in the 21st century is to provide leadership and assistance in information technology - much the same way the land grants provided support to agriculture and industry in past centuries. The OSL helps OSU fulfill that goal.
  • On the FOSS community side, the OSL provides a vendor-neutral environment. We're not tied to any one distribution or manufacturer - we work with Dell, HP, and IBM all equally. The same goes for SuSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Red Hat, etc. IIRC, our neutrality one of the reasons and the Linux Foundation reside at the OSL. We (and the university) consider that neutrality a very valuable asset.

It would take something more than a "pissed off dean" to summarily shut the OSL down.


Comment Good (Score 2, Insightful) 141

Great that the university is giving these newbies a chance to get their feet wet before they venture into the real world. This type of opportunity is what i fine lacking while I was going to school and I had to search this type of opportunity out for myself.

One of the biggest problem I find when you first enter into the IT field as a student is that there is a lack of on the job hands on training. Students really need to be expose to hands on materials more to reinforce what they've learned in text books and labs.


Managing Young Sys Admins At Oregon State Open Source Lab 141

mstansberry writes "Lance Albertson, architect and systems administrator at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, uses a sys admin staff of 18-21-year-old undergrads to manage servers for some high-profile, open-source projects (Linux Master Kernel, Linux Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, and Drupal to name a few). In this Q&A, Albertson talks about the challenges of using young sys admins and the lab's plans to move from Cfengine to Puppet for systems management."

Comment Re:Forget it (Score 4, Informative) 323

This is key. There's more to FOSS than Linux. Tools like OpenOffice, GIMP, Inkscape, Moodle, and Drupal can offer huge savings to schools without forcing users onto a whole new desktop environment.

Oregon is doing quite a bit with open source solutions for K-12. The Oregon Virtual School District - - serves more than 200 public schools around the state. It's primarily Drupal and Moodle on servers funded by the state Dept. of Education.

Comment Re:money is not the way (Score 4, Insightful) 497

Seconded. You'll never get anywhere driving it from the top down with mandatory "we're switching to XYZ campus-wide" decrees. Make it optional. Introduce voluntary users to a good OSS tool in a non-critical area - clubs, non-credit courses, etc. - where the stakes are lower. Make sure they have a good experience by having lots of in-person help. If it goes well for them, word of mouth will become your friend. "Hey, Dr. SoAndSo did this really interesting thing with ..." "I wonder what Prof. ThisNthat is doing that has her students so engaged and excited?" Your early adopters become advocates for the cause. They can also help other users on campus get going with the new tool(s).

It's very similar to grass-roots organizing: start small and build momentum.

Comment Re:Please dig up some facts about this fella (Score 1) 105

I saw him deliver a keynote address at the Government Open Source Conference in October:

He and his counterpart across the river in Virginia, Aneesh Chopra, are both very open source friendly. Both of them spoke at the conference advocating for open source and open standards, arguing that our government should be as open and transparent as possible.

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