Planet Debian

Syndicate content
Planet Debian - http://planet.debian.org/
Updated: 18 hours 51 min ago

Wouter Verhelst: Using your Belgian eID with SSH mark two

Thu, 2014-07-31 05:28

Several years ago, I blogged about how to use a Belgian electronic ID card with SSH. I never really used it myself, but was interested in figuring out if it would still work.

The good news is that since then, you don't need to recompile OpenSSH anymore to get PKCS#11 support; this is now compiled in by default.

The slightly bad news is that there will be some more typework. Rather than entering ssh-add -D 0 (to access the PKCS#11 certificate in slot 0), you should now enter something along the lines of ssh-add -s /usr/lib/libbeidpkcs11.so.0. This will ask for your passphrase, but it isn't necessary to enter the correct pin code at this point in time. The first time you try to log on, you'll get a standard beid dialog box where you should enter your pin code; this will then work. The next time, you'll be logged on and you can access servers without having to enter a pin code.

The worse news is that there seems to be a bug in ssh-agent, making it impossible to unload a PKCS#11 library. Doing ssh-add -D will remove your keys from the agent; the next time you try to add them again, however, ssh-agent will simply report SSH_AGENT_FAILURE. I suspect the dlopen()ed modules aren't being unloaded when the keys are removed.

Unfortunately, the same (or at least, a similar) bug appears to occur when one removes the card from the cardreader.

As such, I don't currently recommend trying to use this.

Update: fix command-line options to ssh-add invocation above.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Petter Reinholdtsen: Debian Edu interview: Bernd Zeitzen

Thu, 2014-07-31 01:30

The complete and free “out of the box” software solution for schools, Debian Edu / Skolelinux, is used quite a lot in Germany, and one of the people involved is Bernd Zeitzen, who show up on the project mailing lists from time to time with interesting questions and tips on how to adjust the setup. I managed to interview him this summer.

Who are you, and how do you spend your days?

My name is Bernd Zeitzen and I'm married with Hedda, a self employed physiotherapist. My former profession is tool maker, but I haven't worked for 30 years in this job. 30 years ago I started to support my wife and become her officeworker and a few years later the administrator for a small computer network, today based on Ubuntu Server (Samba, OpenVPN). For her daily work she has to use Windows Desktops because the software she needs to organize her business only works with Windows . :-(

In 1988 we started with one PC and DOS, then I learned to use Windows 98, 2000, XP, …, 8, Ubuntu, MacOSX. Today we are running a Linux server with 6 Windows clients and 10 persons (teacher of children with special needs, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist and officeworkers) using our Samba shares via OpenVPN to work with the documentations of our patients.

How did you get in contact with the Skolelinux / Debian Edu project?

Two years ago a friend of mine asked me, if I want to get a job in his school (Gymnasium Harsewinkel). They started with Skolelinux / Debian Edu and they were looking for people to give support to the teachers using the software and the network and teaching the pupils increasing their computer skills in optional lessons. I'm spending 4-6 hours a week with this job.

What do you see as the advantages of Skolelinux / Debian Edu?

The independence.

First: Every person is allowed to use, share and develop the software. Even if you are poor, you are allowed to use the software included in Skolelinux/Debian Edu and all the other Free Software.

Second: The software runs on old machines and this gives us the possibility to recycle computers, weeded out from offices. The servers and desktops are running for more than two years and they are working reliable.

We have two servers (one tjener and one terminal server), 45 workstations in three classrooms and seven laptops as a mobile solution for all classrooms. These machines are all booting from the terminal server. In the moment we are installing 30 laptops as mobile workstations. Then the pupils have the possibility to work with these machines in their classrooms. Internet access is realized by a WLAN router, connected to the schools network. This is all done without a dedicated system administrator or a computer science teacher.

What do you see as the disadvantages of Skolelinux / Debian Edu?

Teachers and pupils are Windows users. <Irony on> And Linux isn't cool. It's software for freaks using the command line. <Irony off> They don't realize the stability of the system.

Which free software do you use daily?

Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Ubuntu Server 12.04 (Samba, Apache, MySQL, Joomla!, … and Skolelinux / Debian Edu)

Which strategy do you believe is the right one to use to get schools to use free software?

In Germany we have the situation: every school is free to decide which software they want to use. This decision is influenced by teachers who learned to use Windows and MS Office. They buy a PC with Windows preinstalled and an additional testing version of MS Office. They don't know about the possibility to use Free Software instead. Another problem are the publisher of school books. They develop their software, added to the school books, for Windows.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bits from Debian: Jessie will ship Linux 3.16

Wed, 2014-07-30 16:10

The Debian Linux kernel team has discussed and chosen the kernel version to use as a basis for Debian 8 'jessie'.

This will be Linux 3.16, due to be released in early August. Release candidates for Linux 3.16 are already packaged and available in the experimental suite.

If you maintain a package that is closely bound to the kernel version - a kernel module or a userland application that depends on an unstable API - please ensure that it is compatible with Linux 3.16 prior to the freeze date (5th November, 2014). Incompatible packages are very likely to be removed from testing and not included in 'jessie'.

  1. My kernel module package doesn't build on 3.16 and upstream is not interested in supporting this version. What can I do?
    The kernel team might be able to help you with forward-porting, but also try Linux Kernel Newbies or the mailing list(s) for the relevant kernel subsystem(s).

  2. There's an important new kernel feature that ought to go into jessie, but it won't be in 3.16. Can you still add it?
    Maybe - sometimes this is easy and sometimes it's too disruptive to the rest of the kernel. Please contact the team on the debian-kernel mailing list or by opening a wishlist bug.

  3. Will Linux 3.16 get long term support from upstream?
    The Linux 3.16-stable branch will not be maintained as a longterm branch at kernel.org. However, the Ubuntu kernel team will continue to maintain that branch, following the same rules for acceptance and review, until around April 2016. Ben Hutchings is planning to continue maintenance from then until the end of regular support for 'jessie'.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Konstantinos Margaritis: SIMD book, update 3! Addition/Subtraction mostly finished

Wed, 2014-07-30 14:08

Finally. Apologies for the delay, but it's been a busy month. This time I will hold true to my word and upload a PDF for people to see (attached to this page).

