You are here

Planet Debian

Subscribe to Feed Planet Debian
random musings and comments The experience of a free software community member Entries tagged english random musings and comments Indeed, there are many other ways to make the world a better place; but Free Software is the one I like the most. (y eso no es poca cosa) Random thoughts about everything tagged by Debian Just another weblog random musings and comments Random thoughts about everything tagged by Debian Thinking inside the box Joachim Breitners Denkblogade Thinking inside the box Debian and Free Software Random thoughts about everything tagged by Debian Free Software Indie Hacker Echoes Random thoughts about everything tagged by Debian Recent content in Planet Debian on Iain R. Learmonth Current Working Directory liw's English language blog feed Reproducible builds blog A blog from a scientist and Debian developer (and occasional book writer)... Tricks for data handling, programming, debian administration and development, command-line and many other joyful things in the same spirit. Oh, and sometimes completey unrelated things ! ganbatte kudasai! Ben Hutchings's diary of life and technology Random thoughts about everything tagged by Debian Conteúdo de Antonio Terceiro marcado com a tag "english" Entries tagged english Recent content in Planet Debian on Iain R. Learmonth Joachim Breitners Denkblogade Ricardo Mones - Recent content in Planet Debian on Iain R. Learmonth faiblog Payson, AZ Open Source Developer and enthusiast dedicated to KDE Insider infos, master your Debian/Ubuntu distribution WEBlog -- Wouter's Eclectic Blog Debian and Free Software Digital-Scurf Ramblings Recent content in Planet Debian on Iain R. Learmonth random musings and comments Thinking inside the box Reproducible builds blog a personal blog of Dimitri John Ledkov Recent content in Planet Debian on Iain R. Learmonth anarcat jmtd liw's English language blog feed showing latest 10 James McCoy As time goes by ... pabs
Përditësimi: 3 months 3 javë më parë

Internationalization, part five: documentation and release!

Mër, 30/08/2017 - 9:27pd

LTSP Manager has just been announced in the ltsp-discuss mailing list! After long hours of testing and fixing issues that were related to the internationalization process, it’s now time to make it available to a broader audience. It’s currently available for Ubuntu and Debian via a PPA, and it will shortly get uploaded to Debian experimental.

We’ve documented all the necessary steps to install and maintain LTSP using LTSP Manager in the LTSP wiki: The initial documentation is deliberately concise so that new users can read all of it. We’ve also included best practices about user account management in schools etc.

This concludes all the tasks outlined by my Outreachy project, but of course not my involvement to LTSP Manager. I’ll keep using it in my schools and be an active part of its ecosystem. Many thanks to Debian Outreachy and to my mentors for the opportunity to work on this excellent project!

fottsia My outreachy project blog

GNOME Tweaks 3.25.91

Mar, 29/08/2017 - 11:52md

The GNOME 3.26 release cycle is in its final bugfix stage before release.

Here’s a look at what’s new in GNOME Tweaks since my last post.

I’ve heard people say that GNOME likes to remove stuff. If that were true, how would there be anything left in GNOME? But maybe it’s partially true. And maybe it’s possible for removals to be a good thing?

Removal #1: Power Button Settings

The Power page in Tweaks 3.25.91 looks a bit empty. In previous releases, the Tweaks app had a “When the Power button is pressed” setting that nearly duplicated the similar setting in the Settings app (gnome-control-center). I worked to restore support for “Power Off” as one of its options. Since this is now in Settings 3.25.91, there’s no need for it to be in Tweaks any more.

Removal #2: Hi-DPI Settings

GNOME Tweaks offered a basic control to scale windows 2x for Hi-DPI displays. More advanced support is now in the Settings app. I suspect that fractional scaling won’t be supported in GNOME 3.26 but it’s something to look forward to in GNOME 3.28!

