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Some updates inline and at the bottom.

The new Terms of Service of GitHub became effective today, which is quite problematic — there was a review phase, but my reviews pointing out the problems were not answered, and, while the language is somewhat changed from the draft, they became effective immediately.

Now, the new ToS are not so bad that one immediately must stop using their service for disagreement, but it’s important that certain content may no longer legally be pushed to GitHub. I’ll try to explain which is affected, and why.

I’m mostly working my way backwards through section D, as that’s where the problems I identified lie, and because this is from easier to harder.

Note that using a private repository does not help, as the same terms apply.

Anything requiring attribution (e.g. CC-BY, but also BSD, …)

Section D.7 requires the person uploading content to waive any and all attribution rights. Ostensibly “to allow basic functions like search to work”, which I can even believe, but, for a work the uploader did not create completely by themselves, they can’t grant this licence.

The CC licences are notably bad because they don’t permit sublicencing, but even so, anything requiring attribution can, in almost all cases, not “written or otherwise, created or uploaded by our Users”. This is fact, and the exceptions are few.

Anything putting conditions on the right to “use, display and perform” the work and, worse, “reproduce” (all Copyleft)

Section D.5 requires the uploader to grant all other GitHub users…

  • the right to “use, display and perform” the work (with no further restrictions attached to it) — while this (likely — I didn’t check) does not exclude the GPL, many others (I believe CC-*-SA) are affected, and…
  • the right to “reproduce your Content solely on GitHub as permitted through GitHub's functionality”, with no further restructions attached; this is a killer for, I believe, any and all licences falling into the “copyleft” category.

Note that section D.4 is similar, but granting the licence to GitHub (and their successors); while this is worded much more friendly than in the draft, this fact only makes it harder to see if it affects works in a similar way. But that doesn’t matter since D.5 is clear enough. (This doesn’t mean it’s not a problem, just that I don’t want to go there and analyse D.4 as D.5 points out the same problems but is easier.)

This means that any and all content under copyleft licences is also no longer welcome on GitHub.

Anything requiring integrity of the author’s source (e.g. LPPL)

Some licences are famous for requiring people to keep the original intact while permitting patches to be piled on top; this is actually permissible for Open Source, even though annoying, and the most common LaTeX licence is rather close to that. Section D.3 says any (partial) content can be removed — though keeping a PKZIP archive of the original is a likely workaround.

Affected licences

Anything copyleft (GPL, AGPL, LGPL, CC-*-SA) or requiring attribution (CC-BY-*, but also 4-clause BSD, Apache 2 with NOTICE text file, …) are affected. BSD-style licences without advertising clause (MIT/Expat, MirOS, etc.) are probably not affected… if GitHub doesn’t go too far and dissociates excerpts from their context and legal info, but then nobody would be able to distribute it, so that’d be useless.

But what if I just fork something under such a licence?

Only “continuing to use GitHub” constitutes accepting the new terms. This means that repositories from people who last used GitHub before March 2017 are excluded.

Even then, the new terms likely only apply to content uploaded in March 2017 or later (note that git commit dates are unreliable, you have to actually check whether the contribution dates March 2017 or later).

And then, most people are likely unaware of the new terms. If they upload content they themselves don’t have the appropriate rights (waivers to attribution and copyleft/share-alike clauses), it’s plain illegal and also makes your upload of them or a derivate thereof no more legal.

Granted, people who, in full knowledge of the new ToS, share any “User-Generated Content” with GitHub on or after 1ˢᵗ March, 2017, and actually have the appropriate rights to do that, can do that; and if you encounter such a repository, you can fork, modify and upload that iff you also waive attribution and copyleft/share-alike rights for your portion of the upload. But — especially in the beginning — these will be few and far between (even more so taking into account that GitHub is, legally spoken, a mess, and they don’t even care about hosting only OSS / Free works).

Conclusion (Fazit)

I’ll be starting to remove any such content of mine, such as the source code mirrors of jupp, which is under the GNU GPLv1, now and will be requesting people who forked such repositories on GitHub to also remove them. This is not something I like to do but something I am required to do in order to comply with the licence granted to me by my upstream. Anything you’ve found contributed by me in the meantime is up for review; ping me if I forgot something. (mksh is likely safe, even if I hereby remind you that the attribution requirement of the BSD-style licences still applies outside of GitHub.)

(Pet peeve: why can’t I “adopt a licence” with British spelling? They seem to require oversea barbarian spelling.)

The others

Atlassian Bitbucket has similar terms (even worse actually; I looked at them to see whether I could mirror mksh there, and turns out, I can’t if I don’t want to lose most of what few rights I retain when publishing under a permissive licence). Gitlab seems to not have such, but requires you to indemnify them… YMMV. I think I’ll self-host the removed content.

And now?

I’m in contact with someone from GitHub Legal (not explicitly in the official capacity though) and will try to explain the sheer magnitude of the problem and ways to solve this (leaving the technical issues to technical solutions and requiring legal solutions only where strictly necessary), but for now, the ToS are enacted (another point of my criticism of this move) and thus, the aforementioned works must go off GitHub right now.

That’s not to say they may not come back later once this all has been addressed, if it will be addressed to allow that. The new ToS do have some good; for example, the old ToS said “you allow every GitHub user to fork your repositories” without ever specifying what that means. It’s just that the people over at GitHub need to understand that, both legally and technically¹, any and all OSS licences² grant enough to run a hosting platform already³, and separate explicit grants are only needed if a repository contains content not under an OSI/OKFN/Copyfree/FSF/DFSG-free licence. I have been told that “these are important issues” and been thanked for my feedback; we’ll see what comes from this.

① maybe with a little more effort on the coders’ side³

② All licences on one of those lists or conformant to the DFSG, OSD or OKD should do⁴.

③ e.g. when displaying search results, add a note “this is an excerpt, click HERE to get to the original work in its context, with licence and attribution” where “HERE” is a backlink to the file in the repository

④ It is understood those organisations never un-approve any licence that rightfully conforms to those definitions (also in cases like a grant saying “just use any OSS² licence” which is occasionally used)

Update: In the meantime, joeyh has written not one but two insightful articles (although I disagree in some details; the new licence is only to GitHub users (D.5) and GitHub (D.4) and only within their system, so, while uploaders would violate the ToS (they cannot grant the licence) and (probably) the upstream-granted copyleft licence, this would not mean that everyone else wasn’t bound by the copyleft licence in, well, enough cases to count (yes it’s possible to construct situations in which this hurts the copyleft fraction, but no, they’re nowhere near 100%).


28.01.2016 by tg@
Tags: event

Of course, some MirBSD presence will be at FOSDEM this year. There’s no FOSDEM without mirabilos, after all.

We have no booth nor any other set place, and no planned talk schedule either, so coordination of meetups will be tricky. I’ll try to get into IRC at least occasionally, but WLAN is usually shitty.


FOSDEM preparations… done.

20.01.2014 by tg@
Tags: debian event fun grml mksh twitxr work

I’ve produced several pin-on buttons to take with me to FOSDEM for giving away (as long as there are any left):

Several pin-on buttons I made

First row (nice projects), from left to right: MidnightBSD; Glenda, the Plan 9 bunny; Teckids e.V.

Second row (The MirOS Project): mksh; the Shilouette Dæmon; the “Triforce” (Live+Install CDs for i386 and sparc, with MirGrml); “the m” (alternative logo, vector)

Third row (things originating from tarent): Freedroidz (now a Teckids project); OSIAM (Identity and Access Management); tarent (tarent AG, tarent GmbH), who sponsored production of these buttons

Hm… jupp needs a button’able logo!

FOSDEM meetup

FrOSCon is approaching, and all MirBSD developers will attend… but why’s there no MirBSD exhibit? The answer to that is a bit complex. First let’s state that of course we will participate in the event as well as the Open Source world. We’ll also be geocaching around the campus with other interested (mostly OSS) people (including those we won for this sport) and helping out other OSS projects we’ve become attached to.

MirOS BSD, the operating system, is a niche system. The conference on the other hand got “younger” and more mainstream. This means that almost all conference visitors do not belong to the target group of MirOS BSD which somewhat is an “ancient solution”: the most classical BSD around (NetBSD® loses because they have rc.d and PAM and lack sendmail(8), sorry guys, your attempt at being not reformable doesn’t count) and running on restricted hardware (such as my 486SLC with 12 MiB RAM) and exots (SPARCstation). It’s viable even as developer workstation (if your hardware is supported… otherwise just virtualise it) but its strength lies with SPARC support and “embedded x86”. And being run as virtual machine: we’re reportedly more stable and more performant than OpenBSD. MirBSD is not cut off from modern development and occasionally takes a questionable but justified choice (such as using 16-bit Unicode internally) or a weird-looking but beneficial one (such as OPTU encoding saving us locale(1) hassles) or even acts as technological pioneer (64-bit time_t on ILP32 platforms) or, at least, is faster than OpenBSD (newer GNU toolchain, things like that), but usually more conservatively, and yes, this is by design, not by lack of manpower, most of the time.

