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Junichi Uekawa: emacs-gdb interfaces.

4 November, 2014 - 15:10
emacs-gdb interfaces. emacs and gdb interfaces have evolved. I think -fullname option is old interface used by gud-gdb. I think there's also --annotate=3 which was used in emacs23. emacs24 M-x gdb uses -i=mi. Some things in M-x gdb annoy me but I'm not finding a good docuemntation on this matter. Hmm..

Raphaël Hertzog: My Debian LTS report for October 2014

4 November, 2014 - 14:49

During October, I spent 10 hours on paid LTS work. I should have worked 4 hours more, but for various reasons this did not happen. Instead I’ll spend 4 more hours in November.

During this time, I did the following:

  • CVE triage: this month I pushed 23 commits to the security tracker SVN repository, and filed #765352 against wpa.
  • I released a mysql-5.1 update (DLA-75-1) fixing 3 CVE.
  • I sponsored the upload of ppp 2.4.5-4+deb6u1 for DLA-74-1 which had been prepared by Andrew Bartlett.
  • I uploaded a new version of apache2 (DLA-71-1) fixing 2 CVE.
  • I filed a few bugs against debian-security-support to request that some packages be marked as unsupported in squeeze: #765374 for axis2c and
    rampart, #765452 for a new feature allowing binary packages to be marked as unsupported so that glassfish-appserv can be marked as such (this is #765454).

After a few months of work on LTS, I’m starting to have a better grasp on the worflow and on what can be done or not. But I’m still astonished that we have so few squeeze users on the mailing list. If you’re using Squeeze, please subscribe to the list and test the packages that contributors are submitting for tests/validation. It really helps to have some feedback from real users before releasing an update, in particular when the Debian contributor who prepared the update is not a user of said package… not everybody has the skills required to prepare security updates, but everybody can help test packages, you have no excuses.

And we still need more organizations joining the LTS project, either by providing help (like Catalyst did by letting Andrew Bartlett work on LTS, thanks to them!) or by sponsoring the
and letting others do the work.

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Hideki Yamane: gbp buildpackage fail: cannot find orig.tar.gz file

4 November, 2014 - 00:49
Dear Lazyweb,

I had already asked before in Jan but I got same issue.  "gbp buildpackage" command fails...
rm -f ng
make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/henrich/src/pkg-java/nailgun'
rm /home/henrich/src/pkg-java/nailgun/ng-nailgun
rm: cannot remove '/home/henrich/src/pkg-java/nailgun/ng-nailgun': No such file or directory
debian/rules:16: recipe for target 'override_dh_auto_clean' failed
make[1]: [override_dh_auto_clean] Error 1 (ignored)
make[1]: Leaving directory '/home/henrich/src/pkg-java/nailgun'
gbp:info: Orig tarball 'nailgun_0.9.1.orig.tar.gz' not found at '../tarballs/'
Use of uninitialized value $_[0] in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl/5.20/File/ line 341.
fileparse(): need a valid pathname at /usr/bin/pristine-tar line 417.
pristine-tar: failed to generate tarball
gbp:error: Couldn't checkout "nailgun_0.9.1.orig.tar.gz": it exited with 255There IS orig tarball in ../tarballs directory and it works with copying all files to another directory as before...Yes, and just "cp -arp libspiro /tmp/; cd /tmp/libspiro" and
gbp buildpackage works... (why?)What causes this and is the best way to solve it?

Chris Lamb: Generating gradiented fade images using ImageMagick

3 November, 2014 - 15:42

Whilst gradienting images is certainly possible with CSS, current browser support means that it can still make sense to do it yourself, especially if front-end performance is a concern.

However, to avoid manual work in Gimp or Photoshop, you can use ImageMagick to generate them for you:

$ wget --quiet -Obackground.jpg
$ convert background.jpg \
      -alpha set -channel A \
      -sparse-color Barycentric '%w,%[fx:h-300] opaque %w,%h transparent' \
      -background '#ffcc32' -flatten \

300 here refers to the height or "speed" of the gradient and the target colour is specified by with -background.