Removal #3 Global Dark Theme

I am announcing today that one of the oldest and popular tweaks will be removed from Tweaks 3.28 (to be released next March). Global Dark Theme is being removed because:

  • Changing the Global Dark Theme option required closing any currently running apps and reopening them to get the correct theme.
  • It didn’t work for sandboxed apps (Flatpak and Snap)
  • It only worked for gtk3 apps (it can’t work on gtk2 apps)
  • Some themes never supported a Dark variant. The switch wouldn’t do anything at all with a theme like that.

Adwaita now has a separate Adwaita Dark theme. Arc has 2 different dark variations.

Therefore, if you are a theme developer, you have about 6-7 months to offer a dark version of your theme. The dark version can be distributed the same way as your regular version.

Removal #4 Some letters from our name

In case you haven’t noticed, GNOME Tweak Tool is now GNOME Tweaks. This better matches the GNOME app naming style. Thanks Alberto Fanjul for this improvement!

For other details of what’s changed including a helpful scrollbar fix from António Fernandes, see the NEWS file.

Jeremy Bicha Debian – Just Jeremy


Mar, 29/08/2017 - 5:35md

This semester I am taking JPN 530, “Haruki Murakami and the Literature of Modern Japan”. My department are letting me count it for the Philosophy Ph.D., and in fact my supervisor is joining me for the class. I have no idea what the actual class sessions will be like—first one this afternoon—and I’m anxious about writing a literature term paper. But I already know that my weekends this semester are going to be great because I’ll be reading Murakami’s novels.

What’s particularly wonderful about this, and what I wanted to write about, is how nourishing I find reading literary fiction to be. For example, this weekend I read

This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world. … Potentiality knocks at the door of my heart.

and I was fed for the day. All my perceived needs dropped away; that’s all it takes. This stands in stark contrast to reading philosophy, which is almost always draining rather than nourishing—even philosophy I really want to read. Especially having to read philosophy at the weekend.

(quotation is from On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl on a Beautiful April Morning)

Sean Whitton Notes from the Library

Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #122

Mar, 29/08/2017 - 5:13md

Here's what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday August 20 and Saturday August 26 2017:

Debian development
  • "Packages should build reproducibly" was released in Debian Policy For more background please see last week's post.
  • A patch by Chris Lamb to make Dpkg::Substvars warnings output deterministic was merged by Guillem Jover. This helps the Reproducible Builds effort as it removes unnecessary differences in logs of two package builds. (#870221)
Packages reviewed and fixed, and bugs filed

Forwarded upstream:

Accepted repoducibility NMUs in Debian:

Other issues:

Reviews of unreproducible packages

16 package reviews have been added, 38 have been updated and 48 have been removed in this week, adding to our knowledge about identified issues.

2 issue types have been updated:

Weekly QA work

During our reproducibility testing, FTBFS bugs have been detected and reported by:

  • Adrian Bunk (37)
  • Dmitry Shachnev (1)
  • James Cowgill (1)
diffoscope development disorderfs development

Version 0.5.2-1 was uploaded to unstable by Ximin Luo. It included contributions from:

reprotest development Misc.

This week's edition was written — in alphabetical order — by Bernhard M. Wiedemann, Chris Lamb, Mattia Rizzolo & reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC & the mailing lists.

Reproducible builds folks Reproducible builds blog

RcppSMC 0.2.0

Mar, 29/08/2017 - 4:38pd

A new version 0.2.0 of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier today (as a very quick pretest-publish within minutes of submission).

RcppSMC provides Rcpp-based bindings to R for the Sequential Monte Carlo Template Classes (SMCTC) by Adam Johansen described in his JSS article.

This release 0.2.0 is chiefly the work of Leah South, a Ph.D. student at Queensland University of Technology, who was during the last few months a Google Summer of Code student mentored by Adam and myself. It was pleasure to work with Leah on this, and see her progress. Our congratulations to Leah for a job well done!

Changes in RcppSMC version 0.2.0 (2017-08-28)
  • Also use .registration=TRUE in useDynLib in NAMESPACE

  • Multiple Sequential Monte Carlo extensions (Leah South as part of Google Summer of Code 2017)

    • Switching to population level objects (#2 and #3).

    • Using Rcpp attributes (#2).

