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FOSDEM 2010, day #0

2010-02-05 by tg@

Yesterday, I arrived in Bruxelles, coming from the Issy/Paris FusionForge meeting which will be described more later by Roland on Plänet Forge. Please tell Ohlol if you use it, for more visibility.

There is a new inter-forge mailing list as well, see the info page. People from Coclico and the various *forges may want to subscribe there (forge developers, not so much users (hosters) or end-users (hosted project developers/users) though).

At FOSDEM, Benny and I (and maybe gecko2) will be running the MirBSD booth, so no Debian staffing for me, sorry. But I will be there. Also please do ask me about mksh — the MirBSD Korn Shell etc.

There are flyers in German (not updated), English and French too! (One of the *forge guys did install mksh(1) after reading it, in fact.)

Don't you people dare miss the two talks: from Benny about how to package with autotools and libtool correctly and from XTaran explaining Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Benny's also famous for his talk about Painless Perl Ports with cpan2port; XTaran's famous for a whole bunch of other things.

I still have some catching up (wlog entries, keysigning, webpages, etc.) to do, please bear with me. I don't really have a proper work environment with me.

There's a chance I will not be attending the Beer Event in the Delirium Tremens café (last year's still remembered). Benny will certainly be there, though.

Could someone please order nice weather? I still need to eat some lunch and find a supermarket to shop for the weekend!

To do.

2010-01-28 by tg@

The MirOS Project will have a booth at FOSDEM 2010, business as usual. If you thought otherwise, you’re crazy ☺

I know I should write a wlog entry about the BSP, write more, release mksh R40, fix the TaC of it and the kwalletcli webpage (thanks again, it’s now in Debian sid!) etc.pp but I also need to prepare an ISO for FOSDEM, etc. Heck, I should prepare a talk for FOSDEM, but I’m not going to. If I need to stand there and talk, I’ll talk, not hold a presentation. I’ll just see what people are interested in, talk about The MirOS Project, and improvise.

I’m busy, and there’s only so much computing you can do in a day. This does include the dayjob. At least, my NMUs are in Debian now and probably can help people (and I submitted info about other bugs too).

Anyway, watch the news in the months to follow… can’t talk about everything now.

Marc Fleury, JBoss founder joins the ranks of Tonnerre, me, and other people requesting that MySQL (and MariaDB!) please finally die. Everyone, don't even fork it. Use a real database instead. Or, at least, SQLite. Really.

We're going to FOSDEM 2010 (of course – I've been at every FOSDEM that was not just an OSDEM, Benny and gecko2 are regular attendees as well, as are other projects of mine such as FreeWRT and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, by proxy). There will be a recent MirBSD snapshot I've yet got to build, with the new floppy format ustarfs (idea, but no single line of their stinking ridiculously huge code, stolen from NetBSD®) and other improvements (albeit less than I wanted to get done by then). The days before, I'll attend the first FusionForge meeting to break up the French Cabal, with my work hat on. That is also my first time in France (outside of the Elsaß). People, make a good impression on me to overcome the classic prejudices ;-)

This weekend I'm going to meet my Debian Application Manager zack, have some good beer (ugh... first this, then Paris, then good belgian beer...) and fix some bugs, all while learning even more. Sounds like fun, but I almost feel overwhelmed, in contrast to the years of much less travelling from my past. I've also started sort-of mentoring Simon, one of our apprentices at work, into the Debian processes. (On an unrelated side note, formorer recently said bpo will become bp.d.o soon. Great!)

Please don't laugh at this excuse for a webpage, as I've yet to fill it in, but my CLI for the KDE Wallet is hereby deemed ready for public consumption, with a bug-fix release 2.01 (bugs actually found during preparation of a port to Debian sid and KDE 4, which is much much worse than KDE 3, plus it looks so absolutely disgusting I'm not even sure Windows® Mistda is worse). I hope the package will end up in NEW soon (and once progressed to testing I may be able to make the KDE 3 variant official via lenny backports; my WTF *.deb repo will hold them until then.