Gregor Herrmann: RC bugs 2014/44

3 November, 2014 - 04:27

this week, my main contribution to fixing RC bugs was to ask others what they think about closing bugs which looked already fixed to me. worked quite fine.

full list:

  • #682420 – src:libpaper: "libpaper: "Multi-Arch: same" but postrm removes arch-independent configuration"
    use DPKG_MAINTSCRIPT_PACKAGE_REFCOUNT before file removal, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #743853 – libpango-1.0-0: "libpango-1.0-0 : Breaks: libpango1.0-0 (< 1.32.5-2) but 1.30.0-1 is to be installed"
    check current jenkins results, then closed by maintainer
  • #754132 – libmcrypt: "libmcrypt: add autoreconf during the build to enable new architectures"
    propose to close bug, done by one of the NMUers
  • #760908 – libmcrypt4: "libmcrypt: another autoreconf fix for arm64 build"
    propose to close bug, done by one of the NMUers
  • #762061 – dkms: "dkms should pull in the correct linux-headers package"
  • #762782 – libprocps3-dev,libprocps4-dev: "libprocps4-dev and libprocps3-dev: error when trying to install together"
    propose to close bug, done by fellow DD
  • #763769 – glabels: "glabels exists with "Abort" when creating a new document"
    prepare patch from upstream git commits, later NMUed by fellow DD
  • #764667 – distcc: "distcc: Trigger cycle causes dpkg to fail processing"
    change triggers from "interest" to "interest-noawait", as proposed by Guillem Jover, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #767041 – kephra: "kephra: Fails with "You did not specify a file name""
    upload with patch prepared by Partha Pratim Mukherjee (pkg-perl)
  • #767066 – " [i386] Crashes when loading .gorm files"
    sponsor maintainer upload

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo 0.4.500.0

2 November, 2014 - 20:28

A few days ago, Conrad provided another minor release of Armadillo. Once again, I had created a GitHub-only pre-release of his pre-release which was tested against (then) all ninety (!!) CRAN dependents of our RcppArmadillo package, providing a further test for Conrad's code and uploaded RcppArmadillo 0.4.500.0 to CRAN and Debian once his release was finalized.

The few changes from his end are summarized below; our end also includes an update / extension to the sample() method provided by Christian Gunning --- and used to great effect in the excellent Rcpp Gallery post by Jonathan Olmsted.

Changes in RcppArmadillo version 0.4.500.0 (2014-10-30)
  • Upgraded to Armadillo release Version 4.500 ("Singapore Sling")

    • faster handling of complex vectors by norm()

    • expanded chol() to optionally specify output matrix as upper or lower triangular

    • better handling of non-finite values when saving matrices as text files

  • The sample functionality has been extended to provide the Walker Alias method (including new unit tests) via a pull request by Christian Gunning

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for the most recent release. As always, more detailed information is on the RcppArmadillo page. Questions, comments etc should go to the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page.

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

Steve Kemp: IPv6 only server

2 November, 2014 - 17:54

I enjoy the site/community, and since I've just setup an IPv6-only host I was looking to do something similar.

Unfortunately my (working) code to clone github repositories into per-user directories fails - because github isn't accessible over IPv6.

That's a shame.

Oddly enough chromium, the browser packaged for wheezy, doesn't want to display IPv6-only websites either. For example this site fail to load

In the meantime I've got a server setup which is only accessible over IPv6 and I'm a little smug. (

(Yes it is true that I've used all the IPv4 addreses allocated to my VLAN. That's just a coincidence. Ssh!)

Junichi Uekawa: Already November?

2 November, 2014 - 15:35
Already November? wow.

Thomas Goirand: OpenStack packaging activity: October 2014

2 November, 2014 - 15:30

Wednesday 1:
– Uploaded python-xstatic-jquery removing the .pth file from package.
– Uploaded python-taskflow 0.4 to experimental, needed by Cinder Juno RC1
– Uploaded Cinder Juno RC1 to experimental

Thuesday 2:
– Finally understood that the issue with murano-dashboard was that it doesn’t build without django-nose >= 1.2. Opened new patch at:
– Uploaded murano-dashboard to Experimental, now using django-nose from wheezy-backports in my jenkins setup, so murano-dashboard can be built for Wheezy.
– Uploaded python-oslotest (really is upstream 1.1.0)
– Uploaded python-oslo.serialization 1.0.0-1 (needed by Ceilometer Juno RC1)
– Uploaded Ceilometer Juno RC1
– Uploaded Heat Juno RC1
– Uploaded oslo.rootwrap
– Uploaded oslo.db 1.0.2 (bugfix release)
– Wrote a new system in openstack-pkg-tools to generate init scripts and. service files from a template, so we don’t have to write N times the same thing.

