Archive for the ‘comp’ Category

Free Software and Open Source: Get involved

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Contributing to Free Software using Open Source methodics may look like intimidating deep expert work. But it doesn’t have to be that. Most Free Software communities are friendly to newcomers, and welcome all kind of contributions.

Reporting bugs

Hitting a bug is an opportunity, not a nasty problem. When you hit a bug, it should be reported, and with a bit of luck, it may even be fixed. Reporting the bug in an open forum also makes other users find the bug, give attention to it, and they may in turn be able to help out working around or fixing it. Reporting bugs is the most basic, but still of the most valuable contributions you may do. Finding bugs are finding real problems. Reporting bugs are helping fixing them, for you, and for other users. You may not complain to your coworker on a bug unless it is reported upstream.

While reporting bugs, remember to collect as much information as possible on the issue, including logs, runtime envionment, hardware, operating system version, etc. While collecting this information, make sure you don’t send any traceable private information that may be used by rouge parties, like ip adresses, hostnames, passwords, customer details, database names, etc.

Bugs in operating system packages

Bugs in components delivered by a Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, SuSE, etc), should be reported through their bug reporting interface. Remember to search for the bug before posting yet another duplicate bug. Perhaps a workaround already exists.

So the next time something strange happens to your haproxy, nginx, varnish, or your firefox browser crashes or has unexpected behaviour, collect data from your logs, and open a bug report.

  • Red Hat / EPEL / Fedora users should report bugs through https://bugzilla.redhat.com/
  • Similarly, OpenSuSE users may search for and report bugs at https://bugzilla.opensuse.org
  • Ubuntu users may have luck looking at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs
  • As Ubuntu’s upstream is Debian, you may search for bugs, fixes and workarounds using their tools at https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting

    These tools have detailed guidelines on the details on how to search, report, and follow up the bugs.

    For an example of an end user bug report with an impressive follow up from a dedicated package maintainer, have a look at https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1914917

    Reporting upstream bugs

    Using software directly from the upstream project is growing more usual, specially as container technology has matured, enabling developers to use software components without interfering with the underlying operating system. Reporting and follow up bugs becomes even more important, as such components may not be filtered and quality assured by operating system security teams.

    Find your component’s upstream home page or project development page, usually on Github, Savannah, Gitlab, or similar code repo service. These services have specialised issue trackers made for reporting and following up bugs and other issues. Some projects only has good old mailing lists. They may require you to subscribe to the list before you are allowed to report anything.

    Following up the report, you may be asked for test cases and debugging. You will learn a lot in the process. Do not be shy to ask for help, or admitting that you don’t understand or need guidance. Everybody started somewhere. Even you may learn to use the GNU debugger (gdb) in time.

    Non code commits

    Similarly to reporting bugs, non code commits may be low-hanging fruit to you, but may be crucial to a project’s success. If you can write technical documentation, howtos, or do translations to your native language, such contributions to Free Software are extremely welcome. Even trivial stuff like fixing typos in a translated piece of software should be reported. No fix is too small. I once did a single word commit to GPG: A single word typo fix in their Norwegian translation. Also, write blog posts. Don’t have a blog yet? Get one. Free blog platforms are thirteen to a dozen.

    Use source code tools

    Admit it: You already use git in your day job. Using it for documentation or translation should be trivial. If you have not done so already, learn how to clone a project on github (just google it), grep through the source for what you like to fix or add, make a branch with your contribution, and ask for a pull request (again, just google it). If you changes are not merged at once, be patient, ask for the maintainer’s advice, and listen to their guidelines. Be proud of your contribution, but humble in your request.

    Feature requests

    Usage of a piece of software is not given from the start. Perhaps you have ideas to how a piece of code may be used in some other way, or there is some piece missing that is obvious to you, though not reported in the project’s future roadmap. Don’t be shy to ask. Report a feature request. Usually this is done the same way as reporting a bug. The worst you can get is that they are not interested, or a request for you to produce the missing code. Which you may do.

    Join a project

    If your work require it, and/or your interests and free time to spend allows for it, join a Free Software project.

    Distribution work

    Upstream distributions like Fedora, Debian, and OpenSuse (not to mention Arch and Gentoo) are always looking for volunteers, and have sub projects for packagers, documentation, translation, and even marketing. As long time players in the field, they have great documentation for getting started. Remember to be patient, ask for advice, follow guidelines. Be proud of your contributions, but humble in your requests.