So, what's new? Here is a list of things done:

* Finished ALL addition/subtraction related instructions for all engines and major derivatives (SSE*/AVX, VMX/VSX, NEON/armv8 NEON). With diagrams (these were the reasons it has taken so long).
* Reorganized the structure (split the book into Parts I/II, the instruction index will be in Part II, Part I will carry the design analysis of each SIMD engine.
* Added an TOC/index.
* So far, with just Addition/Subtraction Chapter and the rest empty sections, it has reached 175 pages (B5, again I'm not fixed on the size, it might actually change)! My estimate is that the whole book will surpass 800 pages with everything included.

TODO:

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Steinar H. Gunderson: Blehnovo, follow-up

Wed, 2014-07-30 10:35

A few weeks back, I posted about my adventures in getting Lenovo Switzerland/Germany to repair my laptop after I dropped it onto the floor and cracked the screen. (I'm sure they would be thrilled to hear that it sits next to my Wi-Fi on Linux rant, which got 39000 readers after reaching the front page Hacker News and then /r/linux.) Now that I'm leaving Norway tomorrow (via Assembly 2014 and then on to Zürich), I thought it would be a good time to wrap up the story.

In case you don't remember, we last left the situation July 7th, when I had called Lenovo Norway, who accepted my laptop for repair pretty much immediately after Lenovo Germany had staunchly refused for over a month. What happened next:

July 8th: DHL comes and picks up my laptop.

July 10th: I get an email saying that my laptop is repaired, and will be returned to me the next day.

July 11th: DHL calls me and asks if I'm at home. I say no, I'm at Solskogen, can they deliver it there instead? They redirect the package, no problems. Just as they call the second time, I'm away to shower after a run, but I ask them to just deliver it to someone there. A friend signs for it.

I start up the laptop, and woo, the screen works again. But the EFI menu has been tampered with, probably for diagnostic purposes, so it no longer boots Linux (but rather has a Windows entry that doesn't work). I spend half an hour fiddling with d-i to get it back again. During this process, I notice something strange -- my beautiful 1920x1080 screen has been replaced with a much less beautiful 1366x768 one! Also, if I lift the laptop in the wrong spot (at first I think it's related to the monitor bezel, but later understand that it's not), it promptly dies and spews garbage all over the screen. In any case, it's good enough to fix my backup job (which hadn't been properly running for a while--boo) and thus get the source code I've been working on out.

I call Lenovo Norway. They are confused. They try to figure out what happened, but are having problems finding the right internal part number for the 1920x1080 screen. They say they'll call me back.

July 16th: I call Lenovo Norway, wondering why they haven't called me back. I also send them a video showing the issue. The guy says he'll need to check with his colleague and will contact me back, although he can't guarantee anything will happen the same day. They don't call me back.

July 17th: A guy from InfoCare calls and wonders if I'm available. Turns out he's sent out to fix my laptop. (He doesn't speak Norwegian, but he speaks English, so no problem.) He arrives in my house, and replaces the 1366x768 panel with a 1920x1080 one. I can't reproduce the crash issue offhand, but shows him the video. He tries to figure out what the crashes are due to, but can't immediately see anything being loose.

I call Lenovo Norway again, and say it's great they've fixed my panel, but that the issue still persists. The guy doesn't own my case but has seen the video. After some discussion and thinking, they can't remotely diagnose it, and we agree that I'll send it in again, because they can seemingly not send a full array of parts with InfoCare (so they'd potentially go five trips, which I understand it not so cool for them).

July 18th: DHL picks up the laptop again. The guy looks a bit bewildered.

July 23rd: The laptop arrives at Lenovo. I get an email saying it's fixed.

July 24th: DHL arrives with the laptop. The repair sheet says they have replaced the “primary memory” (which I suppose means RAM). I try to trigger the issue. It's gone!

So, that's the status. I have a perfectly working laptop, with a gorgeous 1920x1080 display. I'm basically in the state I thought I would be over the weekend when I dropped it May 30th, it just took almost two months instead of one working day.

So, is my warranty correctly registered in the system now? I have no idea, because while Lenovo Norway was busy repairing my laptop three times, Lenovo Germany appears to have done nothing at all (not even closed my case, because that should have triggered an email). So as far as I know, there's still an open case on me somewhere, where they try to figure out why system A shows I have accident coverage and system B doesn't.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Ian Campbell: Debian Installer ARM64 Dailies

Tue, 2014-07-29 14:36

It's taken a while but all of the pieces are finally in place to run successfully through Debian Installer on ARM64 using the Debian ARM64 port.

So I'm now running nightly builds locally and uploading them to http://www.hellion.org.uk/debian/didaily/arm64/.

If you have CACert in your CA roots then you might prefer the slightly more secure version.

Hopefully before too long I can arrange to have them building on one of the project machines and uploaded to somewhere a little more formal like people.d.o or even the regular Debian Installer dailies site. This will have to do for now though.

Warning

The arm64 port is currently hosted on Debian Ports which only supports the unstable "sid" distribution. This means that installation can be a bit of a moving target and sometimes fails to download various installer components or installation packages. Mostly it's just a case of waiting for the buildd and/or archive to catch up. You have been warned!

Installing in a Xen guest

If you are lucky enough to have access to some 64-bit ARM hardware (such as the APM X-Gene, see wiki.xen.org for setup instructions) then installing Debian as a guest is pretty straightforward.

I suppose if you had lots of time (and I do mean lots) you could also install under Xen running on the Foundation or Fast Model. I wouldn't recommend it though.

First download the installer kernel and ramdisk onto your dom0 filesystem (e.g. to /root/didaily/arm64).

Second create a suitable guest config file such as:

name = "debian-installer" disk = ["phy:/dev/LVM/debian,xvda,rw"] vif = [ '' ] memory = 512 kernel = "/root/didaily/arm64/vmlinuz" ramdisk= "/root/didaily/arm64/initrd.gz" extra = "console=hvc0 -- "

In this example I'm installing to a raw logical volume /dev/LVM/debian. You might also want to use randmac to generate a permanent MAC address for the Ethernet device (specified as vif = ['mac=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx']).

