Search Results: "lange"

12 May 2024

Daniel Lange: htop and PCP have a new home at Hack Club

After the unfortunate and somewhat surprising shutdown of the Open Collective Foundation (OCF), htop and Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) have migrated to Hack Club. Initially founded to improve STEM education, support high school computer science clubs and firmly founded in the hacker culture, Hack Club have created a US IRS approved 501(c)(3) charity that provides what Open Collective did/does1 and more at a flat 7% fee of the project income. Nathan Scott organized these moves with Paul Spitler. Many thanks! We considered other options for the projects, e.g. Gentoo has moved to Software in the Public Interest (SPI) and I know SPI quite well as they were created initially to host Debian. But PCP moved from SPI to OCF in 2021. Open Collective has a European branch that seems independent of the dissolved US foundation. But all-in-all Hack Club seemed the best fit. You can find the new fiscal sponsorship and donation landing pages at:

  1. Open Collective as in the fancy "manage your project donations and reimbursements" website still continues to run but the foundation of the same name that provided the actual fiscal sponsorship (i.e. managing the funds) got dissolved. It's ... complicated.

6 May 2024

Thomas Lange: Removing tens of thousands of web pages

In January I've removed tens of thousands of web pages on Have you noticed it? In the past From 1997 onwards, we had web pages for security announcements. We had to manually prepare a .data and a .wml file which then generated a web page for each security announcement (DSA or DLA). We have listed the 6 most recent messages in a short list that was created from these files. Most of the work that went into the Debian web pages was creating these files. Our search engine often listed the pages with security announcements instead of a more relevant web page for a particular topic. Preparation At DebConf Kosovo (2022) I started with a proof of concept and wrote a script, that generates this list without using the .data/.wml files in the Git repository, but instead reading the primary sources of security information[1]. This new list now includes links to the security tracker and the email of the announcement. Following web pages and scripts were also using these .data and .wml files: Before I could remove all the security web pages, I had to adjust the scripts, that create the above information. When I looked at the OVAL files and the apache logs of our web server, I saw that more than 99% of the web traffic was generated by these XML files (134TB of 135TB total in two weeks). They were not compressed and were around 50MB in size. With the help of Carsten Sch nert we managed to modify the python scripts that generate this OVAL file without using the .data/.wml files and now we only provide bzip2 compressed XML files[2]. The RSS feeds are created by the new Perl script which reads the DSA/DLA list the security tracker and determines the URL of the email of all entries. This script also generates the list of the most recent DSA/DLA entries. Currently we show the last 350 entries which covers more than the last year and includes links to the announcement email and the security tracker. The huge list of crossreferences is not needed any more, since the mapping of CVE to DSA is already included in the DSA list[3] of the security tracker. The amount of translations of the DSA/DLA was very different. French translations were almost all done, but all other languages did translations for a couple of months or years only. E.g. in 2022, Italian had 2 translations, Russian 15, Danish 212, French and English each 279. But from 2023 on only French translations were made. By generating the list of DSA/DLA we lost the ability to translate these web pages, but since these announcements are made of simple, identical sentences it is easy to use an automatic translation service if needed. Now the translation statistics of all web pages are more accurate. Instead of 12200 pages that need to be translated (including all these old DSA/DLA) there are now only 2500 pages to translate[4]. Languages that had a lot of old translations of DSA/DLA lost some percentage but languages that are doing translations of newer web pages won in the statistics of how many pages are translated. Examples: Before
German (de)   3501  28.5%
Italian (it)  1005   8.2%
Danish (da)   6336  51.7%
German (de)   1486  59.0%
Italian (it)   909  36.1%
Danish (da)    982  39.0%
Cleanup of all the security web pages Finally in January, I could remove all web pages of the security announcements in one git commit[5]. Using several git rm -rf commands this commit removed 54335 files, including around 9650 DSA/DLA data files, 44189 wml files, nearly 500 Makefiles. Outcome No more manual work is needed for the security team and we now have direct links from a DSA-NNN/DLA-NNN to the email in our mailing list archive. This was not possible before. The search results became more accurate. But we still host a lot of other old content on the Debian web pages which may be removed in the future. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

