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Sunday, 6 December, 2015

Taking over the development of at daemon.

I decided some time ago to take over the development of at daemon.

Here is a new release of at v3.1.17

From the Changelog:

at 3.1.17 (2015-08-31):

  Jose M Calhariz:
        at.1.in: Document behaviour when using past time, thanks Kelly Price (Closes: #639900).
        Makefile.in: On distclean remove at.allow.5, auto generated file.

Sunday, 30 August, 2015

Preview of switchconf 0.0.14-2 in Debian

There was a long time since I published the last version of switchconf.

This time someone requested that I add support for systemd by adding a service file. This service file does not make switchconf depend on systemd. It will still work with svs init scripts.

As my knowledge of systemd is minimal, please review my changes.

To download use the following entries:






Sunday, 24 August, 2014

Published switchconf v 0.0.14

I have published a new version of switchconf, v0.0.14.

Can be downloaded from switchconf_0.0.14.orig.tar.xz

This is the relevant part from the Changelog.

 * Force the use of bash, instead of a POSIX shell.

Saturday, 1 February, 2014

Collect and keeps up to date the system information using sysinfoupdate

In 2005 I was looking for ways to auto collect information about a Linux server. The information was to be used in case of bare bones recovery. I didn't found a satisfactory program so I created one, sysinfoupdate. This program have been growing long this years and now is a system that helps to maintain a diary of a Linux Installation. The diary records all the important changes the sysadmin does to the system. This records can be used during recovery after a broken hardware or to detect what change may be causing a malfunction, for example.

It's use is very simple, create a diario directory in your home directory, for example /root/diario, and then run sysinfoupdate. Inside diario you will find a group files with textual information about your system. It works best if you run it as superuser and you keep track of the changes under a version control system, like subversion or git.

You can download the Debian package here or download the source from here.

Wednesday, 3 April, 2013

Openafs 1.6.x limits

Interesting limits of openafs 1.6.x

Max Partition? max signed int64

Volume Max Size?

Bigger than 2TiB

Quota Max Size

2 TiB

Max Files per directory

64.000 entries, around 32k filenames.

Max Files per volume

Around 32 million files.

Max Filename?

255 chars

Number of ACL-Entries (per directory)?


Maximum number of servers for a read only volume:


Saturday, 16 February, 2013

Update to kibana package

I have improved the packaging of kibana for Debian. Is lintian clean and almost ready for inclusion in Debian.


The CMS have replaced the + by _ in the filenames. Be prepared to rename back the files before doing dpkg-source -x kibana_0.2.0_35_g40f2512_5-1.dsc

Monday, 12 November, 2012

Good hacks on using Debian testing

I found an interesting article on how to use Debian testing/unstable/experimental and ways to contribute back to Debian.


Friday, 31 August, 2012

A Selection of talks from DebConf 2012

Monday, 6 February, 2012

A Selection of Talks from FOSDEM 2012.

It was only some days ago that I made the decision to go, for the first time to the FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting). That was a good decision. The keynotes and the maintracks were very good, with good presentations and contents.

It is a big conference and this year, is not an exception. With 429 speakers and 430 talks at 21 rooms in only two days. It's impossible to see all the presentations. The only 5 rooms with a video camcorder to tape the talk, where: Janson, K.1.105, Ferrer, H.1301, H.1302. It's very dificult to choose what talks to see, what talks to see later in video and what talks to loose. What I leave here is my selection of talks. This selection is representative of my tastes, not of the quality of the presentations. I will give links for material that is available now. I will do periodic updates when the new material is available, the video or the slides.


More resources:


Tuesday, 3 January, 2012

To package or not to package, that's the question.

In the past I had to install many times, by hand, extra software on Unix machines, specially because of missing useful software like a C compiler or because I like too much to use the bash. In the end it can get very messy I promised myself to never do again a make install for manually installing software in a Debian machine.

It's possible and it pays on the long run. When you take a program from outside the distribution you need to: configure, compile, install and document what you have done. So you can do it again with the next version. Specially when you have done local modifications. If you put your software inside a Debian package and follow the most sensible Debian Policy rules you get:

  • The documentation on how to configure, build and install the software is in debian/rules file.
  • It's easy to upgrade or remove the software, because is a Debian package.
  • You can use a patch system like quilt or dpatch to isolate your local changes from the upstream sources. If you create different patches files, for every logical feature you enhance or fix, it will be easier to drop them when the new version have the desired feature and to know what features needs to be ported for the new version of the upstream software.
  • You can do it even with the binaries of proprietary software. Its easy to take an rpm or tar files with the binaries and insert them inside the sources of a Debian package. With the proper care it's easy to update the sources for the next upgrade.