Once that is done you can start the guest with:

xl create -c cfg

From here you'll be in the installer and things carry on as usual. You'll need to manually point it to ftp.debian-ports.org as the mirror, or you can preseed by appending to the extra line in the cfg like so:

mirror/country=manual mirror/http/hostname=ftp.debian-ports.org mirror/http/directory=/debian

Apart from that there will be a warning about not knowing how to setup the bootloader but that is normal for now.

Installing in Qemu

To do this you will need a version of http://www.qemu.org which supports qemu-system-aarch64. The latest release doesn't yet so I've been using v2.1.0-rc3 (it seems upstream are now up to -rc5). Once qemu is built and installed and the installer kernel and ramdisk have been downloaded to $DI you can start with:

qemu-system-aarch64 -M virt -cpu cortex-a57 \ -kernel $DI/vmlinuz -initrd $DI/initrd.gz \ -append "console=ttyAMA0 -- " \ -serial stdio -nographic --monitor none \ -drive file=rootfs.qcow2,if=none,id=blk,format=qcow2 -device virtio-blk-device,drive=blk \ -net user,vlan=0 -device virtio-net-device,vlan=0

That's using a qcow2 image for the rootfs, I think I created it with something like:

qemu-img create -f qcow2 rootfs.qcow2 4G

Once started installation proceeds much like normal. As with Xen you will need to either point it at the debian-ports archive by hand or preseed by adding to the -append line and the warning about no bootloader configuration is expected.

Installing on real hardware

Someone should probably try this ;-).

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Daniel Pocock: Pruning Syslog entries from MongoDB

Tue, 2014-07-29 13:27

I previously announced the availability of rsyslog+MongoDB+LogAnalyzer in Debian wheezy-backports. This latest rsyslog with MongoDB storage support is also available for Ubuntu and Fedora users in one way or another.

Just one thing was missing: a flexible way to prune the database. LogAnalyzer provides a very basic pruning script that simply purges all records over a certain age. The script hasn't been adapted to work within the package layout. It is written in PHP, which may not be ideal for people who don't actually want LogAnalyzer on their Syslog/MongoDB host.

Now there is a convenient solution: I've just contributed a very trivial Python script for selectively pruning the records.

Thanks to Python syntax and the PyMongo client, it is extremely concise: in fact, here is the full script:

#!/usr/bin/python import syslog import datetime from pymongo import Connection # It assumes we use the default database name 'logs' and collection 'syslog' # in the rsyslog configuration. with Connection() as client: db = client.logs table = db.syslog #print "Initial count: %d" % table.count() today = datetime.datetime.today() # remove ANY record older than 5 weeks except mail.info t = today - datetime.timedelta(weeks=5) table.remove({"time":{ "$lt": t }, "syslog_fac": { "$ne" : syslog.LOG_MAIL }}) # remove any debug record older than 7 days t = today - datetime.timedelta(days=7) table.remove({"time":{ "$lt": t }, "syslog_sever": syslog.LOG_DEBUG}) #print "Final count: %d" % table.count()

Just put it in /usr/local/bin and run it daily from cron.

Customization

Just adapt the table.remove statements as required. See the PyMongo tutorial for a very basic introduction to the query syntax and full details in the MongoDB query operator reference for creating more elaborate pruning rules.

Potential improvements
  • Indexing the columns used in the queries
  • Logging progress and stats to Syslog


LogAnalyzer using a database backend such as MongoDB is very easy to set up and much faster than working with text-based log files

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Gunnar Wolf: Editorial process starting in 3... 2... 1...

Tue, 2014-07-29 13:09

Yay!

Today I finally submitted our book, Fundamentos de Sistemas Operativos, for the Editorial Department of our institute. Of course, I'm not naïve enough to assume there won't be a heavy editorial phase, but I'm more than eager to dive into it... And have the book printed in maybe two months time!

Of course, this book is to be published under a free license (CC-BY-SA). And I'm talking with the coauthors, we are about to push the Git repository to a public location, as we believe the source for the text and figures can also be of interest to others.

The book itself (as I've already boasted about here :-} ) is available (somewhat as a preprint) for download.

[update] Talked it over with the coauthors, and we finally have a public repository! Clone it from:

https://github.com/gwolf/sistop.git

Or just browse it from Github's web interface.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Christian Perrier: Developers per country (July 2014)

Tue, 2014-07-29 11:34
This is time again for my annual report about the number of developers per country.

This is now the sixth edition of this report. Former editions:

So, here we are with the July 2014 version, sorted by the ratio of *active* developers per million population for each country.

Act: number of active developers Dev: total number of developers A/M: number of active devels per million pop. D/M: number of devels per million pop. 2009: rank in 2009 2010: rank in 2010 2011: rank in 2011 (June) 2012: rank in 2012 (June) 2013: rank in 2012 (July) 2014: rank now Code Name Population Act Dev Dev Act/Million Dev/Million 2009 2010 June 2011 June 2012 July 2013 July 2014
fi Finland 5259250 19 31 3,61 5,89 1 1 1 1 1 1
ie Ireland 4670976 13 17 2,78 3,64 13 9 6 2 2 2
nz New Zealand 4331600 11 15 2,54 3,46 4 3 5 7 7 3 * mq Martinique 396404 1 1 2,52 2,52

