Free Resources and Guides for Advancing Your Open Source Skillset

by Ostatic Staff - May. 26, 2016

On a regular basis, we at OStatic update our collections of open source resources, tutorials, free open source books, reviews, product comparisons and project tours. These educational toolkits are an essential part of the learning mission we try to preserve at the site.

Whether you're looking for resources for working with the cloud, Linux tutorials, or other items of interest, we have many useful collections of resources on this site. In this post, you'll find our latest roundup of the most useful open source guides and tools, plus interviews with open source leaders.

Here are many of our most popular resource collections, many of them chock full of free, useful tools and educational resources:

Streaming with VLC Media Player on Your Network and in the Cloud

Free Guidance on Open Cloud Computing

6 Ways to Get Much More Out of GIMP

FLOSS Manuals Offers Documentation for Cool Tools 

Free and Fast Ways to Pick Up OpenStack Savvy

 Leveraging Open Source? If So, Keep it Legal

5 Resources for Digging Into Linux

We regularly do interviews with open source leaders, and here are some must-see interviews:

Conversations with the Leaders

Eucalyptus Cloud Originator Rich Wolski on the Cloud and Big Data

Mirantis Co-Founder Boris Renski Taks OpenStack

Q&A: Apcera's Neeraj Gupta

And finally, here are some useful guides and tutorials focused on the open source cloud:

Intro to the Open Cloud. A few months back, The Linux Foundation announced the release of its 2015 report "Guide to the Open Cloud: Open Cloud Projects Profiled." The report covers well-known projects like Cloud Foundry, OpenStack, Docker and Xen Project, and up-and-comers such as Apache Mesos, CoreOS and Kubernetes. It's especially useful if you are planning a cloud deployment. To download the full report, you can visit The Linux Foundation's Publication's website at: Meanwhile, The Open Data Center Alliance has issued a “usage model” that defines how computing, network and storage resources combine to form cloud infrastructure. It is available here.

The FLOSS Manuals ownCloud Guide. As we've reported, FLOSS Manuals' guide to ownCloud is completely free, and a good starting point. Before diving into it, you may want to gain some familiarity with what ownCloud is, which we covered here. The FLOSS Manuals guide is aimed to be a complement to the existing documentation at It has sections on how to share files, calendars, contacts and more in the cloud, and optimize security. There is a whole section on SysAdmin tools, which makes experimenting with ownCloud easy.

ownCloud on Linux. There are many good tutorials available for running ownCloud on Linux. Linux User & Developer has a good one here, and Ubuntu users can find an easy tutorial here.

OpenStack Basics. For getting up to speed with OpenStack, you may want to take a look at what the Data Center Knowledge site offers. It has surprisingly easy to follow and rich video demos and explanations of the OpenStack platform. If you're totally new to the OpenStack cloud platform, look into Data Center Knowledge's OpenStack 101 video, which comes originally from Rackspace and NASA. As the site notes: "Rackspace, one of the original founders of the OpenStack project along with NASA, published this video that gives quick primer on OpenStack, what it is and who uses it. This 6-minute video, which is part of an ongoing series on OpenStack, introduces the cloud OS and dives into it from a high level to give you the basic understanding of this disruptive technology."

We have also covered The OpenStack Foundation's launch of a Training Marketplace designed to make it easier to discover training courses offered by providers in the OpenStack community. The foundation has made available a series of free, online training guides. Also, has some excellent coverage of OpenStack tutorials, found here and here.

Managing and Hosting Online Video. More and more cloud deployments need to include intelligent ways to host video content, and Floss Manuals' guide to hosting independent video can provide much help. The guide focuses on approaches and tools to host, showcase and 'aggregate' video content, and also makes specific technology recommendations.

Plumi. Plumi is a free Content Management System (CMS) designed for video-sharing, based on Plone and produced by EngageMedia. Plumi enables you to create your own video sharing site; by installing Plumi on your web server your can use a wide array of functionality to facilitate video distribution and community creation. Features include video podcasting, server-side flash/ogg transcoding and embedded playback, open content licensing, a sophisticated publishing workflow and large file uploading via FTP. You can find a compete manual on FLOSS Manuals, here.