Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for Debian

What things to flattr?

With increasing popularity of Flattr (114,057 € has gone through the Flattr system in two months), several people start to recommend what things to flattr. I'm not going into this business, however they seem so find interesting things for me so you might like it as well.

The Flattr Free and Open Source Software by Raphaël Hertzog is actually thing which has attracted me to the Flattr. It collects recommendations how to tag your free software on Flattr and each month it publishes five recommendations which projects to flattr.

The other thing I've noticed is list made each month by Evgeni Golov, which I've mostly noticed because increasing popularity of phpMyAdmin on Flattr, because he was really fast in advertising it :-).

New PGP key

More than year ago, I've generated mysel new PGP key (4096 bit RSA), with intention to migrate to it sooner or later. Being little pushed by Bits from keyring-maint, I've decided the right time is about now.

As I was giving the key for signing in past more than year, it already has quite a lot of signatures (actually more than the old key). You might notice that the old key has signed far more keys. This is mostly caused by simple fact that I did use both keys for signing, while only giving new one to be signed.

So if you're among these people who signed the old one (0x36E75604), please check the transition document and consider signing my new key (0x42B7511D).

GPointingDeviceSettings for sale

Today I decided to ask for adopter of GPointingDeviceSettings. The single reason is that I no longer have hardware (touchpad) needed to diagnose most of bugs which appear within it.

So if you want to get a(nother) Debian package to maintain, go ahead for it.

The sources are in collab-maint svn and currently use svn-buildpackage:


Should the new maintainer need package sponsoring, I'm definitely available.

Configuring system for SSD

I decided to upgrade my notebook to SSD disk. The disk replacement went easy, installed fresh Debian on it and now comes the tricky part how to properly tune system to use as much as SSD can provide.

The first obvious thing for me is changing IO scheduler. But which one to choose? Most of howtos seem to suggest noop or deadline, without stating benefits of each. For now I've chosen deadline, without string coninfidence, that I'm doing the right thing.

The next major part of tips includes removing filesystem journalling. Well I think journalling exists for good reason and disabling it won't help me much (no, I really don't want to wait for fsck after each crash).

The last tweak seems to be using tmpfs for any temporary data (/tmp) or even for logs. For /tmp it might make sense, on cost of loosing available memory (or swapping it out, what really does not help the SSD anyway). However I definitely don't want to loose my logs on every reboot.

Maybe I'm missing some bit, but the only important thing seems to be the IO scheduler.

Getting rid of SVN

Around three years ago I've migrated my stuff to Subversion from GNU Arch. Last year I migrated most important/alive things to Git. Unfortunately not all, so I still needed to host SVN server on my own.

I think it's now time to get rid of it :-). In past weeks I've moved most Debian packaging stuff to some team/collab-maint repositories (being it Git or Subversion), because I really don't see need for hosting that stuff on my own.

The remaining repositories are mostly historical (with single exception of StarDict dictionaries conversion tools) and nobody will probably care if they are gone. Ah and there are some dead projects as well which were never finished and will never be :-).

Anyway svn.cihar.com is going to disappear soon and nobody will miss it.

Fixing phpMyAdmin bugs in Launchpad

Once in a time when looking at my Debian Developer's Packages Overview, I just start to think there is way too much bug reports for phpMyAdmin package in Launchpad. Today the threshold was 30 :-).

Managing them is usually not that hard, because vast majority of them are just duplicates of same issue. Basically all problems come with the fact that dbconfig-common really does not behave nicely when database server is not configured and user tries to configure it. I know people should just answer no to first question, whether to use dbconfig-common, but they don't and it then horribly fails.

Today I finally decided to ignore all errors from dbconfig-common in our packaging scripts, so you will get an error, but the package will be installed. As it seems that this is what most Ubuntu users expect after all.

This also shows huge difference between Debian and Ubuntu users - such bug has never appeared in Debian bug tracker, but has zillions of duplicates in Launchpad in various incarnations (LP#618852, LP#621569 and the most favorite LP#456674).

Piwik not logging action URLs

For some time (probably since upgrade to 1.0) it looks like my Piwik installation did not log URLs and page titles from visitors. Simply all URLs and page titles logged were blank.

While I still postponed the investigation of this, I was pretty sure it must be some configuration issue and not a bug, so I felt reluctant to report this.

Today I finally found time and copied upstream global.ini.php to my installation and it seems to do the trick. I should better care of upgrading next time :-).

PS: Any volunteer for packaging piwik for Debian?

Let's try flattr too

It looks like quite popular thing on Planet Debian to start using flattr. I registered most of software on which I'm involved already week ago, but I did not have much time publicizing it. Surprisingly people have found things just on flattr without any external links. You can see all of them listed on my flattr profile.

Today I decided to add my blog as a thing and integrated it to my blog, so you can now see flattr button under each post. I decided not to spread this into RSS, at least for now :-).

If you have not yet heard about flattr it is social micropayment site (lot of buzzwords included, so it has to be cool, right?), where you need to register, put there little amount of money and it will be spread each month among projects you "flattr". Sounds like a nice idea for appreciating free software.

Travel agenda before FOSDEM

In last few days I spent some time with travel agenda. Tomorrow morning I am leaving for FOSDEM, so I'm arranging last minutes things like online checking. Whoever wants to meet me just drop me an email or just check things I want to visit and find me there.

Meanwhile got open registration for Debconf 10, so when I was in travelling mood, I also filled in that one. Right now it looks like it will be quite tough for me to pay this trip, but there is still some time to sort it out :-).

Prague airport prices

Martin, Prague airport used to be (one of) most expensive airport for food and drinks prices. They recently reduced prices quite a lot, but I still think they fully qualify to be in the group of most expensive airports.

But it has great advantage that every other airport looks cheap for us. This is almost same as prices for taxi, which is also usually cheaper than in Prague :-).