Friday 3:
– Reworked openstack-pkg-tools to generate automatically sysv-rc init scripts, upstart jobs and systemd unit files, making the system more unified and consistent.
– Applied the new system to all packages in Juno.
– Uploaded Keystone 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Nova 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Glance 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Neutron 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Horizon 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Cinder 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Trove 2014.1.3-1 to Sid
– Uploaded Ceilometer 2014.1.3-1 to Sid

Saturday 4:
– Uploaded Horizon Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded oslotest to Experimental
– Uploaded Ironic Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded Designate Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded Nova Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded Neutron Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded openstack-meta-packages 0.10 to Sid
– Uploaded openstack-pkg-tools 13 to Experimental
– Uploaded murano-agent Juno RC1 to Experimental

Sunday 5:
– Uploaded Sahara Juno RC1 to Experimental (it’s been approved by FTP masters)
– Uploaded Murano Juno RC1 to Experimental (it’s been approved by FTP masters)
– Fixed all debian/watch file to understand ~b and ~rc releases (fixed applied on both Icehouse and Juno branches, though no upload yet, I’ll wait until uploads are needed to have this in the archive…).
– Uploaded Trove Juno RC1 to Experimental
– Uploaded Sahara Juno RC1 to Experimental

With this last upload, everything of Juno RC1 is in Debian Experimental! \o/

Monday 6:
– Uploaded some fixes for Nova 2014.1.3-2 in Sid:
* Removed contrib/boto_v6/* in debian/copyright, replaced bin/nova-manage by nova/cmd/{baremetal_,}
* Mangling upstream rc and beta versions in watch file.
* Added 9990_update_german_programm_messages.patch, thanks to Helge Kreutzmann <>.
* Fixed correct de.po (Closes: #763682).
* Added nl.po initial Debconf translation, thanks to Frans Spiesschaert <> (Closes: #764125).
* Standards-Version is now 3.9.6 (no change).
Upstreamed german translation of po file:
– Uploaded Designate 2014.1-12 to Sid, added new de.po also to the Juno branch on alioth (but didn’t upload the fix yet).
– Uploaded sphinxcontrib-httpdomain new upstream 1.3.0 release, added Python 3.x support to the package, and transitionning to the correct namespaced python-sphinxcontrib.httpdomain package name.
– Spent most of the day fixing python-xstatic issues:
o uploaded libjs-twitter-bootstrap-datepicker 1.3.1
o uploaded python-xstatic-bootstrap-datepicker requiring this libjs package
o fixed python-xstatic-jquery-ui package
Now Horizon Juno RC1 builds well, and can be installed again. \o/

Tuesday 7:
– Backported python-libvirt 1.2.8 in Wheezy (for Nova Juno support…)
– Uploaded Ceilometer Juno RC1 with ceilometer-agent-ipmi added (the package will therefore go through the NEW queue).
– Uploaded python-requestbuilder 0.2.2-1, needed by the maintainers of euca2ools.
– Ported the unified generated init system scripts to Icehouse packages.
– Uploaded to Sid updates for: openstack-pkg-tools, ceilometer, cinder, glance, keystone, cinder, nova.

Wednesday 8:
– Uploaded openstack-pkg-tools 16 to Sid
– Uploaded murano-dashboard (with upstream fix to remove font-awesome, which was the reason for FTP master’s rejection)
– Uploaded ceilometer Juno RC1 with new IPMI agent package (needed for Ironic support).
– Uploaded heat 2014.1.3 which I forgot.
– Tested which solves the bug I sent to launchpad and approved the patch.
– Uploaded python-requestbuilder 0.2.3

Thesday 9:
– Worked on fixing Neutron Alembic migration with SQLite3.
– Uploade Neutron 2014.2~rc1-3 with a fix for a patch that was destroying This still doesn’t include the Alembic migration fixes, which are still a WIP.

Firday 10:
– Finished fixing Neutron SQLite 3 Alembic migrations.
– Uploaded neutron 2014.2~rc1-3 with the fixes.
– Fixed Ceilometer wrong generation of sample config file, using upstream patch (after discussing with Julien Danjou so he wrote it).
– Uploaded Ceilometer 2014.2~rc1-4 with the fix
– Checked that all packages can be installed in non-interactive mode. This works well now! \o/

Saturday 11:
– Uploaded new version of python-xstatic-angular-cookies (ie: which allows a higher version of libjs-angularjs (otherwise the package is not installable in Sid/Jessie since last version of angularjs is uploaded).

Sunday 12:
– Uploaded factory-boy fix for FTBFS
– Uploaded python-django-appconf FTBFS
– Uploaded Horizon Juno RC2
– Uploaded Heat Juno RC3
– Uploaded Trove Juno RC2
– Uploaded Glance Juno RC2
– Uploaded Sahara Juno RC2
– Uploaded Nova Juno RC2
– Uploaded Neutron Juno RC2
– Uploaded Cinder Juno RC2
– Uploaded murano-dashboard Juno RC2

Monday 13:
– Uploaded python-heatclient 0.2.12-1 to Experimental
– Uploaded python-yaql with RC bugfix to Sid (missing dep on python3-ply).

