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Paul Tagliamonte: Linode pv-grub chaining

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-05-15 01:40

I've been using Linode since 2010, and many of my friends have heard me talk about how big a fan I am of linode. I've used Debian unstable on all my Linodes, since I often use them as a remote shell for general purpose Debian development. I've found my linodes to be indispensable, and I really love Linode.

The Problem

Recently, because of my work on Docker, I was forced to stop using the Linode kernel in favor of the stock Debian kernel, since the stock Linode kernel has no aufs support, and the default LVM-based devicemapper backend can be quite a pain.

The btrfs errors are ones I fully expect to be gone soon, I can't wait to switch back to using it.

I tried loading in btrfs support, and using that to host the Docker instance backed with btrfs, but it was throwing errors as well. Stuck with unstable backends, I wanted to use the aufs backend, which, dispite problems in aufs internally, is quite stable with Docker (and in general).

I started to run through the Linode Library's guide on PV-Grub, but that resulted in a cryptic error with xen not understanding the compression of the kernel. I checked for recent changes to the compresson, and lo, the Debian kernel has been switched to use xz compression in sid. Awesome news, really. XZ compression is awesome, and I've been super impressed with how universally we've adopted it in Debian. Keep it up! However, it appears only a newer pv-grub than the Linode hosts have installed will fix this.

After contacting the (ever friendly) Linode support, they were unable to give me a timeline on adding xz support, which would entail upgrading pv-grub. It was quite disapointing news, to be honest. Workarounds were suggested, but I'm not quite happy with them as proper solutions.

After asking in #debian-kernel, waldi was able to give me a few pointers, and the following is very inspired by him, the only thing that changed much was config tweaking, which was easy enough. Thanks, Bastian!

The Constraints

I wanted to maintain a 100% stock configuration from the kernel up. When I upgraded my kernel, I wanted to just work. I didn't want to unpack and repack the kernel, and I didn't want to install software outside main on my system. It had to be 100% Debian and unmodified.

The Solution It's pretty fun to attach to the lish console and watch bootup pass through GRUB 0.9, to GRUB 2.x to Linux. Free Software, Fuck Yeah.

Left unable to run my own kernel directly in the Linode interface, the tact here was to use Linode's old pv-grub to chain-load grub-xen, which loaded a modern kernel. Turns out this works great.

Let's start by creating a config for Linode's pv-grub to read and use.

sudo mkdir -p /boot/grub/

Now, since pv-grub is legacy grub, we can write out the following config to chain-load in grub-xen (which is just Grub 2.0, as far as I can tell) to /boot/grub/menu.lst. And to think, I almost forgot all about menu.lst. Almost.

default 1 timeout 3 title grub-xen shim root (hd0) kernel /boot/xen-shim boot

Just like riding a bike! Now, let's install and set up grub-xen to work for us.

sudo apt-get install grub-xen sudo update-grub

And, let's set the config for the GRUB image we'll create in the next step in the /boot/load.cf file:

configfile (xen/xvda)/boot/grub/grub.cfg

Now, lastly, let's generate the /boot/xen-shim file that we need to boot to:

grub-mkimage --prefix '(xen/xvda)/boot/grub' -c /boot/load.cf -O x86_64-xen /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-xen/*.mod > /boot/xen-shim

Next, change your boot configuration to use pv-grub, and give the machine a kick. Should work great! If you run into issues, use the lish shell to debug it, and let me know what else I should include in this post!

Hack on!

Svetlana Belkin: Evernote Workflow Design

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-05-15 01:03

Evernote is what I was looking for since December 2012.  Before it, I looked at note-taking programs like KeepNote and Cherry Tree but they didn’t have multimedia (such as hand-written and audio notes).  And, as I said in my “Workflow (Re)Design” post, I’m looking for something that can tie in hand-written notes and typed notes and have them syncing between my four devices. It’s hard to believe that I overlooked at Evernote when it was suggested to me by someone on IRC.

And so for the last two hours, I have downloaded the .exe, since there is no Linux program for it yet, not even the clones are good, and installed it under WINE.  Like with all new programs or devices (or systems), I like to sit down and change the settings first to have the feel and the workflow that I need.  I hate to admit this but I never read the help files for anything.  I seem to apart of that culture that never read directions.  I also looked at how others are using Evernote.