    Upstream projects

    If you want to join a project, show your interest. Join the project’s social and technical forums. Subscribe to their development email lists. Join their IRC channels. Lurk for a while, absorbing the project’s social codes. Some projects are technoraties, and may seem hostile to newbie suggestions without code to back them up. Others are welcoming and supportive. Do some small work showing what you are capable of. Fix things in their wiki documentation. Create pull requests for simple fixes. Join in their discussion. Grow your fame. Stay humble. Listen the long time players.

    Release your own

    Made a cool script at work? A build recipe for some special case? An Ansible playbook automating som often-visited task? A puppet module? Ask your manager for permission to release it as Free Software. Put GPLv3 or some other OSS license on it, and put it on Github. Make a blog post about it. Tell about it in social media. Congratulations, you are now an open source project maintainer. Also, Google will find it, and so will other users.

  • Hording AD groups through wbinfo

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

    In a samba setup where users and groups are fetched from Active Directory to be used in a unix/linux environment, AD may prohibit the samba winbind tools like wbinfo to recurse into its group structure. You may get groups and users and their corresponding gids and uids, but you may not get the members of a group.

    It is usually possible to do the opposite, that is, probing a user object and get the groups that user is member of. Here is a little script that collects all users, probing AD for the groups of each and every user, and sorting and putting it together. In perl of course.

    https://github.com/ingvarha/groupmembers

    Packages of varnish-6.0.5 with matching vmods for el6 and el7, and a fedora modularity stream

    Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

    Some time back in 2019, Varnish Software and the Varnish Cache project released a new LTS upstream version 6.0.5 of Varnish Cache. I updated the fedora 29 package, and added a modularity stream varnish:6.0 for fedora 31. I have also built el6 and el7 packages for the varnish60 copr repo, based on the fedora package. A snapshot of matching varnish-modules, and a selection of other misc vmods are also available.

    Packages may be fetched from https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/ingvar/varnish60/.

    vmods included in varnish-modules:
    vmod-bodyaccess
    vmod-cookie
    vmod-header
    vmod-saintmode
    vmod-tcp
    vmod-var
    vmod-vsthrottle
    vmod-xkey

    vmods packaged separately:
    vmod-blobsynth
    vmod-rfc6052
    vmod-querystring
    vmod-blobdigest
    vmod-memcached
    vmod-digest
    vmod-geoip
    vmod-basicauth
    vmod-curl
    vmod-uuid

    Creation Day (J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion)

    Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

    A version of this text was presented as the lecture for Creation Day, Holmlia Church, 2019-06-19.

    [Introduction: Excerpts from The Ainulindalë accompagnied by folk music improvisation on organ and violin]

    Some of you may know that I’m a Tolkien enthusiast. I give away Tolkien books on my own birthday. Sometimes I feel like going door-to-door with The Lord of the Rings and its gospel; *Ding* *dong* Goood Morning! Did you know that Tolkien’s books may change your life? (What is that? Yes, Good Morning in all meanings of that expression, thank you). Now, as I can present this before you here in church, I probably won’t have to.

    For many, the language professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien only means his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Some have even not read any of his books, but may have seen films with strange wizards, orcs, elves, and a good deal of fighting. But this is Creation Day, so in this small lecture there will be less orcs, Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, and the Ring. Instead I will talk a bit about Tolkien’s thoughts on God as the Creator, his Creation, and Men, as God’s sub-creators.

    In the introduction, we heard lines from Tolkien’s creation myth, the Ainulindalë, that is, The Music of the Ainur: God gives the Ainur, that is, his angels, a theme to improvise over. Then he lets the song unfold, and when the song is finished, he shows them what they have sung. He says: Ëa! Let this world be! And the song is the World. When the song is sung, its life is the history of the World unfolding. Isn’t that just incredibly beautiful?

    The Ainur enjoys the high mountains and the deep valleys, and the sea, and the elves, and the trees, and the flowers, and the animals they have sung about. But in the middle of the harmonies, Melkor’s dissonance is heard. The mightiest of the angels sets his own thoughs above God’s thoughs, and wants to rule, and in pride, fill the void with subjects under his dominion. But what first sounds like destroying God’s theme, is itself taken up in the song, and makes it even more fulfilled.

    In the motion of the sea, the song is most clearly heard. Now further in the Ainulindalë, we hear how Melkor in his rebellion makes extreme cold, freezing the water, and uncontrolled heat, boiling it to steam. But in the midst of the freezing cold, we get beautiful snowflakes, and from the heat and steam, there are clouds and life-giving rain. Tolkien shows us that even when the Creation is challenged by evil, God can always turn the evil to something good in the end. God doesn’t want evil to happen, but when it happens, hope is always there. And when Time comes to its end, and the final chord is sung, we may see that hope and faith in the middle of evil, gave the most beautiful music played in God’s honor.