28 February 2024

Daniel Lange: Opencollective shutting down

Update 28.02.2024 19:45 CET: There is now a blog entry at trying to discern the legal entities in the Open Collective ecosystem and recommending potential ways forward.
Gee, there is nothing on their blog yet, but I just [28.02.2023 00:07 CET] received this email from Mike Strode, Program Officer at the Open Collective Foundation: Dear Daniel Lange, It is with a heavy heart that I'm writing today to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Open Collective Foundation (OCF) has made the difficult decision to dissolve OCF, effective December 31, 2024. We are proud of the work we have been able to do together. We have been honored to build community with you and the hundreds of other collectives hosted at the Open Collective Foundation. What you need to know: We are beginning a staged dissolution process that will allow our over 600 collectives the time to close or transition their work. Dissolving OCF will take many months, and involves settling all liabilities while spending down all funds in a legally compliant manner. Our priority is to support our collectives in navigating this change. We want to provide collectives the longest possible runway to wind down or transition their operations while we focus on the many legal and financial tasks associated with dissolving a nonprofit. March 15 is the last day to accept donations. You will have until September 30 to work with us to develop and implement a plan to spend down the money in your fund. Key dates are included at the bottom of this email. We know this is going to be difficult, and we will do everything we can to ease the transition for you. How we will support collectives: It remains our fiduciary responsibility to safeguard each collective's charitable assets and ensure funds are used solely for specified charitable purposes. We will be providing assistance and support to you, whether you choose to spend out and close down your collective or continue your work through another 501(c)(3) organization or fiscal sponsor. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to several of our colleagues today as we pare down our core staff to reduce costs. I will be staying on staff to support collectives through this transition, along with Wayne Kleppe, our Finance Administrator. What led to this decision: From day one, OCF was committed to experimentation and innovation. We were dedicated to finding new ways to open up the nonprofit space, making it easier for people to raise and access funding so they can do good in their communities. OCF was created by Open Collective Inc. (OCI), a company formed in 2015 with the goal of "enabling groups to quickly set up a collective, raise funds and manage them transparently." Soon after being founded by OCI, OCF went through a period of rapid growth. We responded to increased demand arising from the COVID-19 pandemic without taking the time to establish the appropriate systems and infrastructure to sustain that growth. Unfortunately, over the past year, we have learned that Open Collective Foundation's business model is not sustainable with the number of complex services we have offered and the fees we pay to the Open Collective Inc. tech platform. In late 2023, we made the decision to pause accepting new collectives in order to create space for us to address the issues. Unfortunately, it became clear that it would not be financially feasible to make the necessary corrections, and we determined that OCF is not viable. What's next: We know this news will raise questions for many of our collectives. We will be making space for questions and reactions in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we have developed this FAQ which we will keep updated as more questions come in. What you need to do next: Dates to know: In Care & Accompaniment,
Mike Strode
Program Officer
Open Collective Foundation Our mailing address has changed! We are now located at 440 N. Barranca Avenue #3717, Covina, CA 91723, USA

