Colors of Noise

Debian work in June 2015
4th July 2015

June was the second month I contributed to Debian LTS under the Freexian umbrella. In total I spent ten hours working on:

Besides that I did CVE triaging of 17 CVEs to check if and how they affect oldoldstable security. The information provided by the Security team on these issues in data/CVE/list is an awesome help here. So I tried to be as verbose when triaging CVEs that weren't looked at for Wheezy or Jessie yet.

On non LTS time I patched our lts-cve-triage tool to allow to skip packages that are already in dla-needed.txt. This avoids wasting time on CVEs that were already triaged.

Tags: debian, planetdebian.
Debian work in May
5th June 2015

May was the first month I started to contribute to Debian LTS under the Freexian umbrella. In total I spent six hours working on:

My current work flow looks like

Now I have an already patched source tree to add the backported patches to. Especially in cases where the Jessie version is already fixed this makes it rather quick to get an idea what the affected versions are and to see how the code evolved over time.

In order for this to work properly I made (on non LTS time) some improvements to gbp:

Tags: debian, planetdebian.
whatmaps 0.0.9
18th January 2015

I have released whatmaps 0.0.9 a tool to check which processes map shared objects of a certain package. It can integrate into apt to automatically restart services after a security upgrade.

This release fixes the integration with recent systemd (as in Debian Jessie), makes logging more consistent and eases integration into downstream distributions. It's available in Debian Sid and Jessie and will show up in Wheezy-backports soon.

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Tags: debian, planetdebian, planetfsfe, planetgnome, whatmaps.
krb5-auth-dialog 3.15.4
17th January 2015

To keep up with GNOMEs schedule I've released krb5-auth-dialog 3.15.4. The changes of 3.15.1 and 3.15.4 include among updated translations, the replacement of deprecated GTK+ widgets, minor UI cleanups and bug fixes a header bar fix that makes us only use header bar buttons iff the desktop environment has them enabled:

krb5-auth-dialog with header bar krb5-auth-dialog without header bar

This makes krb5-auth-dialog better ingtegrated into other desktops again thanks to mclasen's awesome work.

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Tags: gnome, planetdebian, planetfsfe, planetgnome.
Testing a NetworkManager VPN plugin password dialog
12th October 2014

Testing the password dialog of a NetworkManager VPN plugin is as simple as:

echo -e 'DATA_KEY=foo\nDATA_VAL=bar\nDONE\nQUIT\n' | ./auth-dialog/nm-iodine-auth-dialog -n test -u $(uuid) -i

The above is for the iodine plugin when run from the built source tree. This allows one to test these dialogs although one didn't see them since ages since GNOME shell uses the external UI mode to query for the password.

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Tags: gnome, planetdebian, planetfsfe, planetgnome.
Bits from the 7th Debian groupware meeting
29th April 2014

The seventh Debian Groupware Meeting was held in the LinuxHotel, Essen, Germany. We had one remote hacker from NYC which brings the number of attendants up to 9. This is a short summary of what happened during the weekend:

Since we had a nice mix of first time Debian contributors, Debian Maintainers and Debian Developers we had lots of room for discussion and co-working which made this an exciting weekend.

Groupphoto by Carsten Schönert

Tags: debian, planetdebian, planetfsfe.
Truncating git history
21st February 2014

When starting to work on a new project I start from an empty git repository right away so I can try out different ideas, revert easily, can diff against old versions (to check if I missed something) and have a commit history to record fixmes and todos. However when making the repo public these things are not of much interest anymore so I truncate the history. To be on the save side I want to keep that history locally though. Assuming the repo is on master, I do:

# 1.) Move the old master out of the way
git branch -m branch master oldmaster
# 2.) Get the current tree at HEAD
tree=$(git rev-parse HEAD^{tree})
# 3.) Create a new commit without ancestry
commit=$(git commit-tree -m "Initial commit" $tree)
# 4.) Make this the new master
git branch master $commit
# 5.) Switch to the new branch
git checkout master

Done. One can now add a remote and push the master branch. The old history is still there locally on the completely detached commit history ending at oldmaster:

$ git log --pretty=short --graph --decorate master oldmster

* commit d5cf3371eaefbaa8efac10c0fb9e7597da17b423 (HEAD, master)
  Author: Guido Günther <>

      Initial commit

* commit 64103ff72bde13d7ec4cf0489ad2a80f3ac249d3 (oldmster)
| Author: Guido Günther <>
|     Another uninteresting commit message
* commit bd7332a79380bb217eca09cbd7f6ff0e5174deb8
| Author: Guido Günther <>
|     Uninteresting commit message
... <more old history>

Update: Uli Heller pointed out that this is the same as using git checkout's --orphan option.

Tags: planetdebian, planetfsfe.
whatmaps 0.0.3
7th January 2014

I have just released whatmaps 0.0.3 a tool to check which processes map shared objects of a certain package. It can integrate into apt to automatically restart services after a security upgrade.

This release fixes a problem where we tried to look at already terminted processes. It also works now on systems without lsb_release installed.

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No tags
CrystalHD progress
30th November 2013

Following up on my port of the crystalhd plugin to the gstreamer 1.0 api I realized that the CrystalHD repo is pretty dormant. After reading slomo's nice article about GStreamer and hardware integration and a short off list mail exchange I decided to split the GStreamer part out of the CrystalHD repo and to try to get the plugin into gst-plugins-bad.

Since the kernel part is already in linux kernel's staging area there would not be much left in the repo except for the libcrystalhd library itself and the firmware blobs. So I split them out as well and started to clean them up a bit by moving it to autoconf/automake, dropping the need for a C++ compiler and adding symbol versioning among other things.

So up to know video is still smooth with:

gst-launch-1.0 filesrc location=sample.mp4 ! decodebin ! xvimagesink

after jhbuilding up to gst-plugins-bad.

There are #ifdefs for macosx and windows but I doubt they're functional but in case anybody is building libcrystalhd on these these platforms it'd be great to know if it still works.

Should these efforts lead to the crystalhd plugin being merged into GStreamer getting the kernel driver out of staging would be a great next step.

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Tags: gnome, planetdebian, planetfsfe, planetgnome, wetab.
Monitoring the temparature values of a Ökofen Pellematic using munin
3rd September 2013

I recently had the joy to adjust a heating system powered by a Ökofen Pellematic pellet boiler. It turned out that the heating control for that system has a small web interface running on a Linux system that allows one to set the different temperature values.

The different temperature values can be queried easily using python-request and then graphed via a simple munin plugin:

Temperatures of the pellet boiler

The sources are available here. Several more plugins for the different pumps and switches are already in the works. This needs some more work though to avoid lots of copy and paste.

Sadly enough there's no SSL available in the web interface. I already contacted the vendor about that and about the GPLed parts of their software so there's more to come.

This blog is flattr enabled.

Tags: munin, planetfsfe.

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