3 4 4 4
se Sweden 9088728 22 37 2,42 4,07 3 6 7 5 5 5
ch Switzerland 7870134 19 29 2,41 3,68 2 2 2 3 3 6 * no Norway 4973029 11 14 2,21 2,82 5 4 4 6 6 7 * at Austria 8217280 18 29 2,19 3,53 6 8 10 10 10 8 * de Germany 81471834 164 235 2,01 2,88 7 7 9 9 8 9 * lu Luxemburg 503302 1 1 1,99 1,99 8 5 8 8 9 10 * fr France 65350000 101 131 1,55 2 12 12 11 11 11 11
au Australia 22607571 32 60 1,42 2,65 9 10 12 12 12 12
be Belgium 11071483 14 17 1,26 1,54 10 11 13 13 13 13
uk United-Kingdom 62698362 77 118 1,23 1,88 14 14 14 14 14 14
nl Netherlands 16728091 18 40 1,08 2,39 11 13 15 15 15 15
ca Canada 33476688 34 63 1,02 1,88 15 15 17 16 16 16
dk Denmark 5529888 5 10 0,9 1,81 17 17 16 17 17 17
es Spain 46754784 34 56 0,73 1,2 16 16 19 18 18 18
it Italy 59464644 36 52 0,61 0,87 23 22 22 19 19 19
hu Hungary 10076062 6 12 0,6 1,19 18 25 26 20 24 20 * cz Czech Rep 10190213 6 6 0,59 0,59 21 20 21 21 20 21 * us USA 313232044 175 382 0,56 1,22 19 21 25 24 22 22
il Israel 7740900 4 6 0,52 0,78 24 24 24 25 23 23
hr Croatia 4290612 2 2 0,47 0,47 20 18 18 26 25 24 * lv Latvia 2204708 1 1 0,45 0,45 26 26 27 27 26 25 * bg Bulgaria 7364570 3 3 0,41 0,41 25 23 23 23 27 26 * sg Singapore 5183700 2 2 0,39 0,39


33 33 27 * uy Uruguay 3477778 1 2 0,29 0,58 22 27 28 28 28 28
pl Poland 38441588 11 15 0,29 0,39 29 29 30 30 30 29 * jp Japan 127078679 36 52 0,28 0,41 30 28 29 29 29 30 * lt Lithuania 3535547 1 1 0,28 0,28 28 19 20 22 21 31 * gr Greece 10787690 3 4 0,28 0,37 33 38 34 35 35 32 * cr Costa Rica 4301712 1 1 0,23 0,23 31 30 31 31 31 33 * by Belarus 9577552 2 2 0,21 0,21 35 36 39 39 32 34 * ar Argentina 40677348 8 10 0,2 0,25 34 33 35 32 37 35 * pt Portugal 10561614 2 4 0,19 0,38 27 32 32 34 34 36 * sk Slovakia 5477038 1 1 0,18 0,18 32 31 33 36 36 37 * rs Serbia 7186862 1 1 0,14 0,14



38 38
tw Taiwan 23040040 3 3 0,13 0,13 37 34 37 37 39 39
br Brazil 192376496 18 21 0,09 0,11 36 35 38 38 40 40
cu Cuba 11241161 1 1 0,09 0,09
38 41 41 41 41
co Colombia 45566856 4 5 0,09 0,11 41 44 46 47 46 42 * kr South Korea 48754657 4 6 0,08 0,12 39 39 42 42 42 43 * gt Guatemala 13824463 1 1 0,07 0,07



43 44 * ec Ecuador 15007343 1 1 0,07 0,07
40 43 43 45 45
cl Chile 16746491 1 2 0,06 0,12 42 41 44 44 47 46 * za South Africa 50590000 3 10 0,06 0,2 38 48 48 48 48 47 * ru Russia 143030106 8 9 0,06 0,06 43 42 47 45 49 48 * mg Madagascar 21281844 1 1 0,05 0,05 44 37 40 40 50 49 * ro Romania 21904551 1 2 0,05 0,09 45 43 45 46 51 50 * ve Venezuela 28047938 1 1 0,04 0,04 40 45 50 49 44 51 * my Malaysia 28250000 1 1 0,04 0,04

49 50 52 52
pe Peru 29907003 1 1 0,03 0,03 46 46 51 51 53 53
tr Turkey 74724269 2 2 0,03 0,03 47 47 52 52 54 54
ua Ukraine 45134707 1 1 0,02 0,02 48 53 58 59 55 55
th Thailand 66720153 1 2 0,01 0,03 50 50 54 54 56 56
eg Egypt 80081093 1 3 0,01 0,04 51 51 55 55 57 57
mx Mexico 112336538 1 1 0,01 0,01 49 49 53 53 58 58
cn China 1344413526 10 14 0,01 0,01 53 53 57 56 59 59
in India 1210193422 8 9 0,01 0,01 52 52 56 57 60 60
sv El Salvador 7066403 0 1 0 0,14

36 58 61 61































969 1561 62,08%







A few interesting facts:
  • New Zealand bumps from rank 7 to rank 3, thanks to one new active developer
  • Switzerland loses one developer and goes donw to rank 6
  • Norway also slightly goes down by losing one developer
  • With two more developers, Austria climbs up to rank 8 and overtakes Germany...;-)
  • Hungary climbs a little bit by gaining one developer
  • Singapore doubles its number of developers from 1 to 2 and bumps from 33 to 27
  • One rank up too for Poland that gained one developer
  • Down to rank 31 for Lithuania by losing one developer
  • Up to rank 32 for Greece with 4 developers instead of 3
  • Argentina goes up by havign two more developers (it lost 2 last year)
  • Up from 46 to 42 for Colombia by winning one more developer
  • One more developer and Russia climps from 49 to 48
  • One less for Venezuela that has only one developer left...:-(
  • No new country this year. Less movement towards "the universal OS"?
  • We have 12 more active Debian developers and 26 more developers overall. Less progression than last year
  • The ratio of active developers increases is nearly stable though slightly decreasing
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Russell Coker: Android Screen Saving

Tue, 2014-07-29 07:28

Just over a year ago I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 [1]. About 3 months ago I noticed that some of the Ingress menus had burned in to the screen. Back in ancient computer times there were “screen saver” programs that blanked the screen to avoid this, then the “screen saver” programs transitioned to displaying a variety of fancy graphics which didn’t really fulfill the purpose of saving the screen. With LCD screens I have the impression that screen burn wasn’t an issue, but now with modern phones we have LED displays which have the problem again.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a free screen-saver program for Android in the Google Play store. While I can turn the screen off entirely there are some apps such as Ingress that I’d like to keep running while the screen is off or greatly dimmed. Now I sometimes pull the notification menu down when I’m going to leave Ingress idle for a while, this doesn’t stop the screen burning but it does cause different parts to burn which alleviates the problem.