For example I have been doing this for packaging the pristine upstream binary of eclipse, because the teachers of my University usually requests a newer version of eclipse than what is available from Debian stable or even unstable.

Another example is the support software for HP hardware before HP officially supported Debian. I have taken the original rpm files or the scexe scripts and convert them into a debian file. Usually I need only to change two files with every new release of software, the Makefile with the name of the new rpm file and the debian/changelog with the new version and what is new.

In the end it's easier than it seams to create and maintain a Debian package. It's a steep curve, but pays off on the long run.

The good thing is all this approaches are compatible with a puppet or chef system for managing the Unix servers.

Thursday, 4 August, 2011

Preview of xorp v1.8.3 in Debian

I attended DebConf11 and my main objective was to package xorp v1.8.3 for Debian. In the spirit of release early and release often here are the links for a package compiled for Debian v6.0 aka squeeze. The work is not finished and most important was not yet reviewed by a Debian Developer. Reports of success are important.

For downloading:



For accessing the sources or using apt-get add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://debian.tagus.ist.utl.pt/debian squeeze/UNRELEASED main contrib
deb-src  http://debian.tagus.ist.utl.pt/debian squeeze/UNRELEASED main contrib

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

De Lisboa ate Banja Luka para a DebConf11

There is online a description of the travel to Banja Luka from Zagreb, with photos and everything. So this time I will write in Portuguese for the people that prefer Portuguese to English.

A viagem de taxi até ao aeroporto correu sem problemas, não havia trânsito na ponte 25 de Abril. No check-in a fila da esquerda tinha maquinas próprias de check-in e a ajuda de uma funcionária da Lufthansa. Rápidamente fiquei com os 2 bilhetes de ida. Lisboa - Frankfurt e Frankfurt - Zagreb. Por isso despachei-me num estante. O embarque começou atrasado, estranho para uma companhia alemã. :-) A viagem correu sem problemas tirando alguma turbulência na aterragem. Em Frankfurt o céu estava cinzento e a pista molhada.

O desembarque em Frankfurt foi nas portas A do terminal 1. Nos placards o meu voo para Zagreb ainda não tinha porta de embarque, apenas Terminal B. Assim comecei a minha caminhada até às portas de embarque B, que se revelou ser bastante comprida. Demorei perto de 30 minutos a chegar à porta de embarque do meu voo seguinte. Comecei a andar, quando à minha direita vejo um imponente 747 da Lufthansa a vir em direcção à janela. Após uns minutos de espera seguiu o seu caminha pela minha esquerda. Como um elegante elefante na selva de betão de um aeroporto.

Foi uma longa caminhada através do terminal A, até encontrar o túnel de ligação para as portas de embarque B. Finalmente à chegada ao terminal B, o meu voo tinha porta atribuida, diferenta da do bilhete. O embarque começou exactamente à hora marcada. O embarque foi feito para o autocarro que nos levou até ao avião. Rápidamente estava toda gente sentada, mas a hora da partida fomos informados de um ligeiro atraso, para esperar por passageiros de outros voos de ligação.

Na chegada a Zagreb tive alguma dificuldade em perceber como era o controlo alfandegário. Filas para toda a gente ou filas diferentes para europeus e não europeus. Julgo que não queriam destinguir os diferentes tipos de passaportes. No entanto uma cabina dava prioridade a tripulações e outra para passageiros de voos de ligação.

Logo a seguir ao controlo de passporte, fica a sala com a alfandega, a maquina de ATM e á direita a recepção de bagagem. Esta maquina ATM pareceu aceitar quase todos os tipos de cartão de crédito. O meu cartão de debito Maestro funcionou, para levantar dinheiro para os autocarros.

À saída da alfandega escolhi a porta de saida da direita. Esta porta tem logo à esquerda o autocarro para a cidade, especificamente o autocarro de ligação até ao terminal de autocarros. O condutor fala Inglês, aceitou a minha bagagem e paguei o bilhete ao condutor 30kn. Julgo que este autocarro esperou um pouco mais devido ao atraso do avião. Pois partiu por volta das 20h10 em vez das 20h00. O percurso termina exactamente no terminal de autocarros, não há como enganar.

