Testing the Coral TPU Accelerator (M.2 or PCIe) in Docker

Google Coral TPU in PCIe carrier

I recently tried setting up an M.2 Coral TPU on a machine running Debian 12 'Bookworm', which ships with Python 3.11, making the installation of the pyCoral library very difficult (maybe impossible for now?).

Some of the devs responded 'just install an older Ubuntu or Debian release' in the GitHub issues, as that would give me a compatible Python version (3.9 or earlier)... but in this case I didn't want to do that.

Testing iperf through an SSH tunnel

I recently had a server with some bandwidth limitations (tested using scp and rsync -P), where I was wondering if the problem was the data being transferred, or the server's link speed.

The simplest way to debug and verify TCP performance is to install iperf3 and run an iperf speed test between the server and my computer.

On the server, you run iperf3 -s, and on my computer, iperf3 -c [server ip].

But iperf3 requires port 5201 (by default) to be open on the server, and in many cases—especially if the server is inside a restricted environment and only accessible through SSH (e.g. through a bastion or limited to SSH connectivity only)—you won't be able to get that port accessible.

So in my case, I wanted to run iperf through an SSH tunnel. This isn't ideal, because you're testing the TCP performance through an encrypted connection. But in this case both the server and my computer are extremely new/fast, so I'm not too worried about the overhead lost to the connection encryption, and my main goal was to get a performance baseline.

Fork Yeah! Examining open source history after Red Hat's move

We're at the stage in the Red Hat drama where everyone is consulting history, trying to figure out what parts are being repeated in 2023 after Red Hat effectively locked down the sources used to build RHEL clones.

One talk linked quite often was Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos, by Bryan Cantrill over a decade ago. Bryan was a software engineer at Sun, who went over to Oracle after the buyout, then left to join Joyent, and now resides as CTO of Oxide.

The talk focuses on Sun Microsystem's handling of Solaris and OpenSolaris, both before and after their Oracle acquisition, and the whole talk is worth a listen—so much context about the history of ZFS, Solaris, Illumos, dtrace, and even UNIX and Linux history are contained within.

But there was one section (around the 32:00 mark) where if you substitute "Red Hat" for "Sun," rhymes with this year's "open source company" drama:

I went back and looked at some of the mail trails about this and like, "oh, my God!"

Clearing up FUD surrounding Red Hat's actions

As someone who champions truth, yet knows truth is bent to espouse many ideas, I realize clever phrasing often turns irrational lies into strong beliefs—especially when passion takes over.

And we in the open source community are a passionate bunch.

Red Hat on mountain, generated by Bing AI images

But to clear the air a little bit—especially as I have seen some zingers going both directions (from Red Hat employees to the community, and vice-versa):

GPLv2, Red Hat, and You

(See update at the bottom of this post)

One of the interesting outcomes of the Red Hat situation:

Distribution of GPLv2-licensed code requires no restrictions be placed on downstream users rights to use and redistribute the code (whether they obtained it freely or paid for access):

Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients exercise of the rights granted herein.

Does threatening retaliation (account suspension) for sharing code count as a 'restriction' on exercising a user's rights?

So far I've heard from three corporate open source licensing experts the answer is no.

According to them, the EULA only deals with an account-holder's ability to acquire services from Red Hat (a contract).

I'm done with Red Hat (Enterprise Linux)

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Two years ago, Red Hat killed CentOS, a widely-used free version of their Enterprise Linux distribution.

The community of CentOS users—myself included—were labeled as 'freeloaders', using the work of the almighty Red Hat corporation, without contributing anything back. Don't mind all the open source developers, Linux kernel contributors, and software devs who used CentOS for testing and building their software. Also ignore the fact that Red Hat builds their product on top of Linux, which they didn't build and don't own.

Removing official support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

For all of my open source projects, effective immediately, I am no longer going to maintain 'official' support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

I will still support users of CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux, and Alma Linux, as I am able to test against those targets.

Support will be 'best effort', and if you mention you are using my work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I will close your bug/feature/support request as 'not reproducible', since doing so would require I jump through artificial barriers Red Hat has erected to prevent the use of their Linux distribution by the wider community.

For more of my reasoning, see my previous blog post: Dear Red Hat: Are you dumb?.

This decision will not change until and unless I see evidence Red Hat cares about giving free and open access to the sources required to build and test against their Linux distribution.


The timeline for this transition to not supporting RHEL is as follows:

Dear Red Hat: Are you dumb?

I've had a busy week, so I didn't have time until today to read this news about Red Hat locking down RHEL sources behind a Red Hat subscription.

I repeat the title: Red Hat, are you dumb?

When Red Hat decided to turn the community CentOS distribution into a leading-edge distro instead of basically "Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but free", users like me were justifiably angered.

I don't contribute to CentOS or Red Hat development much, if at all. But I have, for over a decade, provided software and tools that were compatible with RHEL, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, and sometimes other more exotic distros.

I could test my stuff against CentOS Stream... or UBI... or Fedora. Those are mostly like RHEL. Or I could try linking a Red Hat Developer subscription to my test runners and build tools so I could use a licensed copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, because that would be required for... actually ensuring compatibility.

But that's dumb.

How I installed TrueNAS on my new ASUSTOR NAS

A common question I get asked whenever my ASUSTOR NAS makes an appearance is: "but can it do ZFS?"

I'm still trying to convince them to add it to ADM alongside EXT4 and Btrfs support, but until that time, the 2nd best option is to just run another OS on the NAS! This is now permitted, but you won't get technical support from ASUSTOR for other OSes.

Some people (myself included) like buying hardware and... doing what we want with it! And for computer hardware, that often involves installing whatever OS and software we want to do the things we want to do. Pretty crazy, coming from a guy who uses a Mac, right?

ASUSTOR Flashstor 12 - front