laser-cutter sprint

So I'm overcoming my jetlag after DebConf17 by helping to make the Alioth sprint happen, and while it's good to witness work on the upcoming replacement, I'm rather minding my own business instead of getting involved…

And so I got interested in this laser cutter, which since two months has been set up in the CCCHH hackerspace and which is nicely documentend (and set up), so I managed to learn how to do my first baby steps with the laser cutter in one evening:

Basically there is a hosted web application named 'LaserWeb4' for which a pre-configuration exists, so that one only needs to load an image, scale and position it and tune the laser settings a bit. The laser itself is inside a cage, which has a physical safety switch which will turn off the laser if the cage is opened. Obviously the setup is a lot more complex and there are many parameters to tune, and I basically just learned one thing, which is "printing images on wood", but "printing images on a laptop cover" should be pretty similar and something to learn in the future ;-)

And now I'm even teaching weasel how to use this thing (and he already made interesting new mistakes) and it looks like Ganneff & formorer are next. Fun fun fun!

Oh, and the Alioth sprint also seems to be quite productive, but I'll leave reporting about this to others.

Posted Sat Aug 19 18:14:53 2017

How to change irssi's timezone without restart

Happy birthday to all you lovely Debian people!

For my future self:

<Rhonda> | h01ger: /script exec $ENV{TZ} = 'Europe/Vienna';
Posted Wed Aug 16 23:02:01 2017

"packages should build reproducibly" - after 4 years this work of many is in debian-policy now

This post was written roughly 44h ago and now that the fix for #844431 has been merged into the git master branch, I'm publishing it - hoping you'll enjoy this as much as I do!

So today is the last (official) day of DebConf17 and it looks like #844431: "packages should build reproducibly" will be merged into debian-policy today! So I'm super excited, super happy, quite tired and a bit sad (DebConf is ending…) right now! :-)

Four years ago Lunar held a BoF at DebConf13 which started the initiative in Debian. I only got involved in September 2014 with setting up continuous tests, rebuilding each package twice with some variations and then comparing the results using diffoscope, which back then was still called debbindiff and which we renamed as part of our efforts to make Reproducible Builds the norm in Free Software.

Many people have worked on this, and I'm also very happy how visible this has been in our talk here yesterday. You people rock and I'm very thankful and proud to be part of this team. Thank you everyone!

And please understand: we are not 94% done yet (which our reproducibility stats might have made you think), rather more like half done or so. We still need tools and processes to enable anyone to indepently verify that a given binary comes from the sources it is said to be coming, this will involve distributing .buildinfo files and providing user interfaces in APT and elsewhere. And probably also systematic rebuilds by us and other parties. And 6 or 7% of the archive are a lot of packages still, eg in Buster we currently still have 273 unreproducible key packages and for a large part we don't have patches yet. So there is still a lot of work ahead.

This is what was added to debian-policy now:


Packages should build reproducibly, which for the purposes of this
document [#]_ means that given

- a version of a source package unpacked at a given path;
- a set of versions of installed build dependencies;
- a set of environment variable values;
- a build architecture; and
- a host architecture,

repeatedly building the source package for the build architecture on
any machine of the host architecture with those versions of the build
dependencies installed and exactly those environment variable values
set will produce bit-for-bit identical binary packages.

It is recommended that packages produce bit-for-bit identical binaries
even if most environment variables and build paths are varied.  It is
intended for this stricter standard to replace the above when it is
easier for packages to meet it.

.. [#]
   This is Debian's precisification of the `
   definition `_.

For now violating this part of policy may result in a severity: normal bug, though I think we should still only file them if we have patches, else it's probably better to just take a note in our notes.git, like we did before the policy change.

Finally one last comment: we could do reproducible security updates for Stretch now too, for those 94% of the packages which are reproducible. It just needs to be done by someones and the first step would be publishing those .buildinfo files from those builds…

Posted Mon Aug 14 18:53:57 2017

a media experiment: / G20 not welcome

Our view currently every day and night:

No one is illegal!

No football for fascists!