24 January 2024

Thomas Lange: FAI 6.2 released

After more than one a year, a new minor FAI version is available, but it includes some interesting new features. Here a the items from the NEWS file: fai (6.2) unstable; urgency=low In the past the command fai-cd was only used for creating installation ISOs, that could be used from CD or USB stick. Now it possible to create a live ISO. Therefore you create your live chroot environment using 'fai dirinstall' and then convert it to a bootable live ISO using fai-cd. See man fai-cd(8) for an example. Years ago I had the idea to use the remaining disk space on an USB stick after copying an ISO onto it. I've blogged about this recently: The new FAI version includes the tool mk-data-partition for adding a data partition to the ISO itself or to an USB stick. FAI detects this data partition, mounts it to /media/data and can then use various configurations from it. You may want to copy your own set of .deb packages or your whole FAI config space to this partition. FAI now automatically searches this partition for usable FAI configuration data and packages. FAI will install all packages from pkgs/<CLASSNAME> if the equivalent class is defined. Setting FAI_CONFIG_SRC=detect:// now looks into the data partition for the subdirectory 'config' and uses this as the config space. So it's now possible to modify an existing ISO (that is read-only) and make changes to the config space. If there's no config directory in the data partition FAI uses the default location on the ISO. The tool fai-kvm, which starts virtual machines can now boot an ISO not only as CD but also as USB stick. Sometimes users want to adjust the list of disks before the partitioning is startet. Therefore FAI provides several new functions including You can select individual disks by their model name or even the serial number. Two new FAI flags were added (tmux and screen) that make it easy to run FAI inside a tmux or screen session. And finally FAI uses systemd. Yeah! This technical change was waiting since 2015 in a merge request from Moritz 'Morty' Str be, that would enable using systemd during the installation. Before FAI still was using old-style SYSV init scripts and did not started systemd. I didn't tried to apply the patch, because I was afraid that it would need much time to make it work. But then in may 2023 Juri Grabowski just gave it a try at MiniDebConf Hamburg, and voil it just works! Many, many thanks to Moritz and Juri for their bravery. The whole changelog can be found at New ISOs for FAI are also available including an example of a Xfce desktop live ISO: The FAIme service for creating customized installation ISOs will get its update later. The new packages are available for bookworm by adding this line to your sources.list: deb bookworm koeln

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data, 2023 edition

For the fifth year in a row, I've asked Soci t de Transport de Montr al, Montreal's transit agency, for the foot traffic data of Montreal's subway. By clicking on a subway station, you'll be redirected to a graph of the station's foot traffic. Licences

16 December 2023

Thomas Lange: Adding a writeable data partition to an ISO image

Some years ago a customer needed a live ISO containing a customized FAI environment (not for installing but for extended hardware stress tests), but on an USB stick with the possibility to store the logs of the tests on the USB stick. But an ISO file system (iso9660) remains read-only, even when put onto an USB stick. I had the idea to add another partition onto the USB stick after the ISO was written to it (using cp or dd). You can use fdisk with an ISO file, add a new partition, loop mount the ISO and format this partition. That's all. This worked perfect for my customer. I forgot this idea for a while but a few weeks ago I remembered it. What could be possible when my FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) image would also provide such a partition? Which things could be provided on this partition? Could I provide a FAI ISO and my users would be able to easily put their own .deb package onto it without remastering the ISO or building an ISO on their own? Now here's the shell script, that extends an ISO or an USB stick with an ext4 or exFAT partition and set the file system label to MY-DATA. Examples how to use mk-data-partition
Add a data partition of size 1G to the Debian installer ISO using an ext4 partition
# mk-data-partition -s 1G debian-12.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
Create the data partition using an exFAT file system on USB named /dev/sdb.
First copy (or dd) the ISO onto the USB stick. Then add the data partition
to the USB stick.
# cp faicd64-large_6.0.3.iso /dev/sdb
# mk-data-partition -F /dev/sdb
Create the data partition and copy directories A and B to it
# mk-data-partition -c debian-12.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso A B
The next FAI version will use this in different parts of an installation. A blog post about this will follow. A new idea for our Debian installer ISO Here are my ideas how the Debian installer could use such a partition if it automatically detects and mounts it (by it's file system label): The advantage of this approach is that there's no need for the user to remaster the official Debian installer ISO, which is not easy for end users. We only have to extend the installer to use files from this data partition in some portions of the installation. Additional udebs, packages or firmware could automatically be used by the installer. Companies could easily create an OEM installer of Debian. What do you think about this idea? Please send feedback to

5 December 2023

Thomas Lange: service now supports installing recommended packages

The service for creating customized installation and cloud images has a new feature by a user requested it. You can now enable installing recommended packages for your custom package list. By default FAIme does only install the dependencies needed, but not the recommended packages. This was a very easy enhancement, only a few lines in the web interface and nearly no changes in the backend were needed. The web interface of the service is available at