The MirPorts Framework, while technically superiour in enough places, is something that just cannot happen without manpower. I (tg@) am still using it exclusively, continuing to update ports I use and occasionally creating new ones (mupdf is in the works!), but it’s not something I’d recommend someone (other than an Mac OSX user) to use on a nōn-MirBSD system (Interix is not exactly thriving either, and the Interix support was only begun; other OSes are not widely tested).

The MirBSD Korn Shell is probably the one thing I will be remembered for. But I have absolutely no idea how one would present it on a booth at such an exhibition. A talk is much more likely. So no on that front too.

jupp, the editor which sucks less, is probably something that does deserve mainstream interest (especially considering Natureshadow is using it while teaching computing to kids) but probably more in a workshop setting. And booth space is precious enough in the FH so I think that’d be unfair.

All the other subprojects and side projects Benny and I have, such as mirₘᵢₙcⒺ, josef stalin, FreeWRT, Lunix Ewe, Shellsnippets, the fonts, etc. are interesting but share few, if any, common ground. Again, this does not match the vast majority of visitors. While we probably should push a number of these more, but a booth isn’t “it” here, either.

MirOS Linux (“MirLinux”) and MirOS Windows are, despite otherwise-saying rumours called W*k*p*d*a, only premature ideas that will not really be worked on (though MirLinux concepts are found in mirₘᵢₙcⒺ and stalin).

As you can see, despite all developers having full-time dayjobs, The MirOS Project is far from being obsolete. We hope that our website visitors understand our reasons to not have an exhibition booth of our own (even if the SPARCstation makes for a way cool one, it’s too heavy to lift all the time), and would like to point out that there are several other booths (commercial ones, as well as OSS ones such as AllBSD, Debian and (talking to) others) and other itineries we participate in. This year both Benny and I have been roped into helping out the conference itself, too (not exactly unvoluntarily though).

The best way to talk to us is IRC during regular European “geek” hours (i.e. until way too late into the night – which Americans should benefit from), semi-synchronously, or mailing lists. We sort of expect you to not be afraid to RTFM and look up acronyms you don’t understand; The MirOS Project is not unfriendly but definitely not suited for your proverbial Aunt Tilly, newbies, “desktop” users, and people who aren’t at least somewhat capable of using written English (this is by design).

This weekend, the FOSDEM 2012 took place in Brussels. We gave away DVDs with the latest MirOS BSD snapshot and about 3 GiB of binary packages for pkgsrc.

I gave a talk entitled “pkgsrc on MirBSD”. It gives a short introduction to both MirBSD and pkgsrc and details how we managed to get MirBSD supported as a platform, including some details on the new-developer process at the NetBSD foundation. The slides are now available on slideshare or as a PDF for download. —

The showcase is doing strange things. The NetBSD-current kernel panics reproducibly when the network card, an alc, does not have a link. Thus, I put it on a switch with no other connection to “fix” the problem. Furthermore, I have a half-finished pkg_rolling-replace on the NetBSD side; various things now give Memory Errors, including running xfce4-session. Oh well. WindowMaker to the rescue … I am planning on redoing the setup on this machine anyway, once NetBSD-6-alpha will have been branched. I would also like to use LVM to set up the partitions for the Xen domains, to avoid going through a vnd(4) device.

benz’ wedding, fun before

24.10.2011 by tg@
Tags: debian event fun

My dear MirBSD co-developer Benny did not only get his Doctor title but also recently married. There will be another post detailing this, including better photos of the two Doctors and the cake (with a Dæmon she made herself) on the wlog, but this is some fun beforehand:

No GPL cars!

Apparently, it is forbidden in France to drive GPL cars. (Without safety valve – but you have to admit the picture was fun. And we were like WTF? since the thing actually meant is LPG in German. Just like UTC is CUT (Coordinated Universal Time) in English, TUC (Temps Universel Coordonné) in French…)

I’m also working on improving our xterm(1) and GNU screen config, and other things. Explaining acronyms on our webpages is also coming some time. Benny is importing weird stuff from TNF for better pkgsrc® support, so there is activity. Just we’ve got dayjobs and a life… and mksh(1) still rocks (pdksh got orphaned in Debian today).

On Day 0, we were at my favourite Jugoslawian restaurant, and during eating and verpeiling, Andi took some pictures:
Jana und Jupp “ich habe die Macht” cnuke@ Henni und ciruZ (Jonathan) gecko2@ “geh weg” und bsiegert@ “waaah!” deer in the headlights
Take special note of the fun expressions everyone has…

Day 2, nothing of note at the conference itself – according to Jana, the only interesting talk (that tcpdump(8) GUI) was cancelled, and everything else was PHP and Web 2.0 crap. The food also was different, at least what I got, from Day 1. But it wasn’t as hot as on the previous day, and we did more socialising. I also managed to get the MirBSD ISO distributed some more.

Then I took my fellow DDs Enrico and madamezou geocaching for their first time, together with benz; they then took a Travelbug I found on Day 1 (with rsc) to Italy so it’ll end up in Rome, a next step on its mission.

Other rarely-seen people, such as Dr. Pfeffer, made an appearance, but overall the second day was quite relaxed. Ah, and Benny is a Doctor in Germany now as well.

On Monday, I slept quite a bit ☺

Built the ISO [torrent link deleted 2014-05-13] in the morning, today. Finally. Whew. It was much too warm in the mēnsa, and why did I have to get up so early anyway? Real Conferences™ don’t start before 10 o’clock, and there are no sensible activities before 11 o’clock anyway…

Talked to a lot of people, introduced my favourite Fedora Packager to Geocaching. Now my throat is sore and I’m tired. Social Event was not my case, as usual. (And even the vegetarian food now costs money as opposed to, I think, two years ago.) At least dry and not too loud. Still, best thing of FrOSCon is the Friday Evening Jugoslawian Food Mealtime ;-)

FrOSCon 2011

18.08.2011 by tg@
Tags: debian event grml news

This year without our friends from Grml, but The MirOS Project (all two active developers and our Booth Babe gecko2@) will of course attend FrOSCon, nicknamed Froschkon, again.

We’ll have a pre-event meal time at my favourite Jugoslawian Restaurant on Friday (20:00 CEST) – contact me privately for the coördinates if interested. On Saturday and Sunday we’ll staff a booth and answer questions about the many projects we have (more or less) running, including but not limited to paxmirabilis (aka MirCPIO), The MirBSD Korn Shell aka mksh(1), jupp the editor, and developers’ private projects such as slowly undermining Debian or Google-Go. While slow we are still working on World Domination. And teaching people good shell programming by example code.

We might even bring CDs, but I’m still working on the ISO… last night’s build aborted because the OS grew a bit making the floppy image not fit any more. (Solution, drop ping(8) and rtsol(8), but re-add sf(4) and bce(4) now that they fit again.)

The pictures are hypertext references to large versions. Of course, your photographer (me, although Samuel helped to set up the PocketPC’s camera application correctly, 10x) also had some Kruškovac ☺ (imported from Croatia into Bosnia)…

spontaneous late night meeting at Front Desk

Of course we were not above closing Front Desk either ☻☺

Best Friends

Been hot and dry today (although the sky is now back full of dark clouds), so I had a headache most of the morning until way past noon. Better now though, and I found a place where I could get Cevapi, which are really some sort of quick imbiss / fast food here (no Đuveč pirinač though, and she didn’t have any Ajvar nor did she speak any language other than the local, but that wasn’t a problem, only a bit dry because I didn’t give in and took the offered Ketchup). Bought a 1ℓ bottle of Kruškovac (from Hrvatska, though) and some small plastic glasses, then.

I wonder how many people would, now, be willing to give Bosna i Hercegovina a try as holiday region (which might have been the intent of having a Balkan DebConf). I’m sure I do.

To all attendees: the hotel will give you some kind of stamped hardpaper card which states where you stayed on the trip, and for how long – give that to the border guards when exiting Bosnia.


25.07.2011 by tg@

Sitting in Бања Лука, Република Српска, Босна и Херцеговина (Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosna i Hercegovina) let’s just say the country is pretty nice. People are okay, the beer is not called “Nektar” by accident, and the Mark (subunit Fennig, funnily enough) is worth 1 DM. Price niveau is below Germany (even when we had the DM) in some things, below or at modern European in others. In short, very affordable. They don’t accept paper money though, it’s really hard to get coins in most places, and they only want those. The food is okay, and my hotel is very luxurious. It’s also got LAN.

The weather is not so nice at the moment though: raining a lot, and expecting 30°C too-hot sun in two days. And there are still no Geocaches in the area.