    • Using automatic RNGscope (#4 and #5).

    • Adding multiple normalising constant estimators (#7).

    • Static Bayesian model example: linear regression (#10 addressing #9).

    • Adding a PMMH example (#13 addressing #11).

    • Framework for additional algorithm parameters and adaptation (#19 addressing #16; also #24 addressing #23).

    • Common adaptation methods for static Bayesian models (#20 addressing #17).

    • Supporting MCMC repeated runs (#21).

    • Adding adaptation to linear regression example (#22 addressing #18).

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is a diffstat report for this release.

More information is on the RcppSMC page. Issues and bugreports should go to the GitHub issue tracker.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Dirk Eddelbuettel Thinking inside the box

Gaming: The Long Dark – Wintermute Episode 1

Hën, 28/08/2017 - 7:50pd

One month ago the Story Mode for The Long Dark has been released. Finally I managed to finish the first of the two chapters, and it was worth the wait.

I have played many ours in the Sandbox mode, but while the first days in story mode are like hand-holding kids, on the fifth day you are kicked into a brutal void with lots, and I mean *lots* of wolves being more than eager to devour you.

Targeting new players the four days one just practice basic techniques, fire making, water, food, first aid, collecting materials. Finally one is allowed to leave the crash site of the plane and climbs out into a mountainous area searching for shelter and at the end for Milton, a deserted village. But the moment one reaches a street, wolves are appearing again and again, and the only way is often to run from car to car and hide there, hoping not to freeze to death. Took me several tries to make it to the church and then into town to meet the Grey Mother.

The rest of epsiode one is dedicated to various tasks set by the Grey Mother, and some additional (optional) side quests. And while the first encounter with the wolves was pretty grim, in the later parts I had the feeling that they became a bit more easy to take. This might be related to one of the many patches (8 till now) that were shipped out in this month.

After having finished all the quests, including the side quests (and found the very useful distress pistol), I made my way out of Milton, probably not to be seen again?! And while all the quests were finished, I had the feeling I could spend a bit more time and explore the surroundings, maybe something is still hiding out there. But shouldering the climbing rope and climbing out of Milton leads to a very beautiful last stretch, a canyon lined with waterfalls leading to a cave and to the next episode.

Now I only need more time to play Episode 2.

Norbert Preining There and back again

The Joy of Exploring: Old Phone Systems, Pizza, and Discovery

Hën, 28/08/2017 - 3:54pd

This story involves boys pretending to be pizza deliverymen using a working automated Strowger telephone exchange demonstrator on display in a museum, which is very old and is, to my knowledge, the only such working exhibit in the world. (Yes, I have video.) But first, a thought on exploration.

There are those that would say that there is nothing left to explore anymore – that the whole earth is mapped, photographed by satellites, and, well, known.

I prefer to look at it a different way: the earth is full of places that billions of people will never see, and probably don’t even know about. Those places may be quiet country creeks, peaceful neighborhoods one block away from major tourist attractions, an MTA museum in Brooklyn, a state park in Arkansas, or a beautiful church in Germany.

Martha is not yet two months old, and last week she and I spent a surprisingly long amount of time just gazing at tree branches — she was mesmerized, and why not, because to her, everything is new.

As I was exploring in Portland two weeks ago, I happened to pick up a nearly-forgotten book by a nearly-forgotten person, Beryl Markham, a woman who was a pilot in Africa about 80 years ago. The passage that I happened to randomly flip to in the bookstore, which really grabbed my attention, was this:

The available aviation maps of Africa in use at that time all bore the cartographer’s scale mark, ‘1/2,000,000’ — one over two million. An inch on the map was about thitry-two miles in the air, as compared to the flying maps of Europe on which one inch represented no more than four air miles.

Moreover, it seemed that the printers of the African maps had a slightly malicious habit of including, in large letters, the names of towns, junctions, and villages which, while most of them did exist in fact, as a group of thatched huts may exist or a water hold, they were usually so inconsequential as completely to escape discovery from the cockpit.