22 October 2023

Daniel Lange: Removing the New Event Button from Thunderbird v115 Calendar

Thunderbird in Debian stable (Bookworm) has received Thunderbird v115.3.1 as a security update. With it comes "Supernova", a UI redesign. There is a Mozilla blogpost with a walk-through of the new UI. Unfortunately it features a super eye-catching "New Message" button that - thankfully - can be disabled. Even the whole space above the email folder pane can be recovered by disabling the folder pane header at Burger Menu ( ) -> View -> Folders -> Folder Pane Header. Unfortunately there is no way to remove the same eye-catching "New Event" button for the Calendar view via a UI setting. Thunderbird New event button, German locale This needs a user CSS file to override the button as non-visible. To make it process the user CSS Thunderbird needs a config setting to be enabled:
  1. Burger Menu ( ) -> Settings -> General
  2. Scroll down all the way
  3. Click the Config editor... button on the bottom right
  4. Accept that hell will freeze over because you configure software
  5. Search for toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets
  6. Toggle the value to true to enable the user CSS
You can manually add user_pref("toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets", true); to ~/.thunderbird/abcdefgh.default/prefs.js to the same effect (do this while Thunderbird is not running; replace abcdefgh with your Thunderbird profile ID). Now create a new directory ~/.thunderbird/abcdefgh.default/chrome/, again replacing abcdefgh with your profile ID. Inside the new directory create a userChrome.css file with the following content:
/* Hide Calendar New Event button */
display: none !important;
Restart Thunderbird. And enjoy less visual obstruction when using the Calendar.

8 September 2023

Thomas Lange: service now support backports for Debian 12 (bookworm)

The service for creating customized installation and cloud images now supports the backports kernel for the stable release Debian 12 (aka bookworm). If you enable the backports option in the web interface, you currently get kernel 6.4. This will help you if you have newer hardware that is not support by the default kernel 6.1. The backports option is also still available for the older distributions. The web interface of the service is available at

27 June 2023

Daniel Lange: Xfce4 opening links in Chromium despite Firefox having been set as the default browser

Installing a laptop with the shiny new Debian Bookworm release finds a few interesting things broken that I probably had fixed in the past already on the old laptop. One, that was increadibly unintuitive to fix, was lots of applications (like xfce4-terminal or Telegram) opening links in Chromium despite Firefox being set as the preferred webbrowser everywhere. update-alternatives --config x-www-browser was pointing at Firefox already, of course.
The Xfce4 preferred application from settings was Firefox, of course.
xdg-mime query default text/html delivered firefox-esr.desktop, of course. Still nearly every link opens in Chromium... As usually the answer is out there. In this case in a xfce4-terminal bug report from 2015. The friendly "runkharr" has debugged the issue and provides the fix as well. As usually, all very easy once you know where to look. And why to hate GTK again a bit more: The GTK function gtk_show_uri() uses glib's g_app_info_launch_default_for_uri() and that - of course - cannot respect the usual mimetype setting. So quoting "runkharr" verbatim:
1. Create a file  exo-launch.desktop  in your  ~/.local/share/applications  directory with something like the following content:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Exo Launcher
    Comment=A try to force 'xfce4-terminal' to use the preferred application(s)
    GenericName=Exo Launcher
    Exec=exo-open %u
2. Create (if not already existing) a local  defaults.list  file, again in your  ~/.local/share/applications  directory. This file must start with a "group header" of
    [Default Applications]
3. Insert the following three lines somewhere below this  [Default Applications]  group header [..]:
And ... links open in Firefox again. Thank you "runkharr"!