Thuesday 14:
– Fixed arping newly added dependency in Neutron
– Started testing install of all of openstack Juno at once

Wednesday 15:
– Fixed missing configuration files in Ceilometer (ceilometer-api couldn’t start)
– Upgraded to Ceilometer Juno RC3.
– Backported python-setuptools, as keystone and others are broken due to the namespace of modules not working correctly with the old version of python-pkg-resources. With the new one, everything is back in order.

Thesday 16:
Uploaded to Debian Experimental the final release of Juno (ie: 2014.2) for:
– Sahara
– Nova
– Ceilometer
– Cinder
– Heat
– Neutron
– Glance
– Keystone
– Horizon (with fix for Django 1.7 in the wsgi file)
Uploaded to Sid:
– Swift 2.2.0
– Horizon 2014.1.3-3 with fix for Django 1.7 in the wsgi file that was crashing apache.

OpenStack Juno packages are out!!! (ready the day of the upstream release…)

Friday 17:
– Investigated Trove RC bug #765348, couldn’t reproduce, and therefore closed it.
– Uploaded Ironic Juno final to Experimental
– Uploaded Designate Juno final to Experimental
– Uploaded a fix for python-jingo which failed to build with Django 1.7. Sent pull request upstream:
– Uploaded CVE-2014-7230 & CVE-2014-7231 fixes for both Cinder and Nova in Debian Sid, as per OSSA 2014-036 patches. No need to upload a fix for Trove, as 2014.1.3 already has the fixes.

Saturday 18:
– Started building Trusty packages
– Fixed oslo-config so that it never depends on python3-argparse, which doesn’t exist (uploaded to Experimental)
– Uploaded python-django-pyscss 1.0.3-2 with python-simplejson now as build-depends (it failed to build in my Trusty jenkins without it).
– Uploaded a fix for stevedore and oslo-config to not depends on python3-argparse in Ubuntu (added debian/py3dist-overrides)

Sunday 19:
– Uploaded python-taskflow with ordereddict in debian/pydist-overrides.
– Backported JS packages for Horizon and libvirt for Trusty (from Sid). My new Jenkin server is now producing a full set of Juno packages for Ubuntu trusty. And of course, it’s updated on each git push, just like for the Wheezy backports.

Monday 20:
– Added FORCE_COULEUR=1 when running tests in python-couleur, so that it doesn’t fail when running with git-buildpackage. Uploaded result in Sid.
– Fixed python-mockito so that it never downloads distribute or nose on its clean target, which was annoying when running git-buildpackage. Uploaded to Sid.
– Started to work again on automatic package deployment using openstack-deploy, from the openstack-meta-packages source package.

Thuesday 21, Wednesday 22:
– Worked on testing packages, did couples of minor fixes, reworked some of the default configuration files to match the install-guide, move configuration directive to the correct new section in nova.conf, etc.

Thursday 23:
– Patch the Neutron chapter in the install-guide to take into account the changes done on Thuesday 21, Wednesday 22, and simplify the install procedure in Debian.

Friday 24:
– Busy packing my stuff for moving to France… Not much packaging work, except more auto-deploy stuff and some tests.

Saturday 25:
– Uploaded Nova, Neutron, Cinder and Horizon Icehouse in Sid, including some debconf translation updates, beating the Jessie freeze deadline in 10 days.
– Fixed and uploaded openstack-debian-images in Sid: the –login option wasn’t modifying the default sudoers file, which always contained “debian”, instead of the custom login.

Sunday 26:
– Traveled to Moscow

Monday 27 & Tuesday 28:
– Fixed some murano & murano-dashboard stuff, thanks to the help of some murano team members in Moscow office. Uploaded fixes for murano & murano-dashboard. Tested that murano-dashboard works well, and now it does! :)
– Uploaded version dependency fixes for python-xstatic-angular-cookies and python-xstatic-d3 which couldn’t be installed in Sid/Jessie because of libjs-* updates.

Wednesday 29:
– Meeting with Saratov team
– Updated sahara endpoints, but didn’t upload the package yet to Debian.

Thursday 30:
– Uploaded ruby-raemon needed for Astute (part of Fuel web).
– Packaged ruby-symboltable (not uploaded yet).

Friday 31:
– Wrote unit test runner for python-webpy (the current package doesn’t have unit test runs).
– Uploaded python-dbutils (needed by unit tests) to Sid: now in NEW queue
– Uploaded python-nose-parametrized & python-nose-timer to Sid: now in NEW queue
– Uploaded sahara -2 fixing the API endpoint registration URL and service name.
– Uploaded python-sphinxcontrib.plantuml to Sid: : now in NEW queue


Thomas Goirand: Working with Mirantis from now on

2 November, 2014 - 15:12

During 2 years, my packaging efforts were sponsored by eNovance. It has been great to work with them, and I would like to thank them for what they did.