Anyway, DebConf is going on, I’m acclimating and trying to get people, faces, nicknames and realnames connected. And accents. (And pronunciation of names – for example, Ian differs totally from what I’d use.) We even have working wire network (LAN) most of the time ;-)

We’re indeed still working on resurrecting m68k, but that’s no news. More on that later, I’d say.

  • √ Agreement to pay from company
  • √ Going to drive with some apparently speed-loving brits
  • √ Registration accepted
  • √ Dienstreiseantrag prepared
  • √ Sent that beast to the office ticket queue

So yes, this means I’m going to DebConf 11 to what used to be Yugoslawia when I was there the last time, although in the Poreč region of Istria, Hrvatska.

’M back.

21.03.2011 by tg@

Two DNF out of four geocaches, well… one was too muggled, the other was no longer there, judging from the previous visitors’ log entries. Cached with natureshadow and bought his book on how not to cycle across Germany.

CLT was a blast, and it’s refreshing to attend an event without having to drive a booth of our own. Talked to lots of people. Since the boss was paying, even did some mingling in that area.

My ADSL line has been hiccupping ☹


19.03.2011 by tg@
Tags: debian event geocache grml

Will drive to Chemnitz now. Maybe meet me there. No booth, just visiting to meet everyone again, rather spontaneous.

(Free)BSD vs. Linux

03.03.2011 by tg@
Tags: debian event ill mksh rant

Warning: this is a rant against BSD (specifically FreeBSD®, but don’t let me get started on DragonFly, who think it’s wise to drop all shells except ash from the base system and rely on pkgsrc® – yay let’s compile a dozen packages just to get a shell with tab completion, not to mention boxen with no network access – for the task – although others seem to go into that direction too…; you know, there’s BSD, and then there’s FreeBSD…) – don’t like, don’t read.

If you want to change something in the BSD world, you gotta fork your own BSD – no other way around the thickheads. Ok, back then, I ran into a particularily thick one, but others tend to not be much better. Users share the thickness. If you want to change something in the GNU/Linux world, just make a package, have someone upload it, prod (or pay, Hanno got a Radler) people to do it, or just upload it yourself.

At the BSD booth at FOSDEM, despite me bringing the Windows® Mobile 6 Professional devive, strictly for Geocaching mind you, Macintosh boxen had a share of more than 50% – I didn’t manage to tip the scale. At the Debian booth, almost everyone had a “I want to buy a new laptop some day, but it just keeps on working and doesn’t break” pre-Lenovo IBM laptop. No hyping of Google either. (Last year’s CLT saw BSD people advocating pro-Schily – the guy with the broken encoding in his name – shockingly.)

Honestly, tcsh, FreeBSD® people? Sorry. While I agree that there is merit on having the same script and interactive shell, as someone has pointed out (copy-paste examples into the command line), there’s those zsh users who use mksh or GNU bash for scripting. Or just POSIX shell. And that’s with an interactive shell which can be used for scripting. On the other hand, the C shell (both csh and tcsh) cannot.

And what’s with pretending the accent gravis is non-combining, called “backtick” (such a thing does not exist); and advocating it? Sorry, if your csh/tcsh doesn’t handle the POSIX $(…) you should just drop it. (By the way, there is a convention that example command lines are prefixed with for csh and for sh (or but we write $ sudo  instead, these days). Use it. Or leave it. If you have examples that substitute another process’ output, be specific.) It’s funny to see how one person tries to defuse my arguments against csh by telling me “it’s just an interactive shell”, while the other argues that people copy-paste between them, to which that was my response. Read the thread!

And please, get your facts right. “I would prefer that the standard shell be at least Bourne-compatible.” You don’t want Bourne (“^” instead of “|” for pipes), you want POSIX. That GNU bash is called the Bourne-Again Shell in one of their usual semi-bad puns doesn’t help the global perception of such things any. Also, the root shell and /bin/sh are disjunct.

(Plus, why change the root shell, use sudo(8), plain and simple.)

ObNote: in jupp (should I package that for Debian, btw? rather upload, packages are ready…) the ‘`’ key is used as præfix for Ctrl-X (`X) or to directly enter numerical (decimal, octal, sedecimal/hexadecadic) ASCII, 8-bit or Unicode codepoints. Yay!
And even the FSF has seen the light; for a few releases already, GCC uses “'…'” instead of “`…'” for quoting in messages, even without locales. Great job there! (LC_MESSAGES=en_GB.UTF-8 usually works, too, though.)

ObDisclaimer: I have an (yes, Google…) Alert on the word “mksh”, so I know when it’s being discussed. This obviously includes certain fora. Also, I’m a shell implementer and bound to know a certain amount of details. Plus, mksh’s build script runs with pretty much any Bourne/POSIX/Z Shell which has functions and not too many bugs. I wrote it. Go figure. No lowly trolling.

FWIW, mksh(1) has the cat(1) builtin both because Android has no cat(1), and as speed hack. Almost all other shells have worse speed hacks, like a printf(1) builtin. And recently, builtins have become direct-callable, so this actually reduces the overall system footprint. (Its inclusion also provides for some other possibilities, internally.) And as two final side notes, if you haven’t seen this: determine which shell we are run under (CVS) and I still offer a prompt conversion service (send me any GNU bash or oksh $PS1 and I’ll send that to you in mksh(1) syntax – optionally with adjustments/improvements, like cwd uses only up to 1/3 of screen width).

FOSDEM was a blast!

13.02.2011 by tg@

I just need to work more on bilocality. While I did find two geocaches, one at the South/Noon Train Station (taalverwarringen…), one in the buurt of the University, I did manage to miss the AW building completely and utterly. Wow. Except, that Haiku guy came over to talk for a bit (nice). And I drew. An Atari logo with swirl, for that weird stuff I recently have been found doing.

More mksh-current news coming soon, stay tuned. In the meanwhile, I met bonsaikitten IRL (at FOSDEM, yes, too) who kindly made a “live ebuild”, i.e. a source package building -current.

Finally let’s say a big thank you to the person mostly manning our booth, gecko2, and to Benny for talking to people, getting That Other Packaging Thingy working, and pimping the website a bit.

I’ve just prepared an ISO for FOSDEM Ⅺ which we might export on BitTorrent soon. Benny has provided an upgraded desktop background image, thanks.

The next mksh release… well I’ll bite the sour apple and will release it without associative arrays but hope I get around to hack a few things (especially the read and sleep builtins) before releasing. One lession learned, don’t brag with oh-so-big plans when you haven’t got a deliverable yet. Real Life will interfere. Oh, and Murphy, of course. (mksh R41 might have the associative arrays then. But mksh-current has ${foo@#} which is hash($foo).

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

❧ Who’s not? ☺ Same procedure as every year.

(okay, lolando prefers skiïng but…)

Anyway. A cow‐orker told me that Belgium again/still has no gouvernment, and they have been asked to grow out their beards until they do. I found “evidence” on the ’net but won’t link it here, also it’s on German… anyway. Let’s all join in. (Besides, I now have an excuse to not shave, maybe even my grandmother will accept this one…)

RT said on IRC that mksh will probably work on MSYS.

My Debian/m68k stuff is coming around nicely, but I still haven’t gotten around to do everything planned, plus I need to grow a new kernel and eglibc, after the latest uploads, and the 2.6.37 based one panics. Also I’ve got to take care to not overwork myself. (And make a MirBSD ISO for FOSDEM.) But hey, it’s been not working for some time and better now. And slow anyway ☺ yet we’re progressing. Does anyone know how to debug that a C programme only calling res_init(3) segfaults?

Benny is apparently not just working on making NetBSD® pkgsrc® available on MirOS BSD (picking up my work from 4+ years ago) but also replacing The MirPorts Framework with it. Sad, as I got a request for a gajim MirPort over a cocktail just this evening…

I’m almost finished with “sort of re-bootstrapping” Debian/m68k (I can use etch-m68k as well as what was in unstable at the moment as dependencies, so it was not that much, still, 305 binary packages build from 84 source packages, most for unstable (very few for unreleased, with very responsive maintainers, thanks all, who will include the patches in their next uploads) is a bit… including rebuilds with newer versions, more patches, more testing or newer dependencies installed. I’ll probably upload on Sunday evening, as I’ll be off for 2-4 days at least from then (see below). Ingo tried to test on real hardware, but as Murphy wants a hard disc failed… we’ll still try to get something done over the weekend. If you want to have a look, see my repository index (sources.txt contains a sample sources.list file, 0-NOTE.txt some hints, including the right debootstrap/cowbuilder magic and speed tricks). I’ll need to learn how to use LVM and set up a buildd now…

I’ve not been in much of a hacking mood recently – all these visits to the dentist leave me in unrest and disturb my equilibrium. Hence, not much activity even in mksh even if there was need, almost none in MirBSD. This is only temporary, but I won’t attend OpenRheinRuhr, or, if I come at all, it’ll be for socialising only and probably only one day. Benny’s done with his Doctor (in France, no idea whether it’s one in Germany as well) of Chemistry and has returned to hacking some (World of) Google-Go(o) code. I expect MirBSD activity to slowly raise once we can come back. Please accept our apologies.

