Would Government of Uganda use Ubuntu?

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Much of this article, has been shamelessly lifted from Mark Shuttleworth’s Blog because, am not sure if they would read it there, perhaps am over confident that they would read it here! So here it goes…along with my rumblings

Governments are making increasingly effective use of Ubuntu in large-scale projects, from big data to little schools. There is growing confidence in  open source in government quarters, and growing sophistication in how they engage with it.

But adopting open source is not just about replacing one kind of part with another. Open source is not just a substitute for shrink-wrapped proprietary software. It’s much more malleable in the hands of industry and users, and you can engage with it very differently as a result.  I’m interested in hearing from thought leaders in the civil service on ways they think governments could get much more value with open source, by embracing that flexibility. For example, rather than one-size-fits-all software, why can’t we deliver custom versions of Ubuntu for different regions or countries or even departments and purposes? Could we enable the city government of Frankfurt to order PC’s with the Ubuntu German Edition pre-installed?

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ICT Audit Volunteers Appeal

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Hello there,

I would like to, starting with myself; and my workplace, volunteer (and thereby source) services, skill and time, from people who would like to put their massive experience around ICTs to form a team that is willing to offer pro-bono ICT Audit services, as a way for the ICT community to develop each other.

Whereas I know this is probably someone’s bread and butter, I can only look at the ICT Community and more so our own LUG to find persons who I know will willingly and happily give of 2 half-day Saturdays, to work together to help me review the ICT structure, functions and systems here at IHSU.

Ideally, those people would have shared experiences spread among ICT functions, vital for a University such as Wireless Systems, Websites/Intranets, Server Administration, Networking and Administration.

I would like to do a strategic plan for IHSU’s ICT Department for the next few years, and a comprehensive ICT Audit would go a long way in providing rich input for a document and plan of this nature. For that, I need Alex Kisakye to lead a volunteered team.

What do you think?

Off my head, this team, could then use this experience to ‘audit’ other Universities (if willing) and/or companies that are heavily (or greatly intent on) using Free and Open Source Software.

Hoping to appeal to the entire ICT community.

How to install an SSL Certificate from Godaddy onto your SME Server

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This is my attempt at documenting my experience on renewing an installed SSL Certificate, generated by Godaddy, onto an SME server, release 7.5.1.

Go to a shell prompt on your SME server, and get into a familiar location, such as /home/e-smith.

Generate a 2048-bit RSA Private key, because as processing power of computers increases, 1024-bit private keys will be broken by the end of 2011 – in one month’s time! Run this command: 

# openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout yourdomain.key -out yourdomain.csr

This will bring up a shell based dialog where you add details of your domain. When its done, it will create two files in the location in which you have been working. so look out for yourdomain.key and yourdomain.csr files.

If your server (like mine) has no GUI, use scp to copy these 2 files to another location, the same location you will use to access your account at website. Otherwise, use any filemanager to locate the 2 files, and open the yourdomain.csr file.

In your godaddy account, Click on Certificates, and when your certificate is listed, select it. The menus at the top should now become active. Click on Re-key.

In the dialog box that opens, paste in the contents of yourdomain.csr file. Be sure to select GoDaddy as your Certificate Issuing Organization, before clicking on the black Re-Key button at the bottom. 

A new certificate will be created for your domain. Select it using the checkbox, and click on Download. Your browser should download a zip file, same name as your domain. Save this to the desktop, or anywhere you can easily trace it when you get back to the commandline shell. The download will include 2 files: gd_bundle.crt and yourdomain.crt.

 Extract these into folder named CERT (folder name is optional, does not have to be very specific).

Copy (or move, although i prefer to keep a copy elsewhere) these 2 files to the location on the server where the yourdomain.key and yourdomain.csr files are already located. In my case:

# cd /home/e-smith

# scp user@machinewithgui:/home/user/Desktop/CERT/* .  //// unless yo a commandline pro, this dot is intentional!

Optional: Use scp or putty or any client to drop a copy of the files created by the open ssl command, into the CERT folder on the machien with GUI.

This will ensure that you have 4 new files in each of the 2 locations. the 4 files should be:

yourdomain.key, yourdomain.csr, yourdomain.crt, gd_bundle.crt.

Now we need to move our files into the rightful locations. To do this, copy yourdomain.crt into /home/e-smith/ssl.crt/ and yourdomain.key into /home/e-smith/ssl.key/

Also, do copy gd_bundle.crt into /usr/share/ssl/certs/

The SME Server now needs to be told about your new certificate, and the key that was used to generate it. To do this, run these commands: 

# config setprop modSSL crt /home/e-smith/ssl.crt/yourdomain.crt

# config setprop modSSL key /home/e-smith/ssl.key/yourdomain.key

Be sure to delete the existing PEM file, as a new one will be created anyway. Run this command:

# rm /home/e-smith/ssl.pem/yourdomain.pem

Finally, run this command:

# signal-event post-upgrade; singal-event reboot


Please do let me know if this helps you in anyway. 

When LUG came to IHSU

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Today, i was happy to host the Linux User Group at IHSU. This is what happened here. Its quite a small thing for me running all this Ubuntu, but the raves and uhmms i heard while the IHSU Tour of facilities happened was really something of an encouragement.

IHSU will be happy to show anyone around, what it means to run/power a University with Open Source Software!

LUG Rocks, and we were happy to host you at IHSU. Come back soon.