Search Results: "berto"

13 September 2022

Alberto Garc a: Adding software to the Steam Deck with systemd-sysext

Yakuake on SteamOS Introduction: an immutable OS The Steam Deck runs SteamOS, a single-user operating system based on Arch Linux. Although derived from a standard package-based distro, the OS in the Steam Deck is immutable and system updates replace the contents of the root filesystem atomically instead of using the package manager. An immutable OS makes the system more stable and its updates less error-prone, but users cannot install additional packages to add more software. This is not a problem for most users since they are only going to run Steam and its games (which are stored in the home partition). Nevertheless, the OS also has a desktop mode which provides a standard Linux desktop experience, and here it makes sense to be able to install more software. How to do that though? It is possible for the user to become root, make the root filesytem read-write and install additional software there, but any changes will be gone after the next OS update. Modifying the rootfs can also be dangerous if the user is not careful. Ways to add additional software The simplest and safest way to install additional software is with Flatpak, and that s the method recommended in the Steam Deck Desktop FAQ. Flatpak is already installed and integrated in the system via the Discover app so I won t go into more details here. However, while Flatpak works great for desktop applications not every piece of software is currently available, and Flatpak is also not designed for other types of programs like system services or command-line tools. Fortunately there are several ways to add software to the Steam Deck without touching the root filesystem, each one with different pros and cons. I will probably talk about some of them in the future, but in this post I m going to focus on one that is already available in the system: systemd-sysext. About systemd-sysext This is a tool included in recent versions of systemd and it is designed to add additional files (in the form of system extensions) to an otherwise immutable root filesystem. Each one of these extensions contains a set of files. When extensions are enabled (aka merged ) those files will appear on the root filesystem using overlayfs. From then on the user can open and run them normally as if they had been installed with a package manager. Merged extensions are seamlessly integrated with the rest of the OS. Since extensions are just collections of files they can be used to add new applications but also other things like system services, development tools, language packs, etc. Creating an extension: yakuake I m using yakuake as an example for this tutorial since the extension is very easy to create, it is an application that some users are demanding and is not easy to distribute with Flatpak. So let s create a yakuake extension. Here are the steps: 1) Create a directory and unpack the files there:
$ mkdir yakuake
$ wget https://steamdeck-packages.steamos.cloud/archlinux-mirror/extra/os/x86_64/yakuake-21.12.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst
$ tar -C yakuake -xaf yakuake-*.tar.zst usr
2) Create a file called extension-release.NAME under usr/lib/extension-release.d with the fields ID and VERSION_ID taken from the Steam Deck s /etc/os-release file.
$ mkdir -p yakuake/usr/lib/extension-release.d/
$ echo ID=steamos > yakuake/usr/lib/extension-release.d/extension-release.yakuake
$ echo VERSION_ID=3.3.1 >> yakuake/usr/lib/extension-release.d/extension-release.yakuake
3) Create an image file with the contents of the extension:
$ mksquashfs yakuake yakuake.raw
That s it! The extension is ready. A couple of important things: image files must have the .raw suffix and, despite the name, they can contain any filesystem that the OS can mount. In this example I used SquashFS but other alternatives like EroFS or ext4 are equally valid. NOTE: systemd-sysext can also use extensions from plain directories (i.e skipping the mksquashfs part). Unfortunately we cannot use them in our case because overlayfs does not work with the casefold feature that is enabled on the Steam Deck. Using the extension Once the extension is created you simply need to copy it to a place where systemd-systext can find it. There are several places where they can be installed (see the manual for a list) but due to the Deck s partition layout and the potentially large size of some extensions it probably makes more sense to store them in the home partition and create a link from one of the supported locations (/var/lib/extensions in this example):
(deck@steamdeck ~)$ mkdir extensions
(deck@steamdeck ~)$ scp user@host:/path/to/yakuake.raw extensions/
(deck@steamdeck ~)$ sudo ln -s $PWD/extensions /var/lib/extensions
Once the extension is installed in that directory you only need to enable and start systemd-sysext:
(deck@steamdeck ~)$ sudo systemctl enable systemd-sysext
(deck@steamdeck ~)$ sudo systemctl start systemd-sysext
After this, if everything went fine you should be able to see (and run) /usr/bin/yakuake. The files should remain there from now on, also if you reboot the device. You can see what extensions are enabled with this command:
$ systemd-sysext status
HIERARCHY EXTENSIONS SINCE
/opt      none       -
/usr      yakuake    Tue 2022-09-13 18:21:53 CEST
If you add or remove extensions from the directory then a simple systemd-sysext refresh is enough to apply the changes. Unfortunately, and unlike distro packages, extensions don t have any kind of post-installation hooks or triggers, so in the case of Yakuake you probably won t see an entry in the KDE application menu immediately after enabling the extension. You can solve that by running kbuildsycoca5 once from the command line. Limitations and caveats Using systemd extensions is generally very easy but there are some things that you need to take into account:
  1. Using extensions is easy (you put them in the directory and voil !). However, creating extensions is not necessarily always easy. To begin with, any libraries, files, etc., that your extensions may need should be either present in the root filesystem or provided by the extension itself. You may need to combine files from different sources or packages into a single extension, or compile them yourself.
  2. In particular, if the extension contains binaries they should probably come from the Steam Deck repository or they should be built to work with those packages. If you need to build your own binaries then having a SteamOS virtual machine can be handy. There you can install all development files and also test that everything works as expected. One could also create a Steam Deck SDK extension with all the necessary files to develop directly on the Deck
  3. Extensions are not distribution packages, they don t have dependency information and therefore they should be self-contained. They also lack triggers and other features available in packages. For desktop applications I still recommend using a system like Flatpak when possible.
  4. Extensions are tied to a particular version of the OS and, as explained above, the ID and VERSION_ID of each extension must match the values from /etc/os-release. If the fields don t match then the extension will be ignored. This is to be expected because there s no guarantee that a particular extension is going to work with a different version of the OS. This can happen after a system update. In the best case one simply needs to update the extension s VERSION_ID, but in some cases it might be necessary to create the extension again with different/updated files.
  5. Extensions only install files in /usr and /opt. Any other file in the image will be ignored. This can be a problem if a particular piece of software needs files in other directories.
  6. When extensions are enabled the /usr and /opt directories become read-only because they are now part of an overlayfs. They will remain read-only even if you run steamos-readonly disable !!. If you really want to make the rootfs read-write you need to disable the extensions (systemd-sysext unmerge) first.
  7. Unlike Flatpak or Podman (including toolbox / distrobox), this is (by design) not meant to isolate the contents of the extension from the rest of the system, so you should be careful with what you re installing. On the other hand, this lack of isolation makes systemd-sysext better suited to some use cases than those container-based systems.
Conclusion systemd extensions are an easy way to add software (or data files) to the immutable OS of the Steam Deck in a way that is seamlessly integrated with the rest of the system. Creating them can be more or less easy depending on the case, but using them is extremely simple. Extensions are not packages, and systemd-sysext is not a package manager or a general-purpose tool to solve all problems, but if you are aware of its limitations it can be a practical tool. It is also possible to share extensions with other users, but here the usual warning against installing binaries from untrusted sources applies. Use with caution, and enjoy!