FrOSCon was a blast. I had two booths of my own – MirBSD and FreeWRT – as well as shares of Debian and Grml. Well, MirBSD was run by Benny and gecko2 because I just didn’t have any time for it, despite XTaran’s help with the FreeWRT booth. All I did was the initial setup of both booths, while at the same time answering about three questions regarding FreeWRT in parallel. Wow. What a little small, open hardware can do to you. XTaran and I had fun and we’ll do FreeWRT booths again; I managed to flash my two FON2100 devices (“La Fonera” – the FON2200 can use the same image, says nbd of OpenWrt) and will fix the port’s remaining few bugs I found; XTaran will try to push the WL-500gPv2 development. The social part was nice as well, although I think the greek restaurant in the city will not be visited by me again. Anyway, if you didn’t attend FrOSCon, your own fault…

Since the BitTorrent tracker used by MirOS is down, here’s the link to the [updated 2010-08-28] [deleted 2014-05013] current (FrOSCon 2010 Edition) snapshot’s torrent, Triforce as usual. We’ll probably rewrite torrent files for all our ISOs and publish them on the MirBSD website. I’m currently considering OpenBitTorrent plus one or two DHT seed nodes with no statistics. Maybe with webseed. (Need to update the libtorrent/rtorrent MirPorts first, though…) Other options would be different trackers or running one of our own. I will announce the outcome as news entry, once done.

On the plus side, the review process of mksh(1) in Android continues, and I fixed the realpath builtin to behave even more POSIX-ish.

[BT] MirOS #10-current (FrOSCon) ISO

19.08.2010 by tg@
Tags: event snapshot

The FrOSCon Edition “Federrosé” ISO is now [link deleted 2014-05-13, we do not use torrent any more] available for download using BitTorrent. Because our usual tracker Scarywater is down, the file is now hosted here and tracked using OpenBitTorrent primarily.

  • MD5 (MIRA0819.ISO) = 3ecab5f91e042580cf38571119b01fff
  • RMD160 (MIRA0819.ISO) = c78ca3d2b1414c869ae15fd285cd2544b6eab6b1
  • SHA1 (MIRA0819.ISO) = a9f343b019a238456ae6152191e06bdeff8ecca3
  • SIZE (MIRA0819.ISO) = 713031680
  • TIGER (MIRA0819.ISO) = 56dc76dbd112fe70eee5f393b5d90c097f60fb6211c31ced


FrOSCon 2010 and other sundries

06.08.2010 by tg@
Tags: debian event grml

The FrOSCon 5 - 21./22. August 2010 booth plans have finalised, I am rather content:

	┌──┐              I ❦ STANDPLAN FROSCON 2010
	│ F│reeWRT
	│  │
	│  │                 C = Collectd
	│C │   Grml

This is especially good, as XTaran will be shared among (at least) Debian, Grml, FreeWRT; same for me plus of course MirBSD; kimnotyze is FreeWRT but may help with MirBSD; benz and gecko2 probably are MirBSD but gecko2 could help with FreeWRT, tokkee was interested in FreeWRT too… anyway.

Some days, you just love software.

	Aug  6 13:55:01 blau firesomething-bin: stack overflow
	    in function VFY_EndWithSignature
	Aug  6 13:55:01 blau /bsd: signal 6 received by
	    (firesomething-bi:1146) UID(2999) EUID(2999),
	    parent (sh:9059) UID(2999) EUID(2999)

Thus, let me reïterate it for all of you:

Well, now that the Debian Release Managers have sent their freezing bits around… *shudder*… Squeeze is frozen. Well, at least everything I have my hands in has migrated. I’m still… not persuaded. I also can’t decide which looks worse (KDE 4 or Win 7), tending towards KDE 4…

Why does all the horrid software (Solaris, Java™, OpenSSO, MySQL, etc.) tend to end up at Oracle at the moment? Let me quote from some Debian mailing list:
>>What happened to the Unix philosophy?
>Modern Solaris engineers
Is that similar to high-speed horse carriages?

My RPM repository has been pimped a bit – I ported some stuff from my DEB repository and updated them in both (rdate(8) and ntpd(8), specifically). Still ought to work more on them, but currently MirBSD base is most important, although I’m dying for mksh associative and multi-dimensional arrays, as well as more sh(1) conformance assorted bug fixes.

Well, there’s a life besides the computer. I’ve taken today off, wanting to hack on MirBSD’s most urgent problems (but probably end up doing that tomorrow), slept long, and will meet with cnuke@ and gecko2@ for Greek style dinner. The latter will almost certainly end up with a long-time work contract at the same place where I run a lot of things already, so congratulations. In the meanwhile, bsiegert@ has almost become a Doctor of Chemistry, and my brother’s finished his Maths and Economics diploma.

Also, I’ve put up the logo of the company where my new dedicated server is hosted; they reduce the monthly fee in exchange for this, so humour me and pay them a visit. They’re IPv6 pioneers, actually. (The server is now installed but not completely set up yet, and I have yet to begin moving services; it’ll be better than the VM eurynome is, but the clock could use the new timekeeping subsystem in the kernel as well as socket send (ÆrieBSD) and receive timestamps as it’s off by 0-1000 ms.)

Speaking of kernel stuff, yesterday I considered moving wscons(4) to UTF-8 again (since everything is CESU-8, we need to take raw octets into account also). I’ve seen OpenBSD begun importing Citrus… *shudder* Anyway, that’s my part, but I’d like volunteers for backporting things like the timekeeping stuff (and possibly more hardware support), and writing a pivot_root like thing (explained on some mailing list already) so we can use ramdisc root to do loopback root.

FrOSCon 5 - 21./22. August 2010 is approaching rapidly. I’m a bit envious at some of the tracks (I mean, really, geocaching (ok, I did the surrounging caches over the last years but still), learning python by means of game programming, etc. really sounds interesting – and I know people who could benefit from a non-kids version of that as well) but this year’s FrOSCon is nothing for me to curse about either: I managed to get both a booth for The MirOS Project (MirBSD, mksh and other subprojects) as well as one for Waldemar’s FreeWRT (although wbx@ – if he comes – won’t join there since he forked his own fork since its conception). Booth staff are, currently: tg@ and bsiegert@ (Developer), gecko2@ (Staff) for MirOS, tg@ and “XTaran” abe@ (Developer), kimnotyze (Hacker) for FreeWRT. (XTaran will probably be helping Debian/Grml too.) This year, it’ll be my job (after 2 years of aptituz) to keep the Altbier-Fraktion watered, I’m thinking one crate of Schlösser Alt and one crate of Hannen Alt?

Have a look at the Program and don’t tell me you won’t come! It will rock! (Except there won’t be Formorer’s Chilli, but that’s no reason, there’s enough other stuff in manageable distance.)

Besides interesting booths and talks, FrOSCon is still looking for helpers who will not only get free entrance but also catering during operation.

Back home

11.07.2010 by tg@
Tags: bug debian event geocache mksh news release snapshot

Bordeaux was very nice (and towards the end much cooler… it’s actually hotter here at more than 50½° north – too warm to think, or do anything) but the LSM/RMLL was very french. They’ll be in Straßburg and Lüttich the next two years so we can probably be expected to attend. I don’t think I can eat duck (which, in south-west france, is a vegetable) or like all that classic french multi-course food so much, but I had enough Couscous Merguez and Thé à la menthe fraîche… and similar good stuff. Many people spoke English and actually asked me whether I do (probably they couldn’t bear me trying to spea^W^W^Wbutchering the language of the Grande Nation) and in general were a friendly bunch. I did see some people with machine guns in the city on the last day, though. No idea what/why… didn’t dare asking ☻

Just another reason to boycott flying: Mario Lang (one of the speakers) was apparently held on the airport and treated as a terrorist due to his Braille line… they thought it was a bomb or somesuch thing.

Read on for more…

Travelling with the Thalys and TGV was nice (but I loathe the Métro parisienne… they should build a ring train like the Berlin S-Bahn and just put another stop before Paris Nord and Montparnasse for people who just want to switch trains to take the ring train to the other line). And I want air conditioned trams in Germany too!