It would be nice if apps were designed to alleviate this. A long running app should have an option to change the color of it’s menus, it would be ideal to randomly change the color on startup. If the common menus such as the “COMM” menu would appear in either red, green, or blue (the 3 primary colors of light) in a ratio according to the tendency to burn (blue burns fastest so should display least) then it probably wouldn’t cause noticable screen burn after 9 months. The next thing that they could do is to slightly vary the position of the menus, instead of having a thin line that’s strongly burned into the screen there would be a fat line lightly burned in which should be easier to ignore.

It’s good when apps have an option of a “dark” theme, that involves less light coming from the screen that should reduce battery use and screen burn. A dark theme should be at least default and probably mandatory for long running apps, a dark theme is fortunately the only option for Ingress.

I am a little disappointed with my phone. I’m not the most intensive Ingress player so I think that the screen should have lasted for more than 9 months before being obviously burned.

Related posts:

  1. Maintaining Screen Output In my post about getting started with KVM I noted...
  2. Android Device Service Life In recent years Android devices have been the most expensive...
  3. Cheap Android Tablet from Aldi I’ve just bought a 7″ Onix tablet from Aldi....
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Russell Coker: Happiness and Lecture Questions

Tue, 2014-07-29 05:57

I just attended a lecture about happiness comparing Australia and India at the Australia India Institute [1]. The lecture was interesting but the “questions” were so bad that it makes a good case for entirely banning questions from public lectures. Based on this and other lectures I’ve attended I’ve written a document about how to recognise worthless questions and cut them off early [2].

As you might expect from a lecture on happiness there were plenty of stupid comments from the audience about depression, as if happiness is merely the absence of depression.

Then they got onto stupidity about suicide. One “question” claimed that Australia has a high suicide rate, Wikipedia however places Australia 49th out of 110 countries, that means Australia is slightly above the median for suicide rates per country. Given some of the dubious statistics in the list (for example the countries claiming to have no suicides and the low numbers reported by some countries with extreme religious policies) I don’t think we can be sure that Australia would be above the median if we had better statistics. Another “question” claimed that Sweden had the highest suicide rate in Europe, while Greenland, Belgium, Finland, Austria, France, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and most of Eastern Europe are higher on the list.

But the bigger problem in regard to discussing suicide is that the suicide rate isn’t about happiness. When someone kills themself because they have a terminal illness that doesn’t mean that they were unhappy for the majority of their life and doesn’t mean that they were any unhappier than the terminally ill people who don’t do that. Some countries have a culture that is more positive towards suicide which would increase the incidence, Japan for example. While people who kill themselves in Japan are probably quite unhappy at the time I don’t think that there is any reason to believe that they are more unhappy than people in other countries who only keep living because suicide is considered to be wrong.

It seems to me that the best strategy when giving or MCing a lecture about a potentially contentious topic is to plan ahead for what not to discuss. For a lecture about happiness it would make sense to rule out all discussion of suicide, anti-depressants, and related issues as they aren’t relevant to the discussion and can’t be handled in an appropriate manner in question time.

Related posts:

  1. Length of Conference Questions After LCA last year I wrote about “speaking stacks” and...
  2. Questions During Lectures An issue that causes some discussion and debate is the...
  3. Ziggy’s Lecture about Nuclear Power The Event I just attended a lecture by Dr Ziggy...
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Johannes Schauer: bootstrap.debian.net temporarily not updated

Tue, 2014-07-29 03:46

I'll be moving places twice within the next month and as I'm hosting the machine that generates the data, I'll temporarily suspend the bootstrap.debian.net service until maybe around September. Until then, bootstrap.debian.net will not be updated and retain the status as of 2014-07-28. Sorry if that causes any inconvenience. You can write to me if you need help with manually generating the data bootstrap.debian.net provided.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Ricardo Mones: Switching PGP keys

Tue, 2014-07-29 03:42
Finally I find the mood to do this, a process which started 5 years ago in DebConf 9 at Cáceres by following Ana's post, of course with my preferred options and my name, not like some other ;-).

Said that, dear reader, if you have signed my old key:

1024D/C9B55DAC 2005-01-19 [expires: 2015-10-01] Key fingerprint = CFB7 C779 6BAE E81C 3E05 7172 2C04 5542 C9B5 5DAC
And want to sign my "new" and stronger key:

4096R/DE5BCCA6 2009-07-29 Key fingerprint = 43BC 364B 16DF 0C20 5EBD 7592 1F0F 0A88 DE5B CCA6
You're welcome to do so :-)

The new key is signed with the old, and the old key is still valid, and will probably be until expiration date next year. Don't forget to gpg --recv-keys DE5BCCA6 to get the new key and gpg --refresh-keys C9B55DAC to refresh the old (otherwise it may look expired).

Debian's Keyring Team has already processed my request to add the new key, so all should keep working smoothly. Kudos to them!
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Christian Perrier: [life] Running update July 26th 2014

Mon, 2014-07-28 23:46
Dog, long time since I blogged about my running activities. Apparently, I didn't since.....I posted a summary for 2013.

So, well, that will be a long update as many things happened during the first half of 2014 when it comes at running, for me.

January: I was recovering from a fatigue fracture injury inherited from last races in 2013. As a consequence, I resumed running only on Jan 7th. Therefore I cancelled my participation to the "Semi Raid 28", an night orienteering raid of about 50-60km in southern neighbourhood of Paris. Instead, I actually offerred my help to organizers in collecting orienteering signs after the race (the longest one : 120km). So, I ended up spending over 24 hours running in woods and hunting down hidden signs with the same information than runners. My only advantage was that I was able to use my car to go from one point to another. Still, I ended up running over 70km in many small parts, often alone in the dark woods with my headlamp, on very muddy areas...and collecting nearly 80 huge signs.