31 August 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2022

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding No any major updates on running projects.
Two 1, 2 projects are in the pipeline now.
Tryton project is in a review phase. Gradle projects is still fighting in work. In July, we put aside 2389 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In July, 14 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In July, we have released 3 DLAs. July was the period, when the Debian Stretch had already ELTS status, but Debian Buster was still in the hands of security team. Many member of LTS used this time to update internal infrastructure, documentation and some internal tickets. Now we are ready to take the next release in our hands: Buster! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

26 July 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, June 2022

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding No any major updates on running projects.
Two 1, 2 projects are in the pipeline now.
Tryton project is in a review phase. Gradle projects is still fighting in work. In June, we put aside 2254 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In June, 15 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In June we released 27 DLAs.

This is a special month, where we have two releases (stretch and jessie) as ELTS and NO release as LTS. Buster is still handled by the security team and will probably be given in LTS hands at the beginning of the August. During this month we are updating the infrastructure, documentation and improve our internal processes to switch to a new release.
Many developers have just returned back from Debconf22, hold in Prizren, Kosovo! Many (E)LTS members could meet face-to-face and discuss some technical and social topics! Also LTS BoF took place, where the project was introduced (link to video).
Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold. We are pleased to welcome Alter Way where their support of Debian is publicly acknowledged at the higher level, see this French quote of Alterway s CEO.

