24 Nov 2017

feedPlanet Debian

Daniel Pocock: Free software in the snow

There is an increasing number of events for free software enthusiasts to meet in an alpine environment for hacking and fun.

In Switzerland, Swiss Linux is organizing the fourth edition of the Rencontres Hivernales du Libre in the mountain resort of Saint-Cergue, a short train ride from Geneva and Lausanne, 12-14 January 2018. The call for presentations is still open.

In northern Italy, not far from Milan (Malpensa) airport, Debian is organizing a Debian Snow Camp, a winter getaway for developers and enthusiasts in a mountain environment where the scenery is as diverse as the Italian culinary options. It is hoped the event will take place 22-25 February 2018.

24 Nov 2017 8:31am GMT

Norbert Preining: TeX Live Cockpit

I have been working quite some time on a new front end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr. Early versions have leaked into TeX Live, but the last month or two has seen many changes in tlmgr itself, in particular support for JSON output. These changes were mostly driven by the need (or ease) of the new frontend: TLCockpit.

With the update of the main TeX Live infrastructure packages that we made available the other day, and the following update of TLCockpit in TeX Live, it is now time to announce TLCockpit a bit more formally. So here it is. We took lots of inspiration from the excellent TeX Live Utility which has and is serving the Mac users since long time. TLCockpit tries to provide similar functionality and ease of use for users of all architectures and not only the Mac.

Cross-platform development is a pain, and the current TeX Live Manager contains a GUI, written in Perl/Tk. While the GUI is functional, in fact nearly functionally complete wrt to the command line version, its appearance is less of pleasure. Complaints about it not being styled according to the underlying OS, UX not being optimal, feature-overload etc are common. And I agree, that back then when I wrote that GUI it was less for actual consumption but to at least have some GUI for those poor Windows users.

Fast-forward about 10 years, and the implementation of the tlmgr shell (something I haven't reported in detail by now!) opened up new routes for GUI development. And since in my current job Scala is very common, I decided to implement a frontend with Scala, first based on the Swing toolkit but soon I switched over to ScalaFX. That is also the reason there are so many posts on ScalaFX on my blog recently.


Let us go through the features of TLCockpit at the current time. Starting up the program one sees the loading screen on the right. The indicator in the menu bar shows that the underlying tlmgr is busy loading the local and remote databases. When this is done, the list of packages appears. In the list, the binary sub-packages are ordered below the main packages and can be expanded. For each package the package name, the short description, and the installation status is shown:

Below the list of packages there is also a search entry field: Entering a text here and pressing Go (or Enter) will restrict the display of packages to those where the package name or short description contains the search term.

Using the Packages menu entry one can change the list view to sort by collections, as shown on the left.

On switching to the Updates tab one is (after a hopefully short loading time) with the list of updates available. For each update the package name, the status (update, new on server, removed on server etc), short description, local and remote revisions (with TeX Catalogue versions given if available), and the download size is shown:

While visiting the Updates tab, the menu entry Updates allows updating either all, or if there are infra-structure updates available, only the TeX Live manager.

The last of the three tabs is Backup and lists the currently available backups and allows restoring packages. For each package the revision and date of creation is shown.

Clicking on a package anywhere in the three tabs with the right mouse button gives a context menu with options to install, remove, update, and show detailed information of the package. Selecting the Info entry gives a details window, in which all kind of information is listed. For documentation files that are installed clicking on the file name will open the file with the default application for the file type:

Configuration of the TeX Live installation is possible via menu entry Options where there are General options allowing to customize the TeX Live installation and Paper allowing to customize the default paper size for the supported programs:

This completes the list of current functionality.

Well, more or less. The attentive reader might have spotted two additional features at the lower part of the application window: Experts only and Debug panes. The former gives access to a text field that allows entering arbitrary tlmgr shell commands. But be careful what you are entering. The later one gives access to three tabs containing the output, debug, and error output of tlmgr as well as the application itself. It will open automatically in case something unforeseeable has happened.


Although written in Scala, all necessary Scala related libraries are packed into the distributed jar file, that means only a recent Java installation which includes JavaFX is necessary. In case you see errors like java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javafx/event/EventTarget this means your Java is too old.