There are more webpages I need to fill in... mksh's TaC, arc4random (which needs some major redesign as well) and BSD::arc4random, the RANDEX protocol (entropy exchange over IRC) and its plugins and patches, ...

Not just Mac OSX (and, I hope, iPhoneOS) will soon come with mksh(1), but also Android (I prepared patches to make it /bin/sh, which works quite well – although I need to find out how to make a hardlink so that #!/bin/mksh scripts will run) and Maemo, for which I wrote an mksh package in a garage project, which also needs some love w.r.t. testing on actual devices, menu integration, etc. (Please contact me if you can help with either of the three.) We also have «lewellyn:#ksh» making a package for the new OpenSolaris system (thanks again). People persuading Apple to put it on the jesusPhone are also welcome. (This does not mean I endorse any of these – right now, I'd probably get the most of a WinCE PDA with built-in GPSr, WLAN and maybe GSM/GPRS.)

English and French native speakers, please review, and Dutch native speakers may contribute a translation of, our flyers. (Source code for these is not available, sorry. Benny makes them in Quark on System 7 in Basilisk II, used to be Classic until Apple yanked it. But still, they use only free fonts, free imagery or such the MirOS Project is allowed to use, and beat every single other FOSS project flyer I've ever seen by far!)

There's probably more I could write, I bet I forgot half of it anyway, but I'll leave it at that for now. Get yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate, pour an Espresso into it, and enjoy the mix with a piece of cake (I'd say strawberry or mousse-pear but all they had was cassis-créme) and pity me for not knowing any French next month.

26C3, day 0 and 1

2009-12-27 by bsiegert@
Tags: event

I finally have a wristband for 26C3. The wristband is what is controlled on the entrance. I had preordered the ticket and paid by bank transfer, and the receipt with the barcode only arrived on december 25. In earlier years, you came on the 26th, crashed in the hackcenter, and at some point, when there were only ten people in the queue at the cash desk, you got your ticket easily.

Well, this year, things were a little different. First, there was a semi-public ticket presale. What's more, rumors about a very limited number of tickets were floating around. And finally, while the cash desk was said to open at 2000, the software was not ready by then (!) and the opening was deferred to 2130. The "fast line" cash desk for people with presale tickets was only opened around midnight, when I had already given up hope and joined the huge queue of several hundred desperate hackers. (Thanks, btw, to ScottyTM for pointing out that the "fast line" had been opened.) Finally, I was told that my ticket "did not exist in the system", that I was an evil cracker for trying to enter with a fake ticket, and that I should check back on the 27th. Great.

The end was happy and somewhat anticlimactic: I checked back this morning, there was no queue, and my presale ticket was accepted without any problem. Most of the talks I saw today were about network neutrality, censorship and related topics. I found the talk by Jérémy Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net especially interesting. Part of the talk was an introduction to lobbying: calling your EuroParl representative, sending e-mails and insisting on your point "raises the political cost of certain decisions".

got home

2009-11-08 by tg@
Tags: bug event snapshot

The snapshot has another bug I discovered after converting my laptop to a showcase: lynx(1) charset defaults, after disabling auto-detection, to the wrong one (the news item has been updated, again).

I came back from OpenRheinRuhr, and (apparently in contrast to many others) liked it, save for the (a)social event, which some organisers admit hasn't been what was promised to them. My hotel was actually some kind of Vereinshaus and Billard club, so I had to eat supper (after fleeing the Casino, I had wanted to eat with some others deciding to split/fork, but formorer couldn't decide, so I walked the 3km, but didn't find anything appealing on the way, since I walked towards the outside of the city) in a smokey bar. So 2007, that. But I watched some kind of Billard competition during that, the meal was good and much, and the beer good and rather affordable. (I even took a Krug to my room with me to flee smoke.) Breakfast was included, the quality much more than I had expected at that price (I paid almost twice that in Basel, where I didn't even have a private loo adjourning the room, much less a proper bathroom with douche). The city, despite confusing it with other Ruhrpott cities beginning with BO, was nice and quiet (although the visitor count suggests that it was too remote, I rather prefer this to the usual rush and street mob, and it was still lively).