I met Uriel (invited him for some food and talked lengthy with him and some 9grid guy), XTaran (who was rather busy organising things), and a number of other people. Did some PGP keysigning as well. There’s now an experimental MirOS presence at Launchpad, not sure what exactly we’re going to do with it but, as Canonical does not care (as Jonathan said in his talk – great slides, by the way, really impressive), there’s no harm in having it. Some Perl guy from America (USA… just to make sure ☺) wanted a photograph of me with a sign “I love CVS” just so people back at home would believe him he’s met such a person *grins* of course I plugged in a little advertising but cvs(GNU) is honestly good. The forge hacking session was a little under-visited (but still a success in terms of getting more communication and maybe collaboration underways, especially thinking of common interfaces, DC, semantic web, OSLC-CM) and since the room was (in contrast to my hotel room and the trams!) not air conditioned we didn’t get much hacking done. The Debian booth was about 40% of one FOSDEM style table wide… and subsequently crowded. There were more people (of course, I was trying to get mksh into Haikuports, Mandriva, and other things; talked about KDE 3.5.11 (Trinity), Qt 3 vs Qt 4, and kwalletcli, and in general to a not-so-usual bunch of suspects – like I said, LSM/RMLL really is pretty french-only).

It is too hot, but I still committed src/etc/rc,v version 1.110 which you want to upgrade your /etc/rc to before upgrading mksh(1) in MirBSD. (All in the name of better performance on platforms such as Debian/m68k and not raiding Linux’ inferior RNG… but it does simplify things.)

I could probably write more but at the moment just want to lie down and die until it gets cooler… even the rain didn’t help. My feet hurt (Montparnasse-Bienvenue didn’t help) too.

The current version of mksh had use of arc4random(3) removed, including “set -o arc4random”, to speed it up (on some architectures, a lot) – this will break some existing scripts (such as /etc/rc *cough* on MirBSD…). Hence I decided to publish the next version of mksh(1) as R40 based upon current development, and defer plans for associative arrays (and multidimensional arrays) for mksh R41. There’s also already the change to Build.sh arguments, so this suits me quite fine.

(Read: if running MirBSD, don’t upgrade mksh at the moment.) There will be a new MirBSD snapshot once this is fixed, maybe a few more changes to the shell for better POSuX compliance, and the recently mentioned patent on LFNs (long filename) in FAT will be taken into account with a patch to msdosfs.

I’ll travel to LSM/RMLL 2010, the Libre Software Meeting (Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre) tomorrow until the weekend, to hack some on FusionForge (this is worktime for me), visit XTaran, Uriel, and maybe a couple of other “usual people”.

Thundersday, between 10:00 UTC and 12:00 UTC, eurynome will be shut down by gecko2@ due to power supply maintenance on the host system data centre.

We have a new mirror in the Americas, thanks a lot to Mike 'Fuzzy' Partin! Benny will mention it on the webpages once it’s working.

CLT 2010

07.03.2010 by tg@

Quite surprisingly, I’ll attend the Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2010 in Eastern Germany. This is a happenstance, I managed to get fast transportation (via my boss) and accomodation (in a hotel). I will try to help staffing the booth of Debian this time (so I cannot be called Traitor any longer). Schedule, due to the spontaneousness of this, no, though. I may not even be there on Sunday, dunno…

No RCBD (or night) though, some real life and a new release (with fix of an FTBFS-on-hurd-i386 bug) though:
RMD160 (/MirOS/dist/mir/makefs/makefs-20100306.tar.gz) = f65bd8ef5cf3306a9112587dd4915b6255e479fe
This version pulls in NetBSD® changes (Acorn Archimedes support, for one), but I’ve also coded support for boot-info-table (J�rg compatible), as well as setting the PVD dates (used by GNU GRUB 2 for “UUID”s).

On MirBSD, cdio(1) can now be used to burn (TAO) and blank (quick) CD-RW media (I backported some OpenBSD changes) too.

The MirBSD Korn Shell R39b has been released. This upgrade is strongly recommended for everyone. While being a stable series release there are, due to standards compliance and bug fixes, a number of caveats users should be aware of when upgrading. Also new, the list of full terms and conditions applying to it. Users (and distributors intending to support mksh for their own customers) should definitively read the caveats, although only corner cases are incompatible (ask for details).

The arc4random.c page now at least has some content, and a lot of links, too.

The kwalletcli page has been completely written by now. I'm proud to announce the availability of the CLI for the KDE Wallet, as distfile, as Debian squeeze/sid package (it's already in testing, yes), and as Debian lenny package, soon to be in backports (currently only in my own play repo, as I'm waiting for bpo upload rights – apparently, my PGP key wrecked the software).

I would like to apologise for the delay; I've been more-than-busy at first (preparing MirBSD for FOSDEM), then in foreign countries where people talk in weird tongues, then ill. I'm still not totally recovered, and there is also much catching-up work to do.

After FOSDEM 2010

08.02.2010 by bsiegert@
Tags: event

FOSDEM was a great success. Once more, thanks to Daniel Seuffert, Marius Nünnerich and the others from the AllBSD project. We distributed 400 CDs with the latest snapshots, of which about 350 were distributed on Saturday alone. There was a stronger demand for French flyers compared to the last years; I think that more locals (i.e. Belgians) attended the conference. Many of these people were only there on one of the two days.

Kudos also to the people from the Debian booth (especially Axel “XTaran” Beckert) for lending us a screen for the showcase computer. Due to communication problems, the others had not brought a spare screen as usual, and I could not bring one on the plane.

I held my talk about Build Systems with autoconf, automake and libtool on Sunday at noon, with a very interested public who posed some very concrete question. I conclude that there is a real need for this kind of “HOWTO”. I will write a bit more on the subject of autotools, in the meantime the slides are available at SlideShare, where you can view the presentation online (Flash required) or download a PDF.

Oh, and contrary to “popular” belief, the food at the Pakistani (!) restaurant on Saturday was excellent :).

the day after FOSDEM

08.02.2010 by tg@
Tags: event

Bauch wieder OK, dafür nen recht wehtuënden Frosch im Hals, Hammerkopfschmerzen, Rückenschmerzen und bißchen Gliederschmerzen. Grml. Ich mach' im Moment erst mal nix.

FOSDEM 2010, day #2

07.02.2010 by tg@
Tags: event

Ich glaube, das Essen gestern (war eh’ scheiße, heh… anyway, der Couscous-Laden hatte zu, und Benny und gecko2@ und Anhäne haben mich zum Inder geschleppt) ist schuld, daß es mitr im Moment scheiße (heh…) geht. Mist.

Ich freue mich schon auf das Essen gleich, hoffe, daß es frischen Minztee in großen Mengen geben wird. Und daß ich die Reise nach Hause unbeschadet überstehen werde. Immerhin haben wir gut, aber zu wenig ☺ wie immer… geschlafen.

XTaran hält gerade seinen Vortrag. Dem Benz seiner war gut.

FOSDEM 2010, day #0

05.02.2010 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.

28.01.2010 by tg@

I’m going to FOSDEM, as usual

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

27.12.2009 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

08.11.2009 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

06.11.2009 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)

31.10.2009 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!

15.08.2009 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!

07.07.2009 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!

“CPAN is the host for hundreds of Perl modules. Creating ports for these modules is often trivial but may still take some time. cpan2port is a new utility available in MirPorts, the MirOS ports framework, designed to facilitate this task. It should be easily adaptable for other platforms, e.g. pkgsrc®.

“The aim of this talk is to present the implementation and practical usage of the utility. Interested developers from other BSD projects are very welcome, some hints for porting the tool will be given.”

The slides for bsiegert@'s talk at FOSDEM 2009 are now available on slideshare. Please note they require a Macrobe Flash player.

FOSDEM is over

09.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

CDs and the “m” at FOSDEM 2009
(picture courtesy of Christian “taleon” Ruesch from #pcc)

FOSDEM 2009 is over, we are all sober again (I hope), any spotted bugs are getting fixed. I tended to the disklabel sector size issue, although that has yet to be tested, and we might want to see what upstream does about it. mksh changes will be coded when I get to it, and we’re looking forward towards the next event(s).

Is there anyone interested in making a Virtual Appliance (for qemu, VMware, Parallels, you name it) out of MirOS? I could, of course, do a standard install one, maybe add some packages, like with the live CDs, but I’m not good for desktop style ones. Maybe we want a server and a desktop appliance. Benny could bake a GNOME version, just to show off (note that I still quite dislike it… and expressed it with one of these yellow stickers at the “GNOME HATE” side at FOSDEM ☺).

MirOS/sparc users, show yourselves, if you want snapshots to be built and provided more often. Talk to us, so we see the effort to support a second platform is not in vain.

Due to bug-hiding circumstances, this problem was only identified during FOSDEM Sunday afternoon. The first stage boot loader would overwrite itself trying to load the second stage boot loader, due to them sharing the same 16-bit (64 KiB) segment after the workaround for the Parallels bug. installboot(8/i386) would pass the sectors covered by filesystem blocks, which amounts up to multiples of 8 or 16 KiB, even though the last block was not entirely filled. Fix is to do bounds checking in the assembly code at boot time.