I have tested the release jar files on Linux (Debian) with Java 8u152 from the OpenJDK project and on Windows (10) with the 8u154 from Sun. Both worked without any problems. Mac OS is untested due to lack of devices - but there most users anyway use TLU.


Development is done one GitHub tlcockpit project, please use the issues functionality there to report bugs, request features, and suggest improvements. As mentioned above, the program is written in Scala with ScalaFX as toolkit, so if you are an expert in any of those, please join in and help!

I myself use IntelliJ for development, the checkout can be opened with IntelliJ without any problems. Deployment is done via sbt assembly which packs all the necessary libraries into one jar file.


While far from perfect, I believe it is an improvement over the tlmgr gui, and I hope that some users of TeX Live Manager might find TLCockpit useful.


24 Nov 2017 7:10am GMT

Russ Allbery: Review: Range of Ghosts

Review: Range of Ghosts, by Elizabeth Bear

Series: Eternal Sky #1
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: March 2012
ISBN: 0-7653-2754-6
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 334

Temur is one of many grandsons of the Great Khagan. We meet him on a bloody battlefield, in the aftermath of a fight between his cousin and his brother over the succession. His brother lost and Temur was left for dead with a vicious cut down the side of his neck, improbably surviving among the corpses and even more improbably finding a surviving horse (or being found by one). But a brief reprieve and a potential new family connection are cut brutally short when they are attacked by ghosts and his lover is pulled away into the sky.

Once-Princess Samarkar was heir and then a political wife of a prince, but her marriage was cut short in bloody insult when her husband refused to consummate the marriage. Now, she's chosen a far different path: be neutered in order to become a wizard. If she survives the surgery, she gains independence from her brother, freedom from politics, and possibly (if she's lucky) magical power.

Range of Ghosts is the first book of a fantasy trilogy set in what appears to be an analogue of what's now far northwest China and the central Asian steppes (although the geography doesn't exactly follow ours). There are mountainous strongholds, a large city-based civilization in the east, a civilization with onion domes and a different god in the west, and nomadic horse clans in the north. That said, there's also, as one discovers a bit later in the book, a race of huge bipedal cat people, just to be sure you don't think this is too much like our world.

I had a hard time with the start of this book due to the brutality. Just in the first 70 pages or so, we get a near-fatal wound that a character has to hold closed with his hand (for pages), human sacrifice, essentially medieval invasive surgery, a graphic description of someone losing an eye, and then (I think a little later in the book) serious illness with high fever. And this is Elizabeth Bear, which means the descriptions are very well-written and vivid, which was... not what I wanted. Thankfully, the horror show does slow down by the middle of the book.

The opening also didn't quite connect with me. There's a lot about war, the aftermath of war, and the death of Temur's family, but I found Temur mostly boring. The reader enters the story in at the aftermath, so none of the death and battle really touched me. Temur's steppe mythology is vaguely interesting, but only vaguely.

Samarkar saved this book for me. She's pragmatic, introspective, daring, but also risk-conscious. She pays attention and learns and studies, and she takes the opportunity to learn from everyone she can. The magical system she's learning also has some nicely-described effects without being too mechanical, and I liked the interweaving of magic with science. As she started taking charge of the plot, I thought this book got better and better. Also, full points for the supposedly pampered concubine (one of Samarkar's relatives) turning out to have iron determination and considerable ability to put up with hardship when it was required. That was refreshing.

More positive points to this book for allowing both men and women can choose to become neutered and become wizards. Same principle, so why not the same effect? One of the things I like about fantasy is the opportunity to explore human society with little tweaks and differences, and the ones that poke at gender roles and ask why we gender something that clearly could be gender-neutral make me happy.

I wasn't as fond of the hissable villain. I think I'm getting increasingly grumbly about books in which the villain is so obviously evil as to be basically demonic. Maybe Bear will twist this around in later books, but this one opens with human sacrifice, and the villain doesn't get any more appealing as we go along. I think I wasn't in the mood to read about someone plotting horrible dark things, keeping hostages, and practicing black magic, particularly since Bear's vivid descriptions make it a bit hard to tune the horrors out.