    Those reading Tolkien’s books will soon observe his joy of nature. The books are swarming of life. There are bushes and flowers and trees of all kinds, and everything has value; from pipe weed to oak trees. There are insects and foxes, eagles and ravens, bears and elephants, and even the simplest flower may be important and save lives. Tolkien loved the landscape were he grew up, with meadows, woods, small rivers, hills, and the other crossroads with an inn with good beer. But he also loved the snow in the high mountains, the mighty large rivers, the deep cloven valleys, the sun in the sky, the stars of Elbereth, thunder claps and storm over mountains, and the wind of the sea. There is a lot of God’s creation wihin Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

    Tolkien criticize those who says that fairy-tales and fantastic stories are just escapism, and have nothing to do with reality. In one of his most known lectures, he turns this upside-down: In a World of evil, somebody wants to tell that there is Light in the darkness and make stories of Hope. What is wrong with that? And Escaping means getting from prison to freedom. That is a Good Thing!

    Tolkien says that one of the most important features of a fairy-tale, is to experience anew the small and large wonders of the World. When in The Lord of the Rings we read about Frodo coming to the elven wood Lothlórien; For the first time in his life, he realizes what a Tree really is. He feels the bark, the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. They are full of color and smell and sound and Life. The Ents, the sheperds of the Trees, that watches over the woods of Fangorn Forest, sing and talk to their trees, and mourns them when they die. Trees are so much more than something that’s just there. Go and watch and smell and enjoy the life of the trees in the grove you pass on the way to work every day.

    Aragorn and his rangers have watched over Hobbiton and Bree, and held evil forces away, without the people living there knowing about this. When you get to live in freedom and peace, remember in thankfulness who built the peace, and who is watching over it. After reading about the faithful friendship between Sam and Frodo, find again the joy in the relations to your friends. When the story about Aragorn and Arwen’s long awaited marriage is told, or Faramir’s spontanous proposal to Eowyn, or Rose and Sam’s happy wedding, renew the joy of your partner, and delight in your choice. Fantasy and fairy-stories gives us the opportunity to recovery, to find again the fantastic from the domestic.

    Man is special in God’s creation. Tolkien meant that God has put a spark of his creating power within us, making us more than animals. In telling myth and stories, we make new things that weren’t there before. We are sub-creators.

    When we make new stories, or tell or retell myths, they are of course not the Truth. But as the light is spread through a prism making a spectrum of colors, our stories are created from the True Light. Thus, Myth and stories may show us a glimpse of the Truth. This is good, and not only because they come of God’s true Light. When light is broken into colors, they are no longer perfect white: Some becomes red, some blue, some yellow, some violet. But in this spectrum of colors, something new has been created, that earlier was not. And it has value in itself.

    Unfortunately, we can not all write like Tolkien. There are those that try, and you get … things … like Game of Thrones and other garbage. But when we use our talents, we are sub-creators too. If that is being a priest, or taking pictures, or making music, or doing accounting, or sports, or teaching, or baking, or programming, or carpentry; That is fullfilment of the potential of God’s light through us. With all our strange shapes and colors, we bring fourth a richness that would not exist without us. And though our sub-creation is not perfect, it still has its source in God’s unbroken bright light.

    The Rivendell Resort for the Resting (J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings)

    Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

    I read Tolkien’s “Canon”, that is, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, every year about Christmas. So also this year.

    What was Bilbo up to after he left Hobbiton, and until Frodo met him again in Rivendell. While there are few explicit mentions, there are some cues that we may explore.

    First, when Bilbo was packing and leaving Bag End after his long expected party, he was again going with dwarves. They are not named, but it seems likely that they are the same who delivered goods from Dale to the party, and have probably stayed in the guest rooms of Bag End since. No dwarves were mentioned at the party, and I guess they would have, had they been present. So Bilbo goes with the dwarves, and as he tells to Frodo later, he goes on his last journey all the way to The Mountain, that is, Erebor, and to Dale. He comes too late to visit his old friend Balin – he had left for Moria. Then Bilbo returned to Rivendell. No more is told about his travels back, though it is easy to speculate. When he left the Mountain, returning homewards the previous time, he was invited to the halls of his friend the Elven King, that is Thranduil of Mirkwood/Greenwood the Great, but gently rejected the offer. It would be natural to pay him a visit on his second return westwards. The elves would give him safe journey through the forest. By legend, he was probably well known to the Beornings too, and I would guess he got a safe and well escorted journey back over the Misty Mountains.