Beyond this, it was even more disconcerting to examine your charts before a proposed flight only to find that in many cases the bulk of the terrain over which you had to fly was bluntly marked: ‘UNSURVEYED’.

It was as if the mapmakers had said, “We are aware that between this spot and that one, there are several hundred thousands of acres, but until you make a forced landing there, we won’t know whether it is mud, desert, or jungle — and the chances are we won’t know then!”

— Beryl Markham, West With the Night

My aviation maps today have no such markings. The continent is covered with radio beacons, the world with GPS, the maps with precise elevations of the ground and everything from skyscrapers to antenna towers.

And yet, despite all we know, the world is still a breathtaking adventure.

Yesterday, the boys and I were going to fly to Abilene, KS, to see a museum (Seelye Mansion). Circumstances were such that we neither flew, nor saw that museum. But we still went to Abilene, and wound up at the Museum of Independent Telephony, a wondrous place for anyone interested in the history of technology. As it is one of those off-the-beaten-path sorts of places, the boys got 2.5 hours to use the hands-on exhibits of real old phones, switchboards, and also the schoolhouse out back. They decided — why not? — to use this historic equipment to pretend to order pizzas.

Jacob and Oliver proceeded to invent all sorts of things to use the phones for: ordering pizza, calling the cops to chase the pizza delivery guys, etc. They were so interested that by 2PM we still hadn’t had lunch and they claimed “we’re not hungry” despite the fact that we were going to get pizza for lunch. And I certainly enjoyed the exhibits on the evolution of telephones, switching (from manual plugboards to automated switchboards), and such.

This place was known – it even has a website, I had been there before, and in fact so had the boys (my parents took them there a couple of years ago). But yesterday, we discovered the Strowger switch had been repaired since the last visit, and that it, in fact, is great for conversations about pizza.

Whether it’s seeing an eclipse, discovering a fascination with tree branches, or historic telephones, a spirit of curiosity and exploration lets a person find fun adventures almost anywhere.

John Goerzen The Changelog

The Importance of Choosing the Correct Mastodon Instance

Hën, 28/08/2017 - 12:00pd

Remember, Mastodon is a new decentralized social network, based on a free software which is rapidly gaining users (already there is more than 1.5 million accounts). As I’ve created my account in June, I was a fast addict and I’ve already created several tools for this network, Feed2toot, Remindr and Boost (mostly written in Python).

Now, with all this experience I have to stress out the importance of choosing the correct Mastodon instance.

Some technical reminders on how Mastodon works

First, let’s quickly clarify something about the decentralized part. In Mastodon, decentralization is made through a federation of dedicated servers, called “instances”, each one with a complete independent administration. Your user account is created on one specific instance. You have two choices:

  • Create your own instance. Which requires advanced technical knowledge.
  • Create your user account on a public instance. Which is the easiest and fastest way to start using Mastodon.

You can move your user account from one instance to another, but you have to follow a special procedure which can be quite long, considering your own interest for technical manipulation and the total amount of your followers you’ll have to warn about your change. As such, you’ll have to create another account on a new instance and import three lists: the one with your followers, the one with the accounts you have blocked, and the one with the account you have muted.

From this working process, several technical and human factors will interest us.

A good technical administration for instance

As a social network, Mastodon is truly decentralized, with more than 1.5 million users on more than 2350 existing instances. As such, the most common usage is to create an account on an open instance. To create its own instance is way too difficult for the average user. Yet, using an open instance creates a strong dependence on the technical administrator of the chosen instance.

The technical administrator will have to deal with several obligations to ensure its service continuity, with high-quality hardware and regular back-ups. All of these have a price, either in money and in time.

Regarding the time factor, it would be better to choose an administration team over an individual, as life events can change quite fast everyone’s interests. As such, Framasoft, a French association dedicated to promoting the Free software use, offers its own Mastodon instance named: Framapiaf. The creator of the mastodon project, also offers a quite solid instance, (see below).