Thankfully, there isn't that much of the villain, and there's rather a lot of Samarkar, which left me generally happy with the book and wanting more. However, be warned that this is in absolutely no way a standalone book. Essentially nothing is resolved in this volume; you will need the sequel (if not the third book as well) for any sense of completed story whatsoever.

Followed by The Shattered Pillars.

Rating: 7 out of 10

24 Nov 2017 3:51am GMT

23 Nov 2017

feedPlanet Debian

Sean Whitton: Using Propellor to provision your Debian development laptop

sbuild is a tool used by those maintaining packages in Debian, and derived distributions such as Ubuntu. When used correctly, it can catch a lot of categories of bugs before packages are uploaded. It does this by building the package in a clean environment, and then running the package through the Lintian, piuparts, adequate and autopkgtest tools. However, configuring sbuild so that it makes use of all of these tools is cumbersome.

In response to this complexity, I wrote a module for the Propellor configuration management system to prepare a system such that a user can just go ahead and run the sbuild(1) command.

This module is useful on one's development laptop - if you need to reinstall your OS, you don't have to look up the instructions for setting up sbuild again. But it's also useful on throwaway build boxes. I can instruct propellor to provision a new virtual machine to build packages with sbuild, and all the different tools mentioned above will be connected together for me.

I just uploaded Propellor version 5.1.0 to Debian unstable. The version overhauls the API and internals of the Sbuild module to take better advantage of Propellor's design. I won't get into those details in this post. What I'd like to do is demonstrate how you can set up sbuild on your own machines, using Propellor.

Getting started with Propellor

apt-get install propellor, and then propellor --init.

As mentioned, at the time of writing you'll need to install from Debian unstable. For this tutorial you need version 5.1.0 or greater.

You'll be offered two setups, options A and B. I suggest starting with option B.

If you never use Propellor for anything other than provisioning sbuild, you can stick with option B. If this tutorial makes you want to check out more features of Propellor, you might consider switching to option A and importing your old configuration.

Open ~/.propellor/config.hs. You will see something like this:

-- The hosts propellor knows about.
hosts :: [Host]
hosts =
        [ mybox

-- An example host.
mybox :: Host
mybox = host "mybox.example.com" $ props
        & osDebian Unstable X86_64
        & Apt.stdSourcesList
        & Apt.unattendedUpgrades
        & Apt.installed ["etckeeper"]
        & Apt.installed ["ssh"]
        & User.hasSomePassword (User "root")
        & File.dirExists "/var/www"
        & Cron.runPropellor (Cron.Times "30 * * * *")

You'll want to customise this so that it reflects your computer. My laptop is called iris, so I might replace the above with this:

-- The hosts propellor knows about.
hosts :: [Host]
hosts =
        [ iris

-- My laptop.
iris :: Host
iris = host "iris.silentflame.com" $ props
        & osDebian Testing X86_64

The list of lines beginning with & are the properties of the host iris. Here, I've removed all properties except the osDebian property, which informs propellor that iris runs Debian testing and has the amd64 architecture.

The effect of this is that Propellor will not try to change anything about iris. In this tutorial, we are not going to let Propellor configure anything about iris other than setting up sbuild.

(The osDebian property is a pure info property, which means that it tells Propellor information about the host to which other properties might refer, but it doesn't itself change anything about iris.)

Telling Propellor to configure sbuild

First, add to the import lines at the top of config.hs the lines:

import qualified Propellor.Property.Sbuild as Sbuild
import qualified Propellor.Property.Schroot as Schroot

to enable use of the Sbuild module. Here is the full config for iris, which I'll go through line-by-line:

-- The hosts propellor knows about.
hosts :: [Host]
hosts =
        [ iris

-- My laptop.
iris :: Host
iris = host "iris.silentflame.com" $ props
        & osDebian Testing X86_64
        & Apt.useLocalCacher
        & sidSchrootBuilt
        & Sbuild.usableBy (User "spwhitton")
        & Schroot.overlaysInTmpfs
        & Cron.runPropellor (Cron.Times "30 * * * *")
        sidSchrootBuilt = Sbuild.built Sbuild.UseCcache $ props
                & osDebian Unstable X86_64
                & Sbuild.update `period` Daily
                & Sbuild.useHostProxy iris

Running Propellor to configure your laptop

$ propellor iris.silentflame.com

In this configuration, you don't need to worry about whether the hostname iris.silentflame.com actually resolves to your laptop. However, it must be possible to ssh root@localhost.

This should be enough that spwhitton can:

$ sbuild -A --run-lintian --run-autopkgtest --run-piuparts foo.dsc

Further configuration

It is easy to add new schroots; for example, for building backports:

        & stretchSchrootBuilt
        stretchSchrootBuilt = Sbuild.built Sbuild.UseCcache $ props
                & osDebian (Stable "stretch") X86_64
                & Sbuild.update `period` Daily
                & Sbuild.useHostProxy iris

You can even use architectures other than X86_64. Propellor knows how to invoke qemu when it needs to do this to build the chroot, though sbuild does not know how to actually use chroots built in this way.

You can also add additional properties to configure your chroot. Perhaps on your LAN you need sbuild to install packages via https, and you already have an apt cacher available. You can replace the apt-cacher-ng configuration like this:

        sidSchrootBuilt = Sbuild.built Sbuild.UseCcache $ props
                & osDebian Unstable X86_64
                & Sbuild.update `period` Daily
                & Apt.mirror "https://foo.mirror/debian/"
                & Apt.installed ["apt-transport-https"]


Thanks to Propellor's author, Joey Hess, for help navigating Propellor's type system while performing the overhaul included in version 5.1.0. Also for a conversation at DebConf17 which enabled this work by clearing some misconceptions of mine.

23 Nov 2017 10:38pm GMT

Russ Allbery: Holiday haul

Catching up on accumulated book purchases. I'm going to get another burst of reading time over the holidays (and am really looking forward to it).

Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination (sff)
James Blish - A Case of Conscience (sff)
Leigh Brackett - The Long Tomorrow (sff)
Algis Budrys - Who? (sff)
Frances Hardinge - Fly By Night (sff)
Robert A. Heinlein - Double Star (sff)
N.K. Jemisin - The Obelisk Gate (sff)
N.K. Jemisin - The Stone Sky (sff)
T. Kingfisher - Clockwork Boys (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - City of Illusions (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Complete Orsinia (historical)
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - Five Ways to Forgiveness (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - Planet of Exile (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - Rocannon's World (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Telling (sff)
Ursula K. Le Guin - The World for Word Is Forest (sff)
Fritz Leiber - The Big Time (sff)
Melina Marchetta - Saving Francesca (mainstream)
Richard Matheson - The Shrinking Man (sff)
Foz Meadows - An Accident of Stars (sff)
Dexter Palmer - Version Control (sff)
Frederick Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth - The Space Merchants (sff)
Adam Rex - True Meaning of Smekday (sff)
John Scalzi - The Dispatcher (sff)
Julia Spencer-Fleming - In the Bleak Midwinter (mystery)
R.E. Stearns - Barbary Station (sff)
Theodore Sturgeon - More Than Human (sff)

I'm listing the individual components except for the Orsinia collection, but the Le Guin are from the Library of America Hainish Novels & Stories two-volume set. I had several of these already, but I have a hard time resisting a high-quality Library of America collection for an author I really like. Now I can donate a bunch of old paperbacks.

Similarly, a whole bunch of the older SF novels are from the Library of America American Science Fiction two-volume set, which I finally bought since I was ordering Library of America sets anyway.

The rest is a pretty random collection of stuff, although several of them are recommendations from Light. I was reading through her old reviews and getting inspired to read (and review) more.

23 Nov 2017 8:24pm GMT

Jonathan Dowland: Concreate and Red Hat JBoss OpenShift image sources

Last year I wrote about some tools for working with Docker images. Since then, we've deprecated the dogen tool for our own images and have built a successor called Concreate.

Concreate takes a container image definition described in a YAML document and generates an output image. To do so, it generates an intermediate Dockerfile, along with the scripts and artefacts you references in the YAML file, and by default invokes docker build on the result. However, it can use other builders, such as the OpenShift Build Service, which is what we use for our production images.

Concreate can also manage running tests against the image. As with the Container Testing Framework that I mentioned last time, these tests are defined using the Behave system.

In related news is that we have published the sources for all of our images. You can now go and read the image.yaml file for EAP 7 on OpenShift to give you an example of what a real image using Concreate looks like.

23 Nov 2017 10:48am GMT

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 4

Day 4 of the videoteam sprint!

Pictures of Our Lives

"Countless" people wrote to me asking for more pictures of our marvelous sprint, especially of our feline friend. How could I resist?

Giving the cat scritches

View on the garden behing the house

Our voctomix setup

Now that we've got this covered, here's what we did today.



Stefano had to do some office work today and had very little time to hack on the videoteam stuff.

He did get access to the pentabarf XML of DebConf 7 to 13. This should help a great lot generating the video metadata for our archive.

He also played around with YouTube a little. It seems we already got our first copyright strike! Gotta love remixes of The Lion King hidden in DebConf videos.


Ivo left us to work with the Debian Release Team today. Sad!


Andy and Kyle got together today and worked on making a list of the audio hardware we should buy to replace our old kit.

He also finished the video loop we are going to use at the mini-conf.


Kyle has some time today and gave Andy a call to work on our audio gear wishlist. He also worked on designing a flight case for it.

We will eventually submit a budget request to buy said kit.


Nicolas mainly worked on refactoring the ansible module that generates the TLS certificates for our streaming network.


Our ansible roles are now all documented! I'm happy this is all done. Next, I'll try to remove some of the ugly hacks in our ansible repository.

We finished the day by going to the Polish Club. Here's a picture of the team!

Dinner at the Cambridge Polish Club

23 Nov 2017 5:00am GMT

22 Nov 2017

feedPlanet Debian

Daniel Pocock: VR Hackathon at FIXME, Lausanne (1-3 December 2017)

The FIXME hackerspace in Lausanne, Switzerland is preparing a VR Hackathon on the weekend of 1-3 December.

Competitors and visitors are welcome, please register here.

Some of the free software technologies in use include Blender and Mozilla VR.

22 Nov 2017 7:25pm GMT

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 3

Erf, I'm tired and it is late so this report will be short and won't include dank memes or funny cat pictures. Come back tomorrow for that.


Stefano worked all day long on the metadata project and on YouTube uploads. I think the DebConf7 videos have just finished being uploaded, check them out!


Apart from the wonderful lasagna he baked for us, Andy continued working on the scraping scheme, helping tumbleweed.


Nattie has been with us for a few days now, but today she did some great QA work on our metadata scraping of the video archive.


More tests, more bugs! Ivo worked quite a bit on the Opsis board today and it seems everything is ready for the mini-conf. \0/


Nicolas built the streaming network today and wrote some Ansible roles to manage TLS cert creation through Let's Encrypt. He also talked with DSA some more about our long term requirements.


I forgot to mention it yesterday because he could not come to Cambridge, but Wouter has been sprinting remotely, working on the reviewing system. Everything with regards to reviewing should be in place for the mini-conf.

He also generated the intro and outro slides for the videos for us.

KiBi and Julien

KiBi and Julien arrived late in the evening, but were nonetheless of great assistance.

Neither are technically part of the videoteam, but their respective experience with Debian-Installer and general DSA systems helped us a great deal.


I'm about 3/4 done documenting our ansible roles. Once I'm done, I'll try to polish some obvious hacks I've seen while documenting.

22 Nov 2017 5:00am GMT

Norbert Preining: Kobo firmware 4.6.10075 mega update (KSM, nickel patch, ssh, fonts)

A new firmware for the Kobo ebook reader came out and I adjusted the mega update pack to use it. According to the comments in the firmware thread it is working faster than previous releases. The most incredible change though is the update from wpa_supplicant 0.7.1 (around 2010) to 2.7-devel (current). Wow.

Kobo Logo

For details and warning please consult the previous post.


Mark6 - Kobo GloHD

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for GloHD

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.10075-combined/Mark6/KoboRoot.tgz

Mark5 - Aura

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for Aura

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.10075-combined/Mark5/KoboRoot.tgz

Mark4 - Kobo Glo, Aura HD

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for Glo and AuraHD

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.10075-combined/Mark4/KoboRoot.tgz


22 Nov 2017 1:18am GMT

21 Nov 2017

feedPlanet Debian

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 2

Another day, another videoteam report! It feels like we did a lot of work today, so let's jump right in:


Stefano worked most of the day on the DebConf video archive metadata project. A bunch of videos already have been uploaded to YouTube.

Here's some gold you might want to watch.

By the end of our sprint, we should have generated metadata for most of our archive and uploaded a bunch of videos to YouTube. Don't worry though, YouTube is only a mirror and we'll keep our current archive as a video master.


Andy joined us today! He hacked away with Stefano for most of the day, working on the metadata format for our videos and making schemes for our scraping tools.


Ivo built and tested a good part of our video setup today, fixing bugs left and right in Ansible. We are prepared for the Cambridge Mini-DebConf!


Nicolas finished his scripts to automatically spool up and down our streaming mirrors via the DigitalOcean API today and ran our Ansible config against those machines to test our setup.


For my part, I completed a huge chunk of my sprint goals: we now have a website documenting our setup! It is currently hosted on Alioth pages, but olasd plans to make a request to DSA to have it hosted on the static.debian.org machine. The final URL will most likely be something like: https://video.debconf.org

The documentation is still missing the streaming section (our streaming setup is not final yet, so not point in documenting that) and a section hosting guides for the volunteers. With some luck I might write those later this week.

I've now moved on documentation our various Ansible roles.

Oh, and we also ate some cheese fondue:

Our fondue dinner

21 Nov 2017 5:00am GMT

20 Nov 2017

feedPlanet Debian

Jonathan Carter: New powerline goodies in Debian

About powerline

Powerline does some font substitutions that allow additional theming for terminal applications such as tmux, vim, zsh, bash and more. The powerline font has been packaged in Debian for a while now, and I've packaged two powerline themes for vim and zsh. They're currently only in testing, but once my current todo list on packages look better, I'll upload them to stretch-backports.

For vim, vim-airline

vim-airline is different from previous vim powerline plugins in that it doesn't depend om perl or python, it's purely implemented in vim config files.


Here's a gif from the upstream site, they also demo various themes on there that you can get in Debian by installing the vim-airlines-themes package.

Vim Airline demo gif

How to enable

Install the vim-airline package, and add the following to your .vimrc file:

" Vim Airline theme
let g:airline_theme='powerlineish'
let g:airline_powerline_fonts = 1
let laststatus=2

The vim-airline-themes package contains additional themes that can be defined in the snippet above.

For zsh, powerlevel9k


Here's a gif from upstream that walks through some of its features. You can configure it to display all kinds of system metrics and also information about VCS status in your current directory.

Powerline demo gif

Powerlevel9k has lots of options and features. If you're interested in it, you should probably take a look at their readme file on GitHub for all the details.

How to enable

Install the zsh-theme-powerlevel9k package and add the following to your to your .zshrc file.

source /usr/share/powerlevel9k/powerlevel9k.zsh-theme

20 Nov 2017 7:22pm GMT

Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #133

Here's what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday November 5 and Saturday November 11 2017:

Upcoming events

On November 17th Chris Lamb will present at Open Compliance Summit, Yokohama, Japan on how reproducible builds ensures the long-term sustainability of technology infrastructure.

We plan to hold an assembly at 34C3 - hope to see you there!

LEDE CI tests

Thanks to the work of lynxis, Mattia and h01ger, we're now testing all LEDE packages in our setup. This is our first result for the ar71xx target: "502 (100.0%) out of 502 built images and 4932 (94.8%) out of 5200 built packages were reproducible in our test setup." - see below for details how this was achieved.

Bootstrapping and Diverse Double Compilation

As a follow-up of a discussion on bootstrapping compilers we had on the Berlin summit, Bernhard and Ximin worked on a Proof of Concept for Diverse Double Compilation of tinycc (aka tcc).

Ximin Luo did a successful diverse-double compilation of tinycc git HEAD using gcc-7.2.0, clang-4.0.1, icc-18.0.0 and pgcc-17.10-0 (pgcc needs to triple-compile it). More variations are planned for the future, with the eventual aim to reproduce the same binaries cross-distro, and extend it to test GCC itself.

Packages reviewed and fixed, and bugs filed

Patches filed upstream:

Patches filed in Debian:

Patches filed in OpenSUSE:

Reviews of unreproducible packages

73 package reviews have been added, 88 have been updated and 40 have been removed in this week, adding to our knowledge about identified issues.