Here is my plan:

* Have (at the moment) three notebooks that will be used for:

* Personal (Matters)
* School
* Ubuntu

* Use tags for “sub-notebooks”, Ubuntu Sense as an example
* Stack notes when need.  This will come useful for class notes for all of my classes.
* Use the Camera App to take photos of hand-written notes and other things.  Scanning will be used also.

Hopefully this will work out or else I will be stuck with my old workflow.

P.S. One good thing about Evernote is the notes that are stacked within the notebook is not dynamic like in M$ OneNote or BasketNotes.  That’s one thing that I hate about those type of programs.


Costales: Apps for Human Beings (pyGTK with Glade)

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-05-14 16:53
I really believe in the Ubuntu Promise,

"Ubuntu is [...] accessible to all".
I think this is one of the awesome things in this OS and community. A few years ago, I received a bug in Gufw:



THE PROBLEM
By example, I have 2 comboboxes:
"Deny" for "Incoming"

You can see if the "Deny" value is for "Incoming" or for "Outgoing".
But a visual impairment user will focus on "Deny" and ORCA will speech these options: "Allow, Deny, Reject":

"Allow, Deny, Reject" for... what?
... but... For what is that "Allow, Deny, Reject"? That is the question! We need to link the label with the widget! ;)
Link label to widget!
HOW TO FIX IT?
In Glade just link the label to its widget.

By example, you have 1 label for 1 button:
 
1 label for 1 button
Select the label and add an underline in its Label property (Alt+h will focus on that):

Add shortcuts

Set the underline (checking "User underline") & link the label to the widget (click on the pen and choose your desire widget, button_OS in this case):

Linking label with button
Take a look at the official documentation too :) Cheers!

Ubuntu App Developer Blog: Announcing Ubuntu Dual Boot with enhanced upgrades and more!

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-05-14 10:55

We’re thrilled to announce a new release of Ubuntu Dual boot, now supporting enhanced Ubuntu upgrades either from the Android or Ubuntu side.

The new Ubuntu Dualboot release, codenamed M9, enables developers to run both Ubuntu and Android on a single device and is packed with new features that make it the power tool to use for those doing development in both platforms.

For developers only

Dual boot is not a feature suitable for regular users. It is recommended to be installed only by developers who are comfortable with flashing devices and with their partition layout. Dual boot rewrites the Android recovery partition and those installing it should be intimately familiar with re-flashing it in case something goes wrong.

Multiple Android flavours are supported (AOSP or stock, CyanogenMod) and installation of Ubuntu can be done for all versions available in the regular distribution channels.

What’s new

The new release fixes a number of bugs, brings under-the-hood enhancements and includes a bunch of exciting features. Here are the highlights:

Enhanced Ubuntu upgrades

The most prominent feature is the addition of support for the upgrades on the Ubuntu side. Now image upgrades can be downloaded using the standard procedure in System Settings › Updates from Ubuntu. To complete the installation, a reboot to Android will have the Dualboot app pick up the downloaded image upgrade, install it in the right location and reboot to the new Ubuntu image.

As an alternative, installations can still be done fully on the Android side. In a nutshell:

  • Download of a new Ubuntu version can happen on either the Ubuntu or Android side
  • Installation of a new Ubuntu version needs to be done from the Android side via the Dualboot app

Learn more about upgrading to a new Ubuntu image ›

Android notifications and background execution improvements

The Dualboot Android app now provides notifications for when new Ubuntu images are available, so no more excuses not to be running the latest Ubuntu! In addition, improvements have been added to download and install Ubuntu in the background, while showing progress also using standard Android notifications.

Sideload support

For those cases in which bandwidth is at a premium, the dual boot installer now supports sideload mode. This enables downloading images on a fast network and saving them for later installation: these can be downloaded on a laptop and then transferred via USB to the device. It also opens the door for easily flashing custom images other than the ones downloaded from the official channels.