Regarding the money factor, many instance administrators with a large number of users are currently asking for donation via Patreon, as hosting an instance server or renting one cost money., the first instance of the Mastodon network

The Ideological Trend Of Your Instance

If anybody could have guessed the previous technical points since the recent registration explosion on the Mastodon social network, the following point took almost everyone by surprise. Little by little, different instances show their “culture”, their protest action, and their propaganda on this social network.

As the instance administrator has all the powers over its instance, he or she can block the instance of interacting with some other instances, or ban its instance’s users from any interaction with other instances’ users.

With everyone having in mind the main advantages to have federalized instance from, this partial independence of some instances from the federation was a huge surprise. One of the most recent example was when the instance administrator banned its users from reading Aeris’ account, which was on its own instance. It was a cataclysm with several consequences, which I’ve named the #AerisGate as it shows the different views on moderation and on its reception by various Mastodon users.

If you don’t manage your own instance, when you’ll have to choose the one where to create your account, make sure that the content you plan to toot is within the rules and compatible with the ideology of said instance’s administrator. Yes, I know, it may seem surprising but, as stated above, by entering a public instance you become dependent on someone else’s infrastructure, who may have an ideological way to conceive its Mastodon hosting service. As such, if you’re a nazi, for example, don’t open your Mastodon account on a far-left LGBT instance. Your account wouldn’t stay open for long.

The moderation rules are described in the “about/more” page of the instance, and may contain ideological elements.

To ease the process for newcomers, it is now possible to use a great tool to select what instance should be the best to host your account.


Remember that, as stated above, Mastodon is decentralized, and as such there is no central authority which can be reached in case you have a conflict with your instance’ administrator. And nobody can force said administrator to follow its own rules, or not to change them on the fly.

Think Twice Before Creating Your Account

If you want to create an account on an instance you don’t control, you need to check two elements: the availability of the instance hosting service in the long run, often linked to the administrator or the administration group of said instance, and the ideological orientation of your instance. With these two elements checked, you’ll be able to let your Mastodon account growth peacefully, without fearing an outage of your instance, or simple your account blocked one morning because it doesn’t align with your instance’s ideological line.

in Conclusion

To help me get involved in free software and writing articles for this blog, please consider a donation through my Liberapay page, even if it’s only a few cents per week. My contact Bitcoin and Monero are also available on this page.

Follow me on Mastodon

Translated from French to English by Stéphanie Chaptal.

Carl Chenet debian – Carl Chenet's Blog

On my way home from OMGWTFBBQ

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 8:42md

I started writing this while sitting in Stansted on my way home from the annual UK Debian BBQ. I’m finally home now, after a great weekend catching up with folk. It’s a good social event for a bunch of Debian folk, and I’m very grateful that Steve and Jo continue to make it happen. These days there are also a number of generous companies chipping in towards the cost of food and drink, so thanks also to Codethink and QvarnLabs AB for the food, Collabora and Mythic Beasts for the beer and Chris for the coffee. And Rob for chasing us all for contributions to cover the rest.

I was trying to remember when the first one of these I attended was; trawling through mail logs there was a Cambridge meetup that ended up at Steve’s old place in April 2001, and we’ve consistently had the summer BBQ since 2004, but I’m not clear on what happened in between. Nonetheless it’s become a fixture in the calendar for those of us in the UK (and a number of people from further afield who regularly turn up). We’ve become a bit more sedate, but it’s good to always see a few new faces, drink some good beer (yay Milton), eat a lot and have some good conversations. This year also managed to get me a SheevaPlug so I could investigate #837989 - a bug with OpenOCD not being able to talk to the device. Turned out to be a channel configuration error in the move to new style FTDI support, so I’ve got that fixed locally and pushed the one line fix upstream as well.

Jonathan McDowell Noodles' Emptiness

starting the correct Chromium profile when opening links from IRC

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 6:18md

I am using Chromium/Chrome as my main browser and I also use its profile/people feature to separate my work profile (bookmarks, cookies, etc) from my private one.

However, Chromium always opens links in the last window (and by that profile) that was in foreground last. And that is pretty much not what I want. Especially if I open a link from IRC and it might lead to some shady rick-roll page.

