Try OpenStack at TryStack.org

If you are interested in learning OpenStack but do not have hardware to set it up yourself, one of the easiest ways to test it out is to browse to http://trystack.org and give it a try there.

Trystack is a sandbox installation of OpenStack sponsored by Dell, NetApp, Cisco and Red Hat.

You'll get a free access to test your stuff on Trystack, but there's one important rule:

Rule No. 1: Remember that TryStack is designed exclusively as a testing sandbox. We wanted a fast, easy way for developers to test code against a real OpenStack environment, without having to stand up hardware themselves. It probably goes without saying that this is not the place for production code - you should host only test code and test servers here. In fact, your account on TryStack will be periodically wiped to help make sure no one account tries to rule tyrannically over our democracy. Play nice in the sandbox!

In order to get access you need to use your Facebook account to log in.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to log in with the Facebook link, you must be a member of the TryStack Facebook group. API access is available by resetting your password in the web interface using the settings for your account and selecting API Access.

Once you've joined the Facebook group and logged in, you'll find yourself quickly at the rather empty OpenStack view.

If this is your first time testing OpenStack, you'll probably want to click Images, choose one and click Launch Instance.

You won't be able to login into your instance as root password, you'll need to upload your SSH public key first. This seems to be the most common question on the user forum...

Now you are own your way becoming the next OpenStack expert. Have fun!

And once you are ready to setup your own OpenStack installation, go to https://www.rdoproject.org/ for free community version of OpenStack or to http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/openstack-platform for Red Hat's enterprise version.


Streaming videos from Linux to Apple TV

Apple TV is nice and affordable device to access Netflix and Youtube from your television. It also nicely integrates with your Apple computers. But what if you don't have any Apple computers and you have some content on your Linux which you'd like to watch on your TV set using Apple TV?

As we all know Apple is not very famous of following industry standards, for example in this case they don't support DLNA specification which would allow streaming content across different device vendors.

I'm using Fedora Linux on my home computer, and it comes with DLNA compatible sharing built-in. To enable it go to Settings > Sharing > Media Sharing > Add a folder containing some media files.

As Apple TV doesn't have any DLNA compatible applications, and on the devices before 4th generation you can't even install any apps you'll need to work around the problem some way. On 4th gen Apple TV you can install VLC which will fix the problem.

For older Apple TV's you'll need to use your phone as a remote control and trick the Apple TV to start streaming. Magically it actually does support streaming this way... You can install AllConnect app for Android or IOS from http://allconnectapp.com/.

AllConnect is able to browse your shared DLNA library from your Linux computer, and it can use Apple TV as a target device. After you start a media streaming, your phone is not involved in the streaming in any way, it goes directly from your computer to your Apple TV.

Dear Apple, why to make things this complicated? Oh right, to promote iTunes Store.  Standards? Who needs them...