    Back in Rivendell, Frodo got acquainted to Aragorn the Ranger. If Bilbo uses one year on his journey to Erebor and back to Rivendell, he is 112, and Aragorn would be at the frisky age of 71. While Aragorn is often away, helping in the watch of the Shire, or on errantry for Gandalf, like going hunting for Gollum, he is probably often back in Rivendell. Bilbo speaks of him as his good friend, the Dùnadan, and when they sneak away in the Hall of Fire, it sounds like it is not the first time they redraw to look over his verses.

    So what has Bilbo done over the next 16 years? Like the Asbjørnsen and Moe, or the Grimm brothers, he has literally collected fairy tales. The Red Book of Westmarch that goes from Bilbo and Frodo to Sam at the end of the story, contains several long stories and verse translated from Elvish by Bilbo. Within this frame, this is what we may call the Silmarillion Traditions. And based on this, he may have written quite a few verses of his own. When he recites for Erestor and other elves in the Hall of Fire, it is clear that this is not the first time he does this, though he does not often get asked for a second hearing.

    Finally in Rivendell, Bilbo got his own parlor. After Frodo’s reception dinner, and all the singing and reciting of verse in the Hall of Fire, we are told that Frodo and Bilbo retreats to Bilbo’s room, where they can exit to a veranda that looks out over a garden and the river. We know Bilbo was always fond of his garden, and it is nice to know that the elves of Rivendell provided him with one just outside his room.

    If I had to grow old in solitude, I’d like a room at the Rivendell Resort for the Resting, please.

    J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit

    Monday, December 23rd, 2019

    I read Tolkien’s “Canon”, that is, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, every year about Christmas. So also this year.

    There is said so much about this book already, so instead of adding more non-interesting chatter to the World, I’d rather again this year show off my latest acquisition to my Hobbit collection: The annotated Hobbit:
    20191223_083535_compress41

    This is a true treasure for Hobbit fans. In addition to the actual text, it contains tons of information, like the contemporary context for the book, different versions and updates among the many editions, possible inspirations and related texts, fun facts, illustrations from Hobbit variants of the World,

    20191223_083755_compress6

    20191223_083631_compress94

    notes on the meaning of names and places, and so much more.

    20191223_083725_compress1

    It even contains the full text of The Quest of Erebor, that was meant as an appendix for The Lord of the Rings, but was cut before its release.

    This is the revised and expanded version of The Annotated Hobbit. We owe great thanks to Douglas A. Anderson who must have gone to extremes while researching for this edition.

    This book is greatly recommended for those who enjoy being immersed in footnotes, distractions, and fun facts while reading. Ah, that would be the typical Tolkien fan, I guess.

    20191223_084028_compress7

    It is another great addition to my ever growing list of Hobbits.

    Packages of varnish-6.2.0 with matching vmods, for el6 and el7

    Thursday, March 21st, 2019

    The Varnish Cache project recently released a new upstream version 6.2 of Varnish Cache. I updated the fedora rawhide package yesterday. I have also built a copr repo with varnish packages for el6 and el7 based on the fedora package. A snapshot of matching varnish-modules (based on Nils Goroll’s branch) is also available.

    Packages are available at https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/ingvar/varnish62/.

    vmods included in varnish-modules:
    vmod-bodyaccess
    vmod-cookie
    vmod-header
    vmod-saintmode
    vmod-tcp
    vmod-var
    vmod-vsthrottle
    vmod-xkey

    Updated packages of varnish-4.1.11 with matching vmods, for el6 and el7

    Friday, March 1st, 2019

    Recently, the Varnish Cache project released an updated upstream version 4.1.11 of Varnish Cache. This is a maintenance and stability release of varnish 4.1, which you may consider as the former “LTS” branch of varnish. I have updated my varnish 4.1 copr repo with packages for el6 and el7. A selection of matching vmods is also included in the copr repo.

    Packages are available at https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/ingvar/varnish41/

    The following vmods are available:

    Included in varnish-modules:
    vmod_bodyaccess
    vmod_cookie
    vmod_header
    vmod_saintmode
    vmod_softpurge
    vmod_tcp
    vmod_var
    vmod_vsthrottle
    vmod_xkey

    Packaged separately:
    vmod-curl
    vmod-digest
    vmod-geoip
    vmod-memcached
    vmod-rfc6052
    vmod-rtstatus
    vmod-uuid
    vmod-vslp

    And varnish-agent is also thrown in.

    Please test and report bugs. If there is enough interest, I may consider pushing these to fedora as well.