I think you'll find more coverage, photographies (hopefully not of me, as I wore a pullover forbidding it) and opinions on the 'net soonish, even dissing if I may harbour a guess (not without reason, from what I've been told privately), and, as I still have a headache (as usual...) I refrain from writing more. The MirBSD^H^H^HGRML CDs will be distributed at 26C3 by formorer from the Grml team *grins and I wonder if the celebrities equipeed with a MirCD or MirUSB stick, like Werner Koch, will make good use of it ;-)

this snapshot CDs, next snapshot codename

2009-11-06 by tg@
Tags: bug event security snapshot

OpenRheinRuhr will see our latest snapshot on CDs (although we seem to be short of flyers ☹). Complete, with MirOS BSD (i386, sparc; i386 Live) and MirGRML (i386).

The next snapshot’s codename has been decided upon angrily today: “wtf is with all these bugs?”
Expect a fix for the latter sometime soon, it does in fact have more effect than most sites say, to avoid Panikmache (unlike that Schweinegrippe stuff); I’m lucky my online banking stuff keeps SIDs in the URI ipv Cookie, but still… very bad. Switching renegotiation off as a quick würgaround also is evil, for example, my SMTP setup (using X.509v3 SSL certificate auth for relaying) might break. But we are said to expect an amended SSL/TLS protocol soon, hopefully with OpenSSL patch.

ekeyrng is a very rough draft (shell prototype) currently driving, together with a small USB backport, a Simtec EntropyKey in herc into wrandom(4) (for now). Really, the Lua tools should be used, but this is good for the installer, although the TPM, eKey and truerand — cprng(8) — functionality should be combined into one small, efficient, C dæmon doing so (but without the hacks to keep cprng(8) within one memory page to cease swapping). Still, it’s great!

bsiegert@ will be offline for a week.

New MirOS snapshots (BSD, CVS, grml, ISO)

2009-10-31 by tg@
Tags: bug event grml release security snapshot

Gee...  I don’t know what “hallowe’en” means…

Does this match what you’re thinking? Well, there is a new MirOS snapshot, with several components, (as usual) out on BitTorrent. It was also distributed on CDs at OpenRheinRuhr 2009, and will be (by formorer) at 26C3 in Berlin.

This is the combination of an ISO 9660 filesystem image with the “Samhain” edition of MirBSD and the “Hello, Wien!” edition of grml GNU/Linux, Triforce (as usual), and the „Allerheiligen“ CVS snapshot. And a tribute to UF.

Update 01.11. – This is tagged 「event」 because I intend on distributing this snapshot on CDs at OpenRheinRuhr next weekend, and maybe Benny on bootable tapes at 26C3…

MirGRML 2009.10 is based on grml-small 2009.10-rc3 and contains a couple more programmes, and, as usual, is fitted to match the rest of The MirOS Project’s offers, for instance by not using a framebuffer by default, having mksh as login shell, etc.
This time, all (required) source code is available either from our CVS or from sources.grml.org.

The Squash-and-Steffl background comes from Christoph Prokop, and was used in our desktop wallpaper with permission from Mika.

Update 01.11. – The GRUB2 「memtest86+」 bootmenu option does not work because nobody told the Grml team that it must now be booted with 「linux16」 ipv 「linux」 – fix is to type ‘e’ to edit the entry, move right, type the “16” and hit ^X to boot.

Note: This is “MirGRML”, a mini-Grml coming with MirBSD. There is also “MirOS bsd4grml”, a mini-MirBSD coming with Grml. This should clear up any possible confusion. (This snapshot contains a full MirOS BSD, i386 and sparc, no MirOS bsd4grml, plus MirGRML, but no Grml. The Grml 2009.10 release contains a full/medium/small Grml, no MirGRML, plus MirOS bsd4grml (the small one).

MirOS BSD, both i486 and sparc architectures. Most recent snapshot, compiled 2009-10-30, with an updated kernel for a security fix from 2009-10-31 we urge people to upgrade to, even if running older versions. Hence, MirOS-current snapshots are now recommended over MirOS #10-RELEASE, updates for which we have been unable to provide regularily due to lack of time. (Sorry.) This snapshot could have been released as MirOS #11 if it were not for our release plans (so please consider it a new stable release, albeit one without intentions to release binary incremental security updates, but then, we can’t do so for #10 either, so you still win).