No terminal de autocarros demorei algum tempo a encontrar o sitio para vender bilhetes. Foi preciso contornar o edifício para encontrar as escadas que levam ao 1º andar onde estão as bilheteiras. As pessoas na bilheteira falam Inglês, mas precisei de mostrar o papel com o nome do destino. Pois não dizia Banja Luka com a pronuncia certa, Banhia Luka? No bilhete procurar pelo número "Peron", este indica de onde parte o autocarro, 405 no meu caso. O preço é variavel pois são varias as companhias que fazem a viagem. Pela a viagem das 22h00 paguei 108kn, o preço mais barato. Paguei extra 24kn pelas minhas duas malas. Recebi 2 papeis, estes são importantes, pois provavelmente não nos entregarão as malas se o revisor não puder confirmar o numero da mala com os dos nossos papeis.

O motorista e o revisor não falam Inglês e parecem que não fazem o esforço para perceber outras linguas, para além das linguas locais. Mas não é problema pois o autocarro faz apenas 3 paragens:

  1. fronteira, tenham o passaporte convosco e não na bagagem de porão. Preparam-se para sair do autocarro, mostrar o passaporte à policia por duas vezes e um deles policia recolher o vosso passaporte para verificações mais prolongadas. No fim o revisor irá devolver o vosso passaporte.
  1. descanso, logo a seguir à fronteira o autocarro faz uma paragem. Permite ir ao WC, fumar ou ir ao restaurante. Este não faz referencia de aceitar qualquer forma de pagamento por cartão e não comprei nada para confirmar. Cuidado para não perder o autocarro, pois não me pareceu que o revisor tenha confirmado a presença de toda a gente.
  1. Banja Luka, a chegada parece ser num simples parque estacionamento onde param os autocarros e os taxis. Fica a 3 Km de distância, por isso recomenda-se apanhar um taxi ou o autocarro. O preço médio fica em 10km ou 5 euros. O taxista não falava Inglês e não tinha troco de 50km, que a maquina do hotel me tinha acabado de dar. Acabei a receber 20 euros do troco, o que foi justo.

Penso eu porque passava da meia noite, o empregado fez um check-in rápido e ficou com o meu passporte, que foi devolvido na manhã seguinte.

Sunday, 4 July, 2010

Nagstatmon help monitor network and servers using nagios

Monitoring a network or a group of servers using nagios have some problems. Receiving alarms by email or have a browser with a open page to the nagios site is an option that don't fit well in the work flow of some people.

Nagstatmon is a program that solves that problem. It opens a small window or icon on a taskbar of your desktop and show how many alarms are active. When an alarm triggers you can see where and what kind of alarm and easily open a connection for managing the equipment in fault.

This program is available in Debian testing (squeeze) but the package is compatible with Debian stable (v5.0, lenny).

The homepage for the software is http://nagstamon.sourceforge.net/

Monday, 28 June, 2010

Published cal-logcheck-database v 0.35

cal-logcheck-database is a personal package that I use to collect extra rules for logcheck. This rules help me keeping the logcheck reports cleaner and informative.

This version have new rules for smartmontools messages and updates the package for squeeze.

You can download the package and the source from here:





In alternative you can install it using apt if you add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb     http://debian.tagus.ist.utl.pt/debian lenny/updates main

Monday, 14 June, 2010

Debian package v0.0.9-2 of switchconf hit testing

Debian package v0.0.9-2 of switchconf have migrated from unstable to testing. This new version have changed only the package, not the code of switchconf. Follows the changelog.

  * Fix bashism in a private rule on debian/rules file (Closes: #581451).
  * Add remote_fs to dependency of init.d.
  * Bump standard version to 3.8.4, no changes needed. 

Thursday, 21 January, 2010

Published switchconf v 0.0.9

I have published a new version of switchconf, v0.0.9.

Can be downloaded from https://alioth.debian.org/frs/?group_id=100068&release_id=1462.

This is the relevant part from the Changelog.

   * Remove old version of files when using softlinks (Closes: #553427).
   * Use run-parts when available to run scripts (Closes: #563224).
   * Call scripts with the name of next configuration (Closes: #563223).
   * Locking system to prevent a second run before the first finish.

Sunday, 29 November, 2009

Published switchconf v 0.0.8

I have published a new version of switchconf.

There were changes to the build process so it depend less on Debian software. The package was build to be used on my job, so was not uploaded to Debian.

Can be downloaded from https://alioth.debian.org/frs/?grou...

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