An updated fixes dist set is available for people doing a network installation anyway, or to extract later with
$ cd /
$ sudo tar xzphvvf /path/to/fixes10.ngz

If you do a CD installation, you have to do the following steps:

Location of sets? (cd disk ftp http shttp nfs or 'done') [done] shttp
HTTP/FTP proxy URL? (e.g. 'http://proxy:8080', or 'none') [none] «Enter»
Server? (IP address, hostname or 'done') www.mirbsd.org
Server directory? [v10/i386] MirOS/current/older/i386

Set name? (or 'done') […] *

        [X] bsd
        [X] fixes10.ngz
Set name? (or 'done') […] done
Ready to install sets? [yes] «Enter»

This sequence will add the fixes set from network after finishing a disc installation, before the installboot(8/i386) part is run. Of course, you can substitute shttp with http too or specify a proxy to use.

If you have already installed, follow the above mentioned tar command to unpack the fixes set (in /mnt if you are still in the installer), then use the command:
$ sudo /usr/mdec/installboot -v /boot /usr/mdec/bootxx wd0
# /mnt/usr/mdec/installboot -v /mnt/boot /mnt/usr/mdec/bootxx sd0
(wd0 or sd0 depending on which is your root disc; the second line is for within the installer)

My (tg@) sincerest apologies for this bug, which was introduced during the Parallels Desktop BIOS bug workaround’s creation. Remember, if you already have an (unbootable) installation, you can do all this by booting from the CD again (into the installer/rescue kernel).

Update 11.04: changed link to fixes10.ngz to new location, now that a new snapshot is up.


08.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Alle englischen Flyer weg, alle CDs heute Vormittag weg. Die (alten) deutschen sowie die französischen Flyer gehen okay, aber die Mengen und Verhältnisse sind echt nicht planbar.

Die Vorträge sind okay, aber leider für mich nichts dabei zum rausziehen. Pläne schmieden geht aber.

mksh hingegen ist mehr als nur ein Erfolg, auch wenn mir gruselt, wenn Leute eine ohne den emacs-Modus haben wollen.

Hm, irgendwie läßt sich das Event nicht gut in Worte fassen. Es hat sich auf jeden Fall für uns alle gelohnt. Das Hotel war spaßig (insbesondere der Versuch, eine Rechnung zu erhalten); gestern Abend gabs Couscous Merguez + Lamm in einer verdammt kleinen aber gemütlichen Bude (mit Couch!), wo wir frischen Minztee getrunken haben (fünf Kannen; ich alleine zwei oder so).


07.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Das Aufbauen verpaßt, aber wir haben ein „m“ (Bild wird später nachgereicht, sollte smultron freuen), viele Kontakte, und die englischen Flyer sind jetzt schon alle, die CDs runter auf ¼ oder so.

Der Unicode-syscons-Vortrag war für mich leider nicht so ertragreich; dadurch, daß wir vt100 wscons(4) haben, und durch meinen script(1) -lns Hack, haben wir schon mehr Probleme gelöst und Wissen angebaut als er. Ed Schouten ist aber anscheinend ein vielversprechender talentierter Jungentwickler.

Cool, ich habe ein bißchen WLAN! Mal schnell ein bißchen wlog Einträge verfassen, Benny und gecko2 wollen ja nicht.

Jetzt nur noch den NetBSD®-Kollegen neben uns zum Installieren des RANDEX-Plugins verlassen…

Wer setzt uns eigentlich direkt neben OpenBSD? Zum Glück gibts eine große Barriere, daher ist bislang, außer Laserpointerattacken (sogar direkt in Bennys Auge) noch nichts passiert…


07.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Gestern, Freitag Abend, war der Tag 0 der FOSDEM. Natürlich waren wir – Fabian Köster und der Vortragende Robert Schuster, gecko2@ und ich – beim Beer Event, später auch mit bsiegert@. Das Bier war lecker, allerdings habe ich zwar nicht zu viel aber wohl zu varietätenreich getrunken, sodaß es mir in der Nacht nicht so wirklich gut ging und ich noch Bauchschmerzen habe. Also keinen mit dem Debian Projektleiter trinken.

Benny hat lustige Sympathiën von Leuten aus anderen Projekten bekommen, aber ich darf leider nicht drüber schreiben.

MirGRML and FOSDEM DuaLive™ Triforce™ CDs

03.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event grml security snapshot

Uh-oh, 03.02. already. I think, after the switch to GRUB 2 and another couple of bootlooter fixes, that we’re there yet. Funnily I only noticed how BSD cannot access labelled disks when the device’s sector size mismatches the one in the label. There is also an embarassing (for upstream) local DoS exploit possibility, by setting a sector size of 0, the kernel traps division by zero. Thanks for all the blowfish, yeah.

The checksum file for MirGRML 2009.01 (experimental, but probably, by now, complete). You’ll probably figure out the ISO link.

The full MirOS CD should be done soonish as well. Just have to test it, then I can go to bed. Wish me luck.

GNU grub-legacy cannot access ISO 9660 on devices with sector sizes other than 2048 bytes… and, according to mika, has other quirks, with recent mke2fs’ inode defaults making it hiccup. Heh.

more bugs – bootloader and mksh

01.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event grml mksh snapshot

Again. I almost have a MirGRML+bsd4grml ISO ready (exactly 72 MiB), just for the fun of it, and so that people can toy with it – and test the integration. But nooo, I even hacked a disklabel, yet it wouldn’t access the filesystem. The “machine label” command shows what’s wrong (and hints how to fix it), and I missed a corner case in disc I/O due to adding two not-so-independent-from-each-other scenarios during the El Torito merge.

mksh has funny behaviour with ${foo/@(%)/x} failing – only in Unicode mode though.

more bootloaders *grml*

31.01.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event mksh snapshot unicode

To counter the bug in Parallels Desktop, I rewrote all of our Master Boot Record (mbrldr, mbrmgr), Partition Boot Record (bootxx), and BIOS disc detection code in boot(8/i386). I've also changed the magics, API etc. a little between these, rewriting or removing quite some parts of both installboot(8/i386) and bootxx.sh a.k.a. self-installing bootblocks. Oh, and MBR and PBR are smaller, or rather, have more room for informatory texts and data block storage now.

Lucas “laffer1” Holt from that cat's BSD helped me testing, qemu and bare metal IBM X40 works, so I suppose it's good. Can't test on VMware Server 2 right now.

On the other front, I'm writing this wlog entry on MirGRML, which is finally sort-of finished (which is why it has much less Unicode than a regular posting from my laptop). lynx-cur in sid is broken though, due to it using GnuTLS. Gah! Anyway, I see a sid “wtf” repo coming, and it was workarounded; next time I'll just do things differently.

Lukas “smultron” , the graphician of our partner project mnbsd, helped a little with the label (while I'm not versed in that field, if I had gotten the right material to work with I could've managed it all alone this time), and all that's left now is the Live-CD part and baking (and testing! even on sparc...) the ISO 9660 image.

There will be 297 MirBSD Triforce™ DuaLive™-CDs (two will go to Kiwi land to swishy, one is already reserved for XTaran) and 50 MidnightBSD Live DVDs at FOSDEM.

gecko2@ and bsiegert@ were not too helpful today, although I have to admit that real life often has precedence. I merely read some and went to sleep early yesterday too (and disabled both POTS and cell phone so that I couldn't be waked, haha!) instead of hacking late. Luckily, the deadline is not that dead, and I'll almost certainly make it tomorrow, in time. Thanks again, Daniel Seuffert from AllBSD.de, for all support you and others give to the smaller BSDs. Heh, and laffer1 is not quite done yet with his ISO (or UDF?) either.

Sponsor for FOSDEM

21.01.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Sponsors make it possible for us to attend popular events, paying for travel and accomodation (we do not necessarily require a hotel, though, but it should be a clean place to sleep) cost. We are still looking for more sponsors making it possible to travel to even more events (Linuxtage Chemnitz, Essen, Graz, Luxembourg, for example) – flyers and CDs are already covered by AllBSD.de or ourselves, so it would just be that and, if you have money to spare, food and drink. Come and talk if you’re interested (in return, like here, we will publicly thank you or provide custom MirOS editions, possibly Live DVDs with binary packages, etc).

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

Who’s not? ☺

My boss approached me just this morning… looks as if gecko2@ and I can use the bigger company car from here, expense paid, and take the other two who are going to Bruxelles with us. I’m in the process of organising them a hotel now though – maybe bsiegert@ the francophile can help with that. gecko2@ is going for a youth hostel though, as usual, as he has a membership anyway. Benny and I are already hotel’d.