Learn more about sideload support ›

Custom servers

A nifty feature our heroic community of porters of Ubuntu images to devices not officially supported, and for users of those ports: dual boot now supports setting a custom server to directly install new Ubuntu images from there

Learn more about using a custom server ›

Installing dual boot

Installing and running dual boot can be done in a few easy steps. In a nutshell, it requires performing a one-off installation of the dual boot app in Android, which will enable you to both install the version of Ubuntu of your choice, and to reboot into Ubuntu.

Install dual boot on your device

Jonathan Riddell: Next Generation Edges Closer

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-05-14 08:10
KDE Project:

Today I released the Plasma Next Beta.

It's the first major user of KDE Frameworks 5 and tidies up the internal and the externals of the Plasma desktop.

At the Kubuntu meeting yesterday we decided not to ship Plasma Next by default in October but to make a secondary ISO for those who want to test it out while putting the Plasma 1 version into maintenance mode - updating the version and fixing the major bugs and not much more.

It's going to be an exciting release. But not so exciting it'll implode :)

To get a sneak preview grab the Neon5 ISO which Rohan updated yesterday especially for this beta.

Ubuntu App Developer Blog: Announcing Ubuntu Pioneers

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 17:17

Ubuntu has always been about breaking new ground. We broke the ground with the desktop back in 2004, we have broken the ground with cloud orchestration across multiple clouds and providers, and we are building a powerful, innovative mobile and desktop platform that is breaking ground with convergence.

The hardest part about breaking new ground and innovating is not having the vision and creating the technology, it is getting people on board to be part of it.

We knew this was going to be a challenge when we first took the wraps off the Ubuntu app developer platform: we have a brand new platform that was still being developed, and when we started many of the key pieces were not there such as a solid developer portal, documentation, API references, training and more. Today the story is very different with a compelling, end-to-end, developer story for building powerful convergent apps.

We believed and always have believed in the power of this platform, and every single one of those people who also believed in what we are doing and wrote apps have shared the same spirit of pioneering a new platform that we have.

As such, we want to acknowledge those people.

And with this, I present Ubuntu Pioneers.

The idea is simple, we want to celebrate the first 200 app developers who get their apps in Ubuntu. We are doing this in two ways.

Firstly, we have created http://developer.ubuntu.com/pioneers which displays all of these developers and lists the apps that they have created. This will provide a permanent record of those who were there right at the beginning.

Secondly, we have designed a custom, limited-edition Ubuntu Pioneers t-shirt that we want to send to all of our pioneers. For those of you who are listed on this page, please ensure that your email address is correct in MyApps as we will be getting in touch soon.

Thank-you so much to every single person listed on that page. You are an inspiration for me, my team, and the wider Ubuntu project.

If you have that pioneering spirit and wished you were up there, fear not! We still have some space before we hit 200 developers, so go here to get started building an app.

Original by Jono Bacon

Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – May 13, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 17:14
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.

Agenda

20140513 Meeting Agenda


ARM Status

nothing new to report this week


Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kt-meeting.txt


Milestone Targeted Work Items

I have reservations about BP’s being the appropriate method for tracking
work items as we move forward. I’ve tentatively set up a discussion
point for the team sprint at the end of the month to figure out a better
alternative.


Status: Utopic Development Kernel

We are preparing to upload our first v3.15 based kernel to the Utopic
archive. We’re awaiting some DKMS package fixes before doing so. We’ve
currently rebased to the latest v3.15-rc5 upstream kernel.
Additionally, at a minimum, we will converge on the v3.16 kernel for the
Utopic 14.10 release.
—–
Important upcoming dates:
Mon-Wed June 9 – 11, vUDS (~4 weeks away)
Thurs Jun 26 – Alpha 1 (~6 weeks away)


Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/cve/pkg/ALL-linux.html


Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Trusty/Saucy/Precise/Lucid

Status for the main kernels, until today (May. 6):

  • Lucid – Verification and Testing
  • Precise – Verification and Testing
  • Quantal – Verification and Testing
  • Saucy – Verification and Testing
  • Trusty – Verification and Testing

    Current opened tracking bugs details:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kernel-sru-workflow.html

    For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/sru-report.html

    Schedule:

    cycle: 27-Apr through 17-May
    ====================================================================
    25-Apr Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
    27-Apr – 03-May Kernel prep week.
    04-May – 10-May Bug verification & Regression testing.
    11-May – 17-May Regression testing & Release to -updates.


Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussions.

Jono Bacon: Announcing Ubuntu Pioneers

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 16:24

Ubuntu has always been about breaking new ground. We broke the ground with the desktop back in 2004, we have broken the ground with cloud orchestration across multiple clouds and providers, and we are building a powerful, innovative mobile and desktop platform that is breaking ground with convergence.

The hardest part about breaking new ground and innovating is not having the vision and creating the technology, it is getting people on board to be part of it.

We knew this was going to be a challenge when we first took the wraps off the Ubuntu app developer platform: we have a brand new platform that was still being developed, and when we started many of the key pieces were not there such as a solid developer portal, documentation, API references, training and more. Today the story is very different with a compelling, end-to-end, developer story for building powerful convergent apps.

We believed and always have believed in the power of this platform, and every single one of those people who also believed in what we are doing and wrote apps have shared the same spirit of pioneering a new platform that we have.

As such, we want to acknowledge those people.

And with this, I present Ubuntu Pioneers.

The idea is simple, we want to celebrate the first 200 app developers who get their apps in Ubuntu. We are doing this in two ways.

Firstly, we have created http://developer.ubuntu.com/pioneers which displays all of these developers and lists the apps that they have created. This will provide a permanent record of those who were there right at the beginning.

Secondly, we have designed a custom, limited-edition Ubuntu Pioneers t-shirt that we want to send to all of our pioneers. For those of you who are listed on this page, please ensure that your email address is correct in MyApps as we will be getting in touch soon.

Thank-you so much to every single person listed on that page. You are an inspiration for me, my team, and the wider Ubuntu project.

If you have that pioneering spirit and wished you were up there, fear not! We still have some space before we hit 200 developers, so go here to get started building an app.

Stuart Langridge: Some thoughts on soonsnap and little big details

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 13:29

I built a thing called soonsnap, and various people said that I should write up how and why.

First, what it’s for.

Here’s the use case. You’re there in the pub, Friday night, and there’s a group of people squeezing themselves together behind a table while one of their number takes a photo of them. So you step up, helpful, and say “hey, let me take that, then you can be in it!” and whip your phone from your pocket and snap a picture of them all pulling faces and drinking cocktails.

Great. You’ve got a picture of them. How do you give that picture to the people in it?

Here are the constraints:

  • You don’t know these people. This is not a surreptitious excuse to obtain the phone number of the attractive one in the group. So you can’t ask for a phone number, or add them as a Facebook friend
  • You’re all in the pub having fun; you’re not at a computer class. You want to get this photo to them as quickly and easily as possible. So if you ask them to do anything complicated to get the photo, such as “install this app”, or “turn on Bluetooth and then tell me your phone’s Bluetooth name”, they’ll just shrug and say “whatever” and ignore you like the sad techie lunatic that you are
  • Either you or they might not have an iPhone, so no AirDrop for you
  • You’re in the pub. So this is primarily for mobile. Obviously it should work on a big wide screen, but that’s not what it’s aimed at
  • Me, the person running the server, does not want to pay for lots of hosting, and people in the pub don’t want photos of them stored forever in someone else’s cloud. Images are not stored on the server; they’re transferred as much as possible device-to-device

Sometimes, the people asking for a photo will hand you a phone to take it with. At that point, you don’t need any technology to assist; take the picture, give the phone back, done. But if they don’t… you need to get that picture to them.

The one huge overriding goal here is complete ease of use. Anything at all which can be construed as a barrier will mean that you’re unsuccessful. “To get the picture, install this app” takes too long and is too annoying. “Turn on Bluetooth” is too annoying. “Turn on Android Beam” is too annoying. This means the solution needs to be on the web, because everybody has that.

But it should feel like an app, because people are accustomed to that and so the sense of familiarity is important. It’s a very simple set of actions: either “take a photo” or “receive a photo”. So the thing I came up with, soonsnap, is this:

  1. You hit this website and it tells you to pick or take a photo
  2. It gives you a simple four-letter code and gives you instructions to read out to them: go to this website, enter the four letters of the code
  3. They do it: it gives them the photo
  4. You say “there you go”, they say “thank you!”, and another little human interaction is improved with technology without getting in the way

So there are two paths through it: the photo taker, and the photo getter. The taker needs to say “take a photo”, then take the photo, then get a nice clear set of instructions and a code to tell to the getter. The getter needs to get to the website itself, say “receive a photo”, type in the code. That’s it.

To this end, all the thinking went into making soonsnap so it’s really hard to screw the interaction up. Take the codes as an example. They’re four characters — long enough that a code isn’t reasonably guessable, short enough that you can say it to someone else in a crowded bar and they’ll hear you. The code does not repeat any characters. This is done so that when tapping a letter of the code, that letter disappears and can’t be used again — this prevents someone accidentally tapping a letter twice. The characters used for the code could have been all 36 letters and numbers, but it’s actually only 20: 0123456789ACFHNRUWXY. This is so that all letters which sound the same are removed; this stops someone saying “did you say B zero one two or P zero one two?”, especially if you’re shouting over the music in a crowded pub.

And it looks simple but colourful and clear to make it easy to see what’s going on even if your vision’s a bit blurry. I wanted it to be attractive partially because of the aesthetic usability effect, and partially just because, well, things should be pretty. I knew I couldn’t do that, so I talked to Sam Hewitt who put together a great visual design for soonsnap. Thank you, Sam!

Dustin Kirkland: The Orange Box: Cloud for the Free Man

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 13:02
Click and drag to rotate, middle mouse button zooms
It was September of 2009.  I answered a couple of gimme trivia questions and dropped my business card into a hat at a Linux conference in Portland, Oregon.  A few hours later, I received an email on my Palm Pre.  I had just "won" a developer edition HTC Dream -- the Android G1.


While I loved WebOS and my Palm Pre, I couldn't wait to tinker with the G1!  It wasn't so much about the hardware in the G1.  But I was quite anxious to have a hardware platform where I could experiment with Android.  I had, of course, already downloaded the SDK, compiled Android from scratch, and fiddled with it in an emulator.  But that experience fell far short of Android running on real hardware.  Until the G1.  The G1 was the first device to truly showcase the power and potential of the Android operating system.

And with that context, we are delighted to introduce the Orange Box!


The Orange Box

Conceived by Canonical and custom built by TranquilPC, the Orange Box is a 10-node cluster computer, that fits in a suitcase.

Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, Landscape, OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudFoundry, and more!

The Orange Box provides a spectacular development platform, showcasing in mere minutes the power of hardware provisioning and service orchestration with Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, and Landscape.  OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudFoundry, and hundreds of other workloads deploy in minutes, to real hardware -- not just instances in AWS!  It also makes one hell of a Steam server -- there's a charm for that ;-)


OpenStack deployed by Juju, takes merely 6 minutes on an Orange Box
Most developers here certainly recognize the term "SDK", or "Software Development Kit"...  You can think of the Orange Box as a "HDK", or "Hardware Development Kit".  Pair an Orange Box with MAAS and Juju, and you have yourself a compact cloud.  Or a portable big data number cruncher.  Or a lightweight cluster computer.


The underside of an Orange Box, with its cover off

Want to get your hands on one?

Drop us a line, and we'd be delighted to hand-deliver an Orange Box to your office, and conduct 2 full days of technical training, covering MAAS, Juju, Landscape, and OpenStack.  The box is yours for 2 weeks, as you experiment with the industry leading Ubuntu ecosystem of cloud technologies at your own pace and with your own workloads.  We'll show back up, a couple of weeks later, to review what you learned and discuss scaling these tools up, into your own data center, on your own enterprise hardware.  (And if you want your very own Orange Box to keep, you can order one from our friends at TranquilPC.)


Manufacturers of the Orange Box
Gear head like me?  Interested in the technical specs?


Remember those posts late last year about Intel NUCs?  Someone took notice, and we set out to build this ;-)


Each Orange Box chassis contains:
  • 10x Intel NUCs
  • All 10x Intel NUCs contain
    • i5-3427U CPU
    • Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU
    • 16GB of DDR3 RAM
    • 120GB SSD root disk
    • Intel Gigabit ethernet
  • D-Link DGS-1100-16 managed gigabit switch with 802.1q VLAN support
    • All 10 nodes are internally connected to this gigabit switch
  • 100-240V AC/DC power supply
    • Adapter supplied for US, UK, and EU plug types
    • 19V DC power supplied to each NUC
    • 5V DC power supplied to internal network switch


Intel NUC D53427RKE board
The first node, node0, additionally contains:


  • An Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi adapter
  • A 2TB Western Digital HDD, preloaded with a full Ubuntu archive mirror
  • USB and HDMI ports are wired and accessible from the rear of the box

Most planes fly in clouds...this cloud flies in planes!


