Contact information

About me

In a nutshell, I'm a software engineer, open source evangelist and a bit of an IT security freak.

My first contact with Linux was an ancient version of Slackware, back in the mid 90's. Since then I have chopped and changed every major distribution, until I got my hands on Dapper. Since then, I have recommended Ubuntu to anyone who would listen, even those who don't.

I contribute to various open source projects (including Ubuntu), and do quiet a bit of Ubuntu-related development at work.

Contributions to Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu server appliances:
    • Helped introduce tens of thousands of new users to Ubuntu as a server platform.

    • I'm co-founder and one of the developers behind TurnKey Linux, an open source project developing a free virtual appliance library that features the very best server-orientated open source software.

    • The project is a sort of LoCo for server appliances. Instead of helping introduce users to Ubuntu on a geographical basis, we help introduce users to Ubuntu by helping them quickly setup and deploy Ubuntu as a server platform.

  • Open source development:
    • di-live - Provides the ability to install a "live" Debian based system to the harddisk, leveraging the power/flexability of d-i, with a completely modular implementation.

    • confconsole - Provides the user with basic network configuration information and the ability to perform basic tasks, so as not to force the user to the command line. Currently in the process of being included in Ubuntu (server-karmic-confconsole).

    • tklpatch - Customization Mechanism providing a dead-simple way in which an existing ISO (appliance) can be extended/tweaked by a given end-user/developer.

    • inithooks - Provides execution of firstboot and everyboot scripts.

    • ebsmount - Automatically mounts Amazon EC2 / Eucalyptus EBS (Elastic Block Storage) devices when they are attached. Working with Scott Moser for inclusion in Ubuntu for Maverick.

    • ec2metadata - Query and display EC2 metadata related to AMI instance. Signed over copyright to Canonical for inclusion in the cloud-init package.

    • Note: Some components are also hosted on github

  • Bugs:
    • APT: apt wants to downgrade packages with pin-priority less than 1000 (#315175)

    • APT: mixed distribution repository pinning with slimmed down sources.list produces unwanted results (#550307)

    • Wordpress: password reset link produces invalid keys (#519798)

    • phpBB3: default permissions break database restore and avatars uploading (#525690)

    • Mediawiki: violation of FHS with regard to extensions location (#518944)

    • Python-carrot: demoting python-amqp and python-stompy to recommends (#573420)

    • Other: launchpad bugs

  • Specs:
    • Pymin - Sketch for a modular and extendable configuration management system.

  • UDS:
    • UDS-M - Participated remotely, mainly in the Cloud/Server Track

    • UDS-N - Sponsored by Canonical, mainly in the Cloud/Server Track (my summary)

  • LoCo:

Plans for the future

  • Building out TurnKey Linux as a specialized extension of the Ubuntu community. We have a lot of tasks on our todo list including making the appliances more useful and easier to use, expanding the range of appliances we offer, adding 64-bit support, supporting more targets, etc.


  • I've worked a bit with Alon in the past. The work TurnKey Linux does is fantastic. It shortens the path of adoption of Ubuntu based systems considerably. Alon has recently started to work more closely with the Ubuntu development team, and I hope to get to work more with him in the future. -- SorenHansen

  • I've also worked a bit with Alon in the past. He has introduced a bunch of new class of users with Ubuntu appliances. He is easy going and great to work with. I hope to get to work with him more closely in the future as well. Thumbs up from me -- ChuckShort

  • I've worked with Alon recently on 'ebsmount', a Turnkey upstream project that we're trying to pull into Ubuntu. He is very open to input and interested in making sure that Ubuntu is high quality. -- ScottMoser

  • Alon's work with TurnKey Linux is extremely valuable to the Ubuntu community, bringing new Ubuntu users by way of Cloud Appliances. Alon is deserving of Ubuntu membership. -- DustinKirkland

  • I had the pleasure to have Alon part of our LoCo (Israel), since he came he was part of anything we did, including meetings and support in the IRC channel. Alon is a great guy and i hope to see him even more active in the future! -- Ddorda


alonswartz (last edited 2010-11-03 09:19:45 by alonswartz)