February: Everything was going well and I for instance ran a great half-marathon in Bullion (south of Paris) in 1h3821" (great for a quite hilly race)....until I twisted my left ankle while running back from work. A quite severe twist, though no bone damage, thankfully. I had to stop running, again, for 3 years. Biking to/from work was the replacement activity....

March: I resumed running on March 10th, one week before a quite difficult trail race in my neighbourhood (30km "only" but up to 800 meters positive climb). That race was a preparation (and a test after the injury) for my 3rd participation to "Paris Ecotrail", a 80km trail race in woods of the South-West area of Paris, ending in the Eiffel Tower area. Indeed, both went very well, though I was very careful with my ankle. I finally broke my record at Ecotrail, finishing the race in 9h08 (to be compared to 9h36 last year and 11h15 the year before).

April: Paris marathon was scheduled one week after Ecotrail. Everybody will tell you that running a marathon one week after a 80km race is kinda crazy.....which is why I made it..:-). That was my 3rd Paris marathon and my 12th marathon overall. However, this year, no record in sight. The challenge was running the marathon....dressed as SpongeBob (you know me, right?). I actually had great fun doing that and was happy to get zillions of cheering all over the race, from the crowd. I finally completed the race in 4h30, which is, after all, not that far from the time of my very first marathon (4h12). The only drawback was that the succession of quite very long distance runs made my left knee suffer as it never happened before. As a consequence, I (again) had to stop running for nearly one month before we found that I was quite sensitive to pronation, which the succession of long and slow races made worse.

May: so finally afterthese (very) long weeks, I could gradually resume running, which finally culminated in mid-May with the 50km race "trail des Cerfs", in the Rambouillet Forest, closed to our place. This quite long but not too difficult trail race ("only" 800 meters positive climb overall) was completed in 5h16, which was completely unexpected, given the low training during the previous weeks.

June: no race during that month. The entire month was focused on preparing the Montagn'hard race of July 5th: so several training sessions with a lot of climbing either by running or by fast walking (nordic style) as well as downhill run training (always important for moutain trail).

July: the second "big peak" of my 2014 season was scheduled for July 5th: "La Montagn'hard", a moutain trail race close to Les Contamines in the neighbourhood of Chamonix, the french moutaineering Mekkah. "Only" 60 kilometers....but close to 5000 meters positive climb. Montagn'hard is among the thoughest moutain trail races in France and therefore a "must do" for trail runners. This race week-end includes also a 105km ultra-race, which is often said to be as hard, even maybe harder, than the very famous "Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc" trail in Chamonix. Still, for my second only season in moutain trail running, I decided to be "wise" and stick with the "medium" version (after all, my experience, as of now with moutain trails were only two quite "short" ones). Needless to say, it has indeed been a GREAT race. The environment is wonderful ("Miage" side of the Mont-Blanc range), the race goes through great place (Col de Tricot, noticeably) and I made a great result by finishing80th out of 325+ runners, in 12h18, while my target time was around 13 hours.

This is where I am now. Nearly one month after Montagn'hard, I'm deeply training for my next Big Goal: The "Sur la Trace des Ducs de Savoie" or "TDS", one of the 4 races of the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc week, in end August (during DebConf): 120km, nearly 7500m positive climp, between Courmayeur and Chamonix, through several passes, up to 2600m height. Yet another challenge: my first "over 24h" race, with a full night out in the moutains.

You'll certainly hear again from me about that...:-)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Chris Lamb: start-stop-daemon: --exec vs --startas

Mon, 2014-07-28 08:15

start-stop-daemon is the classic tool on Debian and derived distributions to manage system background processes. A typical invokation from an initscript is as follows:

start-stop-daemon \ --quiet \ --oknodo \ --start \ --pidfile /var/run/daemon.pid \ --exec /usr/sbin/daemon \ -- -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid

The basic operation is that it will first check whether /usr/sbin/daemon is not running and, if not, execute /usr/sbin/daemon -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid. This process then has the responsibility to daemonise itself and write the resulting process ID to /var/run/daemon.pid.

start-stop-daemon then waits until /var/run/daemon.pid has been created as the test of whether the service has actually started, raising an error if that doesn't happen.

(In practice, the locations of all these files are parameterised to prevent DRY violations.)

Idempotency

By idempotence we are mostly concerned with repeated calls to /etc/init.d/daemon start not starting multiple versions of our daemon.

This might not seem to be particularly big issue at first but the increased adoption of stateless configuration management tools such as Ansible (which should be completely free to call start to ensure a started state) mean that one should be particularly careful of this apparent corner case.

In its usual operation, start-stop-daemon ensures only one instance of the daemon is running with the --exec parameter: if the specified pidfile exists and the PID it refers to is an "instance" of that executable, then it is assumed that the daemon is already running and another copy is not started. This is handled in the pid_is_exec method (source) - the /proc/$PID/exe symlink is resolved and checked against the value of --exec.

Interpreted scripts

However, one case where this doesn't work is interpreted scripts. Lets look at what happens if /usr/sbin/daemon is such a script, eg. a file that starts:

#!/usr/bin/env python # [..]

The problem this introduces is that /proc/$PID/exe now points to the interpreter instead, often with an essentially non-deterministic version suffix:

$ ls -l /proc/14494/exe lrwxrwxrwx 1 www-data www-data 0 Jul 25 15:18 /proc/14494/exe -> /usr/bin/python2.7

When this process is examined using the --exec mechanism outlined above it will be rejected as an instance of /usr/sbin/daemon and therefore another instance of that daemon will be incorrectly started.

--startas

The solution is to use the --startas parameter instead. This omits the /proc/$PID/exe check and merely tests whether a PID with that number is running:

start-stop-daemon \ --quiet \ --oknodo \ --start \ --pidfile /var/run/daemon.pid \ --startas /usr/sbin/daemon \ -- -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid

Whilst it is therefore less reliable (in that the PID found in the pidfile could actually be an entirely different process altogether) it's probably an acceptable trade-off against the case of running multiple instances of that daemon.

This danger can be ameliorated by using some of start-stop-daemon's other matching tests, such as --user or even --name.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Daniel Pocock: Secure that Dictaphone

Mon, 2014-07-28 00:35

2014 has been a big year for dictaphones so far.