Now if I were on Plänet Debilian…

SCSI-induzierter Rückschlag

20.01.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event grml hardware snapshot

Heute hat mein Rückschlag, wenn man von den leichten Kopfschmerzen und der arbeitsinduzierten Müdigkeit absieht, einen Namen: SCSI. Ich wollte, damit wir mit dem neuen Snapshot endlich mal weiterkommen, tear aufsetzen (hey, ich schreib ja immer noch im Blocksatz im HTML-Quelltext ohne Mühe oder es zu wollen oder zu schummeln, wow) und dann kompilieren (quasi als Abnahmemessung). Dummerweise habe ich, auch dank gecko2@, nun eine Idee, woher die SCSI-Fehler kommen könnten, denn die Plattenprüfung im BIOS zeigt keine Fehler an. Ich fürchte, daß das LVD-Kabel kaputt ist (i386-Hardware ist eh doof, ein Kabel, ein Terminator und fünf Konverter von SCA auf UW-SCSI sind nötig, wo meine SPARCstation 20 das bereits als Backplane hat).

Es läuft vermutlich darauf hinaus, daß ich odems 2.5″ 80G IDE Platte nehme. Bonus: ältere cvs und Distfiles sind schon drauf, sodaß es mit einem schnellen rsync sowie einem erneuten Checkout (da ich / ja eh’ plattmache mit dem letzten Zwischensnapshot) gehen sollte, und ich sogar ein paar Pakete (zumindest IceWM) für den LiveCD-Teil backen könnte.

Toll. Ich habe sogar schon ein vorläufiges ISO zum MirGRML testen, bin aber irgendwie platt und auch von Technik mal wieder angenervt. So komme ich nie zu was… ich glaube, ich fang morgen mal so früh wie geht an, und bin dann ausnahmsweise schon wo’s hell ist zu Hause.

Also: Am Snapshot wird gearbeitet; mbsd4grml kommt direkt im Anschluß; grml-mir muß noch getuned (Konfigs), aktualisiert (lynx-cur UTF-8 Bug wo ich vorgestern drüber schrieb) und getestet werden; den sparc-Teil nehme ich vom letzten Snapshot; für DuaLive™ haben wir somit alles, Extrazeugs mache ich nur wenig und nur für i386, und für Triforce™ siehts gut aus – eine offizielle Ankündigung kommt auch irgendwann, wenn für beide Seiten alles funktioniert und integriert ist. Die tear-Migration ist – leider – hingegen auf unbestimmte Zeit verschoben. (Damn!)

Bißchen malen müßte ich noch, damit die FOSDEM Edition CDs auch sowohl das grml-Logo (habe ein OK von mika), den Shilouetten-Dæmon (altbekannt, mit OK von rcollette und mckusick), und ein Triforce haben. Es paßt mir, ausnahmsweise, auf Arbeit einen KDE-Desktop mit gimp und Inkscape nutzen zu „dürfen“ (peu à peu krieg ich den weniger nervig konfiguriert, und ㈠ kenn ich KDE 1 schon auf ecce!GNU/Linux 1.0 und ㈡ mag ich kmahjongg eh’ und konqueror besser als M*zilla Schrott, also ruhe da!, auch wenn ciruZ mir GNOME verkaufen will). Mal sehen, was ich da so hinbekomme. Wobei, à propos Bildchen: wann lernen die Leute eigentlich, daß man keine Formate wie JPEG ob ihrer verlustbehafteten Kompressionsverfahren herumschickt – zumindest zum Bearbeiten? *seufz*… Zumindest denke ich, daß ich das ganz gut hinkriegen werde, hab da was im Kopf, sogar ohne smultron, lediglich die Schrift könnte knapp werden, kA ob der schwarze Hintergrund in dünne Linien reinläuft. Mal Daniel fragen…

Ha! Laufend mehr Leute krieg ich vom RANDEX-Protokoll und den Vorzügen des Entropieaustauschs, Zufall allgemein, usw. überzeugt. Way to go! Nun bin ich gespannt, ob Vutral mal was zu APS findet und was man mit Mumble und randomness so machen kann.

25C3 redux

31.12.2008 by tg@
Tags: event

Did you all read my comment on the MD5 CA thing?

25C3 is over, gecko2@ arrived today, and both he and bogus are just too verpeilt – they forgot to distribute the MirOS flyers and CDs at first, then bogus (who had them) got really ill.

We all somehow are, at the moment. Get better, everyone. (replaced couldn’t get to the BSD@Wien pre-christmas party either…)

cnuke@ pointed me to a nice IRC quote:

17:57 < jtsn> Der 25C3 ist lustig. Deutsche Vortragende brechen
        sich vor deutschen Zuhörern auf Englisch einen ab. ;-)
18:01 < jtsn> Adolfs Werk war sehr nachhaltig. ;-)
18:01 < jtsn> Das gab's nichtmal in der DDR, das[sic!] Deutsche
        mit Deutschen auf Russisch reden. ;-)

This’ll be my ~/.etc/sig for a while… it does hold some truth. *looks at this wlog*

Benny is still alive, yet a little offline, hacking on perl stuff for MirPorts. Good riddance.

By the way: does anyone know of a way to use a web browser or engine, for instance Webkit, from a shell script to produce a rendered version of a HTML source file (preferably to PostScript® or PDF)?

MirOS @ 25C3 Updates

25.12.2008 by tg@
Tags: event

Word has reached me that Benny and Przemek are both suffering from illness (nothing bad, just a cold, don't worry) and thusly will not be attending the congress either.

As gecko2@ is currently preparing his machines, we believe he will uphold our representation at the event. Please join the IRC channel or the mailing list if you have any questions.

To these who do: happy celebrating!

I have just placed a couple of MirOS CDs and flyers (English and French only though ☺) in the hands of a friend while helping him to move to Berlin. Either him or Benny (bsiegert@) or Andreas (gecko2@) will distribute them at 25C3, or we’ll place them somewhere. I (tg@) will not attend, replaced (ahoka@) probably neither. You might be able to track down Benny in between some of the talks if you have any questions regarding MirPorts and MirOS, though.

To these who do, happy celebrating!

Zaterdag 13 September, Baarn, Nederland. Iedereen wacht op me. Spijtig dat ik niet kan komen. Ik wilde met een vriend die een auto heeft naar Baarn gaan, maar die komt op 10:30 ipv 09:00 CEST, en dan ben ik ook nog niet klaar met wakker worden, koffie drinken, zaken samenzoeken, voor’t weekend inkopen, enzo. Op 12:00 zitten wij in zijn auto… maar dat zijn nog 2½ uren (of meer) tot dat wij aankomen kunnen, dus wordt besloten, er niet meer te gaan. SFD was vanaf 12:00 tot 17:00… voor 2 or 2½ uren moeten wij 5+ uren in’t auto zitten, en dan is nog niet zeker of wij het Brandpunt vinden. Slechte planing. In het duits is er een expressie voor dat: “Verpeilungsfaktor” – Wij zijn dan in’t zwembad geweest.

Groeten an iedereen die daar was… volgende keer dan. Echt jammer dat het niks wordt. Ik geloof ik had te weinig geslapen verleden week, door mijn nieuwe baan in zwitserland.

Wij zatten dan gisteren nog in mijn favoriet kroaats restaurant, er wordt besloten dat ik de volgende tijd minder aan mirbsd zelfs werk, maar het nieuwe server klaar maak en de VM zo installeer dat ze een takeover van de oude www.mirbsd.org vhost kan maken. Ik doe mss eerst nog een snapshot, maar die komt dan zonder Live CD (die moet ik opnieuw maken doordat wij geen mkisofs met al zijn fouten meer gebruiken). Benny doet in de tussentijd meer met ports, bv. fixes voor ccache en distcc (zodat mijn SPARCstation cluster packages kan bouwen ☺) en enige Qt4 ports. Nadat de twee server’s klaar zijn kunnen wij dan verder met mksh, mirmake en zo doen, wanneer het werk nog arbeidsvermogen overig laat (da’s soms moeilijk). gecko2@ doet goeie werk met het opzetten van VMware voor eurynome, ter gebruik stellen van een IPv4, enzo.

Wir haben jetzt ein Blumenkohl-Icon fürs iPhone, Dank an die RUBIs.

Google ist definitiv evil. Ich vermeide sie auch so wie es eben geht, aber bei zwei Sachen habe ich keine Alternative, da sie entweder einfach nicht existieren oder saugen: Suchmaschine (ja ich hab sie alle durch) und Karten (bin halt Geocacher).

Während ich die 2⁶ Caches locker voll habe, siehe die diversen… (Update: images moved here) …Statistiken, fängt Benny erst an, immerhin 2³ hat er schon: Required in CH/F Kimnotyze macht nicht wirklich weiter… Lost in Luzern … gecko2 kommt selten zum Cachen, aber hatte letztens sein Vélo mit, sodaß er sich mit Kabelaffe und mir auf Tour begeben konnte: Janz Weit Draußen Und der Dr. Pfeffer findet in Bremen nichts mehr… wär er bloß mal nicht umgezogen, jaja… gibt halt nur in Bonn schön viele Dinger: Wallapampa
Aber Benny hat echt fieses Anfängerglück, und ich bin fachblind.