The FC/MC is a collective initiative to change the perception of the G20 in Hamburg - the summit itself and the protests surrounding it. FC/MC is a media experiment, located in the stadium of the amazing St.Pauli football club. We will operate until this Sunday, providing live coverage (text, photos, audio, video), back stories and much much more. Another world is possible!

Disclaimer: I'm not involved in content generation, I'm just doing computer stuff as usual, but that said, I really like the work of those who are! :-)

Posted Thu Jul 6 16:54:01 2017

Changed defaults for vim in Stretch

So appearantly vim in Stretch comes with some new defaults, most notably the mouse is now enabled and there is incremental search, which I find… challenging.

As a reminder for my future self, these needs to go into ~/.vimrc (or /etc/vim/vimrc) to revert those changes:

set mouse=
set noincsearch
Posted Wed Jun 14 19:04:46 2017


So I have done my (hopefully) last uploads for Stretch (r0) today and want to share how pleased I've been with this release cycle. It was the smoothest freeze I've witnessed so far, I really liked the clear and documented rules from the Release Team, their regular release infos on d-d-a and publically logged IRC meetings plus the easy-to-remember URL (nicely redirecting to https), where one can easily find those relevant dates, emails and rules. Plus, useful bug views via There is more, but to me the last (and probably most important) factor to all this has been that most of this actually hasn't been new in this release cycle, but rather that by now a significant number of developers are aware of this and mostly have acted accordingly and communicated this further.

Kudos and many thanks to the Release team, you have been amazing! Many thanks also to everyone who has contributed nicely to those 24838 source packages! You rock as well.

And then I'll also like the upcoming quieter two weeks, also to prepare the Debian Edu Stretch announcement… :)

And then, finally, I really really look forward to the next development cycle and being able to meaningful start working on reproducible Buster!

Posted Sun Jun 4 00:18:01 2017

It's this time of the year again…

So it seems summer has finally arrived here and for the first time this year I've been offline for more than 24h, even despite having wireless network coverage. The lake, the people, the bonfire, the music, the mosquitos and the fireworks at 3.30 in the morning were totally worth it! ;-)

Posted Sun May 21 20:26:58 2017

Pillow fight

For some time I struggled how to tell this short story… so it started with some trolls (clever, but still despiteful, or maybe just with too much energy) who made a pillow with a picture of the initial systemd author, Lennart Poettering, and put it on the sofas of the CCC Hamburg hackerspace…

Which I perceived as clever trolling, as it really was a harmless pillow, which one could use to innocently punch Lennart in the face, or rather not, as denial of this was easy and included, eg of course this pillow was also suitable for hugging!

For some time, I didn't know how to react. Some clever person just turned the pillow cover upsidedown, so at least we had a white pillow instead. But still, I wanted a better reaction…

And then I met Lennart at in Brno and realized, that I would meet him again the following weekend in Brussels… so on Saturday morning of FOSDEM 2017 I embarrassed Lennart (and myself) a little, but it was very much worth it! And so he signed it:

To put this into perspective or why I think the original pillow was a bad idea: some people hate systemd, fine (though I do think systemd is a fine piece of software, but you can surely disagree about this), just, please keep in mind: "hate/fight the game, not the players".

Posted Fri Mar 31 20:26:50 2017
$ sudo apt install khal
Unpacking khal (0.8.4-3) ...
$ (echo 1;echo 0;echo y;echo 0; echo y; echo n; echo y; echo y)  | khal configure
Do you want to write the config to /home/user/.config/khal/khal.conf? (Choosing `No` will abort) [y/N]: Successfully wrote configuration to /home/user/.config/khal/khal.conf
$ wget
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 6120 (6.0K) [text/plain]
Saving to: ‘until-dc17.ics’
$ khal import --batch -a private until-dc17.ics
$ khal agenda --days 14
16:30-17:30: DebConf Weekly Meeting ⟳

16:30-17:30: DebConf Weekly Meeting ⟳

khal is available in stretch and newer and is probably best run from cron piping into '/usr/bin/mail' :-) Thanks to Gunnar Wolf for figuring it all out.

Posted Mon Feb 20 18:46:59 2017

Even though they are impossible to find without using a search engine or bookmarks, they exist.

Bookmark them now. Or use a search engine later ;-)

Posted Wed Feb 15 11:05:20 2017