MirBSD/i386 is called MirOS BSD/i486 above. We might produce a MirOS BSD/i386 platform with user-space soft-float (like ARM), for a SoC device, if we want and have the time to play with such platforms. What is currently MirBSD/i386 requires an Intel 80486DX or compatible, such as a Cyrix 80486DLC (the one in nwt, see my wlog entries for details). Neither 80386 compatibles nor FPU-less systems will work with this release.
MirBSD/sparc is still compiled for v8 CPUs, with optimisation for HyperSPARC turned on. It is possible to compile your own variant for a v7 CPU (sun4 or sun4c system), though.

This Live CD comes with IceWM, Dillo 2 and a couple of other tools installed and partially preconfigured (you can even run MirBSD inside MirBSD, as qemu is shipped). Enjoy!

Update 02.11. – The /etc/rc shipped breaks pflogd(8) and hence spamlogd(8) – part of the spamd(8) suite – please update this file from the etc10.ngz set manually to cvs(1) revision 1.107 if you are running a spamfilter scenario. Our apologies.

Update 08.11. – Append the following line: CHARACTER_SET:utf-8 to /etc/lynx.cfg or re-enable locale-based charset setting.

Once this release is done, I will create a cpio-with-crc-ball of the CVS repository again, for initial extraction purposes, to speed up an rsync mirror process. It will be available from our usual web mirrors.

You can also pull /cvs directly, and /MirOS and /Pkgs. We plan to make all distfiles used to build MirPorts packages available as well, but currently lack disc space on some of the boxen involved (they are still usually available from the original mirrors, as well as on request directly from bsiegert@/tg@, plus we fully intend on making binary packages the viable option).

Due to heavy load at work, as well as some minor things, I'm either taking back interest altogether, involvement altogether, time spent on projects, or any of these on aspects/particulars of projects.

Sometimes, when you're burnt out, it's best to concentrate on living and on core projects. mksh is one of these for me, as is keeping MirBSD userland and MirPorts infrastructure working well, with small, evolving improvements (no big jumps). Other things, no matter how nice, interesting or useful (to me as well as to others) they are, need to stay back. I poured most of the last seven years of my life into MirBSD.

Sometimes, you want to give back, but it's too much effort, or you cannot afford to spend more time on it. I'll close one of my Debian ITP bugs for this reason. (I also rarely send in patches from ports for this reason, but sometimes point upstream to our CVSweb.)

Sometimes, people like Ulrich Drepper, Marco d'Itri, Gerrit Pape let you realise that every project has its Theo de Raadt-alikes. I've still not ported jupp's latest release to Debian (but an OpenSuSE Buildservice SRPM exists), nor uploaded the current mksh(1) version even to my own wtf repo. I will do so, when I feel like spending private time with Debian again, at least for the etch and lenny (and hardy – for work) branches, as dash and mksh in sid have... issues I predicted ages ago. (For one, I'm still waiting for Gerrit to contact me. Maybe our eMail systems don't like each other? Waldi or formorer will probably pass on any messages, as will the trusty BTS.) I'll probably not open any ITP bugs again and send in much less of the bugs I notice, simply because I don't like being ignored (or flamed, but sometimes, being ignored is worse – which is why Benny works on MirPorts, btw). Maybe, if I feel the need to, my wtf repo will grow instead; DDs or DMs are free to take from there if they like.

Sometimes, one realises that he just doesn't fit in. While Cachewolf is a useful project, working together with Java™ developers that communicate over web fora only and don't even see the need for compatibility with Unix or proper processes most of the time (svn:eol-style comes to mind, and switching the source code to UTF-8 is something I've given up to dream of – I would even have fixed bugs where Ewe wouldn't do UTF-8 right, but I run into a wall of bliss ignorance there) proved impossible for me. I won't budge either: web fora are simply not for me to use. Period. This is my fault (for not fitting in) as well as the fault of some of the rest of the team (for ignoring years of experience, or for simply nicht über den eigenen Tellerrand schauen (however one says this in English, I don't know) and not caring of these who do; for supporting the commercial gc.com site over the three alternatives too). I will continue to use it, maybe the iPAQ H3600 a colleague gave me proves useful, otherwise, MirBSD will do just fine.

So, when I leave or pull back a little, no prejudices. Sometimes with reason, but mostly due to lack of available resources on my part. I hope nobody who has been or will be noticing me ceasing to contribute as much as usual thinks ill that's why.

It sucks! I want no more!

2009-08-15 by tg@
Tags: bug event hardware rant snapshot

You all know that the sparc (demo) freezed on me. Well, the VT420 only emitted “Keyboard Error 4”, I tried the other sparc (ss20/marc). Also equipped with one of these 36G LVD/SE U160 SCA HDDs, it exploded. Literally. Something — I still don’t know what (smells in the area of the tvtwo(4/sparc) and le(4/sparc) but…) as this happened during the installation, which continued as if nothing had happened, except that, a minute after the explosive sound, it begun to smell. *sigh*

Me then go back to demo, even put in the tvtwo(4/sparc) for monitor/keyboard console (sucky German keyboard, but after installing kbd(8) works), use the Stop-N trick (hold it down and power on) to erase the PROM (thanks NetBSD® FAQ, no thanks to the people in #sparc in IRC who suggested Stop-A) to switch from serial to k/m console, then it installed… and froze.

To add insult to injury (luckily not mine), the VT420 works again.

I tried hard to get you at least a minimal set of binary packages — gmake (so it’s self-hosted), lzma (for *.clz binary package support), screen (because people need it), jupp (vi(1) is in base, but no editor other than ed(1)…), rsync (even though it’s now GPLv3, we depend on it heavily) — but just could not, no matter how hard.

On the other front, after re-doing the installer a few times due to some fuckup in install.sub (don’t ask, but I really extracted the image from the symbol-less kernel and put it back afterwards…), a number of core packages for i386 were built, and bsiegert@ is supplying another few hundred. Yay!

I’ll still follow the plan to create the FrOSCon ISO tomorrow, will add a minimal set of i386 packages plus their distfiles where licences require it, and refer people to the online repository. I cannot add any “real” sparc packages, so there will be none. I’m tempted to modify the sparc installer by image extraction too, since the mount_mfs(8) fails when the box has too much RAM (more than about 300 MiB), but don’t want to power on one of these boxen and lose even more time (if not body or possession).

qemu is getting better at emulating a sparc, but we still cannot go to user space. ☹


If someone is really interested in getting MirOS working on boxen compatible to the SheevaPlug (ARM 1.2 GHz), despite our rather old gcc and binutils, please contact us. I’d drop sparc support over it once working.


See you all kissing the blue frog, but remember, don’t kiss a porc. You can read the advertisement or the flyers (German, English or French) meanwhile.

don't procrastinate!

2009-07-07 by tg@
Tags: event

Hell yeah. I promised a wlog entry about the Linuxtag 2009 visit. I planned on making it somewhat detailed, enumerating a couple of things I did other than catching a few geocaches with a company's EeePC and MirBSD and CacheWolf on a USB stick, and getting ill.

Alas, things often are not as desired, and I had to work last week, while still slightly ill, and I just never came around doing it. I arguably could write up something now, but I forgot most(!) of it already, don't want to publish incomplete things out of fear from (accidental) omissions, sit on nwt (my dear 80486DLC laptop) and... well, procrastinated too much. And I had a long work day and am very much enjoying my AfriCola+SchlösserAlt beer, thank you very much.

So, without further ado (why the fuck do Amis tend to have trouble with homophones, by the way?), comrad's pictures:
The BSD booth setting (overview picture; mira says hello MirOS merchandise, grml and fun buttons, etc.