First, it was France and the secret recordings made by Patrick Buisson during the reign of President Sarkozy.

Then, a US court ordered the release of the confidential Boston College tapes, part of an oral history project. Originally, each participant had agreed their recording would only be released after their death. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was arrested and questioned over a period of 100 hours and released without charge.

Now Australia is taking its turn. In #dictagate down under, a senior political correspondent from a respected newspaper recorded (most likely with consent) some off-the-record comments of former conservative leader Ted Baillieu. Unfortunately, this journalist misplaced the dictaphone at the state conference of Baillieu's arch-rivals, the ALP. A scandal quickly errupted.

Secure recording technology

There is no question that electronic voice recordings can be helpful for people, including journalists, researchers, call centers and many other purposes. However, the ease with which they can now be distributed is only dawning on people.

Twenty years ago, you would need to get the assistance of a radio or TV producer to disseminate such recordings so widely. Today there is email and social media. The Baillieu tapes were emailed directly to 400 people in a matter of minutes.

Just as technology brings new problems, it also brings solutions. Encryption is one of them.

Is encryption worthwhile?

Coverage of the Snowden revelations has revealed that many popular security technologies are not one hundred percent safe. In each of these dictaphone cases, however, NSA-level expertise was not a factor. Even the most simplistic encryption would have caused endless frustration to the offenders who distributed the Baillieu tape.

How can anybody be sure encryption is reliable?

Part of the problem is education. Everybody using the technology needs to be aware of the basic concepts, for example, public key cryptography.

Another big question mark is back doors. There is ongoing criticism of Apple iPhone/iPod devices and the many ways that their encryption can be easily disabled by Apple engineers and presumably many former staff, security personnel and others. The message is clear: proprietary, closed-source solutions should be avoided. Free and open source technologies are the alternative. If a company does not give you the source code, how can anybody independently audit their code for security? With encryption software, what use is it if nobody has verified it?

What are the options?

However, given that the majority of people don't have a PhD in computer science or mathematics, are there convenient ways to get started with encryption?

Reading is a good start. The Code Book by Simon Singh (author of other popular science books like Fermat's Last Theorem) is very accessible, not classified and assumes no formal training in mathematics. Even for people who do know these topics inside out, it is a good book to share with friends and family.

The Guardian Project (no connection with Guardian Media of Edward Snowden fame) aims to provide a secure and easy to use selection of apps for pocket devices. This project has practical applications in business, journalism and politics alike.

How should a secure dictaphone app work?

Dictaphone users typically need to take their dictaphones in the field, so there is a risk of losing it or having it stolen. A strong security solution in this situation may involve creating an RSA key pair on a home/office computer, keeping the private key on the home computer and putting the public key on the dictaphone device. Configured this way, the dictaphone will not be able to play back any of the recordings itself - the user will always have to copy them to the computer for decryption.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Russ Allbery: AFS::PAG 1.02

Sun, 2014-07-27 19:22

This is primarily a testing exercise. I moved my software release process and web page generation to a different host, and wanted to run through a release of a package to make sure that I got all the details right.

It's still a bit clunky, and I need to tweak the process, but it's close enough.

That said, there are a few minor changes in this module (which provides the minimum C glue required to do AFS operations from Perl — only the pieces that can't be duplicated by calling command-line programs). I'm improving the standardization of my Perl distributions, so I've moved NEWS to Changes and switched to the Lancaster Consensus environment variables for controlling testing. I also added some more pieces to the package metadata.

You can get the latest version from the AFS::PAG distribution page.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Christian Perrier: Developers per country (July 2014)

Sun, 2014-07-27 02:37
This is time again for my annual report about the number of developers per country.

This is now the sixth edition of this report. Former editions:

So, here we are with the July 2014 version, sorted by the ratio of *active* developers per million population for each country.

Act: number of active developers Dev: total number of developers A/M: number of active devels per million pop. D/M: number of devels per million pop. 2009: rank in 2009 2010: rank in 2010 2011: rank in 2011 (June) 2012: rank in 2012 (June) 2013: rank in 2012 (July) 2014: rank now Code Name Population Act Dev Dev Act/Million Dev/Million 2009 2010 June 2011 June 2012 July 2013 July 2014
fi Finland 5259250 19 31 3,61 5,89 1 1 1 1 1 1
ie Ireland 4670976 13 17 2,78 3,64 13 9 6 2 2 2
nz New Zealand 4331600 11 15 2,54 3,46 4 3 5 7 7 3 * mq Martinique 396404 1 1 2,52 2,52

3 4 4 4
se Sweden 9088728 22 37 2,42 4,07 3 6 7 5 5 5
ch Switzerland 7870134 19 29 2,41 3,68 2 2 2 3 3 6 * no Norway 4973029 11 14 2,21 2,82 5 4 4 6 6 7 * at Austria 8217280 18 29 2,19 3,53 6 8 10 10 10 8 * de Germany 81471834 164 235 2,01 2,88 7 7 9 9 8 9 * lu Luxemburg 503302 1 1 1,99 1,99 8 5 8 8 9 10 * fr France 65350000 101 131 1,55 2 12 12 11 11 11 11
au Australia 22607571 32 60 1,42 2,65 9 10 12 12 12 12
be Belgium 11071483 14 17 1,26 1,54 10 11 13 13 13 13
uk United-Kingdom 62698362 77 118 1,23 1,88 14 14 14 14 14 14
nl Netherlands 16728091 18 40 1,08 2,39 11 13 15 15 15 15
ca Canada 33476688 34 63 1,02 1,88 15 15 17 16 16 16
dk Denmark 5529888 5 10 0,9 1,81 17 17 16 17 17 17
es Spain 46754784 34 56 0,73 1,2 16 16 19 18 18 18
it Italy 59464644 36 52 0,61 0,87 23 22 22 19 19 19
hu Hungary 10076062 6 12 0,6 1,19 18 25 26 20 24 20 * cz Czech Rep 10190213 6 6 0,59 0,59 21 20 21 21 20 21 * us USA 313232044 175 382 0,56 1,22 19 21 25 24 22 22
il Israel 7740900 4 6 0,52 0,78 24 24 24 25 23 23
hr Croatia 4290612 2 2 0,47 0,47 20 18 18 26 25 24 * lv Latvia 2204708 1 1 0,45 0,45 26 26 27 27 26 25 * bg Bulgaria 7364570 3 3 0,41 0,41 25 23 23 23 27 26 * sg Singapore 5183700 2 2 0,39 0,39