In aggregate, this micro cluster effectively fields 40 cores, 160GB of RAM, 1.2TB of solid state storage, and is connected over an internal gigabit network fabric.  A single fan quietly cools the power supply, while all of the nodes are passively cooled by aluminum heat sinks spanning each side of the chassis. All in a chassis the size of a tower PC!
It fits in a suit case, and can travel anywhere you go.


Pelican iM2875 Storm Case
How are we using them at Canonical?

If you're here at the OpenStack Design Summit in Atlanta, GA, you'll see at least a dozen Orange Boxes, in our booth, on stage during Mark Shuttleworth's keynote, and in our breakout conference rooms.


Canonical sales engineer, Ameet Paranjape,
demonstrating OpenStack on the Orange Box in the Ubuntu booth
at the OpenStack Design Summit in Atlanta, GA
We are also launching an update to our OpenStack Jumpstart program, where we'll deliver and Orange Box and 2 full days of training to your team, and leave you the box while you experiment with OpenStack, MAAS, Juju, Hadoop, and more for 2 weeks.  Without disrupting your core network or production data center workloads,  prototype your OpenStack experience within a private sandbox environment. You can experiment with various storage alternatives, practice scaling services, destroy and rebuild the environment repeatedly. Safe. Risk free.


This is Cloud, for the Free Man.

:-Dustin

Brian Burger: Dusting Things Off

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 07:55

It’s been a surprisingly long time since I actually published anything on this blog, for a wide variety of reasons. A large part of why this blog existed was to talk about my involvement with the Ubuntu project, but I’ve drifted gently over the last four to six years from being a regular contributor to Ubuntu to being just another opinionated user of it. Interests change, projects get bigger and move in unexpected directions (Unity, to pick an old scab…) and things gradually drift apart. I’ve been renewing my hard-won Ubuntu membership mostly out of reflex for several years now, and will probably finally let it lapse when I next get that prompting email from Launchpad.

That said, I am going to be using this blog again, mostly to talk about bicycling (I have a really, really awesome and epic European bike touring holiday coming up this month through June & July!) and other things that interest me, but to keep the “what is this doing on Planet Ubuntu?” whingers happy I’ve finally used WordPress’ excellent category-based-RSS feature to (mostly) feed only actual Ubuntu-related material (should I happen to write any…) to Planet Ubuntu. Hopefully that frees me to write more without worrying if it’s “suitable for Planet U”…

If you want to read occasional postings from a bike ride from Vienna, Austria to Nantes, France starting in a couple of weeks and going through to the third week of July, though, please stick around!

Leo Iannacone: apt-venv — apt virtual environment

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 07:19

Quickly collect information about packages in different Debian and Ubuntu releases.

apt-venv creates a sort of virtual environments in $HOME/.local/share/apt-venv (one for each release), able to exec bash sessions where apt thinks to be in another distro/release. In these sessions a $APT_VENV variable is set and points out the release name in use.

If you want to customize environment you can modify files in:

$HOME/.config/apt-venv/$release

apt-venv is already available in Debian and Ubuntu utopic unicorn.

Use case

Show which version of some package is in Debian and Ubuntu, simply:

# init apt database for releases for release in unstable stable trusty lucid ; do apt-venv $release -u done # do what you want for release in unstable stable trusty lucid ; do apt-venv $release -c "apt-cache madison base-files | grep Source | tail -1" done

If you do not specify -c option you will entry an interactive shell.