It definitively wasn't as technical an event as FOSDEM, and much less people asked about mksh, but at least now I got my OpenPGP signed by two more Debian Developers who do not intend on switching keys in the next couple of months... *sigh* Anyway, world domination coming, this is required for I am still a DM, but wouldn't say no to DD status either. Why, à propos, do I have <tg@d.o> and only realise that because of spam mails sent there? Anyway, met formorer from grml in real life, quite nice too. We got some donations for the buttons and grml CDs, but the money got distributed among many people.

Hah! These CentOS guys! They made me promise to say CentOS rocks if it included mksh; they were going to file a bug at RHEL for its inclusion. I looked today, they didn't. So I won't say it rocks. It rather annoys, truth be told. Especially since it comes without a decent shell, and I had to make an RPM of OpenNTPD myself! Imagine that!

The MirOS Project will be represented at LinuxTag 2009, Berlin, .de by tg@ with kindly sponsored buttons, some at the joint booth of AllBSD whose Daniel Seuffert kindly sponsored CDs and flyers as usual, and may be seen at the Holarse booth which has history with MirBSD™ on LinuxTag.

We will distribute MirOS BSD CDs (i386 Live, i386 Install, sparc Install, i386 MirGRML 2009.01) as well as grml CDs (containing grml 2009.05 Lackdose-Allergie, which includes MirOS bsd4grml/i386). There will probably not be any MidnightBSD CDs due to lack of an image in time for the deadline. Furthermore, besides the giveaway flyers, there are a couple of buttons for MirBSD, grml, mksh, MidnightBSD and Glenda from Plan 9. We would like to ask for a small donation (the amount does not really matter) in return for these; also, donations for the CDs are welcome to cover printing costs and will go to the respective sponsors (this is especially valid for the grml CDs, as they are not strictly covered by AllBSD).

The next event will be FrOSCon in St. Augustin, with tg@ as well as bsiegert@ and gecko2@ as usual.

Es ging also zum GUUG Frühjahrsfachgespräch nach Karlsruhe. Nun, die Stadt kannte ich ja schon vom LinuxTag (meines Erachtens auch der beste Austragungsort für jene), aber diesmal eine neue Ecke. Hotel, Einzelzimmer, bezahlt vom Arbeitgeber; Event auch. Tutorium okay, lehrreich (auch was man nicht will), die Vorträge wechselnd gut aber in der Regel es auch wert. Aber wie auf jedem Event lernt man viele neue Leute kennen, oder auch Gesichter zu den (Nick)namen. Das fand ich gut. Das „social event“ entsprach dem auch, wir waren im lokalen Brauhaus, und das Buffet… nunja, ich bin kein Freund von Buffets und „kompliziertem“ Essen, aber bin gut sattgeworden, nur die „Mousse“ war eher… interessant im Biolekschen Sinne.

Natürlich war ich auch zwischendurch Couscous Merguez essen, frischen Minztee trinken, und beim Geocachen meinen Laptop schrotten. Hmpf. Immerhin laufen die Flüssigkristalle nicht aus. Drückt mir die Daumen, daß der Händler meinen X40 auf Kulanz repariert, da innerhalb der Garantiezeit (1 Jahr; ist knapp unter 6 Monate her, daß ich das Teil brauchte). Immerhin 3 gefunden, einige nicht gefunden (dafür aber ne hiesige Cacherin) oder nicht angegangen (zB da nicht so lebensmüde, auf ein >4m hohes Verkehrsschild zu klettern, oder da die Koords zu weit weg vom Startpunkt waren).

Dummerweise werde ich also jetzt eher an nocd (win2k) und nwt (80486er Kiste) hängen und nicht weiter entwickeln.

Ich denke, ich sollte mal selber meine Founds durchnumerieren und in eine Liste packen, da die meisten eben nicht in allen Datenbanken gelistet sind.

Hier dann die aktuellen „Statistiken“:
(Update: images moved here)
Drei mehr dabei, aber leider kaum auf OC

Unterstützt JamesDoe nicht, boykottiert seine Caches, schreibt die Logeinträge bei ihm ausschließlich auf OC.de hin, sodaß er die Listings dort wieder pflegen möge, oder schreibt ihm, was ihr von seiner Aktion haltet, die Listings auf OC.de zu orphanen!

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