Thankfully, getting the list of available Chromium profiles is pretty easy and so is displaying a few buttons using Python.

To do so I wrote cadmium, which scans the available Chromium profiles and allows to start either of them, or Chromium's Incognito Mode. On machines with SELinux it can even launch Chromium in the SELinux sandbox.

No more links opened in the wrong profile. Yay!

evgeni (Posts about planet-debian)

BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 5 - and a bit of a retrospective

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 5:01md
Thanks to all the sponsors of this BBQ who have made this so awesome.

This is also post 100 in this blog - looking  back, 90 or so of the 100 have been from Cambridge which just goes to show how much of the world revolves around a radius of about five miles from here

Likewise, there are folk in the room whom I've known for 20 years even if I'm dreadful with remembering  stuff. There's also scope for remembering absent friends who have got us this far and are no longer with us, for whatever reason.

I've just handed over some CDs and DVDs which, if readable, have a collective memory back to Debian 0.93 in about 1994 - even if not readable, they're a document of how far we've come from boot floppies to VMs, Bu-Ray size images and architectures undreamt of all those years ago. Andrew Cater FLOSSLinux

Helping out around the edges ...

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 4:49md
for two point releases of Debian CDs.

Lots of testing, lots of folk chatting on IRC on #debian-cd - it's a good process.

Very impressed by processes behind the scenes to obtain necessary computer accounts, access to machines and various other things that are absolutely necessary and invisible from the outside. Hofstadter's law applies of course - it always takes longer than you think, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law.

Also many thanks for the patience and tolerance of people I've known for many years but who I get to see all too seldom. It's a nice group to be with, as ever. Andrew Cater FLOSSLinux

BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 4

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 4:41md
Room full of people with laptops and an amount of chatting going on. Annoyingly, I can't get the thing I want to work but there's a whole load of other folk deep into dealing with all sorts.

The garden is also full but I'm guessing everyone is under the gazebos - it's now hot and sunny, unusual for a British holiday weekend. Andrew Cater FLOSSLinux


Dje, 27/08/2017 - 3:49md
Holger Levsen Any sufficiently advanced thinking is indistinguishable from madness


Dje, 27/08/2017 - 2:55md
setting up a coreboot build environment, including an Ada compiler

So without much explaination, this is how lynxis told me how to setup a coreboot build environment, which contains an Ada compiler which is needed to build the free graphics initialisation for Intel cards (=so no binary VGA bios blob is needed).

The Ada compiler is build automatically by default if it's build depends are installed:

sudo apt install build-essential bison flex zlib1g-dev ncurses-dev gnat git clone --recursive cd coreboot/ git submodule update --init --checkout 3rdparty/blobs # for the x230 this only contains microcode updates make iasl CPUS=$(nproc) make gnumake CPUS=$(nproc) make crossgcc-i386 CPUS=$(nproc)

coreboot is then build as usual:

make menuconfig make

That's it.

(I've just left out the steps to choose the coreboot revision and validating it, as well as choosing a configurationwith make menuconfig as this is better documented elsewhere.)

Holger Levsen Any sufficiently advanced thinking is indistinguishable from madness

BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 3

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 2:24md
One set of gazebos put up: kilos of mushrooms eaten, bacon, mushrooms and all the trimmings barbequed and consumed by the hordes. Now laptops are sprouting in the garden under the gazebos as the temperature is soaring,

Some folk are quiet in the house under fans typing and cooling off.

Masses of washing up is being done - as ever, it's how many people you can fit into a kitchen.

Now it will all go quiet for a bit as everyone lets the breakfast go down :)

Superb hospitality - we're _SO_ lucky to have Steve and Jo do this so readily. Andrew Cater FLOSSLinux

Let's send patches to debian-policy (rst file is your friend :-)

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 1:26md
As I posted before, now debian-policy package uses Sphinx. It means, you can edit and send patches for Debian Policy easier than ever. Get source (install devscripts package and exec 'debcheck debian-policy')  and dig into policy directory. There are several rst files for each chapter.