5 July 2022

Alberto Garc a: Running the Steam Deck s OS in a virtual machine using QEMU

SteamOS desktop Introduction The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer that runs a Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. The machine comes with SteamOS 3 (code name holo ), which is in turn based on Arch Linux. Although there is no SteamOS 3 installer for a generic PC (yet), it is very easy to install on a virtual machine using QEMU. This post explains how to do it. The goal of this VM is not to play games (you can already install Steam on your computer after all) but to use SteamOS in desktop mode. The Gamescope mode (the console-like interface you normally see when you use the machine) requires additional development to make it work with QEMU and will not work with these instructions. A SteamOS VM can be useful for debugging, development, and generally playing and tinkering with the OS without risking breaking the Steam Deck. Running the SteamOS desktop in a virtual machine only requires QEMU and the OVMF UEFI firmware and should work in any relatively recent distribution. In this post I m using QEMU directly, but you can also use virt-manager or some other tool if you prefer, we re emulating a standard x86_64 machine here. General concepts SteamOS is a single-user operating system and it uses an A/B partition scheme, which means that there are two sets of partitions and two copies of the operating system. The root filesystem is read-only and system updates happen on the partition set that is not active. This allows for safer updates, among other things. There is one single /home partition, shared by both partition sets. It contains the games, user files, and anything that the user wants to install there. Although the user can trivially become root, make the root filesystem read-write and install or change anything (the pacman package manager is available), this is not recommended because A simple way for the user to install additional software that survives OS updates and doesn t touch the root filesystem is Flatpak. It comes preinstalled with the OS and is integrated with the KDE Discover app. Preparing all necessary files The first thing that we need is the installer. For that we have to download the Steam Deck recovery image from here: https://store.steampowered.com/steamos/download/?ver=steamdeck&snr= Once the file has been downloaded, we can uncompress it and we ll get a raw disk image called steamdeck-recovery-4.img (the number may vary). Note that the recovery image is already SteamOS (just not the most up-to-date version). If you simply want to have a quick look you can play a bit with it and skip the installation step. In this case I recommend that you extend the image before using it, for example with truncate -s 64G steamdeck-recovery-4.img or, better, create a qcow2 overlay file and leave the original raw image unmodified: qemu-img create -f qcow2 -F raw -b steamdeck-recovery-4.img steamdeck-recovery-extended.qcow2 64G But here we want to perform the actual installation, so we need a destination image. Let s create one: $ qemu-img create -f qcow2 steamos.qcow2 64G Installing SteamOS Now that we have all files we can start the virtual machine:
$ qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -smp cores=4 -m 8G \
    -device usb-ehci -device usb-tablet \
    -device intel-hda -device hda-duplex \
    -device VGA,xres=1280,yres=800 \
    -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly=on,file=/usr/share/ovmf/OVMF.fd \
    -drive if=virtio,file=steamdeck-recovery-4.img,driver=raw \
    -device nvme,drive=drive0,serial=badbeef \
    -drive if=none,id=drive0,file=steamos.qcow2
Note that we re emulating an NVMe drive for steamos.qcow2 because that s what the installer script expects. This is not strictly necessary but it makes things a bit easier. If you don t want to do that you ll have to edit ~/tools/repair_device.sh and change DISK and DISK_SUFFIX. SteamOS installer shortcuts Once the system has booted we ll see a KDE Plasma session with a few tools on the desktop. If we select Reimage Steam Deck and click Proceed on the confirmation dialog then SteamOS will be installed on the destination drive. This process should not take a long time. Now, once the operation finishes a new confirmation dialog will ask if we want to reboot the Steam Deck, but here we have to choose Cancel . We cannot use the new image yet because it would try to boot into the Gamescope session, which won t work, so we need to change the default desktop session. SteamOS comes with a helper script that allows us to enter a chroot after automatically mounting all SteamOS partitions, so let s open a Konsole and make the Plasma session the default one in both partition sets:
$ sudo steamos-chroot --disk /dev/nvme0n1 --partset A
# steamos-readonly disable
# echo '[Autologin]' > /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# echo 'Session=plasma.desktop' >> /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# steamos-readonly enable
# exit
$ sudo steamos-chroot --disk /dev/nvme0n1 --partset B
# steamos-readonly disable
# echo '[Autologin]' > /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# echo 'Session=plasma.desktop' >> /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# steamos-readonly enable
# exit
After this we can shut down the virtual machine. Our new SteamOS drive is ready to be used. We can discard the recovery image now if we want. Booting SteamOS and first steps To boot SteamOS we can use a QEMU line similar to the one used during the installation. This time we re not emulating an NVMe drive because it s no longer necessary.
$ cp /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_VARS.fd .
$ qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -smp cores=4 -m 8G \
   -device usb-ehci -device usb-tablet \
   -device intel-hda -device hda-duplex \
   -device VGA,xres=1280,yres=800 \
   -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly=on,file=/usr/share/ovmf/OVMF.fd \
   -drive if=pflash,format=raw,file=OVMF_VARS.fd \
   -drive if=virtio,file=steamos.qcow2 \
   -device virtio-net-pci,netdev=net0 \
   -netdev user,id=net0,hostfwd=tcp::2222-:22
(the last two lines redirect tcp port 2222 to port 22 of the guest to be able to SSH into the VM. If you don t want to do that you can omit them) If everything went fine, you should see KDE Plasma again, this time with a desktop icon to launch Steam and another one to Return to Gaming Mode (which we should not use because it won t work). See the screenshot that opens this post. Congratulations, you re running SteamOS now. Here are some things that you probably want to do: Updating the OS to the latest version The Steam Deck recovery image doesn t install the most recent version of SteamOS, so now we should probably do a software update. Note: if the last step fails after reaching 100% with a post-install handler error then go to Connections in the system settings, rename Wired Connection 1 to something else (anything, the name doesn t matter), click Apply and run steamos-update again. This works around a bug in the update process. Recent images fix this and this workaround is not necessary with them. As we did with the recovery image, before rebooting we should ensure that the new update boots into the Plasma session, otherwise it won t work:
$ sudo steamos-chroot --partset other
# steamos-readonly disable
# echo '[Autologin]' > /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# echo 'Session=plasma.desktop' >> /etc/sddm.conf.d/zz-steamos-autologin.conf
# steamos-readonly enable
# exit
After this we can restart the system. If everything went fine we should be running the latest SteamOS release. Enjoy! Reporting bugs SteamOS is under active development. If you find problems or want to request improvements please go to the SteamOS community tracker. Edit 06 Jul 2022: Small fixes, mention how to install the OS without using NVMe.