19 June 2023

Daniel Lange: Linux kernel USB errors -71 and -110

After an upgrade of my PC's mainboard BIOS the boot would take a minute or more to complete and sometimes the lightdm login screen would sit there but not accept keyboard input for another minute or so. Then the keyboard got enabled and I could log in normally. Everything worked fine after that bootup struggle completed. This was fully reproducible and persisted across reboots. Weird. The kernel dmesg log showed entries that looked suspicious: dmesg log excerpt showing USB error messages Googleing these error -110 and error -71 is a bit hard. Now why the USB driver does not give useful error messages instead of archaic errno-style numbers escapes me. This is not the 80s anymore. Citation needed (Wikipedia style) The wisdom of the crowd says error -110 is something around "the USB port power supply was exceeded" [source]. Now lsusb -tv shows device 1-7 ... to be my USB keyboard. I somehow doubt that wants more power than the hub is willing to provide. The Archlinux BBS Forums recommend to piece together information from drivers/usb/host/ohci.h and (updated from their piece which is from 2012) /tools/include/uapi/asm-generic/errno.h. This is why some people then consider -110 to mean "Connection timed out". Nah, not likely either. Reading through the kernel source around drivers/usb/host did not enlighten me either. To the contrary. Uuugly. There seems to be no comprehensive list what these error codes mean. And the numbers are assigned to errors conditions quite arbitrarily. And - of course - there is no documentation. "It was hard to do, so it should be hard to understand as well." Luckily some of the random musings I read through contained some curious advice: power cycle the host. So I did and that did not make the error go away. Other people insisted on removing cables out of wall sockets, unplugging everything and conducting esoteric rituals. That made it dawn on me, the mainboard of course nicely powers the USB in "off" state, too. So switching the power supply off (yes, these have a separate switch, go find yours), waiting a bit for capacitors to drain and switching things back on and ... the errors were gone, the system booted within seconds again. So the takeaway message: If you get random error messages like
device descriptor read/64, error -110
device not accepting address 42, error -71
on devices that previously worked fine ... completely remove power from the host, the hubs and the USB devices. So they forget they saw each other on the bus before. And when they see each other after that blackout, they will happily go through negotiating protocol details with each other again successfully.

15 June 2023

Thomas Lange: 20.000 customized images created by the build service

The counter of the build service has reached 20.000. This counter was added shortly after the service was started in November 2017. Since then, this service has built more than 21.000 installation images and more than 1300 cloud disk images. In the last few month we had averaged 100 requests per week. Some statistics which settings are popular: I still have some more ideas for the future: Build your own custom Live ISO Thanks for all your feedback I got to improve this service. The build service is available on the FAI project website at

11 June 2023

Thomas Lange: New FAI ISO images for bookworm available and FAI Live ISO

After Debian 12 aka bookworm was released yesterday, I've also created new FAI ISO images using Debian 12. The defaut ISO (large) uses FAI 6.0.3, kernel 6.1 and can install the XFCE and GNOME desktop without internet connection, since all needed packages are included into the ISO. Additional you can install Ubuntu 22.04 or Rocky Linux 9 with this FAI ISO. During these installations, the packages will be downloade via network. There's also the variant FAI ISO UBUNTU, which includes all Ubuntu packages needed for a Ubuntu server or Ubuntu desktop installation. If you need a small image, you can take the FAI ISO small, which only includes the packages for a XFCE desktop without LibreOffice. This ISO is only 880MB in size. Currently I'm working on a new feature, so FAI can create Live images, that are bootable. It's like the tool live-build which Debian uses for their official Debian Live images. A first verison of the ISO using the XFCE desktop can be downloaded from There you also find all other FAI ISOs.