33 33 27 * uy Uruguay 3477778 1 2 0,29 0,58 22 27 28 28 28 28
pl Poland 38441588 11 15 0,29 0,39 29 29 30 30 30 29 * jp Japan 127078679 36 52 0,28 0,41 30 28 29 29 29 30 * lt Lithuania 3535547 1 1 0,28 0,28 28 19 20 22 21 31 * gr Greece 10787690 3 4 0,28 0,37 33 38 34 35 35 32 * cr Costa Rica 4301712 1 1 0,23 0,23 31 30 31 31 31 33 * by Belarus 9577552 2 2 0,21 0,21 35 36 39 39 32 34 * ar Argentina 40677348 8 10 0,2 0,25 34 33 35 32 37 35 * pt Portugal 10561614 2 4 0,19 0,38 27 32 32 34 34 36 * sk Slovakia 5477038 1 1 0,18 0,18 32 31 33 36 36 37 * rs Serbia 7186862 1 1 0,14 0,14



38 38
tw Taiwan 23040040 3 3 0,13 0,13 37 34 37 37 39 39
br Brazil 192376496 18 21 0,09 0,11 36 35 38 38 40 40
cu Cuba 11241161 1 1 0,09 0,09
38 41 41 41 41
co Colombia 45566856 4 5 0,09 0,11 41 44 46 47 46 42 * kr South Korea 48754657 4 6 0,08 0,12 39 39 42 42 42 43 * gt Guatemala 13824463 1 1 0,07 0,07



43 44 * ec Ecuador 15007343 1 1 0,07 0,07
40 43 43 45 45
cl Chile 16746491 1 2 0,06 0,12 42 41 44 44 47 46 * za South Africa 50590000 3 10 0,06 0,2 38 48 48 48 48 47 * ru Russia 143030106 8 9 0,06 0,06 43 42 47 45 49 48 * mg Madagascar 21281844 1 1 0,05 0,05 44 37 40 40 50 49 * ro Romania 21904551 1 2 0,05 0,09 45 43 45 46 51 50 * ve Venezuela 28047938 1 1 0,04 0,04 40 45 50 49 44 51 * my Malaysia 28250000 1 1 0,04 0,04

49 50 52 52
pe Peru 29907003 1 1 0,03 0,03 46 46 51 51 53 53
tr Turkey 74724269 2 2 0,03 0,03 47 47 52 52 54 54
ua Ukraine 45134707 1 1 0,02 0,02 48 53 58 59 55 55
th Thailand 66720153 1 2 0,01 0,03 50 50 54 54 56 56
eg Egypt 80081093 1 3 0,01 0,04 51 51 55 55 57 57
mx Mexico 112336538 1 1 0,01 0,01 49 49 53 53 58 58
cn China 1344413526 10 14 0,01 0,01 53 53 57 56 59 59
in India 1210193422 8 9 0,01 0,01 52 52 56 57 60 60
sv El Salvador 7066403 0 1 0 0,14

36 58 61 61































969 1561 62,08%







A few interesting facts:
  • New Zealand bumps from rank 7 to rank 3, thanks to one new active developer
  • Switzerland loses one developer and goes donw to rank 6
  • Norway also slightly goes down by losing one developer
  • With two more developers, Austria climbs up to rank 8 and overtakes Germany...;-)
  • Hungary climbs a little bit by gaining one developer
  • Singapore doubles its number of developers from 1 to 2 and bumps from 33 to 27
  • One rank up too for Poland that gained one developer
  • Down to rank 31 for Lithuania by losing one developer
  • Up to rank 32 for Greece with 4 developers instead of 3
  • Argentina goes up by havign two more developers (it lost 2 last year)
  • Up from 46 to 42 for Colombia by winning one more developer
  • One more developer and Russia climps from 49 to 48
  • One less for Venezuela that has only one developer left...:-(
  • No new country this year. Less movement towards "the universal OS"?
  • We have 12 more active Debian developers and 26 more developers overall. Less progression than last year
  • The ratio of active developers increases is nearly stable though slightly decreasing
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Holger Levsen: 20140726-the-future-is-now

Sat, 2014-07-26 07:08
Do you remember the future?

Unless you are over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.

(Source: found in the soup)

Luckily the future today is still unwritten. Shape it well.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Richard Hartmann: Release Critical Bug report for Week 30

Fri, 2014-07-25 16:58

I have been asked to publish bug stats from time to time. Not exactly sure about the schedule yet, but I will try and stick to Fridays, as in the past; this is for the obvious reason that it makes historical data easier to compare. "Last Friday of each month" may or may not be too much. Time will tell.

The UDD bugs interface currently knows about the following release critical bugs:

  • In Total: 1511
    • Affecting Jessie: 431 That's the number we need to get down to zero before the release. They can be split in two big categories:
      • Affecting Jessie and unstable: 383 Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the work to upload a fix to unstable:
        • 44 bugs are tagged 'patch'. Please help by reviewing the patches, and (if you are a DD) by uploading them.
        • 20 bugs are marked as done, but still affect unstable. This can happen due to missing builds on some architectures, for example. Help investigate!
        • 319 bugs are neither tagged patch, nor marked done. Help make a first step towards resolution!
      • Affecting Jessie only: 48 Those are already fixed in unstable, but the fix still needs to migrate to Jessie. You can help by submitting unblock requests for fixed packages, by investigating why packages do not migrate, or by reviewing submitted unblock requests.
        • 0 bugs are in packages that are unblocked by the release team.
        • 48 bugs are in packages that are not unblocked.

Graphical overview of bug stats thanks to azhag:

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets