Notes for my nephew’s wife Jonesy, about setting up QuShape in a Linux VM.

Install the latest version of VirtualBox VM software, from

Download the Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS install image, from . I specifically recommend the LTS version because it stands for Long Term Support, meaning you won’t be forced to upgrade the OS for up to 2022.

Startup Virtualbox. Click on New. Pick Linux, Ubuntu 64 bit, name it whatever you like (perhaps QuShape). Pick the amount of memory to use for this VM (pick at least 4 GB, probably 1/2 to all of whatever your Mac has). Make the virtual disk at least 20 GB to start, but at least 10 GB larger than the amount of memory you chose to assign (so, if you are creating a 32 GB VM, pick at least 42 GB disk).

Note: Virtualbox virtual disks won’t start out using that much disk space at all. In fact, what you are really setting is the maximum amount of disk this VM can use.

After the VM is created, click on Edit Settings, and go into the Storage menu. Click on the cd drive, then find the tiny icon on the right side that looks like a compact disc. Click it, pick ‘other image’ and find the Ubuntu iso file you downloaded. Click ok.

Start the VM. Every time you start a virtualbox vm, it puts up a tiny, annoying message about the mouse pointer. Click the x and ignore the msg like everyone else. Go through the install procedure. Reboot at the end.

After the first reboot, login to the gui using the userid you setup in the install. The very first login takes longer than usual, because it has to set everything up for you.

Once you get a menu bar on the left, click on the top icon. Type “term” in the search window, and wait a second while it shows all apps that match. Click on Terminal.

Download the script by running ‘curl -O’ .

Run it by entering ‘sh’. It runs sudo, so you will be prompted to enter your ubuntu password again. The upgrade takes a few minutes.

When you are done, reboot again by running ‘sudo shutdown -r now’, or finding the shutdown/reboot options on the menus in the upper right corner.

When the system comes back up, login again, click on the upper left icon again, click on the terminal program, and just enter ‘qs’ anytime you want to start QuShape.

African elephants are being born without tusks due to poaching, researchers say | The Independent

Fascinating. In our lifetime, African Elephants have EVOLVED such that more tuskless elephants are being born.

An increasing number of African elephants are now born tuskless because poachers have consistently targetted animals with the best ivory over decades, fundamentally altering the gene pool. In some areas 98 per cent of female elephants now have no tusks, researchers have said, compared to between two and six per cent born tuskless on average in the past. 

Source: African elephants are being born without tusks due to poaching, researchers say | The Independent

Docker – just don’t quite get the whole ecosystem yet

I get all the technology. I have plenty of experience with Linux Containers, I get all the tools, and how to get them to work. My only confusion seems to be how is an engineer supposed to learn how to build an application, beyond starting from alpine or centos or archos and installing and configuring packages? Is there a modern cloud bible that I’m missing?

For example, what is the benefit of all those docker repositories, anyway? For example, I see tons of openvpn containers out there. How am I supposed to review them, choose one to fit my needs? Kitematic shows “stars”, but it’s rare in a category of more than 10 items that more than 4 have any stars at all. Am I supposed to download all 75 of them, try each one out, figure out what the benefits of each are, what configuration/management/logging differences are setup for each one, or what? This is pure chaos, if you ask me. Docker is a toolkit, not a functioning application ecosystem, not yet anyway.

I also fail to understand how to setup persistent storage for a service. Let’s say I want to run a DHCP service. Ton’s of prebuilt dhcp containers out there I can start with, or I can build my own. How do I keep my enterprise data stored, backed up, live somewhere? If the container host goes down and I re-launch my container elsewhere, all the data learned since the container was built is lost.
Kafka requires local storage for all the objects it’s maintaining. Splunk indexers need disk space to store the data they’re indexing. Mysql needs disks to store the data. It’s simple to setup a container that has some disk space, but how do you persist past any once instance. There must be a chapter in a book I’ve not read yet. It would make more sense if I could figure out how to mount iSCSI or CEPH volumes, or anything other than simple NFS file servers for persistent storage for a cluster node.

It would make a whole lot more sense if docker repositories published the docker-compose.yml, Dockerfile and other config files people used to create their versions of the applications. Seems like lots of recipies are on github, I need to look into that. I just want to see the steps they used to build their service, not only the final result. Let me see how to configure each package, how to setup a load balancer, how to setup a schema, how someone else solved a complex problem like mine.

The docker-registry is perfect for deploying pre-built containers locally to publish production ready containers for your operations department to launch on amazon or in the private cloud, but I really don’t want to only be able to download various people’s pre-built containers. If I can’t trust how it was built, if it’s not reproducible, modifiable, then I don’t want it.