Usage $ apt-venv -h usage: apt-venv [-h] [-D DEBUG] [-v] [-d] [-c COMMAND] [-l] [release] positional arguments: release the debian/ubuntu release optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -D DEBUG, --debug DEBUG set debug level -v, --version show program's version number and exit -c COMMAND, --command COMMAND exec the given command instead of entry the interactive shell -d, --delete delete venv for release -l, --list list all venv installed in your system -u, --update update the apt indexes

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 367

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 00:38

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #367 for the week May 5 – 11, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
  • Paul White
  • Diego Turcios
  • Emily Gonyer
  • Jim Connett
  • Jose Antonio Rey
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Stuart Langridge: Nomad CHARGEKEY/CHARGECARD review

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 21:40

Recently I received a gift from Nomad, one each of their CHARGEKEY and CHARGECARD products. So I’ve been trying them out. They’re both similar in concept, so I’ll speak of them as one item for now.

Basically, it’s a very very portable charging lead for your phone. The CHARGEKEY is about two inches long, with a slim full USB plug1 on one end and either a micro USB or an iPhone 5 lightning plug on the other.2 And there’s a little place to attach it to your keyring. Basically, the idea here is that you’ll stick this on your keyring and the next time you find yourself somewhere where you’d want to charge your phone you’ll have a way to do so, without having to carry a long USB charging lead around everywhere you go like some sort of arse. The CHARGECARD is a similar idea, and again comes in two flavours, but instead of being a little stick that hangs unimpedingly on your keys, it’s the size and thickness of a credit card and goes in your wallet, or wherever you keep cards.3

So, the simple verdict: if you often find yourself wishing you’d brought your charging lead with you, you’ll find this bloody useful.

Me… I didn’t, so much. I often find myself wishing that I could charge my phone up, but the problem isn’t that I don’t have a lead: it’s that even if I had a lead I’d have nowhere to plug it in. Pub tables don’t have USB ports. Coffee shops don’t have USB ports. If I’m working from a desk in an office somewhere I’ve got my laptop bag, and that’s got one of every lead I ever need in it (hasn’t yours? Why hasn’t it? Go and put a spare one of every lead you need in your laptop bag!).

I do sometimes find myself places where I could charge up. Coffee shops do have wall sockets. But for that I’d need an actual lead and an adaptor. On my desk, where I am all day, I have a charging lead. Interestingly, whenever I’m at a conference there are always tweets in the backchannel asking if anyone has an iPhone charging lead — it’s never any other phone. So I suspect iPhone people who haven’t grasped the idea of having a spare lead in their bag may find this hugely useful. If you’re taking my above advice about buying a spare lead then getting one of these is no bad idea because it’s tiny.  Similarly, if places of entertainment started putting USB sockets on every table, this would be superbly useful.4

Perhaps I’m unusual, though. To find out, I gave the CHARGEKEY to my dad. And, interestingly, he’s already talking about using it at work. Just plug into the computer in the office, and the lead is on your keyring ready for you when you need it. And it’s not bothering you when you don’t. It’s for drive-by charging. For a moment of opportunity. If you hit those a lot, you’ll like Nomad’s stuff.

Me, I’ll wait until they put USB sockets in bars.

  1. one of those flat ones that plugs into the bottom half of a USB socket
  2. It comes in two flavours; one for iPhones, one for every other device on the planet
  3. Well, it’s about the thickness of two or three credit cards, but it’ll go in your wallet fine; it did in mine
  4. If you’re running a political party in England and you add “USB sockets on every pub table by law!” to your manifesto then you’ve significantly increased your chances of getting my vote, and every other tech person in the country too. Unless you’re UKIP in which case don’t bother

Serge Hallyn: unprivileged btrfs clones

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 17:51

In 14.04 you can create unprivileged container clones usign overlayfs. Depending on your use case, these can be ideal, since the delta between your cloned and original containers is directly accessible as ~/.local/share/lxc/clonename/delta0/, ready to rsync.

However, that is not my use case. I like to keep a set of original containers updated for quick clone and use by my package build scripts or for manual use for bug reproduction etc. Overlayfs gets in the way here since updating the original container requires making sure no clones exist, else you can cause glitches or corruption in the clone.

Fortunately, if you are using ppa:ubuntu-lxc/daily, or building from git HEAD, then as of last week you can use btrfs clones with your unprivileged containers. This is perfect for me as I can update the originals while a long-running build is on-going in a clone, or if I just want to keep a clone around until i get time to extract the patch or bugfix or log contents sitting there.