    Varnish Cache is a powerful and feature rich front side web cache. It is also very fast, and that is, fast as in powered by The Dark Side of the Force. On steroids. And it is Free Software.

    Redpill Linpro is the market leader for professional Open Source and Free Software solutions in the Nordics, though we have customers from all over. For professional managed services, all the way from small web apps, to massive IPv4/IPv6 multi data center media hosting, and everything through container solutions, in-house, data center, and cloud, contact us at www.redpill-linpro.com.

    Tolkien’s fan service (J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings)

    Monday, December 24th, 2018

    I read Tolkien’s “Canon”, that is, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, every year about Christmas. So also this year.

    When I read through the first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring again, I stumbled over all those small things that remind about The Hobbit. Going through them more systematically, it is clear that Tolkien started out wanting to create a sequal, and he uses a lot of small details to bind the first chapters of the new book closely to the previous one.

    Starting with the title, A long expected party, of course closely mimicking the Hobbit’s first chapter An unexpected party. During Bilbo’s feast, Gandalf shows off his firework display, as he did on the Old Tooks parties a long time ago, according to The Hobbit. The firework elements themselves reminiscing parts of the story of the Hobbit. The trees of Greenwood the Great (or Mirkwood if you like), complete with butterflies. Then there are the eagles, a thunderstorm, an embattled army of elves with silver spears, and of course, the mountain and the dragon as the Grand Finale. Then Bilbo holds his speech, reminding the bored guests about his coming to Esgaroth on his 50th birthday, before he makes his special exit.

    After Bilbo has disappeared in a flash and a bang, and left 144 flabbergasted guests back in the pavillion, we follow him and Gandalf back into Bag End. Here we see him pulling out his old treasures from The Hobbit; His sword Sting, the green cloak and hood that he borrowed from Dwalin (rather too large for him), and of course, his journey’s diary, the actual Hobbit book itself, nicely written into the story, and, as he tells Gandalf, he has written an end for it: “And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days”, like the book actually ends. Gandalf reminds Bilbo about the will – the contract with Frodo if you like, that should be put on the same place as Bilbo found his own contract 77 years earlier, by the clock on the mantlepiece. He then sets out with dwarves, again.

    At Crickhollow, the evening before the hobbits set out together, Merry and Pippin has made a song mimicking the song the Dwarves sang before Thorin and company set out. Out on the road, Frodo and his merry followers visit a tavern, like Thorin’s travelling party is said to have done too. They enter the wilder region, and Frodo and company sees the hills with old ruins on them, just like Bilbo did. After crossing the same stone bridge, they even discover the trolls that Gandalf tricked to stay out until the dawn made them to stone. Finally, the second book of the Fellowship starts with a rest in Elrond’s house, as did Bilbo.

    Tolkien’s eye for details gives the fans of The Hobbit great value for their money, and a world full of small well-known nuggets to get comfortable before the quest takes off into the parts of Middle-Earth where they have not travelled before.

    Are there more hints of the Hobbit in The Fellowship of the Ring than those listed here? I probably missed a lot of them.

    Updated packages of varnish-6.0.2 matching vmods, for el6 and el7

    Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

    Recently, the Varnish Cache project released an updated upstream version 6.0.2 of Varnish Cache. This is a maintenance and stability release of varnish 6.0, which you may consider as the current “LTS” branch of varnish. I have updated the fedora rawhide package, and also updated the varnish 6.0 copr repo with packages for el6 and el7 based on the fedora package. A selection of matching vmods is also included in the copr repo.

    Packages are available at https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/ingvar/varnish60/

    The following vmods are available:

    Included in varnish-modules:
    vmod-bodyaccess
    vmod-cookie
    vmod-header
    vmod-saintmode
    vmod-tcp
    vmod-var
    vmod-vsthrottle
    vmod-xkey

    Packaged separately:
    vmod-curl
    vmod-digest
    vmod-geoip
    vmod-memcached
    vmod-querystring
    vmod-uuid

    Please test and report bugs. If there is enough interest, I may consider pushing these to fedora as well.

    Varnish Cache is a powerful and feature rich front side web cache. It is also very fast, and that is, fast as in powered by The Dark Side of the Force. On steroids. And it is Free Software.

    Redpill Linpro is the market leader for professional Open Source and Free Software solutions in the Nordics, though we have customers from all over. For professional managed services, all the way from small web apps, to massive IPv4/IPv6 multi data center media hosting, and everything through container solutions, in-house, data center, and cloud, contact us at www.redpill-linpro.com.