23 June 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, May 2022

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding Two [1, 2] projects are in the pipeline now. Tryton project is in a final phase. Gradle projects is fighting with technical difficulties. In May, we put aside 2233 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In May, 14 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In May we released 49 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 71 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 65 packages needing an update. The number of paid contributors increased significantly, we are pleased to welcome our latest team members: Andreas R nnquist, Dominik George, Enrico Zini and Stefano Rivera. It is worth pointing out that we are getting close to the end of the LTS period for Debian 9. After June 30th, no new security updates will be made available on security.debian.org. We are preparing to overtake Debian 10 Buster for the next two years and to make this process as smooth as possible. But Freexian and its team of paid Debian contributors will continue to maintain Debian 9 going forward for the customers of the Extended LTS offer. If you have Debian 9 servers to keep secure, it s time to subscribe! You might not have noticed, but Freexian formalized a mission statement where we explain that our purpose is to help improve Debian. For this, we want to fund work time for the Debian developers that recently joined Freexian as collaborators. The Extended LTS and the PHP LTS offers are built following a model that will help us to achieve this if we manage to have enough customers for those offers. So consider subscribing: you help your organization but you also help Debian! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

3 June 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2022

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding Two projects are currently in the pipeline: Gradle enterprise and Tryton update. Progress is quite slow on the Gradle one, there are technical difficulties. The tryton one was stalled because the developer had not enough time but seems to progress smoothly in the last weeks. In April, we put aside 2635 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In April, 11 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In April we released 30 DLAs and we were glad to welcome a new customer with Alter Way. The security tracker currently lists 72 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 71 packages needing an update. It is worth pointing out that we are getting close to the end of the LTS period for Debian 9. After June 30th, no new security updates will be made available on security.debian.org. But Freexian and its team of paid Debian contributors will continue to maintain Debian 9 going forward for the customers of the Extended LTS offer. If you have Debian 9 servers to keep secure, it s time to subscribe! You might not have noticed, but Freexian formalized a mission statement where we explain that our purpose is to help improve Debian. For this, we want to fund work time for the Debian developers that recently joined Freexian as collaborators. The Extended LTS and the PHP LTS offers are built following a model that will help us to achieve this if we manage to have enough customers for those offers. So consider subscribing: you help your organization but you also help Debian! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

28 April 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2022

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Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for March below. Debian project funding Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In March, 11 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. If you re interested in participating in the LTS or ELTS teams, we welcome participation from the Debian community. Simply get in touch with Jeremiah or Rapha l if you are if you are interested in participating. Evolution of the situation In March we released 42 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 81 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 52 packages needing an update. We re glad to welcome a few new sponsors such as lectricit de France (Gold sponsor), Telecats BV and Soliton Systems. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

17 March 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, February 2022

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Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for February below. Debian project funding Debian LTS contributors In February, 12 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. If you re interested in participating in the LTS or ELTS teams, we welcome participation from the Debian community. Simply get in touch with Jeremiah or Rapha l if you are if you are interested in participating. Evolution of the situation In February we released 24 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 61 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 26 packages needing an update. You can find out more about the Debian LTS project via the following video:
Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

21 February 2022

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, January 2022

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Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for January below. Debian project funding We continue to looking forward to hearing about Debian project proposals from various Debian stakeholders. This month has seen work on a survey that will go out to Debian Developers to gather feedback on what they think should be the priorities for funding in the project. Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In January, 13 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. If you re interested in participating in the LTS or ELTS teams, we welcome participation from the Debian community. Simply get in touch with Jeremiah or Rapha l. Evolution of the situation In January we released 34 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 39 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 20 packages still needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

29 January 2022

Sylvestre Ledru: An update on rust/coreutils

TLDR: we are making progress on the Rust implementation of the GNU coreutils. Well, it is an understatement to say my previous blog post interested many people. Many articles, blog posts and some podcasts talked about it! As we pushed coreutils 0.0.12 a few days ago and getting closer to the 10 000 stars on github, it is now time to give an update! This has brought a lot of new contributors to this project. Instead of 30 to 60 patches per month, we jumped to 400 to 472 patches every month. Similarly, we saw an increase in the number of contributors (20 to 50 per month from 3 to 8). Two new maintainers (Michael Debertol & Terts Diepraam) stepped in and have been doing a much better job than myself as reviewers now! As a silly metric, according to github, we had 5 561 clones of the repository over the last 2 weeks! The new contributors focused on: Closing the gap with GNU As far as I know, we are only missing stty (change and print terminal line settings) as a program. Thanks to some heroes, basenc, pr, chcon and runcon have been implemented. For example, for the two last programs, Koutheir Attouchi wrote new crates to manage SELinux properly. This crate has been used for some other utilities like cp, ls or id. Leveraging the GNU testsuite to test this implementation Because the GNU testsuite is excellent, we now have a proper CI using it to run the tests. It is pretty long on the Github action CI (almost two hours to run it) but it is an amazing improvement to the way we work. It was a joint work from a bunch of folks (James Robson, Roy Ivy III, etc). To achieve this, we also made it easier to run the GNU testsuite locally with the Rust implementation but also to ignore some tests or adjust some error messages (see build-gnu.sh and run-gnu-test.sh). Following a suggestion of Brian G, a colleague at Mozilla (he did the same for some Firefox major change), we are now collecting the history of fail/pass/error into a separate repository and generating a daily graph showing the evolution of regression. Evolution over time At this date, we have, with GNU/Coreutils 9.0:
Total 611 tests
Pass 214
Skip 84
Fail 298
Error 15
We are now automatically identifying new passing tests and regressions in the CI. For example:
Warning: Congrats! The gnu test tests/chmod/c-option is now passing!
<br />Warning: Congrats! The gnu test tests/chmod/silent is now passing!
<br />Warning: Congrats! The gnu test tests/chmod/umask-x is now passing!
<br />Error: GNU test failed: tests/du/long-from-unreadable. tests/du/long-from-unreadable is passing on 'master'. Maybe you have to rebase?
[...]
<br />Warning: Changes from master: PASS +4 / FAIL +0 / ERROR -4 / SKIP +0
This is also beneficial to GNU as, by implementing some options, Michael Debertol noticed some incorrect behaviors (with sort and cat) or an uninitialized variable (with chmod). Documentations Every day, we are generating the user documentation and of the internal coreutils. User documentation: https://uutils.github.io/coreutils-docs/user/ Example: ls or cp The internal documentation can be seen on: https://uutils.github.io/coreutils-docs/dev/uucore/
For example, the backup style is documented here: https://uutils.github.io/coreutils-docs/dev/uucore/backup_control/index.html More? Besides my work on Debian/Ubuntu, I have also noticed that more and more operating systems are starting to look at this: In parallel, https://github.com/uutils/findutils/, a rust dropped-in replacement for find, is getting more attention lately! Here, the graph showing the evolution of the program using the BFS testsuite (much better than GNU's). Evolution over time - BFS testsuite What is next?
  1. stty needs to be implemented
  2. Improve the GNU compatibility on key programs and reduce the gap
  3. Investigate how to reduce the size of the binaries
  4. Allow Debian and Ubuntu to switch by default without tricky manipulation
How to help? I have been maintaining a list of good first bugs for new comers in the repo! Don't hesitate to contribute, it is much easier than it seems and a terrific way to learn Rust!