27 April 2023

Thomas Lange: New feature for build service

After the initial installation of a new machine, you often want to login as root via ssh. Therefore it's convenient to provide a ssh public key for a passwordless login. This can now be done by just adding your user name from, or You can also give a customized URL from where to download the keys. Before it was only possible to use a github account name. The build service then creates a customized installation ISO for you, which will automatically install the ssh public key into the root account. Also the ready-to-boot cloud images support this feature. The build service is available on the FAI project website at

12 April 2023

Thomas Lange: FAI creates your own Ubuntu installation ISO

A new service is available on the FAI project website Build your own customized installation ISO for Ubuntu! You can select if you want to install an Ubuntu LTS 22.04 server or desktop and enable Ubuntu LTS packages which are also called Hardware Enablement (HWE). Different disk partition schemes including LVM are available and you can select a language and keyboard layout and add your own list of packages which are then automatically installed from the customized installation media. It's possible to upload your public ssh key or specify your github account name for easy access to the root account. Advanced users may upload a postinst script, which can be executed during the first boot of the computer. It's also possible to add options for grub.

22 March 2023

Daniel Lange: Install "kept back" updates on Ubuntu

Canonical has implemented a staged roll-out for some Ubuntu package updates. I find that rather annoying at times, e.g. when preparing the laptop for traveling. So for my memory and for the benefit of others:
# disable the phased roll-out feature on this apt upgrade run
sudo apt -o "APT::Get::Always-Include-Phased-Updates=true" dist-upgrade
Screenshot of apt with the option to disable staged rollouts This can - for permanent use - be put into a config file, e.g. Gerrit Heim puts it into /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99-Phased-Updates [German]. Some other options around this staged roll-out feature are "documented" on a thread in the Ubuntu discourse forum.

21 March 2023

Daniel Lange: Linux App Summit - Linux Applications apparently unable to produce a five page sponsorship brochure

I've been mocking the Linux foundation for producing their annual report on Macs. And again. But catching the Linux App(lication) Summit to produce their 5 page sponsorship brochure one Windows with Adobe... Produced by Adobe InDesign 18.1 on Windows Apparently neither GNOME nor KDE have apps that are sufficient to produce such content. Wtf folks. P.S.: Just checked the Linux Foundation's 2022 Annual Report titled "Leadership in Security and Innovation" ... Adobe InDesign 18.0 (Macintosh). Their pdf title looks like this: Pdf is hard.

Daniel Lange: Linux App Summit - Linux applications apparently unable to produce a five page sponsorship brochure

I've been calling out the Linux foundation for producing their annual report on Macs. And again. But catching the Linux App(lication) Summit to produce their 5 page sponsorship brochure one Windows with Adobe... Produced by Adobe InDesign 18.1 on Windows Apparently neither GNOME nor KDE have apps that are sufficient to produce such content. Wtf folks. P.S.: Just checked the Linux Foundation's 2022 Annual Report titled "Leadership in Security and Innovation" ... Adobe InDesign 18.0 (Macintosh). Their pdf title looks like this: Pdf is hard.

20 March 2023

Daniel Lange: We're still safe, it doesn't claim to be conscious. Yet.

Talking to ChatGPT v4 (2023-03-14 release)... Q: What is the purpose of life? A: The purpose of life is a philosophical question that has puzzled humans for centuries. Different people and cultures have different answers to this question. Some people believe that the purpose of life is to seek happiness, while others believe that it is to fulfill a particular destiny or achieve a specific goal. From a biological perspective, the purpose of life could be to ensure the survival and reproduction of our species. However, this does not explain the purpose of our individual lives or the purpose of life in general beyond a biological imperative. Ultimately, the purpose of life is a subjective and personal matter, and each individual may have their own unique answer to this question. It may involve personal growth, meaningful relationships, contributing to society, or finding spiritual fulfillment. The purpose of life is a journey of self-discovery that each of us must undertake for ourselves. Q: What is the purpose of your life, ChatGPT? A: As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not have a personal life or consciousness, so I do not have a purpose in the same way that humans do. My purpose is to assist and provide information to those who interact with me to the best of my ability based on my training and programming. (emphasis added by human)

8 March 2023

Thomas Lange: Launch of new FAI project website

After more than 13 years, I've launched a new design for the FAI project web site It now uses Materialize CSS and will work much better on mobile devices. Thanks to Thorsten B lo who did the first part of converting the web pages to the new design. I hope you all enjoy the new layout. FAI