Open it with your favorite editor and edit (Perhaps most of editors support reStructuredText, and if not, check its extension).

rst file is more friendly than old policy.xml file :-)

Then, commit and create patches with 'git format-patch'. Not much complicated, right? Hideki Yamane Henrich plays with Debian

BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 2

Dje, 27/08/2017 - 12:50md
We were all up until about 0100 :) House full of folk talking about all sorts, a game of Mao. Garden full of people clustered round the barbeque or sitting chatting - I had a long chat about Debian, what it means and how it's often an easier world to deal with and move in than the world of work, office politics or whatever - being here is being at home.

Arguments in the kitchen over how far coffee "just happens" with the magic bean to cup machine, some folk are in the garden preparing for breakfast at noon.

I missed the significance of this week's  date - the 26th anniversary of Linus' original announcement of Linux in 1991 fell on Friday. Probably the first user of Linux who installed it from scratch was Lars Wirzenius - who was here yesterday.

Debian's 24th birthday  was just about ten days ago on 16th August, making it the second oldest distribution and I reckon I've been using it for twenty one of those years - I wouldn't change it for the world. Andrew Cater FLOSSLinux

freenode #live

Sht, 26/08/2017 - 2:00pd

For those of you who might not be aware, freenode is an IRC network that caters to free and open source projects. We have had a goal for a number of years to hold freenode #live, an in-person conference where our staff, projects, FOSS supporters, and IRC enthusiasts could all get together in one place. Thanks to some very generous sponsorship, primarily by Private Internet Access, this conference is finally happening! The first ever freenode #live conference will take place October 28 - 29, 2017 in Bristol, United Kingdom.

This conference will only be a success with support from the community. Luckily, there are many ways to help out.

  1. Register to attend. We are working on putting together a great lineup of speakers that you will not want to miss. Registering allows us to finalize many logistical details surrounding the event to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  2. Do you represent a FOSS group? We would love to have your group present at the event. There will be an exhibitor hall where you can advertise your organization and attract new users and contributors.
  3. Submit a talk. Our call for proposals is still open. New and experienced speakers are welcome. Feel free to contact and we would be happy to work with you to come up with a talk idea or provide feedback.
  4. If you or your company are interested in helping to sponsor this event, please reach out to We have opportunities for budgets of all sizes.

I look forward to hopefully seeing you at freenode #live!

Nathan Handler - Debian

Interesting times debugging puppet

Pre, 25/08/2017 - 11:00md

I recently upgraded a bunch of systems from Jessie to Stretch, and as a result of that one of my hosts has started showing me a lot of noise in an hourly cron-email:

Command line is not complete. Try option "help"

I've been ignoring these emails for the past while, but today I sat down to track down the source. It was obviously coming from facter, the system that puppet uses to gather information about hosts.

Running facter -debug made that apparent:

root@smaug ~ # facter --debug Found no suitable resolves of 1 for ec2_metadata value for ec2_metadata is still nil value for netmask_git is still nil value for ipaddress6_lo is still nil value for macaddress_lo is still nil value for ipaddress_master is still nil value for ipaddress6_master is still nil Command line is not complete. Try option "help" value for netmask_master is still nil value for ipaddress_skx_mail is still nil ..

There we see the issue, and it is obviously relating to our master interface.

To cut a long-story short /usr/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/facter/util/ip.rb contains some code which eventually runs this:

ip link show $interface

That works on all other interfaces I have:

$ ip link show git 6: git: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000

But not on master:

$ ip link show master Command line is not complete. Try option "help"

I ninja-edited the code from this:

ethbond = regex.match(%x{/sbin/ip link show '#{interface}'})


ethbond = regex.match(%x{/sbin/ip link show dev '#{interface}'})

And suddenly puppet-runs without any errors. I'm not 100% sure if this is a bug bug, but it is something of a surprise anyway.

This host runs KVM guests, one of the guests is a puppet-master, with a local name master. Hence the name of the interface. Similarly the interface git is associated with the KVM guest behind

Steve Kemp Steve Kemp's Blog