13 January 2022

Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (November and December 2021)

The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months: The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months: Congratulations!

16 December 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, November 2021

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Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for November below. Debian project funding We continue to looking forward to hearing about Debian project proposals from various Debian stakeholders. This month has seen work on a survey that will go out to Debian Developers to gather feedback on what they think should be the priorities for funding in the project. Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In November 13 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. If you re interested in participating in the LTS or ELTS teams, we welcome participation from the Debian community. Simply get in touch with Jeremiah if you are interested in participating. Evolution of the situation In November we released 31 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 23 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 16 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

17 November 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, October 2021

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Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for October below. Debian project funding We re looking forward to receiving more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In October 12 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. Evolution of the situation In October we released 34 DLAs.

Also, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 37 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 22 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

19 October 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, September 2021

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding Folks from the LTS team, along with members of the Debian Android Tools team and Phil Morrel, have proposed work on the Java build tool, gradle, which is currently blocked due to the need to build with a plugin not available in Debian. The LTS team reviewed the project submission and it has been approved. After approval we ve created a Request for Bids which is active now. You ll hear more about this through official Debian channels, but in the meantime, if you feel you can help with this project, please submit a bid. Thanks! This September, Freexian set aside 2550 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In September, 15 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In September we released 30 DLAs. September was also the second month of Jeremiah coordinating LTS contributors. Also, we would like say that we are always looking for new contributors to LTS. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 33 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 26 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

4 October 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2021

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Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In August, we put aside 2460 EUR to fund Debian projects. We received a new project proposal that got approved and there s an associated bid request if you feel like proposing yourself to implement this project. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In August, 14 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In August we released 30 DLAs.

This is the first month of Jeremiah coordinating LTS contributors. We would like to thank Holger Levsen for his work on this role up to now.

Also, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 73 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 29 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

25 August 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In July, we put aside 2400 EUR to fund Debian projects. We haven t received proposals of projects to fund in the last months, so we have scheduled a discussion during Debconf to try to to figure out why that is and how we can fix that. Join us on August 26th at 16:00 UTC on this link. We are pleased to announce that Jeremiah Foster will help out to make this initiative a success : he can help Debian members to come up with solid proposals, he can look for people willing to do the work once the project has been formalized and approved, and he will make sure that the project implementation keeps on track when the actual work has begun. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In July, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In July we released 30 DLAs. Also we were glad to welcome Neil Williams and Lee Garrett who became active contributors. The security tracker currently lists 63 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 17 packages needing an update. We would like to thank Holger Levsen for the years of work where he managed/coordinated the paid LTS contributors. Jeremiah Foster will take over his duties. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