4 issue types have been updated:

Weekly QA work

During our reproducibility testing, FTBFS bugs have been detected and reported by:

diffoscope development

Mattia Rizzolo uploaded version 88~bpo9+1 to stretch-backports.

reprotest development

reproducible-website development

theunreproduciblepackage development

tests.reproducible-builds.org in detail


This week's edition was written by Ximin Luo, Bernhard M. Wiedemann, Chris Lamb and Holger Levsen & reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC & the mailing lists.

20 Nov 2017 3:52pm GMT

NOKUBI Takatsugu: Debian seminar in Yokohama, 2017/11/18

I had attended to Tokyo area debian seminar #157. The day's special guest is Chris Lamb, the Debian Project Leader in 2017. He had attended to Open Compliance Summit, so we invited him as our guest.

The following pdf file is the day's presentation:

And Hideki Yamane(henrich) talked about a new idea of Debian distribution 'fresh', pull-based rolling release. The details would be published by him in a few days.

There were some discussion, and we need to introduce more information aboud Japanese Debian/FLOSS scene, so now I am writing this article.

Anything else, I ccould get good time with debian developers and community. Our community, especially in Japan, requires more new commers, young people.

20 Nov 2017 9:01am GMT

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 1

Another videoteam report! We've now been hacking for a full day and we are slowly starting to be productive. It's always hard to get back in a project when you haven't touched it in a while...

Anyway, let's start this report with some important announcement: we finally have been able to snap a good picture of the airbnb's cat!

The airbnb's cat

No more nagging me about the placeholder image from Wikipedia I used in yesterday's report!

Set up

Our hacking space

Here's what the team did today:


Stefano started the day by hacking away on our video archive. We eventually want to upload all our videos to YouTube to give them exposure, but sadly our archive metadata is in a pretty poor shape.

With the script tumbleweed wrote, we can scrape the archive for matches against the old DebConf's pentabarf XML we have.

tumbleweed also helped Ivo with the ansible PXE setup he's working on. Some recent contributions from a collaborator implemented new features (like a nice menu to choose from) but also came with a few annoying bugs.


Ivo continued working on the PXE setup today. He also tried to break our ansible setup by using fresh installs with different user cases (locales, interfaces, etc.), with some success.

The reason he and Stefano are working so hard on the PXE boot is that we had a discussion about the future of our USB install method. The general consensus on this was although we would not remove it, we would not actively maintain it anymore.

PXE is less trouble for multiple machines. For single machines or if you don't control the DHCP server, using ansible manually on a fresh Debian install will be the recommended way.


After a very long drive, olasd arrived late in the evening with all our gear. Hurray! We were thus able to set up some test boxes and start wiring the airbnb properly. Tomorrow will certainly be more productive with all this stuff at our disposition.


Today I mainly worked on setting up our documentation website. After some debate, we decided that sphinx was the right tool for the job.

I am a few pages in and if I work well I think we'll have something to show for at the end of the sprint!

I also was thrown back into ansible after witnessing a bug in the locale management. I'm still rusty, but it's slowly coming back to me.

Let's end this blog post with a picture of the neon pineapple that sits on the wall of the solarium.

Upside down this picture is even more troubling

20 Nov 2017 5:00am GMT

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppEigen

A maintenance release of RcppEigen is now on CRAN (and will get to Debian soon). It brings Eigen 3.3.* to R.

The impetus was a request from CRAN to change the call to Rcpp::Rcpp.plugin.maker() to only use :: as the function has in fact been exported and accessible for a pretty long time. So now the usage pattern catches up. Otherwise, Haiku-OS is now supported and a minor Travis tweak was made.

The complete NEWS file entry follows.

Changes in RcppEigen version (2017-11-19)

  • Compilation under Haiku-OS is now supported (Yu Gong in #45).

  • The Rcpp.plugin.maker helper function is called via :: as it is in fact exported (yet we had old code using :::).

  • A spurious argument was removed from an example call.

  • Travis CI now uses https to fetch the test runner script.

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for the most recent release.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

20 Nov 2017 12:23am GMT