However (for a number of reasons which I don’t really think is appropriate to write in this blog), I decided to join Mirantis. This is a formal public announce of it: I will be working from Mirantis office in Grenoble just right after the Paris OpenStack summit of this first week of November.

Tiago Bortoletto Vaz: A few words on the recent Brazilian elections

2 November, 2014 - 01:42

The Brazilian presidential election was exceedingly intense this year. Among many inferences that we can make by following the news and investigating data from the voting results I'd like to share this one, which in my opinion reflects quite well the vote preferences in the country.

First, let me introduce you "Belágua", a small town located in the Northeast region of Brazil. It has 6,524 habitants, 3 buses and 2 hospitals. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the income per person in Belágua is $146 BRL (or U$59) per month. Believe it or not, it used to be much less. Actually, the city reported in 2013 the highest economic jump in the country, rising more than a thousand positions in the ranking of GDP per capita (from position 4,991 to 3,849). This recent growth was consequence of the social welfare program of the Brazilian government, which also boosted artisanal and manioc flour production. This federal assistance is called "Bolsa família", which benefits 1.814 families in Belágua.

"Bolsa Família currently gives families with per-capita monthly income below $140 BRL (poverty line, ~$56 USD) a monthly stipend of $32 BRL (~$13 USD) per vaccinated child (< 16 years old) attending school (up to 5), and $38 BRL (~$15 USD) per youth (16 or 17 years old) attending school (up to 2). Furthermore, to families whose per-capita monthly income below $70 BRL (extreme poverty line, ~$28 USD), the program gives the Basic Benefit $70 BRL per month."

(from Wikipedia)

Contrary to what many of my middle-class friends believe, and as you can calculate yourself, this little amount of money does not offer anybody a luxury life. It does not make anybody stopping working, nor stopping looking for paid job (but yes, it makes people to start saying NO to forced labor, which is amazing, right?).

Belágua, where Dilma got 93.93% of votes (photo by Clarissa Carramilo / from G1)

Also, Belágua has no much physicians around because doctors in Brazil usually wouldn't live in a such city. But now Belágua population can now be treated by foreign doctors imported by the recently launched program "Mais Médicos" (More Physicians for Brazil), which hosts two Cuban doctors 15km away. Finally, Belágua people have light, due to the "Luz para Todos" ("Light for All") program.

It's not surprising that Belágua has re-elected the party which has motivated these changes. For 2014 presidential election, Belágua people gave 3.558 votes (93.93%) to Dilma Rousseff (candidate of the current government, from a left-ish party), against 230 (6,07%) to Aécio Neves (from the right coalition), being the city with the largest amount of votes for Dilma, proportionally, followed by "Serrano do Maranhão" (93,75%), which is located in the same region.

On the other hand, the city which gave, proportionally, the largest amount of votes for Aécio Neves has a population of 5,564,635 habitants, where most of them are not Brazilians, not yet. Miami, located in US, was the city which would elect Aécio by 7,225 votes (91,79%), against 646 (8,21%) for Dilma, followed by Atlanta/US (89,47%) and Houston/US (89,22%). Of course I'm talking about Brazilians voters currently living/working/having fun/whatever in Miami.

Miami, where 91,79% of Brazilians voted Aécio (photo by Marc Averette / from Wikipedia)

It's so clear that we do what people call "selfish vote". In general, we don't care about which party has better proposals for the society as whole. Rich people will go against any serious social equality proposal, which will necessarily be followed by higher taxes on their fortunes. As middle class citizens, we care about dollar rates, because we want to get cheaper iStuff from Miami. We're also very upset by the fact that new apartments are being built without that small room in the back, which has been used to accommodate a subservient housemaid who, until last year was not even legally considered a worker.

Those people from Belágua, who used to live in extreme poverty for decades, serving as slaves, they mostly care about having something to eat. Now they eat, so they can think better, they can work, they can sell what they produce in their little yard. And like middle-class and rich citizens, they will give their vote in exchange of what they think is better for them. The big difference here is, if we ask Belágua people why they voted for Dilma, with no embarrassment they will make it very clear, that's because her government has provided them lots of benefits. Asking the same question for most Brazilians in Miami, Atlant, Houston or São Paulo, you'll get not only a bunch of allegedly moral/altruistic reasons, but they will also try to delegitimize in many ways the votes from those marginalized citizens. You'll never get the real reasons from them. They will even try to convince you that whoever receives federal assistance should automatically lose right to vote. Such a statement may seem ridiculous, however it has been very present recently. Actually, such hate speech is happening right now. While I'm writing this post about 2500 people are protesting in São Paulo streets, asking for an immediate military coup because they don't agree with the elections result. These people keep pushing the limits of ridiculousness.