Bruscetta sind superlecker, aber füllen, zusammen mit der warmen Mahlzeit, den Bauch sehr an… und wenn man dann vorher noch einen Mojito hatte, hat man gar keine Lust zu hacken, ist ziemlich platt… erst bsiegert@ dann auch mir aufgefallen. Wir sitzen gerade bei N 47° 31.936′ E 007° 38.043′ im Chaostreff Bāsel… und sind ziemlich platt. Aber irgendwas kommt trotzdem bei rum.

Kommt wer mit nach Baarn und ggf. trifft sich mit uns $sonstwo?

FrOSCon redux

25.08.2008 by tg@
Tags: event geocache grml

Hum. This year’s FrOSCon… sucks. At least the catering, which was so much better last year (remembering the Chili con Carne, as well as the Chili non (sin) Carne, fondly… these were produced by wbx@’s family members, which haven’t been included in this year’s planning so some other persons did the catering). And being waked up at 04:00 in the morning due to a call on the mobile phone, for taking care of some drunken booth slave *grml…*, didn’t help either.

The evening’s social event also sucked totally. Since it had been raining until shortly before, they decided to have it inside, except the barbecue of course, but didn’t adjust the volume of the music played to the environment, which caused me to leave the MirOS/XF86 booth in favour of the Debian/grml booth, talking to Mika and Joey… who, like me, didn’t quite like being LITERALLY punched into our stomach by the basses. I left relatively early then, especially as the cocktails (Vutral brought me one, since I couldn’t go near the counter due to the volume of the… whatever they call music) tasted pretty bad and had a (too?) high percentage of alcohol. But talking to the various people, not just Mika and Joey, was good, even though just being at the FH (university) during the social event was really unbearable and physically endangering one’s health.

Other than that, we had quite a lot of fun at the conference, as usual. I still think it has chances to close up to FOSDEM, but they will have to make sure the catering does not get even worse. While FOSDEM does not have any catering, FrOSCon 2006 and 2007 had good food, and regressions count as malus.
Once I found Marc Aurele La France at the train station (which was quite a task), things went well – he even fixed a bug in our xdm configuration at the conference. The bug was inherited from OpenBSD, as usual ☺
Marc also said he enjoyed himself.

I hacked an Asus EeePC… MirOS mostly works (no NIC though), and the graphics card runs at 640x480 VESA… with the new 915resolution port of today, it might do the 800x480, but I can’t test now.

I took the chance to discover a geocache in St. Augustin yesterday, but, while Benny suggested we (him, me and gecko2) go caching in Bonn today, they seem to prefer hacking on the laptops (considering the weather, this is not the worst idea though), so I got time to write a wlog entry (too). I still have some things on my TODO, like fixing the ports with unfetchable distfiles, but hey.
Taking the day before and the day after the conference off is A Good Thing™.
Next one will be the Software Freedom Day in Baarn, Nederland – where not even Wim will go ☺ But I need a car… parents don’t help even if you ask them once a year, but maybe Jonathan from (near) Aachen will join me, he has a car.

My Thinkpad X40 will probably arrive today or tomorrow. Sadly, I didn’t invest any time in evaluating the products before… I learned that the ‘T’ series has 2.5" HDDs instead of the sucky 1.6" HDDs, and a much more solid lid chassis, at FrOSCon. My decision to buy an X40 was based solely on the observation that it was “in” at most OpenBSD developers some years ago (and thusly would most certainly work well with MirOS). Don’t do that then…

Once it’s there, I got to set it up and continue working. It’s bad odem broke so badly, especially as my current contractor (employer, except not quite so) would rather have me working full-time on the project, which is not entirely possible since I still have a life here. But upon setting it up, I might upgrade and/or fix some of the ports, since I’m at it anyway. Plus I get /home encryption.

Marc agreed to merging as much of our X11 changes (both these inherited from OpenBSD’s XF4 module and our own patches) into the XFree86® main tree, some ifdef’d, and helping us migrate to the new 4.7 or upcoming 4.8 release (or probably,, since I don’t think the merge will be there in time for 4.8 proper). He was a fun guy and well understanding our issues. The most funny part however was Thomas from Sourcemage (SMGL), who also maintains the mksh spell in their grimoire, considering to retain supporting XFree86® (and modular X.org, but not the buggy monolithic X.org) iff it’s still actively developed, which Marc assured me it is.

Benny agrees that the “Kaiser’s BIO-Kaffee” is decent, despite its pricing of only 3.99 €/£ (may be my high quality milk too, though).

Update: looks like I’ve got a package to fetch from the post station.

In my recent entry, I already talked a bit about pkg-config and its framework support. It turns out that there is another problem. The --libs parameter can be "split" into its parts by using --libs-only-L, --libs-only-l, and --libs-only-other. The LyX configure script, however, did not care about the latter, only the first two. Which brings me to the mail I wrote to the pkg-config mailing list:


"while compiling LyX/Mac the other day, I came across a problem in the way frameworks are handled. On Mac OS, frameworks are a different way to pack a library together with its headers. Framework-related options are put in --libs-only-other, while the configure script was only checking for --libs-only-l and --libs-only-L. While I agree that this is broken behavior, it brings me to my question:

"The way I see it, -Fpath (framework search path) is equivalent to -Lpath for libraries. Thus, -F should maybe be included in the output of "pkg-config --libs-only-L". The same thing goes for the "-framework name" linker option, which is more or less the same thing as "-lname", namely linking against a certain library/framework. Thus, the -framework option (with argument) should be added to the output of --libs-only-l.


In other news, FrOSCon has it second and last day today. I am currently in the train on the way. The party ("social event") yesterday was quite good, even though the weather was not as good as last year—it was cold and humid.

MirOS Project @ FrOSCon 2008

22.07.2008 by tg@
Tags: event

The MirOS Project will show up with both developers to run a booth at FrOSCon; we will be giving away Live CDs (either #10-stable or #10-current) and flyers. You will be able to meet us and a few helpers (known from IRC and mailing lists) there, chat about mksh, have a beer, fun, whatever.

This year, one of the two XFree86® developers will also attend; you can probably meet him at our booth.

Linuxtag 2008, Berlin, .de

27.05.2008 by tg@
Tags: event

This year's LinuxTag will not go by without the BSD projects exhibiting their fine software. Of course, we will attend – the usual gang (Benny and me, gecko2 and Przemek will help out). New is that we'll also be distributing a couple of MidnightBSD CDs and flyers I had a helping hand in creating, as they are US based and won't be able to make it to Germany for this event. This all would not be possible without the help of allbsd.de, again. Thanks, Daniel!

The MirBSD CDs distributed contain a Live + Install CD, as usual, of an unnamed #10-stable snapshot, plus a couple of packages, including Benny's new firesomething port instead of opera-linux. The MidnightBSD CDs aren't as big and miss the install part, but are a relatively new and especially stable 0.2-CURRENT snapshot (including mksh of course).

We'll attend Tuesday (probably late) till Saturday.

FOSDEM follow-up

Tags: event

mirmake-20080224 and assorted commits in the MirPorts Framework fix all known Mac OSX Leopard issues.

There are two BSD booths at FOSDEM: one with OpenBSD and FreeBSD (with DesktopBSD and PC-BSD CDs) at the usual place in the main building, and one with OpenBSD, NetBSD and MirOS in the AW building, near the shared PostgreSQL/BSD developer room. Meet us at the latter! CDs are out though (MirOS, FreeSBIE, etc. – only some of the other BSDs left).

Despite the crappy WLAN and no LAN availability even for booths, Benny and I managed to hack on stuff (e.g., mksh). We also made plans for a very short-term follow-up #10semel release; mostly, security updates for XFree86® and a lot of ports. (FOSDEM was great as usual, though.)

The <link rel=…> tags for RSS have been fixed. After removing and re-adding, they should work with Opera now, and the pages are XHTML/1.1 compliant again now.

Currently, pcc cannot compile anything with <stdio.h>.

MirOS @ FOSDEM 2008

Tags: event

bsiegert@ currently sits at the Early Bird beer event in Bruxelles, tg@ and gecko2@ will follow tomorrow and man the MirOS booth ☻

MirOS at FOSDEM 2008

Tags: event

The MirOS project will be present at FOSDEM 2008 in Bruxelles, Belgium. We will have a booth and distribute the usual CDs and flyers. The BSD projects share a developer room with PostgreSQL. I will hold a talk about "Build systems with autoconf, automake, and libtool" at Sunday, Feb 24, from 2pm to 3pm.

Update: the schedule for the developer room is available on the FOSDEM web site.

MirOS at 24C3

Tags: event

The project will be present (albeit without tg@) at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress at Berlin, Germany. We will have (maybe) a table in the hackcenter. There will be many interesting talks about hacking, society and similar topics.

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