NC State University

Realm Linux

Realm Linux is an Open Source project to create and maintain a managed Linux computing platform for NC State University. Designed for highly available servers, computational and research workstations, office use, and computer labs, Realm Linux is a versatile framework that aims to unify NCSU’s computing environment. Realm Linux is used widely throughout the university for production workloads including high traffic web server pools, hundreds of lab machines, database applications, file serving, research computing, LDAP pools, printing, and secure authentication services.

Features

Realm Linux boasts an array of features to automate and simplify system administration tasks for large numbers of machines.

  • Used widely throughout NC State University and by many system administrators. A large amount of institutional knowledge exists and many system administrators are able to help and advise each other on various solutions.
  • Centralized and secure management of root passwords where changes propagate within 4 hours. Or completely localized root passwords.
  • Realm Linux is built using the latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Supported by the NCSU Help Desk and via a Red Hat support contract.
  • Advanced configuration management tools allow system administrators to control every aspect of their machines even from remote locations.
  • Works outside of NC State University’s networks.
  • Automated propagation of security errata and system updates. Never be faced with annoying messages reminding you to update your systems.
  • NCSU accounts authenticated by Unity username and password. Localized accounts can be created at the discretion of the system administrator.
  • Centralized management of system administrators permitted to obtain root access or localized management.
  • Realm Linux “departments” divide machines into separate domains of control for each IT group on campus.
  • Centralized or localized file and print services.
  • Development process open to all that wish to contribute.

Documentation and FAQ

Documentation for the Realm Linux project is entirely on the Campus Linux Services Wiki. The best starting point is here:

The Realm Linux FAQ can be found below:

Download and Source Code

Realm Linux is not a Linux distribution in the traditional sense. Therefore, CDs or ISOs are not available. Realm Linux is a collection of configuration and packages. Those packages can be found in the following Yum repository:

The package build system, Subversion, and Git repositories can be found on the Realm Linux Source page in the CLS Wiki. The Git repositories also contain our default Puppet configuration.

Development

If you are interested in the development of Realm Linux please join our mailing lists and jabber chat room. (See Mailing Lists and Jabber) Also, please come to our committee meetings as announced on the realmlinux-service mailing list.

Bugs and tasks for Realm Linux and related projects are logged in Bugzilla as found below:

Contributers

The Realm Linux project has existed since 1999 and originally maintained by the Linux Users’ Group at NC State University. Project names have changed but the mission of the project remains constant. In 2010, Realm Linux was presented with the Gertrude M. Cox Award. However, none of the success of the Realm Linux project would have been realized without the time and talents of the many folks that have contributed over the years. The Realm Linux project would like to give special mention of the following contributers:

  • John Berninger
  • Nalin Dahyabhai
  • Nitin Dahyabhai
  • Breandan Dezendorf
  • Sean Dilda
  • Bill Dimmick
  • Michael Donaghy
  • Jason Corley
  • Justin Giacoletti
  • Warren Jasper
  • Jeremy Katz
  • Ryan Linn
  • Jack Neely
  • Elliot Peele
  • Matt Wilson