Dilma won with 51.64% of valid votes, a very tight result. The country is clearly divided, mostly by hate, unfortunately.

Andreas Metzler: GnuTLS 3 and libgcrypt transitions finished

2 November, 2014 - 00:40

With today's removals of gnutls26 and libgcrypt11 from jessie the respective transitions have been finished. Thanks to everybody who help accomplishing this, package maintainers and the release team, with a special thanks to Emilio.

It started from a bad position: Since 2011 we had co-installable gnutls26 and gnutls28 in Debian with separate (and conflicting) development packages. Simply providing libgnutls-dev from gnutls28 was not possible because there are some incompatibilities and because we had license problems. So we ended up gradually switching packages over by sourceful uploads.

Looking back, this worked both well and badly: On one hand it played nicely with testing migration. It did not break a lot of important packages at a single time or block packages from migration to testing. On the other hand over a 100 sourceful uploads are a lot, and the transition took a long time.

John Goerzen: Halloween: A Pumpkin and an Insect Matador

1 November, 2014 - 23:43

You never quite know what to expect with children. For Halloween this year, Laura found some great costumes at a local thrift store. Jacob loved his “matador” costume, with a cape and vest. He had fun swishing the cape around him. But he didn’t want to use the nice hat with a red flower in it that Laura found. Nope. What he wanted was the hat with plastic springy things that she got on a lark – he said it was “insect antennae” and that he was an “insect matador”. This prompted some confused looks and big smiles from the people he saw when we went trick-or-treating!

Oliver, meanwhile, enjoyed his pumpkin outfit, complete with orange hair – his favorite part.

Here’s a typical scene:

And, of course, Jacob running with the cape flowing behind him:

Joachim Breitner: Can one recommend Debian stable to Desktop users?

1 November, 2014 - 21:30

My significant other is running Debian stable on her laptop, and it has worked fine for quite a while. But since a week or two, she could not access her University IMAP account via Evolution. Obviously quite a showstopper!

Today I had a closer look, and my suspicion was that the University changed their SSL configuration due to the recent POODLE attack and that Evolution was incompatible with that. After some more searching, I found that Ubuntu had applied a patch, originally from Fedora, two weeks ago. For Debian, there is a bug report but no sign of action.

So I fetched the sources, applied the patch, built the package, installed it and things were working again. Yay for that! But this is obviously not the best way to handle such issues.

I know that Debian is volunteer driven and we often lack the manpower for certain things, so I don’t want to rant about this particular issue. I also continue to be a happy user of Debian unstable on my laptop, and Debian stable on my servers. But I seriously wonder: Can I really recommend Debian stable to users, for their laptops and desktops? If not, what are the alternatives? Ubuntu obviously comes to mind, having some full-time staff for such issues... But that would be giving up on promoting Debian as the universal operating system.

Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in October 2014

1 November, 2014 - 17:37

FTP assistant

This month has been the month before the freeze. Lots of people uploaded a package at the last moment and wanted to have it in testing before everything is over. This resulted in even more processed package than in September. I was able to accept 407 packages and had to reject 77. The whole FTP team managed it to bring the NEW queue below 40 waiting packages. As the Release team doesn’t like to see binary-NEW packages appearing in unstable (at least those which change the soname of a lib), this number will increase again. But, that’s life …

I am glad that a freeze happens only every few years. So I would particularly thank my dear wife for her patience, when she saw me sitting in front of that damned computer again and again.

Squeeze LTS

This was my fourth month that I did some work for the Squeeze LTS initiative, started by Raphael Hertzog at Freexian.

This month I got assigned a workload of 13.75h and I spent these hours to upload new versions of

  • [DLA 72-1] rsyslog security update
  • [DLA 72-2] rsyslog regression update
  • [DLA 78-1] torque security update
  • [DLA 80-1] libxml2 security update

I also prepared a new upload of wget and still wait for some feedback. In this case some default values had to be changed and I better wait a bit before I break some scripts.

Moreover five CVEs accumulated for php5, so I guess another upload has to be done for this package. This will be ready in the next days …

I also tried to work on libtasn1-3 and librack-ruby. There hadn’t been DSAs for these packages and I tried to dig into the upstream repositories. Unfortunately I failed to find the correct patches. Kudos to the Security Team who have to struggle with all kind of commit messages on a daily basis.

Other packages

I didn’t have time to do any work on my own packages. But during my ftp-time I saw one or another package that deals with some kind of home automation. Up to now there doesn’t seem to be a Debian group who deals with this topic. Maybe it is time to start one?


If you would like to support my Debian work you could either be part of the Freexian initiative (see above) or consider to send some bitcoins to 1JHnNpbgzxkoNexeXsTUGS6qUp5P88vHej. Contact me at if you prefer another way to donate. Every kind of support is most appreciated.