17 July 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, June 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In June, we put aside 5775 EUR to fund Debian projects for which we re looking forward to receive more projects from various
Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In June, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In June we released 30 DLAs. As already written last month we are looking for a Debian LTS project manager and team coordinator.
Finally, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 41 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 23 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

15 June 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, May 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In May, we again put aside 2100 EUR to fund Debian projects. There was no proposals for new projects received, thus we re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Please do not hesitate to submit a proposal, if there is a project that could benefit from the funding! We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In May, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In May we released 33 DLAs and mostly skipped our public IRC meeting and the end of the month. In June we ll have another team meeting using video as lined out on our LTS meeting page.
Also, two months ago we announced that Holger would step back from his coordinator role and today we are announcing that he is back for the time being, until a new coordinator is found.
Finally, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 41 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 21 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

10 June 2021

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: New Desktop Computer

I built my last desktop computer what seems like ages ago. In 2011, I was in a very different place, both financially and as a person. At the time, I was earning minimum wage at my school's caf to pay rent. Since the caf was owned by the school cooperative, I had an employee discount on computer parts. This gave me a chance to build my first computer from spare parts at a reasonable price. After 10 years of service1, the time has come to upgrade. Although this machine was still more than capable for day to day tasks like browsing the web or playing casual video games, it started to show its limits when time came to do more serious work. Old computer specs:
CPU: AMD FX-8530
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz
Motherboard: ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SATA
I first started considering an upgrade in September 2020: David Bremner was kindly fixing a bug in ledger that kept me from balancing my books and since it seemed like a class of bug that would've been easily caught by an autopkgtest, I decided to add one. After adding the necessary snippets to run the upstream testsuite (an easy task I've done multiple times now), I ran sbuild and ... my computer froze and crashed. Somehow, what I thought was a simple Python package was maxing all the cores on my CPU and using all of the 8GB of memory I had available.2 A few month later, I worked on jruby and the builds took 20 to 30 minutes long enough to completely disrupt my flow. The same thing happened when I wanted to work on lintian: the testsuite would take more than 15 minutes to run, making quick iterations impossible. Sadly, the pandemic completely wrecked the computer hardware market and prices here in Canada have only recently started to go down again. As a result, I had to wait more time than I would've liked not to pay scalper prices. New computer specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5900X
Memory: 64GB DDR4 3200MHz
Motherboard: MSI MPG B550 Gaming Plus
Storage: Corsair MP600 500 GB Gen4 NVME
The difference between the two machines is pretty staggering: I've gone from a CPU with 2 cores and 8 threads, to one with 12 cores and 24 threads. Not only that, but single-threaded performance has also vastly increased in those 10 years. A good example would be building grammalecte, a package I've recently sponsored. I feel it's a good benchmark, since the build relies on single-threaded performance for the normal Python operations, while being threaded when it compiles the dictionaries. On the old computer:
Build needed 00:10:07, 273040k disk space
And as you can see, on the new computer the build time has been significantly reduced:
Build needed 00:03:18, 273040k disk space
Same goes for things like the lintian testsuite. Since it's a very multi-threaded workload, it now takes less than 2 minutes to run; a 750% improvement. All this to say I'm happy with my purchase. And lo and behold I can now build ledger without a hitch, even though it maxes my 24 threads and uses 28GB of RAM. Who would've thought... Screen capture of htop showing how much resources ledger takes to build

  1. I managed to fry that PC's motherboard in 2016 and later replaced it with a brand new one. I also upgraded the storage along the way, from a very cheap cacheless 120GB SSD to a larger Samsung 850 EVO SATA drive.
  2. As it turns out, ledger is mostly written in C++ :)

28 May 2021

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In April, we put aside 5775 EUR to fund Debian projects. There was no proposals for new projects received, thus we re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Please do not hesitate to submit a proposal, if there is a project that could benefit from the funding! Debian LTS contributors In April, 11 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In April we released 33 DLAs and held a LTS team meeting using video conferencing. The security tracker currently lists 53 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 26 packages needing an update. We are please to welcome VyOS as a new gold sponsor! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

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