So I create base containers using

lxc-create --template download -B btrfs --name c-trusty -- -d ubuntu -r trusty -a amd64

then have create_container and start_container scripts which basically do

lxc-clone --snapshot --orig c-trusty --new c-trusty-5

Perfect.


Tony Whitmore: Paul Spragg

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 17:30

I was very sorry to hear on Friday that Paul Spragg had passed away suddenly. Paul was an essential part of Big Finish, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything keep ticking over. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions. I first met him at the recording for Dark Eyes 2. It was my first engagement for Big Finish and I was unsure of what to expect and generally feeling a little nervous. Paul was friendly right from the start and helped me get set up and ready. He even acted as my test subject as I was setting up my dramatic side lights, which is where the photo below comes from. It’s just a snap really, but it’s Paul.

He was always friendly and approachable, and we had a few chats when I was in the studio at other recording sessions. We played tag on the spare room at the studios, which is where interviews are done as well as being a makeshift photography studio. It was always great to bump into him at other events too.

Thanks to his presence on the Big Finish podcast Paul’s voice will be familiar to thousands. His west country accent and catchphrases like “fo-ward” made him popular with podcast listeners, to the extent that there were demands that he travel to conventions to meet them!

My thoughts and condolences go to his family, friends and everyone at Big Finish.

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Sergio Meneses: El Material Grafico Oficial de la Ubucon LatinAmerica 2014 Ya Disponible!

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 14:30

Saludos compañeros!

El comité organizador de la UbuconLatinoAmerica en su edición 2014 y la comunidad de Ubuntu Colombia, se complace de presentar finalmente el material gráfico para esta edición.

Se pueden descargar desde aquí o en su tamaño completo en la wiki oficial.

Agradecemos especialmente al diseñador William Lázaro por tan magnifico trabajo!

Por ultimo recordarles que si tienen algun comentario y/o sugerencia, Se puede contactar la organizacion mediante el mail: info@ubuconla.org


Jonathan Riddell: Kubuntu Utopic Kickoff Meeting

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 11:43
KDE Project:

A new cycle and lots of interesting possibilities! Will KF5 and Plasma 5 be supreme? All welcome at the Kubuntu kickoff meeting this european evening and american afternoon at 19:00UTC.

Install mumble, get a headset with headphones and microphone, adjust volumes to be sane and join us on mumble server kyofel.dyndns.org
Chat in #kde-devel

Add items to discuss at the meeting notes and review the TODO items on Trello.

See you there!

Ronnie Tucker: Ubuntu AIO DVD Has All Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Flavors on One Disk

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 04:21

Ubuntu AIO DVD (all-in-one), a collection of the most important Ubuntu 14.04 LTS flavors made available on April 17, 2014, is now ready for download.

The Ubuntu AIO DVD was put together by Milan Rajčić and helps users have all the major Ubuntu spins on a single DVD: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, Xubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Lubuntu 14.04 LTS.

As you can imagine, this is a very large compilation and it holds the official images that you can also download from the Canonical servers. The difference is that users have a single image that holds them all.

Source:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Ubuntu-AIO-DVD-Has-All-Ubuntu-14-04-LTS-Flavors-on-One-Disk-441202.shtml

Submitted by: Silviu Stahie

 

Andrew Pollock: [debian] Day 103: Today's Debian efforts

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 02:15

I had a really productive day today actually working on Debian, as planned for my Mondays.

I'm still working through my list of packages, trying to get them all vaguely up to date for jessie. It's mostly just addressing Lintian issues that mostly revolve around old standards versions, with the occasional new upstream release. I've also been doing bug triage where the bugs aren't overwhelming.

Today I made uploads for pssh (a new upstream release), pymetrics (mostly just a rebuild), rcs-blame (mostly just a rebuild) and simpleproxy (mostly just a rebuild).

I need to revisit simpleproxy, because I'm having problems convincing the resulting binary to be linked correctly for relro. It's weird, because I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing and I can see all the other hardening flags being passed in except for this one.

I really like simplifying down debian/rules using dh, that really makes things readable. You can see the useful stuff without losing it in all the boilerplate. For some reason I was never a fan of CDBS, but I'm quite liking dh. I think it's because it's less opaque than CDBS.

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