Riku Voipio: Using networkd for kvm tap networking

1 November, 2014 - 17:21
Setting up basic systemd-network was recently described by Joachim, and the post inspired me to try it as well. The twist is that in my case I need a bridge for my KVM with Lava server and arm/aarch64 qemu system emulators...

For background, qemu/kvm support a few ways to provide network to guests. The default is user networking, which requires no privileges, but is slow and based on ancient SLIRP code. The other common option is tap networking, which is fast, but complicated to set up. Turns out, with networkd and qemu bridge helper, tap is easy to set up.

$ for file in /etc/systemd/network/*; do echo $file; cat $file; done



Diverging from Joachims simple example, we replaced "DHCP=yes" with "Bridge=br0". Then we proceed to define the bridge (in the kvm.netdev) and give it an ip via dhcp in From the kvm side, if you haven't used the bridge helper before, you need to give the helper permissions (setuid root or cap_net_admin) to create a tap device to attach on the bridge. The helper needs an configuration file to tell what bridge it may meddle with.

# cat > /etc/qemu/bridge.conf <<__END__
allow br0
# setcap cap_net_admin=ep /usr/lib/qemu/qemu-bridge-helper
Now we can start kvm with bridge networking as easily as with user networking:

$ kvm -m 2048 -drive file=jessie.img,if=virtio -net bridge -net nic,model=virtio -serial stdio
The manpages and systemd.netdev(5) do a great job explaining the files. Qemu/kvm networking docs are unfortunately not as detailed.

Hideki Yamane: Meeting event with LibO people in Tokyo, Japan

1 November, 2014 - 16:32
We Tokyo Debian Study Meeting staff has held 119th (!) monthly meeting at SQUARE ENIX seminer room, Shinjuku, Tokyo (thanks to Takahide Nojima for arrangement) with Kanto LibreOffice Offline Meeting (thank Naruhiko Ogasawara) on 25th October.

Discussing about status for LibreOffice package in Debian and share each view for it as downstream and upstream. I hope LibO folks would investigate diff under debian/patches directory and pull some of it to upstream (it also will help Debian and other downstream distros).

And hands-on event for installation with debian-installer 8.0 bate2: find an issue with Acer laptop, probably it would be reported to BTS.

Next 120th meeting will be in 29th November at same place - people, see your there! :)

Richard Hartmann: Release Critical Bug report for Week 44

1 November, 2014 - 06:37

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

  • In Total: 1168
    • Affecting Jessie: 274 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: 224 Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the work to upload a fix to unstable:
        • 30 bugs are tagged 'patch'. Please help by reviewing the patches, and (if you are a DD) by uploading them.
        • 12 bugs are marked as done, but still affect unstable. This can happen due to missing builds on some architectures, for example. Help investigate!
        • 182 bugs are neither tagged patch, nor marked done. Help make a first step towards resolution!
      • Affecting Jessie only: 50 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.
        • 2 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:

Russell Coker: Links October 2014

31 October, 2014 - 20:55

The Verge has an interesting article about Tim Cook (Apple CEO) coming out [1]. Tim says “if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy”.

Graydon2 wrote an insightful article about the right-wing libertarian sock-puppets of silicon valley [2].

George Monbiot wrote an insightful article for The Guardian about the way that double-speak facilitates killing people [3]. He is correct that the media should hold government accountable for such use of language instead of perpetuating it.

Anne Thériault wrote an insightful article for Vice about the presumption of innocence and sex crimes [4].

Dr Nerdlove wrote an interesting article about Gamergate as the “extinction burst” of “gamer culture” [5], we can only hope.

Shweta Narayan wrote an insightful article about Category Structure and Oppression [6]. I can’t summarise it because it’s a complex concept, read the article.

Some Debian users who don’t like Systemd have started a “Debian Fork” project [7], which so far just has a web site and nothing else. I expect that they will never write any code. But it would be good if they did, they would learn about how an OS works and maybe they wouldn’t disagree so much with the people who have experience in developing system software.

A GamerGate terrorist in Utah forces Anita Sarkeesian to cancel a lecture [8]. I expect that the reaction will be different when (not if) an Islamic group tries to get a lecture cancelled in a similar manner.

Model View Culture has an insightful article by Erika Lynn Abigail about Autistics in Silicon Valley [9].

Katie McDonough wrote an interesting article for Salon about Ed Champion and what to do about men who abuse women [10]. It’s worth reading that while thinking about the FOSS community…

Related posts:

  1. Links September 2014 Matt Palmer wrote a short but informative post about enabling...
  2. Links July 2014 Dave Johnson wrote an interesting article for Salon about companies...
  3. Links August 2014 Matt Palmer wrote a good overview of DNSSEC [1]. Sociological...

