Recent Blog Posts

Resolving Fedora DNF error "No such file or directory: '/var/lib/dnf/rpmdb_lock.pid'"

For many of my Ansible playbooks and roles, I have CI tests which run over various distributions, including CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. Many of my Docker Hub images for Ansible testing include systemd so I can test services that are installed inside. For the most part, systemd-related issues are rare, but it seems with Fedora and DNF, I often encounter random test failures which invariably have an error message like:

No such file or directory: '/var/lib/dnf/rpmdb_lock.pid'

The full Ansible traceback is:

My DevOps books are free in April, thanks to Device42!

Last month I announced I was going to make my books Ansible for DevOps and Ansible for Kubernetes available free on LeanPub through the end of March, so people who are in self-isolation and/or who have lost their jobs could level up their automation skills.

The response floored me—in less than two weeks, I had given away over 40,000 copies of the two books, and they jumped to the top of LeanPub's bestseller lists.

Ansible for DevOps purchases - free and paid
Purchases (over 99% with price set to 'free') of both books spiked within hours of the announcement.

Markdown is an excellent choice for documentation

Every few months, it seems a new post decrying the use of markdown for documentation (or other things) rises to the top of Hacker News.

There are often good reasons for preferring a more structured option, like reStructuredText, LaTeX, or Asciidoc. Especially in projects where more formal text is required, or where you need to support specialized and structured text formatting.

But for 98% of software projects (and in my experience, 95% of all other text I've ever written), markdown suffices, and it is truly a low barrier compared to the alternatives. It's basically plain text (which anyone can learn to write in a few seconds) with extra features.

I've written two books entirely in markdown—specifically, LeanPub-flavored markdown—and besides plain text, it is the easiest language for general content authoring.

Ansible 101 by Jeff Geerling - YouTube streaming series

After the incredible response I got from making my Ansible books free for the rest of March to help people learn new automation skills, I tried to think of some other things I could do to help developers who may be experiencing hardship during the coronavirus pandemic and market upheaval.

So I asked on Twitter:

And immediately got a lot of positive feedback.

So, on Wednesday, March 25, I kicked off a weekly 1-hour live-streaming series, "Ansible 101 with Jeff Geerling."

How to livestream Masses or other liturgies on YouTube

I've been working on video streaming on a tight budget for years, and have scrambled to get live-streaming going for some liturgies on short notice, so I figured I'd put together a video showing a few options from 'cheap using what you already have' to 'a little more expensive but within a reasonable budget'. Note that if you plan on having regular video streams for the long term, it's better to invest in a proper streaming system with remote-controlled PTZ cameras and hard-wired connections.

All of the options in this post will require at least a smartphone or computer (laptop preferred) with a good WiFi connection. Ideally, you can also plug your phone or laptop into power so the battery doesn't run out in the middle of the stream

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