Russell Coker: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

31 October, 2014 - 20:40

In June last year I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 [1]. Generally I was very happy with that phone, one problem I had is that less than a year after purchasing it the Ingress menus burned into the screen [2].

2 weeks ago I bought a new Galaxy Note 3. One of the reasons for getting it is the higher resolution screen, I never realised the benefits of a 1920*1080 screen on a phone until my wife got a Nexus 5 [3]. I had been idly considering a Galaxy Note 4, but $1000 is a lot of money to pay for a phone and I’m not sure that a 2560*1440 screen will offer much benefit in that size. Also the Note 3 and Note 4 both have 3G of RAM, as some applications use more RAM when you have a higher resolution screen the Note 4 will effectively have less usable RAM than the Note 3.

My first laptop cost me $3,800 in 1998, that’s probably more than $6,000 in today’s money. The benefits that I receive now from an Android phone are in many ways greater than I received from that laptop and that laptop was definitely good value for money for me. If the cheapest Android phone cost $6,000 then I’d pay that, but given that the Note 3 is only $550 (including postage) there’s no reason for me to buy something more expensive.

Another reason for getting a new phone is the limited storage space in the Note 2. 16G of internal storage is a limit when you have some big games installed. Also the recent Android update which prevented apps from writing to the SD card meant that it was no longer convenient to put TV shows on my SD card. 32G of internal storage in the Note 3 allows me to fit everything I want (including the music video collection I downloaded with youtube-dl). The Note 2 has 16G of internal storage and an 8G SD card (that I couldn’t fully use due to Android limitations) while the Note 3 has 32G (the 64G version wasn’t on sale at any of the cheap online stores). Also the Note 3 supports an SD card which will be good for my music video collection at some future time, this is a significant benefit over the Nexus 5.

In the past I’ve written about Android service life and concluded that storage is the main issue [4]. So it is a bit unfortunate that I couldn’t get a phone with 64G of storage at a reasonable price. But the upside is that getting a cheaper phone allows me to buy another one sooner and give the old phone to a relative who has less demanding requirements.

In the past I wrote about the warranty support for my wife’s Nexus 5 [5]. I should have followed up on that before, 3 days after that post we received a replacement phone. One good thing that Google does is to reserve money on a credit card to buy the new phone and then send you the new phone before you send the old one back. So if the customer doesn’t end up sending the broken phone they just get billed for the new phone, that avoids excessive delays in getting a replacement phone. So overall the process of Google warranty support is really good, if 2 products are equal in other ways then it would be best to buy from Google to get that level of support.

I considered getting a Nexus 5 as the hardware is reasonably good (not the greatest but quite good enough) and the price is also reasonably good. But one thing I really hate is the way they do the buttons. Having the home button appear on the main part of the display is really annoying. I much prefer the Samsung approach of having a hardware button for home and touch-screen buttons outside the viewable area for settings and back. Also the stylus on the Note devices is convenient on occasion.

The Note 3 has a fake-leather back. The concept of making fake leather is tacky, I believe that it’s much better to make honest plastic that doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. However the texture of the back improves the grip. Also the fake stitches around the edge help with the grip too. It’s tacky but utilitarian.

The Note 3 is slightly smaller and lighter than the Note 2. This is a good technical achievement, but I’d rather they just gave it a bigger battery.

Update USB 3

One thing I initially forgot to mention is that the Note 3 has USB 3. This means that it has a larger socket which is less convenient when you try and plug it in at night. USB 3 seems unlikely to provide any benefit for me as I’ve never had any of my other phones transfer data at rates more than about 5MB/s. If the Note 3 happens to have storage that can handle speeds greater than the 32MB/s a typical USB 2 storage device can handle then I’m still not going to gain much benefit. USB 2 speeds would allow me to transfer the entire contents of a Note 3 in less than 20 minutes (if I needed to copy the entire storage contents). I can’t imagine myself having a real-world benefit from that.

The larger socket means more fumbling when charging my phone at night and it also means that the Note 3 cable can’t be used in any other phone I own. In a year or two my wife will have a phone with USB 3 support and that cable can be used for charging 2 phones. But at the moment the USB 3 cable isn’t useful as I don’t need to have a phone charger that can only charge one phone.


The Note 3 basically does everything I expected of it. It’s just like the Note 2 but a bit faster and with more storage. I’m happy with it.

Related posts:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 A few weeks ago I bought a new Samsung Galaxy...
  2. Samsung Galaxy S3 First Review with Power Case My new Samsung Galaxy S3 arrived a couple of days...
  3. Samsung Galaxy Camera – a Quick Review I recently had a chance to briefly play with the...


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